Hello all! Sorry I haven’t been around lately. My site has been acting strangely and I have been unable to post anything. I am no longer AWOL, so I’ll catch you up on what’s happening.
I opened my Reiki studio and mini-store on April 16th. It’s been going well with clients coming in fairly regularly and in-person my tarot readings keeping me busy. Right now I am open by appointment only but am planning on having more walk-in days as I did last Saturday.
The Etsy shop is doing well. Orders continue to come in at a steady pace so that is keeping my quite busy as well.
I’ve started classes and workshops in the new space. I have a two this month (my son’s wedding is this week so I kept my calendar small) but have several planned for June and July. The class offerings are as noted below:
Class Offering for May and June 2022
May 25th – Crystal Ball Gazing Workshop
May 28th – Sculpt Your Own Goddess Workshop
June 8th – Poppet Workshop
June 12th and 16th – Making Magick with Culinary Herbs
June 19th – Create a Summer Solstice Sun Catcher
June 30th – Unusual Forms of Divination
As you can see, I’m keeping very busy. I will be starting up the card of the week again and I am working on a newsletter as well.
I will be working on a viewable calendar for this site and also a “book now” page for my services and classes. I am planning on offering several classes on line and via Zoom or Messenger Video early next year. I will, along with my business partner Molly, be expanding our Sisterhood circles. In February I will be adding Goddess circles to the schedule as well.
So, I am no longer AWOL but I am crazy busy. And happy to be so.
You would think that living in a forest amongst the Lodgepole and Ponderosa pines that beauty would be easy to find. And it is. As the autumn progresses the land here is dipped in shades of green, gold, red, and umber. It rained yesterday and the droplets on the trees reflect the rising sun, looking like diamonds amidst the pine needles and aspen leaves. However, I am not speaking of the obvious sort of beauty. The beauty that assails your senses and leaves you breathless. No, I am talking of finding beauty in the little things. Beauty in the less obvious places.
Have you ever looked at a weed? I mean, really looked at it. Have you noticed the whorls, the geometry, the beautiful simplicity it projects? I hadn’t either until I started taking photos of plants around my property. The perfection, the beauty of a weed is amazing. We may still want to remove them (though many are actually beneficial and/or medicinal) but we can’t deny that they can be lovely-especially when they are in flower.
Little Things Can Be Amazing
Have you ever sat and watched a bee? For 20 minutes? I have. I got caught up the other day marveling at the industry, the loveliness, of this tiny little creature. Many of the flowers are gone, but they have found the sweetness of the hummingbird feeders. The hummingbirds have since migrated away (a different species than I was familiar with in the Central Valley) so the bees have appropriated the feeders. I was going to take them down but now instead, will refill them just for the bees. Forget the bird watching. Now I am an avid bee watcher as well.
Once you start looking at life differently, finding beauty in the little things is easy. Take dust motes for example. I never realized how beautiful they can be when you watch them whirling about in a beam of light. Makes your household chores that much easier to accomplish when you can have something wonderous to look at around every corner. And trust me. In this environment, I’ll always have dust to marvel at.
Finding Beauty in Unusual Places
As I continued on my quest to find the beauty around me, I began to look in unusual places. At least they were unusual for me. I began to look at (and under) rocks, twigs, and brush. I found beauty in a petunia that had sprung up between the cracks of a retaining wall. The last owner must have planted petunias last year, giving us a splash of color to greet us this season.
I then found myself marveling at the moss growing on a rock. Moss you say. Is a rock really that interesting? It is! The textures, the shades of green and brown with a smattering of rust and gold. It looked to be as soft as velvet. It was, but a bit spongy as well. Yet, look at how lovely the texture it, how delicate the moss seems. Amazing!
Little Things are Beautiful
The vastness of the blue sky, the soft whiteness of the clouds, the seemingly endless forest scape – these things are beauty portrayed on a grand scale. But a single drop of water shimmering on a one needle. The flicker of a tealight candle. The tip of a warm, wet, black nose directly in your eyesight as you awaken in the morning. This are the little things that we can find beauty in. They are all around us. From the sun reflecting off of a puddle in the parking lot of the grocery store to the smile of your neighbor as they wave from across the street. Keep looking for the beauty that is all around you, hiding in the unusual, the little, and the weird spaces around you. It will make you smile, your heart sing, and bring you joy.
