We are coming upon the time of the second harvest, Mabon. Before going into my plans and talking a little more about Mabon, yes I know it’s not actually an old name, that it was made up to sound old and blah blah blah. I will continue to use it, because it resonates and speaks to my original roots in Wicca and new age spirituality almost 20 years ago.
As I was saying, it’s time for the second harvest. This is the Autumnal Equinox, opposite the Vernal Equinox for spring. The two days where the day is evenly split between light and dark. For me, I take this time welcome the harvest that I am reaping in this year’s magickal workings. There, of course, has been a lot going on in my year. I have seen huge changes and shifts in my own life that speak to a more peaceful and abundant future. I am working at healing myself on every level so that I can ultimately find true happiness WITHIN as well as out. It’s a lot of work.
As my shifting perspective moves from summer into fall, I come to several conclusions about the year thus far. It has been hell on wheels. It has been transformative. It has been amazing. It has been sad. It has been angry. My goals are simple, I want to be healthier, I wanted my friends to stick by me as I went through some personally trying and dark stuff. I needed people to understand that I am not going to always be right there and ready or willing to do things or even talk all the time. I have to be able to do this self-healing work. I’m sorry that my healing affected my friends. That was never my intention. I am a different person than I was even two months ago.
Every morning, I wake up and breathe deeply, thankful that I have made it to another day. Each morning, I give my family all the love I have and then I give the same amount to friends that cross my path in that day. It will not always be the same people but everyday I am sending a little more love into the world. You see, the more I love myself, the more I have to share with the world. My mind is expanding, it’s perceiving things differently and I am more balanced than I have been in years. Not there yet, but it’s happening.
This Mabon, I am going to make my red wine Mabon Pot Roast, I am going to share that with friends and family. What is left, I might just package up to give to some homeless folks. I am thankful to still be here. I am thankful to have friends who truly care about me. I am thankful to the family that loves me. I am thankful to my Coven. I am thankful to my Circle. I am thankful to my Tribe.
What are you thankful for this Mabon?
As I mentioned yesterday I started working on my daily practice again in the mornings. While mornings are a little bit all over the place for me, I still get my own spirit taken care of.
For this morning, I got up after playing with Ariyana for a few and popped breakfast in the microwave for Keith, fed the animals then sat down at my place on the table. I lit my Yankee jar candle. I arranged my work bits and bobs then started reading my RSS feed and while doing that, moved my card from yesterday to the bottom and pulled a new card. Today’s card is the Star.
I’ve always had a soft spot for Star, Sun and Moon in the major arcana so looking at this card this morning was a nice beginning. As you can see it’s a lovely card with the traditional symbolism plus the addition of the Ibis in the background. The ibis is a bird that I loved taking pictures of in South FL and will always be a part of my past so it’s fitting to find it behind the woman in this card.
The affirmation for this card is “I am always growing with wisdom and spiritual knowledge.” A fitting card for today as I move forward with my own practice and my circle locally. Holidays wreck a lot of time and I don’t see this as any different so what I’ve done with the circle, for now, is opened up the house on Saturday for a few hours for any of the gals to come by and talk or work on something and we will still have rituals together when we can. It’s very open and free flowing right now, which is necessary since well holidays are crazy for me and not really showing signs of getting “less” crazy. HA.
I’ve got a lot on my work plate right now and I am really enjoying the diversity and challenge it’s bringing me to maintain my sanity and getting everything done. I am pretty much welcoming anyone to stop by on Saturday’s for visits throughout the holiday time since that’s the best way to spend time with me…I’ll go out and do stuff when I can as well. Holidays are here, treat your family with the best gift…time with you.
Yesterday I celebrated Mabon with my Coven, The Willow Grove of the Sacred Mists. It is always a true joy for me to celebrate with the amazing women who have joined this little group. We are at 5 members now and 3 came yesterday. It was a lovely little ritual and I am really enjoying putting things together for everyone. Our Mabon ritual was beautiful and I truly feel a bond with these beautiful women. As time marches on we will, no doubt, gain new members and go through all that entails and I can’t wait to share the beautiful aspects of life with everyone.
