I feel like a bear. I am grumpy and all I want to do is eat and eat and then sleep for like a year. I have not been doing my nightly routing of shielding and boy can I tell. I am one grumpy gus. I think this has something to do with the overall panic and anger that is rippling though our country. I can tell there is a shift going on and it is interesting and at times annoying. We start to see shows on TV about prepping and we seem to all be walking around with some sort of chip on our shoulder. I have no idea why but like I said I can feel it and it has been making me grumpy. I am sure a little Saint John’s Wort would be good too, that and probably like a whole nights sleep.
like many witches I am shall we say sensitive. I know we all are right. Some days I just want to say “yes, yes you are all very pretty” (Tina Fey in Mega Mind) To all the folks that list their natural abilities. Of course you have natural abilities, all humans do. What ever ability you have doesn’t make you special. What you do with it and how you live your life make you special. But I digress. So we are all sensitive and if I don’t shield it all globs on.
This is why I used to only work alone. But hey with age comes wisdom and skill and I have learned to shut the door as Elfkat says. Only I have gotten sloppy and I have not being closing up shop properly at night and so here I am a grumpy scatter brained tired fool.
This is my simple shielding that I (normally) do nightly. This is what works for me and you can take it as you like and do what works for you. After my day is done and i am laying in bed I shut my eyes and see my house. Some times I will use words and say in my head the first part of my circle casting. When I do it that way I picture a gold shining tread of light coming out of me and spiraling up and around so that the whole house and most of the property is covered by this tread. Some times I just envision a glowing spear over my house. Always a bright sharp blue. I see it bright and protected inside and dark and reflective on the outside of the this membrane.
I should tell you that as I said this is what works for me. It also “came to me” you know how that happens. I laid in bed and asked to be shown what to do and there it was. If you lay in bed and ask what you need to be shown it may be very different.
Today is like I said a big day for me. I have been interviewed over at Witch-blog and in that interview I talk a lot about my mom’s side of the family. This post will be more on the dad’s side.
In Mexico for day of the dead people make lots of beautiful Altars or shrines. The altars are filled with sugar skulls and flowers and candles and the foods or vices the departed enjoyed. They also often have luminarias around them. As we are in California Day of the dead is part of our cultural even for those with out direct heritage.
. For that reason my whole coven will be making these when we meet to celebrate Samhain. They will then be used to mark the outline of our circle. I think this is a beautiful representation of our ancestors standing with us. Here is what it looks like when it is done
Here is how they are made.
purchase a pack of lunch bag size paper bags
I had a picture of my great grandmother in her graduation garb. She not only went to college but graduated from Columbia University.
I cut out the photo and placed it on my paper bag.
I traced just inside where the picture was.
Then I cut just inside the traced line. You need to make sure you have enough of a lip to glue the picture too.
Which is what I have done here. I glued the picture onto the lip of paper that was left.
Traditionally you fill the bottom with sand and put in a candle. For today’s purpose I purchased 3 of these led lights in a pack from the dollar store.
and there it is done and on the mantel.
Hope you enjoyed and Bright Blessings to all.
My days are all unique yet there is a familiar pattern to them. This is felling to my rituals as well. There is a pattern and a predictability that is comforting. For me there are parts that happen each and every time. Words I say each time. At this point I should say I am speaking now of my larger rituals. The daily ones of prayer, gratitude and magic slip in my day as they see fit. They are part of my life and my day making the mundane magical. My larger Rituals or ones with others is my focus at the moment.
When I was working on the ritual for Mabon I was thinking of all the things that I do and that I didn’t want to write it out again and again, or flip tbetween to many pages in my BOS if I forgot the words. So I typed them all out. The parts and things that happen every time. I made a heading for the main part of the ritual at the bottom of the page making it easy to slip in the Mabon ritual (or Full Moon, or Samhain etc) in the proper place. I was fairly pleased with it and thought I would share it with you
I must say the words in this document are a combination of mine and others. The majority are mine, but of course even those are based on teachings of others. The Simple Feast part and the Blessing Chant are from Scott Cunningham’s Traditional Book of Shadows. So without further adieu here is my ritual repeated parts sheet. Hope you enjoy.