Mabon is on the 22nd this year and I am looking forward to yet another solitary Sabbat. I have been wracking my brain trying to decide what I would like to do. Trust me. This solitary life hasn’t been easy when it comes to creating ritual. I have so many ideas but all of them seem to include multiple people. So, I sat down with those ideas and pared them down to just me doing all the things. Still, I couldn’t decide on just one thing so I have come up with 3 Ways to Celebrate Mabon.
Below are 3 ways as a solitary (or expand this for a group) to celebrate the second harvest. All are very simple and shouldn’t take but a few minutes. Modify these ideas to fit your personal practice and expand on them if you like.
Celebrate Mabon with an Actual Harvest
If you are an avid gardener, this may be an easy one for you. If not, this will take a bit of research or some travel. Find out, for your particular area, what fruits and vegetables are harvested during the month of September. Here in Central Oregon we are harvesting apples, several types of berries, cabbage and carrots, among others. Once you know what to look for – go out and “harvest” it, either in your yard, at the local farmer’s market, or ask a local grower to pick your own.
Once you’ve collected your harvest, set up your altar in your usual fashion. Place a green or gold candle on the altar and place your bounty around it. Light the candle and say:
“On this day of Mabon, I reap the bounty of the second harvest. May all my days be as plentiful as they are at this moment in time. May me and mine never hunger, may we want for nothing. May our pantries and bellies be full. May our hearts and beings be filled with joy, love, and peace.”
Sit for a while. Focus on the many things you have at this moment and all the bounty that will come your way. When you feel you are ready, snuff the candle and partake of your harvest.
Create a “Harvest” Journal
For this ritual you will need a notebook of some type (or you can add this to a journal that you are already keeping). Or, if you are like me, and have terrible handwriting, you can create a folder in your laptop or computer labeled “Harvest”. This ritual can be done in front of your altar. Alternately, if the weather is good, take your notebook outside.
Begin by thanking any deity(ies) that you work with (or the Universe, the One, Lord and Lady, etc.) for the many things that you have “harvested” this year. These things can be something tangible such as a new home, new job, a marriage, and so forth. Also count the intangible harvests. These are actions or deeds that have helped you “harvest” new ideas, attitudes, etc. For example, I have recently been working on ideas for a new book. While that book hasn’t come to be yet, I have harvested many ideas for that book.
Now write all of this down – yes, all of it. Even if you feel it is too small to note, mark it down. Don’t think to much about any of it, just write. When done, read it out loud to yourself. Did you write down a good deal more “harvests” than you were thankful for originally?
Keep this journal (or a printed copy of your file) on your altar. Take a look at it every day until Samhain and see how many other wonderful things you have “harvested” this year.
Make Some Apple Magick!
Of the 3 Ways to Celebrate Mabon, I find this the most simple, yet most profound. No, really. For this experience you will need an apple (or two), a sharp knife, a candle, your altar (If you don’t have an altar, any flat surface (even a fireplace mantel) will work just fine.) Lastly, you will bring an open heart and mind.
Place the apple(s) on your altar. If you wish, add other fall decorations as well. In the center of the altar place a candle-green or gold is appropriate but a white candle will work just as well. Place the knife next to the candle.
Light your candle and say “I welcome the magick of the season into my life. May the blessings of Mabon be shown to me.”
Cut the apple horizontally with the sharp knife. A pentagram will appear in the center of the apple. Sit in contemplation of this magickal gift and think of the many gifts that you possess as well. Close your eyes and meditate on these gifts. When you are ready, open them again and look around you. Do you see the 5 points of the pentagram being repeated elsewhere? How about the magick of your 5 fingers? Your toes? The five elements (earth, air, fire, water and spirit or wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.) Think of how miraculous the number 5 can be and the how the magick of the pentagram relates in your life.
Now take a big bite out of the apple. As you do so you are taking in the magick of the harvest, the magick of the pentagram, and the magick and goodness of the apple into your being. Leave the remainder of the apple on your altar as an offering and snuff out your candle.
