Monday, May 2, 2016

Spirits of Place

Spirits of Place exist in any natural geologic feature but, those I have always found it easiest to relate to personally have been those connected to bodies of fresh Water and the Land surrounding them.  

My ancient ancestors in South Wales would have perceived the rivers closest to them to be deity.  My parents grew up on the banks of the Susquehannah River (in the North-Eastern part of Pennsylvania) as did many generations before them.  

I grew up near the Delaware River and I now live on the banks of the Schyulkill River. The Leni-Lenape who lived here before us called the River “Turtle Creek”.  The name has the added meaning of “Hidden” or “Refuge”.  

When I first moved here seven months ago, I sought to form a relationship, a connection to the Spirit of this Place and that meant the River and the Land surrounding it. 

I began visiting the banks of the River and found a Sycamore Tree (one of the species of Trees for which I bare a strong affection and affinity).  I made offerings and expressed a desire to build relationship with the River and the Tree and the Land.

At the suggestion of one of my wise and valued teachers, I carved Othala into the soft Earth beneath the Sycamore, then scraped the Earth and the Rune into a bowl.  I collected Water from the River into a jar and brought the Earth and the Water home.

In my bedroom I created an Altar to the Spirit of this Place where I now live.  I placed the Earth and the Water into silver dishes and scribed Othala into them and I placed a small Turtle fetish carved from green stone between them.  Every day that I am home, I light a candle and sing at this Altar, and every day that I can, I visit the Tree and the Riverbank and  I sing there as well.

The Spirit of this Place supports me and I give thanks for this new Friend.  Spirits of Place have been my allies since I was a small child and I give thanks for each one of them.  

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Altars and the Structure of Daily Practice

I love altars.  I have many of them throughout my home.  When I moved from the Tree-house to the Keep, figuring out where the altars belonged, and how they should be dressed, was an essential part of the process of settling in.  It took a while, but my altars provide an important structure for my daily practice.

My altars are physical reminders, as well as sacred spaces.  I visit them to make offerings, and prayers to the Spirits that support me in my life and my work.  I light candles and incense and I tend to them each week, cleaning and pouring water or wine.  I sing and offer thanks for the blessings I have been given.

In the Christian faith the “Stations of the Cross” serve a similar purpose.  As the seeker walks from one station to another, they contemplate the divine truth represented there and recite certain prayers of devotion.  This structure and style of practice is helpful to me and supports my daily practice.

Daily practice is vital to my spiritual well being.  It is something that I need in order to thrive, to re-enchant my daily life.  Without it, I become faded and tired and my magick suffers.  Without daily practice I slowly starve. 

Daily practice is an essential structure in my life.  It supports my well being and my magick.  I am a believer in the power of daily practice.  I also believe that it is important to have structures in place to support that practice. 

I have come to see that the moment when a Witch crosses the threshold to Power, to living a truly magickal life, is often the moment when they begin to establish a daily practice to support that life and that work.  Whatever the form or structure, or lack thereof, however that practice is manifested by the seeker, it is the practice or absence of practice that makes the difference between struggling to live a life of magick and, living a magickal life.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Divine Masculine, He is more than you think He is…

I was incredibly blessed this past weekend to spend it in the company of many men who embody the Divine Masculine.  I love many of these men and most of them I believe recognize the Divine Masculine within themselves.  Many, but not all. 

That is profoundly sad to me.  And since speaking Truth is part of my purpose in this life, I wish to describe some of the aspects of the God that are not always seen as such, so that those beloveds who look at me with confusion and denial when I tell them “Thou art the God” may begin to see the truth of my sight.

It is easy to see the God in His aspects of Hunter, Warrior, Mage, Priest, Father, Teacher and Guide.  Traditional Male roles of Power and Authority.  For the record, I have a great fondness for the Strength and Power to be found in Men who embody these Qualities of the Divine Masculine.  I am grateful for them and love them dearly.  My world would be a much less beautiful place for their absence.

