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Archive for February, 2014

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It takes a certain amount of skill, keen eyesight and a steady hand to thread a sewing needle. The eye is usually too small and without adequate lighting it is like searching in the dark for the light switch, knowing exactly where it is, but missing the mark every time. The thread may not be the correct diameter or ravel each time attempt is made. But, without this precious thread and the needle as vehicle of application, the work of sewing and creating cannot be accomplished.

Maintaining a spiritual practice can at times replicate the scenario above. The thread is your accumulated efforts that are trying to be guided through the narrow gateway of actual progress so you may do the work of your path. These threads may at times seem mismatched to the challenges they must traverse or unravel bit by bit in the process. Nonetheless, the pursuit continues until the correct fit is found.

The steady hand that is needed requires commitment to a routine that then becomes a habit, and ultimately blends seamlessly into the fabric of your life, both mundane and spiritual. This commitment must remain steady in its intent, but the hand must be flexible enough to adapt to whatever fabric it must penetrate.

The keen eyesight required is seeing with selective intent in choosing those practices that will enhance and support your spiritual life and being ruthless about trimming away those that are not. The glamour and promise of quick results rarely creates a fabric that is durable and wearable for the longevity. Conversely, quality of material does not necessarily correlate with rice of time, effort and money. Often times the best option is something that is simple in form, easy in maintenance and can stand daily display for years to come.

The test of skill is how effectively you balance both your mundane and spiritual pursuits, aiming ever for the goal of them becoming interactive and interwoven one into the other. This is a skill that is acquired through patience and diligence and application of careful intent.

And, when all has been readied and aligned with the eye of the Gateway, these golden threads that have been carefully spun will glide smoothly through the stillness of the center point emerging on the other side, ready to do the work at hand.

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I began my journey
Knowing exactly what
I most desired.

I exerted my will
And what I conjured
Was merely a shadow
Of what I desired.

I cried and fought
Asserted myself and
Yet all efforts were
Fruitless in feeding
My heart’s desire.

My will took hold and
Try as I might to force
Change to occur time
Lay still in the midst
Of my burning desire.

Exhausted and finally
Laid bare I breathed
Into the silence
And allowed a new form
Of the old desire
To take hold.

This creation spawned
From willful action
And misguided intent
Burst forth satisfying
And refined in its ways.

And from the clash of
will and desire the
Magick began and forever
I lay transformed in
The afterglow of
Will and Desire’s union.

“Oh what a tangled web we weave
When first we practice to deceive.”

 Sir Walter Scott (Marmion, 1808)

This week’s post is not meant to focus on the negative, but I think it is important to check in regularly with what we most desire (for ourselves and others) and what steps we take towards willing it to be so. As the result of 8 weeks of unexpectedly having to make decisions, take into account the desires of myself and a loved one and using all of my will to take appropriate action, these three words have boiled up to the surface and set me to thinking about their impact.

The quote above is one of my favorites. It is a reminder to me to be honest in my dealings. As a Witch and magickal practitioner it is a reminder to me of the need to balance what I desire with a will that is aligned with best outcome for all concerned. Desire and will are easily caught up in the “web” of deception. And, this deception is not limited to the actions we impose upon others. The biggest arena of deception lay within the untruths and excuses we use about ourselves and those things we desire and will into being.

Desire implies action fueled by emotional stimulation. Desire in and of itself is neither negative nor positive. I see it as a place of neutrality running primarily from a place of instinct and primal directive. Desire is the beginning of formulating what the product of that desire will be. And, as with any endeavor to produce (or create) action has to be taken towards that goal. The desire to be happy, needs the positive action taken in drawing to ourselves an environment supportive of what our definition of happiness is. The deception comes when we formulate that definition based upon faulty towers that are not anchored in the highest outcome for all; especially yourself. The desire to manifest effective magick needs practice, dedication and awareness and sensitivity to the responsibility implied in it actually working. The deception comes when we think that our will should be imposed on others because if the power we think we have acquired.

Will implies action. Will is the fuel that feeds the flames of desire. Desire without the application of will remains the stuff of dreams and wish. And, for some of those things we may desire, the dreamscape is rightfully where they should remain. If misaligned and holding less than an attitude of integrity the will to action we apply to our desires presents in its baser nature and the one pointed flow of desire through it becomes the lustful wanting and obsession of an inappropriate goal. Deception plays an integral part in this scenario and we can rationalize and legitimize our actions to ourselves and others. Holding right intent as the scale’s measure guides the passions generated in a pattern of checks and balances that is selective in how they are used.

