I need to note this – extra active Spirits

I’ve been meaning to “note this somewhere” and here is as good as any place, yes? Starting about mid-August I’ve noticed unusually active spirits, sprites, Beloved Dead, and various other flitting-about Energies. Generally these are always around, seen when looking, and more easily visible as the veil thins towards Samhain. But this year, this year,  they are early and active, like whoa.

It has been a distraction especially while driving. They are not fluttery wisps, they are dense and quick. So much so I’ve been reacting as if pedestrians are about to rush in front of my car. It is quite unnerving when I’m behind the wheel. I cannot fathom what it’s going to be like once we’re at Samhain, but I’m rather excited to find out. Hail our (often) Unseen!

The Pagan Experience; Feb., wk 2

Wk 2- Feb. 9- Earth– The word “earth” has multiple meanings. What does it mean to you? How do you use its definitions to support your work?

This is a tough one. I don’t center the earth in my practice or on my path. I center beings, of all kinds. I admire and am grateful for the earth. I enjoy its steady support, its unemotional destructive forces, its beauty, and its mayhem. I can hear the trees whisper and the sea sing the songs of my soul. I adore its bright colours, birds, and animals. And still I do and feel and reference all of this from the place of human, through my filters.

I can go days without thinking of it or appreciating it still being under my feet. I can fold in on myself and ignore all outside my home. I try not to, because keeping connected to the earth is part of connecting to All That Is. When I become too internalized in focus and open back up to the world I always notice how very much I have missed it.

This earth may be nothing more than our collective co-created illusion, but what a beautiful illusion it is.

The Pagan Experience blog project, wk 3, Deity and the Divine – Art for the Gods

Deity and the DivineThis will be the third week’s topic every month in this project so there will be ample time to cover all of the patrons in various fashions. This one, though, goes out to Yemaya and Poseidon. I embarked on a mixed media art piece a bit over a year ago and completed it recently. It is named _At the Beach_ and it represents my core deep love of the sea and it is also a devotional piece to my sea Deities.

You’d think with that kind of time it would look a lot more full. Ha! No. There was a large spiking learning curve involved. I put on and removed more things than it ended up having on it. Attaching heavy items to muslin, painting on muslin (which originally was pastels and fixative – pro tip, that doesn’t work on muslin), fishing line and thread, and making and ditching various forms of netting that eventually were ditched for fishing net actually made for the purpose.

I learned after the first six months where I pulled 10’s of things back off it to add a wee piece, look at it, stand back to see the whole, and then walk away for a day or so to see if I was still keen on it. This added bunches of time. As did walking away from it completely in a fit of frustration last summer and not returning to it until this past Autumn.

It is about  2 yards of fabric, measuring 43″ across and 33″ high, doubled and tripled in places. It has glass beads, buttons, hand sewn fabric pieces, an abundance of yarn, sequins, seashells that I collected at the beach, a sand dollar a friend collected from her West Coast beach, gifted shells from another friend, sand from my favourite beach in Delaware, a few beads gifted to me at my Feri initiation, along with the painted water. I adore it. And I adore it in spite of others likely looking at it and going, “buh?” It fills my heart with such Joy!

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Compassion for Self first/Who did I say I would be? (Monday blogging)

“Compassion for self first” was and still is the only message ever to come to me from Quan Yin since way back when I built my first altar and it was for Her. Having a camp week focused on a story surrounding Her didn’t change that message, though the story message of camp was more about sacrificing for the good of the community as fits the dominant culture from which Quan Yin arose.

This can be a problematic concept for a community that states frequently and vehemently, “You are your own spiritual authority.” So how to mesh the two seemingly opposite views? First you need to break down what sacrifice means. If one of the definitions of sacrifice means to offer up something and make it sacred in the doing then we can see ways to sacrifice that fits our culturally opposite idea of individuality and personal authority.

Sacred Wound

“As seed making begins with the wounding of the ovum by the sperm,
so does soulmaking begin with the wounding of the psyche by the Larger Story.” ~
Jean Houston

If I offer up on the altar of life a piece of me that serves my community, it is a gift giving. It is not something that removes anything from me and in the giving I make that piece sacred. If I offer up parts of me that have been wounded, but I don’t live in the pain of that wounding and instead write a new story of Who I Am afterward then the wound itself becomes sacred and my story afterward becomes my gift to my community.

For me to be able to offer such a thing I must first hold that piece of reality that truth has wounded in my soul’s core. I must hold my old story that no longer fits me in my new reality, see the wound created by that, value it for the healing properties that it has, and have enough compassion for myself to see that wound as a gateway, not a barrier to a new, more powerful, and authentic story for myself. By doing this I embody the powerful healing that occurs and I now have the opportunity to be more than the wound, more than my old story.  By creating a new story and writing new patterns for myself I shift which then shifts the realities of those around me. This serves my community. This sacrifice of offering up of my sacred wound to the community serves it by me being my authentic self and wearing stories that speak to who i am in this moment.

