I wish. I want. I hope. All of these are Magick words. Use them wisely.
The rest of MoonShadow Coven’s members had other obligations and that was okay. Usually, I would host my annual Mid-Summer Faerie Ball, but this year I just kept putting off working on the details until it was no longer feasible to put it all together and pull it off in the flawless fashion that I demand of myself. When Sarinea commented that if I really wanted to host this bash, I’d have had the menu planned months ago, I realized that calling it off was a wise choice. It was going to be a much quieter Litha.
Dianthus had no other plans and still wanted to come to Madison so she arrived Saturday morning. After a round of hugs and a trip to the guest room we made our way to my favorite Asian buffet and sushi bar with my husband, Randy in tow. The only other stop was going to a thrift store that we like, due to its nicely organized stock of really interesting items. It’s run by Lutherans, and for some reason they seem to have a knack for parting with some very unique knicks.
We played a game of ‘what the hell is that’ with an elderly lady in a brightly colored head wrap and kept her entertained with our old married couple banter. I picked up something that appeared to be a twelve inch tube of fabric stuffed with beans that had a loop on both ends. “What’s this thing…a husband beater?” The lady could be heard laughing two aisles over. “I gotta see this”, she said as she rounded the corner. My husband took it away from me, partially to keep me from using it and also to demonstrate what it actually was. He draped it around the back of his neck and said, “you put it in the microwave to heat it up and then put it on your sore neck”. By then, I was off to the next moment of discovery. Dianthus found a framed print for her kitchen and some stone finished coasters and we left empty handed, deciding there was nothing we couldn’t live without.
Back at the house, I poured myself an ice cold cucumber infused vodka martini while Di opted for her flavored water as we found ourselves on the deck to see if we’d become mosquito bait. We slapped ourselves senseless for a bit, but for some reason the pests soon Magically hummed off. We talked about our radio show, Hocus Focus,and gardening, birds, spiritually and more gardening as the birds, ground squirrels and rabbits played and ate in the yard below.
Di had requested the recipe for my mother’s famous carrot cake and I agreed to give it to her with the stipulation that she never defile it with frosting. The cake is so heavy and rich that topping it with the ubiquitous cream cheese goop would be both an abomination and render it inedible like when they have to douse an already sweet desert with sticky syrup. I get a toothache just thinking about it. This cake is dusted with powdered sugar and that’s sufficient as well as simple and elegant. As a surprise, I made the cake so Di could eat her fill and take what was left home to her husband. In addition, I also made some pastel colored sugar cookies…it’s a well known fact that Faeries love sweet things…and so do we.
Two cookies and a piece of cake later we made our way to my inner sanctum, affectionately known as my ‘broom closet’ to listen to a couple of our shows that are now in archives. It’s always fun to do that when they’re not as fresh in our minds because we can critique them with the same mindset as hearing what our audience hears. We like what we hear. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/moonshadow92/2014/05/25/hocus-focus-radio-topic-table-talk-and-divination
The mosquitos were beyond the practice round launched earlier on the deck and were now forming battle lines like Celtic warriors and we had no desire to meet them head on so our plans for a bonfire were scrapped in favor of calling it a night. Di wanted to get an early start for home Sunday morning so plans for hitting a local breakfast buffet were also amended to coffee and a few more cookies. Tentative plans were made for me to head up north to record more shows since they flow better when we’re all together as opposed to using Skype. More hugs and she was heading down the road while I settled in a chair to savor the experience.
Sometimes the quiet grace of time spent in the company of the dearest of friends is exactly what is needed. Perhaps next year the fervor of a riotous romp, costumed in Faerie wings, will be too enticing to be written off as easily as it was this year. Dianthus and I agreed that we both needed this…time to talk, unwind, and enjoy a bit of Nature in the yard.
So, as the Wheel of The Year turns another cog, Solstice past, we are heading into the dark times now. No sadness comes as a result of this, only the contemplation of being in harmony with it all and the gentle acceptance of each season as it rolls out its own carpet. Be it lush green grass, gold and scarlet fallen leaves or crystalline snow, I will jubilantly dance upon each one.
