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Posts Tagged ‘pagan blog project’

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What seeds have you planted lately? Spring is just beginning to take hold and the time to plant what we have tended during the long cold winter is at hand. A beautiful garden awaits our hand of action. This is the garden that lies within and needs weeding, tending and harvesting just as the outer garden requires these same things.

Each thought or inspiration we have is a seed of idea that can be brought to fruition or remain the stuff of daydreams. Every emotion we have warms or deadens what our responses or reactions will be in any given interaction. Every action we take is in the form of either weeding and refining or destroying and laying waste to what was germinated.

When we align our mind with right action and feed it with emotion and intent that is guided by our higher self, our garden will thrive and grow. Each seed that is planted will be done so with care and nurtured so that it may reach the ripeness of its full potential. The necessary release will come in the form of the harvesting of those rare fruits of spiritually empowered effort and action. And, all with whom you interact will reap the benefits of your bountiful nature.

As with any garden the ground in which we plant and the grounded rooting that occurs are the precursors to success or failure of bloom. Our inner garden is held in the firm rooting of our stability as grounded individuals as we move through our mundane tasks. The strength and fertility that is the natural by-product of remaining grounded and present in the mundane is the fertile ground in which we see the blossoming of our spiritual growth within. These actions are what create the stable path that we continue our journey upon. These become the roots that feed the great trees of our continuing cycle of growth.

Holding a grounded attitude throughout your day allows you to remain flexible and centered regardless of the discordant energies around you. The winds may blow furiously trying to uproot the seeds that have newly taken hold and the emotional rains may seek to drown and over saturate the place of your anchor, but the more you practice and strive to maintain a grounded attitude throughout allows you to become the graceful tree whose roots reach hungrily into Mother Earth and bends and sways with the flow of the winds, always resilient; always pliable.

Below is a simple grounding technique that can be used anywhere at any time of the day.

Stand with your feet placed firmly and directly underneath your hip-bones with knees slightly bent and relaxed. Your spine is elongated and your shoulders are relaxed with your head resting gently on top. Bring your awareness to the rhythm of your breath; the filling of your lungs and the gentle exhale. Each exhalation releases another bit of tension from the day’s activities. As you continue to breathe, imagine a line of energy connecting you to the ground beneath the floor on which you are standing. Each breath in draws the grounding energy from the Great Mother up into your being. This energy of life moves progressively upwards, moving through your feet into the lower legs, up into the pelvic region, up into the belly, up into the heart center- the throat and finally passing up and through the crown chakra. As you continue to draw this energy upwards, it extends towards the sky above. Imagine that you are like the branches of a tree.

You feel wholly and completely connected to the grounding of the earth and the limitless expanse of sky above. Breathe in this energy and breathe out a cascading flow of energy that anchors you as you move through your day.
Raices

As you go about your business of daily activity give some time and planning towards the creation of an inner garden. Select its seeds as carefully as you would from a catalogue for a Spring outdoor planting. And, then begin the sowing of what will be your beautiful garden that leads into the path of growing roots.

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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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The heat moves through me
Calling me to flow along
Its path of blazing light.

I call to the ashes that
The Phoenix may rise up
Within me to break free
Of what has held me inert.

Wings beat furiously and
Strain with expansion upwards
Quickening the spark of flame.

Blinding light flashes
And I move through
The flaming center of
The sun and into
The black iciness of the
Enlightened Will.

Fire is the Dance
of
Transformation – Will – Desire – Destruction – Rebirth

A roaring Fire is exhilarating. Flames dance and heat reaches out to caress. The colors move through scales of orange and red, the white of pure intensity and the vibrancy of color gives way to the charred blackness of ash and soot. When we place the action of this Fire on our desire and will, passion flames and the urge to do, to act is fueled by the intensity of its need for change.

Fire courses through our bodies as the electrical charges that provoke immediate response to pain or pleasure. Our bodies heat as we exercise and move and the fires of digestion break down the food we take in as sustenance. Anger rages hot when we are challenged and confronted and the fire of desire takes hold when attraction draws us into lover’s embrace.

