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Posts Tagged ‘magickal practice’

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Recently, a dear friend of mine reminded me about the eventual effects of continuing to make withdrawals on those reserves that make you more fully human and not compensating with the appropriate deposits of what feeds that humanity. As you fill your coffers with spiritual tools and resources there has to be a point of counter balance (note I did not say equanimity) of what anchors you in this lifetime’s experience of manifest reality and all that goes into the informing of that life. This is not a new conceptualization of the need for renewal but one that we often overlook relying solely on the belief that the Universe will provide all that we need. The Universe does supply, but we are also tools of attraction, so if what I am setting out as the magnet of attraction is depleted in what makes me fully human than the spiritual resources I attract will not have the maximum potency of effect.

Being the driven and disciplined (or perhaps conditioned) individual that I am it is not uncommon for me to completely forget my physical needs in deference to the path of service and work that I wish to do. There are many forms of conditioned response we establish as we mature so it would be easy for me to blame conditioned response in this case from years of self-abuse as a classical ballet dancer. But, that thinking would only be a small piece of a larger puzzle. Chronological time factors in to the equation, at times insidiously, and as I am getting older, the feeling that “time is running out and there is still so much spiritual work to be done” fuels the furnace of neglect of that very container that enables that work to be accomplished. After all the greatest work is that of being human and having the capabilities of a physical being. As aspiration toward perfecting the spirit grows in urgency (very different word from Informed Will) this human aspect of our being can largely go completely unfed.

The irony is that I know all of these things and yet, somehow, I still do not consider my own human needs to be of the same importance as my spiritual. You could think of this as basking too long in the fullness of the sun’s light which dehydrates and burns the flesh that is the necessary container used to experience the pleasure of sun bathing The trick is to come to a point where the shade and shelter that is needed is derived from the physical/manifest sunblock that has been applied with each physical connection that allows us to safely enjoy and be rejuvenated by the brilliance of spiritual light.

In thinking about the reminder given and the need for restoration my plan is to reconnect to those things that brought me pleasure and fed my physical senses at a time when I was more wholly in touch with myself, and the experience of my human nature.

Reading Readiness

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I love to read and for over a decade the “soul” source of the tomes have been non-fiction geared and carefully selected to inform my teaching and broaden my base of knowledge. So, for me, returning to a place of reading simply for the pure joy of losing yourself in the story means reading a fiction book. I have always loved everything about books and my rule of thumb has been the smaller the print and the thicker the book all the better. I worked as a page at our local library as my first teenage job and reveled in the smell of hardbound books, the feel of holding the book in your hands and turning each page not knowing what great adventure would continue written on its surface.

When you read non-fiction as a steady diet there is a decided difference in how you perceive the world around you. Suddenly, everything becomes a petri dish ready for examination. Even in the process of testing and questioning the facts obtained, it is still through the lens of the observer. Imagination may enter the equation, but the end goal is in seeking the truth. Taking a breather from this constant scrutiny offers opportunity for unstructured imagination to flow and awakening the space for languid and fantastic inner journeys. Ironically, listening to the wisdom of your own psyche will usually give you clue when its time to ease off. The periods of time where I simply could not read another book have been more frequent. Over saturation is the way I would describe it. Forcing the issue just results in having to reread what you set to because nothing is sticking. Time to “un-think” the diet and re-introduce some new foods.

I remembered how much I enjoyed reading the Anne Rice novels and the chapters I’ve read so far of the new series have been great.

Color It Simple

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One of my favorite pastimes as a child and young adult was to color. A new box of 96-color crayons or colored pencils was my idea of visual and tactile delight. The kinesthetic quality enforced my appreciation of the skill and deftness of hand required. Engaging my visual sensitivities in the selection and matching of colors opened a new frame of reference about the varied tones, hues, shades and values available in this rich palette. The products of these experiences took the forms of embroidery, sewing, drawing and painting. Using this tool of expression I could control the result while allowing the inventive energy to flow and a single brushstroke or stitch done differently would completely alter the visual impact of the finished product. A trip to AC Moore and our basement (our eldest daughter is a Visual Artist) provided me with everything I will need to dive back into this place of renewal. A coloring book of Mandalas and a Paint-By-Number Owl should be a good start.

The Gift of Music

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Music has always been a part of my daily life. There was a time when I would sit quietly day dreaming as I listened to my favorite composition. The sound would carry me into my own world of creative imagination and the effect was soothing and renewing regardless of the intensity or anguish of the tones I was hearing. I realized that for some time now, music has become the habitual background that plays on even though I am not focused in the listening. I do use music and sound regularly, the singing bowl, drum or correct tonal frequency to effect and stimulate spiritual growth; but, rarely just for the pure joy of surrendering myself to the sensation without expectation and intent. I thought back to the type of music I used to listen to that commanded my attention- and imagination. I downloaded some of my favorite bands and set off on a journey that took me where it willed and called up the visceral physical and emotional response in the memory of how much pleasure I had derived from it originally.