The reminder here is that temperance and balance are necessary. The story of the Genie’s lamp and final access to all your heart desires is prime example of the amount of caution that is required for desire to be coupled with right will to action. Accountability, ethics and self-knowledge are the cornerstones of using desire and will as tools of manifestation and transformation. This potent mixture is bound to produce some outcomes that need a new recipe of blending and a level of honesty about your true motivation that cuts through leaving deception behind.

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I wrote last week about the challenges of a spiritual practice. Continuing that thought, this week’s post explores the inevitable detours we find ourselves encountering on our chosen path.

Daily mundane life is ripe with detours.  We decide to go one route to work in favor of another, which takes us further out of our way because of construction and find ourselves on yet a third route.  We plan to have a nice quiet evening at home and forget about the promise we made to volunteer for the schools bake sale.  We tell ourselves we will go to the gym faithfully every other day after work, you know, just “do it for me time” and the car needs unexpected repair, the dog has to go to the vet, work needs an extra hour and before you know it the week has come to an end and exhaustion wins out.   Now before this post takes on the tone of Debbie Downer, let me wholeheartedly tell you that detours, distractions and otherwise annoying events that keep you from doing what you had planned are a positive step towards keeping yourself honest in your spiritual work!

A healthy path to growth involves disruption.  In fact that is how we physically grow. Shedding old skin cells, replacing with new; limbs stretching, muscles growing, healing and renewing.  Expansion and contraction of flesh and bone and settling in to what a matured human being looks like.  We take these as a given and don’t give much thought to how this movement in all directions is vital for healthy growth.  As children, we constantly took detours and the less beaten paths.  This was how we learned what was safe, what caused harm and what was risky but well worth the risk. These little forays into and off of the structured course formulated many of our preferences and who we became as adults.

As teens we constantly tested the boundaries, detouring from what our parents wanted in search of pure and unfettered joy in existence and being unstoppable and indestructible.  We didn’t think of these excursions as detours, but each was in its own way self-imposed roadblocks that led us down the path that struck our fancy at the time.  These side trips helped to set the course for what we thought our life could be and the grand visions and dreams we crafted for our adult experience.

Now, all of these examples may seem purely mundane and you may question how these relate to our spiritual practice/path.  We strive on these paths to interweave the mundane and the magickal.  We proclaim the fact that we live our spiritual truths 24/7 365-days per year.  So in essence, everything that takes us off the main course we expected and all of the delays and roadblocks encountered at a mundane level are the products of the work accomplished on the paths of our spiritual course. Conversely every spiritual detour we take offers new wisdom and lessons learned that directly relate to how we move through our physical affairs and world and what we seek from the mundane to feed the spiritual.

I have been High Priestess of Oak and Willow for 13 years and during that time there have been many members who have joined and many who have left.  Most departures have been amiable and most often the result of spiritual growth that has set that member in a new direction.  Some may consider it a detour taken from the pagan path they began; particularly for those who left the Wiccan path and began the steps of Eastern practice or return to Christianity.  Although saddened by each departure I have also honored the truth that any productive spiritual seeking will involve becoming more aware of what the choices of expression are and the many roads that may be taken.  The challenges encountered in defining what our spiritual path and practice look like become the opportunities to detour from what is expected and explore a road less travelled.  New experiences, new community and new beliefs come to light.  Some may give deeper perspective and knowing as we continue on this detour and eventually return to the original road we began the journey on.  Others may completely take us in a different direction, having the wisdom brought forward from where we began and refining it in accord with the new road taken and stayed upon.

Embrace these detours, roadblocks, set-backs and more.  They strengthen your resolve in what you truly believe and wish to pursue in devotion.  They allow time for pause and reflection in a world that often moves too quickly and leaves us hungering for what we would never have known or been able to use. They bend and mold and change who we are and who we will become.  So, the next time you are driving and come to a detour, set off down a new road and grand adventure and an opportunity to perhaps appreciate the direct route you are normally able to take.

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Stop, pause
Ready, set- Go!
Damn, another roadblock!

Try the other route
Not quite right but
Maybe I’ll get through.

Yellow sign ahead
Another detour on the path
Ok, just breathe
Maybe this route won’t be too bad.

Stop, pause
Ready, set- Go!
Lots to keep your
Interest on this new route.

