Sunday, January 29, 2012

We are a polygon, within a polygon, and we go on and on.....

Several years ago I sat in on a workshop where an elder and crone shared how she had found great liberation practicing magick in a "more creative" non-traditional way.  This perked my interest, and I found myself leaning forward.  What did she mean?  She meant that when she went out to do magick with her coven she found herself picking shapes that were "anything other than a circle" to see what they did, how they felt, and sometimes just to "break her humdrum mindset".  "It is when we are creating, that we escape the mundane" she said.  There were a couple of people around my age, that had been practicing just as long or longer that started to get "hot under the collar" and very irritated at her for teaching this.  They began to argue with her that this was not any way to teach magick to people; that this was not something that could work for everyone.  Very calmly the crone fielded every "fearful question" and soothingly said..."I did not say that this is for everyone; I said that at this time in MY LIFE it is what I needed to do...and felt compelled to do.  I am just here to share with you my findings."

 I loved her for this, because I had always done more than one shape myself!  But, I had confined myself mostly to a circle because it was safe, easy, and predictable.  After her workshop I realized that maybe I should put more thought into "not doing easy" and breaking out of that "box" or in this case the circle. So today I am going to share with you a few different things and a few options.  Of course practioners of Enochian or what we witches call "High Magick" have explored different geometrical shapes like the Egyptians did for thousands of years....of course you all know I am not an expert of Enochian magick nor talking to "high magicians"  I am talking to us plain old, Southern Fried Witches, Pagans, and Wiccans.

A CIRCLE: This is the most traditional way everyone casts rituals or spaces.  Most often you sit in the middle of them alone if you are a solitaire and if you are practicing within a group you are either forming the circle with your body and your fellow worshipers, or it is outside of you made by a border or rocks or lights, or you are in the middle " supervising and directing" the energy.  A circle always works, all-ways! It fulfills all the needs of a spell, and achieves a state of transcendence and communication with deity while protecting you the practitioner. 

A Circle is a perfect shape to do spells that are for balance, spells that are for communication with your deity, spirits, angels and guides, and remind us that there is no ending or beginning to the universal just is!  A circle is a symbol of wholeness, balance, achievement, and universal life forces.

If you are a solitaire you stand in the center of it.  If you are in a group you usually face inward toward the altar in the middle.

A TRIANGLE: Pyramids are triangles, and we all have heard of sacred geometry which utilizes numbers and plains to make triangles out of thin air! The body, mind and spirit form a triangle.  The Goddess and God are often represented as a triad (Mother, Maiden, Crone, and Rogue, Father, Sage).  The Christians present their version of Plutarch's Pagan triad with God the Father, God the Son, and the Holy spirit and if you are Gnostic that Holy Spirit might be God the Mother.  Pythagoras (who studied the ancient mysteries in Egypt) believed that three was the Perfect number for it had a beginning, a middle and an end. In magick, we are always told that if things come in three the universe is talking to you...and so we see that three is a very potent number indeed!

When it comes to magic a Triangle is employed  as a ritual SHAPE (in place of a circle, or within a circle) to do magick related to self-expression or creativity and artistic pursuits, for power and high energy when you need it, to increase psychic abilities, to do a meditation or employ astral work, and is the very best for divination of any kind!

If you are a solitaire then sit at the base (the biggest part) of the triangle facing the direction you want to go for the spell (North, East, South, West, etc).  If you are in a group, then always face inward...if you are two witches then each take a base point, if you are a Triad (three witches) then AHA!  You might have found a good formation for you!

A SQUARE/RECTANGLE: Buildings have four sides, most animals have four legs, there are four directions on a compass and we employ them in our spiritual path.  The number Four actually represents Stability! (You can cast this in the place of a circle or inside a circle, or you could get very creative and put a square inside a circle and a triangle in that! It depends on how complicated or how much fun geeking out is to you!)  I have heard people say a square or rectangle are not that powerful but I have done some magick with them that has been pretty potent so I would calmly each his or her own.