Dance Like No One is Watching

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And, finally I return to what made me feel most alive and fully connected to my physicality and transcendence of its limitations. For me this is the ultimate test in turning off the critic, teacher, choreographer and goal of perfection (very human, though non-productive human responses) and allowing my body to move in a response that is purely of its own making. This is the exhilarating joy of painting a vision of space and energy crafted by the interaction of the physical form moving on a canvas that is limitless.

When I was performing, the rehearsal studio was Sacred Space and the theater was the Temple that called out to those appreciative of the art form. As we prepared backstage and transformed into whatever role was to be played, you could feel the palpable effect of this transformation on yourself and knew that any who were witness would for that brief amount of time be carried with you into the realm of imagination and forever changed because of it. For me, this is the space of interface between spirit and human.

I am older now, and joints often hurt, and muscle memory can be a real pain (literally), but none of those things can prevent me from reconnecting to that part of me that is most human. The soul infused abandon interwoven with the physicality of manifest form is the gold bullion that’s a valuable asset of deposit in both my spiritual and human banks.

Ready for What’s In-Coming!

For now, my Great Work of Spirit is to be receptive and aware of feeding what connects me to Humanity. To enjoy the flow of in coming experience that is self-initiated, physically driven. The “fun” part of the journey is to explore the potential held in nurturing a space of joy and levity in fostering a deeper appreciation of the gift of being fully present in that human experience. This is what sustains when times become challenging both mundanely and spiritually.

So, next you hear the phrase that you “are a spiritual being having a human experience” don’t forget about tending to all the needs of that human experience. Allow your senses to open to receiving the in coming flow of your own humanity.

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My spirit moves in a
Constant state of
Veil and light
Straining towards the moment
Of pause- rest-quiet.

And, once achieved- the motion begins
Newly birthed from the inertia.

Breath and body moving
Towards each extreme of being
One being agitated by the other
The urge towards balance.

Ma’at’s sillhouette embracing
The shadow of moon that is the
Fulcrum of all things mastered.

Haze of blue fury
Support and equilibrium
Feather poised with sharpened
Tip delicately and precariously balanced.

Harmony restored through the
Anguish of chaos and uncertainty
And for this brief moment
Illusion is suspended
In this body of hanging in
The balance of Divine Light.

A few days ago, in the early hours of the morning the Moon waxed full in the sign of Libra and the energy of balance and refinement was enhanced by a Lunar eclipse. All of this held the potential for reshaping the depths of our emotional waters and reclaim the balance of what is brought to the light and what serves as support within those dark waters of being.

What remains unbalanced within you and where will you seek the wisdom of restoration of what lofts us from the sea of inertia and complacency?

Read more about the energy of this past Full Moon here..

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Image: Rider-Waite Tarot 

What do you hold sacred and
Who are your Gods?

You stand before me and
Hope that I will show you
The way of return.

I am wisdom and the hidden knowledge
Gained from effort and sacrifice.

I have achieved the balance
Of foundation and
Now may be the
Disruption that
Spawns new
Direction.

I sit within the
Place of anchor
And all that flows from
My discourse will
Take root.

The mystery is how
To initiate that seed of
Root and the form it may take
For that is your path
Only to reveal.

The halls of knowledge are
Ever open.

Where will you find
The courage to
Pass through?

Keywords:

WISDOM
SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP
SKILL
DISCERNMENT
SELF KNOWLEDGE

The Hierophant sits upon a throne of sorts, the Pillars of Polarity to his right and left. He is the Middle Pillar of balance, union of polarities and guardian of the Supernal wisdom. This card is one of my favorite cards in the Major Arcana. Looking at the card gives a sense of peace, as well as a call to action of the highest aspiration. I see this card as a call to “service”. What form and who that service impacts are exerted by the choice of free will and where you have chosen to give your attention and focus.

The Hierophant appears as the quintessential spiritual advisor, bestower of Divine blessing, master of ageless wisdom and beneficent authority. Saying all that often brings a feeling of security in the knowledge that a higher authority – other than our human selves – exists and to whom we may placidly entrust the guiding of our spiritual growth.

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Image: The Alchemical Tarot (Rosemary Guiley)

I particularly like the image of the Hierophant represented in the Alchemical Tarot Deck. The balance of lunar and solar, feminine and masculine energies seen through the arch of window. When we think of a window we imagine a space to see out from and a haven of sanctuary to stand as observer and perhaps go unobserved. I think of this depiction as the natural tendency we have to see these energies of the Moon and the Sun as something apart from ourselves and that we look at longingly through whatever safe haven we have ensconced ourselves within. The Hierophant being the bridge or point of interface between the two, holding open the book of knowledge that will enable us to recognize our place within these two states of being.

The statues of male and female at the left and right hand of the Hierophant are smaller in size and are reminder that our physical form is only a small piece of the greater mystery. That we too may sit in the place of the Hierophant as we draw into our core (the middle pillar) all aspects of our true nature, moon, sun and cosmos; male, female and manifestation and rise as guardian of our Higher Self as the Hierophant looms large in the place of center.

