Envisioning Loki

Some people say that Loki isn't a god. They argue that is jotunn heritage makes him a jotunn and therefore not a god. These people are ignorant of the fact that many of the Aesir and Vanir are descendant from jotunns as well. If you sit down and actually read the old legends, you find that before the first war between the gods and jotunns, they intermarried frequently. That, however, is a different topic and I'm not going to ramble on about that. To say the least, Loki is a god.

He happens to be a patron deity of mine. He's made clear to me in several different ways (some which I am not to speak of so don't ask for full disclosure here) that he has adopted me as a daughter. It's not something that is common. It seems more common in the heathen community to find godspouses.

He makes his presence known in several different ways that I *can* talk about. I have visions of him. I hear his voice. I see him in the flicker of a flame. I can feel his presence in a 'ghostly' embrace. Random sources of encouragement, support, or advice from strangers. The list goes on and on.

When I have visions of him, I see him in a few different ways. One is akin to the earliest depiction of him I ever encountered. Black haired and dark eyed, he is an enormous man. In this visage, it is easy to see that he is indeed part jotunn. This aspect also happens to be the crueler one. I haven't had that cruelty directed at me but I have seen it directed at others. It's not pretty. Then there is the visage that I saw him in when I was in high school. Again, tall but with red hair, blue eyes, and freckles. This is one of his more mischievous guises. It is also closer to the one that he presents to virtually everyone else, it seems. And then there is the lean, red haired man with green eyes. He is tall but lanky. And has the sharp qualities of a knife's edge. This is the more familiar face for others who follow Loki or have him in their lives.

Then there is the faceless visions. Beside him, I look to be a small child, even at my full height. It isn't that he has no face but that I can't clearly see it. When the visions are of this quality, he usually is holding and comforting me as one would comfort an upset child. At times, I do see parts of his face. It is a blend of all three of the faces that I have seen consistently in the past. Usually, however, my head is pillowed against his shoulder.

Since the strife between my parents and I had begun, Loki has been making his presence known in that faceless, comforting fashion. I don't know where this places me in relation to the godspouses. It is a confusing thing. He tells me, however, that confusion is but the beginning of clarity. I know others have a rather prickly relationship with this volatile deity. It is unfortunate.

He has been a source of stability and comfort for me when my life was in utter upheaval. There have been times where Loki helped me in ways that to most people seem unbecoming of a deity. After all, when was the last time you have heard of a god letting you cry on their shoulder? Some day, I will have the opportunity to speak with him with the aid of someone who is serving as his horse. Until then, I just do my daily things and listen for his comments.

Sometimes they are hilarious. Sometimes they are maddening, but they always seem to be just what I need to hear at that moment.


A word from Loki

Sif's Barber has been whispering in my ear again. He wants something simple conveyed:

Would all of you shut the fuck up? I'm sick of hearing whining about how the System is broken and I have to fix it for you. Stand up on your own two feet and do it yourselves. You created the problem. You're not children, you can damn well fix it.

Now, that said, my priestess (yes I said MY priestess, those of you who'd be offended need to get over it) has some work to do and you are going to help her. The way you're going to help is by getting off her back. (This message is for the dead, by the way.)

As for the others, the breathing mortal folk, get up off your asses and do some work for a change. Gods are not playthings or instant win tickets. Keep pestering and you're going to find that we do take an interest in you. I assure you, given your tone, it will not be kindly. At least, not by me.

To put it lightly, he is not pleased with the behavior of some of his followers. Even as I sit here, I can still tell that he is grumbling and muttering in irritation. Loki usually doesn't do that. I don't know how many folk follow him that happen to read this page, but those who do I guess you have been warned. Considering that Loki doesn't do this that often, it'd be a good idea to heed it.

Loki's irritation with the "idiots" in the world (some days I almost wish I wasn't able to hear things but that's a different topic for a different day) aside, I feel that I must post something in here.

Loki has been making things increasingly challenging for me. I've been pressed into doing research about how others follow/worship him. It's been showing the relationship I have with him is unique. After all, how many deities will merely laugh at you when you tell them to go screw themselves. (By the way, Loki laughed his proverbial ass off and then reiterated what he wanted to tell me. Sixteen times in a row. Don't say he doesn't get even, because he does. Usually in the most maddening ways possible.)

I've also been finding that I am more like a dyed in the wool wiccan then I was willing to admit. It has been a bewildering experience. Loki's been getting a good laugh out of that too. He says when I hold my first real circle, then I'll finally understand what he's been trying to tell me on that matter. Apparently, the small circles that I've been doing don't count. He wants me to do one with several others, serving as high priestess.

It's a thing that I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this. On one hand, my anthrophobia (I learned a new word that accurately describes just what it is I fear) is screaming 'No! Don't do it!' while there's another part of me that actually misses the experience of being part of a group practicing witch craft. Formal covens or informal gatherings, there's a special flow to the energy when you add others into the mix.

He's been telling me to get to know Sigyn. He's not saying I should let go of my relationship with Morrigan but that Sigyn is important for me to know for more reasons then the fact that she is his wife. I feel foolish admitting this, but I'm a bit afraid of her. I find myself worried that she is not going to like me. Loki insists this is simply foolish of me but it's a hard fear to shake. I never thought that my anthrophobia could extend to gods, but it seems to have in this case.

It's funny, but one of the ways I can tell that Loki is present is I smell smoke. Right now, I smell pine smoke. It makes me smile because it brings to mind the fire lit in my grandparent's living room fireplace when I was a child. It also brings to mind the story of who Loki's parents are and how some people insist he is the embodiment of wild fire.

Loki wants me to change how I do things. I am uncomfortable with this but I suppose growth is not always to be comfortable. After all, today he insisted I go out in public and interact with complete strangers.


Contemplitive Ramblings

Waning Blood Moon (Age: 17.4 days)
Sign: Aquarius
Weather: Cloudy & damp,
high wind warnings in effect

Contemplation is defined as deep, reflective thought. Some contend that it is a form of prayer. Others argue that it is not. This debate really doesn't trouble me. It is a non-issue, to be honest. Those who fall on either side of this matter tend to detract from the action and its value when they decide to engage in their arguments. As such, I bow out of that discussion and this is the extent of my addition to it.

I admire the poetry and mystic writings of the Beguines. Their focus upon divine love makes me feel a deep sense of kinship with them. The poem below I find particularly resonant:
Love has subjugated me:
To me this is no surprise,
For she is strong and I am weak.
She makes me
Unfree of myself,
Continually against my will.
She does with me what she wishes;
Nothing of myself remains to me;
Formerly I was rich,
Now I am poor: everything is lost in love.

~ From Here
It is perhaps the clearest depiction of what I have experienced in my relationship with the gods. I am a free woman. I can do as I choose. I am, however, overwhelmed by the Love of the gods for me. I could theoretically choose to act against their Will. That Love, however, continually pushes me into close alignment with them. I could theoretically deny them. Love, however, puts their names in my mouth continually.