Fire blazes its way through our world in the form of communication, electrical wiring, technology and more. We are surrounded, permeated and interwoven into the inferno that excites and calls us to express ourselves and the will we have cultivated. To work with the energy of Fire is to invite radical change and irrevocable transformation. Let’s take a look at is many forms and areas of impact.

FIRE, unlike the other elements cannot exist in physical form without consuming and destroying something else, thus causing transformation of that thing. It is out of that destruction that the potential for the most growth often occurs. This action is that of the legendary Phoenix rising from the flames of ash.

In magickal practice, Fire represents the state of action and the fires of will. We call to the energies of Fire to stir the flames within as we aspire towards integrating our will with that of our Higher Self. At a spiritual level, Fire carries the seeds of transformation that are the stuff of initiatory change, action and development of the Higher Will.

At a purely mundane and physical level Fire is associated with heat. The warmth of the Sun and the heat of the wood stove that keeps us warm in wintry weather. When we take it to the mental level, Fire becomes the passion that excites and ignites. It is the catalyst that creates movement and it is the creative spark that leads to new invention or manifest creation.

Energetic workings and practice are vital to keeping the internal will enlivened and ready for action. Fire is the flame of will, desire and intent. It quickens and catalyzes in its expansive form and destroys and removes in its nature of contraction.

The Universal Laws of Fire

Many years ago I came across these Universal Laws as they relate to the four basic elements. It may seem odd to equate the elements as following certain “Laws” particularly in the semantics of that word and its normal connotation. But, everything must follow some sort of order and structure to be successful; albeit, sometimes that order appears to be the most disordered mess, it is still order nonetheless). This is also true of magickal workings. There are specific laws or rules (whatever word you prefer) that govern the order and structure of the Universe and its workings. These are but a few of those and I offer them now as food for thought as you move through each of these elements. Some are overt in their relationship to a specific element and others are a bit more occult (hidden) in their meanings.

Law of Polarity

When we speak of polarities, there are many different examples that could be given; male and female, light and dark, negative and positive to name a few. When we perform magickal workings we draw upon the nature of the polarities to bring a state of action to that working. If there were no darkness we would not know how to define the light. If there were no negative action, the desire towards the positive would be non-existent.

The element of fire is aptly described by this Law as one of its primary functions is to stir up, to excite, and thus to transform and potentially transmute that which was being worked upon. When we call the energies of Fire into our workings, we are automatically putting in place the potential for action to occur. We are forcing ourselves to move beyond a place of inertia and undefined focus of intent to catalytic change that will be either the positive or negative charge that is needed for desired outcome.

Law of Cause and Effect

This is the natural by-product of working within the realms of polarized action. For every action, there is a reaction. Thus, for every cause there is an effect. The measure of that effect is usually in keeping with the amount of will exerted, although the comprehensive out-picturing of that statement is not always apparent. This is typified in the cautionary advice to be careful what you wish for.

Some Correspondences

Western Magick:
Color: Red
Tools: Wand, Staff (sometimes Swords)
Attribute: The Will – Action

The Elementals:
Monarch – Djinn
Elementals – Salamanders
Archangel: Michael

Eastern Tattwas:
Shape: Triangle
Color: Red
Direction: South

Qabalah: The Spheres of Connection
Netzach – Green – Victory
Geburah – Red – Might

Alchemy: 
Color: Red
Qualities of dry and hot

Astrology:
Aries (Cardinal)
Leo (Fixed)
Sagittarius (Mutable)

Suggested Practice

Spend a few minutes each day outside in the sun. As you sit facing the sun (be sure you have on sunscreen and limit to no more than 5-10 minutes) close your eyes and allow the warmth to penetrate your body. Imagine being filled with the radiance and strength of the sunlight and feelings of renewal at every level of being.

