Thursday, December 30, 2010

Happy New Year!

I spent last night going through my coin jar and separating pennies.  I know weird thing to do, but I am a witch and plenty of things that make sense to me just look weird on the outside. Sort of makes me giggle. The New Year is fast approaching and my poor old jar of prosperity is over a decade old. . . did I say it was OLD???? Ok just making sure. I figure it is time for a new one. So I emptied it out: rice, tea cinnamon and all and decided that I was going to take a different tack with this one and use copper.

Copper attracts abundance to the household. My Mother has chunks of copper, I must settle for copper pennies. In order to make sure you have the most copper content your pennies must be dated before 1982. In 1982 the treasury changed the content of copper in pennies. Before 1982 pennies were 95 percent copper. Good enough for me. While separating the pennies out I began to be able to recognize what I was looking for. The older pennies with copper in them have a very specific patina. The weight of these pennies is the obvious clue, but t he thing that really caught my attention was the cut of the stamping. Through the years coins wear and their images become worn depending on the life of the penny. The older pennies' stamping almost all the time was pristine and clean cut. The copper in the older pennies held their images better than the alloy being used in pennies now. I think I like that quality for a health, wealth, prosperity spell. The other interesting thing about copper pennies is that the Leap year ones seem to have a bit more kick to them. I like to keep these pulled aside for special workings. . . more on that later, totally different subject.

I decided to use a small jar for this for a couple of reasons: 1) copper pennies are heavy 2) I want to be able to just grab my hearth jar and give it good shake when I need to.

I do a lot of work with Hestia at my hearth. She seems to live there and like it. With that in mind you can probably guess that the pennies are consecrated to Her name since they will be living in the kitchen. 

Lady  Hestia
Goddess of the hearth and home
Keeper of the sacred flame
Bless and protect my family
Bless and protect our homes
Bless and protect our health wealth and prosperity

You can make this as simple or as complicated as you like. I have a tea light candle holder on my stove that I light in Her honor. We all work differently so don't think you have to do this just like I do or what some book out lines. You don't. You have to live it, like it. love it, do it! However that is. 
Happy New Year!
Blessings from the Oddly Family!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Megaphone Lips!

I read a very well written article about how elder women are devalued.

I'd like to refute.

I think when we look at this subject we have a tendency to paint with a very broad brush. Yes there are those who hold this view and speak it with their lips grafted to a megaphone. Does it make it true??? No. What spurred the author to write this article was Rush Limbaugh speaking about Hillary Clinton and asking the question: does America want to watch a woman grow old before their eyes??? Why not? We are watching a man grow old before our eyes. What makes men think that watching a woman grow old is harder than a woman watching a man grow old? It isn't. It is the same thing.

What is going on here is an attack, not on women in general, it is a specifically aimed at Hillary because she IS powerful. I don't consider what Rush said to be a " masterful stroke of the mouth" It's very revealing of his own prejudices and internal issues. It is the only thing this man could come up with when confronted with feminine power. Lame, lame indeed. Imagine what sputtering stutters will pour from his mouth when he is confronted with a real crone. That could be amusing.

The very simple truth of this phenomenon is regardless of who you are, your race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religious beliefs. . . there will always be some idiot out there, sometimes with a megaphone, spewing disempowering crap about you and your 'kind.' What is really going on is that they are revealing their own fears. Most of the time they don't even speak for a majority. They are just loud and angering. That is sort of the point as well. They gain power with your anger. Don't give'm the time of day. Smile and walk away.

Now to the real point:

I am surrounded by men who are in awe of the women in their lives. They are in awe of their daughters, their girlfriends and wives, their aunts, sisters,  their mothers and grandmothers. I am raising two sons who, I hope, will have the same love and respect for women as these men. I know other women who are surrounded by men who are in awe of the women in their lives. I know that I am not unique in this area. Those women know other women who are surrounded by awestruck men. Do not be discouraged by the angry men with megaphones grafted to their lips spewing their fears for all to peruse. They speak not the truth; they do not know it. Do not allow yourself to become infected by their fear. They want you to believe this is the truth. It is not. All you need to do is look around in your immediate life and see what is there. That is your truth and if you don't like it, you can change it.

Are their men out there who are genuine swine bags? ABSOLUTELY. 

That is what witchcraft is for.



( can you hear the crone cackle??? I can! )

Monday, December 27, 2010

Hoilday Scatterings!

I think the thing that really struck me hard about this Yule season is that I was trying to make a paradigm that no longer works for me work. I felt like I was trying to pound a square peg into a round hole and getting mad that the peg splintered! Well of course it splintered. . . it doesn't fit!  So my work for this year is to map out precisely what what this world I slipped into looks like and how to work in a manner that functions. It was also suggested that I learn how to slide between the two, but I suspect that will be a later lesson and I'm fine with that. I also suspect that this is the case of all new initiates in any system: Lesson one: let the current settle! Lesson two: learn how to surf in a whole different manner! Lesson three. . . I can't even fathom right about now, but I'm fine with that as well. Way too much on my plate right now to worry about that.

The real lesson in all of this is quite simply: listen to your emotions. They will tell you everything you need to know about a direction you are going. If you find yourself angry frustrated and depressed about a situation it may be time to realize that the peg you have does not match the hole you are trying to fill. Life is like a puzzle, the pieces should just slide in snug. You may either have the wrong piece for the wrong part of the puzzle or you may have to turn the piece a bit. Don't be afraid of picking up new pieces and turning them about a bit. The worse thing that can happen is that you will have to pick up a new piece and don't hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

With the Yule celebrations said and done, there is so much catch up stuff that I wish I could just swish and flick done. . . Oh Molly Weasley won't you please teach me that swish and flick thing??? My children are actually quite busy with their Yule gifts and treats so I may actually see the end of the tunnel this evening ( and it won't be a train! yea)

I have some new pages that I want to add to this blog before the New Year is rung in. Should be fun!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Last of the Lead is Near!

