I want to write, I want to draw, make art and generally actually enjoy the life that I have been given. I feel stagnant. And I don like it one bit but I don't seem to know how to get out of it.
I want to write, I want to draw, make art and generally actually enjoy the life that I have been given. I feel stagnant. And I don like it one bit but I don't seem to know how to get out of it.
Sometimes I know that I want it too much.
Your fingers need to run down my spine,
Spelling it out that you should be mine.
Your lips on my shoulders, caressing my neck
No words, no sounds, as you make me your wreck.
The sound of my heartbeat quickens its speed.
You can see in my eyes how deep is my need.
I want you to hold me tight in your arms
To hide me in darkness from all else that harms.
Safe from a world that I do not fit in
Safe from a world that considers this, sin.
However looking into Patagonian religious history and folk magic is pretty difficult. Especially since I don't speak Spanish. There seems to be little or no reference to the Islands. So where does that leave me on a magickal point of view?
I have asked around and got a few interesting responses, some of which are more helpful than others, but less imput that I thought I would get. It ranges from "there must be something, so look harder" to "feel your way around".
TBH, I expect I will be doing most things that people have suggested, (most, as one or two weren't particularly helpful). I intend to "Walk The Land" and try and get a feel of the presence there. The coastline reminds me a great deal of the northern parts of Scotland (think The Wicker Man :P) and the marine wildlife really does fit, well apart from penguins. I keep wondering if they have Selkies there, but I don't want to be imposing folklore from other cultures onto it. Although again, saying that, the population is pretty much of British origin, so localised customs would have been brought over in the first place.
They have a May Day Ball, and do Halloween. Unfortunately for a southern hemisphere country, the dates don't fit. So I will have to get used to celebrating the seasons when the date is telling me otherwise. Particularly as these festivals have been taken over by the Christianised equivalents which are celebrated by date. (And it will be very odd celebrating certain birthdays in the Summer.) I see this as a bonus in some ways though as it gives me the opportunity to move away from the Christian holidays and make little or no fuss about them.
I have the suspicion that I may well be The Only Witch In The Village which will be an adventure in itself. I do realise that there is a danger of me completely slacking off and I really don't want that to happen. I intend to be more open about my beliefs than I am here, since being 85 00 miles away from the out-laws, it is unlikely they will hear about it. I am not going to be in their faces about it, since that really isn't me, but I do want to take the opportunity to be more authentic and less scared about everyone knowing.
So yeah, my adventure (and that Change that the cards have been banging on about for ages) looks like it is finally starting to happen.
You mindlessly tilt at nothing.
Your words and actions don’t match up
And your pain and misery spreads like the plague.
Angry shouting about Honour and Truth
Yet your Honour has gone
And your Truth has slipped you by.
Man of substance
Your portrayal is flawed.
The Black Imp of Deceit sits at your feet
A constant companion.
You don’t even notice him.
Your Gods are watching even if you don’t care.
They notice as you break your vows.
Payback is a Bitch.
SHE is merciless and unyielding.
SHE has no care for your feelings or motives,
SHE sees only cold naked fear and truth.
SHE will hold you up
Weigh your soul.
And find you lacking.
Do you have a magical/Pagan name? Yes, although I don't tend to use it that often.
What does it mean? Something personal.
How did you find Paganism? Always into the weird and wonderful, but started getting more serious in my teens, visiting sacred sites and the like. Realised that it was a label that I could work with, even if it wasn't completely accurate.
How long have you been practicing? About 20 odd years now. Which is a long time considering.
Solitary or group practitioner? Over the years, a bit of both.
What is your path? Mine.
Are you out of the broom closet? Half and half. Most people know, I don't lie about it, but a select few people (family members) don't know, as they don't need to know.
D E I T Y //
Who is your patron God? Don't really have one. The God I associate the most with would be Cernunnous.
Who is your patron Goddess? Again, if I was to have them, they would be Brigid and Blodeuwedd
What Gods do you worship? I don't worship any Gods. I revere and respect Them and the relationships with them.