Engage all of your senses in the experience of being bathed in the light and energy of the sun’s rays. Step into the shade and make note of the difference in your physiological response. And, then step back out into the sunlight; making note of the difference of experience.

Excerpted in part from: The Elemental Year. R. Fennelly

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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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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

b-o-s - Copy

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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There is a saying that I firmly believe that states that all (positive spiritual) paths ultimately lead to the One (source of all).  My belief in this has come as the conclusion of countless numbers of years exploring many different belief systems.  From these explorations, threads of commonality, albeit, different semantics, have woven a spiritual tapestry that is  as rich and diverse as the many roads Ive taken. I had benefit of being raised in n open and supportive spiritual environment.  My Grandmother and Mother had briefly taken the fundamentalist Christian path and came to settle on a new thought metaphysical religion. There was no dogma and the core belief was in the inherent divinity within each individual. The aspiration towards the Christ Consciousness (exemplified by Jesus; but not exclusive to this individual) was goal of spiritual work done through positive affirmation and conscious awareness of the effect of mind on matter.

I taught Sunday School and gave some Sunday lessons while still in my early teens and tried to live the spiritual life 24/7; another concept of practice that emphasized the spiritual path as one that extends well beyond Sunday Service and religious holiday.  All the while I was active in this church, encouragement was given to explore freely what other spiritual paths had to offer.  Rosicrucian and Astara, Witchcraft and Buddhist Philosophy, Yoga and Eastern Energetic Protocols all blended seamlessly in a young mind that was eager to learn and grow.

I also firmly believe that choosing a specific spiritual path is a very personal choice and as such should be made by every individual of their own accord and in their own time. When we had children, it was my mission to allow them to experience a broad spectrum of spiritual and cultural practice.  We celebrated holidays of Hindu, Jewish, Catholic/Christian and more.  My own practice of Wicca flowed through many of the seasons and the children were free to attend what they wished of coven and Tradition events. As they have become young adults, their spiritual path is their own to claim, but the foundations were laid for more informed choice.

When we reach out to obtain more information about the varied beliefs, we are better informed about what our own belief system looks like. When we take the time to participate in some of the rites and ceremonies of worship, we can feel at a deeper level what resonates for our own practice. And, if after having decided on our own course we maintain the effort at bridging the divide that often occurs when we only see from the narrow lens of our perspective, and remain open to what each spiritual path has to offer the other, we become the bridge under whose strength the many streams to the One may flow.

This week do a little research into a spiritual path other than your own.  What are the commonalities and what are the differences? Are there aspects that would enrich your current practice?  When we expand our perspectives in this way we create new stepping stones that elevate and inspire us to seek more from the current stream of practice we flow upon.  The pieces of each new offerings puzzle find there point of connection and the gifts of a new shoreline to explore are within reach.

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I opened my Mind and
Inspiration flowed
Through clearing
Away what was rigid
And unyielding.

I opened my Heart
And I felt that
Love could be
Found in all
Positive paths.

I opened my Eyes
Seeing the beauty
In those whose
Devotion brought
Them nearer to
Their Gods.

I set my foot on the
Stones of my making
Heart and Mind all
In eager accord.

Each stone held a mystery
Each space between the
Synthesizing pause of
Spirit’s illumined breath.

As the bridging
Of beliefs brought
Me to the shores
Of my soul’s
Divine home.

Excerpted and Expanded upon:
Week 30: A Weekly Reflection. R.Fennelly.February 2013.Serpent’s Gate.

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???????????????????????????????Image:  Lux by Caitlin Fennelly

The arts have run through my veins like life giving blood from the earliest time I can remember.  My grandmother danced me to sleep as a baby and I was surrounded by music, art, dance, writing and a mother and grandmother who knew the value of their mystical worth. That spiritually artistic environment helped me to create my own way of moving through the physical world, and although I did not completely realize the intrinsic connection to a path of magick, I saw beauty, energy and form in the places that most do not realize it. I believe the fabric of the human soul and consciousness is fed by the stream of artistic endeavors and creative actions that surround and permeate our every moment, whether consciously or at the subtle levels of our responses.  In retrospect, this belief and the foundation from which it was created has been the singular thread that has punctuated all of my life’s experiences both magickally and mundane.

