Forgot?
November 2019
S M T W T F S
« Nov    
 12
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930

Join Me on Facebook!

Join Me on Facebook!

Follow Me on Pinterest

Pixie Know-How

An "Accidental" Talent #ForesightFridaySeveral months ago I was at a friend’s place and she was showing me her Tarot decks. We went through the deck and she was pointing out what she loved about them, and I was commenting on the imagery of various cards. It wasn’t any sort of life-altering conversation, just two witchy women hanging out and relaxing.

Then, something happened. She was looking at a particular card and was telling me how she thought it was a good representation of me, which I found interesting…and really rather accurate. Then she started to pick up the cards. As she gathered the deck from its scattered state and returned to an orderly stack, I got one of those little “nudges” to the center of my brain.

I apparently had one of those looks that meant I was up to something, when my friend says – in a somewhat accusatory tone – “What?”

I felt a smirk cross my face just as a twinkle entered my eye…I reached for the deck…closed my eyes…focused, and cut the deck with a “Boom!”. “What’s that?” she queried. “THAT”, I replied, “is your card. The card that is you, right now.”

The crazy thing is….it was dead freaking ON! We were filled with that joy and disbelief that often accompanies those moments when your beliefs are reinforced.

I figured this was an isolated incident, but I have since been able to do this accurately on many occasions since. I think it’s pretty awesome. I have never been one to do traditional spreads, I pull a card or cards whenever I feel compelled to do so. This is similar to that, as I do it for someone when I am compelled to do so. It seems to give people the right amount of insight, as well as a reminder about certain aspects of themselves they may be forgetting at that moment. So far, they’ve all been very positive…but I’m sure it will someday give somebody a well needed “ego check”, hehehe.

So there it is, my little “accidental” talent. Nothing Earth shattering, but I felt the need to share it for this first ever Foresight Friday. Is there anything “unusual” that you do in the realm of Divination? Anything talents you may have stumbled upon purely by accident? I’d love to hear about them if you care to share. 🙂

Going forward, I will use this time to pull a card – or cards – to represent the week that is to come. I won’t always be using my Tarot decks, as I also use Goddess Guidance cards, Karma cards, Animal Wisdom cards…and sometimes, my Witches Runes (or whatever other method I decide to try).

See you next time, folks!

P.S. Don’t Forget:

Help me Raise Funds for the Parkinson Foundation, as well as support my friend Adam who has been diagnosed with Young Onset Parkinson Disease. Click the pic below for info.

MovingDayBlog

Healing with Energy #PaganBlogProjectHealing has been associated with Magickal Practitioners throughout the history of the world. From Ancient Egyptians & Chinese,  to European Cunning-Folk & Wise Women, to Native American Medicine Men & Women, to Modern Day Pagans of a multitude of paths (Along with a whole mess of others, too numerous to list!).

Most of these people had/have a vast knowledge of herbs and tend to also have an understanding of human physiology. However, herbs are not the only manner in which healing can be administered, not by a long shot!

 

Hold it! <Enter squealing breaks sound here>

So, originally I was meaning to post on the various types of healing modalities with brief explanations for each.  It felt like a struggle though, and my mind kept fixating on methods that did not use anything but the practitioner, maybe a little music & mood lighting, and some form of energy that is transferred from the practitioner to the client.

While I am a huge fan of healing by way of herbs, crystals, acupuncture, reflexology, etc.; I am most fascinated by, and most often utilize Energy Healing.

So what is Energy Healing? Well, regardless of what form you use, it is basically the  channeling of  healing energy from the practitioner to the person seeking help. This can be done with hands-on, hands-off, or at a distance. It’s something I believe we are all capable of tapping into, and I’ve always seemed to have quite the aptitude for it myself.

Below are a few types that I am familiar with, and have done myself…I’m sure there are MANY more methods practiced around the world, but this is what the Pixie’s packing in her Healing Med Kit: 😉

Basic Energy Healing: This is a method that needs no special training, and while it may be simple, it is by no means “less than” other modalities. The level of success has more to do with the practitioner than the method itself. I don’t know how others do this, but I’m willing to assume it’s at least similar to the way I do it. When healing energy is requested, I place both feet on the floor and use visualization & intent to summon energy from the Earth. I feel the energy being drawn in through the soles of my feet and move up through my body. If the person in need is with me, I either place my hands on the ailing area or above it (some peeps just don’t wanna be touched…and the area just may be of a, shall we say, sensitive nature). I then direct the energy to and out of my hands and to the person. I have also done this at a distance, I simply face the direction in which the client is located and focus on streaming the energy to them. When I’m done, I have to push that energy back out through my feet and into the Earth…or else I’m all sorts of buzzed up on the excess.

