Archive for the ‘Magical Workings’ Category

Smudging – Kathy Curran

April 9, 2011

Smudging is a ceremony that we borrow from the Native Americans.  The belief is that certain herbs, when burnt, have the ability to clear a space and a person of negative energies.  White sage is the herb most commonly used; however, any of the ‘heavier’ scented herbs and resins are also appropriate, i.e. sandalwood, frankincense, or dragon’s blood.  Typically the dried sage is tied into a wand and one end is lit.  The herb will produce a fragrant smoke and then holding the smoldering sage wand in your hand, you walk the perimeter of all the rooms in your dwelling including attics, basements, closets and entryways.  Once this is completed, it is believed that a vacuum has been created; void of any energies.

Now one wants to fill this clear space with positive energies.  This can be done in a number of ways.  One way is to light a white candle thereby attracting angels and angelic energies.  Native Americans often use the herb sweetgrass for this part of the ceremony.  Any incense or essential oil that has special significance can be used.  It is recommended to perform this ceremony monthly, around the time of the full moon; and anytime there has been activities of discord in the home.  One can also perform this smudging ceremony on themselves and other people.  Many people incorporate this ceremony at the beginning of rituals, both solitary and group.

Oh Sidhe-it! Part 2 – Chuck

April 9, 2011

Pick a name, any name. the fey, fairies, leprechauns, good folk, fair folk, the Sidhe, elves, Tuatha de Danann, etc and here they were standing around the tree looking at me. If you saw them in the light they likely wouldn’t look that much different than us. No more exotic than the various breeds if humans in the world. They weren’t dressed much different either, though it had a 60’s hippie retro look to it. I was their demeanor that set them apart, what was behind those eyes looked out on a different world than the one you and I see. I took in the whole situation and then began to laugh.

“What’s so funny?”  “Oh it’s a bit cliché, don’t you think? The old ‘dream sequence’ type thing. I open my eyes and poof there you are!” “If it is cliché then it’s you that set the stage for it. We only made use of the time presented to us.” “And that brings us to the next question. Why are you here?” “For our own reasons, as is always the case. One of those reasons is we’re here to answer a question you posed long ago. If we existed before, where are we now in the modern world?” “That sounds like we’re going on a magical mystical trip of some sort.” “Not as you might rekon it, but yes a journey.” “Just one question first, Which of you is the Morrigan?”  “If you mean the Morrigan of the Tuatha de Danann, she isn’t amongst us. She has passed.” “Passed?” “Yes, passed, no longer alive. The Tuatha, as we, are mortal like you. Longer loved, as you are longer lived than those who lived in cruder times due to your medical knowledge, but yet mortal. Immortality, like so many other things you find enviable, are attributed to us “gods”. We find amusing. We are your cousins not your creators/rulers.” Alright I can accept that. So where are we headed to?” “Right here.”

One of them pulled out a satchel and took out something about the size of a loose leaf binder and opened it. A blue glow began from it, enough to see what it was….a laptop computer!

“Why so surprised? Were you expecting a crystal ball? This serves the same purpose does it not? And it can transport you wherever you wish to go when connected to your internet. Or would you prefer we chant something in a strange language and go somewhere in a flash of light? No, this will do fine for our purposes. We want to show you some of you legends in this modern world.” “Something tells me I’m not going to like this, but then elves using Windows wasn’t something I expected either. What’s first?”

Ok, maybe the computer I could accept, but the picture on the screen was anything but what I would consider a “centaur”. It was a picture of a biker cruising down the road. His expression was one of concentration on the experience of the ride, the scenery, the sun and the wind. He looked….complete.