As you can see, a solitary Mabon ritual be reverent and rewarding, simple yet fulfilling. May these 3 Ways to Celebrate Mabon, bring you as much joy as it has me.
Long before I met my first Craft mentor I had no idea where to start when it came to spell work. My first teachers were the books I could purchase by nearly clandestine practices from my local book store (I was WAY in the closet at that time). I tried candle magicks, small spells, and then I found, what for me, was an article – I don’t recall who wrote it, on how to use spell powders. It was quite the eye opener and it changed everything.
Spell powders are created by grinding dried herbs, resins, and stones/crystals into as fine a powder as possible. The completed powder is then charged with your intentions and used in a manner that is most beneficial to your outcome. These seemingly simple ingredients combined with your intentions create a powerfully concentrated magickal experience that will enhance any spell or working you choose.
How to Use Your Spell Powder
Spell powders are very easy to use. You can sprinkle them on doorsteps, windowsills, or pathways (this works fabulous for powders for protection, money drawing or to move a nasty neighbor on their way.) Add your powder to your wallet or inside a coin purse to attract money. Dress a candle with oil and roll in or sprinkle the candle with the powder to charge up your candle magick. Use the powder to create your ritual circle. Place the powder in mojo or spell bags to carry with you. Ring your candles or other spell items with your powder. You can even add the powders to a potion or brew.
Don’t limit yourself to these suggestions. Your Craft is your own and the many uses of spell powders is only limited by your need and imagination.
Note: Remember that powders are never, ever to be ingested or used as an incense. They are for external use only, and may contain ingredients that could be harmful to you if eaten or inhaled through smoke and ash.
Creating Your Own Spell Powder
Creating your own spell powder is not as complicated as it seems, but it is time consuming. To create your own you will need some basic ingredients and tools. Below I’ve given you ideas and instructions in creating your own spell powders.
How to Choose Spell Powder Ingredients
In order to choose the ingredients you must first have a clear idea of what you would like to use your powders for. Are you looking to find love? Is prosperity or money on your mind? Do you have a neighbor that is harassing you or your family and you need them to move on? The variations are endless. However, as in any spell work, you must focus on the exact issue or need and choose your ingredients from there.
Once you have your focus you can begin to determine what herbs, resins, or stones and crystals would work best. You can use a guide to correspondences such as “Holland’s Grimoire of Magickal Correspondence: A Ritual Handbook“ or you can let your intuition guide you. Use as many as you are guided to use. I personally like to use 3, 7 or 9 ingredients but that is not a hard or fast rule.
Use high quality ingredients, if at all possible. Organic herbs have an energy that mass grown and produced do not. Better yet use herbs you have grown yourself to add extra power to your work.
The same goes with resins and stones. Purchase these from reliable and ethical stores, online or your local metaphysical shop. The better the quality, the more responsibly harvested and sourced, the better the finished product.
Creating Your Spell Powder
Now that you have gathered your ingredients it’s time to create your powders. Don’t forget to have pen and paper next to you so you can record what you are using and how much. Relying on your memory can be tricky when you want to recreate any magickal powder, potion, etc.
Be precise and accurate in your measurements. Use a scale if possible or, if you’d like, use the old methods of “one palm full”, or a “pinch. Just keep it consistent for each ingredient.
Take your measured ingredient and place it into a mortar or pestle. If you are making large amounts, like I do, use a dedicated electric coffee or herb grinder. As you place the ingredients into the mortar (bowl) or grinder focus on the intention of the powder. If it is for prosperity, for example, you can say “For Prosperity” as you place it into the bowl. Grind the ingredient to as fine a powder as possible. This may take quite a while, especially with roots and barks.
A note of caution when using an electric grinder. Resins may gum up the grinder so a mortar and pestle is preferred. Stones and crystals may dull the blades of the appliance as well, so use caution.
Grind all ingredients well and place in a ceramic bowl or a clean cauldron. Hold you hands over the bowl and charge (empower) your powder for its intended purpose. If the powder is for love you could say something such as “Let this power aid me in drawing love, in all its forms, to me.” or I charge these herbs to seek out and find my true love, whomever that may be.” When you feel you have poured as much energy and focus into the powder it is now ready to use.