Today was a big day for me. I have practiced on my own for the majority of life by myself or with a few good friends.Tonight I let a ritual for 10 of us. which doesn’t seem like a huge number but it is much bigger then 1 or 2 and seems much larger than even 4. At any rate it is new territory and I was excited and nervous.
All and all I was pleased. I think others were pleased too. It was an interesting lesson for me in writing a group ritual. Not that I wrote it all myself mind you. Like many pagans I borrowed some words from here and some from there. and then added a lot of my own. What made this time different is the challenge of taking was it so personal for me and making accessible for others. From the details of addressing the deities to large picture of will this be as meaningful to some one else.
If you read my post on the magic in words and secret names you will know that I address a Deity based on my relationship with that Deity and basically by the name they introduced themselves to me as. Now just because I know them by this name doesn’t mean that others do. So different phrases were washed of names but I think they were still meaningful.
I thought the ritual itself was very beautiful. we sang we danced we laughed. I will share part of it with you now and part tomorrow as I am very tired now.
Mabon/ Autumn Equinox Ritual
Today we gather to reflect and celebrate. We celebrate the harvest both physical and unseen, and we reflect on how we got here. We reflect on our accomplishments of the year and those people who helped us achieve them. We celebrate the turning of the wheel from summer to autumn. We celebrate this moment in time where time stands still and all is in balance.
And as we sand in this moment, It is time to acknowledge all we have to be thankful for.
Pleas lets take hands.
Lets go around and each person list 3 blessings in your life that you are thankful for
Thank you so much for sharing so much of you, We all have so much to be thankful for!
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the sun in the sky
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the clouds so high
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the whispering wind
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the birds in spring
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the moonlit night
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the starts so bright
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the wonder in me
Thanks a lot
Thanks for the way I feel.
Thanks for the animals thanks for the land
Thanks for the people everywhere
Thanks a lot
Thanks for all I’ve got
Thanks for all I’ve got.
As we have shared with each other let us share our gratitude with the Goddess and God. L has special flying papers. Often we use these to ask for a wish but today we are not asking for anything. Simply being grateful for all we’ve got. Tonight instead of a wish please write a thank you note to the Goddess and God and let it fly.
Mabon, The equinox. This is the time of the fullness of the harvest begun at Lughnasadh. Once again day and night are equal. As nature ebbs and flows and always returns to balance so do we. We pass out of the season of the sun, with long days and much to be done, to the dark half of the year. We feel the shift as the God prepares to leave his physical body and begin the great adventure into the unseen, toward renewal and rebirth of the Goddess. Nature declines, draws back its bounty, reading for winter and its time of rest. The Goddess nodes in the weakening Sun, thought fire burns with in her womb. She feels the presence of the God, even as he wanes. Before we to enter this quite time, this time for introspection let us first gather together and celebrate in the bounty of the harvest!
This is my entry for the Back to School for Witches too Bog party. Today also happens to be the new moon.
Not surprisingly I have been much more interested in New or Dark moon rituals this year. I am working a lot on downsizing and getting rid of clutter so asking help with removing things from my life to clear my path has really resonated with me this year. I have written and preformed this ritual twice now with different people and each experience has been really positive for my as well as the other participants.
This is a group ritual or at least a buddy ritual. You will need more than just you. You will also need (besides your normal altar items) black yarn, scissors, a fire, a ton of rosemary (if you don’t grow it you should! It’s very hardy) and some banishing incense if you want.
Because I was asked to do this ritual for someone I didn’t really know well, and someone with whom I had never done I circle with, I started it with a lecture so I am going to just share with you exactly what I wrote. Which brings me to the point of I write out ALL my rituals including “stage notes” for example when calling in the elements I might have <lights candle> down so I know what I will do.
A few magic basics. Magic is real, it is also natural. However, like all forces of nature it can be gentle like dew in the morning or it can be like a blizzard. Like all parts of Nature magic has to be treated with respect.
You do not need to practice a particular religion to do magic, In my opinion the divine energy in the universe that is tapped for magic cares very little on what you choose to call it. Or rather that you and I may call it different names.
