Archive for August, 2008

Weekend Goddesses

 This past week I had the opportunity to spend some time with some absolutely fantastic Witches.

 We had our annual Student Council Retreat starting last Thursday through Tuesday.  We hosted this year at Disney World, where Keith and I have a timeshare through the Disney Vacation Club.

 

This was the first vacation of any sorts we have been on in years and it was WORTH the wait to me.

 

To start I got to once again connect with Chickadee Autumn, Maiden Stormrider and Aerim Moonstone all of whom I absolutely adore and feel blessed to have them in my life in some way.  The bonus?  I finally got to meet face to face with Wiccan BlessingWolf and Brianna. 

Over the years I have witnessed each one of these fabulous witches overcome and grow.  Not excluding myself but it is amazing to put tangible energy, voices and faces to names and to be able to sit around chatting it up or out doing things.

 

I felt myself grow a little more while in their presence.  Over the years I have taken part of and participated in various rituals with other people.  Starting with my 1st Coven where I drew down the moon with them for the 1st time (over 12 years ago) and our regular full moon and Sabbat rituals.  Moving to solitary when that broke up with Jim’s death.

 

Ultimately I found Sacred Mists and a wonderful teacher in Lady Raven Moonshadow.  While I have led a number of rituals over my years with Sacred Mists they are essentially Solitary Rituals which are facilitated in a chat room where you share the experience with many others.  This can be truly fantastic and anyone who says they can’t feel anything via online rituals?  It’s because they do not allow themselves to be open to it, in my opinion.

 

Now during this Retreat I did have an amazing amount of personal growth and a reaffirmation that I am walking the path meant for me to walk.  One evening, as promised, we called Lady Raven Moonshadow to give her our love and chat as she was unable to make it this year due to familial and work obligations.  The plans I had for doing some Sacred Art with the group and sending that art to Lady Raven as a gift was scrubbed when we received news that our dearest brother and sister did not have good news regarding the prognosis of their newborn son.  I decided at this point to make the Sacred Art, Ritual art where we would perform a ritual of healing and strength and send all that through to them through the art we were doing.  Again this was the first ritual I have LED pretty much ever.  When I sat at the round table, hand in hand with my brothers and sisters, I led them lovingly through an impromptu ritual which contained a great deal of meaning and energy.   I felt no nervousness, I felt only love, support, strength and healing pouring through each of us.

 

We each crafted an Art Print from our hearts for this precious family and each added a touch to a spirit stick.  The purpose of the spirit stick is to travel through the Student Council as each of us may at any point need it to help us through our bumps and winds in our lives.  It is to remind us of our connections to one another and to allow us to share of our own strengths with those who need it.

 

The wood of the Spirit Stick is birch we believe from Canada.  A gift from Beavers to Wiccan BlessingWolf who in turn brought this to us to craft and decorate.

 

I am very proud of the art and love we created for our friends and hope that they will receive this with open minds and hearts as they walk through their troubles.

Posted on 30 August '08 by , under Life, Training, Wicca. 2 Comments.

Awareness of Self

My Horoscope today might have been called Considering Your Purpose, but it seems more like Awareness of Self and how the two work hand in hand.

The impact your life has on others could be a concern for you, which may encourage you to dig more deeply into your higher purpose today. By thinking about what makes life meaningful, you might feel a greater sense of responsibility for yourself and others. Perhaps you can take time out to assess what holds true value for you in your life, such as your family, friends, or work. You might then wish to reflect on how your actions affect each aspect of your life by asking yourself what would happen to others if you didn’t exist. Doing so today could make it easier for you not only to recognize the worth that you bring to others, but also to see what you could do to enhance their lives.Becoming aware of what we contribute to the world allows us to see how we can make our lives even more meaningful. Once we are conscious of the worth of our actions, we begin to see that even the smallest and simplest act has an effect on someone else. This could bring us to a greater realization about our function on this earth and how we can go about fulfilling that purpose. While you may wish for a grand idea of the significance of your life today, you will most likely find that it is in your everyday actions that you create meaning that will have a lasting effect on the world.