It is confusing at times. It is difficult at times. Sometimes, I do attempt to resist but I always wind up back at the same place. I always find myself in their arms. It doesn't matter if I am healthy or sick; confident or unsure; bold or frightened. I am always there in that place of deafening quiet that marks their presence. They never reject me. They never abandon me. It's simply not possible because they have laid their hands upon me and marked me as theirs.

When my life is at it's darkest and I feel most alone, they send me aid and succor. It has come in the form of unexpected kindness, a sudden upwelling of strength, and moments of crystalline clarity that strike like lightning bolts. It is hard to remember this simple truth. Then they remind me.

As I struggle forward through depression (again), I will do my best to remember their kindness and love.


Thoughts on Invocations.

Full Blood Moon (Age: 13 days)
Sign: Aires
Weather: Mild, overcast.

I've been reading a book titled Modern Spirituality. It focuses predominantly upon Christian spiritual writings. It has been an interesting read so far. It got me to thinking about invocations. An essay in this book discusses the name of Jesus as a vehicle for prayer. It was most enlightening to read. I had not considered this method of invocation before. It was so simple that I felt rather foolish for not having realized it existed.

The essay exhorts the reader to meditate upon Jesus as they state his name. The reader is then guided to consider the recitation of Jesus's name as entering into communion[1] with him. The author admonishes the reader not to force this feeling of intimate connection but rather to allow it to arise naturally as they engage in contemplation.

It lead me to think about my experience of invocations. I don't believe I have ever experienced anything like that. I have experienced the very direct and immediate presence of the gods, but it was like being a stone cast into a river. I've understood invocations to be a request of the presence of the one being invoked. I had never considered it as a means of experiencing their presence.

Flame-hair makes his presence known regularly. The words that meet you upon going to this online shrine for him does a relatively good job of describing one of the more common ways he makes his presence known. As I have read about the experiences of others, I'm increasingly realizing that the Sly-one and I don't have the typical deity-worshiper relationship. After all, how many people can point to Loki as one of their comforters during times of distress?

It inspires me to consider what other deities I could come to experience such a personal relationship with.

1. I am using the term communion in terms of the 4th definition posted on Dictionary.com.


Mental Health & Spiritual Health

Waxing Gibbous Blood Moon (age: 11 days)
Sign: Aquarius
Weather: Fair skies, cool but seasonable

I have been having snippets of things that I had dreamed of coming to pass. A part of me is uncomfortable with this. My discomfort is in the fact that this is something that has always marked me as something other. My psychic gifts are not some trifling thing that I can pick up or put down when ever I want. Sometimes it feels as though they're more of an affliction then a blessing.

For a while, I feared that my psychic gifts were not real. I feared that they were but another sign of madness. It took a stay in a psychiatric ward and experiencing strong medication for me to realize that my psychic gifts were real and entirely separate from my mental illness. So many people assume that you are lying when you tell them the truth about something like this. It is a sad world we live in to have such a jaded approach to everything.

Gods and goddesses associated with madness seem to think I'm a 'good kid' and have proven to be a powerful source of comfort as I struggle with my illness. It is amusing to see how so many 'normal' people portray these gods and goddesses as villains or buffoons. It's like looking at a cartoon and having people tell you that the cartoon is what the real image looks like. Mice do not wear gloves and red shorts with suspenders. Clark Kent isn't really Superman.

I have been working to build more compassion for myself in my life. It is very telling when I have the Norse God of Chaos telling me that I have been too hard on myself for too long. Or that it is alright to admit my fears and there is no shame in weeping when grief overrides me. This compassion is not something that is the 'textbook' image of Loki. And that's ok. The people who were writing the 'textbook' failed to look beyond the Christianized sources and propaganda against the old pagan faiths.

I suspect that my relationship with Flame-Hair is more like what there was back in the old days.


A Creation Myth & More

Waxing Blood Moon (Age: 6 days)
Moon Sign: Sagittarius
Weather: Cool, cloudy & rainy

So I've been meditating upon things such as how the world came to be. It has lead to some writing that I believe is going to prove helpful to someone out there in the world. As such, I submit it here. Please, if you are going to quote this (or any of my work), give proper credit where it is due.
The Birth of the Universe

Long before the beginnings of mankind or life upon our planet, there was No-thing. No-thing was a paradox. Vast yet a quantum singularity. Gross matter yet sentient. Alone yet not. From this great Nameless source came all that was, is, and yet will be.

No-thing transformed into All. From this transformation came the Pain of change, the Joy of ecstasy, and the Stillness of Death. Even now No-thing continues to be a paradox. Distinct things that are unique in their forms but also a connected whole abound where No-thing was. A dizzying array of energy and matter proliferates, but yet remain constant. Wondrous yet familiar, these paradoxes have always been. For No-thing continues to transform and in transformation remains as it has always been.
The Descent of Gods

Upon the planet known as Earth, humans appeared after a long chain of transformation. They became aware of the aspects of existence beyond mere causality and that which they were engaged. As they considered things such as why the rain falls and from where does life begin, they began to name the Nameless.

From this act, Gods came to be. As part of the Nameless, however, they had always been. As more of the humans did this, the more the Gods grew. In time the Gods grew aware of and engaged those who called upon them. As humans forgot them, the Gods waned and diminished until their voices became faint. To those who call upon them in full faith, their voices ring out clear, as they did of old.
The Wheel of Aeons & Existence
(Also known as the Wheel of Life.)

We are taught that all matter in a system is neither created or destroyed[1]. The same is true for energy. Just as matter can be reordered with the same component parts, so too can the energy signature of a given life form. By this process does the soul[2] transmigrate into other forms. Different forms contribute different resonances to the energy signature. These resonances manifest in the complex energy systems[3] of life forms as memories of past lives.

The transmigration of souls is described as a wheel. When the symbol of the wheel is considered in this sense, it is the Wheel of Existence. When the symbolism of the wheel is applies to the changes of time as marked by history and in the resonances of a soul, it is the Wheel of Aeons. Some call this wheel the Great Wheel or the Wheel of Birth and Rebirth, combining both symbols into one.

These are still fairly rough. It is, however, a beginning of how I view the cosmology of my faith and how I reconcile it with what we know of the world through Science.

1. The First Law of Thermodynamics: Conservation of Energy & Conservation of Matter
2. The soul is the energy signature of a given life form.
3. The thought structures of a given life form.

Rambing thoughts on Labor & the Goddess.

Waxing Blood Moon (Age: 6 days)
Moon Sign: Sagittarius
Weather: Cool, cloudy & rainy
As I sit here in the grips of discomfort due to premenstrual cramps, I find myself reminded of labor. Labor was terribly uncomfortable but the part that was the worst was the intense distress that I felt over possibly being viewed as a coward. With each contraction, I grew more upset until I was near tears when my time to go in for the c-section came up. As the anesthesiologist was giving me the spinal block, I couldn't help crying out with fear.