After our ritual was concluded we adjourned to the inside of the house for our feast. I made potato corn chowder, Pam brought fresh made zucchini bread, fresh berries brought by Janet and Robin. We chatted and ate together and started doing some planning for activities and crafts together.
Our gatherings are all set up to Samhain with the ability to jiggle the dates slightly. You can tell that it is now fall here, the air has taken on a slight chill with the same temperatures at night and the days are noticeably shorter than in the summer. All in all it’s been a great year even with the difficulties that I have encountered. Triumph over adversity!
On the 28th I am going to do my first ever 5K and I will write about that in a little while separately, everything is so exciting this time of year and I am beside myself with the joy of the season. After circle yesterday, Jenn came up with Jersey. We went over to the Mare Island Preserve and walked. I stopped a little up from the Bowser Garden (half way)…well I stopped at the Garden then rested and continued up a little. We had dinner at our favorite little family Mexican restaurant around the corner from the house. I got a new fitbit tracker since the case on the Ultra cracked. I have the Zip now which will do wireless updates to the dashboard. only problem is I lost a couple days of data off the Ultra. Bummer. Yesterday I did almost 6700 steps. Not my highest but pretty darned good.
I am just all over the place today with my thoughts and am going to call it for right now before I just ramble on and on. 😉
This weekend I “got away” from it all by visiting Big Sur with my good friend Leona. As I mentioned before, I’ve not had any time to spend with her for going on 5 or 6 years now. The reason for the long absence from spending time together had a lot to do with location. She moved to California long before I did and work has been crazy since my move so we both kind of put our foots down and made time to get away.
It was a girls “camping” weekend. We rented a lovely cabin at Big Sur Campground, which I highly recommend them. The people are super amazingly nice and the location is stunning…even on a completely sold out weekend it was quiet and beautiful.
We checked in late on Friday, unpacked and started settling in as we set our altar. This evening proved to be one of incredible magick and revelations for me. This was the night that a God came calling and wanting to talk to me. For anyone that
has known me for any stretch of time and knows of my spiritual path, you are aware that Gods never wish to speak to me or work with me so years and years ago I gave up trying. For one to show up and want to work with me, well it took me off guard. Because of my personality traits and many other reasons they stopped wanting to work with me a decade or so ago. At first I was confused until I found someone who actually would talk to me long enough to tell me why. I understood and stopped fighting it. Well now they are back and wanting to work with me again. At first I was taken aback but realized that I have become a little unbalanced and the balance in all things are coming to be due and need to be addressed. All in all it was an amazing evening with unexpected channeling.
Saturday we got up late and we snacked on fruit leather before getting the day started with a trip to the river. We walked up and down the river a little bit and in general communed with nature and the local fae. After collecting some river water, we headed to the camp store to get more firewood and then hit the cabin for brunch. I made homemade sausage gravy with biscuits. It was extremely tasty and a recipe I will happily continue to use. After food we got things out to make pouches. We cut and began hand-sewing our pouches. Mine was a smaller pouch for gemstones that go in my box of tarot cards and hers was a Crane Bag for her Druidry stuff. It was several hours of sacred crafting then time for our early Mabon rituals together. She did a lovely ADF ritual and I followed with some spell work of thanks for Mabon and a seed that is to be planted now and harvested by Solstice. Mine was different than originally planned thanks to the channeling of the night before. 😉 Dinner was my great grandmother’s recipe for Chicken and Dumplings with lots more chatting and reading. The fire was going in the wood burning stove and quite lovely for us.
We got up Sunday and puttered around, we were granted a late check-out so we did not have to rush, thankfully. We slowly packed up then had some brunch of chili and biscuits that Leona made then continued cleaning up and packing. Traffic out of Big Sur was a bit much but it only took two hours to get to San Carlos then 15 minutes over to Redwood City to meet Keith and Ariyana at Jenn’s, Jenn made us a yummy dinner and we sat around catching up and watching some of Bitchin’ Kitchen, which amused me. Home late and up late today but I feel more connected, balance being addressed and my connection to both my spirit and to my friends restored. Yes I feel pretty good.
