The Way of the Witch

Here is your wake-up call, Dorothy.  There will be no more surrendering, no more helpless retreat.  The only thing that blocks you now is giving up too soon.  Keep moving forward and do not let your own fears and insecurities stand in your way.  Do not blame your competition; they have your face in the mirror, just as you have theirs.  Kansas is where you need it to be; it is not gone from you.

Stand on the earth.  Listen to the wind.  Feel the passion burning within and ride the waves where your youthful determination yearns to go.  You have all the tools you need, the blessings of the God and the Goddess, and the energies of the nature spirits to guide you.  Go in peace; abide in peace.

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Reworking Old Patterns

How many times must we repeat a lesson before it is learned?  It is important to make mistakes, because our failures of the past are meant to grow into our future successes.  Learning hard lessons enable us to grow into a new wisdom.  But, when we find we are experiencing the same disappointments over and over again, we need to look into the areas of our lives where there may be a separation, a discord between ourselves and others, — or simply within ourselves.

I have been guilty of shortsightedness on more than once occasion, and have suffered the consequences of it.  I have tried to follow poorly written patterns to complete a knitting project, attempted to overlook blatant mistakes in new recipes, and spent many hours and  many dollars sewing costumes from patterns that 1) do not fit, and 2) do not suit what I am trying to make in the first place.  I make corrections, fudge mistakes and freelance with my needles and scissors, never bothering to change the faulty instructions in the first place.  I am usually too rushed to write down any important changes so, ultimately, have to start over, again, the next time.

I find myself repeating mistakes I have made in other areas of my life, as well.  As the lynx, I need to pay attention to the physical realm, and to be aware of the effects generated by everything I do.  If I feel isolated, alone, — what may I be doing that causes a separation from those around me?  Are my expectations too high? my tolerances too low?  Am I really trying to correct mistakes of the past, or am I comfortable with the familiarity they provide me as I look to an uncertain future?

The promise of the cauldron is that of Rebirth.  It is a time for rejoicing the potential before me, for letting go of what no longer serves in order to grasp what lies before me.

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Welcoming the Dark

It’s that time, again. The long days of summer are becoming a fading memory and preparations have begun to welcome the darkness. We pause on this now familiar threshold, balancing for a moment between the two worlds, to reflect on what is past and prepare for what is to come.

Traditionally, Mabon is referred to as the second of three harvests. It is a time to rest after laboring in the garden and celebrate Earth’s generosity. We welcome the wisdom of the Crone as we are reminded there is much to do, yet, to prepare for the coming winter. We ask for blessings for ourselves and for our families and, for many, strive for ways to bring balance into our hectic lives and our unstable world. It is a perfect time to pray for peace and seek ways of protecting yourself from the stresses of life as well as any unseen dangers surrounding your home or your loved ones.

The apple harvest has long been one of my favorite things about the Fall season. Every year I make a special cinnamon apple recipe to celebrate my Mabon sabbat. This year, I’m trying out a new recipe for cinnamon apple cider donuts. Cinnamon is an effective tool for increasing one’s personal power, psychic abilities, and connecting to Spirit. It is also used to ensure protection, draw money, speed healing, attract love and induce lust. It can’t be beat as a part of a house protection spell, to lay groundwork for any shadow work you may be doing during the dark half of the year, or to ensure a cozy winter full of worthwhile activities!

May you find balance and harmony this Harvest season!

I wish you blessings.

 

 

 

 

Choosing to Succeed

There was a lot of talk this weekend about overcoming some roadblocks that have been on the road. It’s true; I want to achieve a lot, but I have felt held back in so many ways. But, who is my enemy here? Are there others who are holding me back, or am I my own worst enemy? Have I been consumed by negative thinking, or living past mistakes over and over again?

Am I ready for what lies ahead of me on the road? I may be determined to succeed, but how can I be sure that I am prepared for any changes that may be ahead of me? I need to be certain of what I am truly wanting to achieve, and realize that achieving a goal is only possible if I choose to succeed. Practice is not enough! Nothing can be left to chance.

What is my motivation? Is this really what I want? It is only after facing and defeating my greatest fears that I will be empowered to overcome adversity and open the pathway to success.

There is a lot of action in these cards. Nothing will be gained by dwelling on unanswered questions. I must release the hold the past has on me, and overcome my fears. When I have truly identified what I want, I can move forward with skillful determination.

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Change Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Nothing remains the same. Change is inevitable, and occurs as a natural progression from what was to what will be. Each and every step in the transformation process is equally important, and must give way to the next. It is so easy to get stuck in the middle somewhere, and be unwilling to let go of past losses or failures.  So often, the temptation to hold onto unrealistic goals or ideas lingers, and we find ourselves stuck in the bitterness of stagnation. Learn from the past, and carry into the future only that which will serve you.

Want to know more about these cards?  Find my video on YouTube!

Adversity, Not Failure

It seems to be a weekend with a few stones on the road, but nothing I haven’t seen before.  I need to remember that adversity is only a bad thing when you lack the resources or experience to overcome it.  It’s a good time to look at the big picture and be less concerned with too much of the small stuff. The path I am on might be a little bumpy, but it can still lead me to where I want to go!

