Monday, December 28, 2009

Haven't posted in a while

Now that my busiest sales season is over (Halloween thru Xmas), hopefully I'll have more time for fun things like writing again! It's amazing how time gets away from us.

I'm trying to get back to my spiritual practice again too, so this is the perfect place for me to reconnect with myself and the Gods.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

What Samhain means to me

Today witches celebrate Samhain often thought of as the Witch's New Year and mundanely known as Halloween. I started thinking about writing an article today and instead of the usual history of type thing (there are TONS of those on the web already - just google "Samhain"), I decided to write about what Samhain means to me.

I'm still transitioning between Wicca and Kemetism and finding my true path (which will likely be something in between), but as I started Wiccan, I still feel strongly pulled to celebrate the standard Sabbats, though put a bit of Egyptian in them. One of the things I love about Wicca/Paganism is there are no set rules or defined practices - we are free to find our own way and create our own rituals. As a creative soul, that has always appealed to me and I tend to make a lot of things up on the fly rather than pre-planning (which is I know contrary to Kemetism and Egyptian spirituality that teaches repeating the ancient (or at least same) rituals make them more powerful).

Whatever your path, Samhain is about honoring your ancestors and those
that have passed on during the previous year as well as looking back
and looking ahead. Looking back to release the negative energies that
may have plagued you, and looking forward to draw in the positive
changes you want to make.

While most Witches call on Hecate during the Samhain festivities, I use Anubis as my guide to the underworld and spend some time meditating about those that have crossed over, talking to my mothers (both blood mother and mother-in-law), my grandmother, and others I have known and loved. My favorite method of this in the past few years has been a candlelight bath using the bath water to scrye. I'm not sure what I will do tonight yet. I'll let the spirits guide me though a bath does sound wonderful!

I thought it interesting the other night that the TV show "Eastwick" showed Samhain in a good and positive light (though drama interferred in the final bonfire and I wish they didn't have a huge witch on top of the bonfire! You can watch the episode, "Bonfire & Betrayal" at ABC.com). The part I liked was that their Halloween featured a town-wide celebration where townspeople made small coffins or other boxes filling them with everything they wanted to get rid of from the previous year. Then then burned them on a huge bonfire in the town square. A wonderful representation of getting rid of what doesn't work so you can make way for better things in your life.

While I cannot have a huge bonfire in my backyard, I am planning a small candle and cauldron ceremony tonight burning my negative energy. There have been a number of things this year that didn't go quite the way I expected or wanted them to and disappointment often leaves negative energy and emotions I want to be rid of. So I'll write them on a piece of paper, light it from my candle, and let the paper burn in my cauldron (outside of course - ringing smoke detectors spoil the mood).

However you celebrate Samhain or Halloween, may it be a great start to the new year for you. Blessed be.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lughnasadh – Celebrating the First Harvest

In the Northern Hemisphere, it is high summer, for many of us, the hottest time of the year. August 1 or 2 is celebrated as Lughnasadh or Lammas, a celebration of the First Harvest when we reap the fruits of the Earth and celebrate life at its prime.

“Lughnasadh (also called Lammas) is the time of the first harvest, the festival of first fruits when the Sun King fades as the grain is taken from the fields. As god of the harvest and light, Lugh, king of Tuatha de Danann, was the male counterpart to Brigid. His death, according to Edain McCoy, comes from the “belief that a god must eventually bow down to his goddess through whose benevolence he is reborn.”*

Lugh is one of the most celebrated of the Celtic deities often used as the male archetype for those practicing Wicca. However, many Gods can be utilized during this time, include Osiris or Ra.

“In August, the hot, humid weather that bathes the land in a warm haze imposes a slower pace so that plants and animals (including we humans) have time to complete the annual cycle of growth. Roses may be fading, but lavender and chamomile are in their glory. Thunderstorms bring relief from blazing temperatures and raise energy that further nourishes growing plants. Whenever possible, tap into this energy. Rituals performed during storms can be powerful experiences.”*

A ritual for the day might include celebrations of the bounty of the earth, giving thanks for blessings, and preparing for the transition to harvest time, both physical and spiritual. It is a good day to work in the garden, eat lots of fruits and vegetables, bake bread, and enjoy all the Earth gives us.

Personally, I also like to take this day to reflect back on the first half of the year reviewing what went well or failed, setting goals for the rest of the year, and generally taking stock of what I need to change. The bright sun can burn away the past and show us a shining new future.

*Except from “A Year of Ritual” by Sandra Kynes available at left.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Changing things around a bit

Please pardon the dust as I work on the layout and design of the blog. It's going to be a work in progress for a bit, though everything works - just might not look perfect :)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Doing the work for magick to happen

A few times a month, I get a phone call, email or instant chat on my MysticConvergence.com store from someone wanting to get some things to do something…win a court case and evict neighbors were the most recent, but I’ve gotten requests for lovers to give them a second chance, to banish someone, and a dozen others I’ve forgotten. They usually want to know what they need to make it happen – what do they need to buy?