Posted on 18 August '08 by , under Training. No Comments.

Odd

I had planned on posting today about my current study habits and the awesome that is Rites of Passage.

 Instead I think I will take a moment to talk to myself a little if you will, about self-confidence and the ego.

 

In the 2nd Degree I learned that developing confidence in my magickal workings was of supreme importance, essentially if I don’t believe that you can manifest change in your life and the environment than surely you cannot.

 

Further along those lines the physical world interacts in some similar ways with all of us.  For most things and materials found here, it works in an individual manner.  Even if you have your magickal processes all worked out by now – you learned your skills from your mother, a friend or a coven and you can get things to work for you just fine.  You have confidence in you and what you are magickally.  Should you try woods instead of feathers in a ritual just to see what you get and how that differs from what you used before?  Yes, you should.  The woods you try just might work better or better with a twist that what you did before.  How will you know?  Because you gave it a try and found out.

 

In order to be successful and to have confidence you have to be willing to make mistakes, willing to try things you have never tried before.

 

As a 30-something year old Wiccan Woman, I find that I am constantly challenged and my idea of myself changes pretty constantly.

 

One thing that irritates me is that people (myself included on the occasion) need outside validation of themselves.  In need of someone else to tell them their worth.  Now I am not talking about unsolicited comments which are quite lovely but those which we more or less in some ways ‘corner’ someone into providing us with praise.  The way we will talk down about ourselves which is a lead in that we need to have our ego petted and brushed.

 

For some reason this bothers me.  Why is it necessary, and yes I am guilty of this and am working very hard to overcome this, for someone else to validate our worth?  This should come from within.  Our confidence in not only life but in spirit should be the beacons which draw like minded and equally beautiful people into our lives.

 

Today I sit with my back straight, my head held as high as my desk ergonomics allow me and I remember that I am the master of my own worth.

Posted on 15 August '08 by , under Training. No Comments.

Balance in All things

I profess a deep respect for balance in everything.  I also state that I feel balance between Shadow and Light, God and Goddess are required for me to have a balanced and centered life.  Why is it that time and time again then that I struggle with connecting and actually having a Patron God?

My Coven, Sacred Mists, has a Patron God & Goddess in Cerridwen and Cerrunos; however, the Goddesses which call and are starting to demand my attention are Hecate, Hera and Persephone.  It has continually plagued me for several years now.  I search, I call and yet Gods seem to simply shrug at me as if they know I am here and just simply aren’t interested in me.

I finally broke down and talked to my High Priestess, Lady Raven Moonshadow, today about it.  Our path has a balance of Male & Female energies, at least that is what we strive to do.  It’s bothered me to the point that I have been feeling rather like an imposter giving lip service to the balance.

In talking with her a couple of very valid points were brought to the forefront of my mind.

It is perhaps not that they aren’t interested in working with me but that they do not have anything to teach me at this time.  In talking to LRM, she theorized that my youth  set this stage on many levels.  Let me try and explain this so that when I come back to this later, I will remember more clearly.

Growing up, I was a tomboy for many years.  I always had more friends that were boys than girls.  I was ‘one of the guys’ for a VERY long time.  Even into puberty this remained the same, even if some of the boys attitudes changed a little about me.  I got in fights, I hung out with the guys and had a general good time.  Girls were catty and mean.  As far as the Men in my life, I had my step-father whom I have never considered a step father but a Father.  My birth father, was nothing more than a Sperm Donor for most of my youth and even into my adulthood.   He never wanted to be a part of my life, despite me crying out for his attention on a regular basis every single summer when I visited.  He always chose my step sister over me, his first born child.  I never asked him to make this choice, for the record he did this of his own free will.   This often left me pained with the feeling of being unloved & unwanted in his family.

Throughout my adult years I have fought this tooth and nail, trying to be involved in his life only to be left out in the cold time and time again.  I finally gave up and am in a happy place without him in my life now.  I accept that his lack of involvement has nothing to do with me but everything to do with him.