Some many months ago I spoke of wanting to start a local circle. I put that on hold as there were many…MANY things that were keeping my plans up in the air. Those “things” have all disappeared to the wayside.
This morning I reset my altar that is in the living room. I spend more time in this room than I do in my office so I thought I’d fix the altar to reflect that. it looks pretty great. Later I’ll clean off my working table 😉 and set aside a little space for a candle and incense holder and a clot for them to sit on.
With life starting to settle back into a normal routine again I am feeling, once again called to start a local circle. This is something I have wanted to do for a very long time and well it’s high time I get it started. I’ve been considering the how’s and why’s for so long that if I don’t get out of my head and into the world it will simply always be a dream.
At the end of my thoughts I’ve decided a hive or sister grove to Sacred Mists is the ideal way for me to proceed with it. I’ve decided on a grove so that those who wish to enter can learn from one another and grow together in the bonds of friendship and light. My maiden name translates to “of the Willow”, Willow has always been a favorite of mine and it just makes sense to have “Willow Grove of Sacred Mists” for my group. Admittedly I do no t know a great many people in the area yet; however, I would like to get this started by Mabon at the latest.
Gatherers would ideally meet at my house in Vallejo as I have plenty of room (inside and out) for a gathering of up to a dozen or more people. Tools are present and I would welcome any additions. I am working on the logistics of “Grove Items and restocking” as well as a few other ‘bylaws’ that would be vital to having a local group.
I am looking forward to this next chapter with an amazing amount of peace and joy.
Not for the sake of change, but because change is inevitable, we as humans must learn to cope and adapt to the things in our lives that change. For a little while now I have been walking through a “dark night of the soul”.
The concept of the Dark Night may not be familiar to everyone and it may just sound intimidating and rather frightening. To those of us on a spiritual journey in this life we will go through periods where we feel utterly alone, where we question every aspect of our path. It’s isolation, it’s pain and the eventual re-join with the joy of life and spirit.
I have been neck deep in my own Dark Night now for several months. It has seemed that no matter which direction I turn it’s the wrong avenue, it’s the wrong decision, it’s just plain bad. Each step has been through brambles. Each time I reach out, I am greeted by thorns and nettles. As the year and the current Earthly cycle comes to a close from dark to light on yule, I feel too that my dark nights are coming to a blissful and well-learned end.
It’s almost as if I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Pieces are falling into place for me and though there is much work still to be done between now and the end of this cycle and dark night…the threads that existed between each event are being seen for the first time. They are all connected and the lessons will be with me for my lifetime.
To me it seems rather synchronous that my own dark night is being worked through as the Wheel of the Year turns towards Yule, the longest night of the year. At this point, When the light again begins to take rule over the days slowly reaching towards me, that I too come from inside this darkness and step into the new born light.
One of the constants throughout this journey has been the support of my High Priestess, Lady Raven and my sister Raushanna. My coven mates within Sacred Mists have been there for me throughout this trying time and helping me to see that while I have felt isolated I am not. Within Sacred Mists, I have found brothers and sisters that are available to me when I need them, friends, coven mates and soul sisters or brothers. Each a Priest or Priestess in their actions and service. It is a wonderful thing to have their support and caring. It is a rare thing to find in a real life coven let alone a virtual one.
As I have journeyed down this darkened path, I have discovered again the things in my life that I wish to hold dear, the talents I have and those that I have forgotten through disuse. At the crossroads i stand seeking direction and it is given. Forward I shall continue through the hard work ahead so that when the light begins to shine, I can stand in it’s warmth and feel embraced and joyful. I may actually at long last be looking forward to the holiday’s this year.
In one of my paper journals that I write in, it has scattered throughout it, the occasional quote or picture. Recently I discovered a quote by Sarah Orne Jewett that struck a deep chord within me.