The longest night in the season comes, and I know that while I am experiencing this darkness as the moon eclipses I hope to shift things. I have been experiencing some heavy Saturn like influences and that is no surprise to me seeing as how I have been working with a version of the Lead Pentacle. It's no surprise that I feel weighted, bound and contained. I knew this was going to happen and I was encouraged by my guides to continue the process. "Really look at that which you bind yourself with. You tied these knots and only you can untie them. Best to do it now before the moon changes her face" Admittedly, this has NOT been a very fun process, but how am I supposed to shift things in my life if I do not understand the knots I tied myself with?

I feel very much like that woman in the tarot deck. Bound to her chair with a blind fold on and her back to the sea. I have felt like that almost my entire life. I have permitted myself to be restrained by the opinion and judgement of  others from the time I was a child. I think in some manner we all are like this. We listen to our parents opinions of us when they think we are not listening. It rolls over to our peers in school, then to our co workers and mates. As a Gemini I think I have taken this to an extreme and allowed myself to emotionally become this Woman in the Two of Swords card: a sacrifice to the sea. Allowing each year a piece of me to be beaten away by the waves. Circumstance has ruled my life, instead of cultivating opportunity, I remained frozen in my chair waiting for the next wave hoping it won't take too much away with its ebb. It's no wonder I am not ready to teach. It's no wonder why my Oath Mother has decided I need time to myself.

While I feel like I am the Bound woman with the seas to my back, I don't allow myself to behave as though I am her. I am not her, these are demons from my past. Things created early in life where things were not always up to me. During my Feri training I have learned plenty about these self created demons and handled many of them, but I never really felt strong enough to deal with this one, the Oldest and most potent of them. This one is the one that whispers: "You're not worthy. You're not good enough. You can't do anything right. You will never finish anything or amount to anything. " This year, as the Full Moon eclipses on Yule, this demon will be faced and handled appropriately. All the circumstances in my life have lined up for this to happen. Literally! I would be a fool not to take advantage of the celestial help to do so. I have even been left standing alone for it. Which is appropriate. I must do this alone.

There have been some very positive things about working with circumstance. I have learned how to work with what I have and make the most of it. I have learned to ebb and flow like seaweed in the ocean and not be torn up by the root. I have learned how not to waste anything, not a moment, not a dime, a box or kindness done. I have learned how to take rough rocks and make them shine. I have learned how to make unrelated scraps into a treasure. I have learned to let that which is poisonous leave. I have learned that sometimes poison is the cure. These are all very valuable lessons reaped, but it is time to shift.

While this process I have taken working with the Lead Pentacle has been very unpleasant, it has been important. I don't recommend just going out and working with the Lead Pentacle to anyone. Not without a strong support system, a strong sense of purpose and a specific time frame for it to begin and end because it is literally heavy weighted stuff and can pull you under in a heart beat and drown you. It brings depressive self pity at times, tears and and anger are also dominate here. Without a sense of why you are doing this, your anger and tears will be wasted and misdirected. You can do grave emotional damage to yourself and those around you. Done correctly does not mean there will be no tears and anger. . . those are inevitable, it just means that you will be angry and sad for the correct reasons and you will chose to use that as fuel to get the right thing for the right reason done. I have been doing heavy kala work while I put myself through this process to help flush out the toxins this work brings to surface.  

This full moon Yule eclipse signals the conclusion of my Lead Pentacle work. I will follow this work up with heavy Kala work, and heavy emphasis on both the Iron and Pearl Pentacles. I will also follow this work up with other activities: following my bliss ( responsibly of course.)

I wish all of you a much more Jupiter influenced Yule season and hope fine things are on the horizon for everyone ( me included.) I will be taking an internet break starting tomorrow so I can spend time with my family and prepare for my final Lead work. 
Merry Yule and Happy New Year!

Mrs. Oddly

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Lead Pentacle Point: Realization

I have had a few surprising visits this last week. My Oath Mother showed up to let me know that she didn't really want to expand our Feri Group and she want to ascertain whether or not I was ready to teach solo. I have been initiated a year. . . I am in no position to teach solo. I thought I was a few months back, but I came to realize as things rolled in that I am not.

There are those who have taught right out of the gate and have done a fine job of it. I, however, have things still flooding in from guides, from Fae friends, from the "P"people ( I'll explain in a bit), from the Gods themselves. I have have even had things roll in from the departed Grandmasters of the tradition. Needless to say, teaching solo? No room on my plate to do so and hope to do a good job. I have even had to pull out of the community goings on so I can focus on what is going on with me. I can't hope to serve the family well if I can't take time to do the work asked of me.

The second interesting visit was not so much a physical visit as a phone call. My Mother had called to let me know she had found some information from the Pleiadian's about an odd marking that showed up on my body years ago. It was an odd mark. There was really no logical explanation for its presence. Later there was another mark that showed up on a different part of my anatomy. Same profile on that marking as well. . . absolutely no discernible cause for its presence.  These marks are about a decade old now and I have to really look close to find them. They look like old scars. My Mom told me what she had found and suddenly my 'P ' people guide was poking at me to pick up a book I have. I randomly flipped open the book and received the message I was supposed to hear. That was neat.