I look back on that moment and I feel such a surge of pity for myself in that time. I was so wrapped up in the terror that I would be judged and found lacking. I had been struggling with depression, as I have been recently, and the night before I had argued with my husband. It came together with the wild ride of hormonal changes to create a very different situation then when my first child was born. It makes me sad that the birth of my second child was filled with such distress where as the birth of my first was a much happier event.

I find myself wondering, has the Goddess felt such fear when her time came upon her? I look at the world at large and consider the struggles of mothers to birth their children, of any species, and that question returns to me again and again. Maiden horses (mares that are birthing their first foal) require careful monitoring and soothing to help them through the experience when not in the wild. In the wild, I am sure that there are mares and foals lost due to complications that come from the distress of the mare and subsequent physical difficulties. I suspect that the same need for care and soothing would be found through out all other species in the event of the first birth, if not subsequent birthings. (I would be inclined to consider the laying of eggs as a form of birthing, given the strain it places upon the body.)

I suppose one must conclude that somewhere in the mythology of the Goddess, there is a story of her suffering in labor. Is it egocentric of me to feel compassion, if not a touch of pity, for the Lady herself? It is much like when I was contemplating Catholicism and my mind continually returned to the Passion of Christ, filling me with pity and sorrow for the suffering of Jesus. So many Christians that I know speak of the Passion (a Latin word for suffering) as a glorious triumph and remove the very real misery and terror from the event.

If Jesus was in sufficient terror to beg God the Father to alleviate his suffering, if at all possible, then wouldn't Christians recollect this? The events in the garden of Gethsemane are clearly an example of the very human experience of fear in the face of travail, in my opinion. Wiccan theology is not so very different from Christian at times. The suffering of the Goddess in labor and the suffering of the Harvest God could be argued to be in some ways parallel to the suffering of Jesus.

In all three cases, there is suffering of the flesh, the mind, and arguably the spirit. The flesh suffering pain and in two cases death are much like the suffering we endure in life. We have times where we experience pain, at times such intense pain that we are unsure if we can bear it. This would be the suffering of the mind. The terror that comes attendant upon pain or the lack of surety that comes with it is something that all humanity can recognize. I suspect that the Goddess experiences some measure of the fear that all mothers have at the time of labor, fear that their child or possibly themselves will not survive it.

For some, I am sure that fear is a brief experience. I don't think that it is all consuming but I suspect it does rear its head for all women who are birthing their first or subsequent children. I know that it laid its cold hand upon my shoulder at the time of birthing both my children, even though the experiences were as different as night and day. The suffering of the spirit is something akin to the suffering of the mind, I think. I could, however, be entirely wrong.

I had something I wanted to say but it just vanished from my thoughts after my eldest distracted me. Such is life, I suppose.


Curiouser and curiouser...

In my effort to make an end run around my on going psychological difficulties, I started doing some reading about the Morrigan. In the course of my following links and reading on various sites (some well known and respect and others less so), I stumbled on to a connection that rather left me in shock. There is a theory, that is built upon anthropological precepts, that the Morrigan and Sigyn are quite possibly a manifestation of an earlier Goddess.

It left me rather thunderstruck. Could this be why Morrigan is a patroness of mine? And the reason for the unexpected amicable relationship between a Celtic goddess and the Lie-Smith? I have heard them both chuckling at me at times. It is a rather... bewildering thing. And yet, it makes absolute sense at the same time. A case of 'of course! why didn't I see it before now?' if you will.


I am a face of the Goddess.

Current Phase: Waning Harvest Moon
Current Sign: Taurus
Weather: Cool, partly cloudy skies

I just had an awakening of sorts today. For some people this would be a case of me finally figuring something out that was obvious to them. For others this would get me a funny look.

What was my awakening? I realized that I am a face of the Mother Goddess. One of my neighbors, an older man who struggles with depression and is in the midst of a rather messy divorce (one he doesn't want at all) was just here for an hour. As I listened to him talk about his troubles, my response was not annoyance (as it has been at times in the past). Instead, I felt deep compassion for him. I didn't pity him (as I had in the past) so much as I felt this deep sense of kindness.

I had no desire to take his suffering onto myself, as I recognized that it was his own to deal with. I gave him some ideas for how to deal with it but mostly, I listened and affirmed his validity in feeling heart broken. That, along with a hug and a cup of tea completely turned his mood around. His anxiety dropped, he began to feel a little happier, and he had a greater sense of control over his life. It was a great thing of magic to watch unfold. I actively did nothing more then give him a hug and a cup of tea.

Some how, something moved between us and he went from being in near tears to smiling. Some Christians would say that it was the grace of God that made this happen. Others would say that this how one effectively ministers to the depressed people of the world. I may agree that some sense of divine grace passed through that moment. I contend, however, that it was acting as a tool for him to heal himself.

I came away from the experience humbled and in awe. There was no ritual Drawing Down the Moon or similar invocation. It just sprung unbidden from the heart and lay between us, breathing in the space there. And the Goddess wore my face for that moment to place that grace there.


Prayers & Beads

Waning Corn Moon (Age: 25 days)
Moon Sign: Cancer
Weather: Clear skies, seasonably warm with
rain expected later in the evening

I've been attempting to compose prayers to use with my prayer beads but it has been difficult to find the right fit. I suspect, however, that others may find them helpful for their own practices. Feel free to use them with my blessing. If you wish to use them upon your website, please remember to attribute it to me.

Oh Holy One of All Names and Forms
Guide me, your sacred Child

Upon the path of Life and Wisdom.
Teach me to forgive and bless myself
As I forgive and bless others.
Give to me what I need to grow
In to a reflection of You.


Blessed Mother of All, Font of Grace
Guide me to wisdom
Preserve me from evil
And teach me true Peace.


All Father, Stag of Sacrifice, He Who is Cut Down
Guide me to wisdom
Preserve me from evil
And teach me the meaning of true Honor


Oh Holy Ones, enter into my heart as Love.


Hail, Thee who is Nameless!
Blessed Bringer of Life
You are with me.
Blessed am I, your child
And blessed is all the World in You.
Protect us now from evil and guide us to wisdom.
Your Love be upon us always.


A Litany for the Victims

Deliver all victims from Oppression
Heal their wounds
Deliver all victims from Abuse
Heal their wounds
Deliver all victims from War
Heal their wounds
Deliver all victims from Hate
Heal their wounds
Deliver all victims from Evil
Heal their wounds
Deliver all victims from Poverty
Heal their wounds
Deliver all victims from Excess
Heal their wounds


I tried patterning prayers upon the ones that I have seen elsewhere. Of these only the Litany above and Hail, Thee who is Nameless resonate with me. I have spent the last hour searching through the older volumes of my Book of Shadows only to find a scant few copied pages from websites from my first few attempts to use prayer beads. It was a most dis-satisfactory experience and the pages got buried. It is amusing in some warped way that these pages that I copied are the same ones that I am finding now.