When we do magic we ask it to be “done for the good of all” that means that if it by chance should happen a different way that it is free to flow that way instead of the one that has occurred to us. Because sometimes we have not thought of every angle. We only do magic following the rule “an thou harm none” period end of story if you want to do some other kind I will not participate. There is no fudging this and there is no “well what if..” There are simply no exceptions. If you wish to do Magic for someone else you MUST have their permission. Or next of kin if they are unable to give it themselves.
Magic can be done anytime however there are more auspicious times then others. When we work with the moon:
Building = waxing
full= most power
To night we will work with the Crone. Often people are scared of her for she holds the key to death and therefore life. Because we fear our own mortality we are often afraid of this transition. Bet we are part of nature too, and we know with out death there can be no life, no beginnings without ends.
Because as I stated magic is real and there can be real consequences. For this reason what we say and do and think makes a difference for this and any rite. (my notes on the side of the page say :I am v. serious about this)
I want to discuss what things are binding you that you need to release and we as a group will flush out the words you will speak so that they have the proper meaning and so that they are true to what you want to happen. Also so that the other people can remind you if you forget a part. (this is also so that no negative emotions or wishes on others slip out. I am very serious about intention and about harm none. You can ask for things to be different in your life without asking for harm to come to someone else.) Sit down and write out what you want to say or talk it out with your buddy or group. make sure that say what you mean and mean what you say and that it is appropriate. write it all down word for word.
I then explained our process for the night.
wash hands (we used this as our ritual cleanse so as we washed we visualized all the ick and layers of the day falling off)
set up the circle and altar and have all materials
call the Goddess and God (one of times we did this I had a moment of silence at this point and let each person call in the Deity as they saw it)
Rite (unbinding and burning and energy raising)
tanks and farewell
Once everyone knew the plan we got to work choosing our words. It took us about an hour for 5 of us.
<outline your circle with the Rosemary branches making sure they touch so that it forms a complete circle. This is an extra form of protection. Set up your altar. Cast your circle in and invite the Goddess and God in the usual manner>
“Goddess Tonight we meet under your Dark Moon. Grandmother crone you Who can cut our ties that bind, we come with open mind and open heart tonight to ask you to assist us”
“Each of us has some strong bonds to things or people who hurt us or hold us back. Tonight with your help we ask to sever those energetic pathways. We do not wish harm on anyone and we ask that this be done for the good of all. So mote it be”
“Raven please step forward”. <Raven Joins me in the center of the circle>
“Raven What is your wish tonight” <Raven speaks the words we have agree upon earlier>
(some examples “I wish to not have anger jumping up in me. reactive flash point anger. I wish to cut the ties to this patter. I would like to substitute a more thoughtful patter” and “I wish to not be bound by things that are unhealthy for me, whether it be too much stress, too much partying or too much focus on the mundane instead of my core self” and “I wish to cut the energetic pathways from those who have negative impact on my life. i wish no harm to them, I wish only the best for them but I no longer wish to have the connection”
<take black yarn and begin to wrap Raven>
“As I wrap this cord around you it becomes the physical manifestation of the ties that bind. The things you must shuffle off to make room for the new. Let me know at which point you feel you are wrapped the right amount.”
<Raven indicates she is wrapped enough, I cut the yarn and tuck the end into the yarn wrapped around her. I step back>
“Shuffle off and if for some reason you cannot get out of your binds on your own, your friends are here to help, for sometimes we need help in our lives. ”
<Raven unwraps herself and gets all the yarn off her>
“you are now free. You may toss those into the fire. Those old ties will hurt you no more. so mote it be (so mote it be!)”
<Raven tosses yarn in the fire and a little banishing incense in after it for good measure. we then go through this with each person participating>
“Grandmother we are grateful for your presence and help here tonight. you who are the powerful dark of the moon. Thank you for your blessings. As you release us from our hurt, we strive to show our gratitude by blessing others and by taking care of our selves.”
“We are going to build energy now by doing a simple chant, we will take hands and should they start to swing or sway just go with it.( Also interesting note both times at least one person got not just the giggles, but over come with full on belly laughs, with tears! That is ok don’t worry about it or try to stifle it. just laugh along as you chant.)
