Yearly Archives: 2008

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A Holly Jolly Christmas – Away!

I hope your holidays were as wonderful as mine! What did you do? Have a traditional Christmas holiday with friends and family? Or did you try something new like I did this year?

Some of you may recall that last Christmas my husband passed away.  Considering that this would be an emotional time for me on the first anniversary of his passing, my mother suggested that we get away for the holidays and make some new traditions.

We weren’t sure if it was going to be possible but at the last minute (and because of understanding family members) we were able to get out of town for the entire holiday!

We didn’t go far (just across the state to Fort Lauderdale, one of my favorite places in Florida) but it was like another world compared to Ocala and it was a break I really needed.

We stayed in a great hotel, got the royal treatment and had an incredible dinner at Sublime, a gourmet vegan restaurant. Father Christmas himself could not have delivered a more appreciated gift.

On Christmas day we drove down to Miami Beach and checked out the festivities on South Beach. Surprisingly – everything was open! Shops and restaurants and tons of people were at the beach too. Back in Fort Lauderdale things were much quieter, there were only a few places open for dinner. We ended up at a retro place called Moonlite Diner and it was fantastic. The entire day was leisurely and relaxed, the first time in a long time that I felt this way.

It is good to be back though since I missed my Lucy and my mother missed her kitty too. We also missed family time but fortunately we will be able to have our own holiday together when my brother comes home next week.

I did get one unwelcome parting gift however from my holiday away – a Christmas cold! Oh well, you can’t have everything!

Faerie Christmas

This is is something for Christmas that I do every year and I wanted to share it with you. It’s my Amy Brown Faerie Diva Christmas Tree. I have been collecting Amy Brown Faerie Diva’s for several years now and put this faerie tree in our front window.

It is very special to me and was a wonderful source of comfort to me last Christmas at such a difficult time. Isn’t it wonderful that faeries can bring so much happiness to those in need?

I think Christmas faeries are as important as Christmas Elves!

Charitable Acts

Do you really need another pair of slippers for Christmas this year?

Even though Black Friday turned out fairly well (considering the economy) this holiday season, charities are feeling the lack of funding now more than ever. I counter that we all can do something. No matter how little it may seem to you, the truth is, every little bit counts.

I’m sure you’ve seen the collection boxes for Toys for Tots – you can pick up a new toy, even just a small stocking stuffer at Walgreen’s or Wal-mart for a couple of bucks. There are also giving trees this time of year for seniors and for needy children and teens too. It doesn’t take much to get a tag from the tree and purchase a nice item of clothing on sale to give to someone who really needs it.

Ask yourself what you need and then decide if you can go without this holiday season. Then spend that money on someone less fortunate. Give it to a complete stranger. Give it to charity.

Or take things to your local Goodwill, I’m sure you have stuff around the house that you can take there. Go through every room. Take things you haven’t used or worn in a year and give them away.

In my town we have a hospice store that we donate to. They actually have pretty cool items to purchase from the generous donations that people make. It gives you such a great feeling to know that you can make a difference.

Don’t forget the animals! Donate to the Humane Society and ASPCA. Visit your local animal shelter with a couple of big bags of pet food. They will be so appreciated this time of year. You might want to visit with the doggies and kitties that are still there during the holidays. Even if you cannot support another pet in your home you can still give your love and compassion to them.

Perhaps you can make a new tradition where every person in your family puts in $10 and then you decide where to send the money. Wouldn’t that be great?

There are so many ways to give. Just open your heart.

The Magick of Bayberry

I have a Yule Bayberry Prosperity spell that I have been using now for well over a decade and it always surprises me every Christmas to see bayberry candles and realize that most people don’t recognize the significance in Colonial America that bayberry had.

I love the smell of bayberry. It is Yule to me, through and through. My mother always burned candles from Williamsburg on Yule and the scent takes me right back. It’s difficult to find “real” bayberry candles anymore but Yankee Candle Company has a nice one although it does contain additional scents.

I’ve been offering my own family Yule spell for five years now to happy clients all over the world and since I only make a few candles (with bayberry essential oil) you might want to consider it.

Information on bayberry candles:

“Bayberry wax was Colonial America’s contribution to candle making history and became an important tradition there. Looking for a more economical alternative to beeswax colonial women discovered that a lovely wax could be obtained by boiling the grayish green berries of the bayberry bush. More economical than beeswax, better smelling and burning than tallow, bayberry became another alternative for candle making in colonial times.

Unfortunately, it takes about 15 lb of bayberries to make 1 lb of Bayberry wax. Collecting all those berries was very time consuming. Also, bayberry wax candles are very brittle and are prone to “blooming” or forming a white powdery residue on the outside of the candle after it’s stored for a few months. So, bayberry wax never caught on as the main source of candle making wax.

Yet, every colonist who could afford to do so would burn at least one Bayberry wax candle during the holiday season. On Christmas Eve the burning of a bayberry wax candle was considered good luck. It brought you health, wealth and prosperity for the coming year. A popular colonial saying was…

“A bayberry candle burnt to the socket brings food to the larder and gold to the pocket”.

What if not Witch?