Prayer beads and such things.

Moon: Waning Corn moon (age:19 days)
Moon Sign: Aries
Weather: Partially cloudy, seasonably warm
& drought status less severe

I have continued to do research regarding the practice of prayer beads in the pagan community. This appears to be the best source I have found so far. It is very frustrating. I see there are quite a few references to pagans using prayer beads but very little is actually said. I at first considered adapting the Catholic rosary but that is not going to work for me and feels more then a little disrespectful.

So I've decided to try applying a few pagan chants. On a whim, I attempted to translate some of the more well known ones into Latin. The results are below

We all come from the Goddess and to her we shall return -- nos adveho ex dea quod ut suus nos vadum reverto

The Earth is our mother -- orbis terrarum est nostrum matris

To say the least, the Latin translation was clumsy and generally not looking like it was going to be successful. Donald Engstrom-Reese advises we consider the intention of our prayer beads on his page. When we consider the purpose of prayer beads at large, it becomes clear that it is to serve as a vehicle for one to meditate upon the sacred Mysteries of their faith, the repetition of a set prayers, and free the mind for an ecstatic experience of the Divine.

I tried my hand at arranging a set of prayers for my use on a rosary but it just lead to much frustration. I feel drawn to this. Quite powerfully so, but I am at a loss for where to start. There is a veritable mountain of information about Christian, Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist prayer beads. There's even information about Unitarian Universalists and their prayer bead practices.

I encounter countless pages offering to sell me prayer beads but little in the way of information on how prayers are structured. I approach this like I approach writing poetry in a form that is unfamiliar to me. I want to learn as much as I can about how others write in that style and form before I make the attempt. It seems, however, that I may just be breaking new ground here.

I am not sure how comfortable I am with that. Actually, I feel very uncomfortable with that. I feel disheartened and, well, sad. I look for some sort of sign posts to guide me and I can't really find any for my faith. Ah well, if the Gods are pushing me forward on this path, then I suppose I'm going to wind up there one way or the other. It's easier to go with them then to resist. Resisting only makes things more uncomfortable.


The Lady's Law: Perfect Love & Perfect Trust

Full Corn Moon (age: 15 days)
Moon Sign: Aquarius
Weather: Seasonably mild, pop up thunderstorms,
slightly humid
"Bide the Wiccan Laws ye must, in perfect love and perfect trust."
~ Lady Gwen Thomson, Rede of the Wiccae

Perfect love and perfect trust is an expression thrown around a lot by Wiccans and other members of the pagan community. Perfect love is unconditional love. It is akin to the type of love referred to by many Christians as agape. Perfect love is extended not only to our fellow humans but to the world in it's entirety. We love the world because it is in some ways kin to us, in other ways the embodiment of our Gods, and because it is simply there to be loved. We love our fellow humanity because they are there; they are our brethren; and because they embody aspects of our Gods.

Perfect love can be a terrifying thing. It requires such vulnerability. We wear our hearts on our sleeves. At the same time, however, we are not Pollyanna about this. Perfect trust requires us to see the world as it is. We trust the liars to be liars. We trust that people are fallible. Perfect trust strips us of our assumptions about the world. It is the harshness of brilliant morning even as it is the glory of sunrise. We see each thing as it is when we operate from the basis of perfect trust.

Perfect trust, for all of it's harshness, is also the shield that protects us when we operate from the basis of perfect love. We do not blind ourselves to the flaws of ourselves or others. Thus, we do not set ourselves up for heartache. We accept reality as it is, rather then casting the pall of our desires over it.

We all struggle with perfect love and perfect trust. We are human and we are going to stumble along the path at times. This is where perfect love and perfect trust in ourselves is important. Perfect love for ourselves is the healthy, unconditional love of who we are despite our limitations and flaws. Perfect trust is the faith we have in ourselves to do the right thing at the right time. We all suffer times of self doubt, but as long as we continue to strive for meeting this challenging rule set out for us then we can say that we have made a good faith effort.

In the end, that is all anyone can ask of us.

A Goddess Rosary?

Full Corn Moon (age: 15 days)
Moon Sign: Aquarius
Weather: Seasonably mild, pop up thunderstorms,
slightly humid

I've been feeling drawn to reciting a rosary of sorts. For the last several weeks, this urge has grown stronger. I am convinced that this is not a simple matter of whimsy by the persistence and depth of this urge. While I am familiar with the Catholic rosary, it does not correctly address this need of mine. The Deanists have a rosary that is in many ways similar to the Catholic one but it also doesn't fit quite what my need is. And as I have been studying and researching this intently, I have come to the conclusion that this is a spiritual need.

Oddly enough, I have also been finding myself drawn to contemplating if the concept of sin fits into my world view. The catechism of the Catholics and the Deanists both speak of sin. It is challenging for me to consider this because I must first overcome the Christian concept of sin which is so very pervasive in our society. It is a debilitating concept and one that I reject down to the marrow of my bones. It was a part of Catholicism that just didn't sit right with me when I was seriously considering converting, even.

As I was running errands earlier this evening, a thought struck me. If the definition of sin (the noun) is to transgress against Divine law, my self hatred/loathing would clearly be that. It is a violation of the Lady's law of Perfect Love*. The simplicity of this was in many ways earth shaking. There was no 'fall from Grace' or conscious rejection of this divine law from a willful mind, choosing to embrace some malefic path. It was just that I was in error by way of unhealthy habits, habits which I am striving to correct.

I was then at a proverbial crossroads. Do I engage in some borrowed ritual of penance? Do I devise my own ritual of penance? Or perhaps beg forgiveness from the Lady? Do I strive to correct my error and beseech the Lady's blessing and aid in my endeavors? I was a tad confused. Much of my theological training and education did not directly address this matter and I felt as though I was treading unbroken ground. It was an uncomfortable feeling, to say the least.

I had never felt the need, even in my times of dire desperation and crisis, to throw myself at the feet of the Gods and beg for anything in as abject and piteous a fashion that I could muster. The rituals of penance that I could devise or otherwise subject myself to would have been empty. As such, logically I can not do such a ritual because it would be dishonest and dishonorable of me. Begging forgiveness from the Lady struck me as an empty act as well. I know full well what the response would be, "Forgive thyself." Thus, I returned to the final option, which was to correct my error.

I admit, I feel uneasy asking the Lady's blessing and aid in this effort. A part of me says that I am not worthy of such assistance and that my problems are too small to merit such a request. It is, however, the same place that my self hatred/loathing springs from, thus I must reject it. I am unsure, however, just how to phrase such a request. I am unsure just what this has to do with the urge for a rosary of my own. It is mildly upsetting to be so confused and conflicted on this point.

Logic demands to know what the objective of a rosary practice would be. For the Catholics, it is the vehicle by which they contemplate the sacred mysteries of their faith. The same is true for the Deanists. For other witches, the rosary is a tool by which they cast spells, strengthen their relationship with the Gods, and meditate. I don't know how a rosary would serve me, what it's function would be in my practices. I only know that I am pulled, prodded, and pushed down the path of using one by the Lady.