Square formations should be used to buy or lease a property whether that be a home, apartment, or business building , for career related issues, for something that you would like to build upon (like a associates degree is to a Bachelors), any idea/dream you want to see materialize in physical form a square is awesome!  It is also long associated with changing or drawing luck to you.   I have been told that people who favor square formations are workaholics and very organized (I love them) so if you find that you are a scattered person, and a procrastinator or lazy...the square formation is the way for you to go!

If you are a solitaire then sit or stand in the middle of the square/rectangle and face the direction that is proper for your spell or that feels right to you!  With four or more people, take compass points for calling the watchtowers/elementals and always face inward.

Most imporantly remember the point of a formation is for two create sacred space and make you feel safe and removed from your mundane world.  So if it does not feel right, or feels stifled make something else!  Hey remember a hexagram is just several triangles!  And Polygons are the most creative shape of all...thus the reason for this title.  By the way, an old dragon called Trudy Herring shared that song (from what I was told) with the community so I associate it with her and it makes me smile.

"We are a polygon, within a polygon and we go on and on and we go on and on...(repeat many many times) and you sing this until you either die laughing or feel a jubilant cone of power burst out of you all... Because if you are not en-joying and joy-full when you are doing magick (which really is a way of merging and worshipping) then you really need to stop!

Share with me some shapes you like...or tell me which one you prefer!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Bide the Wiccan Rede you must, In perfect love and perfect trust...

 The Temple of the Sacred Gift-ATC tonight is having a ritual led by our Second degree students.  They have taken vows to a singular goddess of their choice for a year and a day, and faithfully for one year have gone to lessons and sessions and done homework for one year every other week to learn about Wicca and Paganism.  They will present a workshop before the ritual and teach the Temple something they feel is important that they have learned and we will literally learn from the students; they will become the teachers.

After all their dedication and commitment they truly deserve to teach...they made it! The class was large, half of those people made it to the finish line (this is usually the way it is). No matter what happened, they went to rituals every new and full moon and classes in between constantly journaling doing homework, and sticking to one deity while working jobs, and having healthy relationships!  Now that is a balancing act!  That does not count that they were involved in the Temple, they became active in their community and they learned or found themselves walking their talk!

They will call us all into circle singing our blending energies/come to ritual song:
"You approach the sacred grove, 
with heart and mind and flesh and bone,
Join us now in ways of old...
You have come home!"
 The circle will have been smudged and cleansed, all of us will be challenged, we will be purified, the circle will be cast by them, the elementals called in by them, the God and Goddess called in for us by them, and then they will dispense the message of their Gods to us, and share the sacraments with us.

A couple of nights ago they all came over to the Temple and "practiced their ritual" in the circle. Constantly questioning.."were they doing it right?", going over what they were going to say, and do...when you lit the candles, rung the bell, sang a song, how to draw down a circle properly, etc.  Finally, Rev. Allison and I explained that when it happened it would be different.  She and I know that "circle time" where you are between the worlds and beyond the boundaries of time, and in the real plane are completely different.  She and I realize that when you truly lend yourself to a deity for them to speak to the people things come out of your mouth not planned; and you sing songs and do things you have no idea where they came from...but they are what the community gathered needed to hear and needed to see.  We were proud of them, for they are a new generation of pagans that will leave their mark, and we had a "little bit" to do with that.  After we encouraged, reassured, and bouyed their spirits...they left.  Tonight, I get to experience it all, playing the drum as they raise that cone of power.  Just think most of them had no idea what a cone of power was a year or two ago!

My husband after they left, pointed out that back when we were trained the only way we learned (since there were not many pagan books back then are if there were we could not get ahold of them here in the south)  we had to listen to our priest or priestess and then just practice...over and over again.  I remember drawing circles over and over until I got it right . I remember invoking and evoking deities, and working with elementals until I got one was there to guide me; only a person to check up on me when I was done for back to circle I would go only to show what I had "learned on my own" after the ritual with the Priestess.  This was a good way to learn, for there is much to be said for hands on learning.  In fact, I feel that having a teacher, curriculum, hands on learning, and a team full of people mentoring you (not just one that might be hours away) is the best way I can think of to learn.  I pray this class looks back on this system lovingly and think the same...and if not that they improve on this method.  Hopefully, we get better as a community of Pagans as time passes there are more books, more of us, and more possibilities of training.