Stop, pause
Let’s give it a try
Detours are so bad after all!

Never would have tried
Something new that
Became my new passion and
Answered my heart’s call!

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The Moon is Full tomorrow in the astrological sign of Leo. Take the Lion’s Share…

Rest looking out on moon lit waters
Pause anchored strongly in self-knowing
Moon shines on mirrored surface and
Water reaches towards primal force
Majestic in its Power and strength.

Read the Full Post at:

Temple of the Cosmic Spheres

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In the Name of…

I breathe
The words
Burst forth.

Each letter
Sacred
Each sound
Magickal.

I breathe
The words
join as one.

I breathe
The words
Join as one.

I breathe and
My Name
Becomes all
That I AM.

The Name holds the story and mystery of who it represents. The Name is the energetic sigil that connects and refines all parts of that individual. The Name holds the power and promise of greatness as its sound moves through space and time affirming our manifest existence. Read More at:
Womb of Light: The Alchemy of the Goddess

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We begin our walk upon our chosen spiritual path wide-eyed and full of wonder at all the newness of this journey brings. We gaze up at the heavens and yearn to know our place in the vastness of the Cosmos. We look out at the Natural world and sigh into the beauty that unfolds in each day’s moments. For a time, we see each human being as one to be cherished and seek the answers to our queries from those who share the journey with us. The perspective is one of hope and a general sense of ease in the feelings that we have finally found “home”.

Some time passes and the newness fades; not necessarily through any lacking of effort on our part. This is simply the way of every cycle; the initial excitement, a pause of time to integrate and then final understanding of what has been presented in preparation for the next phase of initiation. Somewhere in the midst of this newness losing momentum we begin to realize the challenges that have arisen as we continue to walk deeper into the teachings. The challenge of establishing and maintaining a cohesive and productive practice looms large ahead and what we have put into place that we call our practice demands closer scrutiny.

These challenges rise and fall in response to the determination and dedication we show. And, you know that saying- “with great power (knowledge) comes great responsibility”?  The more we work to align with our chosen path, the more we assume responsibility to face those obstacles and become a living example of our faith and its values. We may find ourselves facing the challenges of complacency and apathy as the road becomes too steep and the discipline of the work too much to continue. The journey ends and we remain settled into the space we have come to until something calls to us to continue on.

We may encounter family, friends, loved ones and employers who express their disapproval of our chosen path. We seek support of those who do approve and who we call friend, family and colleague takes on a new appearance. Sprouts of new relationship bud from the soil of those left behind. From this new growth comes the challenge of maintaining our own place of integrity even as those around us are less than honest in action, thought and heart. We weed, we prune and lovingly care for viable growth hoping to harvest the abundance of a challenge of right intent.

As we endeavor to heal and help, act and be the product of positive change, the challenge becomes the fine point of knowing when enough is enough and surrendering to that knowledge in full trust that you have given what was needed. The challenge to be purposeful in our intent and strong in our beliefs arises with every mundane action. These actions are the real touchstones of how much we have spiritually and magickally grown.

Some will face challenges of health and dis-ease. These may seem insurmountable and shake the very core of our faith in the Divine and the Temples of our bodies. When we step more fully into the current of humanity and the energetic streams that flow from and to that Source, we learn the value of compassion and the gentle touch of love.

The spiritual path and a practice of living that Path is difficult and once the will is set upon it, it is a road that is never ending. It is the place of growth, finding our strengths and learning from our weaknesses. It is the road that becomes less traveled as we move deeper into the thickets as we are the only one who may reach its inner sanctum of our own making. The challenges set are the Gates through which we must earn the keys to pass and with each one mastered the greater mysteries are revealed.

And, so I return to what began this writing. The continual challenge in remembering what set you upon your chosen path to begin with. The challenge of re- calling those original feelings of joy, enthusiasm, wonder and curiosity to keep yourself moving forward in the cycle of continuum. And the challenge of setting out once again in perfect love and perfect trust on the newly crafted path of the unknown.

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May I come to know
The great strength
In myself as I encounter
The obstacles that
Veil the unyielding truth.

May I face the wisdom
Of my actions of both
Positive and negative
For they hold the keys
To the greater wisdom
Of my Divine nature.

May I step upon the Path
Unafraid to wear down
The shoes that have carried
Me to the Gates of Magick
As the new ones shall
Carry me even further.

May the challenges and
The ease of progress
Be reminders of the
Strivings of my aspiration.

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