The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.” ~Paracelsus

Reiki: This is the ancient art of Hand-On healing re-discovered by Dr. Mikao Usiu in the mid 1800s after 21 days of intense meditation, fasting and prayer. After he received the information and symbols during his vision he was able to utilize it for healing himself and others. He called the energy used in this healing technique “Reiki” which means “Universal Life Force Energy”.

Reiki works by seeking out the root cause of the ailment, thereby treating its source as well as any symptoms.

Practitioners gain the ability to utilize this Life Force Energy by way of training with and receiving attunements from a Reiki Master (There are 3 levels: Reiki I, Reiki II, and Reiki Master). Once this has occurred, healing is passed on by the practitioner placing their hands in a variety of positions on or slightly above the clients body (Actual touch is not necessary for the energy to be transferred as Reiki energy is smart energy and it will find its way to the area).  If someone is either a Reiki II practitioner or a Master they are also trained to do Distant Reiki if the client is unable to be physically present for the session.

Nothing is so healing as the human touch.” ~Bobby Fischer

Aura Cleansing (The Pixie Method):  The aura is the electromagnetic field comprised of layers containing physical, mental, emotional, & spiritual energies that surrounds our body and extends out roughly 4-5 feet.  This technique just sort of popped into my head the first time I attempted to cleanse someone’s aura during a coven exercise, and I had much success. The client sits in a chair, closes their eyes, and takes a few deep breathes. Take a moment to hold your hands out and find the ‘edges’ of their aura. Scan the aura with your hands (a similar technique is used in Reiki sessions). Once you’ve done that, focus healing energy into any areas you feel may be problematic. THEN comes the fun part! Place your hands at the boundaries of their aura again, and draw any negative energy to the surface and pluck it out. How do you do this? Visualization! Focus your intent on drawing the negativity out with your hands, rather than sending healing through…you’re basically just reversing the process. Once you see the black/gray/brown bits float to the edge, pluck them out and pinch them into little specks of dust to be returned to the Universe for recycling. Do one more pass over the client to make sure you’ve got all the big bits, then finish up by combing their aura up and out with your fingers (Just to get out all the tiny crumbs and make it all pretty again).

Elemental Energy Healing (The Pixie Method): This is very similar to Basic Energy Healing as I call on and direct the energies in a similar manner. This method also popped into my head during a coven healing exercise, and I had very good results. I start out the same as the Basic method: Feet on the floor, client in the room. I then call forth energy from a specific element (again through visualization and intent) Earth energy comes up through the feet and feels cool and dry, when it is projected to the client, it is green. Air energy is absorbed from anywhere on the body, feel it blowing on your skin…it is hot and moist, when projected it is yellow. Fire energy was drawn in through my feet as well, hot and dry, when projected it is red. When calling forth Water energy, I felt it as if rain were falling from the sky (or ceiling, lol) and I absorbed it cold wet energy through my skin, when projected it is blue. I then stream the white light of Spirit to sort of wrap things up. It is quite intense, but works well. Just be sure to ground yourself thoroughly afterward!

In the midst of the sense of tragedy or loss, sometimes laughter is not only healing, it’s a way of experiencing the person that you’ve lost again.” ~Alan Alda

Well, there you have it a nice little taste of the types of Energy Healing that one can do. Like I said, there are TONS more out there, so if none of these are your cup of tea, then look around and see if you find a method that suits you. If for some reason you have trouble finding something you like I have one fail-safe healing method that’s bound to make you feel better…even if it’s just for a little while: LAUGHTER! That shit will fix whatever’s ailing you any damn day of the week!

Laughter is important, not only because it makes us happy, it also has actual health benefits. And that’s because laughter completely engages the body and releases the mind. It connects us to others, and that in itself has a healing effect.” ~Marlo Thomas

 

Garlic

Garlic is an herb that people either love or hate. Those who hate it can’t seem to get passed its…fragrant nature long enough to discover its bountiful deliciousness. 😉 Garlic is without a doubt my favorite herb. I use it every chance I get.

It is quite a handy thing to have around, especially if you’re a Witch! It is widely renowned for its uses in the Culinary, Healing, and Magickal Arts. Garlic has been grown and used in all three aforementioned Arts for roughly 5000 years. It was widely used in ancient Egypt, India, China, and Babylonia. If one were to travel through these ancient lands you would see garlic offered up to Gods, people using it for the swearing of oaths, and also its use as a form of currency.

