Thursday, August 22, 2019

The Blessing of the Waters 2019

The Blessing of the Waters is a Public Community Ritual held annually by the Weavers of the Moonfire, with the assistance of many members of our Tradition, the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel.  This year the Ritual was to take place on Saturday August 17th with the Moon in Pisces.  But a few weeks before, a flash flood damaged the Park where the Ritual is held, and it will be closed for repair work until sometime next year.  We were unable to secure another location and so, we have had to cancel the Public Ritual until next year. 

The Water of our Planet is a Closed System, the Water we have is all the Water we will ever have, and All Water is One Water.  When we do work to Heal the Waters, we work to Heal All the Water.  The Waters in Flint MI, the Water at the Standing Rock Reservation, the Waters in Nebraska, the Waters of the Gulph of Mexico, the Water in my town, the Water in your city, and the Land that Water gives Life to.

I feel very deeply that this work is necessary and critically important, especially because the Waters and the Land are so much out of Balance.  Water is Sacred, It gives Life to the Land and to all who dwell upon It. It needs to be Honored, Respected and Protected, now more than ever.

Please join us in the following work on Friday September 13th or Saturday September 14th with the Full Moon in Pisces., to help carry the energy of the Blessing of the Waters forward until we can once again come together as a Community and do this work in the mundane world.  What follows is a simple Rite to be done either as solitary work or together in a small group.  It can be altered as needed by each person who chooses to engage in it. It can be done once, or as often as you choose.  The combined Blessing and Healing by everyone who is willing to do this Work, will come together on the Astral and will help to Heal the Waters of the Earth we all share. 

Water is Sacred, Water is Life.

The Blessing of the Waters

Draw Water from whatever source you can safely access into a vessel of your choosing.  (You may choose a small stream, or a lake somewhere near your home, or you may choose the tap in your kitchen.)   Set the vessel filled with Water on the ground or floor in front of you.

Breath deep, Ground and Center yourself, burn sweetgrass or sage or incense, do whatever you would to prepare yourself for Sacred Work.

(I am including the chants that we use in the Ritual, it is easy to find recordings of them on the web. Of course, you may sing whatever you like, Also, you may use the words provided here, or you may use your own.)

Sing as you prepare yourself to begin the Work.

“Born of Water, Cleansing, Powerful, Healing, Changing, I am.”

Cast a Circle if that is a part of your usual practice.

(when we Cast the Circle for the Public Ritual, everyone sings as the Circle is Cast,)

“Air moves us, Fire Transforms us, Water Shapes us, Earth Heals us,
and the Balance of the Wheel goes ‘round and ‘round,
and the Balance of the Wheel goes ‘round.”

Call the Waters of the North, East, South, West, Sky, Land, and Body.
As you call to each of the Waters, see them in your mind’s eye, know to Whom you call.

“I call to the Waters of the North, to the Lakes, Fjords and the Artic Seas.
Waters of the North, I call to you, Waters of the North, Flow to me.

I call to the Waters of the East, to the Ocean, Bays, and Marshes,
Waters of the East, I call to you, Waters of the East, Flow to me.

I call to the Waters of the South, to the Swamps, Bayous and Deltas,
Waters of the South, I call to you, Waters of the South, Flow to me.

I call to the Waters of the West, to the Rivers and Reservoirs,
Waters of the West, I call to you, Waters of the West, Flow to me.

I call to the Waters of the Sky, to Rain, Mist and Snow,
Waters of the Sky, I call to you, Waters of the Sky, Flow to me.

I call to the Waters of the Land, to the Aquifer, Spring and Watershed,
Waters of the Land I call to you, Waters of the Land, Flow to me.

I call to the Waters of my Body, to Blood, Sweat and Tears,
Waters within, I call to you, Waters within, Flow through me.”

Call to he Spirit of the Waters and to the Spirits of the Land

“I call to the Spirit of the Waters, to the Sacred Water that gives Life to the Land and to all who dwell upon it, Come and join me in this Work of Healing. 

I call to the Spirits of the Land, to Soil, Rock, and Tree, to all who grow, fly, walk, crawl or swim.  To all who live upon the Land and all who draw Life from the Water. Come and join me in this Work of Healing.”

