Moon light, magic and making it happen!

moonLast night’s full moon, the Harvest moon or Hunters moon as some all it or Blood moon to others, seemed especially powerful. Of course, this has more to do with circumstances than anything else because on that occasion I was honoured to be stood in a very powerful circle with some very amazing women, all of one mindset. It was a beautiful rite and the moon illuminated us brilliantly and provided a stunning backdrop to our workings.

This event, along with a conversation that I had beforehand got me thinking about working for the self with the moon phases and I realised that so few people nowadays use the entire phase of the moon in their workings, we all want a quick fix so will often perform our magic on the night of the full moon knowing she is at the time of her greatest influence and expect instant results. However, if we use the full phase of the moon, I believe that the results are far more effective and powerful so I decided to write this entry about using the phases of the moon to their full effect.

I believe that magic works best when begun the day AFTER the full moon when the moon is in her waning aspect. Time to release and begin the process of casting off and letting go of the things that are an obstacle to the ultimate aim of the work. An example of this could be self-doubt.

By the time of the dark moon we should be ready to banish all those negatives that act as obstacles and be ready on the new moon to cleanse ourselves and make a new start. Magic on that night should be cast to put yourself in the mindset of the new beginning ready for the waxing phase in which you will be thinking about and drawing towards you the things you want to bring in to your life and positive acts that will bring the success of the overall working.

By the time we reach the full moon, we should be mentally cleansed and empowered to begin our working proper. Magic this night should be the culmination of the casting off that you did with the waning moon, the cleansing at the dark moon, the new beginning and the building up of power over the waxing phase and then to the outcome, the final conclusion.

As an example, for a spell for employment.

During the waning phase of the moon, I would think about what is preventing me from getting the job; self-doubt, insecurity, lack of confidence or even something physical for example nail biting (who wants a hairdresser with bitten nails). In the ensuing days I would take time each day to visualise these things leaving me and on the day of the dark moon I would do a working to banish these attributes.

At the new moon I would perform a working to begin my new journey without these things in my life, I would use this time to envisage myself on this new journey as a secure, confident person who no longer needed to bite my nails.

As the moon begins to wax again, I would use this time to concentrate on bringing positives forth. Increasing my confidence, envisaging myself in a job that I will love and growing with the moon in power and influence.

By the time of the full moon I will have put all the psychological changes in place, I will have a clear and untarnished intent and I will have done the groundwork for my ultimate goal. This would be the night for my employment spell, the culmination of the entire month’s work.

Of course, the workings themselves on each of the phases would change according to the individual and I personally don’t believe thought and intent are ALL that makes the magic work. I would perform a working or spell appropriate to the task at each phase to contribute towards the final outcome and it would be something that I have created myself because it is my belief that only YOUR spell will work for YOU. Of course, everyone has their personal opinion or belief of this and that is down to the individual but regardless of that, the above method provides a thoughtful and clear process of working and enables us to put in the hours required to form an effective spell rather than a quick fix and I think the universe appreciates the effort.

Photo courtesy of Paulypops
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Letting go

There comes a time for us all, I believe, when we question where our path is leading and what we expect to find at the end. Personally, I have been feeling recently that my path was being stifled. I felt that I was doing more for other people and their paths and not enough for myself and I also felt that I was allowing myself to be swallowed up in things that I found trivial and had no place on my journey, these things frustrated me and I actually believe that when this happens it thwarts our progress.

As always, I turned to the universe for answers and I received them in abundance. It was so immediate, like a light had suddenly been turned on and I could see at last!

From wanting to move away and feeling guilt and hating my job and wanting to leave, I have done a complete 360 to realising I do not need to move to get the life I want I just need to change my priorities and focus and I should really stay and enjoy the home that has taken me 20 years to build into a place I love and actually where else would I find a job that allows me to work 3 days for what is practically a full-time wage. I have a good life and I have amazing friends but my focus on the poorer aspects of my life and job and having people around me who possibly exasperated that feeling were really all I needed to let go of.