I’m going to talk a little about the Magickal & Medicinal uses today, so I guess I’d better start off by saying that I am not a medical professional, nor a licensed Herbalist. Anything I say is based on books I have read, as well as my own personal experience. So, don’t take my word for it, do your own research, and be sure to consult a qualified Health Care Provider if you are ill. (Thus ends my “Hey, don’t sue me if this doesn’t work blah-blah-blah” message 😉 ).

This aromatic bulb is sacred to Hecate and is left at crossroads to honor Her. On a personal note, I was thrilled when I discovered garlic’s link to my lovely Patroness. It seemed yet another one of those little clues left by The Universe that She has been with me throughout my life…even when I was not yet aware.

Among garlic’s uses are Exorcism, Protection, Purification, Lust, and Health. Most notable is its use in Vampire Lore to keep the lively blood suckers at bay. Which, thankfully, The Vampire Diaries has not subscribed to…keeping my dreams of a Date with Damon Salvatore alive! lol *ehem* Well, anyway…back to uses.

Some ways to use Garlic in your Magickal Life:

)O( Hang strands of garlic in your pantry to protect food stores from vermin.

)O( Place cloves of garlic above doorways to keep illness and evil from entering your home.

)O( Carry for protection against storms, as well as physical & psychic attacks.

)O( Braid of garlic hung above entryways to your home will keep away thieves and other unwelcome guests.

)O( Burn garlic skins indoors to ensure prosperity and harmony within the home.

)O( Hang a braid of garlic above your bedroom door to draw a Lover to it.

Garlic Correspondences

Botanical Name Allium Sativum
Folk Name(s) Ajo, Poor Man’s Penicillin , Stinkweed, Stinking Rose
Part(s) Used Cloves, Whole Bulbs, Flowers
Gender Masculine
Nature Yin (Active)
Planet Mars
Element Fire
Deities Hecate, Kali Maa, Mars
Magickal Associations Exorcism, Health, Lust, Mental Clarity, Protection, Purification, Vigor (Physical Energy)
Astrological Signs Aries, Scorpio

Medicinally, garlic is truly a healing herb to be reckoned with! It has properties that make it effective as an anti-viral, an anti-fungal, an anti-biotic (even effective against antibiotic resistant bacteria), at reducing cholesterol, as well as boosting immune system functions.

Probably the oldest written record of garlic’s healing abilities is the ancient Egyptian text Codex Elsers, dated around 1500 BCE. Within this ancient medical guide are instructions for 22 remedies that facilitate garlic as a cure for heart disease, worms, and even tumors. Garlic continued to be used for these ailments even once the herb was brought to The Americas. I find it astounding that the Native tribes of the New World came to use the herb for the same ailments as the Egyptians did centuries before.

So how does it work? Its bulbs contain compounds that can form allicin by way of an enzymatic reaction that is activated by crushing or chopping it. Allicin reduces cholesterol and reduces stiffness of blood vessels, making it integral in treating and preventing Heart Disease. Garlic is also jam packed with anti-oxidants (compounds that protect cells from damage that can lead to ailments such as cancer, atherosclerosis, inflammation and neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkison’s & Alzheimer’s). Some of these power-house bits of nutrients are beta carotene, zea-xanthin, and Vitamin C, just to name a few. 

Here’s some Dosage Info via WebMD:

For High Blood Pressure –  Fresh garlic 4 grams (approximately one clove) once daily, by mouth. (Fresh garlic typically contains 1% alliin)

For prevention of Colon, Rectal, and Stomach cancer – Fresh or cooked garlic 3.5-29 grams weekly, by mouth.

Here’s a little chart of Vitamin & Mineral Info I compiled. As you can see, you get a lot of bang for your buck with this bulbous beauty!

Garlic Nutritional Information

Amount of Nutrient per 136g

% of RDA per 136g

Calcium 246 mg 25%
Copper .4 mg 20%
Iron 2.3 mg 13%
Magnesium 34 mg 8%
Manganese 2.3 mg 114%
Phosphorus 208 mg 21%
Potassium 545 mg 16%
Selenium 19.3 mcg 28%
Sodium 23.1 mg 1%
Zinc 1.6 mg 11%
Vitamin A 12.2 IU 0%
Vitamin C 42.4 mg 71%
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol) .1 mg 1%
Vitamin K 2.3 mcg 3%
Thiamin .3 mg 18%
Riboflavin .1 mg 9%
Niacin 1 mg 5%
Vitamin B6 1.7 mg 84%
Folate 4.1 mcg 1%
Pantothenic Acid .8 mg 8%
Choline 31.6 mg N/A
Omega-3 Fatty Acids 27.2 mg
Omega-6 Fatty Acids 311 mg

Source: Nutrient data for this listing was compiled from USDA SR-21. Percent Daily Values (%DV) are for adults or children aged 4 or older, and are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.

