Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Samhain in CCWWW tradition


Blessings to all my ancestors

For all the saints - a favorite hymn of my grandparents.

For the Beauty of the Earth - Everytime I hear this sung I think of my Grandmother.
As Beltain was for the Summer Solstice, Samhain is for the Winter Solstice.  To me it marks the end of a cycle.  The leaves shed their colorful dresses and lacy frost carpet the browning grass.  It’s a last minute chance to dig holes for garlic and daffodils – buried hope to arise next spring.     

At Samhain, the fall sun sets early allowing more time for reflection.  Specifically, for me Samhain is a time to remember all my teachers and ancestors – the saints in my life who’ve passed over into the great love source.   It’s my time to be grateful for all their wisdom they have shared – those that I use and those I’ve decided needed to be changed or not carried on to another generation. 

I tend to think of this of this Sabbath as a prequel to our American Thanksgiving.  The last vegetables are gleaned from my garden plot and the tomato stakes are put away until spring.  It’s one more time to light incense and thank the garden spirits and Motherfather Spirit for allowing me the space to grow nourishing food for my family.

A Scottish Prayer
Slainte - I lift my ancestors up in remembrance of all the things they taught me. And, as the long days of summers draw close I pray to Motherfather spirit to watch over me and my love ones through the dark days of winter. May our bellies may be full, and that we have warmth and shelter when we need it. Keep us from harms way and give us strength to help others who may not fare as well as we do.


New Year Attraction Candle

Essential oils
Multi-color sheets of beeswax – I buy in a kit

Before the night of the new moon near Samhain – meditate and write down what you would like you would like to come into your life next year.  Think of this more in terms of emotions and feelings (e.g., protection, love, creativity, prosperity).  Visualize what these would look like in your life.  How would this love feel in your life…  how would creativity feel like in your life….. be very clear.
With this list in mind – I go to my books and intuitively pick out essential oils that match my intent of next year.  I also choose the color of my candle.

On the new moon…….
Take a sheet of beeswax and lay it on a smooth surface.  I place my hands on the wax to warm it up.  If you don’t warm it up; it tends to crumble. 
Cut the wick to the length the candle is going to be and lay it on the edge to be rolled up. Role the wax around it once. 
Place your hands on the candle and visualize what your intentions would look like in your life.  Going back to what you wanted and meditated on.
Splash the different essential oils on to the surface of the candle.  When I do this I say for each oil:  I sprinkle Cedar to bring for healing, purification, and protection in my life.
I roll up the sheet – focusing what I want for my new year.
I then raise the candle up to the new moon praying to Motherfather Spirit that these may come to be.
I place the candle in my window so it may gain the strength of the increasing moon.

The first full moon following Samhain I burn this candle.
Banishing Bowl (Modified Stein for a soloist)
Create a safe fire space outside.  (i.e., fire pit, candle in a bowl with water)
On slips of paper write what you would like have banished for next year.  This can be personal or this can be global.  (e.g., I would like to banish biting my nails.  I would like human trafficking banished….).  One banish per slips of paper.
Read each slip of paper out loud and then light it.
Wait until it is fully burned before lighting another.

Blessing of lost spirits
Since the veil is thin on this night between here and there, I light a candle at midnight.  I put out a blessing for those spirits that have lost their way.  I pray that all no matter what the reason they didn't make it - that they may find their way to love source. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Vibrations – Creating Intention

Interference pattern in water

“Energy and mass (matter) are different forms of the same thing mass/energy” Einstein

“You are what your deepest desire is.
As your desire is, so is your intention.
As your intention is, so is your will.
As your will is, so is your deed.
As your deed is, so is your destiny.”
 ~ Upanishads

“The Law Of Vibration: Just as a pebble creates vibrations that appear as ripples, which travel outward in a body of water, your thoughts create vibrations that travel outward into the Universe, and attract similar vibrations that manifest as circumstances in your life.” ~ Unknown

Back in college, I remember sitting in my chemistry lecture.  The professor was droning on about atoms and chemical elements.  As you may know, the type of element (e.g., zinc, calcium or oxygen) is determined by the number of neutrons and protons.  He talked about how each element can be identified by using a mass spectrometer because each gives off its own unique signature vibration or color or how I came to think of it - their own song.   I sat, really not listening to the lecture absorbed in my own metaphysical thoughts.   Sitting and thinking:  Wow.  We’re each made up of the same elements held together through vibration or singing our own unique tune – like the uniqueness of our DNA.

