This week our Magickal Moment takes us to the art of Bibliomancy, using books for divination. This method has been used for many generations, most likely since books first became available.
Bibliomancy is similar to Stichomancy or Libromancy (“divination from lines”), which involves selecting a random passage from a random book of any nature.
Bibliomancy uses a sacred book, or a book with special meaning, in order to answer a simple question. Traditionally this book has been the Bible, but the Quran, and other sacred texts have been used. I personally have a couple of books that I use, depending on the type query. It’s also fun to just grab any book off the shelf and use it to add an extra dose of randomness to the process.
To perform your Bibliomancy grab your book and place it in front of you on a flat surface. You would then ask your question. While keeping your eyes closed, flip through the pages of the book. Once you have selected a random page, point at a line or passage in the book. Upon opening your eyes read the word or line that your finger is on and interpret that phrase with regards to your question.
Alternately, you may use a small, flat stone or piece of metal or wood. Flip through the pages and then drop the stone onto the book. The phrase that the object lands upon is the answer to your question.
My Bibliomancy Experience
For my Bibliomancy today I am using the book Warrior Goddess Training by Heather Ash Amara. My question was ” Where am I in my spiritual quest” I then flipped through the book to a random page. I set my finger down at the top of the book and landed on the first line “Opening your heart starts first with compassion and respect towards yourself.” I’d say I got a fairly clear answer to that question.
Bibliomancy can be an insightful, simple and yes, fun way to divine answers to your questions. Why not give it a try today?
Good Morning! In this week’s Triune Moon Magickal Moment we shall continue our exploration of unusual forms of divination with Ceromancy. Ceromancy is the art of divining the future by interpreting the form that hot wax takes when poured into a bowl of water.
This technique requires very little in the way of supplies. All you will need is:
A candle – I prefer using a jar candle as the wax seems to build up best in the container
A clear or white bowl partially filled with water
Light your candle and let it burn for several hours so that the melted wax builds up. Once you feel you have sufficient wax, you are ready to begin your divination.
Fill your bowl with fresh water and move it close to your lit candle. Breathe deeply and quiet your mind. Then, either silently or out loud, ask a simple question. For example “Will I be happy in my new job?”
Take the candle and pour the wax slowly into the water, being careful not to splash any hot wax onto yourself. Move the candle as you pour, allowing various shapes to begin to form.
Once the wax has cooled you will begin to interpret the shapes. Much like Tasseomancy (tea leaf reading) the individual question often determines how we interpret the shapes. If you look at the picture above in accordance with the question asked, I see two individuals reaching towards each other. You could interpret this as the new job having great coworkers or perhaps an atmosphere of cooperation and goodwill. Either may be a sign of happiness in your new job.
While a relatively simple form of divination, Ceromany can be fun and rewarding. May it illuminate your life and help you reach the answers you seek.
I’ve always been embracing my “air” head, having always been drawn to the element of air. I love anything that flies, has wings, that soars. It’s early morning and I am again sitting in my kitchen looking out the large plate glass window in our breakfast nook. Outside, our bird feeders are standing room only. There are 20 or so mourning doves, a variety of chickadees, finches and sparrows. Occasionally one of the three blue jays that reside in our trees swoops down, squawking at the other birds. It pushes and shoves its way to the food, and generally plays the resident bully. As I watch, a ruby-headed hummingbird moves towards the hanging nectar, ticking at another heading the same way. The air stirs their feathers, holds them in flight as they move from perch to perch. Watching the birds fly I feel a twinge of envy, wishing I too could embrace the air.
Near our gargoyle fountain my sole surviving chicken pecks around the yard, disinterested in all the tiny birds eating the seed around her. Several birds splash in the brightly colored bird bath, not seeming to notice that it is 43 degrees outside. In the distance I hear a hawk cry out and watch as the birds take to wing en masse, frightened by the predator gliding overhead. It is then that I realize that this is my happy place, surrounded by the denizens of Air, feeling the wind in my hair and the breeze on my skin. I suppose I truly am embracing my “Air” head”.
When I was a child I was always fascinated by birds. We had parakeets in our home from a very young age. I loved having them around but it always made me a little sad, seeing them in cages. Once a day or so they were taken out of the cage and allowed to roam freely around the house. As they flew around my head, then landed on my shoulders, I recall feeling positively giddy. These were my friends, my companions. How I envied them their wings and the ability to fly.
