Finally “TGIF!” Thank the Goddess It Is Finally Friday! Have A Great One!

Friendship Images
Good Morning, my dears! How is everyone? Hey it is finally Friday, you should be doing great! I am late, I know. I have been goofing off. Yes, I confess, goofing off! I decided to Google myself, my real name and Witches of the Craft. Well, my real name and “Lady Of The Abyss” didn’t turn up anything unexpected. Hmm, let me take that back. There are a few songs on YouTube dedicated to a “Lady Of The Abyss.” Now whether or not they are really named after me, I have no clue. The reason being I couldn’t understand them or make out the words (that might be a good thing :s ). Besides those crazy things I found nothing else. When it came to the WOTC, I found nothing bad. Instead a total shocker, we have won the “Golden Web Award.” I didn’t know anything about this. It did make my jaw drop. I went to the site and sure enough there was our banner. The funny thing, I don’t ever remember getting notified we won this. Oh, yeah, it is a legitimate site, I just don’t remember getting notified. So when I actually track this award down, I will show it to ya’ll. In the meantime, if you have a site Goggle it. No telling what you will find out.

Now I am totally baffled, I hate being baffled, you know. Anyway, let me get unbaffled and get down to business. It is finally Friday, TGIF! I hope everyone has a fantastic Friday and a very blessed and relaxing weekend…..

Luv & Hugs,

Lady A

Daily Feng Shui News for Feb. 27th – ‘Polar Bear Day & Recycling’

Today’s energies focus on the plight of the polar bear, a species now facing extinction due to climate change. On this day, do something ‘green’ that will contribute to restoring balance to the planet. Recycle something you would normally throw away. Turn off lights and water when not in use. Reuse paper towels and wash windows with newspaper. There are a million small ways to make one gigantic difference. Do something proactive today. Do something polaractive today. You do make a difference. If they could speak, I’m sure the world’s polar bears would thank you.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

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The Daily OM for January 24th – The Whole Is Greater

The Whole Is Greater
Women’s Circles

by Madisyn Taylor

Women’s circles perfectly illustrate the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Women’s circles are formal or informal gatherings in the interest of bonding, sharing energy, and creating ritual. The origins of women’s circles are ancient, but their applications are as modern as the women who participate in them. There are no hard and fast rules as to how to form a women’s circle or how to run one. Some circles invent their own agendas, rituals, goals, and ceremonies, while others borrow ideas from sources as far-ranging as Buddhist or Native American cultures. Some circles are open to new members at all times, while others prefer to practice with a set number of members, closing the circle once that number is reached.

In a typical gathering, the women who are present sit in a circle. Generally, for the sake of cohesiveness, one woman is chosen to lead the circle each time. Allowing a different woman to lead each meeting allows for a multi-perspective approach to the process. One circle leader may choose to create and teach a ritual involving using the voice to release negative energy, while at the next meeting another leader may feel inspired to lead a silent meditation. On the other hand, a circle may choose to be more focused over the long term and gather around a particular intention, such as working together to determine a course for healing Mother Earth. When the healing feels complete, the women may choose to stay together with a new focus for their work, or the circle may disband.

At their best, women’s circles perfectly illustrate the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The work that can be accomplished within the loving embrace of our sisters is far more powerful than what we could achieve on our own. If you are not already part of a circle, you may want to start one. Follow your intuition as to the women with whom you’d like to work, reach out to them, and set a date to begin. After that, you can simply allow the circle to create itself. Men need not be forgotten when it comes to circles and they, too, can come together to form their own circles and create strong bonds and healing in a way that is specific to all men.

The Daily OM

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A Little Humor for Your Day – You Know You’re a Redneck if…

You Know You’re a Redneck if…

Your yard has been proposed as a new landfill site.
Your kid’s birth announcements include the phrase “rug rat.”
Your pocket knife has ever been referred to as “Exhibit A.”
Your sister has a “Soldier of Fortune” subscription.
Your wife is sister and your daughter
You’ve ever stood in line more than 1 hour to get your picture taken with a freak of nature.
Your bank checks feature pictures of dogs fighting.
You’ve ever stabbed someone’s hand while reaching for the last pork chop.
On Christmas eve, you left Santa a beer and a Slim Jim.

Fun Humor

Calendar of the Moon for November 6th

Calendar of the Moon

Reed Month

Color: Blue-green
Element: Water
Altar: Upon cloth of blue-green place a vase of reeds, a single blue-green candle, a great bowl of water floating with wetlands plant leaves, and a knife.
Offering: Recycle something useless into something useful.
Daily Meal: Vegetarian soup and sandwiches. Only water or herbal tea to drink.

Ngetal Invocation

Call: Now is the time of the bleak cold.
Response: Now the reeds whisper in the swamp.
Call: Now is the time when we see the growing dark.
Response: Now is the time when we begin to shiver.
Call: Now is the time of bare trees.
Response: Now is the time of rain and wind.
Call: Now the rain fills the wetlands to overflowing.
Response: Now the swamp overflows into our lives.
Call: We feel our feet dragged down into the cold waters.
Response: Yet the wetland is the source of greatest life!
Call: We feel ourselves pulled into the unfamiliar.
Response: Unfamiliar to us, but no less of value.
Call: The damp cold begins to reach our bones.
Response: We must welcome its touch.
Call: We must keep it far away with fire’s warmth!
Response: We must welcome its touch.
Call: Why should we not ban it from our lives?
Response: For this, too, is a Mystery of water.
Call: Not the deep mystery of the Ocean…
Response: Not the running flow of the river…
Call: Not the crystal of snow and ice…
Response: But the secrets of the still waters.
Call: From the still waters springs the greatest number of lives!
Response: And it is this that we must honor.
Call: Welcome into ourselves the song of the whispering reeds!
Response: Welcome into ourselves the oncoming winter.

Chant: Cold as stone
Marshes heart
We will own
What is apart

[Pagan Book of Hours]

Current Moon Phase for Nov. 6th – Waxing Crescent

Crescent Moon

(waxing/14% of Full)

During this Moon phase, there is a slight slowing down of enthusiasm due to an emerging desire to produce tangible results from the energy being expended. The issue of values enters into the equation and an urge to tie together the data available so that you can utilize current opportunities. There is still plenty of forward motion, and this is a great time to continue initiating and progressing forward. This Moon phase favors gaining more information and the input of others to further your plans.

The Heart of Unconditional Love

The Heart of Unconditional Love

From the laughter of children at play to the golden rays of the sun
beaming through the sky at sunset, the eternal song of love permeates
all creation. Each beat of our heart pulses to this rhythm in a majestic
and graceful dance connecting us to everyone and everything. Life is
magnificent when we quiet our outer selves and become fully present and
aware of our own loving essence.

To know this grander love is to go beyond the sensation of a first kiss
or a mother’s tender touch in time of need. Although these
extraordinary expressions reveal the existence of love, there is so much
more. This universal love is unconditional and its very presence ignites
our passion and our compassion. It breathes life into our being and
sustains us. It encourages and illuminates the infinite possibilities
while simultaneously providing all that we require to be alive.

It is our heart center that gently nudges us to know and express love in
all that we are. However this does not always come easily. Through eons
of time, the conditioning by our mind to seek logic and reasoning in our
daily affairs has left little trust in the wisdom of the heart. Learning
to once again cultivate our intuition, be intimate with our own unique
understanding of love, and to feel this love deeply, takes both courage
and strength.

Unconditional love is our consistent source of nurturing, inspiration
and potential. Interestingly, we often seek the beauty of nature for its
extraordinary ability to be in constant change while ever expressing its
interconnected uniqueness. This is what captivates and also reminds us
of our own innate capacity to do the same. Nature has the ability to
cycle, recycle, adapt, reclaim and reinvent itself over and over by
simply fulfilling its distinctive purpose with love for all.

When we allow unconditional love to be our personal guiding intention,
our energy flows in the same manner. We stay present in the moment and
share our love without reservation or hesitation. We change, evolve,
expand and express our creativity in new ways ensuring that it benefits
the whole. In this way, life itself evolves through each of us.

You are the heart of unconditional love. What you choose, we all
experience.

 

Forging Your Own Path: My Journey

Forging Your Own Path: My Journey

Author:   Bear Stormcrowe 

Ever since I was a wee lad, I knew that I had a special relationship with Mother Earth and the elements around me. I always had this magnetic attraction to all things mystical, offbeat, and natural. I remember quite well the times I used to ‘trick’ my parents into buying trees from the Arbor Day Foundation in order to plant them as an homage to Mother Gaia. I would sit outside and plant them, whispering softly to the planet; “Here you go. Thank you for giving us what you give us.”

When my family finally got the Internet, I remember sneaking onto my computer at night; silently hoping the dial-up connection sounds wouldn’t stir my family. It was there that my journey began. I searched earth-based religions high and low…and I came to the realization: I’m a Witch.

I had always been more mature than others of my age group, and since my epiphany I’ve referred to myself as a Natural Witch. I began seriously pursuing the Well-Worn Path soon after that epiphany and started my path as a solitary practitioner in full force. At the time, I was still green on the subject of Witchcraft, even though I was naturally inclined to it; So, I began researching books from the library and following their paths and their beliefs but something didn’t feel quite right. In any religion, a personal means of practicing helps you get that more personal connection with your deity. In my case, it was multiple deities but namely, Lugh and Danu. It was then I realized that I could forge my own path…my own solitary journey.

Since beginning my own personal journey, following the rules of the Wicca, and showing reverence to my amazing deities, I found my connection and my own personal practice. When it came to Sabbats I followed a loosely based outline but added my own flair in the mix, it all worked just the same if not better because all of my mind, body, and spirit were put into my craft. I came “out of the broom closet”, so to speak, to my friends in high school—then to my friends and professors in college.

After much networking and a twist of fate I owe all to the God and Goddess, I met a woman who is now my fiancée and a group of friends with whom I created a small active coven. They were all well seasoned in the Craft already but I found myself answering their questions with a knowledge I had no idea was hiding deep within me. The advice and techniques I offered proved a success and I realized that I had an even deeper calling: High Priestdom. After meeting and discussing the future of the coven, they all agreed unanimously that they felt I would take the high priest position and honor it well.

So, what’s the point of this story? You ask. In my personal experience I’ve found that crafting your own spells and following the path that your heart and soul vibrates well with yields better results. In my case, a closer connection to the deities I’ve aligned myself with.

How do you find your own path? The simplest way to do it is follow your heart. However, if you are unsure of what your heart is telling you here are some simple techniques that have helped me when the answers my heart had given didn’t really satisfy my spirit.

Meditation: Simple two-step meditation works wonders.

The First Step is to open sacred space. This is the brief equivalent of casting a circle. How I open sacred space is by grounding and centering me then I say:

“By the Grace and Power of the Great Ones, Within and Without, I allow love to enter this space, but keep evil and ill intent out.”

Your sacred space is now open. Feel free to change the invocation of positive energies to something of your liking.

The Second Step is to clear your mind of all things but your question at hand. This takes a lot of practice so do this on a day that has been relatively uneventful if at all possible. Clearing your mind and focusing on your own path and what fits just right for your individual Witchiness should yield some result the first few times you try it.

Scrying: Using a scrying mirror or bowl is another way to get some answers. Be prepared to look deep into the mirror/bowl for some time. As with most divination arts, symbols are left to the diviner to interpret so have a notebook and writing utensil (or computer for those tech-savvy Witches) to record the symbols for interpretation after the scrying session. It’s been my experience to wait until the end of the session to interpret symbols and messages because if you take your focus to one symbol, you may miss other important ones. Once you’ve finished scrying, interpret symbols, make connections, and have fun with it.

To end this article, I’d like to say that if you follow a set path founded by someone else and you feel at home in that path, then by all means continue on the path you are most comfortable with. You may get things from different paths in order to forge your own way. That is perfectly acceptable. It’s all what feels right to each individual witch.

I write this article in the light of Lugh and Danu and with love to all of my fellow Pagans and Earth-Children. May bright blessing and prosperity come your way and as always—Blessed Be.

-Adam Osborne (Sacred Magick)
Eclectic Pagan, High Priest, and Lightworker.

Beyond Wicca 101

Beyond Wicca 101

Author:   Talma Stormphoenix 

One of this month’s topics is Wicca 101 and the complaints about all the books that are about it. The thing is if you’re going to complain about something then you have to know what’s wrong with it. So let’s start at the beginning. What is Wicca 101 and what does it cover. I’m sure everyone knows but just humor me on this and lets get a basic run down of just what Wicca 101 is.

Some of the things you get in some books a smattering of Witch history. You know, the cavemen doing their rituals to ensure the success of the hunt and there is very often a discussion of the burning times. The why behind the Witch burnings and tortures not just the when and who. There is also a discussion about the clothes that you can/need to wear or not wear (depending on the trad) along with a discussion on jewelry that can be worn and what can’t (watches). Another big part of Wicca 101 are your color correspondences. This covers what color your clothing (if you’re wearing any) should be and also the colors of candles and other stuff. We can’t forget the gems because of their vibrational properties and what they are best used for. Herbs can be one of the healing Witch’s best tools. You could go buy them but what about growing them yourself? (hey don’t worry if you don’t have a green thumb just go to the store!) Proper meditation techniques have to include opening up your chakras (of course). And we can’t forget our divination tools and techniques.

There are so many tools to choose from here I could possibly list them all but as we all know some of the best known are the tarot, runes, numerology, palmistry, tea leaves I ching and scrying. That last one includes crystal balls and fire, not necessarily together. We can’t forget sacred space. The place you do ritual can be conductive or destructive to your magickal work so it’s important to have peace and quiet so you won’t be disturbed. Dedications, rituals and circle casting, this could be considered the core of magickal teaching. First you dedicate yourself to the God and/or Goddess then you design your ritual and cast your circle to do ritual. Oh yeah did you pick your pantheon yet? I’m just kidding. As you can see there are many things that are included in Wicca 101 and if you’re like me you have a couple Wicca 101 books and could back in ten minutes to tell me what all I forgot but I’m hoping you see the point I’m trying to make. If Wicca 101 covers so much what on Gaia’s green earth could Wicca 201 cover and who would be experienced enough to write the books?!

The answer is this. The books are already here and written but there are people who are just looking for an easy ride up the Wiccan education ladder. (groaning from the gallery) What, did you think there was some magickal secret that I had? I’m sorry you feel like you got ripped off but if that’s the way you feel then I’m sorry but it’s going to get a whole lot worse for you.

This is how I see it. Wicca 201 is here and has been here. There are folks out there who are already doing Wicca 201 and just haven’t realized it yet. There are others that just want to to jump to the end of the book so to speak so they can talk about what they know to anyone and everyone who will listen. They want to read these books and not do the work that goes into doing magick. The one’s who are trying to get a quick fix are in for a rude awakening because if you thought Wicca 101 was hard you ain’t seen nothing yet! Now don’t get upset and start jumping up and down in your seat now. Hear me out and I’ll explain just why Wicca 201 is already here.

We’ve just taken a glance at some of what makes Wicca 101 so it should really be obvious as to what Wicca 201 is. Okay, if Wicca 101 is like a basic introduction to everything it’s like going to a clothing store and finding the clothes that fit you and look the best. You and your best friends could go out to find a new outfit to wear to the club on Friday but just because you picked out the lime green hip huggers with silver glitter and a matching top doesn’t mean that they’re going to get the same thing. Friend A may not feel that the color just isn’t her and she opts for the pink one with the gold The second friend looks doesn’t go for either. She goes for the basic little black dress. Wicca 101 is the club but the outfits are Wicca 201.

Everyone starts out with basically the same education of magick. You find out just what’s out there and as you learn you find yourself drifting toward certain subjects that appeal to you. You say ‘Hey I like gardening so I’ll be great at using herbs’ but your best friend kills anything green she touches or maybe you were curious and bought a tarot deck and became very good at using it other folks go for the Runes as their tool of choice. The thing is most people have already delved into Wicca 201. All Wicca 201 is are the advanced studies of whatever has become your study of choice. I love the tarot. I have been doing it for almost seven years but if you asked me to use runes I’m going to need the book! I also have a love of plants and am slowly moving into herbs and other plants so my newest books is Cunninghams’s encyclopedia of herbs but I know I won’t be stopping there. I live in the northeast and luckily I live near a park that’s big enough support a nice array of wild life big (mule and white tail deer) and small (moles, squirrels etc.) This is Wicca 201. Working to perfect your skills and come closer to finding deity however you view it.

Your Animal Spirit for October 22nd is the Hummingbird

Your Animal Spirit for Today
October 22, 2013

Hummingbird

Sorrow and worry have no place in your life today, as Hummingbird’s message is one of absolute joy. Hummer’s darting movements, flashes of brilliant reds and greens, and unmistakable whirr are all guaranteed to bring a smile to the face of even the most dour among us. If live has been difficult of late, know that joy is whirring your way.

The Daily Motivator for Oct. 21st – Widen your view

Widen your view

If you’re having trouble finding an answer, it’s probably because you’re  continuing to look where you’ve already looked. If it seems that the problems  have no good solutions, widen your view.

The answers and the opportunities are most certainly out there. In order to  discover them you must let go of some assumptions and open yourself to new  possibilities.

Conditions change, people change, and the whole world can change quickly. If  you continue to see things exactly the way you did yesterday, you’re missing a  whole lot of new opportunities.

It’s great to stay firmly anchored in your long-held, most treasured values.  Yet it’s also vitally important to live and express those values in new,  creative and updated ways.

There are countless ways to enrich your life and your world that you’ve never  even considered. Step out of your routine, step back from your assumptions,  widen your view and see some of those possibilities.

Make the choice to venture beyond what you’re comfortable with, beyond what  you already know and assume. Great new treasures are waiting for you there.

— Ralph Marston

The Daily Motivator

Daily Feng Shui News for Oct. 20th – ‘Information Overload Day’

This ‘Information Overload Day’ is a good time to be reminded that you have all the information you’ll ever need sitting right inside you. Unplug, get quiet, and listen to the small voice within. The information it wants to share can magically and positively change your life. Give yourself three minutes each day to get quiet and connect with your own source. The only thing that will be overloaded is your sense of happiness and harmony.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

Getting Started

Getting Started

Author:   Lacran 

A lot of us have been here somewhere: the first time we picked up a book on it, the first time we had a Pagan/Wiccan friend tell us it wasn’t all about casting curses or eating babies, our first Google search on the subject. Maybe some of us even started out on the Witches’ Voice. Some of us maybe even found our way here after a lot of searching and an eventual suggestion from a friend or a family member out there somewhere. Some of the lucky ones were raised pagan and came here solely to post their own knowledge. Many of us are always still searching for more information as and when it comes up and always love having the opportunity to learn as much as we can. Some get really comfortable in one tradition and others, like myself, like to remain eclectic with their practice.

It’s due to this fluidity that a lot of my friends have become interested in my practice. One of my friends and I now has a partnership and she really wants it to turn into a coven. As of this writing (December 2010) , my friend has only been in her practice for a few months. As she lives a few hundred miles away in another city, we share our book of shadows through my Google docs (thanks to my much loved Gmail account) . It’s something that she really enjoys since it gives her an opportunity to learn about something that she wouldn’t have easy access to in any other way. More so, when she lives too far from a library to check out any of the books I suggest.

We’ve known each other for about three years; I’ve been a practicing Pagan since before I met her. Before that I was a practicing Christian and, for the most part, was miserable to the core. I learned through tedious numbers of Google searches and books checked out from the library on the subject. It took me a long time to read these books (and sometimes money in fines just so I could keep them longer due to a hold on the same title) and to find out whatever I could. I looked into everything that held my interest and anything that I could possibly get my hands on.

Having someone new under my belt like this, I could steer her mostly clear of the things I discovered were fake and turn her to places that I knew were more secure, places that I was sure would give her accurate information. Some of the books I’ve mentioned I was reading about it when I met her even made the point that Pagans and Wiccans didn’t eat babies within the first few pages of the book. Some of them even go after a lot of the other common myths that a lot of Americans have learned from their movies.

I know I’ve had friends asking me questions on my religion based on everything from the Disney movies a lot of us watched as children (and will probably show a lot of our own children one day if grandma doesn’t show these movies to them) to the horror movies that we see coming out every day. Even newer movies like The Princess and the Frog show images that are negative or incorrect images of what some of us believe.

It’s finding these kinds of things out that can make or shatter many peoples’ views of Pagans and Wiccans. Many of these people may even fear us because of what the media has to say about us. I’ve been one of the lucky ones; most of my friends have had no problems with my religion. Many of them aren’t afraid of any of the magick I do or anything that I currently practice.

There were a few who freaked out about it but others who didn’t. It’s the ones who stay that have learned the most from me, the ones who have seen through a lot of the myths that they’ve had the chance to ask me about. One friend has even embraced a new religion because I have been able to help her learn and this despite the fact that she lives so far away from me for most of the year.

These opportunities to learn are something that I always hope to be able to offer. I know I got lost on my own way to where I am now and would like to be a hand reaching out to guide others who ask it of me. I’ve chosen my own path and help others who have asked me for it without trying to convert anyone like so many of my friends have or that some of my peers have tried to do. Being a bisexual person, it’s one of the few places that I could consider a church and not have a priest tell me I wasn’t allowed or welcomed there. This Pagan religion is something that draws me and so many others and that will continue to attract more people as information on it continues to rise (both legitimate and illegitimate) .

Though the idea of a coven is new to me and isn’t something I thought I’d ever plan on doing anywhere other than online, the idea is also a bit exciting. The idea of being a High Priestess in a coven that I myself created and started is absolutely intimidating. It’s another way to get started in my practice that I never dreamed that I would be doing, no matter how long I had been practicing and how much I believed I knew.

Even now, with my entire book of shadows available to a friend, the idea that I could have more people working under me and looking for guidance has both its pros and cons. I am excited about having more people to share things with and to share what they were learning from various areas of the craft with me and yet I also am anxious about having people learning a lot from me that they may have never learned before. Even with one person, it’s been an experience and I love having the opportunity. It’s a version of ‘getting started’ that I’m excited to begin anew.