“Alright, call me dumb, but that ain’t a centaur by any standards I know.” “Then learn a new standard. The original horsemen of the past were an awesome sight to those that first saw them. They were something never conceived of before and there was no frame of reference to put them in. A man on a horse so attuned to one another that they seemed as one. Eventually they became viewed as one single creature. Is this rider on his iron horse any different than those riders of the past?”  “ You know what you say is true. This overturns a lot of assumptions. From new agers to staunch Traditionalists. The only ones that might like this are the historians and the Christians that try to trivialize the old ways into superstitions to prove themselves right.”  “What matter these Christians when by and large they have forgotten their own past and truths? We leave them to their own fate. We are not here to live up to any expectations of anyone, we are just giving you a look at the truths we have learned. The world about teaches us every moment. Not by any dogma, but in the dynamics of life. Many names and explanations can be attached to one thing and non of them will change it’s basic nature. Just our perceptions of it.” “But there must be some pattern to things, else there is chaos.” “Patterns, yes. Dogma, no.”  “So what you are saying is all the legends that we use to inspire us are based on false assumptions and thus are void. You’ve just taken all the magic from the world. All the reason to aspire to something ‘better’ and ‘greater’. I don’t think I like that world view.” “As well you shouldn’t, No, we are not trying to destroy those legends, just put them into context. But that’s not the lesson we are trying to teach you. The magic of legends spawned them because they were innately magical in the first place. The world is a marvelous place if you open yourself to it. The stuff of legends walks past you everyday on the street and is in the very air you breath. Is it any less wonderful for seeming so common on the surface?” “Now that’s a concept I can better deal with. I have one more question. By the legends any dealings with you, no matter how casual, are a costly and perilous thing. What’s the tab for meeting you and this lesson?” “The lesson itself is the cost to you. If you accept it and follow it you will act differently than others around you. There is always a cost for being different. If you reject the lesson you’ll pay a different cost by not seeing what is taught. Which is the worse only you can decide? You will pay in either case.” “Is there anything else?” “Isn’t that enough? If there is more to teach, it will be taught even if you never meet us in person again. But if our paths cross again, it’ll be by our decision as was this time. But for now ‘slan agat’”

With that they just turned and walked into the gloom and were lost in seconds. Not having better to think of I picked up my lantern and headed back to my friends’ house. As I walked in they must have seen the expression on my face was changed.

“hey! Done communing with Tree beard, that is what they call old tree? Did he have anything interesting to say?” “Yeah……a lot………if you were listening.”

Oh Sidhe-it! – Chuck (Part 1)

July 20, 2010

It’s Beltane Eve. Many would think that the holy-day begins at midnight when May first officially starts. Well, yeah. I hearken to the ancient Celtic view of the day beginning at sundown the evening before. To them things began during the dark contemplative times and progressed to the light. Thus the year began with the dark half at what is now called Halloween, Samhain to us weirdo pagan types. The bright half begins at Beltane. Both times are considered potent with things both in balance and transition. The only real difference is Samhain has better PR going for it in the modern world.

I’m on a friend’s farm in the woods. There is a special tree there, an old tree. It is officially the oldest tree in the state, estimated at 600 years. It’s huge and twisted with a presence only something of that age and statue can attain. The first time I saw it I ran my hand along its bark and I was accused of “communing” with the old boy, sort of. The bark was extremely rough with deep fissures and cracks you could almost place your hand inside. One area is smooth which is strange. I never “felt” anything as I touched it, if there’s a spirit within, it didn’t make it’s presence known. Why should it? Though I’ve already lived longer than most people however when it was a seedling to it I am a baby by comparison, there’s no reason why it should concern itself with us brief and abrupt creatures.                   However, when I touched the smooth area, I found myself becoming emotional. I have no idea why. It made me decide that should the chance be there I would return and see if I could discern then why. Certainly there’s no better time than Beltane

The tree has huge roots that snake around like wooden pythons and any one of then would make a respectable trunk for a lesser tree of great age. As such, there are nitches set high enough for turning into “comfortable” seats. The cone I chose was near that smooth area on the bark as I settled in against the old Boy’s bulk and mass. The only thing I have with me is a lantern for helping me find my way in the dark later.  I just close my eyes and listen to the woods as the sun sinks below the horizon.  It can be amazing how distinct the sounds of the day and the sounds of the night can be. At times, like now, you hear both as one quiets and the other rises to take its place. They are equal but different. Day is active, night is more subdued and “contemplative”. With my eyes closed I can hear each more clearly as well as they transition.  If you’re not careful they can draw you away and you’ll lose yourself in them. Also the night noises, coming from unseen sources, make the mind want to fill in the blanks and the imagination can run wild. No wonder the modern religions, who gleaned the clergy from aristocratic city dwellers feared the dark woods. In doing so, they took the gods that governed then and turned them into various demons and devils. The “wicce”, wise women/mid-wives/etc. that dwelt intone with the land and its cycles became the modern “witches. For now though none of this matters as I just sit quietly and listening to the land at a time when even a city boy like me can feel its pulse. The root I am sitting on is becoming a bother and I open my eyes as I go to shift my position. That is when I see….Them.   To be continued in our next newsletter, our July–August issue.