Continuing on.  I am very in touch with my own masculine side.  Logic tends to rule and fight constantly with emotion.  It stinks being an emotional Aries and being able to logically see that the emotions are exactly what they are and yet being unable to stop them or reason with them.

Balance *is* good in all things.  Dark/Light, Shadow/Bright, Masculine/Feminine  Why do I continue to get stuck?  Why do I continue to PUSH it?

Working with Goddess energies and Goddesses just seems right to me.  Getting in touch with both sides of my Feminine feels right.  Perhaps this is where I need to focus now and I should stop trying to force something out of myself that simply will not be forced.  I know where my masculine lines are and know how to use them.  It seems like in this time, in this place I need to focus on my feminine lines & learn how to live and love them.

I am going to take Lady Raven Moonshadow’s advice and let up on myself.  I am going to stop forcing it.  I am going to experience all the wonders that these Goddesses who are ‘breaking my doors down’  wish to share with me.  I am going to allow those wonders to unfold and envelope my life.

Posted on 12 August '08 by , under Feminine, Goddesses, Gods, Training, Wicca. No Comments.

A brief & Lovely Smudging

“Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit and with the blessings of God and Goddess, the energy here has been cleared, purified and filled with joy, love, laughter and peace. All who enter here are filled with balance and welcome.” 
“For this is my will, may you be welcome and joyous, So Mote It Be”

From my LiveJournal in 2007, over all my years of learning & spiritual development, Sacred Mists has been key for me, without the balance in light and shadow, God and Goddess…I do not think that I would be as centered in daily living of my path as I am now.

Posted on 9 August '08 by , under Spirituality, Training. No Comments.

Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Spirit

Spirituality Site
Michelle Taylor
BellaOnline’s Spirituality Editor
Earth, air, fire, water, and sometimes spirit – the elements regarded by almost all religions as necessary to life and in some cases containing great power.

In some of the Pagan and Wiccan rituals earth, air, fire, and water are called upon to perform spells and rituals. Especially in Druidism the elements are very important- connecting with the earth and feeling the nature as it relates with each of us.

Even in Christianity the elements are mentioned.

Adam was created by God from the Earth, and when we die we return to the earth. And after God created Adam’s body He breathed life into him. The Holy Trinity is made up of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and each person is given a spirit when he is created.

Then just looking at it from a scientific standpoint; the body is made up of 60% water (in the average adult male – it can vary from 45 – 70 depending on fat volume). And a person can only live about 3-4 days without water.

We also need heat. The discovery of fire has long been touted as man’s first great discovery – and his first step towards becoming the modern man we are today. Hypothermia (the loss of the body’s core temperature) – can be deadly if the body loses more than 9 degrees (dropping to 89.9 degrees). On the other hand, damage can occur with hyperthermia – the rising of the body’s temperature above 104 degrees.

We obviously need air. While we can survive 4-6 weeks without food (depending on our body’s fat composition) and 2-3 days without water, we can only go 3 minutes without oxygen.

Earth is a little more esoteric. The food we eat comes from the earth; vegetables, fruit, grains- or the meat we eat has survived on the food from the earth. Imagine when you were a child and you would roll down the hill during the summer. You would get dirty, collect flower puffs, blow on them and make wishes, and climb trees. In other words, you were totally one with the earth – and there was an energy there that most of us miss as adults stuck in brick building with fluorescent lighting.

Spirit – this is the internal essence of us all; the part that makes us unique. Opposable thumbs make us different from other mammals. Intelligence and deduction make us different from apes. But it is spirit that makes us different from one another, that makes us who we are. It is indefinable, but undeniable.

And how long can we survive without Spirit, without hope? Maybe we do on the outside for years, but internally – less time than we can without air. Think of the last time someone you loved hurt you badly or took your hope away. It is like feeling dead, like walking through the day with no spirit.

No matter what religion you adhere to – you need these five elements. And paying attention to them, and giving them the time and attention they deserve can help bring a peace and centeredness to your life. So the next time you take a vacation – give yourself to nature, and get in touch with the elements. Have a picnic next to a stream, make a sandcastle, and build a fire to make s’mores in the evening.

