Elder’s Meditation of the Day – March 18

Elder’s Meditation of the Day – March 18

“The sacred fire used to heat the rocks represents the eternal fire that burns at the center of the universe.”

–Dr. A.C. Ross (Ehanamani), LAKOTA

Our Sweat Lodge represents the womb of Mother Earth. This is the place of forgiveness. The altar is the place where the Grandfathers are heated. The Sweat Lodge and the altar represent the whole story of the universe. The Sweat Lodge and the ceremonies are sacred. The Great Spirit gave these things to us to help us. He taught us to do the ceremonies in harmony with Mother Earth. We need to know and understand these things.

Great Spirit, let me understand harmony.

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I Am a Witch of the Old World

I Am a Witch of the Old World

Author: Lady Abigail

I am very much a Witch of the Old World. NO, Not because I am ‘Old’ but because I have trust the Old World ways of healing and magick. Herbs are truly a gift of the Goddess. Everyday of our lives we have the opportunely to hold these gifts in our hands. Those of us called Herb Witches have also learned how to touch the Goddess. How to hold Her blessings of both healing and power within each of Her green gifts.

From the time of my Great Grandmother herbs were used for both Magickal and Medical works. My Great Grandmother was the Wise Woman, the Wise One, the Sage Woman. She was a Witch. She was Cajun, half Quapaw Indian and half French.

I would learn in secret from my Great Grandmother how to watch the signs of Nature. She taught me what herbs were best for concocting potions, teas, tonics, powders and brews. Which herbs were just right for not only healing but the magick of healing as well as for spells and with heart and love, anything was possible from the powers of the Earth and within Nature.

I learned the ways of the Old World. In the same way as my Great Grandmother had learned from her Grandmother and her Grandmother had learned from all the generations before. I learned by watching, listening and helping my Great Grandmother.

My Great Grandmother was raised in a time where it was common practice for people to go to the Wise One, the Wise Woman or Shaman, for help in healing or for help in magick. Many would come for help with problems of money, love, and harvest, as well as healing.

People would come to get the magick within her spells, pouches or brews for everything from, money, to protection. They came for mixtures of healing herbs and leaves when sick. I watched as she would work with her wonderful gifts of magick in healing and the magick of nature.

There were usually no doctors around for miles and little money to pay one. I would learn from My Great Grandmother how to call the wind in a whisper.
How to see what wasn’t seen, not by the in-worlders. Those who would or could not see the magick all around them. I would hear her speak wonderful incantations and spells. I would watch her make potions and brews to heal the sick. I would see her do magick, the kind of magick that stirs the soul.

I was brought up as a child to understand such things were never spoke of, and considered foolish by many. I wouldn’t truly appreciate all these wonderful gifts of healing and magick until much later in my life.

Even now, my Great Grandmother still influences my life with wonder. I can when quietly listening, hear her sweet voice upon the wind in whispers. As if within magick.

It was so heartbreaking that as my Grandmother passed away, and for many years, so did the magick. All her great wisdom pasted down through the generations. Her wonderful gifts would be rejected as with the old ways.

There are many facets of Magick, Herb Magick being one of the blessed ones. I believe that a Witch’s Herb cabinet is one of our most essential tools. Herbs have been used in Magick and Healing since the beginning for time. Used in Home Remedies, Make-up, Poultices, Salves, Creams, Infusions, Brews, Teas, Potions, and Elixirs. Most herbs have both a Magickal and Medical use. You must have a great respect for herbs. Whether using them Medicinally in Healing or Magickally in Spells. You need to be careful and sure of what you are using. Always make sure the herb is exactly what you think it us.

In a quick look, Queen Ann’s Lace, Angelica and Hemlock look a lot alike, but the out come will be completely different. If you are looking for a particular herb for use in either Magickal Work or Healing, and you’re not completely sure if the one you have found is that herb. Just, Don’t Use It!

You will find that in most cases the herbs and plants you need can be easily be acquired from your local grocery, herb shop, or even a florist. For some of the less common and less known herbs you may find it easer getting them from an herb shop.

When there’s a certain Herb called for in a spell and you don’t have that particular herb, check what it is being used for. Is it for power, is it for psychic power, is it for dreams, is it for the Goddess or God…?

In most cases when a spell calls for Herbs for a particular purpose, there are other Herbs out there that have the same influential powers. This is wonderful because if you’re working on a spell for psychic powers and can’t find Sumbul or Stillengia you can always use Bay Leaves, Cinnamon or Grass. All of these herbs are for strengthening psychic powers. Normally grass is pretty easy to find though I wouldn‘t use it in a tea potion or brew that was going to be drunk. Grass has a truly rank taste.

Herbs have also been used throughout history for medical healing. From poultices for bruised and blacken eyes, to healing sickness and disease. Being one of Wise One’s who carried the knowledge of healing was considered to be a great gift and this gift was not shared with everyone.

Today you will find more and more people as well as doctors who are returning to The Old Ways and a more natural way of healing. You can’t go through a department store, grocery store, or even a mall without seeing a place that sells herbs and natural remedies.

It seems so ridicules that this Old World knowledge is looked upon as some New Age miracle. It may well be a miracle or magick, but one that was given to us at the beginning of time, through the blessing of Mother Earth.

But for some reason we of this ultramodern world seem to think if we didn’t come up with an idea on our own, than it must not be a good one. So we call everything New Age. All the wonders that are of the Old World, Old Religion and Old Knowledge have somehow became New Age. No matter what you call it, New Age or Old World Knowledge, it works.