(If you desire to Call upon the Lady and the Lord do so by what Names you know Them, I would Call upon Danu as Lady of the Waters and Cernunnos as Lord of the Wilds.)

Make a Statement of Intention, that you are working to Bless the Waters to bring Healing to the Waters and to the Land and to restore Balance between Them. 

Make a Statement of Commitment if you choose to do so, to Honor, Respect and Protect the Waters.

State out Loud “Water is Sacred, Water is Life!”

Now focus your attention upon the Water in the vessel.  Raise energy through drumming, rattling, dancing, chanting, singing or toning.  Through sound, send the energy into the Water, see it transform, see it sparkle with Light and Healing.  Continue to send Healing into the Water until you have transformed It as much as you are able.

Seal the working by singing the Cherokee Water Blessing to the Water in the vessel.

Atcha ta ney ya, ney ya, ney ya, Atcha ta ney ya, ney ya hey.”

(We acknowledge that we are not Cherokee, we sing the Cherokee Water Blessing in the spirit and purpose for which it has been shared. We do so with respect, honor, and gratitude to the Cherokee People for their generosity in sharing it with the world.)

Give Thanks to All who joined you in this Work.

“I give Thanks to the Waters of the North, East, South, West, Sky, Land and Body.
I give Thanks to the Spirit of the Waters and to the Spirits of the Land,
I give Thanks to the Lady and the Lord, for joining me in this Work of Healing,
Ho now in Peace and in Grace,I Give Thanks!”

(If you Cast a Circle, release it now in the way that is usual for you.)

Now, carry the vessel to the source from which you drew the Water, (or if you used the tap in your home, to a patch of open soil) pour the Water into the Source or into the Earth.

Sing as you carry the Water to that place,

“The River is Flowing, Flowing and Growing, the River is Flowing, down to the Sea,
Mother carry me, your child I will always be, Mother carry me, down to the Sea.”

It is Done, So Mote It Be.

(If you have included Water from a non-local source in your working, do not pour that Water into a local source.  Water can contain microbes that are invisible to the naked eye and you could inadvertently introduce a non-indigenous organism into the local ecology, which is potentially dangerous in unforeseeable ways.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Conversations with the Bone Mother

Last month I had the honor of aspecting the Goddess Hecate, as Bone Mother, for a joint Harvest Ritual with my coven and another of our Tradition.  Aspecting is a form of divine embodiment practiced by my Tradition. In the weeks leading up to the Ritual, and in the weeks since, Hecate Bone Mother and I have shared many conversations and She has impressed upon me Her desire that I share some of those conversations here. When that Lady “impresses upon you Her desire…”  well, I learned a long time ago not to argue with such “requests”.  I am going to comply eventually anyway. Life is easier if I dance to the Music the Gods are playing.  And I learn more effectively when I don’t waste time avoiding the lessons.  That being said, it is unusual to invoke Hecate in that aspect, especially at the first Harvest.  The Sun, while waning, is still strong. The light is still long. The Summer heat is at its greatest.  Green growth is abundant and full.  She was thrilled, to be invoked, and to have the pleasure of being in a body, even one with the limitations mine possesses, at this season, so full of Life.  The first thing she imparted to me was this;

“You have work to do Witch, get off your ass and get started.” 

She was referring to the spell I work to bless my grandchild. I had just learned that my second grandchild is expected in early December, but not having done any witchcraft to manifest the child, as I had before my first was conceived, I had not yet begun to work the spell.  Next was a discourse on the Magick of Bones. (Which of course would include a spell to manifest a child in Strength and Beauty among other blessings).  The importance of our bones, the strength of them, the way they are the vehicle by which we move in the world. 

“You need to move yours more.”

And She is right, to keep this body useful, and strong, I do need to move more.  Specifically, I need to dance, and often. 

“You are not yet ready for a nap in the Boneyard, you are not yet ready to be dust.  You have living to do, you have work to do, and you need to get to it.”

I get tired sometimes, like everyone else, I get weary.  The troubles of the day are more than sufficient, some days they are overly abundant. But I am indeed not dead yet, nor am I ready to turn to dust.  I still have living to do, I still have work to do, I still have loving to do.