I am a visual kinesthetic learner; meaning that I learn best when visually engaged and am able to act out or move in accord with what is being taught. Most magickal workers are visual kinesthetic in their basic learning style.  This mode of learning and processing is also the underpinning of most artistic experience.  The Arts stimulate the senses and open and awaken the neural pathways to respond in a more dynamic way. This stimulation in turn causes a tactile response; integrating and responding to the experience through the process of doing.  Add the visual component and you have the key ingredients of magickal practice.  Learning through doing and visualizing intent-fully what is sought to be brought into manifestation.

We hone these skills through access, albeit at times unconsciously to the themes of artistic expression that surrounds us daily.  The term “Circle of Art” gives some indication of the potency of artistic expression that is called upon when crafting the work of magick.  It is within this circle of continuum that we use sound, movement, dramatic intent and create the painting of vision of what we desire.

It is scientific fact that the brain responds in accord with the and signature of rhythm that is provided it.  If we look at this response using the definition of art it is clear why so many of these forms of creative beauty are used to access the deeper response of the soul and elevate conscious awareness to a place of inspiration.  Music is used as therapy to heal, calm and stimulate function because of this innate resonance of the neural pathways to specific electrical patterns.  Visual Art evokes emotion through use of color, tone and hue; again creating specific patterns of vibratory resonance and the geometric or non-linear method of structure produces its own set of stimuli for the brain to respond or react to.  Movement or Dance catches us in the wave of energy produced by the fluctuation, ebb and flow of carving out shapes within the fabric of space and the auditory response to the music accompanying this pattern of vibration creates a new set of rhythmic response.  Theater and Drama allow us to step into the roles of fantasy and myth, try on different personas or live through the experiences being portrayed giving us respite from the routine experience.

Dance:

My first magickal experience occurred as a dancer performing at the age of 10 or so.  I did not at the time realize I was setting up the gateway and intent for magick to move through me.  My only intent was to connect so fully and deeply that I would become the persona of the role I was portraying and lose my human nature in the process. The desire was to transcend human form and become something more.  The intent was powerful enough and the music and rhythm acted as the keys that opened the gates to the other realms through movement and motion.  I became the swan flying high above the earth. I was the beautiful being that was shot through the heart and gracefully fell to earth, wounded and in the throes of death.  A final arch and curve o beautiful elongated neck, breath of white feathery wing and the final lifting upwards towards eternal ascending flight as death welcomed me into its soft sleep.  The music stopped and I once again returned to the land of human and living; applause awaking me from this deep connection forged as the gates of magickal working closed until called forth again.

When we dance, we embrace the flow of energy as a kinesthetic quality.  We engage the breath inhaling the prana of life and exhale out offering up our consciousness to ecstasy and joy. This practice has been used since the dawn of humanity as devotion, celebration and more. The movement of the Whirling Dervishes is used as a tool of meditative connection.  The Dances of Universal Peace of the Sufi’s is used to set a tone and rhythm of gentle flow into the aethers; setting the cycle of cause and effect into motion. The classical dance of India, in particular the Kathak engages the art of storytelling.  Those artists who performed this style of sacred dance incorporate music and mime as they brought to life the myths and great sags of the Indian pantheons and sacred Texts.

Drama:

One of my first workshops was entitled: Ritual Drama. We began with discussion of how adding a dramatic (or theatrical) approach to the myths, celebrations and stories of the Sabbats.  These stories enacted were not only the vehicles for enlivening our own inner creative nature but served to draw out these same qualities within those who were witnessing these plays.   We enacted the celebration of Yule and the battle of the Holly and Oak kings.  Emphasis was on projecting the voice and calling up the energy of the role and story you were portraying from the center of the solar plexus and the throat chakra centers.  We had no costumes, just imagination and the desire to embody what was to be portrayed.  Each word, each gesture had its own meaning of significance and each imparted its own wisdom etched into the consciousness.