All of the aforementioned is true; but another part of the Mystery (definition of: a spiritual reality that transcends normal reasoning) lies in the Key number of the card – #5- the number of rebellion, change and disruption of the status quo to move us beyond the false security of an earthly foundation. Five is the occurrence of the stability of equilateral Four opening up and reaching out towards the unknown. The foundations laid in the structure and order of a four-sided figure (square) are now being tested and stretched to their limits. This is the primary principle of nature abhorring a vacuum or inertia. If we remain too long in the comfort of everything being the same, we become stagnant and dis-eased. Nature steps in and causes illness and discontent (the number Five) stirring the call to action that will ultimately bring us to a place of transformation.

If we combine this information with the other attributes of the card, we realize that the lesson of this card is that with every embracing of and opening to higher levels of understanding and spirituality there will also be the necessary resultant disruption of the security felt by simply remaining where we are. By seeking the strength contained within the Emperor- who appears more than a man- but, still a man grounded in the physical reality- we can experience the Self-Knowledge and spiritual security of the Hierophant.

Wherever this card falls in a spread, expect, changes and the need to take a closer look at those things we consider the foundation and pillars of our Spiritual Path. The number Five is also the number of sides on a shield – four sides of the square and the point of a triangle. With the Wisdom of the Hierophant, we may deflect from ourselves what would harm, gather the energy into its space of security and then turn the focus of that shield’s point of light and Divine Wisdom to illuminate our way along the Path.

The Shield of Focus Spread (rcf)

I seek the highest Spiritual Truth
For my guidance and inspiration.

I seek to unify the inner world of Spiritual Illumination
And the outer world of personal experience.

I seek to walk in the Light

Remove The Hierophant Card from the Deck and place it centrally in the position of the anchor, face up. Focus your query and intent in a meditative way directed towards The Hierophant key. Lay 4 more cards face down in a semi circle in the order presented below:

This spread takes on the form of a shield. Four sides create the foundation upon which we hold and direct the energies we wish to direct in a focused and refined manner through a singular tip of expression. The Hierophant sits in the center as hidden anchor. His energy is felt at a deep level of internalization rather than in an overt and obvious manner. There are many cross paths contained within this spread that await your revealing.

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Lower Row:
1. Action- This is the place of first steps. What is indicated here shows where movement needs to be made.

2. Restraint- This is the place of what needs holding back, and where there is needed a pause and taking a breath before moving forward.

Middle Row:
3. Information- Information about the situation that is not on the surface. This is what needs to be retrieved so that the action required may hold greater choice and potential for outcome.

4. Protection- This is the place of safeguarding and may give indication of those things not quite ready to be revealed or acted upon.

5. The Point of Focus:
This card indicates the place of releasing the appropriate course of combined action and information having been processed through the filters of restraint and protection. This is the synthesis of those cards that form the base or foundation. This is the point where those efforts and indicators for change and action may now be released in a synthesized stream for the most effective use.

This posting is a Sneak Peek at:
The Inner Chamber: Volume Four
A Walk Through the Major Arcana
By Robin Fennelly
Release Date: Fall 2014

 

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How deep will you allow yourself to go in seeking the truth? How much will you lay bare to realize your full potential? How much will you offer up to the Divine to see the radiant image of your own divinity? What pearls are you hoping to find?

As I have gotten older, in place of fear at revealing what may be hidden behind the various masks I wear, there has been a certain type of comfort that has come from purposefully and intentionally diving deeper into the murky waters of what makes me tick. I am not only talking about the deep work of embracing the Shadow, but also the journey of realizing what my strengths and weaknesses are, how I respond or react in certain situations, what personal barriers I set for myself in achieving goals and most importantly, how all of these states effect my spiritual growth.

Whether we are consciously aware of it or not we all wear different masks throughout the day, showing these varied aspects in accord with what we perceive to be the energy that is surrounding. Some serve to hide the lack of confidence we have, others serve to quiet and calm the anger that is raging beneath, and others allow us to communicate more easily and comfortably setting a tone of collaborative spirit and concerned effort. Beyond these we wear the masks of our place in relationships, the friend, lover, mother, wife, husband, child, father, teacher and the list goes on and on. Each fitting neatly and layering one upon the other until there are times when we are not sure which is the dominant.

And, with each additional layer we are also modifying and making adaptions to our spiritual nature. Each becomes another drop in the vast ocean that holds the space of our adaptability and the flow of our emotional self. From these depths and vast expanse are formed the truths we call upon as we seek to know our true nature. From each flowing seamlessly into the other becomes the surface that gently supports us as we face upwards towards the light of the Sun, the sky of our breath and the greater cosmos that is our lineage. But, before we can truly know the mysteries of these realms we must first come to trust and explore the depths of those waters that hold us in their embrace as we flow trough our lifetime’s experience.

As we turn to face these waters we have built up and informed by our strivings to project the correct images and facades choice is offered to dive deeply into the reality of imaginings or to remain comfortably floating on an ever rising sea that accumulates with each new experience and each new mask created.

The first diving is the most terrifying; although we may tell ourselves differently. Moving into the buoyant space of that first mask of who we are and gently peeling away the years of what we have thought to be true of ourselves is unnerving. But, seeing the glow of what lay beneath it and the beauty of spiritual gifts and knowledge of the power held in that acceptance open new inlets of healing water’s flow and opens our acceptance of other’s now that we are able to see the reflection of their spiritual nature.