“Every bone has its purpose. Some are for walking and climbing, some are for stitching with a needle, some are for embracing loved ones.  Just as every essential part of us has a use, none of them are without purpose.  None of our Bones are to be disowned. None of our essential selves are to be either.”

Those parts of ourselves that we despise, that we desire to abandon, are in fact necessary.  They are our very Bones.  They are the structure that helps us stand and move and they are the parts of us that will remain longer than any other.  They are quintessentially us. Even more than our Blood, which will turn to dust in the blink of an eye.  The Ritual was about the Sacrifice of the Harvest.  She wanted those present to offer to Her their Bones.  To offer a part of themselves, to release something of themselves that She could then give back to them as a new thing, as a magickal tool to help them grow, to be used upon their journey in the future.  Now, in aspecting a Goddess for a group ritual, especially such a One as She, I would have expected Her to express Herself with some solemnity, some mystery, some poetry even but, that is not what She chose to do.  Rather, She used my repertoire of swear words, such as it is, (evidently, I need to expand my vocabulary a bit) and She spoke quite bluntly, no pulling punches, no dancing around things.  Truth be told, I spent a few days afterward worrying about it. And the conversations continued.

“…and why is it any concern of yours?  I choose what words and what manner of speech will serve me in the moment, and it is not your worry how I choose to present myself.  You only need to be strong and flexible and to keep your heart open so that I may touch those who need Me to in they way that they need Me to.” 

It took a few days but, I thought about how she received each person’s sacrifice. How She did so with such compassion, and respect and reverence.  She truly valued each Bone She was offered.  And She gave to each person love, blessing and magick in turn.  And that was my hope as a priestess in that Ritual, to serve Her well, so that She could bless those present.  Once I was able to let go of my worries over how my service to Her was perceived by others, She pointed out that I had yet to make my own sacrifice to Her.  Indeed, I had not been able to choose. (Sometimes the immediacy of Ritual can help force us to choose, and in that moment, we discover what we need most.)  I had time, too much time perhaps.  I thought about what I remembered of the sacrifices She had been offered by others, many were surprisingly repeated over and over again.  So many human Bones are shared among us.  But I eventually discovered what my sacrifice was supposed to be.  I was discussing with her my worries about becoming an old woman, especially my concerns regarding my eventual loss of vision, and the fact that many things that I had hoped for in this lifetime were no longer possible.  I decided to offer to her those hopes, the hopes of a young woman for blessing that life can hold for a young woman and that eventually become the safety and blessings of an old woman.  And then She did the most magickal thing.

“You do not need to give up this thing.”

She was correct.  I had lumped one thing into that sacrifice that was not “something that is no longer possible”.  And so, She gave it back to me.  It is not ‘a thing that will happen” but it is “a thing that can happen” if I choose to make it so.  I have a blessed life, and it is good to know that if I choose, I still have time to manifest a dream from my youth.  I can make that a part of my life as an “old woman”.  Hecate Bone Mother is now Someone with whom I have relationship.  She even chose a gift from among my possessions.  A necklace of black and amber beads with a fossil of a nautilus shell that was given to me by one of my Elders at my third degree initiation.  Although I liked it very much, I had never worn it, nor had I given it away, I did not know why.  But almost two years later, it was still among my things. She chose it immediately upon being asked if she would like a gift from me. I suspect we will have many more conversations in the future, and some She may wish for me to share with those who choose to read this blog.  In the meantime, I am not dead yet, I am not ready to turn to dust nor to take a nap in the Boneyard.  I have work to do and I need to be busy about getting to it. Blessings from the Bone Mother.  Blessed Be.

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Magick of Play

In a world where life is ever more difficult, where we are constantly bombarded with unwelcome news, where the future seems ever more worrisome, we can become unbearably weary.  

We can become so burdened by the mundane, and the seemingly inevitable despair of the world that our passion, our joy, our optimism and our pleasure seem increasingly beyond our reach.

This is not the way I wish to live.  

In circumstances like these, Play becomes absolutely necessary.  We need to remember how to be hopeful, how to have fun, how to laugh.