A friend of mine asked me yesterday what I would be doing if I were not a professional witch.

I had to think for a minute because I honestly cannot imagine NOT being a professional witch, at least in some capacity. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that I’ve been doing this online now for five years? It is in truth the longest single enterprise I have taken part in outside from working on websites which I have done since 1995.

Being a witch is not just part of my life or part of my business – it is a part of everything I do – how I relate to the world, how I see people and their issues, how I desire to help people to make their lives better. This is something that I always felt eager to do, even as a child, but as a witch and Buddhist this is the grounding center of my existence. There is the craft, there is daily puja (Buddhist prayer), meditation, yoga and family (I consider friends to be family).

I would practice in secret like the wisewomen of yore if I could not practice my craft in the pure light of day. I could not be kept from my love of the earth, of nature, of the seasons and herbs, crystals and all the mysteries this world holds. As I practiced before, quietly, not on the Internet, not blogging, not a public witch, I would always practice, always increase my knowledge and study as much as I could. Being a witch is something that you know, something that you are and do and are always becoming.

I enjoy many different activities – writing, arts & crafts and various creative expressions. I love technology and computer and video games (and have been involved with those for many years) yet at my core I am closest to living in an almost medieval fashion. That is where my heart is.

Now when I say medieval think nice modern Renaissance Faire and not toothless, unclean, loony woman who lives at the end of the town.

On cold November mornings like this when I go outside and sit on my back porch wrapped up in my cozy blanket sipping a cup of herbal tea, listening to and watching the birds and the dawn breaking, there is nothing but me and the song of the earth.

For this witch, that is enough.

Fall Full Moon

I had a great Full Moon casting on the 13th. Oh I love to cast on a 13th – what an auspicious number!

It was a busy moon and I started with a short ritual to the Goddess and then got to work right away. I knew I was in for a long night and when the sun was rising just as I was completing the final spells, I felt like the Goddess had given me extra energy to see it through. I usually cast over a two to three day period on the full moon and still had spells left for the next night but I was happy to have completed so many.

Many of my spells take three to five days to complete and some can even take a week or longer, so those require a bit more dedication of time and energy. I keep many candles going which can be a little troublesome putting them into the shower when I leave the house (so I don’t burn it down!) especially when I have quite a few going.

This time of year it’s not quite so bad as the dead of summer however when the candles do throw  a bit of heat in the meditation/altar room.

It’s getting so cold here during the day. Tomorrow it will be only 60 degrees and 30 degrees at night. I’m actually looking forward to it because the bonfire is so much more pleasant when it it is chilly during my castings.

I had some remarkable custom spells that I worked on this past month for several clients and I throughly enjoyed the challenge they presented me. There is nothing I like more than to keep expanding my magick. A couple of my clients had such involved castings that it took a  weeks to finish all of them. Casting spells that are this unique is always an adventure.

I cannot believe the holidays are almost upon us. I have some terrific magick for the end of the year and for the New Year and I hope you will be a part of it.

Samhain Night

Tomorrow is Samhain and we would usually be having a big family witchy-fest but unfortunately my sister-witch Lisa has come down with an awful cold. We are pretty bummed about this and will have to scale back the festivities considerably without her presence in the circle.

Thus my plans are for my casting (I always do a Halloween spell), then the Samhain ritual itself, the dumb supper (to celebrate the dead) and finally the bonfire to close out the night.

It’s been so cold at night too it should be a lovely night for a fire. The frost is on the pumpkin, as they say!

This is my first Samhain as a widow so it will be interesting to see what kind of feelings I pick up on. I will actually relish the silence during the dumb supper and I hope all of my loved ones who have passed on are there in spirit. Especially one of them.

Witchy Wedding

 

Photo(L-R): me, my brother Ray, Lisa’s daughter Krystina and Lisa

My brother Ray married his wonderful witchy woman Lisa on October 18th. I officiated as the High Priestess and performed an entire pagan ceremony. It was just beautiful.We were outside at the best man’s home in an appropriate cathedral of trees with a lovely koi pond right near the gazebo where they were married. Dan, my brother’s long-time best friend was best man and Krystina, my new sister-in-law Lisa’s daughter was the maid of honor.

It was a small gathering, just family and friends, about 30 people all together. We had a reception with an extraordinary seafood feast (and even some vegetarian food for me!) and then went back to Dan & his wife Peggy’s home for a pirate themed after-party that was great fun.

For some of the guests (Lisa’s family) it was their first experience at a pagan ceremony and everyone was really taken with it. I have included part of it below.

 

 

Blessing

To the Goddess and God we thank you for your presence at this divine rite

May your lives together be joyful and content,
And may your love be bright as the stars
Warm as the sun, accepting as the ocean,
And enduring as the mountains.

We come now to the close of this event, and for Raymond and Lisa, the beginning of a new life together. We offer to them and to each of you this blessing:

By the earth that is Her body,
By the air that is Her breath,
By the fire that is Her bright spirit,
By the living waters of Her womb,
The circle is open but not broken.

The peace of the Goddess and the God go in your hearts.
Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again.
Blessed be!

