Archive for November, 2014

Rituals, habits and daily magick

Saturday, November 15th, 2014

00848_BGI don’t know about you but I’m a very routine and ritual oriented person. Perhaps it comes from the fact that I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder but perhaps its just that I know that it helps me to bring the magick into every day of my life. We all have little rituals that we do whether we realize it or not. The way we do things when we first get up in the morning, the way we put on our clothes, the way we create a meal. All these involve little rituals that we do and they make us feel comfortable, safe and they get the job done so to speak. Another way of referring to these little rituals is to call them habits. Unfortunately the word habit has long since had a negative connotation.

I have read a number of psych books and self help books and most seem to go with the adage that it takes 21 days to break or create a habit… So less than a month to start a new good habit. That worked for me when I decided that I wanted to add some time each day for meditation. I decided to make sure that I added some quiet time to focus on the day each morning and each evening. It didn’t matter really how much time just that I was taking some time. At first it was hard slogging. I would go a few days and I would miss and then I would forget. So I thought about it and said to myself “maybe you are trying to make to much of it.” I decided to just start again with a night time meditation. What better way of ending my day and to be honest it was much easier to do that than try to think about it in the morning when my mind was overrun with all the things that I needed to do that day.

Eventually I got to the 21 days and indeed it did seem to have worked. I naturally felt drawn to meditate before bed. Now I am not saying that there weren’t days that I missed but it has become a habit and one that if I missed I usually could tell by a less restful night. It was a good thing for me. Eventually I added other little ritual habits into my day. Since each morning I would go to the window to pull back the curtains or put up the blinds I took that few moments to address my Goddess and welcome the day. I set a little note on the window sill to remind me and eventually – even before the 21 days I threw out the note. I had added a new little ritual into my life that started me off on the right foot. Got my focus in the right direction each morning and connected me with my Goddess.

Now you are probably going – well doesn’t the fact that it is a daily ritual that I do take away some of the magick. I will admit that during that first few weeks it did seem a little like a chore and a planned tribute but over time as the Goddess blessed my efforts it became a pure joy to come to her each morning and greet her and commune with her for a few minutes before facing the day. I used the same words and process when I was first starting but it very soon became a “planned spontaneity” – a moment that I was going to take to greet her but now it took on a life of its own. No longer is it done by rote but now it is a pleasure and a different conversation each day.

It’s important to me to have these little rituals each day. We can get so very busy that we can often go all day long without taking a minute to commune with our Gods, to see the great beauty in the world and to give thanks for what we have. I don’t want to do that. I want to make sure that every day is fill with that magick. I want to be one who has a grateful heart and vision for a beautiful, magick filled day.

May your day be filled with little rituals that fill your life with magick!

Light, love and laughter

Raiwvynn

Wolverine – No! I don’t mean Hugh Jackman!

Friday, November 14th, 2014

I thought I would continue with more about some of the totems that I work with. This is just a short… ok short for me discussion of the Wolverine and some of the things that I have learned and experienced with the Wolverine. I think it is important to learn about the nature of the animal you are thinking of working with and its environment as well. It gives you a fuller picture and opens you up to understanding better the nature of the creature you are working with. It also helps you to know how you can help the animal if like the Wolverine it is a threatened or endangered species.

 Gulo 1

After doing some study there are many things that I learned about the wolverine. Though the Native Americans often view the Wolverine as a trickster there are many more positive traits to the Wolverine. The Wolverine is considered to be a messenger between the physical world and the spirit world. I think that in this sense the Wolverine teaches me the skills that it takes to move between the spiritual and the mundane and aids me by helping me to keep a better balance as I do so. This help moving between realms helps me in my desire to be a spiritual teacher and to grow in my own faith and spirituality.

Interestingly enough Wolverine babies are born blind and are very tiny (less than a pound at birth.) However despite being blind and so very small they have a great sense of smell and touch. This enables them to find food and know their enemies even when they are so very young. They are known to be very intelligent and have strong intuitive senses. This makes a lot of sense to me. Having had the opportunity to observe a Wolverine in the wild on more than one occasion I think that this is likely one of the ways that the Wolverine helps me personally. The sense of intuition combined with the intelligence encourages me to continue to develop not only my “brain” intelligence but also to work on developing and trusting my intuition.