Many of my favorite memories involve birds, the wind and stormy weather. I’ve fond memories of standing and watching the winds whip the redwood trees that lined our school playground. Many hours were spent looking at the windows as the hawks dipped and swirled high overhead. One summer I got bored and left my sister’s softball game for a large open field. There, at dusk, I saw my first owl up close as it hovered over my head. It hadn’t expected the mouse that it was hunting to run across my foot, putting me in its flight path. The birds, the air, they were always my joy.
I can recall the feeling of exhilaration and joy a windy day brings and the kiss of a warm summer breeze upon my face. Is it any wonder that when I started exploring the Craft that the element of Air called to me? And it did so not with a gentle wind but with a gale force summons. So, I strapped on my wings and answered.
Answering the Call of Air
Even after I’d started on my path, Air never quieted. The element of Air joined me at some of the most unusual times. Air showed itself each time I cast circle, breezing around the perimeter. Air swept in and blew the herbs off my working altar even though there were no open windows or vents. At the workplace, Air kept pushing at me, begging me to pay attention. Try explaining to a muggle co-worker why when I got upset papers would blow off people’s desks. It would seem that I needed to pay attention and learn to work with Air. Soon!
Is it any wonder that when I started exploring the Craft that the element of Air called to me? And it did so not with a gentle wind but with a gale force summons. So, I strapped on my wings and answered.
Terry Pellegrini – Embracing my “Air” Head
Once I began exploring and working with the element of Air I began to see what an influence it had over my entire life. Air’s correspondence sounded like a recitation of my own affinities. My inquisitive mind and thirst for knowledge of all kinds has never waned. Birds, pardon the pun, flocked to me no matter where I was, sometimes to the point of embarrassment. My psychic abilities were always present although I didn’t truly embrace them until my twenties. As I worked more and more with this element, these affinities grew, becoming sharper and clearer. Air had blown away the fog, allowing my inner light to truly shine. Embracing my “air” head became second nature to me.
“Air Head” Syndrome
On the flip side, working with Air can make you a bit spacey, put your head into the clouds and keep it there. This is where the term “Air Head” comes into play. When you work almost exclusively with one element you become unbalanced, often loosing your magickal footing. Working with Air may bring out the intellectual, the cerebral, in you but it may also cause you to daydream and space out. You can lose your focus easily, become irritated and petulant. For every positive attribute an element has, there is an opposite, a negative attribute. Spend too much time with that element and it will show you all its sides.
If you spend all your time with only one friend, your other friends may feel neglected or even pissed off. The same goes with working with the elements. After spending so much time concentrating on Air, when asked to call in another element, they responded weakly or not at all. Once I understood this need for balance and began consistently working with the other elements along side of Air, my magick and my life became less wonky, leveling out my one-sided gait.
The lesson I’ve learned from all of this is to go ahead and embrace your element of choice, but don’t neglect the others. Balance in magick, as well as life, is crucial for keeping your path straight and steady, your mind clear and your magick strong. It is okay to be an “Air” head, just be certain to invite the other elements into your circle, and your life, as well.
Inspiration for my blog posts often come from some of the most unusual sources. Take this post for example. I’d finished a crochet project and went to grab my loom to start on a table runner for my kitchen table. As I prepared to place the warp on the loom, (I am a novice weaver having received my loom for Yule last year), I was trying to choose a sturdy warp thread for my project. I’d used a thin yarn the time before and it kept moving and stretching causing my weaving to be weak and uneven. As I readied the yarn I thought that in weaving, as in all manner of crafts, the warp, the foundation, needs to be strong so our creations can manifest the way we envision them. If the warp is weak, no matter of how well we weave in our weft, our cloth may unravel in our hands.
It is the same in Witchcraft and all forms of magickal practice. If our foundations are weak, our magick will never manifest in the powerful ways it should. The strong threads of practice and knowledge laid down before we spell cast will hold the weft of our herbs, stones, candles, all of our correspondences, in place, creating the firm yet pliable cloth of manifestation. But what does our magickal warp consist of?