While working with the 'P' people I have heard about over and over two different classes. Light Worker and warrior. Well I am equipped for light work, I can carry the frequency, but the longer and further I went into my Feri training, the more I realized: I am not a light worker. I must be something else. I don't know what; I sense many different hands stirring the cauldron here, Gods, Fae and Celestial Beings alike. . .

There was a third "visitation" from someone studying in the Feri community. She made the statement that large things were shifting and there were things that needed to be talked about and that I must add my voice to the mix. She expressed concern that the community was falling apart and splitting, which may indeed appear to be so. Most things in transition do. She later expressed an amount of anger because I refused to roll up my sleeves and be a team player. 

The truth is, a community is much larger than the ones who "roll up their sleeves to do the work"  at the center of the community. There are many jobs that don't even get recognized until they are not done. Not every member of the community is going to want to be on a list. Not every member of the community is going to share every piece of lore and magic they have with the whole community. . . It may be inappropriate to do so. Not every member of the community is going to feel comfortable walking at the center of the community. . . there are those who feel more comfortable at the fringes and edges. Not every member of the community will communicate exclusively with with traditional divinities, beings and guides. . . some may have cross pollinated and that is fantastic. It makes for a greater diversity and understanding. Not every member of the community is going to want to handle and sort out the drama no matter how important it may seem.

 Each of these members have figured out their place in the community. There's even a point on the Lead pentacle that speaks about this: realization. Each of these members are just as vital and valuable to the community as the one who gets in the drama and rolls up their sleeves to 'do the work.' You may find yourself surprised by how much you can't accomplish with out them.

Am I a roll up your sleeves girl? Yup. Can I get a job done? Yup? Am I a get in the middle of a Drama Girl??? Nope. . .  got too much to do. I'll leave the Drama for drama queens and diplomats to sort through. Do I feel bad about saying no to diving back into the tangle? Not any more. It's not my place.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Mr. Grinch, You may want to avoid taunting the Yule Tree.

This pic was found on Tumblr

Merry Yule!

Going on a Grinch Hunt!

Dear Mr. Grinch,

It is my understanding that you have been running around stealing Christmas spirit. While that is despicable, I suppose having a heart three times too small makes one inclined to perform such acts. I realize that you have been enabled by other cranky people, a weak economy, and a lack luster view on existence, but I will not coddle you because of your genetic deficiency. I will not make excuses for your choices of lifestyle. They are your choices and I will not deny you the right to make them, but I will not permit you to continue robbing me, my family and friends.

As of this date December fourteenth 2010, I have noticed a spiraling gloom as the holiday rolls closer. I became suspicious and checked my spirit box and, sure enough, it was bone dry empty. I consulted with several experts on the subject; they were all baffled until I came across a little one named Cindy Lou Who who promptly recognized the symptoms. She checked my spirit box and she reported that not even the pretty, shiny bow was left. She was certain in her diagnosis that I had been Grinched!

Since I am pagan and Celebrate Yule, you have no jurisdiction and therefore are in breach of contract as you are designated and restricted to the theft of Christmas. I realize the the normal order of things would be to plea my case and help you grow a larger heart so you return my holiday spirit of your own accord, but I do not hold to those ideals. Instead I am informing you that, as of this hour, I have released the dogs. They will hunt you down and drag you back to me. When they do, I will promptly tie you up with shiny silver beads and place a red star on your head! Then I will silence you with a cloven fruit and place you in the corner for all to see. Some may point and laugh. I will encourage this behavior. You will make a fine decoration this year Mr Grinch. I look forward to hanging tinsel on you.

After Yule has left and the New Year rung in with the voice of Kronos, I will release you back to the wild. Please understand that should you think about revisiting my spirit box you can expect similar treatment with variation of course. I like to make things different from year to year. Enjoy the hunt!

Mrs. Oddly

Monday, December 13, 2010

Just thinking out loud . . .

As most of us have heard, the Holy Whitethorn at Glastonbury has been chopped down. At this point in time the theory on motives for it seem to revenge upon the landowner. Fortunately, it appears that the tree was cut in a manner that she will grow back. Either this person knew what s/he was doing or got very lucky.

The joke I suppose, if you could call it that, would ultimately be upon the perpetrator of this act as there hefty price to be exacted. According to locals, and seeing as how I am not even a UK citizen so I must take their word for it, a farmer once cut a Whitethorn down to get rid of gawkers who kept tramping on his land. He fell off his tractor, broke his leg and his barn burned down. Another tale of such an event states that the cutting caused the animals and people to go barren until the tree was replaced.

I'm quite content to let this person pay the price for his act. I am sure it will be coming, however I do wonder why a person with a grievance such as his would risk the wrath of the fae. It is very possible that this person has no clue the reality of said act. If this person had a real reason to be as angry as this why would he take his anger out on a tree? Seems silly to me.

Now to play devil's advocate: is it possible that this person actually knew what s/he was doing and made proper entreaties and offerings to the fae in tree? If so, did the fae agree to allow the chopping? I can't really imagine that the fae would agree, as they have no interest in human issues, so I guess the curse still stands. The other thing that comes to mind is this: is it possible this individual thought the wrong doings of the landowner went improperly punished that s/he was willing to call upon the wrath of the fae not only on hirself but the land owner as well?

We will most likely never know who cut the Whitethorn down. We will most likely know whether or not the fae  have had there way with this individual. We may not ever really know the motives of this attack upon the Holy Thorn. What I do know is that come spring she will sprout again and start anew as long as her crown has been undamaged.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Blade's Other Edge.

