Off You Go. . .

So, you step foot out your door, let the world move you and soon you find yourself on an adventure. My Dad says they are good for your soul. . . and of course, he’s right! You find yourself out of your box trying and seeing new things and walking far more than you intended. You let go of expectation and allow the wonder to set in. It’s the wonder part that I think is the most satisfying and healing part of this thing. It’s wonder that brings magic alive and nudges the mind into new shapes. A world without wonder breaks the soul.

Magic and witchcraft requires wonder and awe to come alive. . . okay let’s be honest, some magic requires seething rage, but that’s another story. This story is about choosing love. I’m not necessarily talking about love in the partner, people sense. It’s about choosing love over fear. Choosing to allow life in through all the cracks and experience a happiness that is self-contained even if you are in the company of good traveling fellows. . . allowing Life and the Universe to put a smile on your face.

Yes. . . Bebe, it’s a choice.

For Yule, my spicy, little Niece ( ok she’s not so little anymore, but I’m oldly like and I get to call her little if I wanna) gave me a couple of beautiful gifts. The first, a pair of socks that say ” I’m a delicate fucking flower!” and the second, a gift card for a local, little bookstore that I adore on 4th Ave.

The socks were a reminder that it’s okay to be vulnerable and delicate. You don’t have to be hard or hard on yourself in order to functionally adult. There is something empowering about embracing your vulnerable and delicate parts. Life flows better if you stop grasping at it and allow it to pool in the softer parts of your psyche. It promotes unexpected growth for unexpected blossoms.

The gift card found me a book that took me back to a place I remember being in my life. It sprinkled water on the of my being that listened to my gut, trusted the sign posts put up by the Universe, and surrendered expectations to allow a thing to unfold as it was supposed to unfold. I felt like a Rose of Jericho plant awakening from a long hibernation as I reached out and began to read its back. There was this ringing gong of an: “Oh, I remember that person. I liked her.”  ( Ok, I guess I should mention its title: Outrageous Openness, by Tohsa Silver.) I read it bit by bit and smile as I have my own similar experiences that validate what she is saying in the book. . . Those experiences never stopped. I just stopped taking note of them after a certain toxic person went into full poisoner mode.

So, I stepped my foot out the door, let life move me with an excellent traveling companion and had an adventure! I met a rose-tree well over 100 years old and brought home one of her babies to put in the Garden of Odd. I stepped into a world steeped in its own legend and legendary ghosts. I visited with the dead and thanked them for the protection they provided during one of the most turbulent and dangerous periods in my life. I satisfied my craving for a bleeding chunk of steak ( Yes, it probably mooed on the way to my plate.) All of this and an affirmation from the  Universe that I was in the right place, at the right time, in the right company! And oh yes. . . I found a copper coin. . . Nope not a penny, a dollar sized copper coin. I guess penny magic will have to be resurrected.

Proof that my Dad was right about adventures and good for the soul. . .??? I went to work with a smile on my face plotting my next adventure. . . of course good company is up for the journey. So off you go now ( choose your company wisely) . . . don’t plan too much, it’s not a script. . . it’s an allowing. . . Adventure away and if you walk away with cemetery dust on your boots, that’s okay, you’re a witch and probably know just what to do with it.

Equinoxes

Everything shifts. Time is literally marked by changes. Equinoxes talk about a balance between darkness and light measured in our skies as the sun travels across our sky, or more accurately as our planet turns in the outer dark. . .  a turn. . . a tilt. . . Everything changes. Shadows grow longer earlier giving us a look at the darkness we carry within if we choose to see.

These darknesses we carry block us in subtle ways that affect our lives profoundly. Often times we move through our own lives without taking the time to examine these things, ignored aspects of our personality that grow within these darknesses until they leap out and surprise us. If we take the time to look at these things for what they are honestly we can learn from these little shadows. I have never been fond of surprises. It may explain my attachment to tarot and cartomancy. I like to keep the little shadows I find while throwing cards fat and happy on tea and cookies while they reveal their secret lives to me.

