Time to muse

I’m back after a few months away. First of all I’ve moved so I had no internet which has given me time to ponder over what has happened in the last twelve months also to catch up on my writing and book of shadows.

Since moving into a more countryfied area I have actual start to appreciate what my distant ancestors had in their lives. It has been very cold so cold that the dog wouldn’t go outside but that is life for her now, things change. She has an area where she can enjoy the scents and feels of a new environment.  Like me she can connect more with her ancestors.

I have had a few very stressful months what with moving, being told that my husband was likely to die if he didn’t have a serious operation and to top it my mother died. That was the crux of my life. Mum and I weren’t close but she was always there if I need advice or just to share something. She timed her death rather well in my view, since that morning we had viewed what was going to be our new home then I received a phone call from my sister. My sister had told me that mum had been admitted to our local hospital and I wasn’t to visit, again another parent I never said goodbye to. This call I knew something was not right and so I was told mum had died a few moments before.

As I enter a new year I start to accept that which has happened and that which will happen is part of life’s cycle. It those things that I have lost that I find hard to accept but I must otherwise I wouldn’t go forward on my path

This is what all of us must try to do, accept the nasty parts of one’s life and leave them in the past. Accept that death comes to us all even Mother Earth dies but she returns time after time in a slightly different form, more roads, less trees, less animals, more mortals and so on. If she can do this then surely we can do. Our friends the Buddhist believe that when one dies one will return in another form. The ancients believe that we are all reborn in some form or another  which is a part of us and the way a druid, witch or shaman might see our cycle.

After Mum had died there was the usual laying her to rest. She was cremated in a beautiful wicker coffin. As words were read by my young niece a bird flew by, twice and this in my belief was mums’ spirit saying her farewell to us all. My niece was very upset by the loss of her Grandma and had written a poem about it. She was scared as well, to read it, but I guess Mum had given her the courage to do it. As Amelia said “If I didn’t do it I will never have the chance to do it” Very strong and powerful words from a eight year old who had never met death before.

So now I see that like Amelia I must carry on and take the opportunities that are presented to me and do what needs to be do.

So my sisters and brothers I bid you farewell as the year ends and a new one is born.

 

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Reflections

As I write this I am preparing myself for the final passing of my mother. She was born on 13th November 1923 on a Friday and died 1st November 2017 at the ripe old age of 83. She has shared her wisdom with my sister and I through out our life’s. She helped my sister with her children and me her general knowledge of life. The day she died my husband and I had visited our new home so we have taken this as a sign that mum was at peace with both of our life’s ( my sister and I).

I wrote a piece last night as my muse felt my sorrow and now I wish to share it with you.

Another star rises this night,

Watching with her brown eyes.

Listening to what we say,

Of stories gone before.

That is our Mother.

With dragons attending

Another soul is released

To rest with those above,

While mortal body descends

To join the Mother.

Forever in our hearts and minds

Her presence is still to be felt

There in comfort repose is

The cycle of life.
For those of you who are suffering lose wheather it be family or fur baby my love I send. May the Mother be with you too as she is with me.

You might not hear from me for a while but moving will be the cause of my silence.

There’s always someone there

In the darkest hours in your life you feel alone, unheard, not cared for. That life is not as beautiful as it once was but there is someone listening, call them god or goddess or universe. What you feel you need or desire is not necessarily what is right for you. A spell for love might turn out to be love for yourself.

I have experienced the gift of my Goddess. A number of years ago both my partner and I agreed we need to move to a ground floor flat or bungalow since stairs were becoming hard to copy with. For me it was the constant fear of tripping up or down the stairs and breaking a bone or hip (I have never broken a bone in my body yet). My partner was finding it hard as his asthma and COPD were getting worse. So while he approached the council and let them know where he’d seen a vacant place I performed a very simple spell.

First I found a leaf big enough to write or draw what I wanted. Some people use a bay leaf but I used a Rowan leaf. I next drew a single store building on the back of the leaf and placed it beneath a bush and allowed Mother Earth to do do her job of absorbing the leaf. Well she’s listened and granted our wish. She obviously agreed we that we needed a bungalow and now with my Cheshire cat grin I thank her for listening.

This shows that a little faith and a simple spell with practical hard work can be gained. Praise to Her who loves us all.

I hope this gives you, my reader, that good things do happen.