We breathe into this information and come to the surface renewed and with a sense of curiosity about what other revelations may be held in these waters. We dive a little deeper on the next journey. Seeking the many masks of the places we hold within the network of relationship. We marvel at the sheer weight of each and the smaller bits and pieces that comprise the larger whole follow like schools of minnow safe and secure in their numbers. We take up each and inspect it for the life that may be hidden within the ornate shell of its exterior. We allow to gently float away those that no longer serve us and gather together those that are viable, strong and worth the price of their effort in maintaining, knowing that the catch of the day will be in the wearing of the most prized one. We rise to the surface bringing with us a new perspective and more informed way of expressing ourselves in the roles we fulfill in the mundane. These expressions spill over into the many ways we interface and interact with the Divine; the gentle or demanding nature we bring to ritual and the passion or calm we use to infuse our magickal workings. Each of these roles eventually lead us to our most prized statement of being, that of a Divine Being fully engaged in the experience of humanity.

And, as we continue to move deeply into these waters of support and each journey brings back another piece of our individual truth we come to a place of the pearl of great price. The depth of the waters no longer a concern, the pressure of expanding outward in understanding no longer constricting and the vision clouded by the churning of waters being reformed and refilled now clear with purpose and intent. This pearl has been formed by the irritation of layer upon layer of the many masks you have worn and what you thought to be true of yourself. This pearl is the coalescing of all that you are, magickally and mundanely and in the bringing of its orb of iridescent light to the surface you have finally gone deep enough to unmask the real you.
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Photo: Natalia Avseenko

I dove into waters
Deep and foreboding
In hopes of finding
The wealth I desired.

I told not a soul
And hid well behind
A mask that proclaimed
Great fear in diving so
Deeply into waters unknown.

I went about my daily business
As mother, lover, friend and wife
Still not quite content with these
Masks I had crafted and
Claimed as my life.

By day I engaged in each
Task presented me in
Rote and routine style
But at night I would
Sit by deep dark waters
And contemplate what
Lay hidden under watery miles.

Images of gold and silver
Vast treasures and reclaiming
Of what had been discarded
Spoke of great wealth to uncover
Great wealth ripe for the taking.

I dove into these great waters and
Many nights they seemed to rise
As by day I donned new masks of
Deception wanting to claim the great prize.

On each I began retrieving a
Piece of my effort’s great worth
The waters began to lower and
My may masks to disburse.

Until one starlit night as all knowing
Moon shone brightly above
I dove seeking nothing
No treasure
No silver or gold.

I claimed on that night
A single pearl of great beauty
From the deep waters that
Flow within me calling me to
Dive deeply and claim the
Revealing of my True Self.

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I love using my hands. In particular, moving them in a way that allows the fingers to flow in an expressive way. I love to watch others use their hands as well; most often completely unaware of the grace of beauty and form as fingers trace patterns in the air. Our hands open in offering as the grace of abundance flows from wrist to finger-tip. Our hands close tightly in rejection of what is being offered and hold safe the central point of chakra and opening as sacred seed not yet ready for quickening. If the eyes are the gateway to the Soul, I believe the hands are the co-creators in painting the visual expression of that Soul’s work.

In spiritual work hands and the placement of the fingers to create specific shapes and forms punctuate the energy desired or directed and the container in which that energy will move in receptively or flow out projectively. The mudras of the yogi tell the store of creation and the mystery of how creative energy flows.

Our hands are able to grasp manifest materials and the fingers gently hold those treasures in place or crush them back to their base elements. The sensitivity of touch and the sensing of surrounding energy as we reach out into the enveloping space set in to motion visceral and neural response to what we are experiencing.

The carefully directed flow of intent-filled energy as finger becomes the working tool of magickal space offers opportunity for our physical form to literally become the vessel of the magick we are weaving. No need for wand, sword or athame if flesh, blood and bone work cohesively to produce the desired effect.

Our fingers point and guide the attention to whatever direction is the center point and the light caress of fingertips reveals the love and desire flowing through another. We use the fingers as the drawing and guiding tools of pulling someone in for a closer look or loving embrace and we repel with first contact of finger and hand to keep another at distance.

Our fingers and hands create the space of entertainment on shadow lit walls as creatures and scenes come to life. And, serve as the filling support for puppets at play. With gentle syncopation and accent and the dynamic grasping of baton, music carries us to faraway places and inner adventures woven like stories from notes and vibrating air. Instruments respond with harmony or intended dissonance at fingers’ correct placement and fingers fly with mercurial speed on communication across silver and gold flute.

Our fingers can soothe or harm as extension of love or anger’s guise and the impatient drumming of finger on smooth surface can drive to distraction. And, the same repetitive motion turned now towards plucking of harp strings uplifts and brings us closer to the ethereal realms.