Personally, I use raw garlic to cure pretty much whatever ails me. If I feel that I’m getting a cold, or other viral nasty (particularly one involving a sore throat), I start chopping garlic to put in my eggs & mashed potatoes.

With Mashed Potatoes, I prepare the potatoes, then mix in a few cloves of chopped raw garlic. It makes the potatoes taste fabulous, but more importantly, the potatoes make the raw garlic more palatable and less harsh on the stomach.

With scrambled eggs I use 1-2 cloves chopped and thrown in with 2 eggs. The eggs cook so quickly, that the garlic is merely warmed. Once again, the eggs taste great, and the eggs help protect the stomach from being overwhelmed by the garlic.

A little additional info for nursing Moms. While using garlic for medicinal purposes while nursing isn’t harmful to your baby, it will likely change the taste of breast milk, which could have an adverse effect on your babies nursing habits. So I advise using much caution. (Don’t want the wee ones to stop eating!)

Alrighty! Now, if you’re looking for more info. I recommend:

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Wicca in the Kitchen

Herbal Antibiotics by Stephen Harrod Buhner

The Cherokee Herbal by J.T. Garrett

Now go forth and nom on some Garlic!

Faeries!Being that my not-so-alter-ego is that of a Puckish Pixie, Faeries are something quite near and dear to my heart. Their history is also rooted in Celtic Irish Mythology, which makes them quite important to my Spiritual Path as well. So, where to start? How about we head on back roughly 4000 years, and take a brief peek at the Tuatha de Danann.

The Tuatha de Danann were, quite literally, the People of the goddess Danu. According to the Annals of the Four Masters (chronicle of medieval Irish history, compiled between 1632 and 1636 in a Fransiscan monestary), they were a powerful ancient tribe who ruled Ireland from 1897 to 1700 BCE. Until they were defeated in battle by the Milesians.

According to legend, after the Milesian’s victory their leader, Amergin, was called upon to divide the land between the two Peoples. He cleverly split the land with the Milesians Ruling that which was above ground, leaving the Tuatha de Danann to rule all that was below.

The Tuatha de Danann were led underground by their King, The Dagda, and became known as the Aes Sidhe (people of the hills). They are the Faery People of the Otherworld who have been known to intervene in human wars on the side of justice and righteousness.

Throughout most of the Medieval period, Faeries were not seen as beneficial beings to have around. Most people during this time felt it necessary to protect themselves and their families from the fae. It was believed that they would steal children and leave them with a less-than-stellar replacement….why they supposedly did this is not entirely clear. It is possible that this was the way for people of the period to explain away childhood ailments and physical deformities.

Towards the tail end of the Middle Ages, however, as folks were gearing up for the Renaissance the Fae became an integral part of tales told by Bards before the Royal Court. They were fanciful stories of love & trickery…and not nearly as dark & sinister as what some of the superstitions had most recently been. And, while I think that most of these stories still weren’t exactly accurate in their portrayal of faeries, the essence was correct (especially in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Perhaps these Bards (especially ol’ Will) were far more in tune with the nature of things than even they realized.

So, what are Faeries as we know them today? Simply put, Faeries (aka: Fairies, Wee Folk, Pixies, etc…) are nature spirits, but simple is hardly a word I would use to describe them. My favorite description of them comes from 17th-century Scottish minister Robert Kirk who said they are “a middle nature betwixt man and angel.”

Faeries come in many sizes from quite wee to that of ourselves. They are humanoid in their appearance, but they appear to us as more ethereal beings than physical. They reside between realms/dimensions, which is why most people are not aware of them and why even those of us who are aware tend to only catch glimpses of them…most will see them as a glimmer of light that flashes quickly by, barely noticeable at all.

“I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now? Reality leaves a lot to the imagination.” ~John Lennon

In my experience, faeries like flowers, clover, a nice sunny spot on the lawn, shiny stones & soft tinkly chimes. They also like to hide things…lots of things, at least lots of MY things! LOL They also like water, be it a birdbath, a fountain, or a babbling brook. They like the reflective quality of the water, the way the sunlight glints off the surface…not to mention the way they can make faces at themselves in it. They are also big fans of fun, laughter, integrity, honesty & sincerity.