So starts another phase in my journey, I feel settled and relieved to not have to make those huge decisions and things have begun to fall into place in regards to my spirituality as well. A group formed, releasing ties to another and giving the old coven a new lease of life! Autumn always seems to sort things out for me, that and the universe and so today I will give thanks in all sorts of ways to my Gods, my Goddess and my beautiful family and friends.

Oh and it’s almost Halloween!halloweenrowofpumpkins3

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Thoughtless in nature?

I have just returned from my annual pilgrimage to St Nectan’s glen in Cornwall, something I have been doing on the morning of my birthday for a while now. We arrive just as it opens and before the other tourists arrive we get to enjoy the atmospheric peace of a place that I consider incredibly spiritual and where I feel a profound connection to my Goddess.

As always it was an emotional time for me but possibly this time more so as I stood completely alone watching the power and beauty of the fall while waiting for my husband and our malamute-cross Arthur to join me in the base of the fall. You see they had to take a different route in on this occasion due to renovations and ‘improvements’ to access which meant Arthur could not navigate the turnstile that they have installed (I would say that anything bigger than a small spaniel would struggle). I was and still am undecided as to whether the ‘improvements’ really are an improvement; granted we were able to see more of the area on our walk down and the new stairs certainly are more sturdy and safe and we noticed parts of the falls that we had previously missed out on but with the removal of so many trees I do think that it has lost some of its raw wildness, there’s something just a little too organised and neat about it now but I do understand the need for safety first.

One thing that for me was a great improvement however was something that took me a few moments to notice but cheered me immensely when I did and that was the lack of offerings. The ledge that had previously held a shocking array of plastic, paper, fabric, crystals and general tat was practically clear and there was little evidence of tied string, ribbon and plastic in the shrubbery around the fall also. The place was not completely free of offerings, there were still some at the bottom of the stairs but I am assuming that the majority of people who deem these little gifts necessary have begun to use the temple room instead, at least I hope.

stnectan

Part of me feels it would be sad for those who have left a token if it had been just removed and tossed away but another part of me feels angry at the thoughtlessness and romanticism of the idea that someone will be more remembered with the act of leaving a ribbon with their name on in a natural beauty spot that really does not require the additional ornamentation.

Of course I am aware of the tradition and meaning of clooties but I wonder how many of the people who leave these are also.

Just recently I have seen reports that an ancient tree in Glastonbury was damaged in a fire and then just days later it happened again when a well meaning visitor lit a candle and left it in place causing further damage.

What I would like to ask those who do these things is what do you think lighting a candle in a sacred place will achieve? What do you think that tying a ribbon on the growing twig of a tree will do for the memory of your loved one? What message is left when you tie plastic to a branch or leave a sock (yes I kid you not) or even a crystal?

Surely these personal acts are more effective at home in a place that your loved one was familiar with. Surely a crystal is best blessed by you in their honour and kept. Surely you do not want to add to the accumulation of rubbish that litters our countryside and sacred spaces. Surely you respect the earth. There is nothing romantic in a twig that never becomes a branch because it was strangled or a bird choking on plastic or non-degradable ribbon fibres or a tree burning from a carelessly placed candle.

I think we all know the right answer.

Please, please, please observe with your eyes, love with your heart and leave with only your memories and leave behind only your beautiful energy not your rubbish because at the end of the day, that is what it becomes.

If you want the Gods/Goddess to feel your presence you can do so in a productive way. Take food for the birds, pick up litter or even perform a rite that leaves an imprint of your energy and nothing more.

If what you yearn for is a memorial of someone in a sacred space, why not take an object you own such as a piece of jewellery, a photo, a crystal or some such to the place that has meaning for you and dedicate it there; perform a rite of remembrance and bless the item at your sacred space and then take it home to treasure.

At the end of the day, litter is litter no matter what sentiment you attach to it.

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Beltaine and rebirth

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As we light our Beltaine fires or dance the may pole or dance the sun up or whatever May festivities we partake in I am sure that at the forefront of our minds for many of us is rebirth. Rebirth as the earth awakens and the Goddess and God consummate their union.

For me personally, this year is a big deal. I shall be experiencing my own rebirth.

In my years before joining the Pagan community, I knew very firmly what my beliefs were, I didn’t consider the politics of the rest of the spiritual community and I lived a perfectly solitary path and felt closer to my deity.