Spring Cleaning – Gini Judd

May 4, 2010

Spring cleaning is a long tradition throughout the world.  Back when people didn’t have things like central heating and vacuum cleaners, a long winter’s accumulation of dust and soot had to await the warmth of spring to allow for the doors and windows to be thrown open, the rugs and blankets to be carried out and beaten clean, and fresh air and sunshine to assist in the sweeping out and wiping down of floors and furniture.
Nowadays, our daily cleaning tends to continue through the winter months and there isn’t quite as much of a seasonal need for the assistance of warm weather to get dust and grime out of our houses, but a long winter of being closed up can leave the energy in our homes tangled and a bit grimy.  Spring cleaning can freshen up the spirit of your home, as well and just plain cleaning up.
First, take a look around your home.  Are there piles of clutter that should be dealt with?  Clutter is an energy sink and will tangle up the energy in your house and prevent it from flowing well.  There is a difference between a place being cozy with things you love and clutter.  Clutter is that pile of junk mail you need to toss out, old bills that need to be shredded or filed, books that belong on a shelf instead of scattered in a corner, jackets and sweaters hung over chairs, etc.  It’s the stuff that needs a home but has instead come to rest where it was dropped.  It might feel overwhelming, but put on some music and attack it one pile at a time.  As you successfully work your way through those piles, you will actually *feel* your energy level rise.  
Once you get through the clutter, throw open the doors and windows.  Vacuum, mop and dust, and then use a floor wash to clean and freshen your space.  A floor wash is made by boiling herbs and essential oils in a couple quarts of water, then straining out the herbs and adding the concentrate to a bucket of water. Place a portion of that into a spray bottle for surfaces.  The herbs and oils you use depend on your needs. Suggestions include mint, lavender, basil, rue, rosemary and heather.  Mop the floor lightly with the floor wash, and use the spray bottle to clean the surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom, and a very light spray on other surfaces.  Do this with concentration and intention to clean both the physical dust and any negative energies from your home.
Next, turn to the sacred spaces in your house.  Take everything off your altar, physically clean the surfaces and your tools – dust accumulates, so take the time to get rid of the physical grime.  After this, cleanse your tools.  You can do this is a number of ways.  One is to make a salt water bath using a small amount of sea salt in clean water.  Tools that can be dipped in the salt solution can be dipped; tools that cannot can either be wiped down with the solution or lightly sprinkled with it.  When you have finished, pour the salt water down the drain, envisioning all the negative and tangled energy draining away.  After you clean your tools, reset your altar, taking a moment to charge with energy each article you place on your altar.
Finally, complete the cleaning of energy in your house.  With all your windows and doors open, sweep each room with your besom – you do not have to touch the ground during this sweeping, because you are sweeping negative and tangled energy from the house.  Sweep from the private rooms into the hallway, then sweep the public spaces, ending the sweeping by sweeping all that energy out the door.  Make another salt water solution and bless every doorway and window with the intention that only good energy will enter your home. This will make your house an inviting haven for yourself and your family and friends.

Shadow’s Sanctuary By Lisa Nieves

November 5, 2009

I recently went on vacation without my family. Just me.  Nowhere exotic, just away.  I stayed in a nice hotel in a sleepy little town.  I had all those little amenities usually associated with hotels; coffee/tea pot at the ready, massaging shower heads, tiny fancy-smelling soaps, big puffy pillows, etc. 

     I enjoyed one of the simple pleasures of being away from home. My wardrobe was chosen before leaving home.  Clothes coordinated and fit just right; accessories were always complimentary. No frustration about what to wear. All the planning and work was done. Getting ready was a breeze.

     I had only a few fixed activities planned over the course of four days so I had plenty of time to lounge about, meander through town and soak in the hot tub. I awoke refreshed each morning and coaxed the day with a nice hot cup of flavored tea.  I meditated and honored God & Goddess each night after a luxurious bubble bath, then retired to the comfy billows of a king size bed with a steamy novel and another hot cup of tea.

     I witnessed the sunrise on the Summer Solstice from an ancient Native American site, Ft. Ancient.  A Sacred Site where ancient peoples built mounds that align perfectly with solar and lunar dates.  I witnessed the Solstice Sunset at another Sacred Site, The Great Serpent Mound. The coils of the snake also align perfectly with solar and lunar dates. I took many pictures and met new people.  I returned to my hotel feeling closer to Mother Nature and with the renewed knowledge that we are all connected; Earth, Sky, and Humankind.