Generally, the Fae do not like loud sudden noises, clutter (although I think the ones surrounding me must be an exception to this lol), or dirty water. They are also not big fans of dishonesty, chaos, selfishness, or abusers. Basically they are not fans of nasty people & nasty habits, and you certainly can’t fault them for that! 😉

To become friends with these wee winged ones, one must help create a pleasing environment for them (Pretty flowers, a fae house, a fountain and/or birdbath etc), and show respect & a love of nature. Once you’ve created the environment, spending time outside, and being playful will show them you’re not a stick-in-the-mud and just may be someone they want to party with!

Another thing you may want to do is appeal to their love of shinys. Not to say that their friendship can be bought with baubles, because it can’t. However, a gift of a few lovely stones to show them you appreciate them will certainly go a long way in gaining their favor. I mean, who doesn’t like a nice shiny???

Give them their space…meaning don’t intrude in their environment ALL the time (nobody likes a guest who overstays their welcome, including the Fae). Be a decent human being and be kind to nature and all her creatures…and don’t be a phoney. The Fae detest falseness and to be false in order to gain their trust will only backfire.

 

Eclectic WitchcraftEclecticism can meet with a certain level of scorn, judgment and/or dismissal by some in the Pagan Community. Some think that we’re just plain indecisive. Raymond Buckland even omits Eclectics from the conversation altogether in both his “Complete Book of Witchcraft” and “The Witch Book” –which is meant to be an encyclopedia of Witchcraft, Wicca & Neo-Paganism.

The idea that this path is somehow “less valid” than the paths of those who follow more

“established” traditions– Gardnerian, Alexandrian,  Dianic, Celtic, Romani, Strega, and British Traditional Witchcraft, just to name a few– doesn’t make sense to me. I know, I know you’re probably thinking “of course it doesn’t make sense to you, you’re one of those Eclectic Types”. Yes I am, but the reason it doesn’t make sense is held in the concept of “All Paths Lead to the Divine” that most pagans also tend to believe. It seems like some believe that one’s path must be an established path…but think about it…While Witchcraft, in one form or another, has been around for centuries, Wicca itself (in it’s capacity as a somewhat organized ‘non-organized religion’) is a fairly new path. So, viewing a path of Eclectic Witchcraft as somehow invalid in comparison seems rather short-sighted to me…but I guess that’s for others to discover in their own time.

ec·lec·tic [ih-klek-tik] adjective: 1. selecting or choosing from various sources. 2. made up of what is selected from different sources. 3. not following any one system, as of philosophy, medicine, etc., but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems.” dictionary.com

The spiritual world of the Eclectic Witch, or at least this Eclectic Witch, is not as easy as many may think. With the exception of my Core Beliefs, it has taken much time and study to form my personal practice (which is still under construction, even after almost 11 yrs of study). I also tend to disagree a bit with the definition of “eclectic” in that I didn’t select the components that make up the foundation of my practice. What I mean is, I didn’t set out at the beginning of my journey thinking I would end up with a little of this and a little of that…nor did I seek out the elements that my practice is comprised of. These elements presented themselves to me…but, I guess they were selected by someone, so I’ll not quibble about it.

My Core Beliefs are notions that have been with me for the majority of my life…they’ve just acquired shiny new labels along the way.

My Core Beliefs:

)O( Everything Happens for a ReasonGood/Evil, Sickness/Health, Happy Events/Sad Events…Everything we witness and experience has a lesson held somewhere within. The goal is to learn as much as possible, as this not only helps to understand and accept the events of One’s own Journey but also makes it possible to help others who may need assistance in understanding their own Journey.

)O( Everything is Connected – All living things and most matter are comprised of the same chemical elements. Beyond this, all things are made up of molecules, atoms, particles, etc…all of which are made of: Energy. Energy is exchanged between all things (albeit at different rates of exchange). I have sensed this connection between people, animals, and the whole of Nature since I was a child. As Carl Sagan once said: We are all made of star-stuff.

Our Sun is a second- or third-generation star. All of the rocky and metallic material we stand on, the iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our genes were produced billions of years ago in the interior of a red giant star. We are made of star-stuff.” ~Carl Sagan

)O( Do No Harm, But Take No Shit. I follow The Rede to the best of my humanly ability. I am not one who interprets it as a license for others to use me as a doormat, however. I try my best not to impose harm on any living creature (Mosquitoes and roaches are exempt from this though…I just can’t abide them *shudders*, so I’m willing to risk any Universal repercussions), but as The Rede is meant to not impose harm upon anyone including myself, I have no problem defending myself or my loved ones…whether that includes physical or magickal means (These are not to be used casually).