It's been rather dramatic lately, with a capital " D." It's not the sort of petty drama that is easily backed away from, but a real issue that drew heat, anger, despair and at the end genuine dislike. It's taken me awhile to get the anger out of my body once I decided to leave the situation to it's major players and move in my own direction. I knew it had finally left when I woke up yesterday morning to realize my altars weren't right. They were no longer working with me. Something had shifted. Turns out it was me.

As I pulled out the key to my sea chest where all of my magic tools are stored, I could hear my mind turning around on itself trying to best fit the pieces that I would need. Once the lid got lifted and I found the pieces I thought I wanted,  I realized they are not indeed what I needed. I kept digging rediscovering things I had forgotten; some of them tools, others reminders of workings gone by. . . a champagne cork with a date on it, a bag full of acorns, red velvet, black velvet, muslin and a collection of old pennies kept for their date. It was literally Mrs. Oddly's magic past. Under all of these things sat a crystal candle holder I had forgotten about. It rang as I unwrapped it from its silk. I put away the other candle holder I thought I wanted, washed the one I had been using and pulled out the remains of the shiny objects in my trunk to build a new altar.

I noticed immediately the direction the shift in me had taken. Once I decided to move in my own direction I required less of a warrior's touch. My altar went from leather, shielded flames, rough Spartan practicality to a soft, sensual invitation. Even the great skull on my altar looked more comfortable and less aggressive. As I was putting this altar together, my thoughts turned to the witch family closest to me: how much they are trusted and loved. These are the people I had chosen to be a large part of my life. The more I thought of them, the more soft and comforting my altar became. 

As my altar went together, there were other things I noticed. Things that had been there the entire time. Things that I would never had associated with my connection to the fae before I began my training in the Feri tradition. Now as a Feri Priestess looking at these things, I recognize that, indeed, Hekate had been walking me here the entire time. You see, all of the pieces that I pulled out were pieces that I had picked up in Her name or were gifted to me before finding Feri. I had to laugh because when I noticed that my altars weren't working for me I had thought at first that something in me had became damaged in my angry conflict. As the new altars went up I realized that I was not damaged, I had merely danced to the other edge of the blade.

I feel more settled now. I was actually able to get some work accomplished that I had been struggling with. Things flowed instead of dumping. I feel more ready to handle what is before me.  

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Great Granny! It's the Wolf!

I guess we're going to be seeing a lot from Red Red Riding Hood soon with the movie coming out. Personally I love the Grimm's version. . . you know the one with all the gloom, doom gnashing teeth and blood. Hmmm . . . maybe I will enjoy the movie. It does, after all, have one of my all time favorite actors in it: Gary Oldman.

On the surface of the story, we see a young lady walking to Granny's house to care for her. Nice and Nice. Underneath it all, the story is a deep warning to all young women. Beware the wolf! What exactly is the wolf in this story? Fear? Lust? Imminent dangers of the wild? Or the imminent dangers of being wild? If you answered all of the above you would be correct.

There are a couple characters that don't really get explored too much in this story: Granny and the Hunter. They get glossed over like they are auxiliary cutouts to make the story work. After all Red needs a reason to be trouncing about the woods and someone needs to save her from that big bad evil wolf, right? UHm hmmm. . . No, they are important figures that should be pointed to and understood.

So Granny gets it early in the story, but her role is no less diminished. Red has to realize that there is something very wrong when she gets to Granny's house. No granddaughter would mistake her grandmother. Grandma is the one who fed our mind and souls with stories and veiled lessons while stuffing our bellies with cookies. You don't forget any woman who does that. This Granny must have been a shrewd woman indeed to teach her granddaughter to be deceptive in the face of danger long enough to escape.

Granny is important on another level. She symbolizes the wisdom that hopefully we all of will reap  from the experiences of our lives and in her passing she joins the ranks of Red's Mighty Dead. An ancient magic happens  here. It is the power of the love our Mighty Dead hold for us that has the power to protect and guide us through our lives when things become panicked and murky. Sometimes even intervene on our behalf. You see, in the Old World, it was often the grandmother who watched over the older children while the mother tended to hearth, home and babies who require more attention. It was Grandmother who often told old family stories and taught the older children which mushrooms to pick and which ones should not be consumed ( or in some case which ones were for eating and which ones were for flying.) Thus was the way the craft was taught, usually from grandmother to granddaughter, as well as an example of what it looked like from mom if the grandmother was Mom's Mom.

Ok, Enough of Granny ( Sorry Granny.) Now we move on to the Hunter. The Hunter in the beginning is often times not even spoken about. Most of the time, we are not aware that he is there until he shoots the Wolf and saves Red. However, he has been there the entire story lurking in the back of the crowd casting mooning looks at Red while no one is looking. He feels too young and too shy to step out into the sun. Sometimes he even feels unworthy. So he watches her from a far hoping that she will see him and shies away when she does, but inside he is elated she did. It is no wonder he sees the Wolf before Red does and recognizes its danger to her and to him as well. Unfortunately, it is too late to save Granny who has surrendered her life to become something more powerful than her frail shell will allow in this moment of danger to her granddaughter. It may even be Granny speaking to the Hunter. It is very possible that Granny saw the Hunter's heart long before he recognized what it was saying to him. It is this connection she will use to speak to him. The Hunter is Love. The Love of life and people. He is the Love that beats a path directly to the beloved and has the courage to nock the arrow and send it to flight.

