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?
So this weekend was a pretty busy one…then again they all seem to be busy. I have started to really work with gemstones and some very personal workings that I started earlier this year. I am feeling a real difference.
This weekend I made a few decisions that I can share with you:
- I will blog three times a week
- Monday’s will be weekend musings
- Wednesday will be Gemstones + Magick
- Friday will be freeform whatever comes to mind.
- Starting with the new moon tonight I am digging in deeper to some much needed shadow workings.
- I wrote the ritual for tonight and it’s great. LOL
- Daily House of Night Oracle draws are back on.
Aside from all of these decisions I am starting to feel the fog of an ongoing Dark Night of the Soul begin to lift up. There is still work to be done but the fog is not as thick as it once was and for that I am grateful. I am feeling some real joy in life and the world around me as the depression that has hung on in this dark night starts to alleviate some of its stranglehold.
I started preparing for guests arriving at the end of this month. There is not a TON to do but there is enough that I want to do it in small chunks. I got a lot of old dog toys tossed out, started going through some of the excess that is in the front room and will be doing some serious cleaning in the room that used to be the office.
All in all there is a lot of progress going on in both life and spirituality that seems to get kicked up on the weekends. I’m digging it.
Last Thursday, Sacred Mists had our Sabbat Ritual for Samhain. We do this on an alternate day for availability and attendance. With Halloween being so busy and the weekend of being filled with activities, we choose an alternate day so that our students can be present with the Circle and enjoy our Sabbat.
This year, we did something a little different. Different in that I wrote and led the Sabbat instead of our traditional ritual written and led by our founder Lady Lorien. The ritual I wrote was the completion of a cycle I began in February of this year. At Pantheacon this year, I was gifted with the information to present this particular ritual and meditation for this year and as such it was an amazing process filled with spirit and Deity. When you channel a ritual during the writing process, you are never for sure, until the end that the ritual is going to meet the needs of the group you will be offering it to. I feel this ritual met and exceeded the needs of my circle and after both rituals I felt simply wonderful.
A little about this ritual I asked everyone to prepare both a message to their ancestors for Hades and something you wish to remove from your life, be it a habit, a health issue or something else to be replaced with something helpful that Persephone will take to the underworld to plant in her rose garden. From this fertilizer helpful + positive things will come to each of us. This was to be a ritual of transformation as well as ancestral.
Both instances of the ritual were incredibly powerful for me and I felt major shifting within beginning. During the second ritual it was dusk into full dark here in California and something clicked in that ritual that just was immense for me personally.
One of the things that I did for this ritual was to have the ancestral messages and the release + welcome written on special versions of my Color Magick Sizzling Spell Paper that is sold at the Sacred Mists Shoppe. If you have never worked with my paper before, I must share with you that it’s positively amazing to work with for spell and ritual work.
As I worked through each aspect of this ritual and performed on behalf of my coven & circle I felt a shift deep within my spirit that I am still working to understand fully. The veil, has seemingly, been lifted from my eyes and the darkness and fog that has followed me for more than a year now seems to be dissipating. I am seeing more “light” than I have in sometime.
The last thing I wish to share from the ritual is a super short (6 second) video of the release + welcome offerings as they burnt. It was a beautiful and fiery display!
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.
A friend of mine posted a picture on facebook with a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote on it. The quote is simple and profound at the same time.
Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen
The universe and I have long been friends in conspiracy. The road is not always easy but the decision firmly made will manifest. The universe WANTS you to be happy and enjoy your life. I am a firm believer in this.
One of my biggest desires was turned into a decision. For too long we have been unhappy and trying new things to be happy and always they are short term.
We always find things that make us happy. We get up early and go bike riding, getting fit, doing things with family and the pup. When it comes right down to it the happiness is just really not there. When you are not happy what is it that you do to fix it? You figure out what is missing or what is making you unhappy and you make a decision to change it. After making a multitude of changes we discovered that one of the biggest reasons we are unhappy is our general environment.
By this I mean several things and if they are all out of whack, it simply bleeds over into everything else. What do you do when everything surrounding you adds to an unhappy life? The general public has become quite crotchety, mean, sour and entitled (sometimes all at once – YIKES). These things enter the sanctuary of home making it less and less a sanctuary. You look for things to fix that and they are only short term.
At some point you determine that you simply must get out of the toxic environment (people & weather) that plagues your joy in life. When you make that decision you set into motion an unstoppable train that will take you down a treacherous track from which you cannot be derailed only continue to rocket down. After many twists, turns, and seemingly impossible upside down experiences you emerge through a darkened tunnel. On the other side of this tunnel is a LIGHT. It is that which you decided to move towards. It’s within reach now.