Our warp, our foundations, are those things that we were taught as budding magickal practitioners. With each coven, grove, and circle, these foundation will vary but without them, we cannot move forward along our chosen paths. Without first learning, practicing and becoming adept at these foundations our magick may work – for a time – but we will never move past the “keep the fingers crossed and hope it works” phase. Below is a list of the “warp” that I share with my students. I believe that without these threads one cannot be expected to create a resilient, strong, beautifully magickal cloth – Witchcraft at its finest.
Meditation – As I’ve said many times before, without learning to clear one’s mind, to focus and be present in the moment, our magick will be just as unclear and unfocused. Creating a daily practice of meditation and communion with Spirit and other realms can only enhance our magick. Not only does it help us to focus our Will and our Word, it has mundane benefits as well. Meditation aids in keeping our bodies and mind calm, relaxed, and healthy, making us better people and magickal practitioners.
Grounding and Centering – If we are unable to both ground ourselves in the Earth, in the Universe, before we begin our workings and then ground any excess energy afterwards, we can not only do harm to ourselves (magickal hangovers come to mind) we may also do harm to our spell casting and those caught in the crossfire when our ungrounded magick decides to manifest wonky – Yes, wonky is a very technical term. The same goes for Centering. If we do not center ourselves, that is get in touch with our core, our magick, then we have no starting point for manifestation, no point of origin from which to move forward.
Visualization – If you cannot see the warp threads as they move up and down with the heddle, you have know idea where to place the shuttle for the next pass of the weft. In other words, without being able to visualize what we want our magick to do, where to send it and how we see it manifesting our magick will not weave into the creation we envision. Instead it will move into the Universe haphazardly, without direction. Learning to visualize properly and hold that picture in your mind for ever increasing lengths of time, is another sturdy warp thread in your cloth.
Energy Work – I cannot tell you how many time I’ve talked to people in working groups that have never had any training in energy work. How can one expect to manifest magick without the foundation of good energy work? If one does not know how to properly create, move, shape and then direct energy how can they be expected to confidently and consistently cast with the desired results? Practice your energy work daily until it becomes as natural as breathing. The results will be a magickal thread that will bind and shape your spell’s fabric into whatever you can envision.
Ethics – Yes, this can be a controversial subject, but without our personal ethics how can we believe in what we are trying to create? My ethics will never be the same as your ethics, but until we understand ourselves, understand what we feel is right or wrong, or somewhere in between, our workings will take on that ambivalence and become wishy-washy, uncertain of how it should express itself. Its true in all aspects of our lives, we must believe in where we are coming from before we can go anywhere. It’s like standing in the center of an amusement park, with rides all around you. If you don’t know that you get motion sickness easily, then you may end up on a ride that makes you so ill that you are unable to ride on any others or even enjoy the rest of your day. Ethics allow us to make the moves that are right and correct for us – not any one else – just us.
I feel that these five fundamental points are crucial for every magickal practitioner. Yes, I do have several others that I share in my introductory classes, but without these five, magick has no where to start. You may be an extremely powerful, natural-born witch, druid, wizard, but until you warp your loom of creation with strong threads, you may end up with a beautiful mess. Take the time, the effort, to give yourself a rock solid foundation from which to begin your weaving and your magick will flow from your fingers, creating the world you desire.
In the last year or so I have had many conversations with folks, in and out of the magickal community, about being authentic and “walking your talk.” These conversations begin because of an individual who has been identified as doing neither. These rather heated discussions seem to have become increasingly more frequent. I have to wonder why that is. Is it because there are so many more new people in the magickal community without proper guidance? Maybe the people in the community doing the complaining are too picky on the definitions, don’t understand what it actually means or are just dang catty. Perhaps it’s a bit of each. I do feel that all of the individuals, on both sides of the conversations, are forgetting to lead by example, perhaps not on purpose, but it’s happening nonetheless. For all our sakes, I think it’s time we take a serious look at “walking your talk.”
A fairly loose definition of “walk your talk” would be making your personal, every day actions match your chosen spiritual, religious or community path. As an example, let’s look at “Mary”. She is a newbie witch, been practicing for a year or so on a Wiccan path. She is quick to quote the Wiccan Rede and three-fold law, but is the first to whip out the cauldron and mix up a nasty batch of “stab them in the back” potion. She is saying one thing and doing the exact opposite. She’s just spouting pretty rhetoric, wearing the trappings, and not at all “walking her talk”.