Remember those fairy tales and stories you were told as a child? Where the old Witches used Bat’s Wings and Devil‘s Eye, within their magickal brews. Get ready, you will find yourself using them as well. That’s because in the Old World, witches used many folk names for plants and herbs. Bat Wings are dried English Holly leaves, think about it, they do kind of look like Bat Wings and Devil’s Eye is just another name for Periwinkle. It may sounds strange but if there were ingredients you wanted to keep secret and not share with anyone wouldn’t this be a fabulous way to do it.

Especially, if you kept a Book of Shadows, Book of Secrets or Cookbook as my Great Grandmother Called hers, where you wrote down your Spells and Healing potions. You would use Folk names, names the In-worlders didn’t understand. (In-worlders: those who cannot or will not see all the magick before them.) Knowing it’s a lot harder for someone to find Devil’s Eye than Periwinkle.

Making your herbs into medicine that you can use to help heal and ease another’s pain is truly rewarding. It was amazing for me as a child to watch as my Great Grandmother as she would put together just the right herbs for people who would come to her for help and healing.

They would tell her all the problems they were carrying and you could see her, as she would listen to their needs of healing and of heart. It didn’t matter if someone came to her with complaints of something so insignificant as warts or complaints of great pain. She would begin to mix and brew, stir and work the wonderful magick of healing.

It is a shame that we have allowed so much of this knowledge of healing to be lost in the rush to have instant fixes for what ales us. You can go to just about any doctor and walk out with a fist full of prescriptions, for anything and everything. Many times the instant fixes and quickie trips through the doctors’ offices leave us felling more like cattle than like people with souls and spirits.

I sometimes wonder where the heart of caring and understanding has gone. So many of those in the medical professions just simply don’t have or don’t take the time for the heart that is truly needed in healing.

Don’t get me wrong there is a time and place for all kinds of healing, including doctors and pills. But I think we have become so dependent on the instant fixes that we have forgotten the ability of true healing.

True healing comes from within the body, mind and spirit. If you leave one of these uncared for this will allow the illness to return. In true healing it doesn’t matter if you are healing a disease or a hangnail be sure you look for all the answers. The answers that are found in the Heart.

There is a power we find within ourselves when crushing and blending, brewing and stewing up remedies and spells. Herbs are used in healing everything from the day-to-day aches and pains of life to the magickal answers of lost loves. Magick is not about only the spells or the healings, it is about who we are and the Old World gifts given to all the Wise Ones from a time when magick and wonders were forever possible within your heart with truth, and love.

Blessed Be….
Lady Abigail


Footnotes:
* Some excerpts were taken from “Witch of the Old World Book of Herbs”
by Lady Abigail

Please, Don’t Think You Know Me!

Please, Don’t Think You Know Me!

Author: Lady Abigail

I have no fear of who you see,
For I can be only me
.”

For me, it was a wonderful gift, being raised in the love and nurturing compassion of my Great Grandmother and learning from her the wisdom of family and history of her heritage, which was mixed in Native American traditions, Ozark Magick, Healing and Wisdom. She was truly an amazing person, and, oh yes, she was a Witch.

But it was not something she dressed up in; it was just simply who she was.

My Great Grandmother was a small woman just barely five foot tall. I would have to guess that she weighed maybe a hundred pounds and that would if she was soaking wet. For most of my life, I remember her wearing dark skirts and long-sleeve blouses even in summer. She wore a bonnet and sometimes gloves to keep the sun from darkening her skin. She dressed much as she had in her younger days.

She was in no way a threatening-looking person. In fact she was quite the opposite. Reflecting back, I would have to say, she gave the appearance of a “little house on the prairie” schoolteacher. But, those who knew her, truly knew her and respected her for the force of nature that she was unto this world, a person of good, healing, and wisdom.

Occasionally I would hear people saying things about my Great Grandmother and her being a Witch. I understood, even as a child, people enjoyed saying things about other people as long as they were not around. Sometimes it was about her goodness, but it was often filled with their fear and ignorance for someone they were afraid to know.

Over the years I have had people assume that because my Great Grandmother was a practicing Witch, it must have been somehow hard on me. Perhaps they believed that my Great Grandmother’s house was filled with rat tails and bat wings. Others would assume that since I was born into a family of Witches, then that made me a Witch.

Okay, kind of, yes, but not exactly.

My Great Grandmother believed that you were whom you made yourself into, the choice being yours. She taught me and gave me the gifts of knowledge, magick, and understanding of the powers hidden within the moon, earth, and nature. However, I had to also study and learn them.

Then, as I grew, the lessons grew and in time I learned that living within a world of magick, meant you would be learning for the rest of you life.

Witches know that once we open that first book, that study and knowledge are like a thirst we can never quench; a thirst that truly gives us an understand that surpasses every part of life.

Recently I had a young ‘witchlit’ make the comment that, “people were afraid of her … you know, since she was a witch and all.” (scary) But that is only because they knew that they should not mess with her, or make her mad because if she got mad, no telling what would happen.

I laughed, since most people have no idea I am a witch. I’m not in the broom closet by any means; I just don’t announce it as I walk into a room. I don’t need too.

In time, I will tell those in my life, friends outside my magick world, if I feel they need to know, which normally comes after they have a chance to get to know me. Then I let them decided how they feel about me, who and what they think I am.