The road has been hazardous and filled with much pain. These things are put in the path to ensure that this is truly the decision for you. No decision comes without pain. No change comes without sacrifice. I offer to this decision my blood, sweat and tears, the tears flow more freely now than they have in a very long time. The sweat comes more frequently as well. The blood…yes that has flowed as well.
Standing firmly in this decision we begin to embark on a change that will take me away from Florida into California. I have dreamed this for years (since my first visit to Napa in 2000 with my former company), I have desired this. Not only is this the thing I desire but it is the right thing for US. Everything falls into place neatly, with challenges overcome and a solid plan.
You can see the signs of packing and the joy that I feel from this picture taken on 7-10. The move has a conditional offer set on it pending a background check, which as of last night has come back with a WOO HOO!
We have secured a rental house (with a yard for Ariyana) in Vallejo (it looks like one of the great neighborhoods) and Keith is off to visit and drive it and sign the lease for one year! We have rented an RV with which we will make the great cross-country trek in with all the pets (4 cats + 1 dog). Pods will be handling the moving of STUFF and a transport for the car.
Here I come California! At long last we will be reunited on a permanent basis. My friends in Cali, it will be so wonderful to see you all again I have missed you so much!
A very dear friend of mine is attending Ocean Seminary. One of her current lessons is to choose a Goddess from a specified list and connect with them. Describe how you might connect with this Goddess in Ritual. My friend is a more intuitive and academic Pagan and ritual work is not her strong point so I jumped in and said I’d help her. I LOVE ritual work and the research associated with it.
My Patron Goddess Lilith acknowledged this work and has lit the fuse of desire within me to really make this happen and work for my friend. We are on a very limited timeframe to work with. We decided to use Inanna’s descent into the underworld as the focus for the ritual symbolically. In recreating this descent we will be removing obstacles from her path which thwart her prosperity and abundance. At the completion we will have removed the blockages and replaced them with opportunity for new growth in life with a focus on prosperity.
The story of Inanna’s descent to the underworld is a relatively well-attested and reconstructed composition. ~Sourced from Wikipedia~
In Sumerian religion, the Underworld was conceived of as a dreary, dark place; a home to deceased heroes and ordinary people alike. While everyone suffered an eternity of poor conditions, certain behavior while alive, notably creating a family to provide offerings to the deceased, could alleviate conditions somewhat.
Inanna’s reason for visiting the underworld is unclear. The reason she gives to the gatekeeper of the underworld is that she wants to attend the funeral rites of Ereshkigal’s husband, here said to be Gud-gal-ana. Gugalana was the Bull of Heaven in The Epic of Gilgamesh, killed by Gilgamesh and Enkidu. To further add to the confusion, Ereshkigal’s husband is typically the plague god, Nergal.
In this story, before leaving Inanna instructed her minister and servant Ninshubur to plead with the gods Enlil, Nanna, and Enki to save her if anything went amiss. The attested laws of the underworld dictate that, with the exception of appointed messengers, those who enter it could never leave.
Inanna dresses elaborately for the visit, with a turban, a wig, a lapis lazuli necklace, beads upon her breast, the ‘pala dress’ (the ladyship garment), mascara, pectoral, a golden ring on her hand, and she held a lapis lazuli measuring rod. These garments are each representations of powerful mes she possesses. Perhaps Inanna’s garments, unsuitable for a funeral, along with Inanna’s haughty behavior, make Ereshkigal suspicious.
Following Ereshkigal’s instructions, the gatekeeper tells Inanna she may enter the first gate of the underworld, but she must hand over her lapis lazuli measuring rod. She asks why, and is told ‘It is just the ways of the Underworld’. She obliges and passes through. Inanna passes through a total of seven gates, at each one removing a piece of clothing or jewelry she had been wearing at the start of her journey, thus stripping her of her power.
When she arrives in front of her sister, she is naked. “After she had crouched down and had her clothes removed, they were carried away. Then she made her sister Erec-ki-gala rise from her throne, and instead she sat on her throne. The Anna, the seven judges, rendered their decision against her. They looked at her – it was the look of death. They spoke to her – it was the speech of anger. They shouted at her – it was the shout of heavy guilt. The afflicted woman was turned into a corpse. And the corpse was hung on a hook.”