Samhain to Halloween

Okay this has taken it’s time to come to you from the heart. What’s Samhain I hear you cry? It’s one of the original names used for what most people call Halloween or rather All Hallows Eve. This is old English for All Holy Eve, the day before Holy day or All Souls day, the Swedes once call it Hero’s day.  It is a time for reflection on what has gone before, what was achieved and what was gained or lost. This is a time when death becomes more pronounced with the trees shedding their leaves and the flowers retreat to the warmth of Mother Earth. Animals start to prepare for the winter’s sleep and us mortals gather what is needed to help us last through the cold and darkest part of the year.

Samhain is important to me for it was when I, with three others, was raised to continue as a priestess within the druid order. It is also the start of a new year for those of us who celebrate the wheel of the year. It is a time that we can gather our thoughts and start to make plans for future plans. 

Unfortunately this year hasn’t been brilliant for me and those around me. Some have suffered the loss of fur babies (pets) or beloved family /friends. I don’t intend to bring sorrow to anyone but death comes to us all no matter who we are. So keep safe and warm. Sit by the fire, tell stories of old, drink your mead and eat well for a new year approaches and new life is to come.

Have a fun Samhain and be careful if trick and treating. May your stores be full and safe.

Hecate and magic

A few nights ago I was standing beneath the moon upon a grassy hillock in the New Forest (England). Here with a number of other witches and the like I was celebrating the full moon and to celebrate we used old magic. Old magic is believed to have descended from the goddess Arianna, daughter of Diana. Both goddesses are said to have come to earth to teach the art of magic in particular that of the moon.

The moon has energies, as all things do but this particular night she was extremely strong. Now that mankind celebrates the rise and fall of the sun but also the moon. This ceremony was very serious and meaningful. We had joined together not only to celebrate the full moon but also the goddess Hecate. Now Hecate is considered by many as a dark goddess. She isn’t but she is the triple form of the great mother for she rules the crossroads, burial grounds and the moon.

We were given conkers on a string as well as black tea light candles to connect us to a spell that involved tying a ribbon on a piece of rope which was hung around a yew tree. As each person tied this ribbon they placed their intent of assistance in giving up something, leaving something behind. I can’t tell you what my intent, or anyone elses, as I was taught to keep your spell to yourself until it had manifested and that was in the form of your book of shadows.

Afterwards the circle was closed and we feasted except myself and the three other persons who had arrived together, I don’t drive, had to depart rather rapidly due to a phone call. The power of this full moon had an effect over us for it had brought out our mischievous sides and that was due to the moon’s energies.

When I got home I couldn’t sleep immediately due to the energies that were boiling and bubbling within. I needed to release it so I began to draw and used my pencil to move in whatever fashion it so wished.

 

 

Hecate (the distant one) Hekate

Hecate is the ultimate crone of her triple being. As a Titian she had connections to Artemis, cousin, as well as being known as a divine huntress. Hecate was known as Luna in the heavens, the moon, Diana on earth, the hunter, and Hecate of the underworld. She is also identified with the Egyptian god Anubis. As an Etruscan deity she guards the frontier between the realms of the living and the dead, negotiating the divergent needs of both parties. Hecate was sometimes identified with Persephone as the Greek goddess of witchcraft, enchantments and the earths’ fertility but also both share the entwined snakes in their hair. Hecate was the daughter of Perses and Astroea which places her in prominence for us practitioners of Wicca. Prior to the Olympians development Hecate was a far more ancient fertility goddess. From Zeus she received a portion of divine ownership in the realms of heaven, earth and ocean and to preside over good fortune in all aspects of life and over the bringing of youths to puberty. As an earth goddess she later became associated with the lower world and thus the night hence an underworld deity.

Hecate is famous even today as a dark moon goddess and the queen of witches (wise women), a deity of birth, travel and victory. There are but few aspects of this multifaceted deity who wasn’t only a witch goddess but also a matron of midwives and herbalists so on this note her sacred plant was wolfs bane. Hecate was believed, by some, to have two quite different qualities, during the day she was supposed to have a benign influence on farming (Diana) but during the night she was interested in witchcraft, ghosts and tombs (Hecate herself). In many ways this makes her similar to the corn goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone. Hecate uncomfortably combines fertility with death as a power of earth. She was seen as a figure of horror in wild places always accompanied by her howling dogs. This might explain why Athenians propitiated her zealously by placing offerings of food at crossroads every month.

“They summoned forth the night and the deities of the night from the neither world, praying to Hecate in plaintive, howling cries. You trivia, potent goddess of the triple crossroads, come, you who known all our plans, aiding and abetting our incarnations and the arts of the Magician.”

