Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Magic Chore Whoring and the paradox of war water

Calendula oil, four thieves vinegar,  gardenia oil, rose water.
From left to right.
As I have been making my way through the Elements and working with their Guardians, I have found Magic Chore Whore list shifting. Now that the sizzle, bubble and hiss part of the transition from fire to water has subsided into a nice warm simmer, I have settled into brewing some of my favorite items which include things like war water, rose water, four thieves vinegar, and new on the list: gardenia and calendula oil. Well, no war water brewing is necessary right now. I have a nice jar of starter sitting in the fridge so it's the other things that I am preoccupied with. I am also preoccupied with the idea of where am I gonna get fresh Jacaranda flowers from this season. I have dried and I will use it if I have to but I prefer the fresh blossom for brewing. ( yes, I have plans to plant my own frakking Jacaranda tree so this won't be a question any more.)

Yes I know, and yes I did hear the gasp when I mentioned war water. War water most popularly used as a cursing item, is not exactly what you think it is, or even when I thought it was when I first ran across it several years ago. I did a bunch of asking around and reading on the subject and became very frustrated that all seemed to be finding was curse mentions. I was relieved of my frustrations after an email conversation with the lovely Judika Illes. My first contact with war water was in a vision during my training of a ritual to invoke the blessings and protection of Krom into soldiers who were being deployed to war. I saw the ritual very clearly being performed by Krom himself on a soldier he favored. This person is not known to me, but I was very honored to be 'there' to witness the blessing. What Judika said about the war water was that the formula predates Hoo Doo and was used by a people who viewed Aries/ Mars as more than a blood thirsty hostile God. He was a father, he was an excellent provider and even better protector. I am sure there were as many aspects to this divine persona as humans tend to have multiplied up to the level of divinity. When I first ran into the war water use outside the cursing arena, I did indeed scratch my head while Krom looked at me with a twinkle in his eye that begged me to go on a digging expedition. Anyway, this is me digressing. . .

Krom and Aries/ Mars are in no way related to each other. Different Gods, different personalities and energies. They do share attributes such as protection and providence for their devotees. It makes sense now to me that Krom would show me that there is more to war water than scratching on the surface would reveal. He also made it very clear that there is a difference in formula depending on what you have in mind for this brew, but the starter brew is always the same: one really rusty nail in a jar of water to create a muddy red base: iron water. That spoke to me on another level. In my tradition, we hold iron in high regard. Our bodies carry enough iron to create a nail, an iron pentacle meditation/ trance working is used to clear and balance our mind body spirit relationships. Iron in my mind's eye is completely relevant to the human condition. Without it, we become ill and die. It made no sense to me when I began doing homework on it that it was solely for cursing. I had learned and had kept closely in my head the adage: curse and cure often times grow on the same vine. It had to be true with this as well. So off to play in the wicked garden I went.

Years later, I still use war water blessings. I use it on my thresholds to protect my family and guests. During troublesome times I have snuck it into my washer while laundry is going ( a few drops in the water will do it) I also use it around the perimeter of my house at the quarters to not just protect my household but I ask for the blessings of providence. To date, I have yet to use it as a curse materia, but I have used it in many other things including my bath water.

war water starter is best stored in refrigerator.
If it grows mold, just throw the whole thing away
and start from scratch.

War water starter

1 iron nail
sterilized jar with tight lid

place the nail in the jar, add water, replace lid, put in fridge and wait. It will take time to get a nice red muddy water and it's important to occasionally shake the jar. 

Blessings add ins:
once you have a nice muddy base it's time to mix your water in a separate jar.  
3 TBS war water/ cup of water.
oak moss
1 balm of gilead pod
3 drops pine essential oil
3 drops of patchouli ess. oil
3 drop of cinnamon ess. oil

shake it up and ask of the Gods to bless it however you see fit. You can use this right off the bat, but aging it increases potency.

Now back to my water themed magic chore whoring!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Chasing stars

It used to be called star metal. A gift from the heavens sought after in ages past for tools, weapons, and even spiritual connection to the larger universe our planet spins within. These days it is still sought out but  by a different type of explorer: the scientist, spiritual seeker, the profiteer. It's value however has remained. Meteorites contain the otherworldly resonance that can only come from the outer dark; a place where a soul can go into darkness and find their light.