We type ad write, paint and craft as creativity flows through in tactile and kinesthetic form. Our mind’s great thoughts drawn down through upper body and final product a vision of inspired act. The gifting of a book or piece of beautifully crafted art holding the indelible finger-prints of our hearts exchange in offering to the chosen one.

Our hands are marvelous things that hold the depth and wisdom of causing change, inspiring action and holding steady and strong. They are powerful and gentle and fit so comfortably together with that of another. So, pick up the brush of finger-tip and dip deeply into the colors of energy and life. Let the painting of your work fill the canvas of a life’s journey. Tell the story, let the energy flow and look into the heart of your creation as arms, hands and fingers wrap round to embrace the being of creative life that you are.

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Etch the words carefully
As finger presses against paper
My thoughts spill through
Each pore as inspiration flows.

Accent the meaning with
Strongly pointed and directive
Finger and bring the truth of
My telling to gather in the heights.

Gently cradle newborn’s body
Knowing that your actions
Will soothe and calm as
New life is held tenderly
And fingers caress smooth skin.

Breathe into the creation
Color flowing from brush
Of finger and paint the
Story of your making
And the vision of your Soul.

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This post is one that I wrote in March of 2013. The sentiment and intention for its writing is once again very true and this year, in particular has been brutal for many leaving them feeling less than empowered by the choices, responses and reactions that have occurred.  The irony is that this post came on the heels of an intense winter and the promise of Spring close at hand. Now, we find ourselves entering into the unknown of what this upcoming year’s winter will bring and the greater opportunity to move inwards in reflection as we bolster and “batten down the hatches”…..

It seems that many are having multiple challenges at all levels of their lives over the course of the past few months. These challenges may have been exacerbated by the intense winter weather, power outages and stressful commutes. This week’s post is an opportunity to release any challenges you are facing and craft within yourself the space of renewal and empowerment. As Spring approaches and the promise of warmer days is just ahead, time for a little spring tune-up.

You may use this pathworking regularly and enjoy the continued effects of routinely clearing away and bolstering your inner strength. Below are some guidelines about how to get the most from your pathworking experience:

Good– Read through the pathworking each time you want to use the pathworking. Make note of pausing in the reading wherever it feels like more time would be spent in the specific train of thought.

Better- Read through the pathworking several times and as you do so, try to set up key points that are stored in the memory. In this way, you can create your own scenarios using the structure of the original pathworking without having to read through the text each time.

Best- Employ the physicality of recording the pathworking in your own voice, which produces an effective recognizable neurological imprint inducing physiological response and imprint to listen to.

When you are ready to make the recording be sure to select a space where you will not be interrupted and has minimal background noise.

Be sure to speak slowly (more so, if you tend to speak quickly and do not annunciate well) and clearly and to give pause where it would naturally occur if you were reading aloud. There may be some points in the meditation where you will want to spend several minutes in the locale that is being presented. Remember to give adequate time of silence for this. Do not stop the recording. Pause in your reading of it and then begin again when sufficient time has passed. Allow the amount of time you wish to have to fill the space on the recording and then resume the reading of the pathworking.

Find a comfortable place where you will not be disturbed. Sit back and Enjoy!

The Elixir of Golden Light

Relax your mind and body as you sit in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and take 3 deep breaths; slowly inhaling 1-2-3 and   exhaling 1-2-3.  Allow your body to establish a gentle, even rhythm of breath; taking you to a restful and peaceful state of consciousness. As your breathing becomes restful allow your consciousness to shift upwards; passing up through the ceiling of the room you are sitting in room and up through the roof of the building. Continue this ascent upwards and out into the moonlit sky. You are aware of the rooftops below and the velvety sky above.

As you travel upwards you become aware of a thick brown and green mist forming around you. You become aware of the smell of  loamy, rich, brown earth and you feel the texture and support of soft fertile dirt beneath your feet. You realize that you are standing in the midst of a lush green forest with trees forming a canopy above and the support of rich brown earth underfoot. Take a moment to take in the smells, the energy and the feel of this perfect space of nature’s creation.

As you look up towards the canopy of trees above you are aware of a glowing white orb slowing descending towards you. As this orb of pure white light descends to within arms’ length, you realize that this place and orb of healing light have been created to bind, contain, heal and transform that which troubles or burdens you.

Now, in this place of perfect grounding and trust, give form to those things that you wish to release. Give form to those issues and situations which cause you concern. Give form to all that you feel is of challenge and obstacle at this time preventing you from being your highest self.

With intent and will reach out, gather these forms together and push them into the center of the brilliance of the sphere in front of you binding them firmly into this single orb of release. Once the orb is filled with all that you wish to release, reach out and grasp it in your hands, holding it outstretched and away from you. Take a moment and take note of the feel and the weight of it. Feel the energy of all that you released to it pulsing within.

Slowly place the sphere into the softness of the earth below, pushing it deep within the ground and allowing the earth to absorb and transform that which has caused you concern. The Great Mother is taking this weight from you and offering you peace and relief. Brush the dirt from your hands and take a moment to savor the feeling of this lightness of being; of the weight of your burdens no longer a part of your being.

