Thursday, February 27, 2014


Earth is both the foundation and the manifestation of life and of magick.  

It is the soil in which plants grow, upon which the animals of the planet live and die.  It is the stones and the sands and the mountains.  It is the caves and the valleys through which streams and rivers flow and the shores upon which the oceans and seas and lakes move.

Earth is the dust and ash our bodies become after death.  Earth is the grave.

Earth is the body, the flesh and bones, the muscle and tendon and skin. 

Earth is the womb and the belly, the food we eat, the shelter we inhabit, the sex through which all species procreate. 

Earth is the work we do and the money we earn to purchase that food and that shelter and the clothes we wear to protect those bodies.

It is the Pentacle on the Northern altar, the Salt used to purify and protect, and the plane on which we cast the Circle.

Earth is the Circle itself, divided in four, the glyph of the Kingdom at the base of the Tree.

It is the cakes we share and the community that shares them.

It is the silence we keep, and the drum we dance to, and the dance itself.

It is golden and glowing, and a million shades of greens and browns. 

Earth is texture and form and density. It is velvet and silk brocade, wool and burlap, linen and leather, wood and metal, clay and stone, honey and chocolate, meat and bread, milk and fruit. 

Earth is the anvil and the hammer and the metal upon which we work and the manifestation of our magick.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Delusion or Faith?

Photograph by Helen Jarvis Reynolds

Delusion; a persistent false belief held in the face of strong contradictory evidence, especially as a symptom of a psychiatric condition, a false or mistaken belief or idea about something.

Faith; a belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof, a strongly held set of beliefs or principles, a system of religious belief.

Within the Pagan community I have often seen statements disparaging the idea of faith or belief as if it were equated with delusion.  Considering that the definitions of faith and delusion are very similar in that they relate to beliefs that are held in the absence of proof, I suppose that is understandable. 

I have had moments of crisis when I questioned whether my faith was indeed delusion.  I think that is something any intelligent person of faith faces at times.  But while I have no actual proof that my beliefs are true, I retain my faith. 

It is not without evidence but, I cannot prove it to anyone.  My evidence is in my experiences and in my observations of the world in which I live, and in what I know of the history of the human race and our persistence as a species to embrace faith. 

I have chosen to embrace certain delusions because they are lovely but, I recognize them as such.  I do however distinguish them from my faith.  My faith is essential to my well being and to my happiness; my delusions are simply indulgences like the occasional spoonful of Ben and Gerry’s.  Without my faith, I die.  My delusions just make life a little more pleasant but should only be indulged in consciously and in moderation.

Ultimately, what someone else thinks of my faith or my beliefs matters not even a little to me.  My life is made better by my faith.  My heart has more hope, my mind more peace, my soul more joy.  I wish everyone these gifts, though I know not where to discover them except in faith.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


Devotion is a form of love.  It is an expression of love and commitment, of dedication and loyalty, of admiration and respect.  It says something about the one who is devoted but, it says more about the object of that devotion.

Those who inspire my devotion are Human and other, they are Gods and other.  I am devoted to my Gods and my Beloveds for very similar reasons.  Devotion for me is an expression of faith.

It is an expression of my belief in the nobility and honor of those for whom I feel devotion.  That those persons (whether human or deity or other) can be trusted, can be counted on, that they are worthy of my faith, my trust and my loyalty. 

That is not to say that those individuals are perfect (neither deity nor human nor other) but that they have proven to be honorable.  Nor is my devotion given easily or quickly.

It takes a long time for me to learn faith.  As a rule it takes years of skeptical and close observation.   My devotion, my loyalty, my trust are earned over time.  But when that devotion is inspired, it is fervent and devout.

I am grateful for those beloveds who have inspired me to devotion.  I am grateful to have individuals in my life who are deserving of my devotion and who inspire me to be honorable and noble as they are, to be deserving of their presence in my life.

In Devotion, I give thanks for them.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Clarity, Courage and Compassion

Years ago, I had been encouraged to develop a personal motto, a concise phrase that expresses the rule by which one strives to live.  I have over the years spent a good bit of time (and I continue to do so) searching, refining and reevaluating those mottos (I have a few of them; they act as vows to those to whom I am accountable, including myself).

One of those that I have come to keep over time is Clarity, Courage and Compassion.  These three words express the principles I strive to keep hold of in my daily life.

Clarity.  I find that losing sight or focus of just what my purpose is, just where my path is leading, makes it impossible for me to effectively walk that path or fulfill that purpose. Clarity is a result of faithful examination, evaluation and evolution.  If I am not paying attention, I lose my way. 

Courage.  Without courage, I cannot move forward.  I cannot fulfill my purpose or walk this path in fear.  I can achieve nothing if I hide from my life and my work.  Courage is necessary if I am to put one foot in front of the other and indeed go anywhere at all.

Compassion.  I can become so focused on the path ahead, on the ground beneath my feet, on the impetus required to keep moving forward, that I fail to recognize the needs of those around me. Without compassion, my path is pointless.  Without compassion I have no purpose.

While there are other mottos, other vows, other words that guide my life, my work, my path; Clarity, Courage and Compassion are the most fundamental and the most essential to my daily practice.

Saturday, February 1, 2014


In Welsh tradition, that is, in the stories, there are three cauldrons. 

The first is of dubious nature (and ownership for that matter).  It is found in the story of Branwen the Daughter of Llyr in the second book of the Mabinogion.  In the story about an arranged marriage that goes bad and the war that results, the Cauldron in question changes hands and its magick brings back to life those dead warriors whose bodies are cast into it (although they no longer retain the capacity for language).  It does not surprise me that no hero seems to want to retain ownership of such a relic.

The other two, both of which I find much more appealing, are found in “the Book of Taliesin” and “the Spoils of Annwfn”.

The Cauldron of Cerridwen (also known as the Cauldron of Inspiration or Awen) imparts all knowledge and wisdom and is found in the story of Taliesin.  It is a story of initiation and the birth of the Greatest Bard of the Land.

The Cauldron of Annwfn is found in the poem “The Spoils of Annwfn” which recounts an expedition by Arthur (yes, that Arthur) and his men into the Underworld to find what treasures may be discovered there.  The Cauldron is in the possession and stewardship of Gwynn ap Nudd, the Lord of the Underworld (and King of the Fae) The description of the Cauldron is beautiful.  It is edged with pearls and heated with the breath of nine maidens. But it is the magickal power of the Cauldron that I find most inspirational. 

The Cauldron of Annwfn can provide as much of whatever good thing is required however, it will not boil the food of a coward.  So, if one is willing to brave the terror of the threshold and the shadows of the Underworld, one can claim as much as one needs of whatever good thing one requires.  Courage is all that is needed. 

Magick often works that way I think.  We must be willing to face what we fear, and in doing so, we gain what we need to live a life of abundance and beauty.