Monday, December 31, 2012

A Spell for Travel


Sleeping deep within the mother
you walk the dream-time,
traveling the star-road
through the void.
In the forest of the otherworlds,
wisdom-stones beneath your feet,
in silence and in power,
instinct mingles with intuition
finding truth and emerging into new light.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Magick of Tears

Tears are a physiological response to physical or emotional distress.  But that is not all that they are.  Tears are also Magick.  They can be an expression of any strong emotion or any strong connection. 
I weep during ritual, often.  It has become almost a joke among those in my coven and some in my community.  Sometimes those who don’t know me well are concerned when they see me weep.  My High Priest used to be very uncomfortable with my apparently emotional state even before ritual had begun.  I am pleased to say he got over it…at least mostly.
I refuse to be ashamed of my tears; I also refuse to fight them.  I live my life in a generally controlled state.  In my mundane life I rarely ever cry (except alone in the dark on the long nights).  For me to weep with someone takes great trust.  I believe that most people are not comfortable with the tears of others, or with their own for that matter.  Many will try to “comfort” but for me such a reaction is a signal that I “should not” feel as I do.  I do not need someone to comfort me in that moment; I need them to allow me the space to express what I feel.
Tears in ritual are a different matter.  They are a signal that my heart is open, that I am open.  They are the result of the magick flowing in me and through me.  They are evidence that I am connected to the others in the ritual and that my magick is working.  If I am disconnected from the energy, I cannot cry.  If I am observing rather than engaging, I cannot cry.  I do not weep every time that I am engaged in magick but, I am capable of it and I do not attempt to control it.  For me that is a part of the magick of ritual.  For me that is a requirement of engaging, that I do not attempt to close myself off from it.
Lately I have become aware of another kind of connection, and because it is the nature of my connection to others it manifests as an emotional experience.  I do not “see” the fae, and I only “hear “when communication is in the form of language, but I have noticed communication from some of my “unseen” loved ones on a more regular basis and I have begun to recognize the difference between my own emotional reactions and communication from those connections manifesting as emotional experiences.  Sometimes that results in tears.  I do not know why.  I do not know if they experience emotions or if my weeping for them helps them in some way or if it is simply the easiest way for them to make me aware of their presence in my life.  It matters not.  I am grateful for the gift of connection.
I am grateful for tears in ritual and for a community that teaches me to trust and for loved ones who, regardless of their own discomfort, allow me the space to weep in ritual, while making love, or in simply sharing our mundane lives.  I give thanks for the Magick of Tears.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Stories from the Cauldron

This blog is about the Shadows, about my spiritual journey and my search for beauty and light among the darkness.  I think that it is important to keep it on point.  However, life has many colors and shades and I am a writer so, I started another blog a short while ago to simply share stories and poems that I have written.  I want to share that with you as well and so…
I hope you enjoy it.  Merry Christmas to you all.  May the Light glow warmly in your hearts.
Blessed Yule.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Tower

The Tower is tall and straight, built of stone the color of golden sand.  It is the Tower I have seen in my dreams.  The gates are anthracite and pearl and are guarded by three beautiful women.  I know these women; they are cherished in my life.  I approach them and they greet me.  
The first is young like my daughter and is dressed as a warrior.  She has short red hair and wears armor of white silver and bears a sword that gleams in the sunlight.  There are Fire-opals at her brow, over her heart and on the hilt of her sword.  She hands me a compass of gold with gemstones of various colors connected by lines inlaid with silver.  She blesses me with Clarity and Courage for my journey.
The second is my sister. She has long flowing dark hair and she wears a cloak of red phoenix feathers.  She holds a staff of wood that bears the image of a dragon.  She touches my center and warmth spreads from that place throughout my entire being.  She blesses me with Strength and Power for the challenge that awaits me.
The third is like my mother, she wears a red silk water-color gown and red roses in her silver hair which curls around her shoulders.  She bears a crystal bowl in her hands and when I approach her she lifts the bowl and pours its contents over me, anointing me with Compassion and Wisdom for the work I must accomplish.
The gates open and I enter the Tower.  There are burning torches upon the walls and I descend the stairs in the illumination that they provide. 
When I reach the bottom of the stairs I find a pair of doors.  They are ancient and heavy and carved of the darkest wood and before them stand two men.  I cannot see their faces through the masks they wear, but I know them. They are Light and Shadow. They are my Gods and my sons and my brothers and my lovers.
They challenge me to pass between them, to maintain my balance as I pass.  I can feel the pull that each exerts upon me, like the gravity that holds the celestial bodies in their proper places, I balance between the two and pass through the doors and into the chamber beneath the foundation of the Tower.
The floor is a chessboard in anthracite and pearl like the gates above.  The ceiling of the chamber is beyond my sight but seems to be the night sky with stars and constellations and wandering planets arranged in the pattern of my own incarnation.  The compass in my hand is alight and I read the map to discover which way I am to go.  I follow the path and when I look up, they are there, two dragons; one dark, the other white. 
The dark one I know.  He is magick and shadow and mystery.  He is all that I dance with and seek and fear.  He is that quantum singularity that I have misunderstood.  He is the seed of awareness inside of me.  The white dragon I think I do not know at first, but then I can feel the cold marble tomb around me.  As I focus on him I can feel the icy grip of control.   I can feel the purity of knowledge that hides from life instead of informing it.  I can see myself as the quantum singularity within the belly of that creature.  The two move toward each other and their energies begin to merge.  They become one Dragon, immensely larger than the sum total mass of the two.  A Red Dragon, my friend, my guardian, my guide.
I am beginning to understand that for the Tower to stand and for me to find what I seek, its foundation must be balanced and stable.  I have no idea what lies before me but, I cannot move forward without the Earth firm beneath me and the Fire strong within me.  Without Clarity to guide my thoughts and Compassion to guide my heart, without Courage to move forward and Wisdom to guide my steps, the journey will avail me nothing but Madness.   
I am at once terrified and eager to begin, to discover what awaits me.  I am hopefull.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Losing Control or Letting Go?