Using The Moon and Planetary Timing When Creating Your Spell Powder
I wanted to add just a quick note about using moon phases and a planetary hours and astrological correspondences when creating your powders. If you create your powders with the most auspicious timing, be it by the moon or planets, it will add an extra punch of energy and efficacy to your powders. That being said, our needs don’t always happen during the correct phases. If you need money fast and it’s a waning moon don’t worry. Create that powder anyways. As an example, instead of asking for an increase of funds you can ask to banish debts instead. Better yet, you can add a “disclaimer” to your workings. You can say something like “May all the correct astrological, planetary and lunar correspondences favor this powder.” Just remember, need outweighs “correctness”. It is our will that makes it work. The Universe will listen.
Don’t have time to Make Your Own – No Worries.
Making your own spell powders can be labor intensive. If you, like many others, are super busy or perhaps just don’t have access to the herbs, stones or resins required, not to worry. You can check out my Etsy Store at TriuneMoon. I have several powders and spell candles there for purchase. I can also create custom spell powders for your particular needs.
Whatever you decide, creating your own or using a purchased spell powder, you can be certain that your spell work will pack on extra punch when you use these powdery powerhouses.
May all your intentions be made manifest and your spell work be fruitful.
We are going through an unprecedented crisis in our country right now. This pandemic has changed the way we are living, working, and socializing. Most of us in the world are now on “shelter in place” orders. It is going to be difficult for most of us to keep busy – mundanely and magickally. To help you make this time as productive as possible, and still have fun, I’ve come up with 15 Magickal Projects while we Shelter In Place.
First of all, let me emphasize “Stay Home”! Only go out for necessities – food, medicine, to work (if you can’t work from home), and to walk or run for exercise (keeping physical distance). If you don’t have supplies for any of the projects I’ve indicated – don’t run out to get them. Order online or, better yet, improvise. Let’s see how resourceful and ingenious we can be.
15 Magickal Projects
Create a Magickal Journal or Book of Shadows (BOS). – Have any old binders or notebooks laying around? How about composition books? Do you have leftover tissue paper or wrapping paper? If you have any of these things, some Decoupage or Clear craft glue, you can create a one of a kind magickal journal or BOS.
Melt down your old candle nubs and make new candles. – You know you have them. Bits and pieces of old candles that you’ve been saving for just such a day. Gather them up, melt them down, and make some new, magickaly infused, candles for your altar or spell work.
Sew up some spell bags. – Wlhile I usually like to use white or red for my spell and mojo bags, any remnants of material you have on hand will do. No sewing machine is required, just a needle and some thread. The hand-stitching adds extra energy to the bags.
Plant a magickal herb garden. – Check out my blog on creating a Witches Garden for some helpful hints.
Learn about a new magickal discipline or practice. – If you are anything like me, you love to learn about different practices and magickal techniques. Fortunately there are a lot of great books available from Amazon and information on the Internet, allowing us to research to our hearts content.
The Projects Keep Coming
Create rituals for all of the Sabbats. – The time to procrastinate is over. With all of is at home for the next few months we can devote some of our time to creating those rituals we have always wanted to. Never written a ritual before? Now is the time to grab pen and notebook, sit at your laptop or tablet, and give it a go.
Do weekly chats online with your coven or circle. – There are lots of ways to connect. Zoom, Skype, and Messenger are just a few platforms to chat, connect and see each other’s smiling faces.
Clean your altars and workspace. – No, not just a good dusting – really clean them. Wash statues and offering plates, scrape off that candle wax. Scrub your cauldrons and all the surfaces.
Start a Gratitude jar. – Grab an old or a box and create a Gratitude Jar. Each day write on a slip of paper something you are grateful for and place in the jar. Being grateful for what we have is a very magickal practice!
Create some magickal art. – Sculpt, paint, do needlework, anything creative. As you do so, infuse it with magickal intention. Later, as you look at, hold, or wear your art, you will activate the magickal intentions.
Craft a new item for your altar. – Always wanted to make an altar cloth from material you found a year ago? Itching to carve an altar offering bowl? Now is your chance. Break out your tools and get to work.
Hold daily or weekly healing rituals for the World. – It’s important to remember we are all connected. All forms of healing are critical! I will be publishing my healing ritual in the next week or you can design one of your own.
