Weekly Oracle Reading-Healing, September 19-25, 2022: This card invites you to take time and reflect on the energy of healing by allowing its light to shine on any areas in need of renewed wholeness. Attune to the rhythm of your own cycles by heeding signs and observing influences or habits in need of revaluation. Preventative measures taken now, be they physical, emotional or mental, can prevent more challenging problems in the future.
Weekly Tarot Reading-Nine of Wands, September 5-11, 2022: It is time to pull yourself out of the chaos that you have created. You’ve been running around with your hair on fire for so long. Now it is time to slow down. What is it that you truly want? Can you define what matters most to you? This is the time to focus on how you want the rest of your life to proceed. It is when we are focused and calm that we can come into our power and create the life we deserve.
Weekly Tarot Reading-High Priestess, July 25-31, 2022: This week is filled with mystery and intrigue. Look carefully for not all is being revealed. The High Priestess is asking you to open your eyes-both physically and psychically. There are mystical and spiritual signs that will guide you towards a new path or direction if you are willing to allow yourself to see them. Let your logical mind take the backseat and give the reins over to your intuition. The answers are there if you are willing to observe what is around you.
Weekly Oracle Reading-Freedom, July 18-24, 2022: Freedom prompts you to review any areas of limitation in your life that may be holding you back. Perhaps you are feeling victimized by unavoidable circumstances, or overwhelmed by endless choices. Regardless of what the cards of fate have in store for you, you alone have the freedom to choose how you play them. It is this spiritual freedom that cannot be taken away, and that gives life meaning and purpose.
Weekly Tarot Reading-The Empress, July 11-17, 2022: The Empress is the manifestation of creation. When she appears by your side there is nothing you cannot create. Break out the paints, the clay, pen and paper and let the juices of your imagination flow. Take a walk in the woods or by the sea and let nature inspire you. Let yourself birth those ideas you have been gestating. Above all, go, have fun and just do it!
Weekly Reading-Five of Wands Reversed, June 6-12, 2022: Stop worrying about whether or not you will be victorious in your endeavors. You cannot come out on top all of the time. Your insecurities are keeping you from moving forward. Don’t let your fear stop you. Work hard, do your best, and all will be well. But remember, sometimes not getting what you desire can lead to something even better. So forge ahead and trust in the Universe to guide you.
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.
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 am in a constant love/hate relationship with change. On one hand, change is good. It gives us new challenges, new hopes and a much needed change of direction. On the other hand, change is bad. It’s scary, messy and never seems to do what you want. Yet change is inevitable. Without change your life becomes stagnant, boring and well, not much of a life. So what’s a witch to do? How can you cope with change? Can you embrace change without fighting it? Can you use change to your advantage in both your mundane and magickal lives? How do you go about making change your bitch?
We tame change by tackling it piece by piece, starting with its inevitability. Let’s start by taking a moment to think about the statement “The only constant in life is change.” This tells us that nothing stands still. Not time, not the Universe, not you. And because we are always in a state of movement (even when we relax, we move) we are constantly changing. Changing ourselves and the environment around us without consciously knowing we are doing so. A shift on the couch cushions changes the shape of the area. A new puppy changes the dynamic in your home. That new job you’ve worked so hard to get. It is changing entire portions of your life. When you look at change as natural, normal, the scariness goes away.
Making Change Work For You
Change is messy. It always seems to muck up your day or throw you a curve ball at the wrong time. So, how can we make change work for us, make it our bitch? I’ve talked about how change is a constant. However, the way a change occurs can be manipulated, made to work for us. As an example: There is a new manager at work. The change has been hard for everyone because the new manager is shaking things up, letting people go and causing disharmony. You need to keep your job and learn to get along with this individual but you don’t care for them at all. How can you make this change work for you?
Since this is a blog primarily about witchcraft, I would cast to “sweeten” the change. Send a bit of sugar to the new manager by baking a batch of magick filled cookies. Or better yet, cupcakes with sigils drawn in lemon juice on the paper wrappers, designed to sweeten and aid the manager to play well with others. Not a witch or magickal practitioner? The sweets will still work – just add extra love or prayers into the batter with the same intentions.
You get the idea. Work with the change, not against it. Stand up to change and show it who’s boss. Mold it, bend it into the change you desire – not just an arbitrary happening. Yes, change is inevitable but it doesn’t have to work against you. Change can be your friend, your ally. But when it is misbehaving – conquer it.
Embracing Your Bitch
We now come to the truly difficult part, embracing change in all her glory. We’ve learned that change is constant and doesn’t need to be scary. We’ve talked about how to manipulate and mold change. The next step, embracing change, is ultimately the most difficult. Why? Because we have been trained to fight change and not to really look at and understand it. As mentioned before, change is scary. We try running from it to only find that it is running with you. Stop running. Stand firm, breathe, and open your arms wide to change. Yes, it may knock you over a time or two, but you’ll bounce back up. Change is like that.
Making change your bitch isn’t easy. But it can and must be done in order to lessen our anxieties about the processes of change. By opening your arms wide and embracing change instead of fleeing from it, change loses its death grip on your psyche. The fear and anxious feelings have no place to fester and grow when you accept change and the possibilities it brings. Think about how much better you will feel by letting change happen or by knowing that you can make change work for you. Realize the freedom in change, the infinite potential change holds. Who’s your bitch now?
The next time change knocks on your door, open it and give that change a big hug. Or maybe give it a make-over so the change looks and fits better into your life. Change is constant, inevitable, and it will always be there. Why not learn to love that bitch and make her your best pal. Imagine the possibilities then.