And now we get to it, that feral eyed beast that slinks in the shadows and raises the hairs at your neck: the Wolf. The Wolf is fear, our own fears and those that have been imposed upon us from society. Stay on the path, walk in the light, don't stray too far out of sight, don't drink the Kool- Aide. The Wolf is lust. Lust of men who would devour you and leave you to bleed when you no longer suit their desires. Lust of things you would have to have and spiral you into dark oblivion. The Wolf is the wild and wildness lurking within that can catch you unaware lure and you to danger and death.

While the Wolf is the dark and wild beast in the shadows, he is not evil. He simply is. Red has choices to make and a long path to Granny's to walk by herself ( maybe in the dark.) Red can choose to become a victim or she can choose to become the victor. She can make the Wolf an ally that walks beside her and warns her of real danger or she can become its prey. She can learn what her limits are and abide by them or she can stifle herself in a safe little life dictated by others. She can learn the difference between devouring lust or true enduring love. The lesson portrayed here should not be: Beware the Wolf. It should be: Be Aware of the Wolf. Know his name, call him out and love him or shoot him if you must

Monday, November 29, 2010

Oh my Gods, I've turned into Malcolm Reynolds!

In 1912, the Titanic sailed and sank on her first voyage. Ninety- eight years were spent on speculation of how the disaster originated, until one day this year a secret broke it's seal. It was not a hasty captain, it was neither the public relations person nor shoddy workmanship. It was the helmsman who lived with this horrendous guilt knowing that he was the cause. All of his instincts, all of his years on the sea, all of his skills in the moment he needed them, betrayed him. He was competent helms man, but this was new technology that defied his experience. When given the order to turn and turn hard, he did. In the moment of crisis, his instincts should have save him and the Titanic had the steering technique not shifted. You see, in the old world sailing vessels, you turned left to go right. In the Titanic, a brand new modern vessel, you turned the real direction. I hope this good sailor is resting in peace.

I am an old world witch trying to cope in the new world. I know I am not necessarily a dying breed. I speak to some of my peers and elders and they too are baffled how some of the new blood do not seem to understand the words honor and gate keeping. I realize there are not many real secrets to the craft. There never have been and there never will be. These days there are even less secrets because more of us are out of the closet. One of the secrets supposed to been have kept was the list of names. There are still those who are in the closet and their identity, should I know them, are kept as secret as they would have been hundreds of years ago, as should be. Granted, now a days, the punishment for witchery is no longer blood, stakes and fire. Now a days, economic hardship, the tearing apart of family, two faced back stabbing and hate crimes are on the menu. These things are rarely executed, most people either don't care that we exist or are amused by it. It's the rare hard liner filled with the rhetoric of brimstone and hellfire that acts against us. Don't mistake, they are there. . .

The inquisition these days looks different and acts different. Instead of long, regal robes adorned by crosses of gold, it looks more like misinformed bureaucracy all across the board. I'm not saying every member of bureaucracy is a member of this inquisition, it's more like a small pious cabal of people who seem to think that every witch is crazy, evil and out to hurt everyone in their path. Or at the very least a poor, delusional wretch being used by the black man himself or possessed by a demon. They make fallacious videos for law enforcement, perform dangerous and hateful exorcisms, pass out pamphlets filled with fear and cancel Halloween! This small cabal feels it is their duty to save humanity ( specifically other people's children) from the devil. I guess they don't understand that there is no devil in the craft. Then again, we are talking about a small group of people who see the devil in everything that isn't just like them. If human means 'just like me,' witches aren't human. Not to them anyway.

Now to make things even more ugly. There are genuinely unstable people out there who claim to the craft. Every deed that violates human trust is blamed upon their religion. What's worse is they make a large amount of noise dragging their supposed religion with them through the muck and mire. They go to craft elders and demand defense. They go to the ACLU and the Lady Liberty League and demand defense because they are being persecuted for their religion when in fact their religion is not in question. It's their criminal activity, what ever it is. (Keep in mind there are those who go to the ACLU and LLL with genuine grievance.)  We have seen a lot of this done in our name: rape, murder, sexual exploitation, child abuse, child neglect, senseless killing and torturing of animals, the list goes shamefully on. Just like child molestation is not a part of the Catholic religion, none of these things are the craft. Never has been, never will be. Those who do these things in our name most certainly should not be defended by us.

I am an old world witch trying to cope in a new world. I have taken oaths to protect the craft and my kin. I shall uphold them. I know many of  those in my order have taken similar oaths. I also know there are those in my order who have done no such thing, which baffles me. It occurs to me that that I may be just like that old world sailor. I am expected to sail a new ship and when I say no thanks I get salty remarks aimed at keeping me in line with the party line. I say no thanks, I'll stick to the vessel class I know my instincts won't betray. You see, I have taken a lesson from that old sailor, and being a sailor's daughter, I have to thank that sailor for breaking the silence on his most revealing secret. I may add new things like a better compass, comfy quarters, better communications equipment and lasers instead of canons, but the helm set up will remain the same. . .

Oh my Gods, I've turned into Malcolm Reynolds!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Rolling Eyeballs. . .

A couple of years ago I went to a local witches meet up. It was held in a bookstore and we all sat around in a circle with a cauldron full of questions. We each took a turn answering the question, which was at the moment, do your spirit guide give you direct answers? Most of the people there answered along the vein of no not really they seem to ask more questions and let me come to my own conclusion. At least until it came to a friend of mine: she began to mention her experience in trance.

Immediately everyone in the circle, with the exception of myself, began to roll their eyes. No one really wanted to hear what she had to say. It contradicted everything they thought they knew and therefore this woman's information couldn't possibly be anything other than gobble-de-gook. I was a little insulted and haven't been back since.