If they stay in my life, I will cherish them. If they walk away, I let them go with understanding.

My Great Grandmother taught me at a young age, that it is not fear that brings a person respect. It only brings fear. And fear will in time breed hatred and contempt.

Unfortunately, there are some in our life’s who seem to confuse the two of these. Respect and Honor come from what others see deep within us, from our deeds and not our words.

My Great Grandmother was a Witch, but she was so much more. She was a daughter of the old south with Native American parents who walked the trail and escaped into a new life. She was the sister of a brother who was taken away by a religion that was not of her family’s believing, then forced by the government to send him away on a train to never be seen or heard from again. She was a wife and a mother. She was a widow and understood the struggles and joys of marriage, life, family, as well as the pains of losing those she loved.

Her husband died in World War I and her only son died in World War II. She was an honored grandmother and great grandmother. (Now a great-great-grandmother, as well.) She was a woman of means who survived alone and raised a family with no aid from anyone during the great depression.

Yes, she was a Witch, a Shaman, a Healer and a Wise Women. But she was so much more. All anyone even needs to have done was ask and she would have welcomed him or her into her life.

I have had people tell me that it freaked them out once they found out I was a practicing Witch. I have had some people feel so uncomfortable with that knowledge that they had to separate themselves from me completely, somehow unable to see past a label to the person within. How funny that people want to think they can guess who we are by just looking at us or by the title we carry in our life.

I have to tell you it is not a good idea to think you know someone because of how they dress, how they look, or what they may do in their life’s.

If you met me on a street, it is possible you would think I was the church lady. Other days you might think I was a streetwalker. But you never really know who a person is on the inside, unless they share that part of themselves with you.

Most of us know how to carefully mask the secrets we protect within ourselves. But that is because we carry our power within our spirits. No one can take it, nor do we give it away. We don’t need to put on a show, or act high and mighty to prove to someone who we are.

We know already.

In peace and magick,
Lady Abigail



Footnotes:
FYI: Practicing Witch- One who is actively working at the profession and skill of magick and/or Witchcraft. A Witch of continuing study and actively presuming additional levels of skill within the craft.

A Witch endeavoring to learn and grow beyond. Establishing magickal habits and continuing methods. Uninterrupted growth and study within the chosen occupation and skills of magick and/or Witchcraft.

My Broom is Bigger than Your Broom

My Broom is Bigger than Your Broom

Author: Lady Abigail

Walking across the freshly harvested field of hay, I watched the sun as it sank, little by little, between the great oaks on the hillside. The trees seemed to be burning in the autumn colors of orange, gold and red. The air quickly became crisp and cool.

Smoke from my Great Grandmother’s chimney lay heavy in the air, like it was dancing in the vanishing twilight. The sweet aroma of the evening placed images within my mind. For me, it was as if the essence from times past were encircling me in a mist of stories not yet told.

I could hear the crunch of each of my footsteps as I walked across the field home. Suddenly, the sounds changed around me. I heard more footsteps, a wagon bouncing across the bridge, and cars turning down the dirt road, chased by the dusty shadows behind them.

I ran as quickly as my short legs would carry me to reach the house so I could hug those that were my family. My heart was pounding like a drum from some distant land. This night was special; this was the night of the ancestors, the night of the calling, calling the dead.

I had been watching all day, for I understood the magick that this night would bring. The energy found within the veils and the mystical visions that would be called to those that stood within the circle to be cast.

They were called the sisters, my aunts. Each one filled my life with stories and knowledge of the old ways. Each was a Witch and Crone in her own right. Each one was different and each was a force of nature, independent and strong. Not one was accountable to the other until they stood beneath the moon as a covenant of power.

My aunts, my family, were not as other families. We didn’t look the same, we didn’t speak the same, and we didn’t even think the same. But that was okay. Now I see what a wonderful and magickal gift that was; diverse energies, histories, and traditions that came together as one all-encompassing power.

My Great Grandmother was Cajun. Her Native American beauty gave her dark skin and silken raven hair marked with silver from time and wisdom. Myself, born of mixed blood, had been given extremely light-colored skin and white blond hair, what those in the old south called a “toe head.”

Even as a child, I learned the judgmental hearts of others. I saw how some treated my Great Grandmother, how some looked at us as odd when they saw us together. Sometimes people could be extremely rude and say hurtful things.

Many would turn their backs as we walked by. Some didn’t understand and didn’t realize that this dark-skinned woman was my Grandmother. But within all the dim-wittedness of those around us, what I remember most was my Great Grandmother’s pride and forgiving heart.

As twilight turned into night, the great feast was placed on the long table in my Grandmother’s house. The sisters respectfully placed the setting on the table for the ancestors. I was now old enough to help and got to light the candles all around the room.

There were countless candles. Most were the bees’ wax candles my Great Grandmother and the sisters had made during the spring and again just at the break of fall. I walked quietly from table to table, lighting each candle with a blessing. The honey-scent fragrance, mixed with the smells from the food and the holiday, gave way to an energy that made my skin tingle with excitement.

Once the feast was ended, it was time to ready for the calling. My Great Grandmother asked me to go to the back porch and bring her in her broom. I stood for a moment outside on that tiny wood porch held in place by the stones under each corner.

I looked at the glow coming through the windows and falling on the sparkling ground, now wet with dew. The sensation of my family gleamed in the warmth that shown from within that small house. I had no doubt that the spirits would be moved to join us that night. My spirit had found flight with the energy of love that surrounded me.