I bring the hands on training up, because while I realize many cannot find teachers other than on the internet or in books written by a highpriestess/highpriest or advanced witch...that there is ALOT to be said for hands on learning, and having a circle to practice and worship with every other week, and having a team full of mentors to constantly encourage you and listen to you!  I understand not everyone has that, but I do want those of you out there that do not have that opportunity to realize that if you have a chance to go to a coven or any kind of community event that this is an opportunity for learning! If it feels uncomfortable (and not the kind of uncomfortable because you are being asked to do something against your personal ethics) then remind yourself that when you are asked to leave your comfort zone it is scary!  But you cannot learn, if you do not leave your comfort zone.  DO IT AFRAID!  Seek out others of your path, even if it is someone you just met in a bookstore ( I have made lifelong witchy friends that way). 

When you witness another persons circle, you are truthfully witnessing their tradition.  They were taught by someone (usually not themselves) to do things a certain way and they adjusted that into a way that worked for them.  It is so fascinating to get all the different groups up here together and see what we all have in common and what we all do differently even though some of us are only a few hours apart!  Some of the circles have the same deities, or pantheons and then you have weird mixes like our Temple where they are really eclectic (Celtic Hps, Hindu HP an HPS, Eclectic HP and Egyptian Kemetic HPS).  How fun to learn about others "ways of doing things"!  How fun to learn new ways to call in elementals, draw circles, or songs that the other regions sing every wonderful to realize you like your way and prefer it to the others!

Tonight, the second group of Temple students will finish their final exam and I will cry I am sure, and I know I will be prouder than a pig in mud.  On Imbolc they will receive their degrees and jump the fire of IMBOLC and I will really choke up...but what gives me hope in this world is seeing others love and do what I love to do.  What makes me keep on going no matter what is being able to share with others what I have been taught by others "much smarter and much more witchy" than I (PS I Still have elders and others sharing lessons with me though I am not formally training now).  What will make my year, will be handing those students whom I love as family and realizing that many of them will now be entering my third degree class and I will get the chance to walk with each one of them as they continue their personal spiritual paths and let me coach them, and choose me as a mentor!

If you know some things please share and teach!  Realizing there can be no greater gift than to Teach our traditions, Share our Spirituality, and take part in the Legacy that we will inevitable leave behind!  If you want to learn, well do so..but keep in mind that no matter what you read, no matter what online course you take until you get out there in the cold, and rain, and heat and Practice; you know nothing more than facts.  Magick is experienced, and I will swear it is better than sex! To those of you learning, and dedicating yourself constantly doubting yourself...DO not Doubt!  You are going to get there, and we are all so very very proud of you for taking time out of your busy life and dedicating big portions of it to our Gods and Goddesses and our communities! 

As always...Thank you for reading, and thank you for the gift of your time! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

"She was a great dragon slayer, the only problem is there were no dragons needing slaying..."

I have a great life.  I have a handsome, very intelligent husband who is my Highpriest in circles, who supports me in my interests and career, who is a wonderful step-father and daddy to his baby, who is an example to the world of what a man should be and he loves me!  In fact, he is crazy about me.  I have two healthy biological children the oldest being like my sibling in some ways and the youngest stealing my heart and making me young.  I have two cats one with eyes as orange as marmalade and a manx who has been my familiar for over 18 years!  My Goddess Isis and God Thoth constantly speak to me, guide me and show me how much they care for me.  I have a cute aqua blue retro home that is full of furniture.  My cupboards are full of food, my appliances work!  I have a job that I love doing, at a salon where the owner appreciates who I am and respects my opinion and loves the fact that I am a spiritual Pagan Priestess.

I am lucky enough to have a community of people whom I care about, and who constantly show me how they care about me and support me.  I have a Temple to worship at that has given me an opportunity to leave behind a spiritual legacy.  I live in a city that is interesting and has a rich Southern urban history sponsored by Sekhmet and Ptah whom I also worship.  I have friends all over the United States that I know if I called right this moment would be here for me emotionally and spiritually but also if need be would fly or drive to where I am at to be here with me in my hard times. 