Music:

Music soothes the soul, quiets the mind and sets the listener in a space of tranquility and peace. Music unleashes the prime instinctual nature and rouses the passions, spirit and emotions of the listener to a place of alertness and action.  Music inspires what will become art or a piece f great writing.  Music links the atoms and cells of its vehicle in grace and fluid motion, or syncopated frenzy.  Music beats out the rhythm of the heart and carries the journeyer to realms hidden and remote holding treasures of deeper mystery.  Music carves its way through the energetic fields surrounding and like the ephemeral flutter of butterfly wings, lightly etches its feathery strokes;  forever changing all in its path.

Art:

One of my daughters is an artist.  Her work is inspired y the spiritual nature of humanity.  She is often lost in the work she produces as slender hand sketches, paints and adds life to what she creates.  The visual image is a powerful tool in magickal work.  We use statues, magickal tools, candles, amulets, altars and more to bring our intent into a place of manifestation.  We empower sigils and glyphs to hold the energy they have been created to embody and we garb ourselves in the dress and style of the magick we work as form of identification.  Underlying all of these actions is the universal principle of attraction and the resonation of like with like to produce a synthesized and cohesive newly created product.

When you read her artist’ statement below, you have a sense of what is the intent for the work to be viewed. The interesting thing about this is that this statement will vary as the artist finds new routes and methods of expression each having been formulated from the foundation of the other.

My work is centered on the relationship between the human body and his/her psychological environment. The paintings store an energy and imprint of the moments in which it was made, a physical manifestation of the urge to create. The images serve as a mirror for the psyche of the viewer. Art as a viewing and making process can raise awareness and restore the unconscious struggle for internal/external union. In understanding our inner components that give way to the whole of ourselves, the better we can empathize, accept, and co-exist with our fellow man… Caitlin Fennelly, M.F.A.

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Image: Bodhissatva by Caitlin Fennelly

Art can convey the line and flow of the alchemical elements.  Color and the vibration emitted from each create imprints upon minds and are translated into our emotional stores to be accessed on mundane and spiritual work.  We are surrounded by color in varied hue and tone and the simple act of walking into a room painted in one color versus another can stir the memories of associated emotions stored as response to that particular color’s vibration.  The painting below is one I used for the cover of my book, The Elemental Year.  I had asked my daughter to paint something evocative of the four elements that would conjure the necessary connections at a subtle level. This is the power of the visual arts and their subtle yet profound impact on the way in which you in turn visualize the world around you.  This is the magick of creation pouring from one vessel into the next and available to quench the thirst of all who desire its sweet nectar.

AT10zb97Sb7Vh0jaImage: Triad by Caitlin Fennelly

Literature:

The tactile sensation of typing or putting pen to paper transfers the energy of the writer to whatever is receiving his/her imprint.  We are often told to read between the lines and in magickal terms this is more accurate than may seem.  There is contained within each letter put upon the page, a holographic image of its creator   Within that writer are the points of cellular light that have flowed through every individual and all matter from the beginning of time and creation.  We are accessing the core essence of what was the intent at the first inception of its creation.  We not only connect to the writer but we connect to the pure essence of the origin of concept. These are some of the great mysteries spoken of.  Not simply the material we see, but what is “hidden in plain sight”.

The Arts reach into the depths of our being and extract the essence of our true beauty and creative potential.  And, once acknowledged forever change how we perceive our world and our place within it. 

Resource:

To view more of Caitlin’s art:  click here 

This is the beginning of a series of articles about each of the Arts and their application and effects on Magick and spiritual practice.

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Many Blessings for a Happy New Year!

I like to begin the year in review of the basic tools and teachings that have served as my foundations as I have progressed along my spiritual path. I usually go back and look in review at some of the staple teachings and simplify my workings  for a few weeks. This provides the space to assess and refine how I will use those foundational tools for the upcoming year. It also gives me the opportunity to re-engage my enthusiasm and see from fresh perspective the work that fed my curiosity and thirst for understanding at the start.