I had hoped that I would stumble upon something that would answer my needs in the course of my research. Instead, I find only more questions, frustration, and a deep sense of dissatisfaction with what I find. Perhaps I should write my own prayers rather then take from other sources their freely shared prayers, I don't know. I only know that I have a deep desire to engage in this practice and I don't know why or what I would be seeking to accomplish. I feel a great deal of confusion. Perhaps the Lady will bless me with clarity.

* An exegesis upon this element of the Charge of the Goddess will be posted soon.


E-Book of Shadows?

Moon Phase: Waxing Corn (Age: 7 days)
Moon Sign: Scorpio
Weather: Cloudy, seasonably warm.
cool front expected later tonight

I've been considering my options as to how I could organize the volumes of research that I have in my Book of Shadows. I am leaning more and more towards making up a couple of e-books, then burning them to CD. I suspect it will be a significant amount easier then wading my way through four notebooks and approximately 2 1/2 inches of paper to look up one fact or detail.

My current volume of my Book of Shadows is serving as a journal and spell book. I have been giving a great deal of thought to devising separate books for lore, spells, rituals, and psychic notes. I look at what I have now and I feel quite... irate with how difficult it is for me to dig through it to find what I am looking for.

Every so often, I halfheartedly attempt to make this mess resemble order. I usually stick with it about a week at most and then throw my hands up in exasperation. Since Stormcrow's request that I find some information about astral projection about two weeks ago, I have been up to my eyeballs in paper. This is just plain silly and counter productive.

Aside from that, I'll be posting up a few things from the annals of my magical history as I dig through all this stuff. I have some material that I think would prove of interest to you, my Readers. All I ask is that you bear with me as I proceed.


Suicide: more thoughts

Moon phase: Waxing Corn (Age: 5 days)
Moon Sign: Libra
Weather: Fair skies, seasonable; drought continues
I've been giving the matter a great deal more thought over the last two days. It has been difficult for me to dig down through the layers to get to the most genuine of my feelings on Summer's suicide. I recognize the shock, disappointment, and anger were part of my response. The anger, however, grew for reasons aside from the fact that I was upset that she took her own life. It rose up and overrode the other feelings in a fashion that blinded me for a time to what I truly felt.

I have had time now to sit and examine the subject. And to examine my response to it. At the root of it all, I feel pity and compassion. At the time, I didn't feel comfortable with those emotions. I pushed them aside and grabbed hold of the anger. I recognize that the stages of grief include anger, but I didn't expect to cycle through to it so fast. I still hold to my initial statement when I learned of what happened: she should have picked up the phone, not the pills.

As I look at this, I must admit, I found myself going back to when I was actively suicidal. That phone call for help was one of the hardest things I have ever done. My hands were literally shaking with fear. I was fairly certain that if I couldn't get my therapist on the phone that I was going to do something terrible. I remember feeling terribly alone in that moment.

I can only guess how alone Summer felt at that time. In my case, I heard my mother's voice screaming in my ear. I don't know what was going on in Summer's case. I suspect, however, that the pain of her illness had reached an intolerable level and she was desperate for a way out. I don't think she was thinking clearly, because with out the influence of mental illness she was a vivacious person who virtually glowed with her love of life.

I pity the suffering she had and the crippling psychic pain that drove her to this act. My hackles go up at the fact that she killed herself in almost the exact same fashion that I had planned. The timing of it also leaves me uneasy because it hits too close to home. In some strange fashion, I find myself reminded to be thankful that I didn't kill myself and that I had gotten help. I don't know if that makes me a freak or not.

You will be missed, Summer. May it be that you have found the peace you were so desperate for and healing in the arms of the Goddess.


Suicide: How I view it.

Moon phase: Waxing Corn Moon (age: 3 days)
Moon Sign: Virgo
Weather: Fair skies, warm but seasonably so; drought still persists

A friend of mine committed suicide a few days ago. It surprised and disappointed me. I felt some pity for her. Then I got angry. Really angry. I then took a step back and said to myself "Why are you angry, you contemplated it? How does your Tradition view suicide?" Those two questions stopped me cold in my tracks and have been rattling around in my mind for a little while now. Beloved's position was pure anger, as was that of Stormcrow. Both men had an excellent point when they expressed their disdain for one's final act to be of such selfishness. Both of them held out that the dead no longer were effected by their actions in this world, but left a tangled mess behind them for the living to sort out as a result of their final action.

The logical part of my brain agreed with this but the anger ran deeper then that. There was some sort of spiritual aspect to it that had me stumped. As such, I meditated upon the matter. I contemplated it as I lay sleepless the night after we had learned what happened. I rolled it around in my head as I was walking my son home from the bus stop. Then it finally hit me where the anger stemmed from.

I can accept that one will commit suicide to escape pain, to escape a poor quality of life, or as an act of resistance. I can accept that suicide can be accidental or a result of one's thinking getting completely distorted by things outside of their ability to control, such as the side effect of their medications. Suicide makes sense in these contexts. It may not be the ideal solution in the eyes of a third party, but to the person who is deliberately acting in this fashion, it will have been perceived as the best possible solution available to them. And as the First Law of Human Behavior states: All people shall act according to what they believe to be in their best interests according to the information they perceive to be available and relevant.

My anger came out of the fact that this suicide was a result of poorly managed depression. This young woman, according to what information I have learned from sources that were close to her prior to this event, intentionally disregarded elements of her illness. It is this that makes me angry. She knew she was on a collision course with a suicidal mindset but refused to address it. As one who has lived with recurrent bouts of suicidal depression for most of their life, I know what that feeling is like. At one point, I had several friends drag me back from walking out into traffic. As terrifying as incidents like that were, I struggle daily with suicidal thoughts as a result of my post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic, recurrent depression.

Why haven't I killed myself? It isn't out of cowardice, as my Mother once accused me of. It is courage and a grim determination to meet my responsibilities. It is my sense of honor. I have duties to people around me that I must uphold, lest I prove less then honorable. My friend knew she had similar duties to people around her. She chose not to make an effort to meet them, even if it wasn't perfectly. It was a cowardly act.

Now, there is a distinct possibility that the information that I have is incorrect. It may be that complications from her antidepressants caused her to become suicidal. If that is the case, my anger is mitigated somewhat. As this change in her thinking occurred, however, she should have addressed it with her doctor. Suicidal thoughts, generally, are not something that strike out of the blue unless there is a preexisting condition that is manifesting in that fashion. As such, she would have had a window of opportunity to get help for her crisis. An opportunity that she allowed to pass by.

I do not feel proud of my own suicidal tendencies. I am rather ashamed of them, actually. I, however, continue to fight them because I refuse to dishonor myself by failing in my obligations. It is my experience that the Gods punish dishonor. It comes in strange and at times subtle ways. But it does come. I have known people who bore the mark of a curse upon their aura and learned why. I have no wish to know how one who willfully dishonors themselves and commits suicide makes recompense for their failure to keep their oaths and meet their duties.