Over the years of organising, meeting up, communing and generally being an out there Pagan, I have found my path cluttered with too much – too much politics, too much responsibility and too little time to craft for myself and my Gods. There were so many twists and turns in my path and so many re-dedications to what I felt was next and now I feel I have come full circle and it is that time for change again.

One of the most important things that I have learnt on my journey is to never be afraid to step forward, never be afraid of new beginnings and embrace change.

I have always been big on marking occasions. I like to mark endings so that in my mind there has been closure (this usually takes form of burning something that symbolises my connection to the past, this does not eradicate the past completely but sends it out to the ether where it remains part of my journey but no longer connected to my future decisions) and I like to mark beginnings as a kind of celebration to mark the start of a new journey.

A dedication rite

This kind of rite is deeply personal so the items required are your decision. I have used this type of rite in the past and at the least, I would have incense of a blend that represents rebirth, a white and a black candle for balance (and because they negate one another, I want my path to begin completely neutral so that whatever they have in store for me is not influenced by my needs/hopes/wishes) and an item that symbolically represents the journey I am about to take. I always wear a necklace so my item will usually be a pendant.

Incense –

  • Basil – to help you move forward
  • Cloves – will help attain goals
  • Rosemary – for purification
  • Mint – wash away the old welcome the new

Set up your altar, open your rite as you usually would – casting a circle, calling the quarters.

Stand before your altar and light the candles and incense.

Call to your Goddess/Gods or address whatever higher being you have a belief in.

All that is required is a statement of intent. Say aloud (or in your mind if there are people in the next room) what your new path is, what you are dedicating your self to.

Meditate a while on your decision and see if you get a response.

Take your symbol of change and pass it through the incense, state that its role is to symbolise your new path. Put it on if it is jewellery or give it a home if it is not.

Close the rite as you opened it.

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Spring Equinox – Space cleansing

Sometimes, no matter how careful we are or how positive we try to be, unwanted energies can build up in a home or working space. If allowed to build up, over time these energies can affect the feel or atmosphere of a room or area. I liken it to the saying, ‘you could cut the air with a knife’; these feelings can be tangibly felt almost like a presence and can be brought on by something as simple as a disagreement with someone or someone who has had a disagreement outside and then entered your area and unknowingly brought the negative energy with them. Over time, unless such energy is dispelled, it can build and create a negative working space that will affect your crafting and even your physical well being causing depression, insomnia and just general bad luck and misery.

Cleansing the home is relatively simple and very effective.

Items needed:

370763_f496Bundle of sage (you can use other herbs such as a cleansing incense for this as to your preference)

Heatproof container to carry smudge bundle and, if using the incense, a charcoal block.

(In my home I also have a clear quartz crystal cleansed and ready to use for protection and as I cleanse each room I place a crystal to hang in the window. These crystals will form a powerful grid of protection.)

Ensure all external doors and windows are closed and for a thorough cleanse you might want to open all internal doors, cupboard doors and drawers to ensure the cleansing smoke can get into all of the nooks and crannies.

Begin the rite in the way you usually begin rite or ritual; you can call the quarters/elements, invoke your deities or just ground and prepare.

Light smudge or charcoal block on which you will place your herbs.

Beginning at the front entrance of your home, walk counter clockwise around each room.

(In each room, repeat)

I cleanse and banish all past influence and negativity, leaving a positive and cleansed space.

When you are finished and have returned back to your front door, end your cleansing rite as you usually end a ritual or rite. I generally open the doors and windows at this point to release the negative energy and then when I am ready to close the doors again I will burn a blessing incense blend and carry it through the house.

crystalHouse blessing/luck incense:

Basil – for happiness

Cinnamon – financial luck

Lavender – love

Dragons blood – protection

At the end of every rite, spell or ritual I make an offering to deity and give thanks.

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Walking the talk – my detox

It is one thing to offer advice and to suggest that an exercise is effective but the proof really is in the practice so I would like to share with you my experience of the past week and my spiritual detox from my previous blog entry.