Then we have “Steve”. He has been a practicing witch for approximately the same amount of time. He belongs to a very earth-conscious circle, a group that has deep conservationist and community service beliefs. He works full-time but manages to spend at least one weekend a month helping to clean up parks and a nearby riverfront or volunteers at his local homeless shelter. He recycles, eats vegan, lives simply in a tiny house and rides his bike everywhere. His walk mirrors his talk.
While these two examples are clearly extremes at the opposite ends of the spectrum, in reality most of us are floundering somewhere in the middle. Is that a bad thing? No, not inherently. But it’s a slippery slope. If we are going to portray ourselves in a certain light, we need to be damned sure that we are striving to stay in the glow of authenticity and not allow ourselves to fall into the shadows of false behavior and fakery. How do we do this? What can we do to live a life steeped in truth, reflecting out to all an example of walking our talk? Baby steps my friends, we take baby steps.
Sit down and take a hard look at your path, your beliefs. Make a list if you find it helpful of those things that are important to your path, (I am a Virgo so lists are my life). Does your path require daily meditation, prayer or reflection? Does your circle or coven encourage offerings to your chosen deity(ies) or an altar to your ancestors? How about service to the community, monthly fasting, or vision quests? Are you doing that? If not, today is the day to start. Pick one thing, just one thing that defines you and your path and do it. Now. Then keep doing it everyday until it is an integrated part of your daily life, your being. Then pick another and add that in. Now you are moving forward, walking your talk and leading by example. You’ll find it easier than you imagined. Really. Trust me.
Walking your talk does not mean you are perfect. It means you are genuinely trying to live your life in alignment with the path you have chosen for yourself. While others may not agree with your path, they will not be able to find fault with how you are walking it. It may start with baby steps, tentative and unsure, but as the baby grows, its steps become steadier, stronger. So will your conviction to your path when you allow yourself to walk your talk, living as authentically as you can. Go ahead. Take that first baby step. Then the next, and the next..
When packing up my desk on my last day before retirement, I scooped up a small statue of Ganesha. He had been placed there many years before, in such a way that he was continually in my line of sight. I’ve always felt drawn to Ganesha, although I wasn’t sure why. Maybe it was the elephant head, the cute rat at his feet or that he always looked so happy. I knew a bit about his attributes so when I felt like obstacles were constantly being thrown in my path, professionally and personally, turning to Ganesha for some much needed help just felt right.
If you are not familiar with Ganesha, he is the Hindu God of success, wealth, the remover of obstacles, and on the flip side, can place obstacles in your path should you become vain and overly ambitious. He is called upon when beginning any new venture, such as a new project or business. Unbeknownst to me before I began writing this blog, he is also seen as the patron of authors. How cool is that?
Ganesha sat there on my desk, day after day, looking out over the chaos that was my work life. I would silently talk to him, asking that he move the obstacles in my path so I could move ahead, get out of my current job, become the writer and witch I needed to be. He would sit there, smiling, his eyes seeming to sparkle, but he never answered. Or so I thought.
One particularly bad day I excused myself and went into the restroom. Seeing that no one else was there, I entered a stall and promptly began to cry. Not just a little, but big gut wrenching sobs. Ganesha, I thought, why did I feel blocked at every turn? Why did I feel so bad, so stressed, so done? I wanted, no needed, to be out of that place but I kept hitting a proverbial brick wall. Suddenly a picture of a caricature me flashed before my inner eye. In the vision I stood, trowel and mortar board in hand, in front of a tall red brick wall. Slowly my cartoon self looked up just as the bricks began to break free from the highest point of the wall. They fell, cartoon style, on my head as a dialog balloon popped up, filled with $%&* (cartoon cursing). My tears dried up and I began to laugh. Loudly, nearly hysterically.
Drying my eyes and composing myself, I exited the stall, realizing that I’d just received a rather poignant, if not comical, message. The world wasn’t giving me obstacles, I was building them myself. Wow, talk about an “AHA” moment. I’d been looking at the big picture all wrong. The obstacles weren’t something that the Universe had placed in front of me, they were of my own making. I sent up a silent “thank you” to Ganesha and went back in to work.
Sitting down at my desk and smiling at the happy statue once again in front of me, I jotted down what had just happened. I did my best to identify those obstacles I’d built and then some ideas on how I would go about demolishing my obstacles. Needless to say the list was quite lengthy. Once finished, I felt an incredible weight lift off of my shoulders. I had a list and a plan. As any Virgo knows, those two things are what get us off our butts and moving forward. Every. Single. Day.