As you think on this, you become aware of something shining in the moonlight, and as you take a few steps forward you realize that it is the reflection of the surface of a small pond a few feet ahead of you. The water sparkles like diamonds in the moonlight and it radiates peace and serenity. You feel that if only you could touch it, and slide into the shimmering liquid that it would wash away all of the remaining tension that you have.

Slowly you remove your clothes and drape them over the nearby bush. You step to the edge of the water, sit down on the grass and dangle your feet in the pond, noting that the water is surprisingly warm. The pond is not deep, so you slide in and sit leaning against the bank; your head gently resting on the soft grass at water’s edge. As you close your eyes and relax into the warm water you feel all of the tension and concern slipping away; drawn deep into the cleansing waters. Take a moment and truly feel the peace and calm enveloping you. Rest in the gentle support of the healing waters and feel every cell of your being opening to renewal.

Something gently brushes against your feet and you open your eyes to see that a lily pad is floating towards you with something shiny on it. As the flower moves closer you notice a sparkling powder in the center. You take a little of the powder and wet it. It lathers and foams forming bubbles and you begin to wash your body with the foam. It tingles against your skin, energizing and revitalizing wherever it touches. Take a moment to relish the feel of this energizing foam and when you are ready slip down into the water and wash the foam from your body.

As you wipe the water from your eyes you see that a goblet of fine crystal, filled with a golden liquid has been placed on the grassy edge of the pond. Curious, you take the goblet in your hand and hesitate a moment before lifting it to your lips. You only hesitate a moment because you know that you are in a place of perfect love and perfect trust and that all in this special place are gifts from the Goddess and Her world of Nature.

You slowly tilt the goblet and allow the liquid to flow down your throat and you know intuitively that this is a liqueur of inner strength and self-confidence. This is the empowering nectar that all have savored who would live their truths and stay strong on their course of purpose. As the nectar fills your being, turn your thoughts to how you would wish to be a stronger person. What truths you would wish to manifest in your life.  What the essence of the truth in your heart is and the ways in which you could walk your path in deeper trust and greater love.

As you finish the last drops of liquid you look around and now feel more solid, stable and more substantial and capable of handling any situation which may arise in your life. You gently place the empty goblet on the soft earth and put your clothes on; readying yourself to return to the physical world in a renewed and more loving state. You feel rested and imbued with inner peace. When you are dressed take another look at the pond and know within your heart that this place will always be waiting for you any time you have need. As this thought runs through you and you focus on the inner strength you now feel, you become aware that the pond and forest and earth are beginning to fade from sight. Everything swirling back into an olive colored mist and you feel yourself slowly descending down.

You pass once again through the moonlit night sky and the tops of roofs become more visible as you descend downward. You pass easily through the outside of the building in which you began this journey and come to rest gently back in the room in which you started. You become aware of your physical body resting comfortably in your room and as you gently allow your consciousness to slip back into your physical body you become more aware of the sounds, smells and energies in your space. Take a few deep breaths and when you are ready gently flutter your eyes open, returning to the here and now.

Excerpted from:

R.Fennelly.The Enchanted Gate:Musings on the Magick of the Natural World.February.2013

To Read More about Pathworkings and their uses, take a look at previous posts. There are also many other posts that contain pathworkings you may find useful. Simply type “pathworking” in the Search box:

Pathworking or Guided Meditation– Part 1

Pathworking or Guided Meditation– Part 2

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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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Last week’s post talked about the Tools and Literature of the Craft.  This week I promised some basic suggestions for Candle Magick. So,let the flame be lit!

The Candle Spell

Gaze into that
Which holds the key
Reflecting back the
Gift of answer to me.

Wood and wax
Crystal and flame
The truth revealed
The heart’s desire
With Will thusly named.

I cast this spell and
Naught shall reverse
My spell is for the power
Of True Magick to fill
This Blessed Universe.

Candle Magick makes use of the properties and energies of a candle, color, etc. to direct the focus of energy towards a desired outcome.  It is for this reason that candles are used in High Magick and Ritual workings. They become the physical representation of God or Goddess, the transformative power that lights all others or the symbol of the inner fires of Will.  Within our coven we routinely pour coven candles for each member annually.  The wax used comes from the remainders of the previous year’s candles and is melted down. All contribute an herb or oil to the mix and we pour energy and intent into the heated wax.  A large candle is poured that will be used in ritual by all and then individual candles are poured for each member to take home. This becomes a way to connect energetically with covenmates if the individual is unable to be physically present for working or meeting.  This past year we were unable to schedule a time for this, but we still had plenty of candle left to carry us through and maintain the connection.

In spell work a candle not only provides a point of focus, but also acts as a container for the energies gathered and worked upon. Allowing the candle to burn down completely releases the spell into the flow of universal law. Lighting the candle for several nights can build the effect and acts something like a slow simmer. Holding the heat and intensity, but carefully and slowly releasing the essence allowing all the flavors and nuances to mature. Candle magick is simple, easy and can be quite effective in its purpose.  The beauty is that it can also be rather transparent to others, as many use candles as décor in their homes.  They are portable and relatively easy to make, if you are so inclined.  If you choose to make your own candles, additional items can be integrated.  I have crushed a small crystal and added its energy to the wax.  Herbs and oils are readily available and can enhance the general properties and even the timing of pouring the candle can bolster the intent.  Aligning the pouring with New , Full or Waning moon energy customizes the effectiveness for specific types of workings for which the candle will be used.