I began on Monday 20th February 2017. From that day, I followed the dietary requirements for the physical detox and put away my kindle and laptop. I still retained my phone just in case anyone needed to contact me and because of the settings on my phone, I still received updates and messages from facebook which was not ideal but it brought home to me just how reliant people are on the site or at least the messaging service. Despite having notified my friends that I would not be on facebook for a week, I received messages and requests daily. And because I am admin on several community pages this meant that although I was not an actively visible presence, I still found it difficult to ignore requests and messages and it really brought home to me how consuming facebook has become in so many peoples lives, mine included.

However, the self enforced time away from browsing meant I spent less time staring at social media and more time reading and writing, meditating, practicing my craft and doing some genuine soul searching which is the whole point of the exercise and it has had an amazing outcome.

I perform this detox twice a year, it is really just like taking a breather from my usual routine and the physical changes mean my body gets a rest from trying to process the crap that gets poured into it like caffeine, alcohol, sugars and processed food – actually my general diet is not that bad but the complete abstinence is a bonus. This helps clear the mind and aids the consciousness and I ‘see’ and ‘hear’ better than at other times when the mind is full of activity and often overloaded.

It has been at the end of these periods that I have experienced some of the most significant changes in my path; not every time, in fact it has only happened a total of four times in approximately 30 years that the end result has been literally life changing.

I do not think that I can describe the feeling when this happens; exhilaration would be the closest emotion I suppose but more than that even. I feel excited for the journey ahead and unafraid of what it will bring because I know that this is what the Goddess has chosen for me but at the same time I am apprehensive that I will be up to the challenge that she has set me.

To explain how I know that this great change is about to take place is difficult. It is the knot of fear in the tummy combined with the butterfly-like sensation of falling in love or excitement. It is the innate knowledge that something is right, no more than right – completely and utterly perfectly you.

In fact so right that is seems madness that you did not realise this before! That does not matter, the fact that you realise it now, at this time is the important thing and that you take advantage of the opportunity that this awareness has provided you.

On this occasion, I was taking the opportunity of time out to read a collection of books from my ever growing library about a particular branch of the craft and while the very basis of my craft is that I do not pursue the practices of others, I discovered that many of the practices described in the book and even down to the practical tools used, were strikingly similar to my own. This affirmed for me something that I have believed for some time that witchcraft can be intuitive and it is perfectly viable to craft or charm or cure or bless using instinctual methods. The question ‘who initiated the first witch?’ has always made complete sense to me. Somewhere at some time the craft that we commonly assert as witchcraft nowadays, was practiced without a manual, a Rede or instructional youtube video; the knowledge came from somewhere and I thoroughly believe that is where the term ‘born a witch’ comes from.

My inspiration for charms and rite has always come from me, through meditation or inspiration from nature and I rarely refer to books for advice except to check a correspondence which often corresponds anyway and if it does not I have a choice to make between my instinct and the knowledge of the author and I am not arrogant enough to think I am always right but I am confident enough to make that choice.

To see that my instincts have lead me down a path that others have written about and are experiencing is empowering, it goes some way to acknowledging that the knowledge is all around us and is there for the taking should we reach for it.

Ask and she will provide.

I believe the Goddess is leading me on a new and beautiful journey and I am grabbing it with both hands, I will not share the details because I believe that those are sacred between me and her but I will just say that this journey is a lesson in duality that began 2 years ago.

At the end of my detox period, I spring cleaned my home. I made an offering to the old ones and gave thanks for the affirmations that I received during this period.

My acknowledgement that this exercise works is the almost overwhelming positivity that I am feeling and experiencing at the moment and since this has been the outcome on each occasion that I have performed it, I take it as a sign of success.

Of course the outcome will not be the same for everyone and it will not be the same every time you perform it; I have ended a period of spiritual detox and the message that I received was seemingly quite negative but I had faith in the message and followed it through and the outcome was eventually for the best and the new path that I was to travel became apparent then and was a positive one.

The whole point of the exercise is to rid yourself of distraction, de-clutter and open yourself for communication and connection and expansion, let the universe know that you are ready for the next step of your journey and have faith
and see where it takes you.

books

My review of  ~ Traditional Witchcraft. A Cornish book of ways. Amazon
My greatest disappointment is that this book is no longer available in hard cover because I desperately need a second copy as I feel the soft cover version is going to be well-thumbed.