I avoid “losing control”; indeed I am terrified of it.  In ritual, in my dreams, when making love, in every aspect of my life I am “under control” or at least I pretend/convince myself/delude myself into believing that I am. 
What that means in practical terms is that regardless of how I feel, or what I think, or what I desire to do, I do not act on it or speak of it.  I maintain control over my thoughts, feelings, words, actions, self.  It also means that I must never allow myself to be in an environment where anyone else is responsible for my safety or well-being. 
I have been raised to believe that being in control is a virtue and that it is the only place that safety lies.  That no one else can be trusted, or should be burdened, with responsibility for my welfare.  “Self-indulgent, undisciplined, irresponsible, weak, selfish” these are words that describe being out of control.  These are Failure.  Failure is dangerous.
I have begun to realize that those beliefs have had an unbalanced affect on me and the way I have lived for most of my life.  They have prevented me from expressing love, affection, desire, need, fear, doubt, anger, joy, grief, ideas, truths, lies, shadows or light.  They have prevented me from engaging fully with the world, with my loved ones, or with my own magick. 
I am a loving, giving, intelligent, compassionate, responsible and fiercely loyal person. You have no idea how difficult it was to write that, and how loudly my self-censoring voice is screaming at me right now to delete those words (because praising yourself is self-indulgent pride) but, when I began this experiment I vowed that I would not censor what I believe to be true (as difficult as it is to claim my own virtues) and above all else I try to be true to my vows.
It is not “losing control” to show someone love.  It is not “losing control” to tell someone how much I value them or how beautiful they are.  It is not being selfish to enjoy the sheer pleasure of making love to someone I desire.  It is not being undisciplined to weep in ritual.  It is not being irresponsible to trust someone else with my safety so that I can cross the thresholds and find my own magick.  It is not being weak to call a friend when the dark night comes.  It is not being self-indulgent to claim my power or to express my emotions or to voice ideas (even when they have not been tested and analyzed to the nth degree for proof against imperfections or flaws in logic).
Letting go of beliefs, and the thoughts and behaviors that result, when they no longer serve is not “losing control”.  Letting go is a choice.  Letting go can be the doorway to finding magick.  Letting go is trust.  I am trying very hard to learn how to let go.  I give thanks for you for walking with me as I learn.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Warrior Priestess

 At the beginning, before the rituals, before the celebrations, before the visions and the dreams, I was sitting in a room.  There was a beautiful young woman with red hair wearing a brown dress, a broach on her shoulder, a mythical creature, designating her as a warrior. I see a woman, the same age as my own daughter, full of wisdom and power and strength and courage. I remember the moment I met her years ago on a sunny afternoon outside on the steps of an old stone meetinghouse.  I remember knowing then that she was special. 
She stands in front of the room and speaks about her journey, sharing the path in all its glory and victory and beauty.  She stands and speaks of the dark night of the soul, about monsters and the “Ecstasy in Shadow”.  She speaks about paranoia and doubt and polarity.  She speaks about the Tower and the terror and the way her life was changed.
I have come to know this woman, but a little.  I am still in amazement of her.  She seems to be fearless and without limits.  But I know that she is simply one of the bravest souls I have ever encountered.  She is brilliant and beautiful and generous of spirit and seems to have no awareness of just how rare she is.  She is vulnerable in her courage and her willingness to speak of all that she has faced in order to encourage others and to show me the path that I am about to begin, and to give me a compass for my journey.  She is the first to tell me what will be told to me many times in the next few days.  All of the work I have done until now was just to prepare me, to bring me to the doorway so that I can begin.
I give thanks for her.  I hope when I have passed through to the next doorway that I will prove to be as brave as she.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Nagas