Store bought candles can be similarly customized. Remove the wrapping and apply oil to the candle, anointing it with the properties of whatever oil you choose.  Frankincense serves as durable purifier. And, Myrrh will stimulate the Higher Self and offer connection to spiritual realms.  You can press finely crushed crystals into the base of the candle by heating the bottom slightly to soften the wax and then pressing in down into the crystalline substance, much like coating fish with breadcrumbs. Leaving the candle out under moonlight of any particular phase can attune it to those particular energies. And, placing the candle in a window or outside (depending on the heat temperature) under the sun’s watchful eye can enliven the candle for use in solar, energy or fire workings. Scribing sigils, runes or other sacred markings on the candle and envisioning these symbols moving into the center of the candle can be used to sustain long-term workings.  Each time the candle is relit envision the energy of the symbol emanating, much like an aura from within the candle.

Additionally, using a specifically colored candle enhances the effectiveness of the spell.  Some basic colors are listed below. If you cannot find a specifically colored candle, a makeshift way is to use a small round mirror (can find these at craft stores, and should be approx. 2-inches larger than the base diameter of the candle) and colored paper.  Cut a circle just slightly larger than the candle base out of the colored paper that you have selected for the working.  Place this on top of the mirror.  Place a white candle on top of this.  The reflective energies of the mirror will draw up the color rom the paper into the candle’s field of energy.  And, when eh candle is lit the flame will enhance the glow reflecting back into the mirror creating a beautiful energetic circuit.

White – Light and the reflection of all colors.

Red – Will, action and vitality.

Pink – Used for love of the heart.

Orange Used for attraction, communication, energy.

Yellow Well-being, concentration, intuition, health, strength.

Green – Represents health and healing, money, changes and renewal, fertility.

Blue – Spiritual, healing, memory, calming and centering.

Indigo – Brow, third eye, psychic center. Psychic awareness.

Purple – Crown center, royal color, Deity, spiritual workings.

Brown – Stability, the earth, growth, potential.

Grey – Represents intuition.

Black – Contains and holds all colors, shields and filters.

These are just a few very simple and basic ideas to get you started in how to use candles for magick.  Be creative.  See the candle as not only an object of Fire’s expression, but also containing the properties of Water (fluid wax when heated), Air (the aroma and oxygen accessed in keeping the candle light) and Earth, in its solid form. The element of Spirit is your intent infused and connected to the malleable form of wax, color, scent and more. And, the magick is in the ability to create Light in a small pocket of space that was not so brightly illumined just prior.

For a Sample of a Candle Magick Working that extended through the New, Full and Dark moon, read the post in Temple of the Cosmic Spheres that kicked off the dedication of the Temple of the Moon observations:

Temple of the Moon: Ritual of Dedication

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My favorite movie when I was younger was the 1950’s classic-  Bell, Book and Candle with Kim Novak and James Stewart. It was the story of a witch who loses her powers because she falls in love with a mortal.  The happy ending is that she ends up with the object of her love and they live happily ever after. I was intrigued by the movie and the workings of witchcraft and have often thought back to this first exposure to the concept of the tools and books of spell work.

These next two posts will explore the uses of the tools of the Craft (the Bell), the necessary Books that support the work and finally a brief over view of Candle Magick (next week).

Bells and other Tools

There are many and varied tools that are used in the Wiccan practice of magick. These, in and of themselves are not inherently the “source” of magickal power, but work as conduits and points of focus for the magickal practitioner.  You may often hear it said that there is really no need for any tools other than yourself in working magick; and this statement would be both true and false.

The energy and focus and intent are specifically your products, so if you did not have your tools with you and needed to perform a magickal working, improvisation on finding suitable “stand-ins” or using nothing but your own devices would be necessary.

On the other hand, we are symbol driven beings. The kinesthetic, tactile and engaging of the senses in connecting to and working with a specific tool are vital components to pulling the wholeness of the working or intent together. The tools serve to stimulate and place your consciousness in alignment with what the intent and focus of the working is.  Your personal energy which becomes a vested part of the tools you calm as your own, works in resonance with the energetic state in which you are when the ritual or working is begun. You could think of it in terms of the tools holding your energetic imprint and memory of all the workings you have done previously.

Because your tools become so much a part of your magickal being, it is not unusual to see a witch bring their athame into the ritual space and are worn on the person of the witch; even if coven or another’s tools are present that will be actively used. The athame is carried in a sheath that can be attached to the cords worn and should be at the ready should someone need to be “cut in or out” (using the athame to scribe (or cut) a doorway in the energetic fabric of the cast circle) of the circle during ritual. The wand may be placed twined within the cords worn over the ritual robes and readied to direct and focus a stream of energy towards a specific point during the ritual or working; if called upon. It is for these reasons that often an amulet in the shape of a pentacle is worn by the witch. In some group rituals, everyone is asked to bring their own chalice to be used by themselves in the ritual celebration or working. Having your own specific tools and then using them regularly strengthens their intent.