Do you fear darkly aspected Gods/Goddess, or rather respect them? Umm, well since I am not going to piss them off, why do I need to be scared of them.
Do you worship the Christian God? No. Why would I want to do that? :P
Do you ever worship animals? No. I respect them and their sacredness, but not worship.
Or plants? Ditto
N A T U R E //
Do you regularly commune with nature? I try to, but probably not as much as I would like and should.
Ever walked barefoot in the woods? Yes.
Taken a camping trip just to talk to nature? Yes.
Describe the moment you felt closest to Mother Earth? Probably on holiday in Cornwall or Wales in the beaches.
Do you have a familiar? No. I would be willing to have an Animal partner that wished to join me in my Workings, (which is probably what most people consider to be a familiar) but the actual meaning of a Familiar is a spirit you have conjured up to aid you, and it can inhabit the body of an animal that you have used for that purpose. Not really very nice.
Have you ever called upon the powers of an animal in ritual? No, actually I don't think I have.
Or a plant? Yes.
Do you hug trees? Yes.
Give them gifts? Yes.
What is your favourite flower to work with? I don't really have a favourite. It would all depend on what I was doing, and why I was doing it. I do however have a softspot for tulips.
What is your favourite tree to work with? I do like Oak a lot.
W H E E L . O F . T H E . Y E A R //
What is your favourite holiday? I don't really have one. I do like Samhain and Yule though.
What is your least favourite holiday? Probably Midsummer. I never seem to get organised to do anything for it.
Have you ever held a ritual on a holiday? Yes.
Ever taken a day off work to celebrate a Pagan holiday? Nope.
Do you celebrate Yule on the 21 rather than the 25? Of course.
Have you ever felt the veil thin? Yes.
Ever danced the Maypole? No.
Know what the Maypole symbolizes? Yes.
How do you usually celebrate the Pagan holidays? I always acknowledge them, but I don't make enough of a big deal out of them as I should. It is something I am working on.
D I V I N A T I O N //
Do you use Tarot? Yes.
Do you use runes? No, but I do want to learn them. (And now I have the tools to make my own!)
Do you use a pendulum? Yes. One of the easiest forms of divination that there is. I have been doing it since I was about 12, as I remember doing it in the girls changing room at my Lower School.
Do you use dowsing rods? No, I have a pair, but haven't tried them yet.
Do you use astrology? Sort of. I use Natal charts and the like, but the daily horoscopes are a load of old hokum.
Any other form of divination? Oracle cards. And I would like to make Witch Stones.
S P E L L S //
What was the first spell you did? I actually can't remember that.
What was the latest? Probably one to do with Neil's work.
Ever done a love spell? Yes.
A job spell? Yes.
A healing spell? Yes.
What was the most powerful spell you’ve ever performed? Powerful is a loaded word, but the one with the most drastic results, was one for a friend who was being sexually harassed and bullied in a very nasty way. Perpetrator lost their job, and got deported...!
What deities do you usually call on? Umm, depends on what I am doing.
C R Y P T O Z O O L O G Y //
Do you believe in Vampires? Not in the literal "I vant to suck your blood" sense.
Elves? Yes, in the sense they are a type of Fae.
Sprites? Type of Fae.
Mermaids? Type of Fae.
Ever “seen” any of the above? Yes.
Ever talked to any of the above? Yes.
Ever used any of the above in magic? Nope.
Do you have one of them as a personal guardian? No.
R A N D O M //
Do you see a rabbit, a man or a woman in the moon? Umm, none of those.
Own a cat? Own? No, I have a cat who shares my home with me.
When you meditate, what does your happy place look like? A woodland glade with pool.
Do you work with Chakras? Not as much as I should
Do you believe in past lives? Yes.
If so, describe a few of them... Apparently I was a Tavern Wench waiting for my long lost Love to come home from sea. And the other I was a Priestess on a Matrifocal, Polyamorous island. (I like that one!)
Do you believe in soul mates? Yes. I think you can have lots.
Do you have a spirit guide? Don't know. I haven't really ever investigated.
Is it always love and light? Yes. And darkness, and chocolate.
I would love to say I follow an ethnically correct tradition, but quite frankly wtf would that be? My heritage is English, Welsh, Irish, possibly a bit of Scots with a hefty dose of Bangladeshi...
My mum was born in London, not one mile away from where she was born.
My dad was born in Birmingham.
My mum's mum was born in Leicester
My mum's dad was born in London (I think) His mum was Welsh. His dad was Irish.
My dad's mum? The Midlands (I think there is more Irish there)
My dad's dad would have been the bit of India that became East Pakistan (1947), that become Bangladesh (1971).
Does that mean I can pick and choose which Celtic Witchery I like, and add in a big dose of Islamic mysticism. (And/or Hinduism?) If I go back far enough in my British history, since I have ancestors from the North, will there be Viking blood? Should I add in Norse Asatru?
It literally makes my head ache.
Nemesis, Erinyes, Durga, Kali, The Morrighan, Arianrhod all suggest to me that there is a place for this kind of magick and I personally think it is quite blinkered to feel that there aren't times and situations when action and response is required that perhaps isn't as "nice" as people would like it to be. The idea that this propagates misery, Badness, and all things horrible is very simplistic and doesn't take into account that sometimes Not Nice things should to be done. There is a reason why Revenge Is Best Served Cold. It means that it should be thought through, all pros and cons considered, all repercussions and consequences realised and then the decision is made whether to follow through.
I can do it, and I will do it if I have to.
I agree with a lot of what The Witch of Forest Grove
has to say about it.
Oracle: Your Gaian Tarot Reading
|The OPPORTUNITY||The CHALLENGE||The RESOLUTION|
|3 - the Gardener|
Sensuality, creativity, abundance
It is a time of great fertile and abundant opportunities for you. You are pregnant with new creations — an art form, a book, a project, even a baby. You embody both the nurturing Mother and the sensual Lover. You are a steward of the land when you plant, weed and nourish your garden in a sustainable manner. At harvest time, you offer the best possible of all foods to those whom you love. You are a hard worker, but you take great delight in the scent of lavender fields on a hot summer day and the dizzying riot of color, shapes and textures in the garden. You love your own body; you love your mate, your children, your friends, your community; you love the natural world around you. Your appetite for connection, sensuality and creativity seems boundless. The people around you are blessed to have you in their lives.
|12 - the Tree|
You are being challenged to release attachments, to surrender to the flow. You are no longer in charge of your life. It isn't a time to resist, for everything is out of your control. Give it up. Your world may feel like it's been turned upside down. You can fight this reversal — you can go into it kicking and screaming — or you can surrender with grace and take it as an opportunity to see your life from a different perspective. It is a time to take no action, other than meditation and prayer. Learn to be still. During this time of suspension and waiting, you may discover within yourself the gifts of inspiration, enlightenment and unconditional love.
|9 - the Hermit|
Resolution comes as you spend time in sacred solitude. You need to withdraw from the world to focus on your inner life and spirituality. Perhaps you have been wounded in the "wars of the world," or perhaps you are fatigued and empty from putting out so much energy, especially if you are a caregiver. Your well is empty and it needs to be filled. Take some time out for a retreat. Go away to the mountains or the sea, by yourself, without partner or friends. Spend time outside in nature, observing the changes in your environment day by day. Your inner wisdom and sense of well-being will grow effortlessly the more time you spend outside. When you once again enter community life, others will be drawn to the light they see inside you and may come to you for guidance. For part of your purpose is to share what you've learned with others.
Within the Celtic Tradition, storytelling has long been a favored occupation and, generally speaking, the longer and more intricate the story, the more revered the legend and the teller. Long held as the embodiment of most ancient Welsh legends is the Mabinogion. The story of Branwen is contained therein, as is the legend of Blodeuwedd. In order to offer some sort of clarity to these legends it is necessary to give you some background in the history of the Celts and, therefore, shed some light on the intricacies of the stories. The Celts, historically, were matrilineal; you were born to your mother’s line, not your father’s. Kingship, therefore, landed upon the son of the king’s sister and not upon the offspring of the king and the queen. Very often, too, the queens were the actual power, with her spouse being a Duke of War, rather than a true king. In order to be a king, one had to marry the land in order to demonstrate his devotion to the sovereignty. Often, this marriage was symbolic and accomplished by the practice of the Great Rite between the proposed king and a priestess of the Goddess. The commission of this act would ensure the king’s love for the land and a lifelong desire to defend her as he would his wife. It is also important to note that there is no Goddess of Love, such as Ishtar, Aphrodite and Venus in other cultures, but there were, throughout the legends, Maiden Goddesses made of flowers or fruit. The most important aspect of the Goddess is triune in nature - the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone - and most legends involve three Goddesses representing these three aspects.
The Legend of Blodeuwedd is also the story of Llew’s struggle for his kingship which was averted and made more difficult by the Goddess Arianrhod who tried Her best to prevent Llew, Her son, his birth-right due to the shame brought upon Her by his companions. (Another story which will be told later.) In short, Arianrhod stated that he would not receive a name, unless it be from Her; he would not receive his arms, unless it be from Her; and, he could never marry a mortal woman. Thus, he could not become king unless it be through Her auspices. In order to assure that Llew would survive long enough to attain his kingship, some magick was given to him in the form of the circumstances of his death. As has been typical of the Celts, his death could only be accomplished through a set of very unlikely and almost preposterous circumstances. He could not be killed indoors or out, on horse or on foot, and the spearhead capable of killing him had to be cast during a sacred period of time. Arianrhod was tricked into giving Llew his name and his arms but the larger problem of having a wife, which would assert his right to the land, was accomplished through the magick of his cousins, Math and Gwydion, who created Blodeuwedd from the flowers of the Oak, Broom and Meadowsweet. Due to the nature of Her Birth, Blodeuwedd - whose name means either ‘Flower Face’ or the ancient name for the Owl - and represents the Earth in full bloom. Through their marriage, Llew’s requirement of marrying the land and thus, his Sovereignty is completed. One day, Llew goes hunting, leaving Blodeuwedd alone with Her ladies in the castle. A young huntsman, Gronw, later seeks shelter and he and Blodeuwedd experience love at first sight. Wanting nothing more than to be together, Gronw persuades Blodeuwedd to discover the improbable circumstances surrounding Llew’s death, an act he would help to accomplish. The plan made, Gronw departs from Blodeuwedd and they remain separate for a long period of time, during which Blodeuwedd feigns anxiety concerning Llew’s death. Eventually, Her pleading persuades Llew to demonstrate these very circumstances in order to allay Her fears by showing Her his death could not be easily accomplished. They prepare a bath on a riverbank, covering it with a thatched roof, being neither indoors nor out. As Llew stands with one foot upon the edge of the tub and the other upon the back of a goat, Gronw throws the specially-made spear, hitting Llew in the side. Llew immediately turns into an eagle and flies off, later discovered and nursed back to health by his cousins, Math and Gwydion. When the two lovers are found, Gronw is killed and Blodeuwedd turned into an owl.
Due to the very circumstances of Her Birth, the actions of Blodeuwedd may be seen in a more sympathetic light. She was created from the flowers of a very powerful Tree - the Oak - and from flowers of an explicitly healing nature,in order to give power to Llew and to be able to continually heal and renew him. She is never asked whether She loves him or desires to marry him. She was created for his purposes, solely to assure his right to rule the land. Her Own desires are impossible to achieve while Llew lives and She is often seen as the epitome of non-assertive femininity, fickleness and the faithless wife, using the passion of two men for Her to seal the doom of both. In truth, Her supposed treachery creates the very conditions to enable Llew to experience the ritual death and rebirth commonly required of the Druidic priesthood, thus ensuring his kingship. Blodeuwedd is seen as a part of his hard and difficult destiny. Throughout Celtic legend, otherworldly women are created and utilized to represent the Land, which is definitely feminine in nature. Owl, the totemic representation of Blodeuwedd, signifies the complete transformation of the initiate as represented by Llew‚s virtual death and subsequent healing. She is signified by the Empress card of the Tarot. She is a Goddess of emotions, representing the matrix that reforms transpersonal and universal energies into well-defined life force. She is also the Maiden Goddess of initiation ceremonies and is known as the Ninefold Goddess of the Western Isles of Paradise. Flowers, the wisdom of innocence, Lunar Mysteries and initiation are Her provinces.
|Blodeuwedd Rising (Song for Hazel)|
by Jacqui Woodward Smith
Blodeuwedd, Magdalene of Springtime
©Jacqui Woodward Smith
I apologize for my inability to distinguish the benevolent warrior from the heartless warrior, a reflection of my own confusion dealing with the battlefields of yore. When I opened my heart too wide, I was vulnerable to attack from warring factions. I was conditioned to believe that I had to stay rigid, focused, prepared for any eventuality, in the desire to protect myself and others from attack. But I went too far, and closed too tight, and eradicated the bridge between our hearts. I am seeing this now and I am sorry.
I apologize for my perpetual absence, a reflection of my own inner absence, my inability to connect from a heart jammed tight by unresolved emotions that I did not have the tools to work through. I still lack many of these tools, but I am open to their emergence.
I apologize for my inability to distinguish relationship from war. Like a warrior in enemy territory, I would sneak in and out of your life in the night, plundering and selfishly taking what I needed, then crawling back to the other side of the abyss with the spoils. I gave little back for fear that I would become vulnerable to attack. I had war on the brain and I could not see the river of love waiting on the other side of the battlefield. I now recognize that love is the antidote for the armoured warrior, but I could not drink the antidote in my driven state.
I apologize for not seeing you, my eyes blinded by congealed rage and unshed tears. If it is any consolation, and I imagine it is not, I could not see myself either. I saw only that which served my hyper-vigilance, my warrior focus. My mirror was a battlefield.
I apologize for my ungrounded materialism, my power driven tyrannies, my obsession with accumulation. Somehow I imagined that accumulation would protect me and those close to me, but I failed to recognize that it just perpetuated the madness. I also apologize for my egoic abuses, a reflection of my own misguided ego, pumped up to deal with an inherently competitive world. I couldn’t distinguish the healthy, confident ego from the cocky, unhealthy ego. I went much too far in the wrong direction.
I apologize for a sexuality that was objectifying and disconnected from the heart. I know you longed for real intimacy, a merging of our souls along the heart-genital highway. But there were too many defences around my heart, and no bridge could form between our souls. There were moments when your loving ways freed me from my body masks, but I had no template to stand in that heart-fire. I am sorry for this, for I know that the path you longed for was the path to God.
I apologize for my horrifying acts of violence, a reflection of my own congealed rage, my own inability to distinguish real enemies from friends. There are no words that can undo what I have done in those moments of madness. I know this, I do. I would hide my face in shame, but that won’t make things better. I need to own my misdeeds, and then find a way to believe in my capacity to move from a more loving place. I call out to other male warriors to be accountable for the actions of our gender, not in a way that is self-hating, but in a way that is courageously self-honest and genuinely compassionate. The heartfelt warrior acknowledges the error of his ways, and has the courage to do all he can to make amends over time.
I apologize for my inability to develop a conscious relationship. You were right there with your beautiful heart on your sleeve but I was too attached to my individualism and afraid of this unknown terrain. I know the forests, the marketplace and the ways of the outer world so well, but my inner geography is foreign to me. You called me to a place I was ill-prepared to go, although I sensed, below the surface of my bravado, that you called me home.
I am grateful for your willingness to believe that who I was in those rare moments of vulnerability was the real me. You were right- the real me lives inside of my heart- but a few moments now and then was the most I could handle. I saw you as dangerous, for in your presence I began to taste a surrendered way of being. Nonetheless, your faith in my goodness kept me going through many a battle, and restored my faith in life when I most needed it. You were the light at the end of a barbaric tunnel, and I am blessed.