I bring this up now because I want to discuss the fact that not one tradition, one line within a tradition or even one witch can possible know and understand everything there is to know about the craft. What I know in the craft has taken me at least one life time to attain. Even with that stated, I believe I have been helped along by some past life memories that have risen up in dreams and trance experiences. I have also been helped along by listening to those with differing experiences. I have also been helped along my path by those who are no longer incarnate here and those who have never been here. Most importantly I have accepted that I do not know everything.

I do have to agree that there are those out there who are either full of themselves or just full of that which smells like cow patty or even worse. . . out to make a buck by selling out a tradition. There are those who will deliberately misguide you to throw you off track or to make themselves 'King of the Mountain.' You can still listen to them respectfully without rolling your eyeballs. This is where you ability to discern truth comes into play. If it is flat out lie, you must then decide whether it is beneficial or not to correct them or if arguing with fools is all that will happen. We all know what happens when you argue with fools. If you smell fool, the best thing to do is politely excuse yourself and walk away. No need to give the fool ammunition by making yourself look like a donkey's behind.

I have noticed that there seems to be a long tradition of 'witchier than thou' that runs around between lines and traditions. I think it is unnecessary. You don't need to say anything to convey power. You don't need to roll eyeballs to discern and express the 'truthieness' of a statement. Silence, I have found, is the most potent tool in your witch box. The only time where silence does not serve anyone well is when there is an immediate danger posed by lies, deception, vile deeds done in the name of witchdom. When these things come about, and they have, you can correct these things without betraying your tradition and fellow witches.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Familiar. . .

Meet Miss Nike!

Most of my life has been lived in the presence of a cat or two. The times when there was no cat were lonely. Some of those cats were just friends who curled up with me and a hot cup of tea. Others were far more than that. They curled up beneath the working altar, stood over my readings, investigated oddly flickering flames ( a few times coming out of it with less whisker), alerting me to weird things floating around and patiently waiting for me at the door to come back in after a smoke. These cats were familiars, magical partners. Familiars can not be made, they choose the work.
Familiars are energetically sensitive and are willing and capable of forming a psychic bond with the person they choose to attach to. Over the years, I have found they can choose to perform one service or many. I don’t understand yet if it is just “these are the skill I have” or whether “these are the skills I have and you most need help in; the rest I hide or reveal in my own damned time” ( insert kitty laughter here.) Most recently, I have found myself in trance with an extra companion. I have heard reports of it happening from other witches I have worked with. She was sort of along for the adventure: what are you doing in here Mom??? I came out to find her happily purring away in a curled up, warm, fuzzy, ball at my feet.
As there are benefits to the familiar relationship, there can be things you must be cautious with. That psychic connection??? If you are not in the presence of your familiar and you have an emotional melt down, so does your familiar. It is very traumatic to your familiar to not understand what is happening to you. They will act out in negative manners, even appear to have their own melt down. My suggestion to remedy this is to take a moment and send a calming visual to your familiar and when you come home expect to be glommed upon; break out with the kitty nip. It takes practice, but it will enhance the communication between you and your magic friend.  
I can’t say that I have actually trained my familiar. I think “training” your familiar is probably a misnomer. I just sort of tried stuff to see what works and what she responds to best. It is more of establishing a working relationship with a person than a power over situation where “you belong to me.” I find those relationships to be most unhealthy to live in.
So if you find yourself in a relationship with an animal that seems to be waiting for you to do something and hogs up your altar space, give ‘em something to do besides singe their whiskers off.

Time Lapse; In 6 days, Buddhist monks create insane sand mandala sculpture

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Four Thieves Vinegar

Not last night, but the night before, 24 robbers came running through my door…
OK so there weren’t 24 of them, only four. They were robbing the homes and businesses of the black plague victims AND not catching it which was something unheard of. Apparently as the story goes one of those dastardly dude’s mother was an apothecary, at least this is the version of the story I heard. She had whipped up a brew of cootie whoop ass so they wouldn’t get sick. Whether she knew what her brew was being used for is questionable; no one seems to talk about that detail. Eventually these thieves were caught and in exchange for the recipe they escaped execution.
So today, we have a brew that has been passed down through history that is not only a antimicrobial (if made with food grade materials you can eat it) but it is a potent magickal protection brew used for everything from averting the evil eye to getting rid of bothersome folk. Good stuff to have around as a staple if you ask me.
Here is a common recipe:
 You can make your own “Four Thieves Vinegar” by following the simple recipe below.
Four Thieves Vinegar Recipe: Use equal parts of the following herbs:
  • Lavender
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Melissa (lemon balm)
  • Hyssop
  • Peppermint
  • A handful of garlic cloves
Let these ingredients cold infuse in a glass jar covered with apple cider vinegar for about six weeks. Shake it up periodically during that six weeks. Filter out the herb and pour into a clean bottle. I like to keep mine in the refrigerator.
While my personal recipe is a little different, the important factor lies in the fact that each of the herbs used are antimicrobial. I also do a similar mix using essential oils that I put in a spray bottle with water to mist around the house when the kids bring home the cold or if tensions in the house get high due to conflict in or out of the home.
You can make a salad dressing of it by mixing 1 part vinegar to 2 parts olive oil. Shake well before pouring over leafy green salads. You can take it by the teaspoon to help ward off winter illnesses.
I like to put about a teaspoon of it into a bucket of water and use it as a cleaning rinse. I also put it in a spray bottle to clean off counter and stove top surfaces.
While all of these seem to be rather mundane uses, the thing you have to realize that as you are physically cleaning, you are clearing out the magickal realms of your home as well. Negative energies love to gather in dusty, dreary, dirty cluttered places and the best way to deal with negative energies in your life is to give them no refuge in your home. WIth no place to hide, negativity and bothersome folk scurry away like the man in black himself is on their tail!