And sleep with peaceful dreams that night.

Posted on 8 August '08 by , under Elements, Life, Training, Wicca. No Comments.

Sickness & Spiritality

For many years I have been trained to push myself.  Push harder and faster and be the best at everything I can possibly be good at.

This has, on several occassions been my downfall.  I have what I call my Wonder Woman complex.  I take on too much, don’t let things go and become a rabid dog if you try to take away what is ‘mine’.  It’s a bad habit really that I have been working on breaking because I do not have to be everyone’s everything.  I can simply be me and that will have to be enough.

How does this apply here?  Knowing when to say I need something.  For the last few days I have been feeling unwell.  Normally I will not stop, askfor help or even slow down much when I get sick.  This often complicates things for me leading to furthering my illness whatever it is and often leads me to some internal spirtual pain because I end up requiring medications to help heal my body.  By taking most of the medications (not natural remedies) I end up partially disconnected from spirit.

Now where am I going with all this?  I am once again suffering from a Respiratory Cold of some kind.  AGAIN in the chest.  Something si going on and I need to solve it.

In talking with Lady Raven we have decided to approach this on two fronts together.  I am truly blessed to have her to help guide me.

Before leaving the house I am going to work on boosting my immune system by taking a Zicam or something similar.  If I can booste my system it is our hope that I will be abe to not get sick so often.  I know in part my immune system is not healthy after working in a ‘sick’ building for nearly 10 years.  it will take time.  Being able to work from home in a spiriually wonderful environment helps keep my spirits up.  I know given some time it will be vastly improved.  I need to learn patience.

Posted on 8 August '08 by , under Life. No Comments.

A place unlike others

For the last 6+ years I have been a member and student of Sacred Mists.  Over this time I can honestly say that I feel like I have grown like nothing  had ever imagined.

Sacred Mists to me is more than a place to study, more than a place to meet like-minded witches.  It is a place of tremendous growth, evolution and opportunity.

Lady Raven Moonshadow has created a place filled with love, compassion and learning.  She has put together a truly amazing community and does an amazing job working with such a large community of students

I am truly thankful for this place every single day.

Posted on 6 August '08 by , under Training. No Comments.

Lost in the Rivers of Time and Dreams

I’ve had the oddest dream.  Not last night but the night before last.  In my dream I was Mary.  Yes *that* Mary but not entirely.  It was an interesting infusion of Mary that I had never heard of or encountered.

 

A little back story before I go too far into the dream itself.  A couple years ago, I began a search looking for some insight into Mary Magdalene, Persephone and Lilith.  I had been called to work for Lilith.  The embodiment of Sacred Feminine and Sexuality.  This led me to Mary Magdalene and to Persephone.  I have worked very little with the latter two yet continue to feel that they have played an important role in Sacred Feminine and Sexuality.

 

I’ll admit that most often women spend a great deal of time focusing on the Sacred Feminine.  I feel this is in part because we had the Sacred Masculine required and the *only* option for so long.  It’s like discovering you had a sister all the sudden and you just want to know more!

 

Onto the dream.

 

In my dream I was Mary but not entirely.  It was an interesting mix of Mary and Mary Magdalene.  I felt as if I were the embodiment of the Goddess herself.  I *knew* that my child (whom had not been conceived yet) would be persecuted and destroyed.  The twist on the tale is that I was getting ready to be married (arranged marriage) to Herod.  I knew that it would be Herod who would ultimately destroy ‘our’ son.  I had the gift of prophesy and psychic abilities as well in my dream.  I was a Priestess.  To look at me, you would easily say that I was a Roman Elite.  I was wearing a beautiful light colored and elaborately layered toga with gold, silver and jewels decorating the collar and sleeves.  My brown hair was coiffed high upon my head with a circlet surrounding the coif, with ringlets hanging down from it.  The circlet was a thin band of braided metals.  Clearly aristocratic & divine.  On my upper arms were bands, one of which was a snake coiled.