While pulling weeds from my garden, I discovered the same one that I keep trying to eradicate from the same spot. I cut off the top part, but I know that’s not going to make it go away. Irritation takes over as I go ‘Norman Bates’ on it, plunging my garden knife deeply into the soil in an attempt to get the root. I pull out what appears to be pieces of the root, but I know the main part of that sucker is still deeply buried. What will it take to eliminate this baneful stalk of foliage once and for all? I want to avoid an herbicide because my family of Ground Squirrels lives in the rock wall and tunnels freely and although it might not hurt them, I don’t want to take the chance, especially if they eat parts of this plant.
‘Tenacity’, was the word that popped into my mind as I removed the weed once more. When the urge to abandon goals that are slow to be realized and manifestations are lagging behind my deadline, I will come out to the yard and see how that weed is doing. I am willing to bet that it will be there, refusing to be eliminated, concentrating energy at its root so that it can come back even stronger. Thank you, weed.
And none too soon. This has been a wicked Winter indeed. I don’t recall any in the past that have been so incredibly cold. My desire to get out with my cross country skis was not realized, but we may get another round of snow before it’s all over.
This past Friday, I remarked to my husband that the Red Winged Blackbird would make an appearance soon. I can always ‘feel’ when Nature’s omens are on hand to send their messages. Saturday morning found me near the window overlooking the front yard sipping a vat of orange vanilla coffee when I sensed his presence. Pulling the curtain aside, I saw him. He clung to the peanut feeder and seemed to have a sense of familiarity as though he knew that he was home. Every year, the one I named Bartholomew, accompanies me as I garden. Never showing any fear, he follows me around the yard and sits in the tree nearest to me and holds his own in our running conversation. The sight of him had me laughing out loud, “damn, I’m good”, I declared. The Craft has a way of deepening one’s connection with Nature so that even in an urban setting, every nuance is sensed and always inspires a knowing smile.
This is a time of rebirth for all of us, and my journal pages abound with goals, aspirations and sacred oaths to fulfill as the Wheel of the Year takes another turn. Fertility symbols adorn my alter and chocolate truffle eggs fill crystal bowls in every room. Seeds will be ritually planted in new Earth and tiny sprouts coddled until they can be transplanted in the garden. Misty mornings will call to me and I have no choice but to go where they hold court. It’s in the mist that the portals can be found.
My heartfelt blessings go out to all of you as candles are lit and incense smolders. Sharing my thoughts as they transform into words is a privilege that becomes even more beautiful when given the honor of having you read them. For this I am grateful.
We all have one. But, most often we are encouraged to suppress it, hide it, or engage in the futile attempt to eliminate it. I’m speaking of our ‘shadow self’. The often negatively portrayed and misunderstood part of us that is regarded as sinister and evil. Actually, it is none of those things. The fluffy bunny is still romping in the forest, it just slicks down its fur.
Neutrality in Magick needs to be accepted and that is what we work with before we utilize our power of intention to direct it. When the Moon is waxing, we use the energy to attract and when it’s waning we use it to banish. But, there is also the need to go deeper and work with the aspect of ourselves that is hidden behind polite smiles and strained small talk. To degrade it to the level of psychotic tendencies is unjust and the suppression of it defies all human logic…because, after all, it is human.
We accept the fact that there are things that we just don’t like. Cottage cheese, lima beans, clunky unfeminine shoes, and yes…Goddess preserve me,…football and its rabid fans. All of these things are those that I simply do not like or have any interest in. I’m sure you have your list as well and every one pretty much accepts that it is perfectly fine to have a list, some longer than others, but that’s okay. It’s even rather nice when you find someone who has some of the same things on their list so you can loathe them together as kindred, lima bean hating spirits.
However, we are taught that not liking certain people is somehow, not very nice and we really should try to like everybody. Again, that is not normal or possible. My favorite Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, has confessed to meeting up with some people at retreats that just rub her the wrong way. I’m not sure what the correct way to rub a Buddhist nun is, but apparently there are some other people who don’t know either, because she freely admits to struggles with this. Being Spiritual doesn’t make a person immune to feelings of discord when we encounter those who are not compatible with us.
If someone is hostile or has an overly assertive personality and you are empathic and highly sensitive, it is common to raise your shields and want to retreat. However, it’s also common to have people like this pick up on your feelings and get satisfaction from deliberately jerking your chain and they will pursue you when you try to emotionally back away.