“The growth of true friendship may be a lifetime affair”
Like anything worth doing, it takes time, dedication and love to truly develop it. I believe this also to be the case with friendship in its many forms.
People come into our lives through many routes and may be for a reason, a season or a lifetime. No matter how long a friend is with you, the mark that they leave with you does indeed become a lifetime affair and marking upon your spirit.
I believe friendship never truly ends or dies, it is simply transformed into what we need, as spiritual beings, to grow and evolve throughout the course of our lives. As friends come into our lives, they mark our hearts and spirits. Some may leave us; however, the marks they made upon our hearts always remain. The mark of friendship, love, joy and growth. These marks help us through the tough times that may come due to a parting, or later down the road after a parting has eased. We remember not the parting or the pain but the joy and the love we felt for them and very well may still feel.
Friends will come and go and may again return to our lives many years later as I have discovered with the case of a few very old friends returning to my own life. Spirit attracts to our lives exactly what we need and when we need it so that our life’s goals and evolution can continue. We simply must open our heart to the lessons that we are presented with.
I honor friendships past and present for the marks they have left upon my spirit and thank each person for those lessons they gifted to me. I grow and become a better person because of those who come and go in my life. I thank you for your gifts, love, support and if we are parted know that I honor your contribution to my life. For those standing with me, I love you!
For two and a half months I left home. I left home to be a part of a new home and an event that would forever change my life.
This time away from home shaped me in ways that I could not have predicted or even believed if I had been told. What was this trip I am speaking of? To those who are new to my writing, I visited the Sacred Mists Covenstead for two and a half months helping the wonderful Lady Raven Moonshadow open the first physical location of the Sacred Mists Shoppe.
Learning new systems provided us a great deal of difficulty and errors as a new team was trained to do what we had not done in house for several years. We are still working through the horrible backlog and clearing things out as quickly as we can and I am pushing myself daily to meet the expectations of our customers. This is neither here nor there at the moment.
We worked very long days and we worked everyday without exception. We met our deadline and opened to a beautiful splash on August 27th. It was absolutely amazing to see it all come together as everyone worked long days and nights to meet a deadline. The teamwork involved was without a doubt there and every person wanted success!
Once we were open we were able to see where things really stood with shipping and began the arduous work of clearing out and contacting customers and working hard to keep our customers happy. In some cases we were able to do so, in others not so much. There is a limit and we learned ours.
Time was approaching and only one thing remained to be done. We had our talks, we finished my work and the last thing was…my initiation. Over the course of many late night dinners Lady Raven and I would talk of the Coven, of my path, my dedication, my Great Work, my journey. I have a very strong sense of dedication to MY PATH. My path lies along side her path. I am called to SERVE Sacred Mists, the students within her and failure is not an option. My CALL is so loud and strong to my heart, it brings me tears of joy and happiness to feel a part of something that is so beautiful and to be a part of so many paths.
On September 8th, the day before I left for the Goddess Festival in the Santa Cruz Mountains, organized by Z. Budapest and Susan B. Anthony Coven #1, this was the night that would push my direction even further. The work I had done in the store, was very affirming, very spiritual and well a lot of hard work to boot. The work I do for the Circle, School and Coven, is intensely spiritual, hard work, and LIFE AFFIRMING. Both pieces came together in harmony and joy while I was there.
My initiation was intensely personal and private. I sat in a circle of Crystals, Light and shimmering energy with Lady Raven and laid my heart and spirit before her. My path bound to hers. My spirit sister made sister. What I can share with you of my initiation is this. While intensely personal it was also about the Coven and Circle. To become a High Priestess of a Tradition means you OWN it in your heart and you will always do what is best for the Coven. It means you feel things that affect the Coven intensely in your heart and truly your heart joins with the Heart of the Coven, with Lady Raven and with me for anyone who follows me.
If you feel called to serve as I do…it’s not an easy path to walk. To get through the tangles, snarls and brambles that life will throw in the way is truly difficult. There will be times that you wish to “chuck it all in” and walk away. If you are called, those thoughts quickly are banished and you struggle forward through each mistake you make. Through each failure and fall, you get up, you brush yourself off and you learn to forge on and incorporate that lesson in your path.