Everytime I think of something new I want to do or try the Universe provides an opportunity for me to try it.  I like to write, I have a blog.  I wanted to learn how to publish books, Terry Riley trusted me to publish his and the ATC asked me to help publish more.  I wanted to do only pinup hair and extreme cuts and colors and I find that here I am doing just that.  I wanted to teach Pagan classes, I do. I wanted to be able to be a mom, work a job, and be a Highpriestess I am!  I wanted to learn from great Spiritual leaders, I have and still do.  I wanted to meet my Pagan heroes and heroines I have met all of them except two!  My life is good; but I have a problem I wanted to share with you all I have isolated, identified and am working on.  No matter how good my life is, no matter how perfect my job, no matter how fabulous the Temple is ...I get scared that it is too good; find flaw with it and worry that the other shoe will drop.

It is as if I have a “good things allergy”.  Yep, there I said it.  My oldest son Clifton pointed it out to me a couple of months ago and I thought he was crazy.  He said “Mom, I know our life was so hard that everytime you got a break something else happened to us…but now your life is NOT hard it is so good.  Why can you not relax and enjoy that good?  You worked so hard to get to the good I do not understand why you are not giving it to yourself and receiving it.”  Yeah, he said that and now is not the time to point out how our children see things that we cannot see.

I got mad, I started to stay something and set him straight.  Then I shut my mouth, and swallowed air because I realized he was right! 

Sometimes, we live or continue a pattern so long that we do not mark or acknowledge the point or second or day when we turned a corner and got past that pattern in our life.  I outgrew that “outfit” of hard times but now that the shoe does not fit I am still wearing the OLD worn out creaky shoe and patching it up apparently!  I am not the only one, I see it all around me in other friends who have had some really rough patches getting over addictions, divorcing partners that were toxic, getting past adultery issues or death of a child in their personal relationship.  Yet still, no matter how good their life gets they still expect the BAD to come and spin them up in a whirlwind again.  They refuse (as did I ) to take the life jacket off and get out of the little inflatable boat to step on the paradise island the universe has provided for them.  They will not eat at the the banquet table the God and Goddess have laid out for them with fine china, their favorite dishes, real silver ware and expensive wines to drink. They are positive that if they sit down at that table and accept those fine things that were given to them that there has to be a catch, it has to be an illusion and the food that the spirit has given to them cannot be as good as it smells!  In fact they are betting it is all a mirage it cannot be their name written on that table!

If you find yourself doing this, like me it is okay.  I promise you it is okay.  Do not beat yourself up for it, in fact, do something really really nice for yourself.  HUG YOURSELF, let yourself release all that pain and fear.  Fear is what is motivating this feeling and the only way to eliminate fear is to shine a bright light on it and chase it away.  

One more thing, if you can totally relate to this article take the time to write down or say aloud all the good things that are happening in your life….ALL OF IT.  Then lay out an offering to your God or Goddes and sing a song to them from your full heart, or dance to them, or draw a picture for them but make sure you give them their favorite feast and say THANK YOU SO MUCH!  I am now ready to receive all it is you want to give me and I apologize for wearing a broke down robe that I have outgrown a long time ago!  Please assist me and show me when I am not enjoying, receiving, and accepting the good; and thank you for helping me face my fears! 

Thank you for the gift of your time!  This week, notice when you feel fearful and think is this grounded? Or am I just creating a problem that has not occurred yet?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Why are you smiling like a goat in a briarpatch?

When I was a little girl, I spoke to spirits and they spoke back.  I heard the words of the Gods and Goddesses in the breeze and felt them breathing with me and through me.  I ran with fairies, and laughed with pixies, I dug for treasure with gnomes, I laid out Little Debbie oatmeal pies and poured out Coca' Colas on the ground for the land spirits.  I walked with spirit and spirits...they walked with me.  Most of us had these experiences when we were little children but it was when we got older that we told those spirits goodbye and went on to do other things; only to lose that gift when we could really use it.