When I was performing as a professional classical ballerina, I never hesitated to take an intermediate class so I could focus on the execution on the technique and revisit these steps anew.  This served me well when those same steps became more intricate and ultimately the language of expression used in a complex piece of choreography.  This approach allowed me to place the technical approach aside and blend fully with the music and the expression. This is the same goal of working magick and spiritual practice.  To become entwined and intrinsically the magick you are working.

In 2010 I wrote an on-line course of study designed to take the participant through a Year and a Day of Learning and practice of the Craft of the Wise. Each year, I review it myself (yeah, I know sounds strange since I wrote it. LOL!); but going back and looking at what your perceptions and level of understanding were at a given point in your development is an amazing tool for assessing how far you have come and what needs deeper exploration.  So, in that spirit and in keeping with a fresh start to the New Year, I’ve posted the link to the course below and the full version of the Wiccan Rede for contemplation and reminder of the simplicity and beauty of this path.

The Wiccan Rede
Full Version

Bide within the Law you must, in perfect Love and perfect Trust.
Live you must and let to live, fairly take and fairly give.

For tread the Circle thrice about to keep unwelcome spirits out.
To bind the spell well every time, let the spell be said in rhyme.

Light of eye and soft of touch, speak you little, listen much.
Honor the Old Ones in deed and name,let love and light be our guides again.

Deosil go by the waxing moon, chanting out the joyful tune.
Widdershins go when the moon doth wane,and the werewolf howls
by the dread wolfsbane.

When the Lady’s moon is new, kiss the hand to Her times two.
When the moon rides at Her peak then your heart’s desire seek.

Heed the North winds mighty gale, lock the door and trim the sail.
When the Wind blows from the East, expect the new and set the feast.
When the wind comes from the South, love will kiss you on the mouth.
When the wind whispers from the West, all hearts will find peace and rest.

Nine woods in the Cauldron go, burn them fast and burn them slow.
Birch in the fire goes to represent what the Lady knows.
Oak in the forest towers with might, in the fire
it brings the God’s insight.

Rowan is a tree of power causing life and magick to flower.
Willows at the waterside stand ready to help us to the Summerland.
Hawthorn is burned to purify and to draw faerie to your eye.
Hazel-the tree of wisdom and learning adds its strength to the bright fire burning.
White are the flowers of Apple tree that brings us fruits of fertility.
Grapes grow upon the vine giving us both joy and wine.
Fir does mark the evergreen to represent immortality seen.
Elder is the Lady’s tree burn it not or cursed you’ll be.

Four times the Major Sabbats mark in the light and in the dark.
As the old year starts to wane the new begins, it’s now Samhain.
When the time for Imbolc shows watch for flowers through the snows.
When the wheel begins to turn soon the Beltane fires will burn.
As the wheel turns to Lamas night power is brought to magick rite.

Four times the Minor Sabbats fall use the Sun to mark them all.
When the wheel has turned to Yule light the log the Horned One rules.
In the spring, when night equals day time for Ostara to come our way.
When the Sun has reached its height time for Oak and Holly to fight.
Harvesting comes to one and all when the Autumn Equinox does fall.

Heed the flower, bush, and tree by the Lady blessed you’ll be.
Where the rippling waters go cast a stone, the truth you’ll know.

When you have and hold a need, harken not to others greed.
With a fool no season spend or be counted as his friend.
Merry Meet and Merry Part bright the cheeks and warm the heart.

Mind the Three-fold Laws you should three times bad and three times good.
When misfortune is enow wear the star upon your brow.
Be true in love this you must do unless your love is false to you.

These Eight words the Rede fulfill:

“An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will”

There is no sign-up or fee to participate. The goal was to offer a month to each section, but as you will see, all of the material is accessible at any time. I welcome comments and suggestions for improvement. Enjoy!

A Year and A Day on the Wiccan Path

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