I am still raw from the ritual last night but, my High Priestess said “do you trust me?” So I am here because I trust her more than she knows.  Most of my coven is here as well.  Some of my most beloved ones are here. I would not be here if it were not for my trust in her.  I avoid “losing control” and I suspect that this is her purpose (knowing my High Priestess’s fondness for pushing me beyond what I am comfortable with and for forcing me to discover that my magick is bigger than what I choose to see).
The temple is dim and there are many who have come to experience the rite.   We enter and file past the alter, each of us bowing in respect as we pass.  The priests and priestesses cast their spell, creating a temple within a cave deep in the Earth.  The drums begin and a priestess begins a chant about the shining Goddess, dark and deep and our calling to her and waking us from sleep.  The High Priestess of the rite begins to move.  All those present take up the chant, dancing and moving as the trance takes hold of them. 
I am already beginning to feel the shift, I am not fully in the Temple, the drums and the chant take hold of me and my heart begins to match the rhythm of the drums.  I am drawn to circle downwards; even as I dance I descend.   At first I can feel the presence of all those that are mine, each of my beloveds that are present in the rite. But then I must leave them behind, I must leave them to their dancing and I must descend into the depths of the Mother.  I circle ever downward into the darkness, into the shadows, into the underworld. 
The Priestess meets me there and her body presses against mine, each chakra connecting with mine.  She asks if I will receive the breath of the serpent (the Dragon) and I answer.  She breathes the serpent into me and I take in all that I can.  That kiss explodes inside my soul, inside my center, inside the deepest part of my being.  Then she is gone. 
The chant changes, no longer words but, a joyous celebration of life and I must ascend.  I must return to the living world, my loved ones are there and my work is there and I feel a compulsion to climb back to the surface, an urgency that there is something waiting for me.  I begin to climb. I am running, returning as fast as my heart can fly.  My heart is pounding again to the beat of the drums.  I am back in the temple, and I know that my God is waiting for me.  I am drawn to Him immediately, undeniably.   
My brother has allowed our God to possess him.  This is an act of love that I know is no trivial matter.  I stand before Him, smiling up at Him with all of the devotion that I possess.  He looks into my eyes, transfixing me, seeing into the very depths of my soul and He speaks. 
“You are not done yet, you are only beginning…you must let it go.” 
My brother is released from his service and all grows quiet. The drum beat is low and easy. I sit beside the door where I can see the alter on the opposite side of the temple.  My brother lies on the floor of the temple close enough for me to watch over him as he recovers.  His lover is close by and I am granted a vision of them.  I see them as brothers, lovers and partners.  I can see them as each other’s other.  Always side by side, light and shadow, the Holy King and the Oak King, the Sun God and the Dark God.  They are strength for each other and comfort, balanced and beautiful.
Then the Mystic begins to speak.  She looks directly into my eyes and speaks to my soul as if I were the only one in the temple. “There is one who is present who is struggling with fear.  She must let it go, she must allow love to enter.” Then she speaks to my brother. “There is one present who is afraid to take the next step; he feels he is not worthy.” I do not hear what else she says and then the Witch speaks and again I cannot hear.  Those messages are not for me.
As the drums continue healing rains down upon all who are present. My coven draws together and we sit touching each other. We take the healing and send it to our beloved Guardian.  We send healing to the recent deep wound and the effect is tangible. 
I sleep afterward and dream of Dragons beneath the Earth. I dream of a Tower and two Dragons contending with each other, a storm raging under its foundation.