Worship of her mysterious cult was found at Aeaina where both dogs and black lambs were sacrificed to her. According to legend Hecate had a temple in the ancient city of Colchis which was surrounded by herbal gardens. Her priestesses were famed for their herbal knowledge. Hecate was accepted, at an early date, into the Greek tradition although she was possible derived from the Arians in southwest Asia Minor. She was once the chief deity of the Carian nation (ancient Turkey) but also the nation of Istanbul where she dominate both life and death and makes the journey in-between which indicates her healing powers.

What’s in a name

From the internet we discover that Hecate derives her name form the Greek ‘hekate’ meaning ‘she who works her will; or ‘hekas’ meaning ‘far off’ which describes her unworldly nature.

Crime

Although Iris was the only deity to request that Demeter returned to her duties when her daughter had been kidnapped it was Hecate who came to her aid. When the two goddesses found Persephone in the clutches of Hades it was Hecate who decided to remain there and so became her handmaiden for the four months that Persephone was to remain in the underworld. Hecate is thought to witness other crimes and so she can be appealed to for justice for she abhors rape and all violent crimes towards both women and children so she appears to protect them both when asked to.
Depictions

Sometimes Hecate appears as a triple bodied tall woman with a sword and torch but in her similarity to Anubis she was also seen as having a single face and a single body. In this single form she wears a long robe holding burning torches. Although a Greek traveler recorded that ‘a triple-faced formed statue of Hecate was found’ (its location is unknown). It was in later representations that she became triple formed, with three bodies standing back to back, possible so that she could look in all directions at once from the crossroads (I doubt this as crossroads have four directions unless what we now call a T junction is called a crossroad by the ancient Greeks), because of this she was sometimes referred to as the Triple goddess. Sometimes Hecate is depicted as having three different animal heads which nearly always included a pigs head. Hecate on occasions manifests in the guise of a black sow especially when she’s in an aggressive mood.

That which is sacred

Animals – black lambs,dogs, toads, snakes and dragons. The latter draw her chariot.

Botanicals – mandrake, deadly nightshade, aconite, azalea, cyclamen and osiers.

Colour – black                                                 Fruit – pomegranate

Herb – mint                                                     Number – three

Places – tombs, crossroads and graveyards.   Planet – moon and the Dog Star.

Time for worship –dark moon, October 11th and last day of the month.

Dogs are also very special to this goddess. After carrying out a spell, request Hecate to accept your petition by observing a single strange dog or unexpected one for this indicates that she has accepted. She is the transformer able to open the initiation door as queen of magick. she is the matron of all Witches and can teach us the best paths to follow.

I hope that if Hecate enters your life this might help you understand her a little bit but if you do work with her be warned to listen and obey for she can be the hard mother, she does things to help you even if you think otherwise.

Blessed Be to you wherever you might be.

Watching the sky

So many people these days look up at the sky at night time only or at their horoscopes but how many actually look at the sky and what is there?

Over the last few days as I gaze outside at the patch of ground in front of our flats I have noticed where the sun is. He glides over the skyline from one place to another until his sister the Moon appears high in the darkness. Not only is the sun there but also the clouds and it is these clouds that cause rain when they have had their full from the atmosphere. As daylight becomes dusk the clouds change their colour from a bright white to a tinged pink just as Eos does every morning. Eos for those who don’t know is a goddess of the dawn. She is clothed in the palest of pinks with her arms outstretched as she sprinkles dew across the waking world. These same colours are shown twice a day, once at dawn but also at dusk. However there is also the orange tint of the night drawn clouds probably caused by the light of the city.
Light is an important part of life. We need it to distinguish between day and night but there was once a time when there was no light, no sun, no stars, nothing just darkness and chaos. These is how the ancient Romans and Greeks saw the universe come into being with Chaos and Gaia, Mother Earth, being among the first to exist along with Eros, better known as Cupid.

In the East, life started as a churning of ocean which produced numerous objects possible the earth but it’s also thought this occurs every 500.000 years more or less. Its thought that the gods would destroy the earth only to remake it. This is a common theme in many non western traditions.

Now you’re thinking what has this got to do with the sky? I am sure many of you have watched programs  that show how stars end and how they believe the universes are created. Remember the colours of explosions well, in my humble opinion, this is how the sky is. It is an explosion of darkness and light which is invisible to the eye. We usually see the results but not the trigger and this is what I ponder about.

I guess tonight just as the sun goes down over the horizon and enters the Underworld, as the ancient Egyptians believed, you will view your outside horizon wherever you are and wonder just like me at this beauty that can be so destructive in its making.

watching a sunset

 

Mabon

Okay most pagans know that Mabon is a name sometimes used for the Autumn equinox. This is the time of the second harvest where we celebrate the time of autumn but it is also the name of a Celtic child god Mabon also known as Maponus. So what’s his story?

