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Monthly Archives: January 2014

CovensteadThis week’s post is really just a bit of a mushy reflection on my part, so please, bare with me.

When I started this path almost 11 years ago, I never thought that a group of local witches would be something I would ever be a part of…let alone one that had an honest to goodness Covenstead.

Most Covens have a place they meet on a regular basis, or the members take turns hosting events at one each others homes. Many times the High Priest or High Priestess will host events at their home. My High Priest and his husband have gone one step further than being hosts…they have mindfully created a Spiritual Home, not only for themselves and the rest of the Coven, but for local Pagan Community as well.

As you can see by the photo that accompanies this post, we have a permanent altar that sits at the center of our designated outdoor ritual space. The circle resides amongst 3 separate gardens; A serene shaded Chinese garden,  a whimsical nook we call the Fairy Grotto, and the spectacular herb garden you see in the photo above. When I walk into this glorious park-like setting, I always forget that we’re in the middle of suburbia, lol.

It’s not just the lovely outdoor setting that makes me love spending time there though. I actually have many reasons. I’ve known my HP since we were in the 3rd grade together, so hanging out with a life long friend that shares my love of the Goddess is beyond spectacular in and of itself. It is where we come together as a Coven and as a community to celebrate the Turn of the Wheel and venerate the Goddess. It is a place of spiritual education, as we work through our respective degree studies. But, mostly, it is a place where I find comfort simply by being there.

I know that I’m usually all sorts of goofy and make jokes and stuff (I’m a little quirky, it’s ok, I know this 😉 )…but talking about the way I feel when I’m there gets me all sorts of sentimental like. It is my sincerest hope that everyone, no matter who they are, or what Path they are on in This Life, has the opportunity to feel the same level of Peace somewhere. Everyone should have that. Someplace to go to take time away from the stresses of modern life, a place where you will not be judged, a place where you always feel welcome and loved. A place to just…Be.

I will stop gushing now, but I really felt the need to just express my gratefulness.

May you all enjoy your weekend…May you all have a Blessed Imbolc…and may you all have someplace that you can feel… the Comfort of a Covenstead.

)O(

 

Brighid2This week I’m going to expand on last week’s Brighid post by sharing a bit of my own experiences with her. Brighid, while not my Patron Goddess, has been with me for a while. She is the one who sparks my creative fires, fans the flames of my desires, and helps me to remain compassionate even when facing adversity.

I cannot remember what year it was that I first became aware of her, but I do remember the circumstance.  I was trying to think of something to paint for a friend whose son was in need of healing, and was at a complete loss of ideas. I started looking through my books, magazines and the internet for inspiration. I came across the same image of Brighid (Brighid of the Hearth By Artist Mickie Mueller) a few times, and was drawn to it. It led me to start looking into info about Brighid, and when I discovered she ruled creativity, inspiration & healing, I asked her for her help. The next day, I knew what I would paint, and I began to work. I infused each stroke of my brush with healing energy. I worked on it for weeks, pausing to thank her every day.

When I was done, I was quite pleased with my results. Mainly because I had never painted with Healing Dragon Paintingacrylics before…and hadn’t painted anything AT ALL in about 15+ years, but also because the image on the canvas matched the image that I had had in my head (I was kind of amazed by this, lol). I then took a picture of it, so that I could concentrate the energy on the photo and “recharge” the painting when necessary.

When I began working on that painting, I felt an instant kinship with Brighid. Perhaps because of my Irish Ancestry, but I think more so because I see her as the prime example of womanhood…at least a prime example for me. She is a Healer, a Diviner, at One with the Animals and she is Creativity. She exudes an heir of femininity, and yet, she is fierce and strong. Her association with Smith Craft reminds us that if we can endure and survive our ‘Trials by Fire’ we will come out the other side much stronger than we were before.

Now that I’m reflecting, I think she has been with me far longer than I have been aware of her. I’ve always been the creative type…with a slight fascination with fire <Insert Beavis excitedly repeating “Fire! Eheheheh Fire! Fire! Fire!” here 😉 >. I have been forged stronger through the flames of multiple trials, and have been called to be a Healer as well. Every time I have had an inexplicable drive to write something…every time I have had the fire within my belly rage into an inferno so that I may become fierce and defend myself in a dangerous situation…every time I tap into the waters of emotion and compassion for the purpose of healing myself or someone else, She is with me.