Mabon is traditionally about celebrating and giving thanks for the things we have harvested in the last year. While yes, giving thanks for the providence provided through the graces of Gods, spirit friends, and your own hard work and will is important to acknowledge, it is equally important to examine what is before you and within you and release the chaff so you have a place to properly store and care for the harvest that you have reaped.

Looking into your own darkened corners is never a fun experience. It requires you to ” adult” *gasp* and accept your part in how those creatures within that darkness came to be. Yes, there are people out there who are perpetual five year olds with no sense responsibility for their actions or the harm their actions cause. However, it at that point in time becomes your responsibility to leave them in their own thorny bed to clean up after themselves. It becomes your responsibility to care enough for yourself to defend yourself and those whom you love. It becomes your responsibility to create a space for you to heal. It becomes your responsibility to understand that you may not have been the problem, you may not be the one who is broken, but you need to make sure that the frequency instilled in you is removed so it cannot perpetuate. It becomes your responsibility to extend to yourself the same kindness and compassion you lay before others.

All of these “adulting” moments can only be brought to you by silence and introspection. An equinox is a great reminder to look at both the light cast upon you and the shadow you cast. I had plans on how I expected my Mabon rite to go. As I said earlier, things shift. I did indeed find chaff to release, instead of marking my harvest as I had planned. I went into Faery expecting to cite these things I was grateful for and instead, came out with another piece of bounty. . . a stone named Choose Love.

I hope that your equinox has been good to you. I hope that there was much to celebrate. Light a candle and allow others to light candles from yours. I promise you, it will not dim your own shine. I promise you, you will not regret it. And, oh yes, if someone tries to put out your candle while lighting from you, it is your responsibility to stop them and curse the holy living f*ck out of them. You may want to give your pieces of darkness a cup of tea and a cookie ,* okay five*, to find the best way to curse them while you are at it. Cards help too.

 

 

From across the river. . .

It feels so far away, but it really is not too long ago, when I began to piece things together that lead me to believe that you need to be just as careful with your blessings as you are with your curses. I don’t know how or why I was reminded of this lesson, but for one reason or another I feel it at least an interesting one to present. The other lesson that goes hand in hand with this one is that if your gut is telling you something, you should listen. If it feels wrong, it probably is. You may not be able to out right prove it, but that does not mean you are wrong.

One of the instances that illustrates this thought: I made a yule deer blessing for my ex’s “friend” who by his words had problematic relationships with other women (his word, and supposedly hers as well.) I decided maybe she could benefit with a show of generosity and kindness with a blessing placed into a reindeer. After all, reindeer embody the spirit of nourishment and steadfastness. The reindeer herders use their milk for sustenance, their antlers for tools, they are befriended and ridden, and their strength borrowed to move about the land. After I gave it to her, things started to go awry for her and everyone around her. Things spiraled into a very ugly situation. ( I am being extremely generous here.) I later found out exactly what she had done, the kind of person she was, and exactly her intent toward me. I began to realize the bit of blessing magic I gave her had turned into something of a nasty curse and she destroyed everything in her path.

I had made plenty of other blessing objects that did just that for other people, but there was a select few for whom the magic skipped sideways and became straight up hexes. I didn’t get it, at first, and decided maybe I had done something wrong. Turns out that those people who were gifted blessings and had them not go as intended, were all people who did not have my best interest at heart, in fact, a couple of them had very dark intentions designed for me and wished me ill. A person within my tradition I had befriended had even warned me before this happened that I had hidden enemies. Granted, they had help coming to those thoughts and designs by specific persons, but it does not relieve them from their own choices and actions.