The sisters now walk within the veils with my Great Grandmother, and at this time of year, the time of the calling, I will welcome them all and ask that they join my table for the feast. Now I am the Crone; I seek within my Great Grandmother’s teaching to be a wise woman.

I endeavor to teach all those that walk our path in the old ways, with acceptance, truth, and light. My family has aged, changed, and grown. My circle is filled with those that I love, both brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, in a blending of various traditions. I am truly blessed.

Not long ago, while attending different gatherings, I sadly watched and heard many that walk our path begin to rank themselves among each other. For lack of a better term, I would have to say it was a syndrome of “my broom is bigger than your broom, ” or my tradition is better than your tradition.

It frightens me that we have somehow decided we are better than another because of what name they choose to call themselves or what magickal path they walk.

Do we really need to judge each other?

Many of us proudly call ourselves Witches and Pagans. Some use the traditions of the path they have selected within their title. Some will call themselves by nothing at all, but simply know they have found themselves within their own hearts.

Along this diverse path, I have spoken to many within our communities, and they speak of finding their way home and reclaiming life within our varied and blending traditions, escaping the critical judgments of past beliefs.

The sisters, my aunts, were also very different. They came from all over the Ozarks. Some of them were old, some younger, some dark, some light, some with grey hair and some with red. They were scholars, teachers, mothers, and wise women. Each was as different as the night is to the day, yet each was respectful of the other beyond question.

They did not talk about what the other family members were doing or not doing. They did not discuss in what manner one worked within magick over the other. They respected each other with honor and shared their understandings together.

In truth, we are each individuals; our practices and beliefs are equally individual. We are all following our own spiritual and magickal path. Let us be a gathering of like-minded souls, yet, at the same time, strive to be open- minded and accepting of each other’s personal differences. We are all equal as we walk together, no matter which path we take in the walking.

It is not necessary to pull others down to strengthen ourselves. Strength is found as our circle grows in understanding of each other. As we enter this time of welcoming the ancients and the wise ones, let us stand as a cohesive brotherhood and sisterhood, brought together by the belief, that within understanding, all things are possible.

It is time that we all, each one of us, reflect on how far we have came, and how hard a path we all traveled. Remembering the sacrifices of those that walked this path before us, let us think before we judge or criticize another. Then shall we truly stand together in this magickal circle as it expands within the universe.

Together let us be as one family to celebrate our beliefs within life and magick.

The Way We Were vs The Way We Are

The Way We Were vs The Way We Are

Author: Ryan Hatcher

 

If we are to look back to the inception of modern paganism and the people who were the force behind it and were to observe how they practiced, worshipped and worked magic and compared it to how we practice, worship and work magic in modern times, while there is guaranteed to be a great deal of difference, the basic, core values should have remained the same.

I was in Norwich yesterday, a city with a strong pagan undercurrent of its own, for a brief look around the shops to pass some time while my partner enjoyed a 2-hour birthday massage, because of which my wallet had experienced a mass weight loss. So window-shopping it was. On my journey around the city I ventured into a Waterstones bookshop to have a look at their MBS section and had a skim through some of the material. Now, 90% of these books were paganism 101, which is fair enough for a standard mainstream bookshop, but reading through some of these 101 books — some of them recently published — it got me to reflecting: what is taught and considered western paganism now is much different than what it would have been considered to be 60-70 years ago.

What do I mean by this? Well, much of my personal pagan practice is inspired by these ‘old school’ methods with a touch of the modern for flavor (I’m talking about Doreen Valiente and Kevin Cochrane for the older styles, particularly Valiente; the Farrars (Stewart and Janet) represent an in-between period. Kate West and Christopher Penczack add the modern flare.) as I feel their values and ideas resonate with me. Now, keeping Valiente and Cochrane’s ideals in mind (again, more Valiente than Cochrane) , compare them to a lot of Penczack’s work and the work of similar contemporary styles and you’ll see what I’m trying to get at.

The styles and traditions of Valiente and Cochrane (hereon called the ‘older styles’) focus more on the earth-based worship side of paganism: seeing their Gods as personified manifestations of the forces of Life, Love, Death and Rebirth as well as the forces of nature in all it’s guises (be this as the four elements or simply as the grass in your lawn) . I also feel that animism in a subtler form was still there, if only felt and respected rather than overtly expressed.

The crafting of magic seems to have been simpler, as was the training (which doesn’t mean it was by any means easier than today; I’m inclined to say it was harder) . Metaphysical ideas such as energy centres, auras and layers of existence appear to have been acknowledged but were not the priority. The same for ‘the mysteries’ of the craft such as hypnosis, astral projection/trance journeying and psychism in all its forms. The works of the older styles show that they were an important part of their practice along with magic, but they were not the primary focus. I feel they were considered tools and techniques that developed along with the witch as he or she progressed down the spiritual path and was able to understand themselves and their developing abilities better and learn to control, focus and use them.

In contrast, the works of Penczack and his contemporaries (hereon called the ‘newer styles’) seem to focus more on the metaphysical ideas of paganism (energy centres, auras and layers of existence) , ‘the mysteries’ of the craft and magic as being of primary importance and therefore many chapters are devoted to these concepts. Now, I’m not saying this is strictly a bad thing; it may well suit many a new student to paganism, but when it comes to the core values about the spiritual and worship side of paganism, we start to enter the world of ‘love, light and blessed be’.

The realm of the FB, and those big furry ears seem to be cropping up more frequently in pagan literature. The spirituality of the newer styles appears to see the Old Gods as playmates: happy, fun, smiley and They do anything their precious ‘hidden children’ ask for. And unfortunately kids, you just have to look at the global history of paganism and myths of the world to now that is definitely not true. The honouring of nature and the earth extends as far as litter picking and recycling, which are very, very good ideas, and more is being suggested such as planting new trees, getting involved with wildlife protection trusts etc. Unfortunately, I feel many of the witches of the older styles, though some did get involved in these things, chose not to, possibly considering ritual devotion to be sufficient.

Ritual then is the moot point of both the old and new styles. As we are all aware, spiritual practice is a subjective thing, especially when it comes to ritual. Both new and old styles of witchcraft and paganism have placed varying levels of focus on ritual, and all have varying styles and methods in ritual that meets with their needs and the ideals of their respective traditions. However (there had to be a however) , and this goes for both old and new styles of paganism, whatever happened to just going out there and communing with nature face-to-face? No pomp and ceremony, no matter how elaborate or simple, just getting out there and being in the presence of the forces that we as pagans honour and worship.

I say, if you’re in a situation where celebrating a sabbat or an esbat with formal ritual isn’t an option, but you are within distance of a beautiful woodland, then screw it! Go for a walk in the woodland, sit under a tree and meditate! Commune with the spirits of the natural world around you and feel the power of the Old Gods, the powers of life, love, death and rebirth and pour your heart out in gratitude for all you have and for all that it means to be alive.

Wrapping it up: to me, the older styles and the newer styles and those of the styles in-between all have their good points and their bad points. The older styles are more grounded, simple and earthly. The newer styles are more flighty, ‘new-age’, hippy-esque and spiritual (in the modern concept of the word) . I’m sure you can see we have a Yin-Yang situation. And like the Yin and Yang, symbols of the older and newer styles do have parts of the other within them, but what we need to achieve is a balance between the two.

Paganism is a living and growing spiritual path and naturally changes with time, but it shouldn’t lose its heart. If we can bring together old and new, Yin and Yang, then we might be able to evolve paganism further, making it stronger, more refined and give us a definitive direction for us to aim for.

I hope that this essay will encourage pagans, both old hands and new, to review their beliefs, practices and crafts… to look back at the old, and freely explore the new and therein decide what is the best way forward in their spiritual path.



Footnotes:
Witchcraft for Tomorrow – Doreen Valiente

Witchcraft a Tradition Renewed – Evan John Jones with Doreen Valiente

The Witches’ Bible – Janet and Stuart Farrar

The Real Witches’ Handbook – Kate West

Gay Witchcraft – Christopher Penczack

Instant Magick – Christopher Penczack

Accepting The Magick

Accepting The Magick

Author: Lady Abigail

Recently a dear, young Witchlet friend of mind called me on the phone in tears. She was upset and feeling as if she was being driven to the edge off a spiritual cliff. Trying to do it all and be all she believed she should be as the perfect wife, lover, mother and Witch. We have all been there, between children, husband, job, home, money, life and kids, and not to mention schools starting again, she was becoming frayed on both ends. Her temper was running on hot and her patience toward the world pretty much gone.

I think we have all been in that place in our lives, magick or not when the mundane world seems to be overtaking our spiritual lives.

I got married very young. I had just turned 18 years old; I was in love and in love with the idea of what love and marriage should be. By the time I was 25 years I had two beautiful children, a home and a job. Being born in the 1950’s I had also been brain washed by those nasty TV programs like Ozzie and Harriet. You know the ones that told us we had to be perfect, look perfect and act perfect.

I was also a Witch and trying to keep that part of my life in the closet. I believed that could I handle it all. Plus I thought I knew it all so I was going to be the perfect everything. But life or the Fates, have a way of slapping us back into reality when needed.
By the time my youngest was 4 years old I had decided that the school systems where we lived were not safe for our children. So I began home schooling them, I had the credentials and had been subbing at local schools so what was one more job in my perfect little world. So I quit my job to stay home and be the perfect mom.

I think I was the only one that believed I could do it all. Some things had slide, so magick and my life as a Witch got put deeper and deeper into the closet. But still I was not able to handle everything perfectly the way I believed I should. I mean the wives and mothers on those TV shows never had these problems. Heck, even Lucy for all her funny mishaps still kept a perfect home and had perfect children.

My stress level was off the charts. My perfect children were driving me crazy. I didn’t realize they were just being children the way normal children were. I was working twice the hours as before trying to keep the house perfect, being up until 2 am at times trying to catch up or get ahead for the next day. Nothing was working, I was not able to keep my perfect world perfect and I was beginning to lose my patience with the world.

I decided I needed a little metaphysical and spiritual assistance. So I pulled my dusty Witches Trunk out from the back of the closet. I took out the tools I needed, the herbs and some stones for offerings. I wrote a chant I believed would help me step back and calm down so I could get control of my extremely hectic world.

I wanted to learn to be more patience with my family and children. So I wrote a spell to teach me patience and in this, bring the ability to be the perfect whatever.
That evening once everyone had gone off to bed and the children had their 12 drinks of water and so on, I went out into our small yard in Texas and formed a circle with my candles, put a light a small fire in my cauldron and worked my spell with all the energy and power I could gather.

As I careful hid everything thing back into my closet, I went to bed assured that the Goddess had heard my request and that my life would be changing for the better.
The next week was absolute hell. I mean it was like watching a hen that caught her tail feathers a fire. I was running like mad and the more I did the more fires keep popping up. I could not believe my spell had backfired in such a manner. I had been working magick since I was a child. I knew all the right tools, the right herbs so what had happened.

Not wanting to ask for help, perfect people don’t have to ask for help, I gave up. I put the kids in the car and drove to my Great Grandmother and asked her to please help me. That evening, as the children were sleeping, we sat down in my Great Grandmother’s kitchen at the small table. I looked around as thousands of memories flooded my mind from my childhood and how many talks had taken place over that table and began to cry.

I told her everything, how I was trying so hard to be perfect, how I couldn’t seem to get anything right, how everyone was driving me crazy and I had no patience for anyone or anything. What was wrong with me? I couldn’t even work a simple spell anymore.
My Great Grandmother hugged me and then we talked. For hours we just talked. She reminded me of how silly I was for even trying to be any kind of perfect, since perfect was not possible and to try to reach something unobtainable always makes you feel less than who we are.

I handed her the spell I had so carefully written and as she read over my spell she begin to laugh. “What is it?” I asked. Still laughing she said, “Honey, your spell is perfect and you got just what you asked for.” Shocked I said to her, “No I didn’t, I asked for patience and to learn to be more patience toward my family.” Smiling at me and shaking her head she explained. “Little one, you asked to learn patience. The only way one can learn patience by experiencing all those things that drive you crazy; all those things that cause you to be annoyed, irritated and impatient. That is how you learn to accept what life gives you. You learn from the experience. You are learning, though it may not be how you expected it to come. It is what you asked for.”

After that I calmed within my spirit and begin to laugh and cry until nothing but laugher was left. I learned a lot that weekend. I learned I had to be me and it was okay not to be perfect. I also learned to be careful what and how I asked for things within my spell work. The Mother of All is wise in her teachings. We learn as and what we need to according to her timing not ours. To think we can quicken the lessons may not be the experience or answer we desire, but it will be what we need.

Blessing to all,
Lady Abigail
Copyright © 08242011

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Sept. 14 is The Cat

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Today

The Cat

The Cat represents the need for stealth and the freedom to act without restrictions. Acting stealthily in no way implies the need for underhanded behavior. Instead the suggestion here is to move quietly towards your goals and reach out for them when they are within range. It also denotes a need to free yourself from restrictions imposed by others.

As a daily card, The Cat suggests that the opportunity to attain your goals is very strong at the moment. However, you need to keep your intentions to yourself and shed whatever limitations have been put on you by others.

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Sept. 13th is The Phoenix

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Today

The Phoenix

The mythical, endearing Phoenix has long been a symbol of rebirth, renewal, and coming full circle. Tired in both body and spirit the aged Phoenix combust into flames and from its ashes is reborn. The Phoenix does not indicate change so much as it does renewal and revitalization. It denotes the completion of a cycle and beginning anew.

As a daily card, The Phoenix suggest you are at a place where some aspects of your life have reached the end of a cycle. Your energies may be weakened from use and stretched over too many arenas to be as effective as they once were. As a result, now may be a good time for you to take a step back and allow yourself time to revitalize both your physical and spiritual self.

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Sept. 12 is The Phoenix

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Today

The Phoenix

The mythical, endearing Phoenix has long been a symbol of rebirth, renewal, and coming full circle. Tired in both body and spirit the aged Phoenix combust into flames and from its ashes is reborn. The Phoenix does not indicate change so much as it does renewal and revitalization. It denotes the completion of a cycle and beginning anew.

As a daily card, The Phoenix suggest you are at a place where some aspects of your life have reached the end of a cycle. Your energies may be weakened from use and stretched over too many arenas to be as effective as they once were. As a result, now may be a good time for you to take a step back and allow yourself time to revitalize both your physical and spiritual self.

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Sept. 6 is Strength

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Today

Strength

Strength denotes an inner power, mastery of will, development of inner might, and the ability to lead effectively. Through mastering one’s emotions and learning from both success and failure the person Strength represents has reached a place where they are influential without applying physical force, able to weather the roughest of storms, and not likely to abandon the less fortunate. Strength also denotes a large capacity for forgiveness and compassion. Strength is not as much about winning as it is about overcoming hardship, and using well crafted persuasion to ease others to your side.

As a daily card, Strength indicates a period in which your psychological powers are extremely strong. Your mental endurance may well astound even you at this time. Possibly it is time for you to stand up and take command of any loosely run situations in your life. If you take the lead others will follow.

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Sept. 3rd is Balance

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Today

Balance

Balance denotes the benefits of keeping the use of your energies justifiably proportioned between your pursuits. The symbol Yin and Yang is used to represent the balance. Yin and Yang is possibly the most elegant and sometimes elusive definition of Balance there is. While Balance is rarely if ever perfect, being far out of Balance means that while one part of you may be thriving tremendously, another part of your life may be wilting.

As a daily card, Balance indicates a need to find and maintain a level physical and spiritual state. It suggest you may be concentrating your energy on one or a few things so much that you are neglecting other important aspects of your life. While this is often necessary to make immediate gains it can lead to missing out on the diverse richness of life in the long term.