Below is a chart of correspondences that I’ve been compiling for a while, and have now finally put into a referable format. I’m sure it is by no means a complete list, but it should be enough to help you along if you’re new to working with Brighid.

Brighid Correspondences

Meaning of Name

The Exalted One, The Bright One, Fiery Arrow, The Powerful One, The High One

Area(s) of Influence

Creativity, Smith Craft, Healing, Divination, Wisdom, Fertility, Childbirth, Animal Husbandry

Name Variations

Brigid, Brigit, Brid, Brìghde, Brìde, Brigantia, Briginda, Brigdu, and Ffraid – Also the Christianized St. Bridget

Aspect

Threefold Goddess

Attributes

Goddess of the Sacred Flame (Flame of Inspiration, the Forge & the Hearth),  Lady of the Healing Waters, Goddess of the Fertile Earth, The Mistress of the Mantle

Culture of Origin

Celtic/Gaelic

Temples, Important Cities

Kildare (Ireland), Shrine at Faughart Hill (Ireland), Bride’s Mound (South West of Glastonbury, England), St. Bride’s Ring (Forfar, Scotland), Bae Sain Ffraid (South Wales)

Festivals, Sabbats

& Holy Days

Imbolc (Feb. 1/2), ST. Bridget’s Feast Day (Feb. 1)

Crystals & Gemstones

Amethyst, Azurite, Garnet, Peridot

Herbs & Flowers

Angelica, Bay, Cinnamon, Cypress, Daffodil , Dandelion, Fennel, Lavender, Mugwort, Myrrh, Rosemary, Snowdrop

Tree(s)

Apple, Oak, Rowan

Metals

Gold, Silver, Brass, Steel

Animals

Serpents/Snakes, Cows, Sheep, Goats, Bees

Symbols

Fire, Forge, Candles, Bell, Brigid’s Cross, Brìde’s Bed, Wells, Springs, Corn Dollies, Cloaks, The Number 19

Foods

Blackberries, Dairy, Honey, Seeded Breads, Dried Fruits

Colors

Red, White, Green, Gold, Blue

Special Offerings

Fresh Baked Bread  with Butter, Honey, and/or  Blackberry Jam, Oat Cakes, Milk, Blackberries, White Flowers, Shamrock

Element(s)

Fire, Water

Planet

Sun

Best Day to Work With

Sunday

Best Time to Work With

Sunrise

Tarot Card

The Empress

 

 

BrighidHonored by many pagans at Imbolc; Brighid is the Irish Celtic Goddess of Fire: the Fire of Poetic Inspiration and Divination, the Fire of Healing and Fertility, and the Fire of Metal-Working and Crafts.

Brighid has been revered throughout Ireland since the time of the Tuatha de Danann and was such an integral part of the people’s lives that she was incorporated into Christianity as St. Brigid of Kildare in the 7th century CE. 

According to Cormac’s Glossary, a 10th century compilation from oral tradition, she is said to be ‘a Goddess whom poets worshiped’ and patron of healing and smithcraft. She was venerated not only as Brighid, but also as Bride, Briginda, Brigidu, and in North Britain as Briganda, which can be translated as ‘High One or Exalted One’. Other titles include; ‘Ash-less Flame’, ‘Flame of Two Eternities’, and ‘Mother of All Wisdom’.

She was worshiped as St. Brigid in an Irish convent at Kildare, which means the church of the Oak-tree. This was the site of an ancient temple in which a perpetual, ash-less fire burned (this suggests it was a sort of lamp, perhaps fed by oil, tallow or butter). In later Christian times, when the nuns kept the fire burning using wood, the ashes were said to miraculously vanish. In 1220 A.D., the Archbishop of Dublin decided that the fire-cult was ‘pagan’ and ordered the flame to be extinguished. After his death the nuns rekindled the flame until the Reformation when the entire convent was suppressed.