Once a week I gather with some friends to Play.  I pretend to be someone else.  I spend an evening doing ridiculous things and together we create a story.  A wild, impossible and gloriously outrageous story.  I get to learn new skills, and to practice things that make me uncomfortable, like conflict, in a safe place with friends.  I get to practice communicating more clearly, and facing conflict, and being bold, and even vent stress and anger in healthy, playful ways.  I get to say, “bite me” to people who will not be hurt by those words.  And I get to laugh, a lot.

Play and laughter are just as important for adults as they are for children, perhaps even more so.  We need play, and laughter, and fun, to remain strong and healthy and to renew our spirits in a world that is filled with sadness and despair.  Laughter and play are the antidote to the toxicity and weariness of challenging times. 

Life is good.  The Sun still shines, as do the Moon and the Stars.  Find Joy, find Pleasure, find Laughter.  Play!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

In Perfect Love and Perfect Trust

As we enter into ritual space as a Coven, each of us says aloud, “I enter this Circle in Perfect Love and Perfect Trust”. 
 At a Ritual a few months ago, I was asked by one of our guests why we say those words.   He was concerned that, if it was a requirement of entering Ritual with the Coven, he was not capable of meeting such a standard. 

 I reassured him that it was not a requirement, but rather an intention, an ideal to which we aspire, and that none of us are perfect in our practice of that ideal.  
If we cannot achieve such perfection, why would we use those words?  Because words have power, and stating our ideals, our intentions, helps us to remember our common goal, our aspirations, and our commitment to each other to continue to “practice” Perfect Love and Perfect Trust with each other, and with ourselves. 

While none of us can achieve Perfect Love and Perfect Trust all the time, there is magick in ritual, when we can reach beyond our limitations, and achieve for a moment, something beyond our own abilities.  Each time we reach beyond ourselves and achieve, if only for a moment, a glimpse of our ideal, we expand our own capacity for the practice of that to which we aspire.  We “practice” Perfect Love and Perfect Trust.  It is not just a quaint twist of language but a Truth that we “practice”.

We, as a Coven, have committed to “practicing” Perfect Love and Perfect Trust with each other.  It is an ideal that we have explored as a group and as individuals.  We have shared with each other what that ideal looks like, and discussed how we manifest that ideal, with Coven, with Community, with our loved ones and with ourselves.  We have all grown and learned and expanded our understanding of what those words mean, and how to put such ideals into practice in ritual and in our lives.

There is inherent risk in such work.  Just as we cannot achieve perfection in our practice, we are also, in our humanity, not ascended beings. We all have secrets; we all have shadows.  We will each, at some time or another, let another down in some way and we will all be let down by someone we love and trust.  This is a truth of human experience, Family, Friends, Lovers, Coven and Community.  So, what does it mean to practice “Perfect Love and Perfect Trust” in the light of such Truth?  Or do we give up such a lofty ideal in the attempt to avoid the pain that results from the inevitable?

It is my belief that the bonds of emotional intimacy that are forged by such work, and the vulnerability that is inherent in those bonds, hold the potential for greater magick and transformation. The opportunity to learn and to practice forgiveness, resilience, strength, courage, knowledge, wisdom and power with ourselves and with one-another is worth the risks of personal pain, from someone we love failing us, and from us failing someone we love.

Love is worth the risk of failure, and the risk of pain.  Love is worth vulnerability.  Love is great Magick.  Love is the Magick that can re-enchant the world. Love is the magick that can heal our world and ourselves. Perfect Love and Perfect Trust are ideals worth aspiring to and worth practicing.

May you be blessed with both.  Blessed Be!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

sometimes I feel small...

I am the High Priestess of the Weavers of the Moonfire.  I have worked for years to earn the privilege to serve this coven, this family that I love.  I am blessed and honored to guide and nurture these amazing witches, as they seek knowledge, of themselves, of their path, of their own power and magick.  I find immense joy in fulfilling my purpose in guiding my beloveds as they seek to heal themselves, transform themselves into stronger, happier people. 

I have worked hard for years to know how big I truly am, big enough to do this, bigger than I was taught I should be.  And I am, big enough.  But sometimes I feel small.

There are days when I feel low, weary, anxious.  There are days when I do not feel big enough to do the work I love.  That does not mean that I am NOT big enough, that only means that sometimes I do not FEEL big enough.  