Practice your psychic arts. – Grab your pendulums, tarot cards, crystal balls, etc. and get to work. We will need these skills even more as we move forward.
Start or enhance your meditation practice. – Just do it already! This one of the best ways to enhance your magickal practice. And, there are no more “I don’t have time.” excuses allowed.
Drum, Sing, and Dance in your magick. – Bring some joy , along with the magick, into this stressful time.
Now Get To Work!
Don’t hesitate another moment. Grab your supplies and get to work. Unsure of where to start or how to do some of the projects I suggested? No worries. I will be posting “how-to” blogs in the weeks to come.
I look forward to seeing some of your projects. You can post pictures in the comments or on my Facebook Page – Triune Moon.
Vervain, commonly known as Verbena, is an extremely versatile herb, both magickly and medicinally. Found all around the world, it has a rich and useful history. Vervain has been considered a magickal and sacred herb in many different cultures throughout the centuries. It is best remembered as a sacred plant to both the Druids and the Roman priesthood.
To the ancient Romans the name “verbena” meant altar plant. The twigs of the plant were put into bundles and then used to sweep the altar and temple areas.
The name “vervain” comes from the Celtic term “ferfaen; “fer” meaning “to drive away” and “faen” meaning “a stone”. Healers would gather this herb to be used to treat kidney stones – something it is still used for today.
Vervain is a slim plant that may grow to be about 80 cm (32 in) tall. It is a hardy perennial and self-sows. It grows freely in the wild and is often found along roadsides and in dry or stony grounds. Today it is a favorite in many a garden and a staple in every witch’s herbal cabinet and apothecary.
Plant: Common Vervain
Scientific Name: Verbena
Latin Name:Verbena Officinalis, Verbena Californica, Verbena Hastata (Blue Vervain)
Folk/Secret Names: Van Van, Dragon’s Claw, Enchanter’s Plant, Herba Sacra, Holy Plant, Frog’s Foot, Juno’s Tears, Pigeon Grass
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Magickal Uses of Vervain
Vervain is a sacred plant, potentially the most mystical plant on earth. It is used on altars and is a staple plant in magic ceremonies. It is a versatile herb that has many magickal uses.
Parts Used: Flowers and Leaves
Catalyst – use to make spells “go”
Cleansing the altar
Consecration of tools
Herb of Immortality
Keeping evil at bay
Romance and love
Turning your rival into an ally
Used in fortune telling and prophecy
Vervain is the herb of poets, singers, and bards. It was often carried by these performers for to bring inspiration and increased skill
Vervain was placed around fields to prevent bad weather and to ensure a good harvest.
Substitutions: Motherwort, Skullcap, California Poppy
This easy to grow plant is a favorite in many home gardens. The Verbena genus is large, contains both annuals and perennials, and has a range in height from 10 cm through to 1.4 m. Vervain (Verbena) as an annual grows in zones 1 to 10, as a perennial: zones 3 to 10. In general the plants have dark green toothed leaves, and bloom from summer until the first frost of winter. Depending on the variety they may have clusters of tiny flat fragrant flowers or spikes with tiny flowers, making Vervain a great attractor of butterflies and bees to the garden.
Vervain can easily be started from seeds. Be sure to stratify the seeds (follow link for definition) to increase the germination rate. Sow seeds outside after the last frost of spring. Seeds can take anywhere from two weeks to three months to germinate, so don’t get discouraged. Alternately you can pick up plants from your local nursery.
Plants need full sun and well-drained soil. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. Spacing of your plants will depend on the variety. Consult the information on the seed packets or plant tags to determine the planting space required for your variety. When in doubt, consult the staff of your favorite nursery or garden center.
Depending on your soil quality and acidity, Vervain needs very little fertilizer. I usually add a bit to the soil before I sow seeds or add new plants and to any established perennials in the early spring.
Blooms are very long lived. However, Vervain is self-sowing so if you don’t want your garden overrun with these beautiful plants cut the flowers before they go to seed.