To quote Cynthea Jones: “The tragedy is not that we have experienced pain, but that we allow it to eclipse all that follows it; that we keep it ever present and our lives unchanged by all of the experiences that follow. What if we were to make our wounds and ourselves sacred by sacrificing them and opening ourselves to the greater story, the story of all that we have become and all that we are becoming.”

And so in making myself sacred, in healing my wounds, in writing new stories of me I ask myself:

Who did I say I would be?

Camp (Monday blogging)

So many things ….. but mostly what stands out at the moment (more things will as I have time to process) is how very clear Who I Am was illuminated. At my first Witchcamp I noticed a sharp dividing line in people based on how they run energy and which flavour of energy they ran.

You’ll see sometimes me switching words around in my bio. I suppose it doesn’t much matter what order they are in, but I do it anyway as I try to find the proper wording for what I see clearly at camp. When one is part of a living dynamic tradition that can flux with each additional person that joins it the descriptions tend to vary a bit.

So Reclaiming/Feri. Or Feri/Reclaiming. Or Reclaiming branch of the Feri tradition. All true. The best description however seems to be that I am a Feri Witch who works the energy through a Reclaiming framework. Because when you strip away everything else that is exactly What I Do and Who I Am. At camp there are others who are the same as me and many who are not. Neither is better or worse, correct or incorrect – we are just Who We Are and a full week of close contact, energy working, ritual, and play time highlights the differences more sharply. It always fascinates me, the shining colours dancing through people as they unfold into mystery, and how clearly we are different yet working side by side for common purposes.

It was a good week.

Verbal Boneweaver is eff’n verbal (Monday blogging early because CAMP!)

On Tuesday I had reason and desire to connect my throat chakra to the element of Air. I wanted to release misunderstanding and engage clear communication through my speech. This worked really well and I was very pleased. However, I have been trying to disconnect my throat chakra from the element of Air and I have been thwarted each time.

It has been an interesting wrestling match between the two of us. I have even stomped my feet and whinged, “why won’t you let me go?” But Air has quite the hold on me. This extra verbal side of me is one I have battled in the past. I have no desire to reengage. I have tried many forms of grounding since Tuesday night to be rid of it. And yet it continues.

Because of the relationship I have with Gods, the Universe, and All that Is, it has been a bit of a snarky conversation between Air and I. I have a playful jovial relationship with the various spirits of the unseen world.This is how I communicate with Them, therefore this is how I am communicated with. It creates an ease of engagement that works for all sides. In spite of this I opted to try other more conventional approaches. These efforts have warranted no change in the connection. Bugger that.

I do not want to close my throat chakra. I could and that would solve that, but I need it open for clear speech at the upcoming camp next week and the path I am co-facilitating. I will be singing and chanting at camp, also. I have enough trouble hearing my own voice in song without struggling through a closed throat chakra to boot.

Finally, I asked again, “if you will not let me disconnect how do I handle the excess verbiage so that I can stand being around myself and others will be able to stand being around me, too?” And here’s the answer I received: I was told to continue to speak and to continue to use as many words as I wish, but instead of speaking them to other humans through voice or text medium, I am to speak them to the wind.

StarFinder said: “Whisper your words and your song to the  overarching Spirit song that runs through the Seen and Unseen Worlds. Some of your words will drop into the middle of a forest. Some will run down the rabbit hole. Some will reach the stars. Some will float on top of the sea. And a few will make it to other humans’ ears. All of your words will join the song of Spirit. That is where they belong. Pay less attention to who hears your words and more attention to what you wish to say. The point of your speaking is for you, not for everyone else. So whisper, talk, sing, sob, chant, or scream your words to the wind. I will carry them where they need to go and you can release without worry. These are our jobs right now. Let’s do them together.”

So there you have it. This is my task. This I shall do. Hail StarFinder, keeper of my words, Holder of my secrets. May it be so.

Monday blogging delayed (as it is Tuesday now)

I have many and varied thoughts surrounding when a useful tool and a tool meant to be useful gets in the wrong hands and becomes a weapon. I have heard from multiple sides now about a tool that did so many wonderful things for me in finding Joy in living with the other humans (_The Four Agreements_ by Ruiz) being used as such. I was floored, actually, and I should not be because, humans, flawed, yes. But still!!! Maybe because I thought of it as one of the tools in my toolbox and how dare they! (Makes me think of other religions who get their texts abused by some.)