Remember, magic is neither good nor evil. . . it is, and if the wrong hands touch it, it is easily corrupted. Fairy tales illustrated this all the time with a magic object that can mean happily ever after or infinite sadness and certain doom. In Vasilissa the Brave the blessing of a fire for her Stepmother’s hearth given her by Baba Yaga, turns into an all-consuming  fire that destroys the hearth, her Stepmother, and vile step sisters.

Vasilissa went out of a sense of duty and responsibility to fetch that fire. She did all bade her by Baba Yaga and won the fire to warm hearth and home. Vasilissa did not intend to set flame to all in her path when she came home that day. Most of us feel no pity for the ones who were engulfed, but to be sure it is not a thing that most would deliberately set upon another. Even if those engulfed people are cruel and conniving.

If, by chance, it is your intent to ignore your gut when it tells you that a person is about to receive a blessing object from you and it may set fire to their world, you may want to pause and remember that flames like that can spread out of hand and set fire to things that are precious to you. Or at the very least, set clear protections around yourself and what you hold dear.  And with those thoughts in mind, it could also be an excellent means of revealing hidden enemies. Just be certain to watch the flames from across the river. A very wide one.

Look up

look up

I was sitting out on the patio staring out at the moon realizing it was full. My cigarette burning pointlessly. I took note of the shadows and light playing across its face as the light reflected off it casting a silver blue light upon the landscape before me. I could not take my eyes from the sky, even as words were being spoken to me. A different language from that of the sky and stars, I heard those words and distantly acknowledged them, but my attention was raptly focused on the sky and an experience I had many years ago while training. There was nothing but me and the deep well of space. The stars were not very visible that night. but the loud clatter of streets and light in the sky could not separate me from the world of the deep void and the unstruck sound of star fire and moonshine.

While I was training, I was introduced to a Feri Goddess in the same fashion we all are. You are brought in to meditation. She is called, God Herself, and you are left to your experience of Her and guided home. She was immense in both size and spirit, most would call the experience intimidating, if they were to have it, just with Her appearance. Mostly she doesn’t speak, She just shows you things and leaves you to your interpretation. I remember having a bit of a different experience, I asked her to show me the star I came from remembering my Father tell me repeatedly as a child that we were made from the stars. I have no idea what the hexes possessed me to ask such a question, but I remember asking it and, more surprisingly, getting an answer.

stars

This experience was brought to mind recently after coming to the clear realization that here is much lore and poetry about magic being irrevocably bound to star forms. For example Daniel Schulke’s invocation in the Ars Philtron: ” Star-unto-well , By night I seek the relicit flame of the antient exiled sun. . . Eye within eye, I behold the new dawn, face within face, and form within form, Etched in the veiled black-seals of void.” In my minds eye, I can see stars turn in accordance to the magic called upon. I have come to the conclusion that there are many who also call upon the magic of stars. I recall, in my mind’s eye, always tilting my head and vision to the sky when casting and invoking as though I expect the stars above to hear me and catch the energy of my intent and move it in the direction I need while pouring my soul forth to the gods. I point to the stars while I sending the cone to honor my command. I look to the stars while working through a vexing moment. I remember, once, being asked to name how many stars were in a constellation, closing my eyes seeing it and counting what was there and getting the correct answer.

While she, the mistress, the lantern of our planet’s nightfall, catches my attention while in this urban existence the stars are never far from my attention, in spite of the fact there is much light and life interference. I am however, consistently consumed by the attention given by other occultist to the stars. Not just in their precise motions in the sky, but by the acknowledgement that we and our magic may be connected, drawn forth, and guided by their presence even though they are mostly veiled by the existence of out urban lives. The stars seem to to sing through the void, the light noise and clinging clatter of the modern era. Staring up has become a ritual for me. I may not see all the points of light streaming through the ether, but it sees me and you and everyone else and moves us internally in manners beyond expectation and comprehension.

I hope you look up in wonder and awe. I hope magic moves you through that which you may not quite see and comprehend. I hope great and profound whisperings that only stones and trees can properly pronounce. Look up. Look up and allow your eyes to be filled.