Ereškigal’s hate for Inanna could be referenced in a few other myths. Ereškigal too is bound by the laws of the underworld; she can not leave her kingdom of the underworld to join the other ‘living’ gods, and they can not visit her in the underworld, or else they can never return. Inanna symbolized erotic love and fertility, and contrasts with Ereškigal.
Three days and three nights passed, and Ninshubur, following instructions, went to Enlil, Nanna, and Enki’s temples, and demanded they save Inanna. The first two gods refused, saying it was her own doing, but Enki was deeply troubled and agreed to help. He created two asexual figures named gala-tura and the kur-jara from the dirt under the fingernails of the gods. He instructed them to appease Ereškigal; and when asked what they wanted, they were to ask for Inanna’s corpse and sprinkle it with the food and water of life. However, when they come before Ereshkigal, she is in agony like a woman giving birth, and she offers them what they want, including life-giving rivers of water and fields of grain, if they can relieve her; nonetheless they take only the corpse.
Things went as Enki said, and the gala-tura and the kur-jara were able to revive Inanna. Demons of Ereškigal’s followed (or accompanied) Inanna out of the underworld, and insisted that she wasn’t free to go until someone took her place. They first came upon Ninshubur and attempted to take her. Inanna refused, as Ninshubur was her loyal servant who had rightly mourned her while she was in the underworld. They next came upon Cara, Inanna’s beautician, still in mourning. The demons said they would take him, but Inanna refused, as he too had mourned her. They next came upon Lulal, also in mourning. The demons offered to take him, but Inanna refused.
They next came upon Dumuzi, Inanna’s husband. Despite Inanna’s fate, and in contrast to the other individuals who were properly mourning Inanna, Dumuzi was lavishly clothed and resting beneath a tree. Inanna, displeased, decrees that the demons shall take him, using language which echoes the speech Ereshkigal gave while condemning her. Dumuzi is then taken to the underworld.
In other recensions of the story, Dumuzi tries to escape his fate, and is capable of fleeing the demons for a time, as the gods intervene and disguise him in a variety of forms. He is eventually found. However, Dumuzi’s sister, out of love for him, begged to be allowed to take his place. It was then decreed that Dumuzi spent half the year in the underworld, and his sister take the other half. Inanna, displaying her typically capricious behavior, mourns his time in the underworld, and her own powers, notably those connected with fertility, subsequently wane, to return in full when he returns from the netherworld each six months. This cycle then approximates the shift of seasons.
My thoughts right now for the ritual will be to open it as I normally do. Have a little ritual drama where my friend and I enact an exchange between Inanna and Ereshkigal where Inanna leaves with her sister obstacles named. On her way from the underworld she collects blessings of prosperity, abundance and opportunity. An offering will be left for Inanna and Ereshkigal. Thanks given the circle and ritual closed in the normal way.
Once I have the ritual worked out I will post it to the blog. The timing I am thinking of could be during one of two times. Either at the New Moon or directly after the next Full Moon and on the Festival of Inanna which is August 4th. I will have to meditate to try to connect to Inanna and ask her preference for this ritual. Right now I am leaning towards the Festival of Inanna.
Thus far the research on this has been quite invigorating and I am really looking forward to the ritual itself. I have begun the creation of the incense blends and the anointing oil for the ritual. Altar Construction will be at my friend’s home so we will likely do the ritual outside beneath the stars.
Lately, I have noticed that it seems more and more, people are looking towards magick to solve their problems. With a spell you can wish away and receive your deepest desires. Need more money? There’s a spell for that. Need a job? There’s a spell for that. Looking for love? Yep you guessed it, there’s a spell for that. There is a spell for pretty much anything and everything that you can think of and if there isn’t? Well you can write your own for it.
You’ve heard it before by more popular and widely known people. Magick does not grant wishes or solve your problems. Magick is the use and manipulation of energies to bring about results of what you need and want. Need something? Can you get it? Yes you can. Will magick HELP? Yes it will. Will magick do it for you? NO.
Magick resides within you and within everything around you. It is through your will that you can manipulate this energy and bring your desires to light and come to pass. You must own it. In order to own it you have to do the work in the mudane world along with it AND know in your heart and soul that you deserve what you are spelling for.
Sounds simple enough right? Well ownership is something that when it comes to our desires is something that we all have some degree of issue with. We own that we want but we don’t own that we deserve it. It seems to me that a great deal many people want something but ultimately do not feel they deserve it? Well did you work for it? Then you deserve it.