Walking the magical path is about learning to understand and work with these different vibrations.  These vibrations can take the form of another person, an emotion, a place or an idea.  The only differences are the frequency of their vibration.
I think the biggest challenge comes when we come in contact with a different vibration.  Take Goldilocks’ experiment; to Goldie the smallest chair was just right for her.  The other two she didn’t like – for whatever reason.  However, Papa Bear liked the too hard chair and not the others.  The same is true when we enter a room.  Some rooms have a buzz we may connect to and others we want to run the other way.  These vibrations may be subtle or distinct like two pebbles dropped into waster and the waves collide.  In physics terms this is called an interference pattern.  Again, your colliding into another’s vibration may create beautiful music together or stormy crashes. 

Another aspect many magical practitioners tend to forget is that we leave our vibration signatures on the places and things we touch.  This becomes a problem when we are working with our magical tools.  For example, if you use candles you need to clean the candles of the vibrations and energy of everyone who has handled them: the woman who packaged them into their shipping boxes, the UPS gal delivering them to the store, the guy who unpacked them onto the display counter, and all the people who came into the shop who may or may have not touched them.  Everyone has left their vibrational signature onto the candles.  It doesn’t mean that everyone is out there zapping angry energy at everything – it’s just a fact.  The point being, if you don’t clean the candles then all these people become part of your magical work. 

I tend to use sea salt with everything.  As you know, sea salt is a combination of two elements: earth and water.  It seems to have a way of absorbing negative energy and transforming it into positive energy.  I like to leave a dish out in the Northeast corner of my house (Feng Shui).  I tend to think of it like air freshener and change every month.  The old is flushed down the toilet, however do not do this if you have a septic tank.  For my magical elements, I either put it into a dish of sea salt or lay the object near the bowl.  I then offer a prayer to Motherfather Spirit.


“All that we are is a result of what we have thought,” stated Buddha


A ritual, prayer or magical spell is used to bring an intention into form.  By lighting a charged candle of a certain color frequency or incense to attract a certain emotion or by creating a spell pouch or creative visualization collage - you are adding a physical representations to the intent.  When you add spoken words or a song you add yet another vibration to the intention.  The candle and the words spoken each have different vibrational frequencies that the practitioner is sending out into the world to manifest their desires.  I view these all as a means of communicating with Motherfather Spirit what I desire. 

Note:  Think hard and long if you are doing this work because you are angry or in pain or you are out to hex someone.  Remember all that you send out will be returned back 3 times multiplied.  Also, I’m a firm believer of blending western medicine with spiritual work.  Check out Dr. Weil and integrated medicine – it is the best of both worlds. 


Protection candle spell

Cleaned black candle and candle holder
Cedar essential oil

Sit down and write out what you want.  Specifically, what protection would look like?  How would protection make you feel?  Keeping these thoughts in mind, use the pin and mark in the following runes onto the candle: Algiz, Fehu, and Thurisaz.  Next, anoint the candle with the essential oil.  Rub the essential oil into the candle thinking about the answers to the two questions.  Hold the candle in both hands.  Out loud, tell Motherfather spirit what you want.  Tell Motherfather spirit why you want and need protection.  At the end of your prayer or spoken words add “Not my will but thy will – so mote it be.”  Next light the candle and leave it to burn.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Uncertainty Whammy

“Always remember striving and struggling proceeds success in the dictionary.” ~ Susan Ban Breathnach

“Shake the burden that comes from seeing your baby steps as a necessary discipline.  See them, instead, as optional dance moves, in life's conga line, that spark miracles, open floodgates, and lead to the near effortless manifestations of I now have my owns. “ ~ Notes from The Universe - TUT

Uncertainty Whammy, or UW as it is commonly referred to, falls under a group of hex spells that causes a person to be skeptical, doubtful and unsure of making a decision.  Left untreated the long term prognosis is grave.  Research shows that the infected person ultimately never lives out their dreams and become spiritually stagnate.    Those interviewed with a tertiary infection of UW, describe it to be like having a scratch on a record album or CD playing out in their head; a voice keeps playing that same spot discouraging them from even leaning or inching their toe forward toward their dream.  Observed, the person relies on carefully prescribed maps recommended by others rather than self-exploration and being open to the unexpected.
UW is considered to be an opportunistic spell that seems to take advantage of certain situations.   Researchers have been unable to dissect the original source of this spell, but many studies conclude that all people are at risk and reactions vary person to person. 