The colour of the Wolverine helps it in camouflaging. You would be surprised at how hard it can be to see one in the shadows and even when out in the open it can blend in to seem like part of its surroundings. The First Nations people from the Northern Ontario region view the Wolverine as a type of shape shifter. They see the Wolverine as being of the “medicine of space and time.” I think that in this way the Wolverine helps me to move from situation to situation being what I need to be for that particular situation. But also like I mentioned above it helps in having a successful move from the physical to the spiritual realms and back again.

Wolverines are also noted for being very cunning. Technically the definition of cunning can indicate shrewdness, slyness, or even deception but it also means the ability to do something with great skill and agility. I think that the Wolverine totem aids me by drawing in the skills and abilities that I have and helping me to hone them into a more practical and helpful tool for my growth. I am not saying that the whole idea of cunning as in being shrewd or sly or even deceptive is not applicable but for the most part that is not a trait that I try to draw upon in my life. However there are times in my life (as with anyone else) where there may be the need to show those traits in order to help protect oneself and make sure that one survives difficult situations. I know that in dealing with this situation with Daniel that I have had to incorporate some of these traits in order to get out of the situation and stay safe. So there is a place for these traits that the Wolverine brings as well.

Having seen a Wolverine hunt, attack and kill I know firsthand how ferocious, tenacious and strong this creature is. The Wolverine does not give up the hunt easily. It takes on the challenge and sees it through to the end. This animal is completely focused on its task and one should beware of getting in its way. I think that the Wolverine has a particularly strong impact on me in this way. One of the things that almost every friend that I have would say is that I finish what I start, I don’t (or rarely) quit and that I can bowl others over in my intensity and single minded focus. I think that the Wolverine helps me to be strong and tenacious (ok maybe stubborn in some cases would be a better word) and that when I “sink my teeth in” to something that I want or need I will not often be persuaded to let go until I achieve my goal. I think that the Wolverine brings the gift of endurances and an attitude of “never give up – never quit!”

This animal is one of the most wild and ferocious in North America. I think that when it appears in one’s life that it is time to be active in striving after what it is that I seek. Whether that be hunting down the dreams and goals that I have laid aside or seeking wisdom and knowledge I think that the Wolverine totem encourages me to fight for it – tooth and nail if need be. I think that like the Wolverine who is not known for ever backing down that this totem is encouraging me to stand up for what I believe in, what I want in my life and not bow to the desires of everyone and be the person that I want to be.

On the other side the Wolverine power and energy can be completely overwhelming and I think that this is the warning of the Wolverine – to find the balance. Know when to use your power and when to hold back. The Wolverine seems to have an innate understanding of what to do and when. It seems to walk the balance very well. I think that this totem helps me to know what to do in the moment and helps me to keep to the path.

I found an interesting website and I am going to list here the “Wisdom” that the Wolverine is said to have/bring. I think that they are all very appropriate from what I know of the creature and from the experience I have had working with it over the last few weeks.  I could go on into a further discussion of what these particular ideas mean to me but I think that at this point I have touched on the ideas that are most relevant to me.

Wolverine’s Wisdom Includes:

  • Last phantom of the wilderness
  • Hyena of the North
  • Master of the Forest
  • Trickster hero
  • Magical link between the material and the spirit worlds
  • Revenge
  • Craftiness
  • Understands how to satisfy appetites
  • Ability to travel in very cold places
  • Understanding aggression
  • Protection against attackers
  • Multilevel protection
  • Standing your ground
  • Fierceness
  • Elusiveness
  • Gluttony
  • Cleverness
  • Strength
  • Non-retreat
  • Endurance
  • Effective attack
  • Courage

Kitchen Witchery? What is it to me?

Monday, November 10th, 2014

c513I was asked recently what “Kitchen Witchery” was. This is just my take on it. Not being strictly what I would call a kitchen witch this is just my opinion. I don’t particularly like labels.

To me the practice “kitchen witchery” is about bringing the magickal into the mundane practices of the kitchen. It is about make an atmosphere in my kitchen that brings in magical energy and acknowledges that nothing is truly mundane if we see it for what it really is. Most activities in the kitchen are creative endeavors and that puts our own personal energy into our cooking, cleaning and anything else we might do there. When we acknowledge an utilize our understanding of herbs, colours, ingredients and add our own personal energy and intent we create food and drinks and an atmosphere that can heal, cleanse, encourage, support, and draw in good things.