)O( Justice is Blind, Karma Sees Everything, and Boy do They Talk! – Meaning, that if you are going to do something, be mindful that there may be consequences and you should be prepared for them. If you ask for true Justice in any given situation, be prepared to pay for whatever part you may have played in the event, even if your part was unintended.

My Primary Deities:

)O( Hecate – Greek/Thracian Goddess of the Crossroads, Transformation, Childbirth, Witchcraft, Justice

)O( Anubis – Egyptian God of the Dead/Underworld, Embalming, Keeper of Poisons & Medicines, Protector of the Scales. Patron of Lost Souls & Orphans.

)O( Brighid – 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

)O( Pan Greek God of Nature, Shepherds, Flocks, Goats, Mountain Regions, Sexuality and Fertility

)O( Danu Celtic Goddess of Fertility, Knowledge, Wisdom, Abundance, Mother of the Faeries, Protector of the Land and Waters

)O( Ganesha – Hindu God of Education, Knowledge, Wisdom and Wealth, Lord of Obstacles and Lord of Success

Now, this group of Gods & Goddesses may seem like quite an odd mash-up to most. In fact it was even odd for me for a while. Each of these deities revealed themselves to me in their own time…I never went looking for them, as I never expected to have any other ‘regular’ Gods & Goddesses beyond Hecate & Anubis, but they seem to have other ideas.

Yesterday it occurred to me why this group is indeed perfect for me (something THEY were all undoubtedly aware of). As Pagans and Witches we are very often talking about the belief that we all contain the Divine within. Well, when looking at my seemingly indiscriminate Pantheon, I discovered that each one of the deities it contains speak to the very traits, skills, drives, and desires that make me who I am. This group truly represents the core of my being…I have to say, that was one hell of a revelation!

New discoveries and ideas regarding my practice are coming to me every day it seems…and what I’ve shared with you is really just a glimpse at some of the bones of its structure. The idea was to convey the message that Eclecticism is not a willy-nilly flight of fancy, but a legitimate spiritual path that is not always chosen, but is sometimes thrust upon those who embark upon it. Not to say that there aren’t a good many flakes out there using the Eclectic brand…but, aren’t there a few in every religion? lol However, even the ‘flakes’ are on a path…who the hell am I to say they’re wrong?

But I digress…

It can sometimes be quite difficult to find the connections between the components of one’s spiritual system. This is true regardless of what path you follow. There are always revelations and epiphanies to be had…always a new level of understanding and connectedness to be achieved. Witchcraft, whatever the tradition, is a path of Mystery. It can often seem dark, unknowable, even daunting…but the discoveries we make along the way illuminate the next portion of our Path, whatever label we may give it.

 

Delving into the Dark Side...I Hear There's Cookies!

I’ve been thinking about this a lot this past week, and frankly, I think the Dark gets a bad rap in the eyes of many in the Pagan community. I’m not just talking about hexes/curses here (they are a part of this conversation, but I’ll get to that later).

I’m starting off by what many seem to forget as being part of the “Dark Side” of Magick: The Shadow Self. Shadow work is diving deep within yourself and facing all the things your Ego has shoved below the surface as a coping mechanism. A lot of this shoving of nasties into the boxes of our mind occurs when we’re growing up because we’re just not emotionally equipped to deal with them yet…others get shoved in along the way because we think we’ll be ridiculed, or embarrassed if others don’t see the quality in a certain aspect of our personality. These mind box dwellers are our fears, our rage, our unbridled lust…anything your Ego may have seen as a sure sign you would be marked an outcast by society and/or your peers. Huge Props to Carl Jung for introducing this portion of our Psyche to us *Insert Old School Arsenio Hall Dog Pound woofs and fist pumps here*.

Personally, I’ve been delving into this dark, sometimes murky, place within myself for most of my life…which is probably why Hecate was destined to be my Main Goddess-Squeeze (yup, just called Hecate my Main Squeeze, it’s ok, She digs me. 😉 ). Walking a torch-lit path of Self & Universal exploration that has lead to more periods of transformation than I could shake a freaking stick at, and I know there are more to be had along the way.

“Enlightenment is not imagining figures of light but making the darkness conscious.”–Carl Jung

Here’s my Pixie Geek Epiphany on the subject: Even Yoda knew that Luke must face his own Darkness when he sent him into the cave on Dagobah. When Luke asks him what’s in the cave, The Jedi Master replies “Only what you take with you”. Which turned out to be the fear of and anger towards Vader…and that he may destroy himself in the process of destroying his enemy. (I also believe this scene embodied his fear that a great Darkness resided in himself as well).