So, if _The 4 Agreements_ could be so easily twisted and used as a method of controlling dissenters, or to keep someone in a toxic relationship, or to excuse awful behaviour …. well, that means any tool could be used that way. Yes, this is not news to me, per se, but I guess I thought my co-religionists, even the vaguely “co” ones had a different set of mores than would allow this type of abuse. Which brings me back to where I always am. No matter how much experience I get under belt, no matter how many self-centered me-first-and-only humans I run into I still default to believing in a general good well-behaved idea of the human race.

I don’t know why that is what I always go back to with much evidence to the contrary. Sanity preservation? Perhaps. Belief in the Life Force which is the Love Force that runs through all of us and the Universe? Perhaps, and this one seems likely. Or at least a big part of why.

For our path at Spiralheart Witchcamp Intensive this year Amoret and I are teaching “The Cornerstones of Community” based on the work done by Diana’s Grove. We have joked about how the flip side of those tools would look and we are all “har har, aren’t we hilarious” because we don’t think they’d be used this way. (Or at least I do not and I should only speak for myself here.) Now – now I’m thinking “har har hard swallow” because they probably are abused, mightily and more frequently than I would imagine. Like the concept of feminism has been. Like all holy texts have been. Like many New Age ideas have been. Like some neo-Pagan and Eastern religious concepts and books have been.

This makes me sad. This makes me want to withdraw altogether from the humans. I will not, though. I know I won’t or I would have long ago. So, if that it true then maybe, just maybe, the reason I default to the idea of the general good of the humans is for that reason – to keep me here and engaged. Otherwise, what’s the point?

Hrrrrmm …. Humans. At times so ill behaved. Yet, I remain.

Tonight’s Alchemeet was fabulous

Alchemeet is an online community building project sponsored by Spiralheart Reclaiming community. I will try to remember to promote future Alchemeet sessions here as thus far I’ve only been promoting it on Facebook.

Tonight’s subject was taboo workings and specifically around, bindings, blood magic, and abortion. Other topics were discussed that fall inside the framework of defining what is taboo to speak of in community (if anything). Some subjects are assumed taboo based on the over-arching societal construct we live within in the USA. Many fall into the safe-to-shame category with that shame perpetrated around us and against us (all of us).

We talked about how to share resources for these subjects within everyone’s comfort level, and how to open the conversation up in the first place. The folks of Spiralheart on the chat tonight committed to hosting a table at a meal at camp (2 weeks away!). The working nickname of Taboo Table was bandied about with the table peppered with those willing to sit, listen, and share information surrounding taboo subjects.

It was a worthy session tonight with brave, open, vulnerable humans being their best selves while talking about the most sensitive of subjects. Here’s to opening new conversations!

Walk this way – Monday blogging

One of my peeps apprenticing with me gets a kick out of most of the same things I do. Today I introduced her to a walking meditation that Dragonfly taught me last year at Witchcamp. It is simple, difficult to master (if you are like me and want to “get ‘er done!”), and effective for connecting outward to the physical world and the Unseen world around you.

When I learned it last year moving that slowly really stretched my limits of patience. It is literally a very slow walk that quiets the mind. Standing firmly one one leg, lift and set the other foot on the ground in a smooth heel-ball-toe motion until the whole foot contacts the ground. Then shift your weight to that leg. Then lift the other foot and slowly place it on the ground heel-ball-toe. Set, lift, place, smoothly from one to other, but ever so slowly.

Having been taking Tai Chi this stepping is much more natural to me than it was a year ago. My mind settles quickly, chi flows, and my senses are heightened and connected. I get into Tai Chi Mind and feel the zen. That sounds trite, but the feeling anything but.

Today we went to the local park and did the walking meditation. The sun was warm, the wee creek was flowing, and serendipity provided our part of the creek with a multitude of dragonflies. We wiggled out toes in the water after meditation, then we relaxed and chatted. We both hit our zen during the walking meditation and the ease stayed with us. It was a lovely space to enter and stay engaged in. I am grateful to have learned the technique and grateful to be able to pass it forward. Good day.

Working with East – Monday blogging

As a group of us folk work our way through Thorn’s _Evolutionary Witchcraft_ book one chapter at a time (in order which is a different approach for me) I find East perfectly timed with the Spring-to-Summer that is happening now. This time of year/book chapter is all about opening up and starting fresh. It is breathing deeply the green all around me and letting go of the drab dead pieces within and without As I cut what I no longer need from me I also cut the dead parts of the plants outside that didn’t survive the harsh Winter. What no longer serves, goes.

Breathing in the energy of East.  It is softer than South who also removes what no longer serves to allow new to occur. I feel my heartbeat slow, my mind clear, my inhalations ease, and peace flow – in me, around me, and through me. Blessed Guardian of the East, hail.