That evening, list and plan in hand, I began taking that edifice down brick by brick. It took several weeks, a lot of research, number crunching and soul-searching, but cracks began to appear in the wall. When all was prepared I sat down for a long talk with the husband, four different spreadsheets in hand, each with a different scenario and budget carefully planned out. I was going to retire – not quit – my current job, and write and teach full time. He looked them over, picked one, and my wall tumbled down.
Since I have retired Ganesha has received an honored place on my bedroom altar, the altar I look to every morning. He reminds me to be careful of what I am building in my life. Do my plans keep me happy, my options open and energy flowing? Or have I become the architect of a new wall, constructing another obstacle to once again trap myself in a situation or place I could have easily moved around? I am hoping I have learned my lesson and retired my trowel and mortar for good. If not, I know Ganesha is there, ready to teach me another lesson in obstacle demolition.
Once again I find myself driving home from work with a zillion thoughts zinging around in my head. As I drive I’m mentally preparing a list of the things I have to do that evening, that week, that month. There are the usual mundane things I have to do – laundry, housework, meal planning, yard work. If that wasn’t enough to do, there are items that I have to do concerning my spiritual practice. I have to get ready for Full Moon. I have to write ritual for Hekate’s Feast. I have to work on my page and my blog. I have to, I have to, I have to. Wait! Oh no! I’ve caught a bad case of the “Have Tos”.
The “Have To’s” is an insidious little virus, infecting us all from the moment we are born until the day we move on. We can’t seem to get away from them, all those pesky things we think we “have to” do. They hound us, wake us from our slumber, give us anxiety when we can’t get them all done. But do we really “have to”? Think about it? Who is demanding that we “have to” do anything? What do we truly “have to” do?
Okay, I am not advocating that you stop doing everything. Yes, there are those things we should do in order to take care of our well-being and the well-being of those we have chosen to place in our charge. We must eat, drink, breathe, love, work in some fashion to feed ourselves and provide ourselves and our charges with shelter, and, eventually, die. That’s it. Really. Everything else we do is a choice.
Yes, a choice. The way you eat, drink, keep fit physically (or don’t), your spirituality, are all choices. How, who and when we love are all choices. Where and how we live are all choices. Even how we die can be a choice, though it is an inevitability. When we understand that these things are choices we begin the eradication of the dreaded “Have Tos”
“But I have obligations,” you say. “What about those?” Just think on it for a moment. What are obligations? They are those tasks that society, family, or ourselves have placed upon us to perform. But you as an individual have a choice as to whether or not you wish to accept that task. You can choose to go your own way, behave how you wish, society be damned. Or you can conform to keep the peace, the status quo. That’s okay. It is your choice, either way. Truly, it is.
The infection of the “Have Tos” is not just contained to our physical life, but infiltrates into our spiritual and Witchcraft practices. Please, leave the “Have To’s” outside our circles, covens, and groves because once they get in, they are a bitch to cure. Those “Have Tos” fog our senses and cause us to forget why so many of us chose our paths to begin with. Catch that? Chose our paths. We shouldn’t “have to” honor the Sabbats or follow the moon cycles. We should want to. We don’t “have to” meditate, commune with nature or honor our Gods. We choose to, desire to, are happy to. As Witches, Wizards, Druids, or Pagans we have the power to choose how we practice, when we practice and why we practice. It really is that simple.
The “Have Tos” is a horrible infection but it can be cured with time. To do so we must desire to unlearn years of programming and prescribe ourselves a big dose of Free Will. You remember that? The Gods gave it to us for one reason, that we may choose our own destiny. Yes, the cure can be painful. Sometimes the choices we make may hurt ourselves or others and could be downright dangerous or horribly wrong. But we learn and grow from our mistakes, healing ourselves with each freely made choice.
Curing ourselves of the “Have Tos” does not mean we will never do things we don’t truly want to do. It just frees us to choose the how’s and why’s we are doing them. Society will not crumble because we choose not to mow the lawn today, leave a job you hate, don’t go to that family function for someone you detest, or run yourself ragged with your perpetual list of “have tos.”. Once we are cured, freed of the “Have Tos” we become happier, more relaxed and, ultimately, more productive members of this society and the world. So what are you waiting for? Take the cure.