Let me tell you brothers and sisters, that’s not an easy thing to do. I’ve made some whopper mistakes, some falls that I thought would break me. By working within my path and my faith I was able to move forward and become a better person.
Since my trip, I feel more intensely. I hear more sweetly. I speak more gently and with more compassion. Each feeling, each sound, each word is meant truly from my heart.
Since Lilyth Avexyn left her home on July 2nd, she grew into a different spirit (the spirit was there, just waiting for the time to emerge through Lilyth). On September 8, 2010 I became that Spirit. I took on a responsibility and role I have wanted for a very long time to a path I am absolutely called to.
I became Lady Lilyth Amicia Moonshadow.
About my name. Over the years (and many of you remember the plethora I will speak of), I have had many different names, trying out what suited me and what might work for me. Eventually I became Lilyth and had a variation of middle names. I had never taken on a surname. I was Lilyth Avexyn for among the shortest. Avexyn was a placeholder for a name I knew that began with an A but did not see yet. That name was given to me on 9/8/2010 and it was Amicia. Amicia envelopes a gentle spirit who carries innocence and experience both tempered with joy, love and the wisdom needed to serve. I decided to take Moonshadow on as my surname to honor my High Priestess Lady Raven and let it be known that I am proud of Her, my Coven, my Path and walk it with grace. Oh don’t get me wrong I will still fall flat on my face but I will always pick myself up.
I will share my journey with you along the way and hope you will share yours with me.
For the last two and a half months I have been away from home. I have been missing my family, yet I have enlarged my family and become more aware that family truly that which we have chosen for ourselves. The family which we choose starts before we are born and we come to find them throughout our lives as we need them. Hang onto your family for they will always be family and be there to help you through life with joy, sadness, heartbreak and laughter.
I am sitting scrunched in a lower bunk of a bunk bed at the Goddess Festival charging my batteries from my laptop and realizing that I have truly grown a great deal.
Eight and one half years ago I embarked on a leg of my life’s journey that would lead me to fulfill a longstanding calling. I felt called, truly called to the Goddess. I wanted to serve in the path of the Priesthood within Wicca and I wanted to find a place to call my spiritual home. It was eight and one half years ago that I found that place I call home. That place was Sacred Mists.
I started this post about two weeks ago. Time has been flying past me between attending the Goddess Festival, then flying home then leaving to go to Ohio for a Memorial for my Grandma, I have not been able to finish my thoughts and feelings on all that has gone down in the last little while. Anyway I digress.
When I started Sacred Mists it felt amazing and wonderful to find a community that not only taught but helped me grow. I had looked into and even joined another school but the community aspect was severely lacking. I jumped in head first and found that most of the basics that were covered I was well versed in already as I had come from a local coven and years of Solitary Study. In order to make the most of the lessons that were presented I researched additional aspects, I found more to do and to give to my homework and studies. I began quickly to want to take an active role in leadership and began facilitating study groups (which at that point were non-existent) and then applied to join the Student Council.
A great many things have happened over my eight and a half years at Sacred Mists. Things that shook me to my very core, things that made me angry, sad, hopeful and content. Each thing had an important lesson attached to it that was just for me to take me to the level my spirit demanded of me. Some of these things were extremely hard to swallow and work through. There were many times that I considered walking away and not being a Priestess.
To be a Priestess is something you must feel in the very core of your being. The road is not easy, it will never be easy and it will bring you the greatest spiritual rewards of doing something greater and more beautiful than serving yourself. For me it is about serving others, helping them find their path, teaching them and being involved at a very spiritual and meaningful level.
Walking away was not an option when I got right down to it. I could no sooner walk away from my life than I could stop being a Priestess. Just when you think you have a handle on what you need, you are thrown a new lesson and a new loop in the path you are walking. It’s been an amazing journey and I look forward to the many years I will serve my community as a High Priestess.