Energetic Effect of Time

  • 3: circulation and blood stability is affected
  • 11: the pituitary and nerves begin to change
  • 22: the three minds ( negative, positive and neutral) begin to work together
  • 31: meditation begins to affect your whole mind, your aura and internal elements ( earth, air, fire, water, spirit)
  • 62: Light and shadows of the mind begin to integrate
  • 2 1/2 hours: Holds the subconscious change for the entire day’s cycle
  • it takes 40 days to change a habit
  • it takes 90 days to confirm that habit
  • it takes 120 days for the habit to become who you are
  • it takes 1000 days to master the new habit 

Graveyard Etiquette and Dirt!

“Hecate Prytania, you saffron clad one among the tombs, I ask permission to enter the gates of this graveyard. I seek your blessings and safe passage.” 
Wait for a sign of Her permission to enter. Before you enter the gate announce your gift of 9 wine soaked dimes and a bulb of garlic. Shake the dimes up in their container so She may hear them before you empty them onto the ground. There are many different traditions that talk about using pennies as entrance tokens, there are those that talk about using dimes, some specifically talk about Mercury head dimes other talk about a specific number of pennies or dimes. I prefer the modern dime with the torch on the back. I like the connection that implies to Hecate and Her torches. I use the number nine because it is the number of all triple goddesses: (by the power of three times three.)
Take the bulb of garlic to either a triple crossroad in the graveyard or a tree you feel call. Some practitioners feel it is appropriate to entice the Goddess to let you in with a gift. However, my intuition tells me that Hecate may be insulted with something She may view as a bribe, so I wait permission to enter then give Her my gift regardless of the answer.
When leaving the graveyard there are traditions that view turning your back upon the mighty dead as not only rude, but foolish. Not all of the mighty dead are benevolent and would leap at a chance to cause havoc and mischief in your life if given the excuse. So before you walk out the gate face the dead and back out of the gate three steps. Bow to the mighty dead and say:
“Thank you to the mighty dead who have shown me hospitality in their home. Merry Meet and Merry Part.”
Bow to the mighty dead and leave the graveyard gate without looking back.
Graveyard Dirt

When researching graveyard dirt I found a whole bunch of people selling it (????), some of the formulas for sale had absolutely no dirt in it. I found mullein, patchouli and a few other herbs powdered and mixed together. None of this felt right so I had to go and ask a few of my elders to help me sift out the crap. My intuitions were confirmed by both my elders and this statement I tripped over:

Against a few modern white authors claiming that “graveyard dirt” is a secret code for mullein herb, we have evidence that the folklorist Harry M. Hyatt interviewed hundreds of black people in the late 1930s who told him the proper ways they knew to collect and pay for graveyard dirt — and NONE of them mentioned mullein.

Take the dirt from the seventh grave from the gates, they told him, or from the third grave on the left, or from any grave; make sure you get it from the grave of a murderer, from the grave of a baby, or from the grave of someone who loved you; collect it at the foot of the grave, the head of the grave, from the head and foot both, from over the corpse’s heart; pay for it with a dime, with three pennies, with a measure of rum, with a measure of whiskey; dig it with a silver spoon, dig it by hand only and use no tools — their instructions vary, but they ALL are speaking quite frankly of literal graveyard dirt — some even calling it “that old yellow graveyard clay.”

There are as many ways to buy graveyard dirt as there are cultures. So my intuition tells me that I should be sure that I do things that are congruent to my own beliefs while respecting the tradition of graveyard etiquette: be polite, because you are in someone else’s ‘house’, pay for what you take, leave an offering to the patron deity, in my case, Hecate Prytania presides.
For me it makes sense to take dirt from one of four places on the grave: the head, the heart, the feet, and the groin.
Head: to deal with thought forms, gossip, protection, liars
Heart all matters of the heart positive and negative
Feet: safe travel, make someone go away, wealth ( I associate this with the Italian tradition of old shoes being thrown at a wedding for wealth of the couple)
Groin: sex offenders ( payment here is higher due to the nature of root chakra energy and it being the base of all beings… nine pennies face up)
I know I have not listed all matters. I do not want to get too specific because a lot of this is intuitive and common sense based. Our ancestors were practical people after all. If it didn’t work, they didn’t use it.
For common use graveyard dirt, the gate is a good place to but it from, but because you are dealing with the Goddess herself here and not an individual from the yard, a higher price is called for. I use nine pennies here as I would for groin dirt. Now as much as there is rules for where to take the dirt from there are also rules about who to buy it from. The first rule is always ask permission and know who you are dealing with.

Teenager (11-19): to cause inattentiveness or irresponsibility in your target or to kindle sexual attraction
Child (2-10): great for appearing innocent, developing friendships, or obtaining necessities ( best to get this from a poor child rather than one who ate from a silver spoon)
Baby: when you need someone to cast a blind eye to what you are up to, insuring that someone remains dependant on you, or when you need to appear indispensable
Adulterer: to create a love triangle or breaking up a relationship ( esp helpful if you know the relatonship is toxic)
Doctor: to either cause or heal illness
Insane: to bring on madness in your target, remember that the person you are dealing with may not be coherent enough to understand your request and you may not get the desired affect you expected.
Magical Practitioner: virtually everything
Pet: Protection and loyalty
The Abused: to assist in removing one from an abusive relationship.
The Murdered: to right an injustice or to seek revenge.
Murderer or Serial Killer: do not use his dirt unless it is your intent to cause grave harm to your target. I would reserve this only in the most dire need and even still I would hesitate. You may not get the desired result you wish, in fact, you may unleash Hell.
Nun or Priest: spiritual protection and to convey the sense of innocent goodness to the outside world.
Soldier: soldiers are trained to follow orders think on their feet, be strong and courageous. Therefore this dirt is good for just about anything, but you would be wise to understand what this soldier believed in and his/ her causes so that you do not get worked against.
Lawyer/ judges: winning a court case, to protect your rights and dealing with injustices.
Housewife: to ensure domestic tranquility or protection of the hearth and home. May also be used to create discord and chaos in your target’s home.