Have any of you read stories of humans getting lost in the world of the "fairy"?  Or those tails that are old that have to do with how humans have walked between the veil and never came back?  I read those stories when I was little, and really did not understand what would be so bad about crossing the veil, or finding your way into the lad of the Fae and not coming back.  It seemed to me as a child and sometimes later as an adult that the world of Spirits and Gods and Goddesses was cooler than the world I lived in.

Later, when I was about college age I discovered the meditation techniques of journeying and realized that I could go for hours if I was in a quite spot and undisturbed and discover all kinds of things, while having fun with deities or spirits.  However, one day it hit me that while it was wonderful to meditate, have visions, work magick and commune with the other-world that the human psyche and mind was not meant to walk there and live there all the time.  If it was, well we would not be born in a physical body and be walking on the physical plane of earth.  When I accepted this truth, and asked my guides about it they agreed and I found that from time to time they would even back off and leave me to my own tools to discover and work things out with other human beings.  It was an epiphany to realize we are put here to learn spiritual truths to ACT upon them on a physical plane and INTERACT with human beings to understand completely what they were sharing with me.

IT is not good to spend all or most of your time "in the astral plane" in the "ethers" communing or walking with "spirit"  not because they would physically harm you but  because you are doing physical, and mental damage to yourself to do so. Some people I think the world of have shared with me people that they years ago started groups with who "got lost" in the spirit plane and have never ever been the same mentally.  They told me stories of witches they knew that were such good mediums or had established such a strong tie to a spirit, guide, or Goddess that they completely deserted their physical life and the people within it to the detriment of their health.  I have known a few people that have done this, I have walked that fine line myself before as has my husband...but if you find yourself spending more time communing with spirits or Gods and Goddesses than people (and people on the internet or in a online video game do not count) you are not becoming "more enlightened" you are becoming "a little unhitched".

Also, please keep in mind the following:  while we have all grown up  in a Judeo Christian perspective Pagan Gods do not open portals of hell in your closet, do not posses you to have you lose your jobs, and really have no reason to want to make a marriage contract with you.  Now, to "other spiritual paths" this might seem a bit "addled" but as a Pagan myself I can claim and say I DO understand the love, passion, and devotion and fun involved walking with spirits.  YET, I am cautioning you to wake up and realize the difference between movies you have watched, books you have read, role games you have played, books you would  like to write, and the REAL world. You, were sent here to interact with people on a physical plane; to act upon and out the lessons you have heard and learned from spirit.  If you find yourself losing a husband, a job, or relationships with children because you are so internalized for your inner spiritual ear and need to stop!

Yes, YOU NEED TO STOP!  If you find Loki possessing you so that you lose a job...stop working with Loki.  Stop doing anything other than praying or singing until you get "regrounded" and have another job.  If you find that Hermes, your spirit lover, is jealous of any other relationship you have and drives off your other love interests...PLEASE stop working with HERMES.  If you believe you are CURSED because you pissed off ODIN laying out the wrong offering and now everything you do he makes rotten...then STOP working with ODIN.  If you find all three are happening to you at the same time...maybe you need to get a new spiritual path or find a spiritual mentor or teacher.

I believe that if you have found the RIGHT spiritual path it will help you!  You will see the fruits and garden of that persons life blooming...even if "bad things" happen to them they will stride right on through because they have internalized great lessons.  It will not cause you to "lose a job", "isolate other people", "become seriously depressed", or ask you to do anything that would "cause you or others harm".  I realize some of you are going to say you do not beleive in "Harm Ye None" but what if you just apply this principle to yourself more of you might be happier and better adjusted in all realms of your life.

There I said it, and I pray that if any of you see your Pagan/Wiccan/Witch friends doing this to themselves you will speak up and help them...the last thing we need is a bunch of really cool people filling up mental asylums or becoming homeless because they found a direct connection to Apollo.  I really do not want to drive to Bolivar (insert your local Southern Crazy house here) to counsel people unless I have too.  So please, live here and listen occasionally.  Do not give up your gift, but do not let it take you over!  BALANCE is supposed to be what this path is about!

Thank you for the gift of your time...and Keep on sending me emails!