Yoda says “Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering.” This is correct…if all of these feelings go unchecked. However, if you acknowledge them and then set them aside –much like we’re taught to do with thoughts of “what should we have for dinner” during meditation– we are then able to focus our energy on what needs to be done. Luke had to accept and acknowledge his darkest fears in order to be able to effectively channel that energy into fulfilling his destiny along the Path of Light: Restoring Balance to the Galaxy. (I think this is something Luke discovers and fully processes between episodes, and is echoed in Luke’s attire in Return of the Jedi. As the “white knight” of the story, he now wears black.)

And now we get down to the nitty gritty that’s bound to get some people’s knickers in a twist: Curses *Dun Dun DUNNNNN!!*

I’ve been reading a lot of opinions on the subject and decided to have a little “Witch Chat” with a friend, let’s call him “M” (for Magnificent!), who is quite skilled in this arena and see what insight I could gain from his experience. I found that much of what I had discovered through my research coincided with his hands-on knowledge.

I kept encountering different versions of a quote…that quote got me thinking, so I decided to see if I could track down it’s origin. I was finally able to attribute it to Z. Budapest (Now, whether she was the FIRST Witch to say this, I have no idea, but if anyone happens to know, I’m all ears!)

If you cannot hex, you cannot heal. If you cannot curse, you cannot cure.” – Z. Budapest

This idea intrigued me, and does make a certain amount of sense. Basically, if you don’t know the ins and outs of how hexes and curses work, how can you effectively counter them? Think of it in terms of another sort of healer: The Doctor (and, unfortunately, I do not mean the one that get’s to fly around in a blue box through the whole of time and space…*sigh*). For a physician to be able to cure their patient, they must first understand the disease and how it works. This knowledge comes as a result of much study, both from books, and in a lab. Studying how a particular virus reacts with this, that and whatever. These diseases are also generally studied on lab animals to test treatments. While this is the ‘darker side’ of the medical world, it is generally thought to be for the Greater Good of humanity.

Staying with the physician angle, the phrase “First Do No Harm” comes to mind…Sounds a lot like our own Wiccan Rede, right? This widely used nugget of wisdom, thought by most folks to be part of the Hippocratic Oath, was actually coined by Thomas Inman around 1860. Regardless of its origin, it is held in high regard in the medical community, and seems to be a rather sound ideal.

Here’s the thing though, a surgeon must cause harm in order to heal their patient…you heard me right they MUST cause harm in order to heal. They have to cut through layers of tissue, and sometimes remove organs or masses.

A curse or hex can be used in the same manor. A localized strike to eradicate the cause of a malignant situation. I also believe that, much like surgery, all other options–both mundane and magickal– should be considered heavily before easing on down the cursing road.

“We all need to look into the dark side of our nature – that’s where the energy is, the passion. People are afraid of that because it holds pieces of us we’re busy denying.” ~ Sue Grafton (Mystery Author)

My wonderfully insightful conversation with “M” also brought up the notion that most people, including most “regular folks”, curse one another rashly & irresponsibly on a daily basis. Think about it…a great many things have escaped our lips in the heat of anger when someone cuts us off in traffic. As Witches we realize that “thoughts are things” and we (hopefully) carry that practice over to our mundane lives. Understanding the Power that resides within your words and actions helps us to better choose the appropriate time and place to wield it.

My Mother ingrained the phrase “There’s a time and a place for everything” into my consciousness at a very young age, and I think it also applies to the act of Cursing & Hexing. One could even say that, on occasion an act of “Compassionate Cursing” may be in order. Alright, yes, I see the confused and perplexed looks on many faces, so let me explain what I mean.

Contemporary Thelemite Ryan Murray points out in his lecture “Curses, Hexes, and the Magical Destruction of One’s Enemies, that Aleister Crowley defines Compassion as “A rooting out of the weeds and a watering of the flowers”. Which is to say we feed and nurture the beautiful, while destroying that wich sucks the life/beauty/energy out of that which is beautiful (Murray uses the term ‘Vampiric’, which seems to bring the point home quite well). He makes the point that a Compassionate Gardner removes/destroys the weeds because, if allowed to remain, the Gardner would eventually have no flowers, fruits or vegetables because the weeds will have taken over. (I have had this happen…it’s not pretty, lol)

In a Magickal context, there may be things/situations that act as weeds in our lives, sucking the nourishment from the very soil that surrounds us (or someone we wish to help) while overtaking us as we become weaker (What can I say, I love a good analogy!). In such situations, when we’ve tried everything else –weed blocker/mulch/crushed stones (which equate to protection Magick and mundane avenues in the “real” world) it may become necessary to take on the role of the Compassionate Gardner, and eradicate the problem swiftly, and deftly…with the least amount of upheaval to the garden as a whole, in order to save it and help it to thrive…and to regain Balance. (Oooooo, there’s that dreaded “B” word, showing its bumpy self in yet another post!)