Edited to Add~ I realized as I reread this that I was writing my way through an emotional flashback. I believe I will let this post stand, but I need to give the entire situation more consideration before I post again on the topic. I apologize to any whom I offended.

Blessed First Harvest!

Moon phase: Waxing Corn Moon (age: 3 days)
Moon Sign: Virgo
Weather: Fair skies, warm but seasonably so; drought still persists

In my own manner, I have been observing the festival of the first harvest for a little over a month now. I started with the first strawberries from my plants (subsequently, the only ones due to this drought). I then moved on to the wild black berries and my herbs. Today, I harvested the first pepper (which was tiny but so flavorful) off of my pepper plant.

It is my hope that with careful and diligent watering, my pepper plant will put out more peppers and the tomatoes will actually fruit, not just survive this beastly drought. With each bite, I said out loud or within my own little head a small prayer.

Hail to the Green Man! He who feeds us with his flesh!

It was unfortunate that my wheat didn't sprout and grow. If I am lucky, however, I may be able to get some gleanings from somewhere around here. Quite surprisingly, actually, I have a bit of wheat growing in the pot where I attempted to re-pot my very sickly orchid. The orchid, unfortunately, was too weak to take being repotted. But somehow, wheat seeds found their way into my MiL's bag of orchid potting mix and into the pot that had held my orchid. I'm hoping these seeds will continue to grow and I may get some ripe ears out of it, but I am not going to hold my breath.

I feel truly blessed right now, even with the pain in my leg (from a fall back in early June). I am home with my family. I have my plants growing as well as they can despite the drought. My children are growing up fine and strong. My husband has work and we can pay our bills. It is a collection of relatively small things compared to what goes on in the world, but I am deeply thankful for them. Sometimes, the greatest blessings are the ordinary things that we take for granted.

To have food to put in our bellies, clothes to cover us, and a roof to shelter us is to be in possession of a great many blessings that others are not so fortunate to have. Thus, I am thankful.

In my tradition, the First Harvest is a blessed day of work. Work is sacred. Just as the planting of the fields is a holy thing, so too is bringing in the harvest. I am profoundly thankful that I am home to go about the work of being a housewife and mother. Last year, I was in a hospital for my psychological illness. It was as different from today as night is from day. I have grown from that experience and I am thankful for the wisdom that has come from it.

Thus, the celebration of harvest season begins officially for many other Witches and Pagans. I too join in their ranks to take as much joy from life as I possibly can right now and to savor the plenty that is abundantly available before Winter comes. I may not be ready yet to make preserves to store up what I have grown in my garden, but each memory preserves the Summer to comfort me.

Blessed First Harvest, everyone.


A meditation upon the Charge of the Goddess

Moon: Waxing Mead moon (age: 13 days)
Moon Sign: Capricorn
Weather: Fair, seasonably mild
Let My worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold, all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals.

Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you.

And you who seek to know Me, know that the seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without.

For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am That which is attained at the end of desire.

~ Starhawk
I have been thinking quite a bit about the Charge of the Goddess recently. It's the closest to a Creed or profession of faith that can be found in modern Wicca. It is a luminous document that is filled with a great deal of depth and bespeaks of a mystery that lies beneath almost all religions: self-actualization and union with the Divine.

I have been stumbling again in my efforts to grow healthy and whole. It is hard for me to express deep and unconditional love for myself. My spell to bolster this hasn't borne any obvious and dramatic changes. It is, however, the way that spell craft works. It's not like some Hollywood glamor that goes off with a flash and suddenly transforms everything within it's reach. Instead, it is like changing the flow of a river by adding rocks. It is a slow process, but each stone added adjusts the flow ever so much until soon the whole river is moving along a new course.

I am working to become more accepting of all of my traits. It has been difficult work and at times it has been frightening. It requires changing what had been my (flawed) world view and (flawed) self image. I have been finding myself feeling proud of my accomplishments and making an effort to reach out to others (despite my debilitating social anxieties). I take this as a sign that the magic is working. I have been progressively becoming healthier in body and (hopefully) in mind. I am becoming more forgiving of myself and (slowly) less demanding.

One may ask how all of this relates to the Charge of the Goddess, especially the section I quoted above. There's a few different ways it ties back to this. First, we are taught that all acts of love and pleasure are Her rites. Love and pleasure are two separate things. It has been a tremendous act of self-love to strive to become healthier. It has taken a great deal of dedication and effort to reach where I am today, let alone progress farther down this path. Pleasure has made itself known in my life in small ways. Things like delighting in the fresh herbs I've been growing and the ripe berries on the wild black berry bushes in the back yard, or the sound of my children's laughter, these have been my sources of pleasure. While I'd be delighted to have a larger share of pleasure in my life, I will continue to engage in the acts of love as my daily prayers.

I have been seeking to know the Goddess within me. It has been a difficult task. I have been sifting through a lifetime of paralyzing self-doubt, criticism, and fear to find the glimmers of that which is really who I am. All women are a face of the Goddess just as all men are a face of the God. Even people who drive me to fits of frustration are faces of the unknowable Divine. It is my effort to know the face of the Goddess as reflected in my mirror every morning that will lead me to enlightenment and wisdom, along with health in mind, body, and soul.

Lastly, I have been striving very hard to embody the love that the Goddess and God have for all that is (for it is all a face of their Beloved). It is challenging to remember that love does not mean being a doormat and that sometimes it demands that we confront others regarding their behavior. It is especially challenging to remember that last bit. Still, I continue to make my efforts to be assertive and express my needs just as I would expect any other adult of sound mind to do in their relationships with their Beloved.

In it all, I remember that I am always within the 'magic circle of protection'. Unlike Ceremonialists, I don't need a symbol sketched out upon the ground to remind me of the sanctity of where I walk. My circle is the cycle of the day, the arms of my lover, the love of my family, the great horizon, the sphere of the Moon and Sun, and so much more that simply can not be expressed in mere words. I live within a blessed sphere and in the hands of the Gods. Somedays it is hard for me to remember that and then there are nights like tonight, where I see the Moon and feel blessings pouring out upon me in her silvery rays.


The Goddess is Love

We are one with the Lady, we are one with the Lord;
We are one with the Lady, we are one with the Lord;
And we know that earth's balance will one day be restored,
And they'll know we are witches by our love, by our love,
And they'll know we are witches by our love.

We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand,
We will walk with each other, we will walk hand in hand,
And together we'll spread the news the Goddess is in our land,
And they'll know we are witches by our love, by our love,
And they'll know we are witches by our love.

All praise to the Lady from whom all things come,
And all praise to the Horned Lord who makes us one,
And all praise to the people for joy and creation,
And they'll know we are witches by our love, by our love,
And they'll know we are witches by our love.