Many of the great legends which include the god child Mabon involved involved a series of animals, trees and other entities which lead to the divine being. The name Mabon is basically ‘son’ but some see it as ‘son of the mother’.

This divine youth appears as a hero in Welsh legends where king Arthur’s heroes required his help to hunt the boar ‘Twnch trwyth’, where it was said that he snatched a razor between the boars’ ears. Also in Welsh tradition he was imprisoned in a magickal prison but was released by Arthur and his followers. Mabonagrain is the continental name of Mabon when involved in tales of king Arthur.

Like many Celtic gods he has many aspects through the three worlds. Mabon was the name of one of these aspects. He was the major, although obscure character of the Welsh Mabinogion and Romanized Celtic writings that have been found in Britain. It is also possible that Mabon might have been worshipped further afield than historians first believed.

Mabon is the name the northern Brits and Gauls used for this youthful, tribal sun god and under this name was associated with therapeutic springs. In Welsh tradition he was Mabon, son of Modron (Matrona, not to be confused with the Roman Matronas), held in captivity since being kidnapped from his mother, aged three days old. He was equated with the Christian Jesus, but more often than not the Celtic version of Apollo known as Apollo Citharoedus, the player of the lyre. So we see him as a youthful god of the Apollo kind, connected with music, therapy and a ritual hunt.

Mabon was the divine child of light and further more his legend suggests a link with the order of creation. the first goddess of the Celts was the dark, terrible, mysterious and severe mother, Mabon’s’ mother. Yet her son was just as important and was known as the son of light. It can’t be assumed that he was automatically and exclusively a solar deity any more than Apollo was.

He is also associated with the Celtic festival of Winter Solstice, around December 21st and his birth or release from his underworld captivity is celebrated with the return of the sun (son, summer solstice. He bears love in the form of mistletoe and represents our hope for the future, acting as the mediator between humanity and his heavenly powers.

Well I hope this makes sense to you all. Now I must leave you on this cold September day. May your Mabon be fruitful and joyous.

beneath the great autum tree

 

Creation

Creation is a necessary part of our life. If it wasn’t for women man would not be able to expand. Not only does a woman give birth to life but on the odd occasion death. She nourishes as life grows. In today’s world we know about reproduction but our ancestors didn’t know the biology of creation be it mortal of animal.

Take a look at the ancient myths of creation not just of how the earth came into being but also of the gods themselves. Zeus gave birth via his thigh and even his head but he couldn’t supply the necessary elements for growth. Some myths imply that creation began with an egg or a coconut but it’s the classical myths that are closer to how our creation took place. From Chaos came Eros (primordial love), Nox (night), Erubus (death sleep) and so on. Now Chaos was a massive collection of disorder, possible a black hole that died to become a new dimension or something like that. From this disarray emerged Eros, Nox and Either, Day and so the universe began. 

However we mere pagan mortals see life, creation, as the Great Mother provides nourishment in many forms (mortal women provide milk) and as we grow so She is left behind and forgotten. Yet those of us who still believe in the magick of life see Her every day as our creator and mother. 

It is this amazing gift that women have that inspired me today since my husband’s goddaughter was born a couple of days ago. Her mother is a first time mother and it is my wish that she finds it not to hard but a beautiful experience and a gift. Yes I envy her as I can’t have children but I am grateful for those that can. So to mother’s both new and old handed I hold my hands up in wonder and love. May your journey be good and each day a surprise.

 

Yes she’s talking to YOU

Listen to the wind as it roars around, the trees whispering, the rumbling of a volcano, the tweets of birds and the buzz of the golden black bee. These are some of the voices the Great Mother uses and I bet you have heard but taken no notice.

Last night as I tried to sleep I hear echos of the past. A chant of male voices, a womans tears. Weird sounds that are of this world but not of this time. This is when it is best to try meditation. You might find you end up asleep but that’s because your body needs to so take heed.

Depending on what you hear can be interesting. Why not set yourself a noise diary where you record when, time, where and type of sound. For example Thursday, night, home, wind. After a month see what comes up more often and then a tune yourself to that sound and really listen. The wind can be the Great Mother shouting at you or whispering words of comfort. Use your feelings to find out what reactions you have.
For mortals who have full hearing the Great Mother talks to you like a dumb person communicates with someone who is deaf. Yes they use sign language so this is what the Great Mother is doing to you. To those of us who are deaf or partially deaf the Great Mother shows us signs like the rabbit that crosses your path every day or that blackbird which watches you come and go and so on.