On September 8th I took the next step into my journey and was elevated as a High Priestess of Sacred Mists. The initiation ritual that I went through with my High Priestess was absolutely amazing, personal and tearful. I pledged myself to the Coven, the Tradition and my path. My sacred vow is something that I will walk with always and never forget or walk away from. Just because the road gets difficult and tries you from every angle does not mean the road will not again become smooth. I will serve my community and the community beyond it as best I can. I will always be honest and loving. I will aid those who seek me out to the best of my abilities and beyond.
My name is Lady Lilyth Amicia Moonshadow, this is my path, my calling and my heart. I will write again soon of my elevation, the process I have undergone both before during and after.
For many years now I have been a Priestess of Sacred Mists. I am trained and Initiated into this tradition. The tradition is an Eclectic-Celtic Faerie Wiccan Tradition. (what a mouthful eh?) What does it mean really?
It means we have a base in Traditional Celtic or British Witchcraft. We use the Degree System to show attainment of our goals and understanding of the material and of our path in general.
The Degree System we use is Degree’s 1-3. Each student is guided by Student Teachers, Participation and Lady Raven Moonshadow who keeps up to date with students via their Journals (more about the journals to come).
1st Degree Dedicants are defined by their participation, lesson completion, ritual attendance and Sabbat Ritual Attendance. The student is required to journal their path via a Forum based Journal Thread for them specifically. These journals are reviewed regularly by Lady Raven, the Graders and often fellow students. The lessons are not multiple choice and often contain questions that require additional reading and research. The 1st Degree is one of Basic instruction into Wicca and for the long time practitioner a review that is designed to push your understanding further through reading and participation.
2nd Degree Dedicants are defined by the same base that 1st Degree; however here is where the coursework becomes more Practical in nature. Our student graders are of the 3rd Degree Dedicants for the 2nd Degree Course Lesson Grading. These are the lessons where you will be pushed further into deeper understanding of the Craft, Wicca and our Tradition. Again Journaling is required and participation measured with required minimum of 3 Sabbats per degree where you are required to write Essays of them.
3rd Degree Dedicants are a very different type of student. These are the students who wish to Initiate (and have done so) into the Sacred Mists Tradition and wish to be taught more deeply on a one on one basis with Lady Raven that will enable the student to have a Hive Coven of Sacred Mists in their local area. This is the path of the High Priest and Priestess and not the “natural” progression.
If you attain your 1st and 2nd Degree’s with Sacred Mists but do not wish to become a High Priest or Priestess of a Local Hive or Sister Coven, then you may proceed with any of the Developed Adept Programs or other courses offered by Sacred Mists such as the Historical Paganism Course, Herbalist, or Reiki Courses.
Where do I fit into this equation? I am a 3rd Degree Dedicant and have been for a number of years. This part of my path has been difficult and humbling the entire way. There were things I thought I knew that I had only begun to scratch the surface on. The days that I choose to live as a Priestess of Sacred Mists involve a great deal of introspective thought and consideration. I choose to be involved with students as both a student, administrator, and leader. These are all challenges which I work very hard to rise to and come out on the other side of a painful situation with love and a deeper understanding. My goal is to become a High Priestess and lead locally via Sabbat Festivals and Esbats. To teach the ways to those who wish to learn from me.
Everyday begins the same for me. I rise and give thanks to another safe night and another chance for a new Beginning in each day. I work closely with Lady Raven as we Administer her beautiful soul work that is Sacred Mists. We learn and teach together. I welcome all those who have a genuine love for the Craft, for Wicca or are just curious. I will never lie to a student, I will never run from a problem but will seek to solve the problem in a way that benefits all those involved. I make mistakes, we all do. I own my mistakes and do my best to learn from them.
Most recently my mistake was to try and resolve something that I felt would be good for all those involved with an open disclosed resolution. This of course was not the way it would work out and I learned from the experience. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to learn from my mistakes. Sacred Mists provides me an outlet to both learn and teach at the same time. It is a valuable place for my own growth. I am thankful for it every day.