I think that kitchen witchery also means finding balance. Many often only use their magical energy to deal with the big things in life. I think that it is important that we use that same energy to make our homes a sacred place. Like I have said probably a million times to different people, I believe that sacred space is not just in our circle but it is also with in us. So that said I think that we can bring that sacredness into our kitchen and homes as well.

I am not a Kitchen witch. I am more of a Hedge Witch or Cottage Witch but I believe that there are many similarities and crossovers. I think the important thing is awareness that everything that I do can be magical when I put my intent and use the knowledge and tools of my craft to make it so.

Ways that I can bring my craft more into my kitchen include mostly being aware of the purposes and energies of the things that I do and use in the kitchen. The use of herbs means very little to most people other than to add flavour to their food but since I know many of energies and correspondences of the individual herbs I use I can utilize their strengths for healing, encouragement, prosperity and so much more. Creating an altar or a shrine to honour not only the deities of my home but the energy of the kitchen itself strengthens not only my cooking but anything else I do in that room.  Inviting the presence of deity and honouring them brings in their energies and blessings as well.

Other things that can be used in the kitchen is water, stones, plants, herbs candles – basically anything can be used as long as I  am mindful of the intent and energies that I am working with. Chants, prayers, and even meditations are ways I can bring my craft and more magical energy into my kitchen.

Learning from the Cicada

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Cicadas have been a totem for me long before I even knew what a totem was. People have often told me that Cicadas cannot be totem animals – well granted they are not really considered animals but insects. However I know what I have learned about and from them and believe that the Cicada is probably one of my life totems.09fa03_cicada

I have been keenly aware of cicadas ever since the summer I turned 13 and spent time on my grandparent’s farm. I found that their song was comforting to me even though many people find them annoying. Cicadas are known for their loud and rather conspicuous songs. I am surprised to find out that most people that I have talked to don’t know what a Cicada looks like and also don’t know that that loud, high pitched sound that they here when the weather is hot and dry is the sound that a Cicada makes. This past year I have had more than ten Cicadas on the fence that surrounds the parking space at the back of the house and have seen 5 or 6 of them in the tree in the front yard.

The first thing that I think about when I hear the Cicadas is about how they make the noises that they make. It is all about vibrations. This made me more aware of the different vibrational levels that we deal with on a daily basis and the fact that I am striving to attain higher more spiritual levels. I’ve been wondering if in my struggles the past number of years I had lost that connection to higher spiritual vibrations as well as the fact that I have become disconnected with my own natural vibrational level. I think that the interference that I have allowed from others has created some disharmony within me in this regard. I think that it is also telling me that my personal vibrations have now moved into a more positive energy.

I know that they have been around to encourage me to improve my communication skills. They have been telling me to speak my heart and to be heard. At the same time they remind me of how I communicate. I know that when I am hurt or upset I can speak harshly and often sarcastically, they remind me to use my voice in a positive way. I think that the Cicada teaches me to find ways of communication that are beneficial to myself and others and I think they inspire me in my music and in my writing.

After doing some reading about the Cicada as a totem there seems to be an agreement that people with Cicadas as their totem can sometimes either be reluctant to know themselves or in a hurry to find out who they are. I think perhaps in some ways throughout my life I have been in both camps on this one. I have vacillated from one extreme to the other. For the last 4 or 5 years the desire to know myself has become almost fanatical at times but thankfully the Cicada totem as well as the Goddess has brought about situations where I have had to sit back and stop the mad pursuit of the depths of my psyche and who I am meant to be and let life progress in a more normal pace. Though this totem lends itself to unearthing the hidden and discerning the differences between reality and illusion it also speaks of patience and doing things in the timing that is appropriate.

I think as well that the Cicada helps me in my becoming. By that I mean that the Cicada aids me in understanding who and what I am; bringing all that I am out of the shadows and into the light or at least into my own awareness. I think that this can manifest itself also as bringing to surface some past life stuff as well. Giving me an awareness not necessarily of the past lives but the lessons learned that have been buried right under the surface and how they affect and influence how I am in the world.