The information provided below is for educational purposes only and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Additional Information
Verbena Officinalis is most often used medicinally. Alternately you could use Verbena Hastata. Some of Vervain’s properties are:
Vervain is most often used to treat:
Painful or irregular menses
Please consult a licensed Herbalist and your Physician before using any parts of the Vervain plant medicinally.
Beyerl, Paul The Master Book of Herbalism Blaine, Washington, Phoenix Publishing Inc. 1981
Dugan, Ellen Garden Witch’s Herbal, Woodbury, MN, Llewellyn Publications 2009
Mueller-Ebeling, Claudia, Ratsch, Christian, and Storl, Wolf-Dieter Witchcraft Medicine Vermont Inner Traditions 2003
Tierra, Michael The Way of Herbs New York, NY, Pocket Books, 1998
Wow! It’s hard to believe that Winter Solstice will be here on Saturday. This year has just flown by. And what a year it’s been. I’ve been simultaneously busy and relaxed, contemplative and active. I’ve been chasing my new puppy, busy with the tarot cards of the day and writing this blog. But now that the holidays are upon us I am going to be taking some much needed downtime.
We all need a bit of a break now and then. A time to regroup, refresh and reinvigorate our minds, bodies, and spirits. Getting some much needed downtime is crucial to our health. This time of year is perfect for that. The days are colder and the nights lend towards snuggling in your favorite blanket, enjoying a cup of tea and a good book. For me, it is also the time I take stock of what is or isn’t working for me. How can I best use my time? What things need to be put aside and what new things should be put in their place? My Virgo soul enjoys a good list so I grab my pad and pen and get to writing up pros and cons.
As Samhain approaches and the veil thins we often become introspective. We muse on the things we have accomplished in the past year, and ponder what we wish to accomplish in the next. We think of the turning of the Wheel of the Year, the endless cycles of birth, death, and rebirth. Our minds contemplate those that have passed before us. This is the time of year when our ancestors call to us. This is the time for building our ancestral altars and creating space for the dead. A sacred place, a portal, where we can communicate and call to our ancestors, both of the blood and of the heart.
Ancestral altars are a part of many different cultures and religions around the world. Many homes in both the Japanese and Chinese cultures have altars for their ancestors that are used every day. In ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt, there were many different forms of honoring the dead and the ancestors. However, one of the most well-known celebrations for the ancestors is Dia de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. Celebrated from November 1st through November 2nd, those of Mexican descent erect ancestor altars and visit the graves of their loved ones to celebrate both life and death.
Ancestors of the Blood and of the Heart
Earlier in this blog I mentioned honoring your ancestors by blood and of the heart. Those by blood are of course your biological ancestors, those directly related to you through your parents. Ancestors by heart are those individual who have passed on in which we feel a spiritual or personal connection with. These ancestors may include those of a different culture or spirituality that you connect with. Perhaps they were your favorite neighbor, a teacher or instructor, or your best friend from high school. Our ancestors of the heart are those that have had an impact on our lives, those we hold dear to us regardless of familial relationships. They deserve, and need, to be honored as well.
Creating Your Ancestral Altars
An ancestor altar may be constructed just about anywhere. It may be used just for the Samhain Sabbat or left up all year. Be sure to create the altar on a flat surface such as a table, fireplace mantel or hearth, a dresser, ora side table. Some of the items you may wish to place on your altar are as follows:
Altar cloth – any color but traditionally black
Pictures of your Ancestors – these can be photos or other representations
Candles – I prefer black or purple but the colors are up to you.
A chalice with wine or water
An offering bowl or plate
Incense burner and incense
Favorite items of your ancestors – These can be articles of clothing, toys, their favorite drinks or foods.
Let your creative juices flow when setting up your altar. You may include flowers and special tokens from passed relatives. A wish/prayer box to send messages to your ancestors is great addition. You may wish to add scrying mirrors, crystal balls and other divination tools can be included as well. The only limits are your imagination and needs of your ancestors.
Using Your Ancestral Altar
Use your ancestor altar to commune with the ancestors, to give them offerings of thanks for all they have done, for you and your family. You can sit before your altar with your family and friends and tell stories about those that have passed before you, their deeds, adventures, as well as misadventures. Light the candles and incense and then meditate or scry before the altar. This communion is when you may ask your ancestors for guidance and insight. But above all, use your altar to remember, to keep the memories of those that have gone before you alive and well.