Our coven had a beautiful Summer Solstice ritual this past week. Our theme for the ritual was “Becoming”. We asked each other how has what you planted at the Spring Equinox helped you to become who you are today? As things are want to happen, this planned ritual evolved into not only our becoming, but our ripening. How I love that word.
As witches we can’t stay green forever. We need to learn, grow, advance, ripen or we shall merely rot on the proverbial vine, But how can we gauge where we are in the process? How can we identify if we are green, ripe, or somewhere in between? I’d like to share my thoughts on this.
A green witch is a newbie, a beginner. This does not imply that the witch has just found the Craft, but may also designate one who may have been practicing for a few years but has never moved past the beginning phases.
The beginner, the green, unripe witch does only basic work. They feel uncomfortable delving into shadow work and the mysteries. Ritual work is minimal and why they may follow the cycles of the year they are doing so rote, without actually delving into why we do so, they neglect to learn about their meanings, their core. Spell work is their main focus, but the outcomes are hit and miss. They understand that they need to do more, may even want to do more, but lack the proper instruction and/or motivation. While many may feel the lack of instruction others are perfectly comfortable with the level they are at. This is not necessarily a bad thing. If you are comfortable at this level, then stick to it. But when has witchcraft ever been comfortable?
Next we find the burgeoning witch, the witch that is in the process of ripening but still has time on the vine. The majority of witches I know are in this stage. Here, we are constantly learning, taking in the nutrients of hard work, dedication and practice. We are delving into our shadows and dealing with the crap that is holding us back from reaching our potential. We are understanding that the mysteries take years, decades to understand, if we ever truly do. Spell work is done when there is a need, not just for the sake of performing a spell and when we do so it is with the knowledge that our skills, through years of hard work and trial and error, are such that our outcomes are 98% favorable (sometimes what we want the Gods know we don’t really need).
In this phase we may begin to share our knowledge with our covens, circles and groves. We may become teachers, priest/priestesses, and counselors. Still, we require the support of our sisters and brothers in the craft to aid us in moving into the more advanced aspects of our journey. Trance work, thought forms, advanced sigil magick and divination work all are made easier when the witch in this stage leans heavily on her/his guides and magickal families to aid them on their journeys into ripeness.
The ripe witch, the crone, the sage, the adept, is what we all aspire to be and desire to emulate. The ripe witch is the one we all seem to go to with our questions, our stumbling blocks, our magickal failures as well as successes. They have mastered themselves, have delved into their shadows and come out whole. They “know” without seeming a “know it all”. A ripe witch is one that has done the difficult inner work, has delved beyond the veil and back, has a deep relationship with their chosen deity(ies). He/she understands the web of life and how each and evert action we make affects us all. They are simply themselves, strong, capable, bad ass witches. They live their magick each and every day. They ARE magick.
Where am I on this journey? Somewhere between burgeoning and ripe, I think. I do know that there is so much I still need to learn and experience, so many of the mysteries I have yet to delve into. My inner work is on-going and my skills can always be improved. No matter where I may be on this adventure we call witchcraft, this is the path I wish to be on. But today I will just enjoy the summer sun and then, one day, I too shall ripen and become the adept witch I know I can become.
It’s three in the morning and I rise with anticipation, and a yawn. I shuffle my sleepy butt to the front room, grabbing my tools along the way. I set up my altar, checking the clock for just the right moment, the correct planetary hour, to begin my spell. I raise my hands to begin my work and catch a glimpse of someone in the hallway mirror. What is that hideous creature staring back at me? Curious, I squint, taking a moment to adjust my rheumy eyes, then realize it is indeed, me. The picture is not pretty. Me, sitting at the altar with my glorious bed-head, carefully sculpted by drool and an uncomfortable pillow, looking for all intents and purposes like I visited Medusa’s stylist. I’m taken aback by the sleep encrusted eyes and the scowl of caffeine depravation. There is a reason why people are frightened of witches. It’s the bed-head and broomsticks.
Twenty some odd years ago when I first began practicing my Craft, it was possible to find me at 2 or 3 (or earlier) at my altar/craft (as in sewing) room, or in the family room working spells and doing ritual. It was joyous to be up and working when all else were asleep. The world was quiet, the energy of the night wrapping about me like a warm, comfortable sweater, alone but for the Gods I may be evoking. I would do my work, go back to bed for an hour or so and then get the kids up for school and myself ready and off to work.