The signs and symptoms of UW vary depending on which of the three stages it presents (i.e., primary, secondary and tertiary).  Most people are born with primary stage UW.  They begin to show outward symptoms during early childhood and are described as an awakening to spirit.  These symptoms are considered socially good and are often encouraged.  Those having primary UW are described as having analytical traits to discern simple information and can easily identify, make and follow through with a decision.  Most of these decisions are made unconsciously and spontaneously.  An example of primary UW would be deciding what color of socks to wear or what kind of cereal to eat or what rock you like.  Secondary UW, the infected person begins to have problems making choices.  Often, this is due to environmental factors such as options made by others, time pressure, higher stakes, or increased vagueness of not knowing where the choice will lead.  This may lead to difficulties because the person begins to shut down to the aspect of the unknown and the unplanned.  Those interviewed with secondary UW say they are more likely to “go with the flow” rather than choose an unfamiliar path.

Tertiary UW can be seen in early art such as the Fresco painting in Villa of the Mysteries (Pompeii, Italy), the 9 of swords in the tarot deck, The Nightmare by Henri Fuseli and Picasso’s Weeping Woman.  The person becomes trapped to a repertoire of voices all coming within their head.  Those interviewed stated that a past image or voice (e.g., parent, teacher, and etc.) takes control and they become immobilized. 
I’ve been cutting up pieces for a baby quilt I’m making for a new cousin.  Going through several bins of fabric I found 4 completed wagon wheels a friend of mine gave me.  They’ve been sitting around for over ten years.  I decided to cut them up into 4 inch strips and sew them to complementary solids and calicos from my stash.  I’m not following any quilt pattern other than the quilt needs to end up 36 inches by 51 inches.  I’ve no idea how this quilt will turn out since I’ve decided to work this way.  I’m uncertain, but hoping for the best. 

I suppose if I’d thought of this quilting project in context to the pictures above, I’d say it looks bleak with no positive outcomes.  I don’t know if I’d really start it or even set the material down on the table to be cut out.  Within my mind I’d see all the worst case scenarios acted out that include hearing voices from the past saying: it’s a waste of fabric, looks ugly and it will be hidden in a closet; better yet, the quilt will be given away to Good Will or Salvation Army… Note - none of this is real.  All of this negativity would be played out in my mind stopping me from moving forward.  I become like the person in this image – trapped and afraid to take the risk of stepping forward. 

When it comes to spirituality and living a magical life, I know that I’m not alone when it comes to being open to where Motherfather Spirit takes me.  I’ve talked to several friends who didn’t pursue their dreams because they were imprisoned by the “What ifs.”  It is easier to stick with the sure path that is often dictated by the norm.  For me, it’s the whole stepping out into the unknown; doing something for the first time that causes me to get that sickening feeling.  My mind grips to some past images and “What people will say” that seems takes control.  I end up losing my heart compass; I end up not following my intuition.

I can remember the first time I was told a crystal could talk.  The societal norm would say "Really?”  I too was very skeptical with my scientific method.  However, by allowing myself to be open to other possibilities and realities I find myself becoming more flexible to the boulders and challenges put on my path.  When I listen to my heart somehow I manage to find new solutions and the details seem to fall into place.  It’s not that I don’t hear my mind’s litany singing the “Pit of Despair;” I just don’t let it be in control.  When I’m listening to my heart, I’m living out the magical life.