This is not to say that you are entitled to every whim and that you should treat the world with the degree of indifference I see in many people that the world owes them for they are breathing tax payers so you owe them. The mind set that the world owes you is bothersome and to some degree irritating for me. You want something, you deserve something then work for it and make it happen, just because you were born does not mean the world owes it to you.
In my own life I am working very hard to get into the mindset that I deserve to be prosperous and not working from paycheck to paycheck. Once upon a time I made more money than I thought I could spend, but spend it I did. I’ve since simplified my life and do not need nearly the same amount of money to keep me happy. While things may be tight I do manage to be able to take care of myself and my bills with no problems generally. I don’t have cushion should something unexpected happen but so far so good. I am building a cushion so that the worry is gone. I do this with the programs my bank offers to have a savings account and deposit $1 every time I use my debit card. Works wonderfully so far.
I’d like to dedicate this blog post in a way that I can maybe help whoever might be reading this. Reply with one thing that you need or could really use or just want. Let’s make a plan together to make that happen and re-enforce that with an affirmation plan and a little magick written just for you. Are you game? 🙂
Imbolc has come and gone and the promise of spring continues to be seen in small ways in the world around me. Living in South Florida for most of my life, we do not have true seasons the way that many places have. We have HOT and not so hot, tempered with RAIN or no rain. It’s an interesting place to be when it comes to weather.
For the last week I have seen more rainy days than not. I am not at all saying this is a bad thing, I love a grey rainy day more than a sunny one most of the time anyway. Right now I see the promises of spring everywhere around me. The grass seems greener, the dandelions are blooming, the white flowers have disappeared from the grasses and the yellow is starting to appear in the trees.
Days like today (and those from earlier this week) give me reason to pause and look at what is happening around me in every way. Life is stirring and the world begins to wake up and feel renewed. It is from this renewal that I have again begun to feel the stirrings of deep transformation. The trials are nearly completed for this round. Over the last several years I have undergone a great many challenges. The least of them seem to be the career change that I took on nearly 3 or 4 years ago now. Time loses it’s hold on me after a while. 😉 More than anything I can look at myself now and see how very different I have become over the years.
Past hurts forgiven and in some cases fully pardoned. This has not been an easy road for me but one I am very thankful for. The next evolution of myself will come when I leave my comfort zone behind me and embark on a journey taking me across the country to where I know virtually no one and the certainty and comfort of life will be taken from me. It’s rather terrifying when you think about it.
As I try to eliminate the things in life that do not serve me I find that I have precious few things that I actually NEED. I have begun removing things bit by bit that are not needed, not used or simply not desired. This has been applying to not only things but toxic friendships as well. If you hurt me I don’t need you. If you lie to me, I don’t want you. If you care and are genuine with me then I love to have you in my life.
As the flames shrink to embers, let the wind come upon the ashes and blow them asunder. Be gone that which harms, be gone that which causes illness. Come to me peace, joy and fulfillment.
Last night marked the longest night of the year as Winter Solstice came upon us, (and in my head I have Samuel L Jackson saying it “And Solstice came upon us with great challenges and magnificent changes”) and though I was working rather late I took time to attend the Sacred Mists Yule Ritual that was being led by Raushanna last evening and even though I knew the ritual before attending through the Third Degree submission process, I was amazed by the feelings that surrounded me. Sometimes, I do not at all connect in a ritual and sometimes I am blown away. Last night was the latter.
One of my biggest failures is that I am filled with self-doubt and self-defeating behaviors which create a vicious loop of me never being enough and not succeeding. Harmful self talk creates this horrific ribbon of where I feel I have failed or not done enough and it just keeps looping around and around. As light becomes reborn, I too am going to go through a rebirth. There are a great many transformations that are appearing in my life. Rebirth is on the horizon. Working with this transformative and birth energy, I release the fear of success and never being enough (so self doubt and self-defeating behaviors) so that within myself I light the spark of successes and goals achieved, the spark of creation and life so that all doubt will be erased from my spirit and heart.
The wording on this was quite intentional because in order for me to work through this and achieve successes where I wish I must change the way that I think, I must release the fears and change the harmful and self-deprecating behaviors and words to ones that fill me with confidence and allow what is inside to shine throughout.
Over the last several months I have been challenged time and time again with things that have threatened to change my perceptions and how I am with people and what I have to offer. Remembering that I will always do my best, I will never lie and I will always be there when needed. The changes are worth it, they cannot be born without pain.
I connect with the power of rebirth and light and infuse my life with the energy of Birth, with birth comes change, pain and much to rejoice in.