~ Anon. (adapted from They Know We Are Christians)

This little chant has been rattling in my mind for a few days now. It has been a gentle refrain as I struggle with my own challenges and individual problems. I find myself struggling with major self-image and self-worth issues. As Beloved pointed out to me, my problems are no less legitimate then his. He calmly and quite completely explained that my psychological difficulties are as in need of treatment as a physical one. Then he reminded me that I was worthy of healing, being loved, and of being successful. It brought me to tears.

This morning, as I lit my spell candle, it again struck me that the Goddess is love. She is more then that romantic rosy feeling that throws us topsy-turvy. She is the deep, abiding and compassionate love that is unconditional and sustaining. She is loving with out regard for how worthy a person feels they are or the opinions that others have of them. Unconditional love simply loves a person because they are there to be loved.

I've been struggling with cultivating that type of love for myself. And the faint refrain "we are love, love, love." just keeps echoing. I started this spell a little over a week ago. It is simply focused upon cultivating the love that I need in my life to be genuine to who and what I am. I now wear about my wrist a band with a charm in the shape of one of the ancient votive offerings to the Earth Goddess with the addition of a tiny heart.

I keep repeating my prayer that I started out with at the beginning of this whole process almost four years ago: Let me be healthy in body, mind, and soul. Taking the time to align myself with the Goddess in her face as Love, I think ... I think it will heal me as much as my vigorous efforts with exercise and diet have dramatically increased my physical health.


Contemplations and a compilation

Waning Strawberry Moon (18 days old)
Moon Sign: Aquarius
Weather: Mildly humid, seasonably warm, fair skies with light haze

I have been busy with my garden and my children recently. The strawberry plants are getting berries on them. My oregano is growing like crazy and the new pot of thyme that my MiL got me is doing so too. I keep checking on my tomatoes and my pepper plant. I get nervous that they're going to be attacked by aphids or something. Every day, just about, I have been out among my plants. If I'm not watering them, then I'm pulling weeds or just checking them over to make sure they're in good health.

They're like another set of children, to be honest. Speaking of children, my boys are growing as fast as the plants. My eldest is in preschool and they asked me if there were any special family traditions or religious observances I wanted them to keep in mind. I was thrown for an absolute loop when they asked me that. I honestly don't know how to answer that question. A part of me says that it would be wrong to bring up our religion even as another part of me says this is a perfect opportunity to educate the general public about witchcraft.

To say the least, I've been giving it a lot of thought and prayer. I may even do some divination on this matter and talk to a few other witches. At the moment, I think I would have really loved to have Stargazer's and Rose's thoughts on this topic. They, however, are not about me at the moment but elsewhere on the Otherside. You can't exactly pick up the phone and leave a voice mail for the dead to call you back. It generally doesn't seem to work like that. They come and go as they do and on their own sense of time.

And then there is the other things I have been busy with. I've been writing articles about various facets of Wicca for the novice witch. My goal is to take the knowledge that I've learned and put it out in easily understood bites this way the young witches and seekers out there have at least one good source of information. Below is what I have done so far.

Wicca 101
Ancient Myths & Modern Man
Spiritual Self-Defense & Protection
Wicca 201

As I write more articles, I'll post links to them on here.


Musings on Spinning

Moon Phase: Waxing Gibbous (10 days old)
Moon Sign: Scorpio
Weather: Partially cloudy, seasonably warm & cool front just passed in the last few hours

As I have gotten more involved with the ancient craft of spinning, I have been attempting to find out old legends, stories, and wisdom regarding it. This has proven frustratingly elusive. I suspect that this class of legends have passed out of the folk memory with the exception of a few that were written down (like the Fates spinning out a man's life as a thread or Frigga spinning the clouds). I believe that with the advent of modern machine oriented textile production, the old stories were lost. And that is something that makes me sad.

The more I use my spindle and distaff, the more I feel a connection to my female ancestors. The more I find I feel a connection with the Goddess. I have been spinning a lot lately. The fiber I have been using isn't long enough to merit using my distaff, but one of my small collection of distaffs has a prized place upon my altar. It is in part a tool of my age old domestic craft and in part a sacred object. (I'm very much a kitchen witch in that respect.) My spindles are either busily in use or waiting for use. They're not still long enough to gather dust.

And I feel that work is sacred. Not what people uphold as the dreaded four letter connotation - that soul crushing, mind numbing thing which has all the feel of slavery in it's grip upon mankind is most definitely not what I view as sacred. Indeed, that I believe could be argued as profanity. No, work is the life sustaining tasks we engage in. The things we do out of love and necessity for the sake of ourselves, our families, and that which we believe in. The man who has a job he feels proud of and feels that he is contributing to his life and the lives of others... that man is engaged in the holy form of work. The one who is just dragging himself through the day for a paycheck, he is suffering a perversion of that first form of work.

I suppose all of that makes one question where my 'hobby' of spinning fits into this. I have several reasons why I spin. First, I spin because I enjoy it and it soothes me. As a person who suffers with anxiety on a daily basis, it is vital that I have something that helps me keep my mind at ease. With out it, I can scarcely function, let alone be a good mother and wife. Secondly, I spin because I feel a sacred connection to my ancestors and the Goddess. To engage in a task so intimately connected with the lives of those who founded my line and so sacred that the Goddess herself engaged in it... it is an act of worship and meditation to do so. Thirdly, I spin because I then can make useful and helpful things from my efforts. I can take raw fiber and eventually have hats and scarves for my husband and children.

Sure, I suppose I could go and buy all of my yarn at the local WalMart. There's lots of lovely colors and synthetic yarn is a lot easier to care for. At the same time, however, I can't shake the feeling that it is ecologically more responsible for me to spin. I am not depending upon the labor of some person who is being exploited to run a dangerous piece of equipment in a fiber mill in some third-world country. I'm not adding to the coffers of businesses that poison the earth with their chemical byproducts in producing the raw material for those synthetic fibers used in those mills.

Oh, I still will get some of that synthetic yarn, but I am gradually moving away from my dependency upon it. I am doing my best to start using more recycled yarn. I am beginning to comb the second hand shops for sweaters and similar items to frog and fashion into new things. I have been collecting bits and pieces of yarn that are left overs from other projects I have done to use in things like scarves and baby blankets. The more I do along these thrifty lines, the more I feel better about what I am doing. And still I spin.

When I am happy, I spin. When I am sad or fearful, I spin. When I am inspired, I spin. When I am devoid of even a remote flash of inspiration, I spin. With each turn of the spindle, each twist of the fiber, and each moment of time I am spinning, I pray. I wonder if my prayers are the same as my ancestresses.

I pray for peace of mind. I pray for the health and well being of my loved ones. I pray for justice for the wronged. I pray for health for the world and for all people of the world to know at least one good night's sleep. I pray for blessings to be infused into my work to bring well being to the person who eventually receives or wears what I make. I pray that those who bring evil into the world are opposed and eventually put to rights.

I also secretly pray for more fiber to spin, at times. I pray that my spindles won't break. I pray that I will continue to improve in my efforts to learn this craft. I pray that I actually master the knitting techniques I have been stumbling and struggling with. I pray that the materials I am using will prove strong enough to be used for any future project, be it weaving, knitting, crochet, or some other textile art form.

It's a whole lot for a twirling stick with some fiber wrapped around it. Perhaps, just perhaps, I will get glimmers of what my ancestresses thought of and did as they spun. I know one thing, I am going to continue to pray and spin for a long time.


A thought on Prophecy

Moon Phase: Waxing Strawberry Moon (5 days old)
Moon Sign: Leo
Weather: Fair skies, warm

I was emailing a dear friend of mine when I briefly touched upon the subject of the Sight. The Sight, also known as Second Sight, is precognitive visionary experiences. Everyone experiences it at some point in their life, even if they pass it off as deja vu. Some of us are afflicted with it much more frequently. It... It doesn't work like how some people would like it to. We can't predict winning lotto numbers or sport's scores. If we happen to See something pertaining to economic things, it's usually a very general thing because of how big the world's economy is. So, psychics can't really make a proverbial killing on the floors of the Stock Exchange either.

Sometimes, we see things about weather. Sometimes we see things about family events, be it a crisis or a happy occasion. Rarely do we See something pertaining to ourselves. Second Sight is really more of a burden at times then it is the stereotypical 'blessing' that it would popularly be assumed to be. Some of us live our lives in fear of being declared insane, so we keep our revelations to ourselves unless it is utterly necessary to express them. And when we do communicate what has been mystically revealed to us, it is usually to a small group of people, people we trust intimately.

Prophecy... Prophecy is different from the Sight. It is more then the flash of intuition or the brief vision. Prophecy is direct communication from the divine. It can be sublime and wonderful or it can be terrifying. Either way, no one comes away from the experience unchanged.

For me... For me prophecy is more frequently a frightening experience. As I described it earlier tonight, it is as though I am caught in a violent storm and threatened to be swept away by the wind and rising mystical tied. I feel my mouth fill with words. It is as though something heavy is on my tongue and yet... There are times where music seems to just burst from within me, though I don't know where it comes from. The times where I feel music bursting... those are blessed moments where I know that the prophecy is a happy thing. In either case, I tremble and feel as though my blood is afire.

I don't talk about when these things happen to me. I learned very early on that to do so was dangerous. People took these kinds of things very badly. So, I kept it secret for a very long time. It, however, is beginning to happen more frequently again. While I don't like the feeling that I'm going to be swept away, I know that prophecy never comes from a place of evil. It humbles me. It teaches me. And ... I suppose I am blessed by the experience.

I just fear how my fellow man will take the things that the Gods whisper into my soul.


Falling into old patterns

Waxing Strawberry Moon
Phase: Waxing (4 days old) Sign: Cancer
Weather: Clear skies, warm but seasonably so

It's been a busy last few weeks. This is the second weekend that I have gotten plants and did gardening. The flowerbed has yellow and orange flower seeds planted (marigold and nasturtium). I also have an orange-pink geranium (which seems to be doing quite well) and a orange snapdragon (which doesn't look too good right now). The neighbor downstairs gave me bulbs for orange tulips and blue hyacinth. I think I'll be digging up and replanting the paper-whites daffodils that never came up. I found that I missed some when I was working on transplanting them last year.

I'm going to try putting them into a deep pot and giving them some fertilizer. With luck, I'll get some healthy plants out of them. Right now, the poor things are so bedraggled and frail that you'd think they were just this side of dead. My Mother-in-law suggested that the problem is that they weren't buried deep enough last year (the ones in the flowerbed) and agrees that with the others it is a lack of sun. To say the least, I will be fetching another pot for these little dears and casting health related spells for them.

In the midst of my gardening, I repotted my wilted looking ivy. You could just about see the little thing perk up as I watered it. I also took my red miniature rose and repotted it too. I split the entangled roots apart, placed each plant into a pot, and watered them heartily. Over the next few days, I expect that they'll flourish. Goddess willing, these plants will do so. One of the three remains on my altar. Just over the last few hours, it has appeared to grown stronger and healthier. I think that the repotting was just what was needed.

I now have several herbs growing in pots along the wall beside the flowerbed. I have a pot of thyme which I honestly don't know if it's going to recover well or not. It was looking pretty close to dead when I got it. I have two pots of chives (gifted to me from my MiL and repotted because they didn't seem to be doing well in the big pot they were all in). I gave away a third pot of chives to my neighbor downstairs. He was quite delighted to get it and immediately started talking about how he had missed using fresh herbs in his cooking. I have a pot of basil that is doing much better then when I had initially gotten it. The basil looked as poorly as the thyme is when I got it last week. It gives me hope for the thyme.

In addition to these, I have a sweet green bell pepper plant in a generously sized pot. I have little tiny blooms on it. This makes me quite happy. I also have three strawberry plants. Two in one pot and one in the other. They are starting to get blossoms on them. I'm trying to decide if I should pollinate them with a paintbrush or if I want to wait and see if the bees will come by to do it for me. I have two pots of marigold growing on the back deck (where the strawberries are) and a pot with several ivy cuttings in it. I also have the cuttings from MiL's southern-wood and fuchsia back there in a pot.

I am flirting with the thought of repotting my houseplants. The African violet is looking unwell. It is a tough call as to if it is getting too much light or if it's rootbound. I need to do a little more research on that. I also have noticed that one of my snakeplants is looking a little worse for wear as well. I believe that some of this is because the pot is too small and some of it is because there's too many plants in that pot. I may do this bit of 'indoor gardening' later this week.

So, my title of this may seem odd when you view my ramblings about plants and such. I need to put it in to a little context here. First off, I have fallen back into the habit of doing things according to moon-phase again. I weeded and aerated the flowerbed during the waning moon. This was to cast out the unwanted influences on the planting that was going to happen. I've been doing my plantings with the new and waxing moon, to draw in the increasing healthful energies. Thus magically tying my plantings to the waxing moon and sun's energies.

My choice of herbs is a combination of culinary and magical. I won't go on about the uses of them. There's enough herbals out there to describe them. The use of the colors yellow, orange, and red in my choices of flowers (even the hanging basket- it has yellow pansies) is to bring vitality and life into my home and to bless us all with well being. I want to get a set of wind chimes to hang off the shepherd's crook to evoke the blessings of the Gods with each ring. I also want to place into the flowerbed subtle images that call to mind the Gods that I hold devotion for.

Many people have churches they go to. I have my flowerbed to use as my focus for prayer, meditation, and spiritual expression. I'm not ready to take on the shade bed yet. I may do so in a few weeks. Perhaps I'll be blessed enough to locate some hostas and similar plants within my budget or given to me as gifts. I'm not finished yet with my plants, but it feels good to work with them again. I haven't really done this much since when I was living down in Wellsville.


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