But there are aspects of the God that are often over-looked or not recognized for the Beauty, Power and Life-giving Joy that they bring to the world, especially by those Men who embody Him in these ways.  The Lover, the Jester, the Healer, are also aspects of the Divine Masculine. 

The Lover, not only as sexual partner but, as “He who loves others with an open and tender heart.”  The God who brings Music to the world, and Art and Poetry.  He who gives warmth to others.  He who creates buildings and bridges, Who creates Magick and Enchantment.  He who draws us out of our isolation and brings us together for the warmth and pleasure of shared joy, fellowship, food, wine and song.

The Jester, The Divine Fool.  Is not irresponsible, un-intelligent, or careless but rather, He who makes us laugh, who invites us to lay down our burdens and sorrows for a time and Play, Carefree and Happy. He who allows us to return again to the innocent pleasure of being a child.  He who compels us to Dance and find Joy in the moment so that our lives can be engaged once again with a lighter heart.  He who brings us Revelry, so that we can remember that we are here to enjoy our lives.  Without Him, our world is dreary, lonely, cold despair indeed.

The Healer is “He who has compassion.”  He who cares for those in pain and who has the skills and strength and will to bring about a change in the situation.  The Healer has the courage to put others before Himself.  He is the one who recognizes the need for each of us to be touched and held.  He, like the Father and Teacher, is nurturing and strong, although He is not always recognized as such. 

Many people would ascribe these qualities to the Divine Feminine.  While I love the Goddess and respect and embrace all of her aspects, I recognize the Healer, Teacher and Poet in me as the sparks of the Divine Masculine that I embody. 

Yes, I am a Woman, a Mother, a Priestess.  I embody much of the Divine Feminine and I am grateful for the Goddess within me but, I also cherish the God, in all of His wonderful forms, including those sparks that manifest in my Female Human Soul.

Hail the God!  Hail the Divine Masculine!  He is more than you think He is…

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Spirits of the Lodge...


I had not visited the Sweat Lodge in so long I could not quite remember just how long it had been.  It had either been a year and a half or two and a half years.  Regardless, it had been TOO long.

The Lodge is a unique place.  There is no other structure I know of with quite that type of none-linear time/space.  The Ancient Ones (the Stones) somehow meet us in that liminal place and there we offer our prayers but, more profoundly, there They teach us.

There have been times when I entered the Lodge knowing what my prayers would be, what my work and intentions would be.  This time I prayed silently for the Spirits of the Lodge to teach me what I needed to learn. 

I had made the two and one half hour drive by myself, beginning before dawn.  I had watched the sun rise in silence on a quiet road.  I had simply stayed open and quiet and allowed the Spirits of the Lodge to speak as They would to my soul. 

The messages that I received were about listening to discover what my loved ones need from me and what I need to be well.  About allowing my passions to remain strong but finding ways to express those within my own boundaries as well as the boundaries of those I love.  About the fact that fear and anger are not only acceptable but necessary emotions, that they are useful when kept in appropriate proportion and when put to proper use. And that love is not something I need to earn.  And that all things will manifest according to the commitment I afford them.

I give thanks for the Water-Pourer, the Fire–Tenders, the Ancient Ones, the Spirits of the Land, the Spirits of the Lodge and the Beloveds who care for all those present.

I will not allow so much time to pass before I return again.  Blessed be.  

Friday, November 20, 2015

Returning to Balance

My first instinct is to apologize for my silence over the past six months but, I remember that there is no one to apologize to, and that even if there were, I have nothing to apologize for.

There have been many changes in my life this year, and many of them I could not process while experiencing them.  Sometimes we have to ride the waves and then process on the shore.  Only after we have returned home can we put a framework around our experiences. 

In the past two months I left my position with my employer, only to be reinstated within two weeks time in a new position at a new location. During those two weeks I moved from my tree-house (where Pwca and I had lived for four and a half years) to a new home in a new town.  I turned 50 and have completed my physical transition into crone (at least the medical definition).  I have begun a new phase in my therapy and a new focus in my studies.  