These are all suggestions I have been able to glean from the online materials I have found. I don’t think anything is truly set in stone as all magick under the realm of Hecate tends to be liminal anyway. Use your intuition and good common sense. I have heard that it is best to buy dirt from someone who knew and loved you in life, but not all of us have that luxury, so be certain of who you are dealing with is not only willing to help you but capable. Meditating and having a conversation with the passed one is necessary before you do any work with them.

Unwelcome Visitor

Rule number one: do not panic.

Rule number two: get rid of it!

Rule number three: see rule number one.

Well apparently while hubby and I were sick, we attracted a wee bit of a nasty. No problem. Now that I am feeling better and pulling back my energy reserves I picked up on it. What do you do? Simple. start with a reasonably clean house. Make sure garbage isn’t overflowing, sweep and vacuum, pick up and put away any clutter. Then start in on the clearing.

I usually use a smudge for general clearing purposes but for something I know to be in the house I pull out the gang buster. It’s a mix I call “bridge over troubled water” because surely anything that cannot contain itself on it’s own light is indeed troubled. It’s a mix of powdered herbs to exorcise any negative energies and entities. You can easily make your own, there are several magic herb books with great ideas. You can also get great ideas on the net.

I like to rattle out any ‘stuck’ energies so that when I smudge everything is loose and ready to be shooed out. I pay extra attention any part of the house that seems to be heavy or cold or thick. After I smudge out the house, I go through with all the elements and call in their blessings. You don’t leave a vacuum for just anything to fill. After sacred space is clearly re established I call in divinity, my divinity of choice in this case would be Mari. After the blessings and protection of divinity has been called in I seal everything with my ancestors oil and call upon their love and protection. I trace pentacles on all door thresholds and window sills to further the magick seal. the final move is to re create my energetic bubble around my entire home to keep the space free of anything that may be curious ( and negative) from taking up residence. Tonight after t he house is still I will be leaving out a dish of milk and honey for the little ones who come to visit. Sound easy? It is.

The worst thing you can do if you feel there is something in your house causing trouble is to panic and be afraid. The second worse thing you can possibly do is do nothing about it. These entities feed on your fear, in fact, the more noxious ones will cultivate fear for them to feed on. I’m sure you can imagine how nasty that can get.

This is your space, you live here, you are in power. Use it.

Blue Beads and the Aversion of the Evil Eye

There are cultural references to the evil eye from all over the world. It sits in the back of the human mind like an old cautionary tale from childhood bedtime stories and not like the watered down versions that most western children are told for bed time entertainment. Its symptoms vary from uneasy feeling of dread to headache and fatigue; in extreme cases, physical illness. It is believed that this superstition radiates out from the lands of Sumer where moisture rules the day. The evil eye is believed to cause withering and drying causing harm to beings and even destruction if caution is not taken. So it is no surprise to me that the color of water is the cure. 
The most common blue bead seen for this purpose is a cobalt blue bead with an iris appearing dot at its center. It is commonly called a nazar boncugu. It is believed that if the iris falls off the cobalt bead then the evil eye had been cast and averted. A new charm would then be acquired.
The Hebrew community also has its own belief in the evil eye and uses red ribbons to deter it and even spitting. On occasion an elder hebrew woman can be spotted making a peh- peh -peh sound upon a compliment paid her grandchild as they are believed to piggy back the evil eye. Better safe than sorry is the axiom used to justify this action.
So I have asked myself: Am I as superstitious to believe in the evil eye? All evidence points to yes and not out of the axiom ‘better to be safe than sorry.’ My grandmother believed in the evil eye, my mother in law believes in the evil eye, my own experiences and actions reflect to me that I do as well. Each of my children have been made blue bead anklets on a red cord. And they wear them. Not all the time mind you, My eldest seems to go through periods where he feels just fine not wearing it, but I have noticed that during times of strife among classmates or when school events take place, he hunts high and low for his anklet. My daughter is the same way, particularly around choir performance time. 
I tend to defer to simplicity and obscurity. I use cobalt beads on a red cord. The red cord denotes to me protection and connection to the vitality of life and the blue beads represent the life nurturing properties of water. Within my own tradition the colors also lend the protection of both the God and Goddess. I chose to place it upon my ankle simply to keep a low key on my superstitious nature. While there are those that believe that the charm must be seen to work, I believe no such thing.
There are many cures and preventive measures used for the evil eye, including mirrors, black eyeliner, incense laden prayers and horseshoes. My answer, the one that works for me and my family are blue beads on a red cord as protection and an egg rolled down the body to remove it. I like simplicity. I like unobtrusive accents that won’t smack to the viewer, if they are paying attention, of a superstitious ninny. I realize that we live in an industrial age and there are those that pooh pooh old world beliefs. Just because the world has turned it’s back on spirits and nature, doesn’t mean that spirits and nature have forgotten us and will stay their hands for good or for ill. 
Here are some good links for more information on the evil eye, it’s prevention and some cure if you care to do your own homework: