Friday, May 30, 2014

Know Thyself

The first goal of a witch is to know thyself.  Unless we know who we are, all our study, all our work, all our magick, gains us nothing.  I met with a High Priestess of my Tradition last week.  She is particularly skilled at natal astrology and my High Priestess suggested I speak with her to gain clarity about the next steps on my journey. 

She gave me guidance, and a great deal of insight.  She pointed out to me a few things that I have not seen.  I have not been willfully blind, but much of my internal workings are still hidden to my conscious mind.  And much of my energy is spent keeping them hidden from myself, as well as from the sight of others.  I come from a long line of secret-keepers.

This woman is adept at seeing beyond the glamour that my instinctive self creates.  She is equally adept at helping me to see clearly as well.   She gave me a few challenges, and the first among them is to see past the distractions and to finally see who I truly am.  She pointed out to me that I know who I truly am and that, deep down, I really do not care what anyone else thinks of me.  

She is right in that.  Other’s opinions of me are irrelevant.  Their perceptions are almost never accurate or reliable.  Most people are blind, and their opinions are always, at least in part, colored by their own emotions and experiences.

What does matter to me is what I think of my actions, motivations, emotions, behavior, and how they affect others.  What matters to me is whether or not I express myself with integrity and honor, and what impact I have on those I love.

What matters to us says a lot about who we truly are. I know what matters to me.

Friday, May 23, 2014

two keys

Upon my altar are two keys.  They lay upon the silk cloth next to the onyx jar of copal between my grandfather’s pocket watch and the wishing well. I see them every morning and every evening.  They are both simple and profound.

The keys were given to me during my second degree initiation ritual by the Mother and the Father.  They were gifts to remind me of the power that lies within me to lock or unlock any door, any box, I choose.  They are mine to remind me that the doors and the boxes and the locks are mine and the choice to lock or unlock is mine and mine alone.

There are many boxes and doors within me.  Many of them have been locked and hidden for a very long time.  Many remain locked from life-long habit, many because I have completely forgotten that they even exist, and some simply because I do not yet know how to unlock them.

But the keys are there upon my altar to remind me to keep searching and striving and to never forget that the choice is mine, I may not yet know how but, it is within my power and my prerogative to learn.

I am applying myself to learning how to use these keys.  It is both my desire and my intent to learn to unlock each and every door and box within me.  So Mote it Be!

Monday, May 19, 2014

just sitting by the fire...

This past weekend I attended a small Pagan festival with a group from my Tradition.  About forty of us went camping in Virginia with about eighty other Pagans (that we did not know before).  It was raining and sunny, warm and cold, quiet and noisy.  There was learning and teaching, rituals and cooking (and dish duty for those of us that do not cook), eating, drinking and not enough sleeping.  There was laughter and singing, grumbling and bitching, making new friends and visiting with community.  It was both wonderful and exhausting.

I spent a good deal of time just sitting by the fire.  Not the “Big Balefire” but the small campfire in the quiet space at the edge of our encampment.  This was the most profound experience that I engaged in this weekend.  Each time that I had to leave the fire, to go to bed or take a shower, to eat or wash dishes, to attend a class, or a ritual, or to pack up and travel home, I was at least a little reluctant to do so.

From my place beside the fire, I shared in community.  I witnessed family and long-time lovers, two young people making a new connection, and a very wet mother and her two small children warming themselves beside the fire of new friends.  I heard the alarm when the smallest went missing and the joy of her being found wandering unharmed down the road the way little ones will do.  I heard funny songs and told the story of a zombie war and the cauldron at the center of it.  

I sang a chant of my own making and sought to gain answers from the embers.  I asked questions and learned about things from others with knowledge I do not yet possess.  I shared tears with a coven-mate whose heart is amazingly open and full of love.  And, alone for a brief while, I practiced tending the fire (successfully to my great satisfaction).

I had been told over a year ago on a journey that I need to spend time just sitting by the fire, and tending to it.  It was time well spent and I give thanks for the fire and for community.

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Sometimes, I think, we lose track of one of the most important aspects of our incarnate lives here on this Earth.  We lose track of one of the most fundamental and overriding purposes of our human experience.  We become so focused upon the working and struggling and suffering in this life that we forget the most valuable moments: those in which we experience JOY.

Because we do not live in a constant state of bliss, because moments of joy are fleeting, we forget that they are real and indeed the very essence of life.  Life itself is ephemeral (at least in the physical) and joy is a reflection of that transience.

But make no mistake, JOY is our purpose.  We live to experience those moments, those jewels of love, inspiration, creation and transformation.  Our lives are tapestries of many colors and many moments.  And here and there the sparkling gems of enchantment and joy are found within the pattern. 

Each of those moments is a treasure that teaches us the value of that which caused it.  The smell of the smoke from the sacred fire, the sound of a loved one’s laughter, the taste of chocolate or a sip of wine, the soft, warm touch of a lover’s hand, the forsythia blooming in the April Sun.  

The small everyday moments, and the big mountaintop moments, all of the moments we feel joy, no matter how fleeting, these are the moments that we are here to experience. 

This path we walk is one of joy.  The more often we can recognize it and pause to experience it, the more full of joy our lives will be.  And that is one of our most fundamental purposes, to live a life of joy. 

May your life be joyful.  Blessed be.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Intent is a tricky thing.  It is not simply feeling desire, or wishing for something.  It is not visualizing a desired situation or outcome.  It is not even planning how to achieve that outcome nor taking the steps to enact the plan.

Intent is a decision, a choice.  It is a commitment that " This shall come to pass.”  It is accepting the unknown and unseen consequences.  It is knowing that no matter how one may have imagined the outcome, it may (and probably will) be different from what was imagined.

Intent is a strange brew of desire, will, faith, and purpose.  It is setting your feet upon a path and seeing it through no matter that you cannot see beyond the first steps.  It is taking each step knowing that it will never be under your control.

Wishing and day-dreaming and planning are nothing without intent.  And without intent, no magick will ever become manifest.