I originally obtained my meteorite to use in an oil I create devoted to the Star Goddess. I soon learned for myself what the vender was talking about when she said "special care." On the physical plane, if you leave a meteorite out with no finger oil contact it tends to tarnish and oxidize. That means that daily contact with finger oils is a requirement. I found myself sticking it in my pocket and carrying it around with me as a fetish of sorts when it's not steeping in oil to brew. I discovered other things as I went along in my journey with a meteorite in my pocket. I found myself learning to quickly move from one foot to the other. In my tradition and in many others, being a witch with shamanic tendencies requires that you straddle two worlds, a foot in each and weight carefully balanced over them.

I also discovered that there are very potent protection qualities that reside within this chunk of cosmos drenched metal. I was concerned, at first, that it may be a problem for the fae that I work with. We have all heard the faery/ iron lore. Those fears were put to rest by one of my fae friends and he added that he's never had any issues with my iron knife, why would he have an issue with a star piece? There was also a conversation about where the lore came from. He spoke a bit about repulsion and attraction in logical terms then took a left turn somewhere while he was talking about the paradox of being repulsed and attracted at the same time. Yes, being attracted to something because it repells you??? He further explained that the dynamic comes about be cause star metal reminds them of home and at the same time they are reminded that home no longer exists for them. The anger and resentment that it stirs up is the cause for them being pushed away, of course adding more resentment to the brew. I am not entirely certain of who "them" is when he talks like that, but I am almost certain that I wouldn't want to meet them in a brightly lit area much less a dark alley. All of this lead to another question: so if this object attracts both light and dark beings, how is it considered a protective talisman? He shrugged his shoulders and asked why stars shine and why everyone wants to see what's in the light? I guess it was just his way of saying it's just it's nature. I'll either sort that out or just leave it for what it is: a mystery.

Meteorites still have an avid bunch of seekers for whatever their reasoning is, but I have found my little  star piece to be a potent connection to the Universe at large out there and to God Herself. It's a piece of unfolding mystery in manners I did not expect it to be when I first conceived to chase after stars. If you have the opportunity to obtain a meteorite, do so. Make sure to ask questions like: where was it found and what is it composed of. The answers to those questions may be helpful in learning how to work with the star piece. You can purchase meteorites at some observatories where you will probably get very scientific and accurate physical accounting of your piece or you can go to a gem show and talk with the vender about it. I have found that the venders at gem shows can be very knowledgeable about the stones and other objects they put up for sale. Sometimes you will get extra tips from seekers who gather at the gem shows. If you are very lucky and spend time out of doors on the other side of mankind's hedge, you may find one for yourself.

If you find yourself with a star piece starring at the night sky, know you are in good company, spiritually and physically. You are, after all, carrying a part of the universe in your pocket. The Universe and all the unfolding mysteries within it are suddenly much closer and very possible to experience.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Notes from the land of Odd

I have had my week break and now it's time to get back on the surf board and ride the incoming wave. And speaking of water, I have transitioned from the elemental guardian of Fire into Water realms, and you know that point in time while cooking rice you add water to a hot pan??? Well yeah. . . the transition from fire to water is sort of ( okay just like) that! The quench releases so much energy that it stirs up all the stuff and it all boils to the surface for you to handle ( before it handles you.) I was assured by the Gods ( okay a specific one in my pantheon) that this is just business as usual; nothing personal unless you want to throw a hissy fit about it. At which point, I just tried my hardest to not roll my eyeballs.

Speaking of rolling eyeballs. . .

. . . this whole silly season propaganda on parade has got me all sorts of rolly eyed. I hate rolling my eyeballs. I mean really??? You want to start trolling candidates from prepubescence now???? Way to discourage good people from running for office and trying to do something about all the "broken toys in the house." I feel like I joined some perverted version of the Mad Hatter's tea party. Can I just go back to my regular happy version of enjoying my insanity please? ( new tea cup please!) Besides, if I don't stop this reflexive eye roll soon, my eyeballs just may fall out of my head. Where's that sand bar? I need to go bury my head!

In other News. . .

Mr. Patchouli has had a bit of a rough ride this winter. You know, it's too cold outside and inside it's too dry! What's a plant to do over here in this crazy desert it's been potted in???? However Mr. Patchouli is tough little dude who seems to be enjoying the odds being beaten! I keep hearing Hugo Weaving's voice from the Matrix when I think about Mr. Patchouli. Don't have a reason or clue why yet, but I thought it was rather funny. You know the line: " Mr. Anderson. . . that is your name?" I am hoping that in the next season he sets into his pot well and goes bazongas!