The Wise Witch

It’s my birthday today and as I age toward wisdom, I thought I might discuss what it’s like for a witch.

At this point everything that I know as a witch, all the spells I have cast, all the energy I have raised, this has all become a deep part of my essence on the material plane and has formed a cloak of karma and an aura of magick around me. Will it make me a better witch?

You bet! And a more powerful witch too.

I recall my mentors discussing reaching the “Wisdom Ages” and how it changed their daily practice. I have already begun to feel a shift away from symbolic and sympathetic magick to quantum and spiritual magick and I believe I will see this take shape on an even more intense level in the future.

I will be offering more highly specialized spells and rituals in the future plus some new elixirs which I will be creating using collodial elements in a ritualized setting. I am thrilled to be able to take the next step into creating not only magick but new science that can be used to increase psychic abilities and awareness, help with mental clarity and many other boons to health and well-being.

I have been immersed in researching these new spells and products for months, creating elixirs and tinctures which will take you to an entirely new level in your life. These new creations will also be affordable, organic, food-grade, safe and enhance any spells you choose to work with.

Look for the update soon after I finish celebrating my “Wisdom Age”!

Full Moon Rituals

There was a spectacular Full Moon this past week and I had the opportunity to get outside and do the spells on the patio over the fire pit. I love to do this when I can (usually every Full Moon) and this night was warm but not too warm for a fire. I had the torches lit too which really amps up the ambiance. Then it was just me, the elements and the Goddess going to work.

I am often asked how I begin my spellcasting. I won’t give away too much here but I can let you know the general gist of what I do.

I don’t call the quarters anymore – I haven’t done that in years except for sabbats. I begin with meditation and getting into the Alpha state by grounding and centering myself. Everything that I do, including casting my circle of projection is energetic, I don’t walk the circle or use an athame or wand or other ritual tools. I have these items of course ; many of them on various altars throughout the house, but my spellcasting is all about energetic connection and focused will and intention. Everything else is symbolic.

That is not to say that I do not use correspondences in my spellcasting (and crafting). I do, including herbs, oils, curios, sigils, veves (in Voodoo), mojos and root bags (Hoodoo) and many other magickal items. I like the connection between the spirit and the mundane for most spells I cast.

If you’ve ever had me cast a spell for you, you have most likely gotten an envelope that smells great, that contains the results of your spell. You may have also gotten a mojo bag or root bag as results, or even a talisman or amulet. Sometimes the items I use in the spell are consumed in the working (Beacon of Love uses a 7 day candle that is completely consumed for instance) but I try to have something to send to my clients so they can have a connection with it and at the very least see what I’ve been up to on their behalf.

Unfortunately I am limited to not using any plant matter in spells for International clients, so I have had to revamp several spells to make the results I send comply with these regulations. I’d rather be able to send herbs and spell powders though, since I do use them so often.

Once my circle is cast and I have called in my protectors ( I won’t tell you how I do that, sorry); I commence with the casting.

Most of the time I have multiples of the same spell; but each has to be handled individually, since no two circumstances are ever the same. The process can be intense and exhausting (depending upon the spells ) and some spells like Magnetic Attraction take five days total, so  imagine all these individual workings set up on my altar to be tended to each and every day. I have to put spell workings on all the altars. Some time I will take a photo so you can see what I mean.

The Beacon of Love is my favorite to get multiples of because each one requires a 7 day candle that is kept lit for exactly that – 7 days. The only safe place to keep them when I am out of the house is in the walk-in shower! Once a couple of years ago I ran a special and had 9 clients participate – the floor of the shower was ablaze with candlelight and the smell from the infused oils and herbs was intoxicating. Even the postal delivery person was intrigued and asked why the house smelled so great!

There have been many times that I have cast until the sunrise and this is a truly remarkable time. I don’t realize how much time has passed as I have been “between the worlds” but then the sky takes on this smoky grey tinge and I watch the color begin to seep back into the world. When I see the sun glinting between the hemlock trees in the backyard I know it’s time to come back to the mundane.

I’m always a bit sad to leave that circle of protection between the worlds. It is cocoon-like and safe. Time does not exist there. In Buddhism, the space between the worlds is what we call emptiness.

I’d like to share a few lines from the “Heart Sutra” with you about that:

“In the Void There Are No Forms,
No Feelings, Perceptions, Volitions or Consciousness.”
“No Eye, Ear, Nose, Tongue, Body or Mind;
No Form, Sound, Smell, Taste, Touch or Mind Object;
No Realm of the Eye,
Until We Come to No realm of Consciousness.”
“No ignorance and Also No Ending of Ignorance,
Until We Come to No Old Age and Death and
No Ending of Old Age and Death.”
“Also, There is No Truth of Suffering,
Of the Cause of Suffering,
Of the Cessation of Suffering, Nor of the Path.”
“There is No Wisdom, and There is No Attainment Whatsoever.”
“Because There is Nothing to Be Attained,
The Bodhisattva Relying On Prajna Paramita Has
No Obstruction in His Mind.”
“Because There is No Obstruction, He Has no Fear,”
“And He passes Far Beyond Confused Imagination.”
“And Reaches Ultimate Nirvana.”