The Geese
By Jane Mead 
slicing this frozen sky know
where they are going—
and want to get there.
Their call, both strange
and familiar, calls
to the strange and familiar
heart, and the landscape
becomes the landscape
of being, which becomes
the bright silos and snowy
fields over which the nuanced
and muscular geese
are calling—while time
and the heart take measure.
Stepping out of your comfort zone
  • Make a list of all your “I could never do…..”  Don’t list the reasons why – just list “I could never do….”
  • Choose one from the list and say yes to it.  If you don’t know how you are going to do it – just let Motherfather Spirit take over.
  • If the chorus begins, just let them sing.  Think of them as a song you don’t like that is playing on the radio, because you’re waiting for the secret message for the day.
  • Do a small step to begin.  Example: you want to take a cruise – go on-line to see the different types of cruises.  Begin to create a I can do creative visualization sheild. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

What's so funny, 'bout peace, love and understanding

Elvis Costello and Elmo on Sesame Street

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.” ~ Albert Enstein

  “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”  ~ Carl Jung

I have been really thinking about what is going around me lately.  Trying to explain things I believe in (e.g., social justice, why PBS should be funded, why just having lists of women's names in a binder are limiting, why healthcare should be for everyone, a process model everyone can use, cookie ingredients, relationships, why human trafficking needs to end, why access to birth control and emergency contraceptives is important ....fill in the blank) Well it all gets messed up..... 

I find myself coming back to living out of love.  Specifically, thinking about the act of giving and receiving love.  And, it is very hard down here on earth to at least keep in balance. 

If we were to believe we are all precious beings of love rather than having an attitude of accomodation - maybe we would get along better.  I've been meditating a lot on the balance between the iron and pearl pentagam and how to reclaim unity.  I keep coming back to trying to fully understanding how the Love Spell works.

Elvis Cstello - well he says it all.   Check it out.  What's so funny 'about peace, love and understanding. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Transformation – giving up the caterpillar suit.

Monarch Butterfly Site
"Every exit is an entry somewhere else." - Tom Stoppard
"Perhaps the Egyptians chose the beetle as a god of creation, and not some more noble creature, because that lowly image hints at the possibility that transformation begins at the bottom level and attains the highest."  — Normandi Ellis in Dreams of Isis
“One cannot become a butterfly by remaining a caterpillar.” ~Anonymous

I’ve been sitting on my porch mourning the loss of my Ash.  There’s a circle of dirt where she used to stand.  The leaves in my neighborhood are turning orange and burnt red; I miss seeing hers turn yellow.  I wonder where my winter bird feeders will hang without her outstretched arms.  And, know that next summer my house will be hotter without her shade.    I wonder who will take her place.
In my front bed garden, there’s a lone Monarch dancing between the last butterfly bush flowers and the browning white coneflowers.  I think, “Honey you aren’t going to make it to Mexico.”  I know it isn’t thinking this; it isn’t like me who’d be obsessing over these thoughts like wondering if I had enough money for gas and snacks to make it to Mexico and did I remember to pack my passport and contact lens case.  No.  I know the Monarch is living for the moment like it did when it hung up-side-down in that dark cocoon.   Because death is inevitable; everything dies.  It’s part of the great carbon nitrogen cycle.    
Part of magical living is to gracefully revolving around the transformation cycle.
We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.” ~Maya Angelou
“What the caterpillar perceives is the end, to the butterfly is just the beginning.” ~Anonymous
Admit it.  When you see this card, you hear the sound effects from the Psycho knife scene (Hitchcock, 1960) Your stomach lurches and you want to run in the opposite direction.   We see ”Death” as the end, a termination, going bust with no more tomorrows or the final words seen after the last paragraph in a book that we loved reading;  that cake that got lost in the rain and you’ll never have that recipe again (Summers, 1978); or that beloved sweater that has a hole in it; or trying to figure out what to do now that your retirement funds have bottomed out.  The same can be said anytime we have to change, we mourn the loss of doing something familiar and it’s hard to let go.  It's hard to let go of our caterpillar suit.
But death isn’t really like that.  It’s all in how your see it and how you deal with it. A CCWWW knows it is healthy to mourn the loss and is respectful of how painful change may be.  But, they also know death is about an entrance to something new.  It’s about transformation and hope like the phoenix rise from the ashes. A CCWWW can see change as the next step to a life make over like getting a new hairdo or a new clothing style.  A CCWWW sees themselves as a forever student in magical living and part of growing includes changing in mind, body and spirit.
Changing Woman
By Annie Finch

If we change as she is changing,
if she changes as we change

(If she changes, I am changing)

Who is changing, as I bend
down to what the sky has sent us?

(Is she changing, or the same?)

Joseph Campbell stated,  “We're not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world.”  A CCWWW knows this and tries to live out their life in a different way.  They work out of their heart versus their mind and ego.  They live by knowing themselves and in a way that doesn't hurt others or the enviornment.  A CCWWW knows that by healing themselves they heal the world.  Or as Mahatma Gandhi said: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."


NOTE:  A CCWWW knows sometimes it is hard to grieve loss alone.  Sometimes change brings about depression and you feel like you’ve hit rock bottom.  A CCWWW knows that as a wise leader who sets examples by showing others that it’s okay to seek out help from a licensed counselor or social work.  A CCWWW also knows the local hotline or can share the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (24/7) 1-800-273-TALK(8255). 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

You say talisman and I say amulet….. Turbulence, Tempestuous – Lets call the whole thing off.

“Honest disagreement is often a good sign of progress.”  ~Mahatma Gandhi

“Thus, we see that one of the obvious origins of human disagreement lies in the use of noises for words.”  ~ Alfred Korzybski

“The last sound on the worthless earth will be two human beings trying to launch a homemade space-ship and already quarreling about where they are going next.” ~ William Faulkner


When written in Hebrew, the Bible has many names for God.  Is one better than another?  I don’t know, but in English one is mainly written – “God.”  The same can be said about the word love.  In Italian, Greek and other languages in the world there are many, but in English we have only one.  I think sometimes we get too caught up in using the right word and we end up quarreling about who is right.  Ultimately someone’s feelings get hurt and bridges get burnt and wars fought.

Take for example the words Amulet and Talisman, according to Webster’s Dictionary:

Amulet: a charm (as an ornament) often inscribed with a magic incantation or symbol to aid the wearer or protect against evil (as disease or witchcraft).

Talisman: 1: an object held to act as a charm to avert evil and bring good fortune. 2: something producing apparently magical or miraculous effects. 

Note: on Talisman comes from the Greek word Teleo which means "to consecrate.”

I seem to think of these two items as one as the same which to some I would be quite wrong.  I also feel I tend to use talisman more often; perhaps it is due to my exposure of this word in the books I read growing up.  In some of my reference books, they clearly identify a distinction between the two.  A talisman must be charged with magic whereas the amulet has the magic in it.  In others, they use the word interchangeably.    Both cases, they agree like I do that you need to do a blessing/consecration ceremony to let the object know what it is intended to be used for.    


A friend sent the Dali Lama’s quote to me on Facebook.  Unknowingly this has come at a good time.  My work has become a turbulent and tempestuous environment.  I’m finding myself working with people who have different values than me.  They seem to see work as products that need to be checked off by some random date rather than how I see it as something that will make a difference and something of quality.  (As I’ve spoken before I see my work is an extension of Motherfather Spirit.)  I really try to practice the Dali Lama’s philosophy, but more often than not I get pushed off my chair and my blood pressure is racing.  The same can be said about how I practice my spirituality; sadly this is one of the reasons why I end up practicing in a solo kind of way.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be in community.  But, if I’ve found that if I walk away angry and upset after a meeting; or I feel like I’m being spoon fed knowledge and others aren’t opened to a different point of view; I’m treated more of like a guest, or I’m coasting along for the ride than perhaps it is better to evolve alone.      

It takes a lot of courage to walk away.  In doing so, I believe you’re strengthening your heart chakra and practicing the love and kindness spells.  Ultimately, you are following that master law of the universe: you reap what you sow.   Your small act could be the tipping factor in helping the universe be a nicer place to live.

Okay – so walking away from your job isn’t so easy.  The only way I've found to cope is to think out of the box.  I always say to myself: how I can be like Merryweather who can change a curse into a more positive outcome (Disney, Sleeping Beauty).    And, for added protection I hang an evil eye (talisman/amulet) in my office charged to ward off nastiness.   Worst case scenario - I sprinkle salt on the floors before leaving to help absorb the negativity - the cleaning crew come and sweep it up.   