(we have done different chants. one was “Isis, Isis Ra Ra Ra”, and the other was “we are a circle, with in a circle. with no beginning and never ending”)
“The energy is building, when it is at its peak we will throw our arms up and exhale. (wait until the moment has come) See the energy as it shoots out of your hands. Blue and sliver sparks. Some hit the circle and rain down on us protecting us from falling back on old ways and old habits – may the rest find its place in the world with those who need it most. We ask this to be for the good of all so mote be.”
~~~so ends the Rite, ground yourself and release the circle in your usually manner. Now go get some food because this is hard work and it will take it out of you.
I hope you enjoyed my back to school for witches too post please check out the other fabulous posts! click the link below to see everyone who is participating.
(note: after starting to write this I have found I had too much I wanted to say and so this will be a several part series)
Visualization is a big part of spell work. I would actually say it is the main part of spell work. As you know if you read my blog it is the intention and you that make your magic work. not saying the right words or having the right herbs or colored candle will not ruin a spell. visualization is the key. The stronger your visualization the stronger your magic.
When I am doing say a healing spell say I will focus all my energy on “seeing” what I want to happen. I will see the person healthy and free of whatever pain or I will see them whole. I am using my mind’s eye to paint the picture of what I want to happen and then I hold that picture in my mind and focus my energy there.
This is a skill not a talent. Which means everyone one can do it, but it does help to practice. If you like books Power of the Witch by Laurie Cabot has a good chapter on Alpha. Cunningham also has a good chapter or two I think it Living Wicca. Of course you don’t need to be a Witch or Wiccan to do spell work. My friend J who is very Christian says she does some similar things but she calls it praying. That said let’s go back and talk about how.
How does one visualize. Well close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Calm you body.You are going to want to center yourself and steady your breathing. What you are doing is actually slowing your brain waves to a state of relaxation. From Beta to Alpha
see my handy-dandy chart. To get to Alpha you can count down as the Cabot Tradition (and many others) teach. You can find a complete written out version of the crystal countdown that Laurie teaches in her book Power of the Witch or here. Again practice makes progress and using a guided meditation can help.
Practice getting yourself into Alpha and holding a picture in your head such as an apple for now. The longer you can Hold the picture the better. As you hold your picture of an apple longer and longer you will be able to explore it better. That is where I will leave you for now. Work on seeing your apple.
There are so many ways words are magic. Words have power to communicate a feeling, to influence others feelings. They can be sung or spoken or written or shouted or whispered and each way they carry a little different power. Words can open or close doors for you and words are a large part of any relationship.
Whats more your words have value. Yes yours! Your voice is what maters. I am going somewhere with this I promise. What I am trying to get to is two things that I have seen floating around the net lately. The first is the magic name of Goddess/God. Like if you’re a real witch and you read the right book or talk to the right teacher they will give you the magic name and all your dreams and wishes will come true because you have the right name to ask for them.
The second is similar in that we are looking for someone else to fulfill our needs and it is what is the “right” way to do a full moon ritual or Sabbat or healing or what have you. We need to know the spell or sometimes it is even less noticeable and we want to know if there is a spell that does x.
My overall rant is centered around the following idea. The power is in you. You do not need others to tell you how to act or what to say. You need to stop, think and feel. You will come up with the right answer. This is sometimes hard for us as we are used to being told how to do things. That is the blessing and the complicated part of a pagan path. There is no one book or one way. It is up to each to follow their heart and mind to the correct path for them.
Clearly we can still learn from each other. I am a huge fan of learning from others. If I wasn’t I would not of come up with a blog party that is all about learning from others. I have had, and do have, many teachers. I love to read books and honestly it’s not like I’m going to teach myself quantum physics, I need someone else to help teach me. That said at the end of the day I take what I have learned and think about it, meditate and see how I feel about things. It is a combination of learning and of critical thinking, feeling or gut instinct that guides me. I do not read a book and say ah ha this is the only way I must be like this person to be a real witch. You are you and you are powerful just as you are.
So lets talk about those specific examples from above. The real name thing. You may or may not have a patron Deity. Should you have one they will let you know what name they want you to call them. They will let you know a myriad of things and you can choose to follow the requests or not. The way you find this out is not by seeking out the name they told someone else but by strengthening your relationship with the Divine.