So, what are these tools and how do you go about acquiring them? The basic set of tools for the working witch align with the elements:

Air/Intellect/Mind = Athame, Swords or Daggers *

Fire/Will/Desire = Wands and Staves *

* in some traditions these tools are switched in their elemental assignment

Water/Emotion/Intuitive Nature = Cauldron and Chalice

Earth/Body/Foundation = Pentacle

Bells

Bell

I’m sure many of us remember standing on the sidelines as a parade went by and the feeling of resonance within our bodies when the band would pass with the thumping beat of the big bass drums. We responded from the core and felt completely shaken from the vibrations of this massive instrument.

Sound is all around us; albeit transparent to most as we go about our busy days. But certain levels of sound and certain vibratory frequencies within that resonance can transport us from a harried pace to a clam peaceful setting. From a place of inertia to involuntarily making us move and finally transporting us to a place of altered consciousness and ecstatic experience.

The ringing of a clear bell just prior to ritual, cuts through the energy and with intent serves to clear the space to be used of negative energy. It also gets our attention; and signals that something is about to happen. The same toning of a crystal singing bowl can, in addition to clearing space also help to raise the level of response and vibration within our own energetic fields.  We feel the energy rising within and consciousness moves in accord with that elevation. Sound creates different energetic patterns and states of consciousness. Incorporating sound into ritual and workings adds another layer of awareness and potential for opening and manifesting. I often use a singing bowl prior to workshops and at times within ritual.  The gentle crescendo of sound and the resonance of higher pitch lend themselves nicely in actively rising on the planes in an auditory sensorial experience.

 A Book is not Just a Book

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Books are the staple of magickal practice, teaching and learning. Access to what in past years had been only shared among initiates and those who had committed to coven, lodge or grove is not only prevalent in all venues but at times difficult to sort through selecting what is bonafide and usable information.  Technology has made reading in any venue as simple as turning on a phone, tablet or computer.  Still, there is nothing like the tactile sensation of holding a book, read it slowly and digesting each new thought allowing it to nourish and feed the hunger to learn.

Books from reputable and respected authors within the community serve to enrich and enhance our learning process and inspire us to debate, question and formulate our own conclusions.  As we continue to gather more information and fill our personal libraries there comes a point when you will want to begin a Book of Shadow and Light. This is essentially a journal or guide that holds special Quarter Calls, rituals, information and results of herbs used , incense recipes, spell work, etc. It is your own personal record of your magickal workings and progress and represents you actively engaging in the creative process.  It is called a Book of Shadow and Light to correspond to the polarity of all magickal workings; that which is overt and that which is hidden from plain sight. This journal should be dedicated to holding your magickal process and not used for mundane or other purposes.

A Book of Shadows may also contain journal entries that relate to the work done and the after effects.  I prefer to keep these entries in a separate journal, since I often will go back and review them and it is more portable to carry a smaller journal.  You will also want to bring your Book of Shadows intro sacred space with you; especially if there is a specific call, invocation or order of ritual that you wish to repeat precisely as done previously.

Generally, your BOS is not something to share with others, hence the mystery that often surrounds such a record.  It is your own personal journey and committing that journey to writing gives power and intent to the works that you do. It is also a history of your beginning steps on the Path of the Wise and can be used as a treasured and valuable resource as the years progress, your skills and knowledge increase and truly living a magickal life has become a 24/7 experience.

What Should it Look Like ?

There are no set and fast rules about what form or how your BOS should look. Some prefer an actual journal type book; others prefer to use electronic files and keep everything on the computer. One is not more effective or better than the other. The important thing is to make it your own. Personalize it in your own unique style. If it is an actual book handle it frequently. You are then also imprinting your energy into it in a physical, manifest way. If it is electronic, BACK UP your files regularly. Open them regularly and as you are typing establish a flow of energy that moves with intent from your hands and fingers into the keys as you type. Remember, as with all magickal working and practice, INTENT is the basis of movement forward on your desired path. With that thought in mind, your BOS can be as simple as a spiral bound notebook or as elaborate as a finely decorated handcrafted journal.

Journaling Your Entries

If you have a space available that you routinely use for your personal rituals or daily meditation, this is an excellent space to also dedicate for the writing in your BOS. Information is freshest just after completing a ritual. So, if you are working a personal ritual, remain for whatever time is needed to record your experiences and make note of what worked what didn’t etc.  You can even incorporate this into part of the working so this act becomes part of the ritual itself. If attending a public ritual, there is usually time and space after to jot down a few notes before leaving. I have often sat in my car after a potent ritual and committed everything to my BOS before I started my journey home. And, then I always completed more the next day as other insights revealed themselves.

Be sure to record your experiences in meditation and divination practice as well. These entries form the foundation of a timeline of your progress. Looking back and marveling at how far you have come in your spiritual progress encourages you to be confident in how you process energy, ritual experience and meditative guidance.

Next week…  Candles, Spellwork and Magick

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