Next Week: I’ll be giving some Correspondences and other such stuffs. 🙂

AngelMagickToday I’m going to delve into a topic that’s relatively new to me: Angel Magick. The idea of working with Angels has intrigued me since the moment I heard of such a thing, yet I have not felt that it is to be part of my practice…at least not yet. That doesn’t mean I can’t do a little research though, and well, one of the odd things about me, is I love to research things I know nothing about! 😀

SO, let’s start with the basics: What is an Angel?

According to Merriam Webster, an Angel is  “a spiritual being that serves especially as a messenger from God or as a guardian of human beings.” The word Angel itself is Middle English, from Old English engel & Anglo-French angele; both from Late Latin angelus, from Greek angelos, literally, messenger.

OK, so the definition makes sense when compared to what has been written in the Bible. Every time one appears in a story, they have a message from the “Big Guy”. It got me thinking though…when we think of Angels, we think of images of humanoid creatures with wings. Yet, interestingly enough, these images weren’t around – at least not as the status quo –  until the time of the Emperor Constantine (circa 300 CE). Before that, with the exception of visions said to be had by the prophet Ezekiel or the apostle John or the Persian prophet Zoroaster, Angels appearing winged humans didn’t seem to be part of the picture.

The Persian prophet Zoroaster (aka Zarathustra) lived around 600 BCE and was known for founding the first world religion: Zoroastrianism. When he was thirty, he had a vision while he was bathing in a river during a pagan purification rite. It is said that he saw a shining being of light who Zoroaster called Vohu Manah which means ‘Good Mind’. During this vision, Vohu Manah brought Zoroaster to Ahura Mazda (God) and five other radiant shining beings called Amesha Spentas or ‘Holy Immortals’. This was the first in a series of visions in which the prophet visited with these beings.

Many scholarly types have compared the Amesha Spentas to the Christian Archangels, and while not a strict translation, it makes a lot of sense to me…it also makes me wonder: Are these beings the Archangels under different names, or are they the same type of being….just other members of the ‘family’ that aren’t mentioned in Biblical lore? I guess what I’m getting at is, couldn’t these beings – whether you call them Angels, Archangels, Amesha Spentas, or Aliens – all be the SAME entities acting as messengers conveying Universal truths? Hmmmm….

Beyond the Angel sightings spoken of above; there have been lots of other winged beings throughout many ancient cultures. The Roman and Greek Gods Mercury & Hermes, for instance, were also deemed messengers, and each was portrayed with wings (Mercury had a winged helmet, Hermes had winged feet). The Egyptian Goddesses Isis and Nepthys also have wings, along with creatures such as Gryphons, and the Lamassu. The Lamassu, winged bulls or lions with the head of a human were household protective spirits of the common Babylonian people, an attribute also assigned to Angels.

Considering all of the above, perhaps “Angel” is a term that can apply to more entities than those referred to within the Bible. Just a thought.

Now let’s move onto some beginner info on Magickal systems involving Angels.

Enochian Magic is, essentially, Angel Magick, and it’s story is a long one. According to the Book of Enoch it is said to be the magical knowledge that was given to Enoch by the Angels after his living ascent to Heaven. It was also rediscovered by two members of the court of Elizabeth I. Mathematician and Astrologer Dr. John Dee, and Psychic Edward Kelly.

Dee had heard that Kelley had a gift for contacting spirits, and employed him from 1582 to 1587 to help him communicate with angels. The Angels they were in contact with claimed to be the very Angels who bestowed the knowledge of the magic of heaven upon Enoch. They said they were passing on this magical system to Dee as a reward for his piety. Kelly was not so sure the beings with which he communicated were honest in their conveyed intentions, and tried to back out of the experiments, but Dee was always able to persuade him to stay on.

The early communications that Kelly relayed concerned the Angels of the seven days of the week, and the magic that can be worked by them if they are properly evoked and instructed. They also describe the making of the magic instruments by which Enochian magic is worked. In later communications they were given the Enochian alphabet of 21 letters, the knowledge of the Four Enochian Watchtowers, as well as the Enochian language in the form of 48 evocations known as the Enochian Keys or Calls. The Keys are aptly named because they can be used to open the locked gates of the four Watchtowers; just as the Calls are so named because they call forth angels and spirits which reside on non-physical levels of reality or planes of existence that lie beyond those gates.