For me, taking the time to sit, commune, and honor our ancestors has greatly improved my well-being and my Craft. I have been given information from my ancestors that I could have never learned in books. Many warnings have been expressed, ethereal pats on the back given, and admonishments sent. Once you have stood in front of your altar, given your offerings and then felt the reciprocal love wash over you, you will never be without an ancestor altar in your home.
I encourage you to go ahead, build your altar, light your incense and candles. Commune and honor your ancestors this Samhain Eve and know that you and they are interconnected, intertwined, and forever a family. Blessed Be.
Rubbing her sleepy eyes, she yawns and then hits the “off” button on her alarm. Raising her arms above her head she stretches, trying to shake off the last of the sleepiness. Turning, she places her feet upon the floor and slowly rises. She grabs her robe from the side chair, slips it on, and with soft steps moves towards her bedroom altar. She pauses, breathes deeply, then lights the candle placed on a crystal plate. Another deep breath and she begins to recite her morning litany, the beginning of her daily devotional practice.
Devotional, as defined by the Miriam Webster dictionary is “a short worship service”. The Free Dictionary further defines it as “relating to worship; “a devotional exercise.” While most Wiccans have no problem relating to worship, some Witches may get stuck with this word. The act of worship itself is defined as “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a deity.” Perhaps you don’t work with deity but instead invoke a Universal One, Nature, or power. If so, you may still wish to worship – express reverence to that energy. A devotional practice does this.
I am often asked about daily devotional practice by my students and community. While sometimes a controversial subject because of its Abrahamic religious undertones, I find it an important one. I have touched on this subject in previous blogs, but have never gone into much detail. However, before we delve into the makings of a devotional practice, we must first understand the “why” of doing so.
The Importance of a Daily Devotional Practice
By performing a daily devotional, we are giving thanks, reverence, and energy towards our chosen Deity or Power. We are sharing with them, speaking words of praise, and using the time to gain a closer relationship with them/it. This act of worship and reverence, to me, is crucial for our Craft and our spiritual well-being.
Another plus of a daily devotional practice is allowing ourselves to ground and center, rooting ourselves in the here and now. Grounding and centering only takes a few moments but it can change the entire course of your day. When done first thing in the morning, at the beginning of our devotionals, we are giving ourselves a head start towards a mindful, purposeful day, rooted in serenity and peace. Done at the time of evening devotionals, we are able to put aside the craziness of our day and reconnect with the Earth, the elements and the great web of creation and life.
The second aspect of a devotional is an offering to deity or our higher power. Whether it be a poem, a thank you, a litany, or a prayer, each time we perform our daily devotional, we bring ourselves closer to them. This aids us in all of our workings. When we are closer spiritually to those we choose to honor, our rituals, our spells, and our daily lives are enriched.
Beginning Your Practice
As we’ve discussed, a daily devotional practice can enrich your life, your connections with deity, and improve your personal practice. But how do you begin?
Create a dedicated space for devotionals.: A shelf, tabletop, or even a flat stone in the yard can be set aside for your daily practice. It can be as simple or elaborate as you like. Make sure that there is enough room for things you may wish to incorporate into your daily ritual.
Cleanse and dedicate the space.: Using your usual methods, cleanse the area and all items you will place upon it. Then dedicate this space and the objects to the deity or power you choose to honor in your devotionals.
Decide on a time to do your devotionals.: Mornings or afternoons are fine, (or both). Just try and keep the times as consistent as possible. Currently, I do both a morning and an evening devotional. The morning is more of a connection with deity and the All and the evening is for thanks and praise for a wonderful day. You may have to work with it a little to see what feels right to you.
Now that you have the place and time decided upon you can begin to perform your devotional. Below is a suggested format for a daily practice. This is just a guideline. Take what works for you and add or subtract to customize your own personal working.
Simple Guideline for a Daily Devotional
Ground and Center: Using your usual methods, ground and center yourself. You may also wish to add in a simple smudging of yourself and your area if this is your tradition.
Greetings and salutations: Begin your devotional with words of greeting. A simple “good morning” can suffice or you can do elaborate hand gestures, clap, bow, or stomp your foot to “awaken” and signal the start to your devotions.