     I returned home calm, collected, relaxed and a bit spoiled from the convenience of hotel life.  I wanted to hold on to that feeling for as long as possible.  I immediately started transforming my bedroom from a place where I sleep to ‘Shadow’s Sanctuary’. I removed clothes, accessories and other ‘stuff’ that no longer thrill me. I cleared off a dresser in my bedroom and brought out the seldom used mini coffeemaker.  A drawer now houses tea, a small tub of sugar and necessary utensils.  I pressed all of my clothes and hung them by color in the closet.  I hung soft fabric on the rails of my cast iron canopy bed.  I keep a small folding table under the bed to hold a light meal or tea service. I moved my collection of ambient music cd’s to the bedroom so I can escape on a whim. I gathered my scented bath oils and soaps and favorite shampoo/conditioner into small containers that I can carry in a small caddy, along with a candle and a novel, to the tub for a leisurely soak.

      I have also made small changes to my daily routine so I can experience that ‘on vacation’ feeling every day.  Each evening I fill the in-suite coffeemaker and prepare my travel mug with tea and sugar.  Each morning when I wake, I flip on the switch.  While I’m getting ready, which is now a breeze because everything that fits is at my fingertips and ready to wear, my tea is brewing.  I now have time to enjoy a leisure cup before work in my quiet sanctuary and always have an escape after a hectic day. The stress of my life hasn’t changed but its now easier to deal with it in a healthy way.

     I spent only a few days away from home but the peace and serenity I experienced and my refreshed connection with God & Goddess has endured long after getting back to ‘real life’.

 

Those Magnificent Unicorns – Lisa Revelt (Mom Wolf)

September 1, 2009

Many people routinely work with the faeries, dragons, mermaids, gnomes, leprechauns, and others of the elementals realms, but not many work with, or know they can work with, the unicorns, who are also part of the elemental realm.

Mention the word “Unicorn” (from the Latin words “unus”, one, and “cornu”, horn) and most folks think of the white, one-horned horse which decorates a pre-teen girl’s bedroom on posters, stuffed animals, and other figurines.  The Europeans, however, described the Unicorn as having a spiraled horn, a horse’s head and body, a stag‘s hind legs, a goat’s whiskers, and a lion’s tail.   Colors vary from all white, to India’s description of a white body, red head, and blue eyes. 

The infamous horn (straight, spiraled, or striated) is said to detect and be an antidote for poisons.  If the horn was dipped in muddy waters, the waters became crystal clear.  If one drinks from a Unicorn horn, it is said they have good health all their life, as well as be protected from poison.  Powdered horns were said to be worth ten times their weight in gold, and whole horns were priceless.  Apothecaries carried the horn until the eighteenth century; before then, rulers paid great sums for the horns.

Since Unicorns were hunted for their powerful horns, it is no wonder they have become so mistrusting of humans.  I think of the movie “Legend” with Tom Cruise and how one must “never touch a Unicorn.“  The image that comes to mind is of watching the unicorn pair frolicking in the stream, in an enchanted forest full of those of the elemental kingdom, as Tom Cruise and Mia Sara’s characters look on.  Children are known to be able to see them.  However, if we adults come to them in perfect love and perfect trust, they are more than willing to work with us.  All we need to do is say, “Unicorns, please help me with this situation.“  According to D.J. Conway’s “Magickal Mystical Creatures”, the Unicorns are not interested in working with those who refuse to straighten up their personal morals, so clean up your act before contacting them.

After moving to Lakewood in the Summer of 2007, I was able to display all of my Unicorn figurines on my mantle (they were some of the first items, non-household, to be displayed) and become re-acquainted with these wonderful creatures.  I missed them.  Even though my mantle changes, I always have one near my altar in the living room, lending its positive attributes to my workings.  I also started working more frequently with Doreen Virtue’s oracle deck “Magical Unicorns”.  I found this a wonderful step for getting in touch with the Unicorns.  All we need to do is ask them, “Unicorns, please help me with this situation.”  I use this deck sometimes alone, and sometimes with my faerie, mermaid and dolphin, and Goddess decks.

Meditate and ask them to come into your life.  Promise to do something to help the environment (recycle, pick up trash, use cloth bags, give to a worthy environmental cause, etc). 

Pulling a card from the oracle deck, I leave you with this message:  “”Hello and Goodbye:  You’ll soon see that this change will make things better.”  Sometimes we have to make changes, let go of the old in our lives and allow the new to enter.