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Gates

The Gates of Yesterday and Tomorrow 
We sing as we enter the Temple.  300 Witches and Magicians, Priests and Priestesses, Visionaries and Mystics, come here to work magick, gathered together to enchant the world and to usher in the beginning of a new age.
Those at the entrance purify us with holy water and the smoke of incense. It takes a long time for 300 people to enter into the Temple and form the two concentric circles required.  By the time all have entered and the door has been sealed I am already weeping, the chant has altered my consciousness and I am in an ancient Temple of stone in a strange and foreign land in a time I have only known in my dreams or visions. 
The 3 giant Gates in the center of the Temple dominate the space and hold my attention.  There is so much more to them than what my eyes can see or my mind can comprehend.  
The Great Wheel is cast; the Twelve Powers of the Wheel of Stars are called. 
The Priest speaks about weaving the future, his voice is power and magick and reaches into my mind through the spell I am already under and guides my thoughts to the purpose of this work.
A Lion of gold begins to sing in a voice that holds the warmth and light of the Sun.  He sings about the endless and eternal cycles of death and rebirth.  He opens the gate to the Ancestors and they are called and they come and join us in the Temple. 
The Priestess speaks of awakening our Gods within us and we begin to chant, every human voice calling to Deity to awaken and bless us and to join us in this work. 
The Warriors are circling, guarding and protecting.  I am grateful for their constant vigil.  My defenses are gone and I am lost in this spell and their presence keeps me safe as I weep.
The Magician begins to cast the spell that will open the Gates in the center of the Temple.  Their power becomes palpable as they open, though I cannot see the magick with my sight; I feel it change the pressure of the air within the Temple.  I feel it change the temperature and my body becomes very warm. 
I do not know when the drums begin, or when the Witch begins to dance her spell in the center of the Temple.  I do not know when the Bell begins to toll.  I only know that I am overwhelmed with the power of the magick. 
The people are moving in a strange dance that takes them through the Gates.  I am terrified as I suddenly realize the import of the act. I must choose. I must decide if I will leave behind that which will no longer serve.  The immensity of it, the undeniable power of it is here now, and I must step forward or choose to remain in my comfortable prison.  Am I willing to awaken? Am I willing to step into a new future or do I wish to return blind, deaf and mute to a half-life of denial devoid of joy, love and power?
I choose life and death and change and the grief of letting go. I weep as I step through the Gate of Yesterday and Tomorrow.  My Gods go with me and my Ancestors and my Allies and my Beloveds.  But the parts of me that must be left behind, I grieve for.  The life I will not live because I have chosen something else is peeled away from me as I step through the Gate and it is painful to release that dead skin. Like a snake I shed the safety and comfort of that armor I have hidden in.  My flesh is exposed, raw and tender and I can feel intensely all of the possibilities that my choice lays before me.
I weep as I watch the Warriors banish that which has been left behind with the strength of runes and their swords. I continue to weep as three beautiful Men, human and full of love and compassion and with mercy, sing a spell to banish fear. Their voices are a tonic for my aching heart and burning soul.  
The Wise-woman with white hair blesses baskets held before her. Her voice is full of mystery and humor, as if she understands some great cosmic irony that I have not yet lived long enough to comprehend.  I hope that I will.
The Mystic speaks of hope, of stepping into the future to create a new enchantment.  She begins a song and all of those present begin to take it up.  They sing with joy and courage and they begin to dance and the baskets are carried past and red feathers find their way into hands of all those in the Temple.  And as the song builds the feathers are flames of hope rising from the crowns of each spirit present. It is joyous and wondrous and I weep.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Dreams are allusive things. 

They can be fleeting attempts at problem-solving that our brains make during our sleep cycles as a means of coping with the stresses of our mundane lives.  They can be Messages from our Gods, Ancestors or Allies, that come to us while we are in a more receptive state and, if we are fortunate we will retain enough memory of the details to decipher the meaning.  They can be visions granted to us while we are awake but, in a place of receptivity.  They can be journeys that we make while we are in trance (either intentional or non-intentional) such as “daydreaming”   And they can be memories of realities that we long for (either from the past or from the future, from this life or others)   and yes, they can be “night-mares” 

No matter which form they take, they are essential, important to our health, growth, evolution.  Even our “night-mares” teach us.  But those are not the dreams I wish to explore.  I want to examine the “dreams” that follow us from early childhood onward.  I want to look at those dreams that express our deepest desires, and hopes, those dreams that are truly and deeply a part of our identity.

The dream that I remember since childhood, the one that I long for most deeply in my heart and soul, can be distilled into an image of Yuletide.  I think is true for many others.  I think the fact that this dream is as yet unfulfilled is the reason that so many suffer so deeply at this time of year.  And for me, this dream has not yet come to pass.  It is still a shadow of love, a shadow of joy.  It is still yet a hope of light.  I still experience grief for the dream that has not yet come.

I know the pain in your heart, the fear that it will never come, the terror that somehow you do not deserve to experience the warmth of that hearth.  That the shadows are all you were ever meant to have, that the light of family, of love, of comfort, of belonging is not for you. 

I still feel that longing in my heart and I still grieve for that dream but, I will not forsake it.  The Gods did not give me this dream to torture me by denying it to me forever.  My Goddess would never have allowed me to choose to be someone who wanted something so deeply, yet would never be allowed to attain it.  My Gods are not that cruel.  My dream will someday come true.  And I will not forsake my dream.

In the meantime, I light candles; I light the tree in my home.  I give gifts and write letters to my loved ones. I make changes to my own habitual behavior, I reach out to my daughter and will spend “Christmas” day at her table.  And I hold hope in my heart.  I hold the light in my soul.  I hold my dream and I choose to believe that loving others and holding the light, will bring me my deepest desires. 

I will light a candle for you as well.  The universe is a beautiful place and Love is the greatest law.  You deserve to have that which you long for.   Have Hope and Dare to Dream.  May the Blessings of the Gods be upon you this Yule.