When I feel small, I can pretend that everything is fine but, that tends to give the smallness more power.  Last week I told my lover that I was feeling small.  He heard me, understood me, and reassured me that I would be big enough when I needed to be.  The smallness passed, as such feelings will, but I am grateful for the way he holds space for me to feel however I feel in any given moment.

We do not have to be big always.  We do not have to be strong every moment. We can allow ourselves to be human, small, weak, afraid even.  We can be sad, or wild, or angry, or mean.  We can feel petty and over-sensitive and churlish and childish and selfish.  (We do not have to indulge in behavior that hurts others just because we feel these things).  We do not need to be perfect. And when we are feeling small, we can ask for those we love to hear us, and hold space for us, and be patient with us until we are able to return to our better selves.  (And if some of that leaks into our behavior, we can ask for forgiveness.)

It is helpful to remember that I am a guide, and that those I care for need me to walk the path that they will walk but, they will walk it for themselves.  I do not need to be any bigger than is needed to hold the torch so they can see the path before them.  And even when I feel small, I am big enough.  Blessed Be.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Our Patriarch

The Patriarch of my family is my Older Brother.  I am not sure when that happened exactly.  Perhaps when our younger brother died suddenly this past summer but, I think it happened long before that. 

He has always been the one who makes everything alright for everyone, no matter what happens.  That is not to say our father hasn’t always been a strong and loving provider.  Or that our grandfathers were not kind and loving men.  Or that the women in our family are not strong, intelligent, powerful women.  All of these things are true.  But somewhere along the way, my older brother became the central pillar that holds up the hall of our House.  He is the Cornerstone of our foundation, the Oak that gives us shelter and security and rest when we are weary.  He is the peace-bringer we look to and the example we aspire to.  He is always there.

And now, when our grandparents are passed and our parents are aging, and the children are becoming adults, and raising little ones of their own (well one at least) the presence of this strong and easy-going man, has become essential to the well-being of our family.

He is the one who spends time with our father, and our mother.  He is the one who steps in to provide love and support our brother’s daughters, he and his love, his wife of 32 years, provide the home and hearth for our aunts, uncles and cousins, and their children and grandchildren to gather, so that our extended family can come together and remember that we are a tribe. There is no judgement, everyone is welcome, everyone is family, and family is everything.

Knowing that he will be there when we are old, when our parents pass, when the girls marry, when the boys become fathers, when our grandchildren too become adults, gives me a sense of peace that I have associated with him since I was a small child.

He is a loving son, husband, father, uncle, coach, friend and brother.  He is a Great Man.  A man of peace, a man of care, a man of humble strength.  I Give Thanks for the Blessing of Our Patriarch.  May the Gods and the Ancestors bless our family with his presence for decades yet to come.  So Mote it Be!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Joys and Sorrows and Blessings...

So, there have been many changes in my life in the past 6 months or so, and for the sake of continuity, I thought to mention them. 

On Sunday September 11th, I received my 3rd degree initiation from my Tradition.  The Ritual was challenging and profound and I am still working through the magick of it and I will be for a while to come.

On Sunday September 25th, the Weavers of the Moonfire, my Coven, hived to give birth to a new Coven.  My High Priestess and best friend, and half of our number, were released and dedicated the new Coven, and I became the High Priestess of my Beloved Moonfire. It was a beautiful day and bittersweet for all of us.

On the day after my birthday, Saturday October 1st, Pwca and I moved into a new home with two wonderful people and their sweet kitten, Luna.  And then Pwca’s health began to fail. 

On Sunday December 4th, I graduated from Gryphon’s Grove School of Shamanism and celebrated the achievement with friends with whom I have been blessed to Journey for the past two years.  Some amazingly gifted witches and healers whom I would not have known otherwise.

On Monday morning, December 19th my beloved familiar and my companion for over 6 years crossed over.  It was a very difficult loss and I still miss him. 

On Saturday January 14th, I found my sweet Gwion at the local shelter and, brought him home to Caer Ddraig.  He has settled in and is a joy and a comfort to me every day.

Life is full of changes, full of both Joy and Sorrow, and the future is never exactly the way we think it will be.  I give thanks for the life I have, for home and companion, for housemates and Coven, for friends and family and lovers and allies and teachers. 

I am blessed and I give thanks.  Blessed Be.