“The more we deny that we have a dark side, the more power it has over us.” ~Sheryl Lee

Whether or not you wish to explore what can be achieved by tapping into your own ‘Dark Power’, Your Dark Side should at least be confronted, and integrated into the “whole” of your being, in order for you to be able to realize your full potential in both your magickal and mundane life.

My purpose for writing this post was not to start a heated debate on “Light” vs. “Dark” Magick…mainly because Magick is Magick. It has no color, it just is. When I was younger, I used to think in absolutes. Things were either right or wrong, black or white, this or that, but I have come to firmly believe that the Monkees were on to something when they sang “Shades of Gray”. My purpose was to get you to think, to question, to explore, and to challenge things you thought you knew…or to simply see another point of view in an objective manner.

Oh, and the cookies?? Turns out they were actually Nuggets of Wisdom in the form of quotes…So, I guess all those T-shirts were mistaken 😉

Life is About Balance

 

Daily Devotion to DivineI first dedicated myself to my Witchy ways in 2003. In 2004 I was fortunate enough to discover my Patron Deities, and as of today, I have been approached and called upon to work with 4 others. I’ve researched, and continue to research, their respective mythologies, their origins, and the cultures they each emerged from (As it’s quite an eclectic bunch, there is a ton to discover!). I always pay close attention when they are mentioned in books, and I love to examine artistic renditions of their images.

With all of this research and dedication on my part to learn all I can about them, the thing I think I’ve been lacking is a commitment to make a conscious connection with at least one of them on a daily basis. This never used to bother me, as I do (usually) remember to acknowledge at least one of my Patrons before I head off to dreamland…but lately, I’m feeling like it’s time to deepen my bond with my entire personal pantheon.

The feeling has gotten stronger since I wrote the coven’s open Imbolc ritual this year. Brighid, while not my Patroness, is one of my Goddesses, and this was the first time I had written anything in honor of her. I was inspired to write chants, and create an Imbolc oil that I used to anoint the candles used in our working, and it felt AMAZING to do all of this in honor of Her, and it has driven me to want to do more for Her and the rest of my beloved Gods & Goddesses.

It is only through devotion, and devotion alone, that you will realize the absolute truth.” ~Buddha

So now I am in the planning stages of creating prayers, chants and/or poems to use as a means to show my devotion to them all on a daily basis, along with an oil to anoint myself with each day as I do so. Just the decision to embark on this new adventure in my personal practice has filled me with joy, and I already get the feeling that I am on my way to having a much deeper and fulfilling connection with the Divine.

And isn’t that is exactly the point? Connectedness is what we seek when we walk along the Path of the Wise. Connectedness with Nature, with Community, and with Divine is only possible if we are devoted to achieving it. The deeper our Devotion, the deeper our level of Connectedness, and the more likely we are to discover our own Truth…at least that’s what I believe.

So how do you go about it? Well, there really aren’t any “rules”, but here are a few things to keep in mind when starting a practice of Daily Devotionals:

  • Size Doesn’t Matter – Devotionals can be as long or as short as you wish.
  • To Write or Not to Write, That is the Question – While it may seem ideal to write your own, if you come across a poem, chant or prayer that speaks what your heart feels, it’s perfectly ok to use it!
  • No Frills Required – Stones, Candles, Circles, Oils, or other Magickal ‘Bells and Whistles’ aren’t necessary, but if you feel the need, by all means go for it.
  • They’re Portable – Devotionals can be done wherever you happen to be, no special room or space necessary.
  • Timing Isn’t Everything – While some may feel the need to have a set schedule for honoring their deities (Upon rising, meal times, before bed, etc…) It is only necessary if you feel it is.
  • Daily Does It – Consistency is the key to developing the relationship with the Divine that you seek. So, regardless of when you choose to perform your devotionals on any given day, the act of doing them Daily is the point. Not to say you won’t miss a day here and there, as we all know: Crap Happens. But if you do miss a day, get right back on that devotional horse the next day.

Devotion

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.