Now, at 56, I still get that call to rise, to work magick during the “witching hour”. But reality is a cruel bitch. It reminds me that I have to be up at 5 to get ready for work, that my energy levels are not what they once were. Sleep, it seems, is the siren that calls to me now. Am I any less of a witch? Is the fact that I am often in bed by 9 and rarely rise to meet the call of the “between” time of midnight a detriment to my Craft? Nope. it just changes how I work a bit.
As a student of witchcraft, quantum physics, and the theories of non-lineal time, I can tell you that “time” is definitely relative. Yes, I love working with the moon phases, the planetary hours and seasons. I do, however, realize that time, being non-lineal, that is not in a straight line, means that any time can be the “right” time to do magick. My head could be expertly coiffed or straight out bed-head but the timing could still be spot on. It kind of makes my life a bit easier, knowing that time is on my side (yes, I hear the eyes rolling).
Maiden, Mother, Crone, we all can work our magick at the time that best suits are lifestyles and energy levels. We can be a morning person, night owl, or any place in between. Whether we work with what time we can, stick scrupulously to the planetary hours or just freaking wing it, our magick is our own. We need to do what feels right, what works with our lives, souls, and traditions. This is our Craft, not any one else’s. We need to stop feeling guilty if we miss the exact moment of the Full Moon or fall asleep before our New Moon spell work. We are witches, but we are also human.
So the next time you awaken at midnight eager to get to your spell work or are setting up your altar at 2 in the afternoon, remember that it’s all good. Intention, focus and will are what truly make the magick. The bed-head is just a perk.
As the Vernal Equinox approaches and the days grow longer and warmer, my entire being brightens up. My thoughts are taken out of the darkness of winter and into the light of Spring. Because a big part of my craft revolves around herbs and my garden I can’t help it if I get a bit giddy this time of year. The sunlight beckons and the bird’s song as they ready their nests echoes the sentiment in my heart. Time to get up, get moving, and get cleaning!
With the return of the sun, I find myself reevaluating my Craft and where I wish to take it during the following year. I break out the notes I made at Yule and do a “spring cleaning” if you will of those plans and ideas that need a bit of a dusting. Are those plans I made in the winter still viable in the new light of the spring? Which ideas need a bit of spit and polish to make them shiny and new again? Which ones are worn beyond measure and truly need to placed in the trash? Are there some that just need a stitch or two here or there to “mend” a shoddy, but still usable concept?
By breaking out the metaphorical soap and water at least once a year, I am able to keep my Craft fresh and moving in a forward direction. Any thing, any idea, that is stagnant, smells off, or seems to have grown a funky green fuzz on it from neglect over the winter gets a very thorough scrubbing. If afterwards it still stinks or just can’t seem to keep my attention, out it goes. I’ve had some really grand plans and seemingly awesome ideas turn to absolute mush over a long winter. I’ve had pieces of my Craft break off or shatter so badly no amount of time or glue could piece it back together. In the winter, in the cold and gray, I’ve tried in vain to save them. But in the light of spring I come to realize they have broken because they no longer serve me. I reexamine everything and purge, purge, purge! Out with the old!
Once the surfaces have been cleaned, the dust bunnies corralled, old candle wax scraped of the shelves, and the broken down and tattered remnants burned away, it’s time to bring in the new. With the smell of fresh beeswax and lemon polish in my nose, I sit and meditate on the plans and ideas that remain. How can I best use them? Will they take my Craft on the path I feel I need this year or do I need to purge further? Is there something I could add to enliven my Craft and my connection to the Gods? What makes my soul sing, my heart happy, and my Craft powerful? Do these concepts, these plans do that?
Once I am satisfied that all is organized, in its place and ready to use, I’m ready to move forward, to put those plans into action. I tuck my Book of Shadows under my arm, careful not to let all those refreshed notes, new spells and polished ideas spill out. I grab my freshly scrubbed cauldron, open a new pack of candles, and place what is left of last years offering of dried herbs in my basket and head to my outdoor altar, eager to begin my work. In the sunlight of a new spring day I feel cleansed and refreshed in both my spirit and my Craft. I’m ready to move eagerly towards the new experiences that await me in this season and the next.
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