It’s obvious by the first few minutes they don’t know magick or practice Witchcraft. So I try to explain to them that not even the costliest or most beautiful objects will work for them without putting the time and effort in to study, learn, and energize the spell. Most don’t understand and repeatedly say things like, “…but I just need something now.” or “Can’t you do it for me?” I try explain I don’t work spells for others and usually end up saying “I just cannot help you. You should probably shop somewhere else.”

More and more books published about Wicca and The Craft are good for those of us that do the work and study, but it’s unfortunately so many mainstream people & newbies think all they need is that book. Spell books are especially bad since so few of them have more than a quick chapter on the how or why magic works and gets to the “good stuff” giving recipes, ingredients and rituals.

For the record, I don’t work spells for others as I feel a spell is a very personal thing and should be worked by the person needing the results. My emotions cannot lend energy to a spell for someone else, especially a stranger.

I will also turn down a sale rather than mislead someone into false hope that something I have for sale will cure their problem. I may get blasted by fellow merchants, but you really don’t need the pretty pretties if you know what you are doing. You don’t need that chalice or athame or perfect candle to do any magickal working…all you really need is yourself and your clear intent and focus.

My most powerful spells have been spur of the moment worked entirely on the astral or with the most basic of ingredients. Those pretty trinkets certainly can lend their energies and help you focus – once you charge them of course or learn how to tap into their power. Before you do, they are just trinkets containing no more magic than a pea (okay, yes I know, peas can be used in some spells, but you know what I mean).

Daily meditation, energy work, visualization training – all are vital disciplines for anyone want to work the Craft. Spells should never to undertaken lightly or considered the only cure you need for your problem. Do the work, walk the path, and magick happens.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Hope you have a wonderful 4th of July!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tarot Card of the Day: June 22, 2009

I drew the Hierophant this morning which is a reminder to listen to advice and my spiritual guides.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Summer Solstice

What is the solstice? From Wikipedia:

“A solstice is an astronomical event that happens twice each year, when the tilt of the Earth's axis is most inclined toward or away from the Sun, causing the Sun's apparent position in the sky to reach its northernmost or southernmost extreme. The name is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the apparent movement of the Sun's path north or south comes to a stop before reversing direction.

The term solstice can also be used in a wider sense, as the date (day) when this occurs. The solstices, together with the equinoxes, are connected with the seasons. In some cultures they are considered to start or separate the seasons while in others they fall in the middle. The English expressions "midwinter" (winter solstice) and "midsummer" (summer solstice) may derive from a tradition according to which there were only two seasons: winter and summer.”

In many mystic traditions, the Summer Solstice is a celebration of the maturation of the Forest God reborn during the Winter Solstice aka Yule. He is at his strongest having mated with the Goddess during Spring to form his successor that she will rebirth the following Yule.

It is also a time of transition as the days begin to wane after the solstice with the days growing shorter once again.

The solstices are part of the cycle of the seasons and the ever renewing circle of life.

Midsummer is a time of magic, fairies and unicorns in some cultures. Like Samhain (Halloween), it is said the veils between the worlds are thin, though this time the fairy realm instead of the land of the dead.

Often celebrated with feasts and flowers, honor the heat of the day with fresh fruits and vegetables and bright colors such as yellow, which further honors the God.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tarot Card of the Day: 6 of Chalices

The 6 of cups reminds us to remember where we have been. To look back on the past so we can learn from it. It also gives a sense of nostalgia and can indicate getting back to where we were before. Perhaps by visiting with family, honoring our ancestors, or just reviewing the past.

In the Egyptian Tarot Deck, the 6 cups are over the headdress of Ra, the creator/sun God who was the first God to rise from Nu, the nothingness or cosmic ocean. A visual of getting back to the beginning. (I really need to reconnect my scanner one of these days and scan my cards!)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

About the masthead

I had someone ask me about the image in my masthead. It’s actually a shot of a Wiccan Full Moon Ritual that was held in SecondLife at Covensted. They are an awesome group with education programs, sabbats and rituals held in the 3d world or SecondLife.

I am a resident going by the name Inara Blackburn, so if you are in SecondLife, say hi!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Trying out Windows Live Writer

This is really just a test post to see how Windows Live Writer works. So far, so good. Especially if it will let me post to all my blogs from one place! :)

My daily tarot reading

I'm going to try to get back into doing and posting my daily readings - it's been a long while since I have. I keep getting caught up in work and forget to take the time for myself and my practice.

So, today's reading is a simple 3 card one of what the day has in store for me:

Queen of Wands - intuitively: Isis bestowing blessings on me. By the book: Friend

8 of Swords - Intuitively: Barring my enemies, perhaps my own fears and inhibitions. Book: Trap, impediment.

Ace of Pentacles - Intuitively: Fortunes raining down on me. It's been a slow sales weekend so perhaps things are going to turn around today? Book: Acquisition, success.