When we feel ourselves tense up and our eyes narrow, it’s a good indication that a long, deep growl is forthcoming. We will feel protective of our aura and sense that we are under attack. If this psychic predator keeps us in their sights, we need to stand our ground and don’t worry about being nice. We can take our cue from Nature and work with that part of us that dwells in the shadows and not feel that we have to override it or cast it aside. We don’t need to accept this any more than we would allow ourselves to be abused physically.
Don’t hesitate to do a binding. If we are mindful of our intentions and do this responsibly, there is no reason not to utilize this option to protect ourselves when we become the target for unwarranted aggression. Trust your instincts. We have been instilled with a wariness that will guide us and let us know if a binding is applicable. Trust it. The shadow knows.
Yule is past, but the fires still burn, nursed by glowing embers. Imbolc is coming and the light is waxing as the Wheel turns. I always thought it glorious to be a Pagan, but the beauty of this Earth based path is so evident when we celebrate seasons and not just ‘holidays’. Most of them are the creation of Christians in an attempt to lure the heathens from their heaths and pagans from their rural ways. Persecuted, tortured and martyred, the practitioners survived as well as their practice. I am grateful to publicly express my love of this path. I may be misunderstood and maligned, but when it comes to pointing a finger…don’t tempt me. I cast in perfect love and perfect trust…most of the time. The rest of the holiday celebrations, decreed so by the greeting card industry, are as flimsy and fleeting as the paper they’re created from.
The Red Winged Black Birds will return early again this year. They have been for some time as the warming trend continues. For all the naysayers who shivered in disbelief when temperatures here in Madison, Wisconsin dipped to arctic levels scoffed over the concept of global warming, there are those of us who know that it is the erratic patterns that mean more than the notion that we should all be sporting shorts in January.
Hunting Hawks filled the skies yesterday as my husband and I traveled to visit family two hours north. Their pray ventures forth to find food when underground pantry stores run low. For those of us who live this path, we feel seasons in ways that escape those who need a meteorologist for confirmation. New life energy is coursing throughout root systems and buds that formed by last Mabon send silent signals within their structure, lying in wait until it’s time to burst.
Some part of every day should be spent in Nature. Love Her, revere Her and thank Her for all that She is and provides. Commune with Her and bind and bond, and what She reveals will enrich your life in ways that mundane minds struggle to imagine, much less grasp. Her consort, the Stag will empower you with His boldness and courage. Paw the Earth to honor Him.
When Imbolc arrives with fresh Ewe’s milk and fires prodded to full glory, pull your capes around you tightly. Warmed and quenched by mulled ale, dance the dance your primal essence has never forgotten, allowing your capes to billow in the wind, lifting you skyward to a higher trance. Drum through the night enticing the light to return.
By crackling pine and Yule log char
Divine in embers, near and far
In fire bright, receive the sight
Knowing comes by morning light.
Keep the secret, keep it well
This is not for you to tell
For your truth is only yours
It’s the key to open doors.
Wisdom here will be revealed
If not for you, will then stay sealed
But, if it is, you cannot hide
From the secrets locked inside.
Fear will never serve you well
Grasp your crystal and your bell
Drive it forth and you will see
Destiny that’s meant for thee.
How much do you miss as you run for the bus or race across busy streets? Even if you take a stroll through the park, do you ever avert your eyes from what’s ahead to what’s below? If there was money on the sidewalk would you pass it by? Stomp foot first into something that you’d rather not? Trip on an uneven strip of concrete? There are many reasons and occasions to pay attention to your feet and where they are taking you.
When you allow yourself to really pay attention you will find treasure at your feet and not just in the form of spare change or a lost piece of jewelry. Is there a beautiful feather in your path? An acorn or pine cone that will dispense tree energy when carried in your pocket? Will it make you smile when you reach in and touch it, a well kept secret from the person who might be talking with you or the boss you’re getting a reprimand from? Does its energy and the joy you get from the tactile connection with Nature calm you or make you feel empowered?
Did the perfect leaf fall at your feet? Does it bring to mind childhood memories of pressing it flat and coating it with paraffin to preserve it and use it as a marker in your favorite book about Nature? If you display it on your desk, will that inspire your mind to travel to a forest path amid your hectic day?
There is treasure where you stand. Gifts from Nature to remind you that you are only a step away from the beauty and wonder once kept and now freely given. Watch where you’re going and you may discover that ‘eye level’ will allow your vision to expand.