In those meetings where you know you will never win - I've taken up meditating - so hum....... and a walk during lunch.



So Hum meditation is a contemplative meditation.  So means "I am" and Hum means "that."  I really like my own meaning - this whole negative conflict is - so hum.....this office in-fighting is - so hum.....

Breath in thinking "so."  When you exhale think "hum."

So Hum meditation

Auntie Grace’s Shortbread Mixed with Peace and Love.

Basic Shortbread

2 cups of sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon each of baking powder and salt
1 cup of softened butter unsalted (2 sticks)
1/2 cup of confectioner sugar sifted.


2 tsp ground coriander - for peace and protection
Grated zest from one large lemon - for love, purification and blessings
1/2 tsp of lemon extract
2 Tbsp or fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350.

Sift together flour, baking powder, dried coriander and salt. Cream butter and sugar til light and fluffy.  Add in lemon zest.  Add flour mixture and then add in lemon juice and lemon extract.  Pat dough into 9"x9" ungreased pan. Place your hands over the pan and imagine the intent as being there already.  Bake 20-25 minutes.

Cut into squares. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

Storytellers, Singers, Poets and Bards

The Boyhood of Raleigh by Sir John Everett Milais 1870, Tate London
“How impressionable and vulnerable we are in the faith of a single story.” ~ Chimamanda Adichie

“If stories come to you, care for them. And learn to give them away where they are needed. Sometimes a person needs a story more than food to stay alive. “ ~ Barry Lopez, in Crow and Weasel

“It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story.” ~ Native American saying

“In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story.” ~ Walter Cronkite


I like a good storyteller, singer, poet or bard (I’ll refer to now as storyteller).  A day off from work in the winter equates to snuggling up in an afghan with my nose in a book.  And that dreaded housework, blast some good songs out and it seems to get my mind off scrubbing the tub.  Every culture has someone who has these gifts that go beyond entertainment.  This person is able to manipulate their medium to instill moral lessons and provide inspiration to move us beyond what we are.  A good storyteller makes you say: what if or I can do that or how can I change the world?

One thing I have enjoyed this past year is reading all the blogs on the Pagan Blog Project.  Each person has been my guide in shaping my journey towards the Light.  Each has continued to challenge me to review my personal truth and stories and most often changing my perspective in how I live magically.  The Pagan Blog Project has allowed me to hear multiple stories from different and the same faith tradition.  Each is a piece of the puzzle or a beautiful square in a quilt to wrap around myself.

I think it is human nature to want one way of knowing – a single story to hang our witch’s (name your faith) hat on. I believe it’s very easy to resist hearing others’ ways of seeing holy and spiritual even when you are practicing the same faith tradition.  When we do this, I believe we’re ending up with an incomplete story.  Our story becomes one dimensional and dulled as we look through our single lens.  And, ultimately what winds up happening is discord and lack of respect for those who have a different story because we are in The Only Truth zone – us versus them.  I believe our experience is flattened by this dependency of having one story or one recipe for the truth. 

I recently read the minutes of a spirituality group I’m part of.  I’m not able to attend many meetings due to being a soccer mother and going to college.  I was very saddened to hear a person who offered to teach for the evening was disrespected.  The teacher was presenting an element of his practice.   Apparently, there was a lot of heckling and jeering to make him lose his train of thought.  The more I read the minutes; I felt the audience was caught up in their single lens story and not opened to hearing something new.

I’m guilty of immersing myself in a single story.  I tend to fall back to my favorite books and authors that started my journey.  The same can be said on the Pagan Blog Project.  I’ve found myself leaning to the familiar – specifically looking at what my age group is saying and those with similar practices.  When I have caught myself doing this – with purpose I get on the home page and read subject matter that I’m not familiar with.  I have discovered ideas that I are strengthening my magical living - such as learning about Norse faith, seeing Goddess symbols out in nature, learning more about herbs, or learning new ways to celebrate the holidays. 


Pick a spiritual subject and read three different blogs about the subject.

Go to a meet-up on a spiritual topic and be open to learn something new.