Though they uncovered an enormous amount of information regarding a powerful magical system, it was indeed just that: information. Immense amounts of information, painstakingly compiled…yet the knowledge was not used as a workable magical system until roughly 200 years later when the discoveries of Dee & Kelly were, according to the Order of the Golden Dawn, “given life” by S.L. Mac Gregor Mathers. Under the instruction of Mathers, the Second (or Inner) Order of the Golden Dawn began to work with the Enochian System with much success.

Practicing Enochian Magick requires that the practitioner have a solid background in the Qabalah, Alchemy, and Astrology, as well as divination techniques such as Tarot & Geomancy. All in all, it is said to be a most powerful system that should only be undertaken with great caution.

Abramelin Magic is a system said to have been passed from Abramelin The Mage to a Jew called Abraham of Worms. This form of magic’s purpose is for the magician to contact their personal Guardian Angel by way of an elaborate ritual (or series of rituals), which generally involves a period of solitude (ranging from 6-18 months, depending on which translation you read). This period is filled with prayer, rituals, celibacy, and the like. After the magician successfully completes their task(s) their Guardian Angel will appear to teach the magician magical secrets. The purpose of these secrets are to enslave the magician’s personal demon (the inverse equivalent of the Guardian Angel), to serve the magician. The purposes for which the demon can be employed are generally for the personal gain of the magician: the practitioner is promised the ability to find buried treasure, cast love spells, the ability of magical flight, and the secret of invisibility. The Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage tells us that you should not start this process unless you are going to finish it. It warns that if you do not complete it, the demons that you wished to control would then have an advantage and have the ability to make your life a dreary one.

Having learned all of that wordy, High School Report-like info, I’m thinking one can still work with Angels (however you perceive them) without all the pomp and ceremony. While I’m quite certain their is much that can be achieved through elaborate Angelic workings, perhaps it would be better to start out with a simple “Hi, how are ya? Do you have any messages you’d like to share?” you know, much like you would with any other spiritual entity. But, maybe that’s just me. I figure it’s best to at least be acquainted with someone before I start working the mojo to get them to do what I want.

Anyway, I’ve gone on, and on, and ON in this post. I realize there’s no hints or tips (other than tread lightly and with caution before trying to run with the “big dogs” lol), but this was merely an exploration on my part. I am quite curious to hear what y’all have to say on the subject, Do you have any personal experience working with Angels? Have you taken a swim in the Enochian or Abramelin Magickal pools? If so, how was the water? Was it more than you bargained for? Or just what you expected. This curious Pixie would LOVE to hear!

Until next time, I wish you Peace & Joy.

 

The Pixilated PathIt’s been almost 5 years since I started this little outlet for my ramblings, and in those 5 years much and more has changed. However, change is one thing we can not avoid, and this place is no exception. This blog’s former name “Isleen’s Magickal Mist-ery Tour” was a testament to the fabulous education I had been receiving from Sacred Mists at the time I started it. But as I said, a lot has changed. I left The Mists a couple years ago, as my Path caused me to get tangled up with the wonderful folks of The Coven of Sangha-Sho that I am now honored to call my friends & coven mates.

A couple months ago, I started to feel as though the name of the blog was no longer an apt representation of me. That got me to thinking about what would sum up my life (both spiritual and mundane) and would be likely to continue to be an apt representation for a very long time. Then it hit me: The Pixilated Path! Why pixilated? Well, first, let me be clear; I do NOT mean ‘pixelated’, as in an image separated into pixels, but ‘pixilated’ which is an early American term that was meant to mean “Led by Pixies”. It was used when speaking of those who could be described as slightly eccentric, amusingly whimsical, prankish, silly, pixie like, etc.

Here’s a clip from one of my FAVORITE old movies Mr. Deeds Goes to Town in which this word is used (Please ignore the misspelling of the word in the title…I am quite disappointed in Turner Classic Movies for getting it wrong. *sigh*)

 

So, as I am nothing else if not Pixilated, it only seems fitting that my blog should just come out and say so. 😉

In other news! I have signed up to participate in the Pagan Blog Project for 2014! I participated in 2012, and didn’t exactly make it through the whole year, but I am sure going to try this year. Wish me luck! So, I shall keep on keeping on. I keep being the same slightly mad Pixie I’ve always been, and hopefully, you will keep turning up to be entertained and informed by my musings.