Crazy news. . .

So I have been having crazy dreams where the Gods and other Feri people sort of drop in for a visit while my Oath Mother's voice pipes in Obiwan- like about the situation and the Gods start having open dialogue about  my life in minutia. . . 0.o Most of the conversation is sane enough. . . okay about as sane as Feri gets. . . but some of the events/ conversations makes the Mad Hatter seem rather well adjusted. I guess that means I am officially Feri Mad.

So speaking of Madnesses. . .

Anyone with children make sure you tell your little ones that if someone shoots you, don't go back when they are called. Thank you Crazy woman in Florida for putting that on my docket of weird madnesses to remind my kids of: " now children, if I go off my rocker and shoot you, don't come back when I call you back home. I will kill you."  


Ok you know what? I think I'll just stick to my Mad Hatter Tea Party. At least there, the only thing in danger is the tea cup.

New cup!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Storyteller shamans

I have always thought that the telling of stories was one of the most important things for a strong society to bond into a people. Not the news, not documentaries, not the neighborhood gossip sort of stories, but the ones of legendary proportions. The ones where the villain looks to be larger than life and invincible, the heros reluctant to step to the plate, the magic hidden in plain sight. These are the stories that truly matter. They used to be told in the flickering light of a fire at night when the creatures of night stalked their shadows. The Shaman or storyteller would have everyone huddled around scarce to breathe for missing a nuance of tone as the story came to life. Sometimes the fire would help with a dramatic pop and shower of sparks. These were the days when tribes were small.

Our tribes are much larger now, but stories are still a major bonding thread through our cultures. It's not likely that we are going to huddle around a fire ( although that still sounds fun) but we all at one point find ourselves scrunched down in a movie theater chair or a sofa in our living room waiting to be told a story. When we really look at it the storyteller has to jump through many more sacred hoops to tell their tale, but the beginnings of the storytelling process remains the same. The storyteller turns inward and flies up into a realm of ethers that he or she has been invited into. Literally it is a new world with rules, heros and villains all of it's own.

Like the past, these stories link tribes of a culture together regardless of what part of the world the story travels. All who hear and love the story become kith and kin, welcomed into the world with a common understanding of humanity even if the language is different. These stories not only bind cultures together, they can act as a guide in the dark shadowed night of the soul. Often times when we are listening/ watching/ reading these stories, we end up empathizing with a specific character in the saga. During times of demon dancing it becomes helpful to look to these figures and those around them for wisdom and guidance while you dance your own shadow dance. The wisdom revealed may not be a direct application to your own motion, but rather a sudden flash of realization and inspiration. This is a true aspect of shamanism: the application of the shaman's vision to the realm we walk in whether it be a large outer world project or a personal quest.

Shamanism is not a dwindling practice, it is alive and well. It has evolved, shifted to suit the medium, the people, the largeness of the world's tribe. Maybe the traditional means and methods of training have been passed quietly around to certain keepers of these secrets, but lost they are not. There are those out there who continue the traditional practices in secret with a small group of people in clusters all over the world and sometimes in places most unexpected. Often times these Shamans, if you will, do not share their adventures believing them to be irrelevant to the outer world or useful to anyone but themselves. Sometimes what is revealed, the shaman feels should be kept secret for a time until it is the correct place in time to reveal the mystery for further unfolding. Sometimes the shaman never reveals the story because the battle is their personal dance.

Every once in a while, I fall upon a movie, book or painting that reveals to me that the art of the storytelling shaman is still alive and well. These people may not recognize what it is they are doing, but I do. If there is any doubt, ask the story teller this:" how real are your characters and their world to you?" Most of them will tell you something like this:" my characters talk to me and have a running commentary on my life." These storytellers may not have been trained in traditional manners or be keepers of traditional secrets, but they have tapped into something larger than themselves and come back with a legend to pass to their perceived tribe. Some of these modern legends have swayed the thinking and understanding of real people in this realm, possibly shifting this world in a very real manner. If that's not shamanism, I don't know what the hex is.

I believe society needs these story tellers to help make sense of our world and lives. I believe that these stories make us stronger as both a society and individual. Think carefully, who are your storyteller shamans? How have they affected your universe? What untold stories have you been invited to dance within and have you the courage to tell them?

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blessed Beltane

I thought this would be an appropriate way to say Blessed Beltane. I hope you have a very raucous and joyous one!