THE CARE AND FEEDING OF THE WICCA BROOM

THE CARE AND FEEDING OF THE WICCA BROOM

As Witches, we need to be aware of the Ancient Broom Lore that has been passed
down to us from those wonderful Crones of the past.

1- Never leave home for long periods of time without telling your broom.

2- Treat your broom as you would any other member of your family, with honor,
reverence and respect.

3- Magickal Brooms are not regular cleaning brooms and should not be used for
such mundane tasks.

4- Never leave your Magickal Broom outside your cast circle.

5- Speak with your broom as you would speak to other members of your family or
coven.

6- Never leave your Magickal Broom outside in the weather unless you ask the
Broom.

7- Oil your broomstick with every turn of the wheel.

Brooms have long been known for their magickal ways, probably due to it’s shape,
use in purification rites and kinship with magickal wands and staffs. The common
household tool has been known to be so sacred that in many parts of the world
there are Broom Deities.

Sao Ching Niang – The lady with the broom who lives in the Broom Star. When
there is too much rain and the crops are threatened, it is not uncommon in China
to see pictures of Brooms hanging on the front door or fences to bring clear and
sunny weather to the field.

As this is invoking the Great Earth Goddess herself, the Broom Star is the
fertile womb of our Great Goddess, and thus she gives us life of the fields that
are represented by the Corn Fields. Hence the broom is brought into our homes
from the womb of the Goddess.

In Mexico, the Witch Goddess Tlazoiteotl is depicted riding on a broom. This
symbolizes the coming of the night, the dark part of ourselves, the growing
darkness of the winter.

The priests in South America hve been known to burn offerings of owls and
snakes. These were offered at the dark moon. Through these offerings, the people
were calling upon the Broom Witch to sweep away their transgressions.

My grandmother was a Broom Witch. Here are some of the old magickal things that
can be done with a broom. On a hot summers day, I would watch her go out on the
front porch and swing the broom over her head. Grandma would just tell me to be
quiet, the rain was coming. And if fact she was right. A few hours later we
always had rain. So Granny would call the rain with her broom by swinging it
clockwise over her head.

In turn, if it was raining too much, she would go out and talk with her broom
for a while on the front porch. She would sing “Rain, rain, go away, come again
some other day”. Then she would raise her broom and swing it over her head
counter-clockwise to stop the rain, and again, a few hours later the rain would
stop.

With some practice, I know have mastered this little broomlore spell. I find it
handy to tell the broom what I want it to do before I do it, then I say my
incantation and swing the broom.

THE CARE AND FEEDING OF A MAGICKAL BROOM

When you first get your broom, always greet it by rubbing your hand over the
entire staff of the broom. Learn the body of your broom, inspect it’s divets and
curves. Use anointing oil to open and activate your broom. A good oil is made
from rosemary, thyme, myrrh and lavender in base oil. Make this oil by the full
moon and then open your broom on the first day of the new moon.

When getting a new broom, it’s always good to talk with it awhile. I usually
carry mine along with me in my car, and I sleep with it by my bed. Talk with
your broom, it’s amazing how much these magickal tools have to say to us and how
lonely they become when cast to the side. When shopping for a new broom, always
put out your intention on the day after the new moon, burn pink and white
candles, and ask for the right broom to be shown to you. My preference is a
broom made with natural corn, or harvested brambles. I like to find a natural
handle for the broom. Elm, birch, ash, oak, sassafras, those are all really good
magickal woods to use as broom handles. If you are lucky to live in a natural
area, you can make your own from the Divine Goddess Garden. If you are a
city dweller, local shops sometimes carry natural brooms that are hand-tied.
Usually they are found at local gift shops or craft fairs. Also go to the local
Antique mall. Sometimes you’ll find an interesting retired broom that would like
to be put back into service. Nothing is worse then to have a wise old broom and
not have it in use.

After your broom has been chosen and spoken to, then start using it to call in
your circle. I point the broom in the direction that I’m casting and use this to
focalize the energy.

Once the circle is cast, then I lay the broom across the east to guard the
entrance until my magickal work is done. I also sprinkle salt in the east over
the broom to strengthen the seal, especially if I find myself doing some intense
spell casting.

Once I’m done with casting my magickal work, I thank my broom and lift it from
east and dismiss the quarters. A broom can also be used to cast a circle in a
hurry, much the same way a staff can be used. If I know I need immediate
protection, I point my broom to east and cast a circle with my broom pointed to
the earth, moving in a clockwise direction. This really works if you are in a
hurry and need to have some sacred space like NOW.

I also oil my broom handle with my anointing oil 4 times a year during each turn
of the wheel. This helps recharge the broom and helps you reconnect with it. It
likes to be stroked and caressed. Your broom is a sensuous creature and like to
be part of the Divine Feminine.

BROOM SPELLS

The “Come to Me” Broom Spell

On a warm night (or turn the heater up), put on some Goddess clothing (loose and
feminine), put on some soothing music that makes you want to dance. Now take
your broom as if it were your beloved and dance with the broom until you are
flying into the arms of your beloved. Whisper this four times to yourself….

By night’s light we shine bright
By sun light we are right
By days end we are together by sacred rite.

Now cast your circle by laying your broom in each quarter. Lay the broom in the
east and jump clockwise over it. Lay the broom in the south and jump clockwise
over it. Lay the broom in the west and jump clockwise over it. Then lay it in
the north and jump over it. Once you have completed your circle, your beloved
will come to you within 24 hours. Use this spell to mend fights, or if you don’t
have a mate, use this to call a mate to you.