I am grateful that you stuck with me through thick and thin, and I also understand those times you had to give up and let go. I now recognize that there is meaningful difference between a love-ship and a relationship. Love alone is not enough. Without a shared willingness to become conscious, there can only be frustration. I was so often impossible, clinging to my unconsciousness like a soldier clings to his weapons. I recognize the courage it took for you to keep your heart open in the presence of my resistance. You had every right to seek an authentic relationship, as your spirit was ignited in its presence. Your beautiful heart had every right to be met in its openness and willingness. I am grateful for the time you gave me, a moments respite from the hiding places I mistakenly called home.
I am grateful for Grandmother, for no one saw my tenderness more clearly. I am grateful for Mother, for choosing to bring me into being and for nourishing my body until I could find my feet. I am grateful for Mother Earth, for grounding my expansion and enlivening my spirit. I am grateful for the Divine Mother, the real Mother of us all. I now feel her divine presence, so close. Fiercely compassionate, she was always right here, breathing life into me, holding me safe. I sit in her lap as she breathes me.
I look forward to the day when the only thing that ignites relationship is two souls calling out to one another, two soul-hearts beating in the same direction, a whisper of longing that bridges one essence to another. I want to want you not because it gratifies my ego, not because you are outwardly beautiful, but because your very presence invites my Godself out of hiding. I want to touch you with my heart on my sleeve, to know chemistry between us that is not gender identified, but that is essence sourced, loves liquid lava flowing from the heart to the genitals to the great beyond. In this love-struck world, relationship will always be experienced as spiritual practice, a devotional expression of our God-self.
I had always believed that sensitivity is impossible to hold to in a harsh world. Yet in this moment, I feel sensitive, but without the fragility. I am still wearing armor but there is a shift in the direction of my intensity. I can linger in the heart-space a little longer than I once could, I am softening in places. After so many lifetimes with weapon in hand, a tenderling warrior is being birthed in the core of my being. He is confused, but he intuitively knows that this is the way home.
Please don’t give up on me or my fellow warriors. Forgive us our misdeeds, or, at the least, be open to the possibility that we will change as the trail expands to meet our shifting intentionality. The day will come when our warrior spirit loses its harsh edge, and comes into alignment with benevolent action. Some of us are already there, and many more of us will follow. The road to transformation is dependent on a bridge between genders, a benevolent bridge that celebrates our differences with respect and kindness. That work must begin with healing the rifts along the gender continuum, working hard to heal the collective heart until one day we can stand on a bridge across forever, hands held together, hearts open and alight, embracing the sacred masculine and divine feminine living at the heart of us all. I will meet you there.
May you feel the love of the Divine Mother crashing down on your heartfelt shores, graciously lifting you up above the madness of the world, nestling you in the grateful arms of those you have nurtured. Those of us who have received your blessings may not always acknowledge it, but your acts of love have landed within us, growing us stronger and infusing us with love’s light. Thank you.
© Jeff Brown, 2010 (www.soulshaping.com)
There were blackberries and we got a few tubs worth, although not as many as there have been over the years. I think the lack of sunshine and rain or too much of both at various points over the summer meant they weren't the crop they could have been.
Saw a couple of parakeets flying around, which we think seriously upset a local wren, who was calling away furiously.
Although the group was small. I am not going to worry about it. I am not doing the group to gain a following, or fill some need to be on the Pagan scene, it is more a way of doing what I want to do, and seeing if there are like-minded people who wish to join us.
This will be a group aimed at all Pagans who feel that too many groups focus either on purely the Esoteric Arts and Ritual Work, or just Pub Mootage. We aim to fill the gap that is left for those that want to do more out in the "Wilds" of their local areas with like-minded people.
Things we aim to do:
Creating delicious food and drink for the seasonal time of year and appropriate Sabbat.
Making our own Divination tools.
Making our own Spell ingredients.
Making our own Herbal Remedies