 

As my dream progressed, and the day of my arranged wedding drew closer, the Goddess seemed to simply radiate from within me.  On the day of my wedding, I began getting cramps signalling the coming of my moon cycle.  This was unacceptable to me.  I leaned carefully against a columned wall, placed my hands across my mid-section and began to breathe deeply.  Stating very clearly that there would be no Cycle right now, I would not be bleeding on my wedding day for conception was required of me.

 

This is around the time I woke up.

Clearly a very strange dream for me on several levels.  I will never bear children of my own and this is my choice.  In my dream the interesting mix of Goddesses coming together into one being struck a cord with me.  Once again I am picking up the Magdalene Manuscripts and reading.

 

In all this, I see that while I may be sacrificing something I love, good will come of that sacrifice.  I continue on knowing that I will see and experience great pain and loss.   The good that comes from this to me and my community and potentially the larger global community will be significant.

 

Things to ponder

Posted on 6 August '08 by , under Dream, Feminine, Goddesses. No Comments.

Know Thyself

The question of : “As those who work with the Craft, it is often said that the first step of any magick is “Know Thyself”. How important do you think this is? Is it possible to perform any successful magick without first understanding yourself, therefore understanding your true intent and what drives it?” was posted in the wee hours of one morning by Lady Raven Moonshadow. It was an interesting look at what is perceived as who you are and who you really may be in my mind. I wrote the below in response to this question…

Many times over the years I have heard that this is indeed the first step to working any magick, and wondered fleetingly in my younger days and more deeply as the years pass me by. I guess it comes down to it for me as this, is it even truly possible to “Know Thyself”. It seems that knowing one’s self, your motivations, desires, fears and more come into play with any type of magick. But do we *really* know ourselves? Let me give you an example, one you are familiar with, about me. :D

Several years ago, I used to run around Sacred Mists, answering EVERY post, gobbling up EVERY task given to me. I did not know when to say enough, *no* was not in my vocabulary. For a time, everything was quite fine and dandy, I was able to keep up with little to no problems. At some point, and I cannot say when this was for sure, it became too much. Instead of off-loading some of my duties, which would have been the intelligent and grown-up thing to do, I continued to take on task after task until I broke down. Everything Dropped. I disappeared completely from burn out.

Upon my return I was greeted with skeptical hugs and love. Had I really recovered from a burn out breakdown? What happened?

In the end I received an assignment that would prove to help me understand myself in ways that I had not previously. I came to know quite a bit of myself which I did not know.

When I entered the 3rd Degree, having successfully completed many rituals, meditations, journey’s, and other areas of magick, I thought I knew myself and was ready for this. Several years have passed since I entered my 3rd Degree Traning with Sacred Mists and I can honestly say, I have learned more of myself, the nature of my own magick and talents than I ever thought possible. It has been a difficult and bumpy ride. I have loved every single moment of it.

Do I think you have to know yourself to perform successful magick? In a way yes. You have to know who you are at that moment and understand your own motivations and be honest with yourself about them. Will you be the same person tomorrow, next week, in an hour? Maybe not. I believe we are constantly evolving and growing as we walk the path we have chosen. But know yourself NOW and understand your emotions and motivations NOW, this can be accomplished through honesty with yourself, meditation and confidence in yourself. With this you can perform successful magick.

For me I grow it seems daily in leaps and bounds as I walk the Tradition of Sacred Mists. I walk this directly behind you Lady Raven Moonshadow, knowing that one day, I will walk BESIDE her.  I believe we learn from each other every day. I believe that I learn from you and in turn you learn from me. I believe this is so with all of us at Sacred Mists and with everyone we allow in our lives. With this constant growth and learning of one’s self, we are able to successfully perform magick time after time.

It all comes down to honesty, love, and truth. In the end we do not really have the full capacity to know who we are. This is because we are always growing, learning, and evolving as we walk our individual paths in life. How can you know yourself when you are always changing, evolving? You can only know yourself *right now*. If you know yourself right now, you can perform some of the most beautiful and meaningful acts of magick.

Posted on 5 August '08 by , under Training, Wicca. No Comments.