In addition the cicada spends most of its life underground. They live in either 13 or 17 year cycles where they come up from the ground and emerge into the world. I think that my awareness of them being all over the place this past summer has shown me that it is now the time for me to come into my own. It is time for me to come above ground and to live life. No more hiding away from the world, no more avoiding my dreams, goals and wishes. It also has made me aware of the fact that I need to uncover the hidden truths about me, about life and to look beneath the surface – I need to come up and live in the light without fear.

 

Define yourself they ask…

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

I was asked recently how I would define my path. I thought wow! That’s really an interesting question but perhaps not so easy to define as it really is in a state of constant change. But in some ways it is also very simple. I am sure I will come back to this and redefine things as I go along but this is a start.

I believe in the Goddess and the God. Do I believe in them as archetypes or as individual Deities? Both. I think that that the archetypes call to us in the form that suits us best. The form that is most acceptable to us. I can accept that there are a number of Goddesses who essentially are “The Goddess” embodied. So for me I am called by the Celtic and Norse Pantheons predominately. It resonates with my Celtic Heritage and my Norwegian Heritage. It gives me a connection not only to the Goddess and the God but to my history. I honour and serve the deities in my actions towards others and towards the earth I live on. I honour them in my worship and also in my learning. I don’t particularly believe that if I do something wrong that the Gods are going to strike me down. I do however believe that they can and will withhold their wisdom, energy and their blessings.

The other primary focus of my beliefs is that of connecting with the power or energy of nature. This is actually the more complicated part of my faith really. What does it mean to connect to nature? Well it means acknowledging and accepting the power that flows from the natural world and using and taking care of all of the nature that pours out that energy. How does that manifest itself in my life? Well for example all living things have energy so I work with them. I work with the plants and the animals and I take care not to harm or endanger them if at all possible. I work with the cycle of life understanding that life and death are a part of the cycle and that in taking responsibly and giving back are also part of that responsibility. I have a responsibility not to take more than I need and to facilitate the growth and replenishment of anything that I do take. I am responsible for giving honour to what I take and not waste it or use it to bring about harm. I am responsible for using the energy to bring about life and creation not destruction.

nadine 079

So how do these two things manifest in my path?

Well traditionally I guess you could call me a Wiccan. I follow the basic tenants that are covered by most Wiccan traditions.

  • Do what you will but harm none (Rede)
  • What you send out will return times three (Karma)
  • Life is a cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth as seen in human life but also in the wheel of the year and the agricultural cycles (Cycle of Life/Wheel of the Year)\
  • There is a balance in the world  – positive and negative, male and female, yin and yang that needs to be respected and strived for
  • All living things have energy that can be utilize for positive or negative means
  • The earth is the embodiment of the Mother – so we take care of her
  • Within each of us is an element of the divine
  • I have and can use the power within me

So more practically I believe that my path is one of healing and nurturing of those around me and of the natural world. I believe that in all things that I do I need to be conscious and vigilant about creating and healing as opposed to destroying. I practice my craft as much as possibly without harming nature or other people or animals. I believe that drawing on the energy within and the energy of nature can heal and create and sustain life.

When it comes to dealing with magical power I believe that this should be done with extreme caution, and with understanding of what you are doing. Because of this I believe that my path calls me to extensive study not only of the “Magical Arts” but of the natural world, the different cultures and of course the deities that I work with. I think that an uninformed witch is at the least is ineffective and the worst a threat. I believe that wisdom grows with knowledge and practice so we must use was we know and learn in order to move forward and be of aid to our world and our Gods.

The practice of my craft is pretty much in every part of my day. I wake and meditate and have a few moments of devotion before my Deities altar. And then I go about my day taking care of the mundane and doing my best to draw in the magick and power of my faith in the Gods and in the power of nature. I don’t believe that my path is fully definable right now nor do I think it ever will be. It is in a state of change right even now as I write.

I’m a witch. I am in touch with nature and the energies there. I am in touch with my Gods and their energy is present in my life. I do my level best to treat all people, and nature with respect and care – striving to heal and strengthen instead of tear down and destroy. I strive to learn and grow and gain wisdom and understanding about the nature of the world I live in, the people in this world and the occult as well. That is my path. Learning, growing, practicing what I learn, and helping to heal a pretty damage world.

 

Raiwvynn Dusana Windsong