Both sight and hearing are gifts from the Great Mother and so are the other senses. Use your sense of smell when you walk down a highstreet, yep there are smells here that can be nasty and pleasant like the blocked drains and the bakers ovens. Touch is slightly harder to work out. I feel the brush of a breeze and the heat of the sun, the dampness of rain. These are related to touch and yet again are signs from the Great Mother. The sense of taste has little to do in these communications with the Great Mother.

Why not write up a diary where you think the Great Mother is communing with you.Add this to your BOS. Ok I think thats enough of my rambling Till next time bright blessings and a good night dreaming. /|\

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Animals n magick

Blessings to you as Mother Moon rises above to her zenith. Animals n Magick is quite feasible. Since animals have been on this earth for longer than us, they are in tune with the Goddess. Watch how tortoises mate at a certain luna time, the rucking season, wolfs howling and so on. They are part of the cycle of life and so stand beside us as guides, as totems as familiars and so on.

The most common form of animals and magic is that of the familiar. During the burning times a witch was thought to have a black cat which would do her bidding but this isn’t necessarily the case. Take our young witch Harry Potter he has his owl, Ron has his rat whom is also a mortal and yes Hermana has the classical cat. Even the Charmed sisters had a cat as a familiar, so does Sabrina the teenage witch need I go on.

A familiar is any animal, usually domesticated who comes to you as a friend and companion and guide. My own cat is my familiar, she came very unexpectedly via a friend of mine as a kitten. I was told she was 8 weeks old and was going to be chucked into the street to die or whatever. Not a situation any domesticated young cat should be in, so of course I took her in. She has the name Stephanie Roberta Baker both names having links to my past. She is not black but more a tabby grey with beautiful shining eyes. She is getting on in years now, 13. How did I know she was my familiar? Well at the time I didn’t but now I know this is the case.

Imagine an altar been set up on a long black coffee table, yes it was cleansed and made sacred. My elements were different fairy figures who resembled them in my eyes. My candles were white and the directions were chalked onto the table to aid me. This was my first attempt at a protection spell for a friend and her daughter. There was a beautiful owl statue in the middle which was part of the spell. It grew closer to midnight but Stephie just wouldnt move from pacing between two of the fairies. It took me a short while to realise that I had place the wrong elements in the wrong places, not good to get fire mixed with water. So of course I rectified my mistake and continued on with what I needed to do. I wont tell you the rest of the ritual as thats personal.

So thats how I got my familiar. Now how does one get a spirit animal? This isn’t so easy as you might end up with several. One of my friends has three; the ravan, dragons and snakes. A spirit animal doesnt have to be real or solid. They tend to appear in visions, dreams, telly programmes, in shops and so on. this kind of creature can come in many forms like a picture of a lion, a statuette of a lioness and her cubs, books about wild cats, a dress with lion faces and so on. In this case your animal is the lion and he\she is trying to get your attention. I will go in further detail about what an animal might be calling you for.

My spirit animals are the snake, the owl and the deer. The owl has been with me a very long time, since I became a Brownie Guider so there was this link of me being known as Brown Owl and occasionally I will hear a voice calling out hello Brown Owl in the street. I started to collect them as little ornaments and slowly as time passed on I gained new ones in different forms, plates, mugs and so on. The snake has come to me in the last year since I got my staff, I was looking at it and could see the shape of a snake hence it now having snake skin on it. As time went on I became more interested in their life and how they shed their skins and what they ate. My husband had two, of which one is in Whipsnade. The deer came to me in a totally different way. There is a Goddess known as Elan of the ways, She is a deer mother protector and I had just finished writing up about her, when I got a request about her in one of my facebook groups. At the time I didn’t think anything of it. Later on I was invited to join two groups linked to Elan. Now as I go out shopping or am being taken somewhere the deer pops her royal head up. At present I have no idea why she is calling me but that takes time.

Totem animals are found among the Native American Indians. Most of us know that they use totem poles and upon these poles are figures of animals and occasionally humans. Each of these figures represent something to the tribe. For instance the Crow tribe would have a crow upon their totem, the Beaver tribe a beaver, the Black Carib the Caribou deer and so on. As time passes this totem will grow as tribes intermingled and so on. But a personal totem animal is one that means the most to you. It remains with you till death. I don’t have one unless you call the Owl one.

I hope this has given you a few ideas and clues to whom is your animal familiar, guide etc. Bright Blessings to you all and may the spirit animal world find you safely through the night\day.