Statements of Purpose: You may also wish to add in a statement of purpose as to why and to whom you are performing your devotional. Something as simple as ” I give greetings to (insert deity) on this beautiful morning. I ask that you look upon me as I start my new day.”
Add in elements that honor your chosen Deity/Powers: Lighting a candle in their honor, chanting, singing, or offering a litany to the day are just some of the elements you can add to your practice. Read a poem, place flowers on the altar, or give offerings for a bountiful day. Do whatever feels right to you.
Closing statement: When you have completed your devotional, be sure to acknowledge and thank the powers for their presence. Just a simple, “Thank you and farewell.”, may suffice. Do what feels right an natural to you.
A devotional practice does not have to take a great deal of time. It may only take 5 minutes, or it could take an hour – depending on your personal preference. The important thing is the connection, the focus and intention that we create and then share with our deities/powers and to ourselves.
Speaking from personal experience, there is no better way to start (and/or) the day than by giving thanks and connecting with Deity and the Universe around me. It’s lifted my spirits on gloomy days and downright saved my sanity on bad ones. The understanding of, and relationship I have achieved with my chosen Goddess has enhanced my personal Craft ten-fold.
May your own daily devotional practice bring you as much joy and spiritual connection and awareness as mine has.
I’ve been on a bit of a break lately, trying to regroup and reexamine quite a few things. One of these was to look at what I feel is my purpose, my life goal at this very moment in time. Hard as I tried I couldn’t distinguish a singular purpose. My interests are varied. I have a great deal of experience in many areas but with the exception of Reiki, I couldn’t say that I have the title of “master” of any of them. My mind bounced ideas back and forth, trying to make sense of it all. Then it struck me as I was cutting some flowers from the garden. My purpose wasn’t singular – and it didn’t need to be. Like the zinnia in my hand, it had layers, was multi-faceted and winding. I was holding the guide to my goals. I was finding my petals of purpose.
Examining the petals of the zinnia, I started comparing each one to the things I love to do, the things I want to do, and those things that I can teach others. Standing there with the flower in my grasp, I began to touch each petal. This single petal with the wavy edge became my love of research. The one partially eaten by insects was my kitchen witchery. I continued to touch the velvety petals, ticking off a list in my head of who I am, what I aspire to, and what I wish to do for others. The list kept growing and growing, winding around with the petals.
Naming My Petals of Purpose
In finding my petals of purpose it became obvious that there was much that I am already doing that was both purposeful and fulfilling. I am an herbalist, healer, writer, blogger, and Reiki Master. I am a teacher of Witchcraft, tarot reader, psychic, grandma, gardener, kitchen witch, wife, priestess of Hekate, mother. These are all amazing things in their own right. Each one can hold a lifetime of purpose and joy. And if these things weren’t enough I began counting off those things I wish to learn, to do, and become.
In the next year I aspire to take the Master Gardener’s course, teach myself to knit socks, become an adept at herbal magicks and finish my book on the four elements. I am exploring shamanism, both the ancient beginnings and its modern meanings. I will be teaching new classes and creating and facilitating workshops. In 2020 I will be visiting new places – places I’ve always wanted to visit and places I’d never imagined I’d get to. My flower keeps blooming with new challenges, new ideas, and an endless thirst for knowledge.
Allowing our Purpose to Grow
And now, at the end of this examination, with each petal named and honored, I realize that purpose changes. We may think we came into this world with a set “thing” we have to do or accomplish but I now disagree. Our purpose, like our lives and the world we live in, are in a constant state of flux. Like our zinnia, it grows, buds, flowers and then fades. This is the nature of all things, to live, grow, evolve and to die. Ideas, purpose, knowledge, they come in subtly, then bloom vibrant. Over time, as we change, they fade and wither. Yet they leave seeds behind so we can replant and watch new ones grow again.
The next time you or I worry about our “true purpose” in life, meditate on the zinnia. See the possibilities and the many and varied purposes each of us can realize. Give yourself a break – know that purpose can be found in the smallest of flowers as well as the largest. Allow your life to freely flower, bloom and grow. Soon you will be recognizing your own petals of purpose.
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