I have come out the other side of a very dark time, and I am beginning a new adventure in just about every area of my life.

At Samhaine I received messages about my need for balance.  Time engaging in community and laying the foundation for the future, time with my beloveds, and time alone to write and to practice magick, are each desirable and necessary.  I am capable of doing all of these things.  Balancing them is a skill that I am learning.  Recognizing, respecting and communicating boundaries are skills I need to practice if I am to serve my beloveds as well as my own soul.

Returning to my writing is also necessary.  Because communicating about the joy and beauty I find in the world, in my community, with my Gods and Allies and Ancestors and beloveds, is one of the ways I fulfill my purpose. Expressing that joy and beauty helps me to remember it every day, which is how I find light among the shadows.  Blessed be.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Where I find Joy...

I have remembered something important recently.  

My purpose makes me strong.  

When I am engaged in the work of serving my Gods, and my beloveds, I am strong and well. The magick of service, of doing the work to be prepared to serve, of doing the work of serving, of fulfilling my purpose, makes me stronger, makes me whole, makes me well.

When I am serving my Gods and my beloveds, I am focused on the work, on the needs of another, on what I need to do to accomplish the required result.  In that place, I know that I am capable, that I am strong.  Doubt and despair and depression and panic, are obstacles that only hinder the work at hand.

When I engage with my Gods, my Ancestors, my Allies, when I engage with my purpose, with serving, with the work, I engage my true self. That self is not only capable but strong.  She is child and fully grown woman.  She is Witch and Priestess and Mother and Healer. She has gifts, and skills and talents and joy and Power. She has purpose and love and compassion and Will.

This where I find joy.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Garden Forge; a visit to Brighid

You are standing in a clearing on a hill, surrounded by woods.
Before you stands a stone tower, the surface half-covered with moss.

There are ancient symbols carved into the stones and as you try to decipher them you notice a rough wooden door, dark with age.

You pull on the latch and slowly, the door opens enough to allow you to enter.

Inside it is quiet. Light filters in from windows high above and the air smells of wood smoke and blackberries. The floor is smooth and worn.  There is a stair to your left spiraling upward and to your right leading down.

You turn to your left and begin to ascend the stair.  The stone steps are even and smooth and easy to climb.  The light and air are warm and fragrant.  You can see glimpses of blue sky through the high narrow windows above you and you climb step by step up and around and up and up and up and around.  You can no longer see the door but you keep climbing wondering when you will reach the top.  Just as you are considering turning back you come to another door. 

The stair continues to spiral even further upward and you consider continuing your ascent but you notice a hammer hanging by the door. 

The door is a warm golden wood finely carved with intricate spirals and graceful symbols.  You test the latch and the door opens smoothly and easily outward into an orchard, filled with the sunshine of a bright summer day.  There is a path through the trees in front of you lined with blackberry bushes full of ripe black sweet berries.

You hear the sound of a hammer striking an anvil in a regular rhythm and you follow the orchard path to the source of the sound.   The trees are large and in full leaf and you cannot see beyond the ones immediately surrounding you. But you keep following the sound until just when you begin to think that the sound is actually your own heartbeat you step out from the next tree and find a roofed structure with no walls. 

Beneath the roof is a Forge.  The coals are glowing and a woman stands at the anvil beating the metal she is working, with the hammer in her hand. She is tall with a strong body and a presence that is even larger.  She seems to take up all the space within the forge.  Her short red hair, her entire body, seem to glow with flame. 

She plunges the piece into the basin of water beside her and the steam rises.  She then looks at you with bright hazel eyes and smiles a warm and welcoming smile, wiping sweat from her brow with her forearm.

This is Brighid, the Goddess of Smiths, the Mother of Midwives, and the Muse of Poets.  Warrior, Healer and Fiery Arrow.  Go to her and she will transform you, speak with her and she will heal you, listen to her and she will inspire you. 

When you feel it is time to go, thank the Lady and take your leave of Her.  Follow the path through the orchard back to the tower. The door stands open and you enter and descend the stair then pass through the open door to the place where you began.