The second thing was the right words for a ritual. There are some great published rituals out there. There are some really bad ones too. You must sift through this and use what feels right to you. Or forego it altogether and write you own. Most rituals follow a set pattern or as I call it a recipe. I wrote about the one I follow here. What I really want to stress is that it must be your own in someway. For example myself. I am a rather casual person. When people are trying to talk in old English it makes me thing I’m at a Ren fair instead of a circle. I prefer plain speak and the voice I use in my rituals is pretty much the same voice I use for everything else including this blog. straight forward to the point and not too much flowery. That doesn’t mean that your rituals should be like that. If you are a poetic person then your rituals should reflect that. It should be in your voice
last but not least spells. In short yes there is a spell for that. What ever that is. Should you do magic for it is the question. I answer that question by asking myself What else can I/ should I do for this issue? Is it for me or someone else? Do I have their permission? Will it harm none? If I can or should do something else about my issue I do that first. If I still think a spell could help I do it along with the other mundane items. Say I want a spell for a new job. I may do a spell for it, but I am also going to work on polishing up my resume. Spells are not an excuse for lazy. You cannot say I did a spell so I don’t have to do the work. If the spell is not for me say it is a healing spell do I have said parties permission? If not theirs because they are unable to due to say coma do I have next of kin permission? If not don’t do it. Will it harm none? well this one is debated over and over, though I am unsure why. People say i’m not Wiccan I don’t have to live by that law. guess what you do. Natural laws are not some thing you can choose to abide by or not. Some people have tried to skirt the issue by saying I am just wishing on them what they did to me or my friend. no dice my friend. To do harm to someone is to break a natural law and you will be taking the negative energy in yourself in order to put it out on someone else. You can think you are as big and bad and dark as you want but you will inevitably be unhappy with the situation you choose to create if you are choosing to harm someone else. No matter what you want to say to explain it away or make it ok it will come back to bite you, and you wont like it.
OK lecture over. So we have answered our questions and decided yes a spell would be good here. Again use your voice and your skills, and write a spell. Remember, speaking from the heart will always work.
Tonight is the full moon. depending on your tradition you may know this moon as: the snow moon, the hunger moon, the quicking moon or perhaps another name. Tonight is a special moon for us indeed. It is time for my students initiation. As I have said several times I am part of a Coven of Solitaires. We tend to join up for the Sabbats but mostly do our Esbats by ourselves. Tonight some of us will Join together to welcome a new member.
A few points before I share the ceremony with you. My overall belief is what makes you a Witch is your love for the Goddess and God and your daily actions. Therefor even though I am preforming part of the initiation, I am not doing the actual initiation. I have heard the saying only a Witch can make a Witch and I think it is hogwash. I did not have anyone initiate me. I did it myself as a youngster. Because of my belief system I have my students initiate themselves. They say the words they write or choose to show their love and dedication. I look at it much like a marriage ceremony. I am there to direct and guide but they have written their own vows.
purify self (pre-ritual bath or smudge)
Sweep the area with your broom to purify it
Set the altar up. Light the incense and candles
Cast the circle
Call the Goddess and the God
Lunar Goddess of the night. We gather, at the peak of your powers. We celebrate you and strive to do you honor; Not only in our worship tonight but in all our actions, every day. We thank you for our abundance of blessings. We thank you for guiding our steps on our path. Goddess, you who are everything. Who is the mother of all, Protector of all, and knower of all. Let our hearts fill with your lunar light tonight.
Goddess and God, tonight in your presence a dear one has come to be recognized. She has completed her study of a year and a day. She is strong and she is wise. She has a good heart and she wishes to have you guide it.(it will be similar words to this but also more about her personal journey to the path and in her study)
(Initiate to say words)
Goddess and God We ask that you watch over __________. (anoint forehead with oil) Help her to walk in her path in love. Let her choose her words carefully for she now knows the power of her word. Let her heart be open fully to you. Let her conduct her life in a manner that honors life and love and you Our Goddess and God. So mote it be
Giving of gifts and simple feast
Open the circle