As with many of my other favourite books, this book concerns Traditional Witchcraft and like the books of Nigel Pearson, it is easy to read and the instructions within are approachable and make a lot of sense.

I can barely express how much I enjoyed this book, it is so complete and in-depth and riveting to read. The author gives a history and details on a wealth of folk lore traditions before offering her own rites and charms so the reader has something viable to work with instead of being told to burn a candle at midnight of a certain colour under a certain moon phase with no explanation as to why as many craft books tend to. In effect she treats the seeker with respect.

I can not recommend this enough!

 

 

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Spring cleanse for renewal and growth

Since it is generally the tradition to spring clean when the weather begins to become milder, it might seem odd to suggest a SGrowth conceptpring cleanse when the frosts expected in December and January have just begun to appear in February (at least in the south of England) but I feel there is a difference between the kind of spring cleaning you give your home to freshen up the soft furnishings and the kind of cleansing I refer to here.

It has become quite usual for the first frosts to arrive around the time of Imbolc and just as the frost cleanses the earth for new growth so do I feel it appropriate to cleanse and prepare for new spiritual growth within the self.

 

Cleaning the home is a good idea, getting rid of all the old clutter and things that no longer serve because it makes us feel better – lighter but it is not essential as part of this exercise. The focus at this time should be on the self.

I begin my cleanse by setting myself a period of detoxing; this means as well as giving up the usual – drink, cigarettes, sugary and processed food, dairy and meat that are known to slow down our processing and bodily cleansing functions, I also give up watching tv, using the computer and I keep mobile phone use to necessity only. This ensures that not only I have the least artificial interference possible but it also gives the mind a rest and you will feel wonderful for it afterwards, even if it is very difficult to put into practice. Even a short period of say, three days is enough to clear and still the mind but I generally try to complete seven days.

During this period I eat only fresh fruit and vegetables, rice, grains, herbs and spices. I drink only water and herbal teas and I read and rest a lot, take daily walks in nature and meditate. It is useful to keep a diary during this period to record your thoughts and feelings, visualisations and dreams as you may find them particularly prophetic and vivid at this time.

At the end of this period I perform a cleansing and renewal rite –

Beginning with a cleansing bath. Ensure that you set aside some time where you will not be disturbed for at least an hour.

Mix together sea or rock salt with cleansing herbs such as rosemary, cedar, burdock or sage. Pour this mixture into a warm bath and have a good long soak, clearing your mind and mentally preparing yourself with positive thought and releasing negativity. When you pull the plug, the negativity will symbolically drain away with the bath water. If you do not have a bath, you can use the same ingredients as a salt scrub instead of body wash.

After your bath, dress in something loose and comfortable. Close the curtains or blinds, light some candles, put on some soothing music, light some incense and generally set up an atmosphere of relaxation.

Set up your altar as you would for a generic rite, add to this a bowl of herbs that represent renewal, success and luck;

Mint – for creativity

Dill – for luck

Copal resin – renewal and cleansing

Ginger – success

A yellow candle which represents focus, intuition, fresh ideas and inspiration.

A bowl of base oil.

A bowl containing an offering for deity; this could be whatever is appropriate to your chosen patron deity or a generic offering of wine, mead, honey and milk or consecrated/blessed water.

Begin the rite as you would usually, casting a circle, calling the elements or whatever it is that you would normally do.

Take the candle and coat it in the oil and then roll the candle in the herbs and light it and place it in holder.

Sit before the candle and close your eyes and take some time to meditate. Focus on how clear your mind is, how you feel cleansed and ready for renewal and growth. This would be a good time to seek guidance from a higher source or your guides as to where your path will lead next.

When you have completed the meditation, close your ritual as you would usually and leave the candle to burn down while you take your offering outside or to an appropriate place and pour it into the earth with thanks.

I believe that this short period of detoxing and cleansing provides a good starting board for spiritual progression and at times when I have performed this, I have found that I will achieve a break through of something that I have been working on or the will to begin something I have wanted to start up and I have even found myself set upon a new spiritual path or direction that has brought a positive change to my life.

 

 

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