SWEEPING SPELLS AND LORE

If you feel your life is in chaos, take a look around at your front porch and
front walkway. If the front walk is cluttered with leaves and dirt, then sweep
your walkway and front porch clean with your magickal broom and envision that
your life is in order and that all that comes to your will be clean and cleared.

When you move from one house to another, it’s always good to change your
workaday broom. Either burn your old one, or make sure that it is buried with
honor. Always bring a new broom into the new house, but sweep some dirt from the
outside in before you sweep the dirt from the inside out. This is to bring in
good luck from the beginning and not push your luck out the door.

Always hang a broom by the front door for protection. Brooms will keep the bad
things out and the good things in. I have a broom at every door of my home. I
keep it in the corner. Always stand a broom on end with the brush facing up.
This helps the wear and tear on the brush and it’s also said to bring love from
the earth through the broomstick and given up to the heavens through the brush.

If your broom falls from your hand while you are sweeping or doing other work,
make a wish before you pick it up. It’s also said that if a broom falls from
it’s kept place, company is coming and it’s not good news. When you pick up your
broom after something like this happens, sweep the energy out the door and bid
it adue not to return again.

If you or your kin are having recurrent nightmares or night hauntings, sweep the
room clockwise while stating that all that lies between here and the other world
be gone and back whence you came.
Hither, hither, hither gone.
Hither, hither, hither gone
Hither, hither, thither gone
So Mote It Be.

Now stand the broom outside the bedroom door and place a piece of garlic under
the bed.

HANDFASTING AND MARRIAGE BROOM LORE

As a Priestess and Wiccan Minister, I perform several Handfasting Rites per
year. One of the main things I encourage Wiccan engaged couples to do is to find
a broom together. This is the symbol of hearth and home. Once the broom has been
found, then it is anointed as I stated above, then some of the broom brush is
pulled from the stem. That brush is then woven together and placed upon the
wedding altar. The broom is present during our counseling sessions and then the
wife-to-be is usually the keeper of the broom until the wedding. This represents
that she is the keeper of the home and keeps peace and harmony while the man
goes out to work. It also means that she is the keeper of the Magickal power of
the home. As it seems in these modern times that this is wrong to have such
sexed roles, this is celtic lore from more than 600 years ago.

The night before the wedding, the couple will dress the broom by weaving 3
strand of colored ribbon around the handle. What this represents is the inter-
twining of their lives and they themselves are no longer individuals but are
part of each other. The broom is then placed either standing by the altar or
placed lying under the altar during the ceremony as the vows are said, the
promises made, that hands fasted. They are pronounced husband and wife and the
broom is then put before them as the final test of love. The couple either
steps, or in old tradition, jumps, over the broom. This is the final end of the
ceremony. Then it is recommended that the couple takes the broom home and
makes love with the broom under the bed. This seals the marriage.

Your broom can be your best friend and your magickal ally. Treat your broom with
honor, reverence and respect and you will have a life-long companion and ritual
tool.

Old WOTC

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for August 8th is Tree

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Today

The Tree

The Tree symbolizes spiritual health and growth. The healthy tree is rooted in a rich, nurturing medium, has a strong trunk from which leaf laden branches fan out to capture the sun’s energy. The Tree represents a healthy spirit entrenched in experience and strengthened by wisdom. It is a spirit that is happy with itself, but continues reaching to become even wiser, more complete, happier, stronger. While The Tree represents a strong and independent spirit, it is also a life-force that owes much of its strength and growth to being surrounded by other healthy spirits.

As a daily card, The Tree denotes a time when your spiritual self is especially powerful and open for further growth. Now is a time for you to seek out streams of wisdom and knowledge that you can not only draw from but contribute to as well. Don’t disregard sources that seem improbable, as they often produce the most profound revelations and spiritual expansion.

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for August 4th is The Ancestors

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Today

Ancestors

Ancestors represents the ongoing influence and remarkable contributions those who came before us have made to our state of being. Ancestors also reminds us that sometimes old wisdom is the best wisdom–especially when events are moving in ways we do not understand. Ancestors can bring comfort to a shaken spirit. It is a card of warmth in the sense that it reminds us that the spirit of past generations remains with us and can be called upon for guidance at any time.

As a daily card, Ancestors suggests that you may be well served to by exploring your family tree to find solutions to current dilemmas. When searching for solutions to conflicts in your life, you might do well by asking yourself what a grandparent or great grandparent would do in your current situation.

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for July 21 is The Tree

Your Deck of Ancient Symbols Card for Today

The Tree

The Tree symbolizes spiritual health and growth. The healthy tree is rooted in a rich, nurturing medium, has a strong trunk from which leaf laden branches fan out to capture the sun’s energy. The Tree represents a healthy spirit entrenched in experience and strengthened by wisdom. It is a spirit that is happy with itself, but continues reaching to become even wiser, more complete, happier, stronger. While The Tree represents a strong and independent spirit, it is also a life-force that owes much of its strength and growth to being surrounded by other healthy spirits.

As a daily card, The Tree denotes a time when your spiritual self is especially powerful and open for further growth. Now is a time for you to seek out streams of wisdom and knowledge that you can not only draw from but contribute to as well. Don’t disregard sources that seem improbable, as they often produce the most profound revelations and spiritual expansion.