Want to know more?  Check out my video on YouTube!

A turning of the Wheel…

I have had a lot of cats in my lifetime, more specifically my adult lifetime. When I was a young girl, my mother allowed a cat “experiment” one time only, when my grandmother’s sister sent a cat home with us following a visit to her farm.  I am sorry to report the experiment ended when that cat gave birth to a litter of kittens in a pile of laundry at the bottom of the laundry chute. We were exclusively a “one dog only” family after that.

I have always been interested in the dynamics that occur each time a new kitten is added, or an old cat passes, within my home.  My cats are not allowed outside, but do share quite a large, cat-friendly space inside, with many high perches, low hiding places and sunny window sills. It would seem likely that they all get along nicely within the well-established rhythm of an orderly, yet loving, home. It would SEEM so, — but unfortunately, this is the reality of No Cat Owner Ever.

I have two females among my clowder, who have spit, hissed and growled at each other for years.  They were both equally cared for by an elderly gentleman cat, who faithfully groomed them and soothed them to sleep, each in turn, without malice or prejudice to either.  When he crossed the rainbow bridge several years ago, there was no peace between these two spays.   I had an idea that they needed something to do — there is a great deal of  research supporting the idea that a troubled dog responds well if given a “job” — so I jumped at the chance to adopt two young toms, for each to “mother”!

No.  Simply, no; I saw right away that wasn’t going to happen.  The young males were quickly neutered and delivered, motherless, into the clowder, and soon, I had a house FULL of pouting, pissed-off pusses! And, here’s where my story begins…

No one was more put out than the eldest of the glaring.  Puck, for his entire (younger) life, was the sweetest cat I have ever known.  He got along equally well with people, cats and dogs; but now, at age 16 or 17, just wants to be left alone (a concept a young kitten cannot grasp).  The more he complained, the more they bothered him.  He sought out privacy in the highest places they could not access, which only increased their determinism to follow. I feared for his safety, as he slept so soundly he often fell from these great heights. Once they mastered the climb, they lay beside him, determined to win his heart.

He is now too weak to make the jumps he used to do so easily, so has taken to lie in the sunny windowsill of my bedroom.  He stays there from early morning until late night, rarely leaving his perch, — only for food, water or litter box.  He has lost so much weight that every bone can easily be seen.  His skin is as delicate as brittle paper, and his rarely-groomed fur is falling out in clumps.

I walked into the bedroom yesterday, and this is what I found.  One of the kittens was sitting next to Puck on the windowsill, gently grooming my sweet, old boy, who lay, contently, purring.

 

The Wheel is turning, gently, ceaselessly.  The Old give in to the Young, who eventually take their turn to nurture, to comfort, to patiently wait with them until they can no longer stay. There is much love today in my home and in my heart.

I wish you blessings.

This Business of Prayer

I’ve been noticing a trend on Social Media lately.  When someone posts about a sick or lost pet, or a dying family member, or some urgent emotional need, the friend responses are (often) rather predictable, watered down commitments of support.  “I’ll send positive thoughts.”  “Sending healing energies of light and love.” “Sending good vibes and thinking happy thoughts!

“I will pray for you.”

This once common sentiment seems to have fallen a bit in usage, but why?  Isn’t this what the Social Media Friends are trying to say?  Not certain at all, I looked up the definition of ‘prayer’.

Oops!  Careful, there!  The first site I hit was (no surprise) an evangelical Christian site, which stated,

Prayer can be audible or silent, private or public, formal or informal. All prayer must be offered in faith (James 1:6), in the name of the Lord Jesus (John 16:23), and in the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26).

Really?? So, Jews don’t pray.  Muslims don’t pray.  Pagans don’t pray??

As witches, we know that it is all about intention.  As a Catholic, I knew that lighting a prayer candle insured that my prayer would extend and still be ongoing, as long as the candle was lit.  Witches do the same thing. We light vigil candles to honor our deities, and offer prayers to them, or to the universe, or Source, or whomever or whatever we believe might answer our prayers.

Can Atheists pray?  Sure, why not?  If an Atheist, recognizing their own limitations to bring about a desired outcome, states aloud or silently a wish or a plea (to the universe, or whoever may be listening) for this outcome to occur, it is a prayer.

To be clear, the above quote may well define Christian prayer.  But, look in any dictionary and you will find another meaning: a prayer is an earnest hope or wish.  “I earnestly hope you will recover.” “I hope with all my heart that you find your beloved lost cat.”  “I will pray for you.”

I wish you blessings.

Heartfelt Offerings at Ostara

It often amazes me how little time seems to pass between each pause on the Great Wheel.  It’s hard to believe it is Ostara, again, so soon!  But, the older I get, the happier I am to greet each Sabbat’s return.  I recognize the familiar face of my old friend, but I am forever surprised by the new personality I meet upon this friend’s arrival.

Ostara always brings hope and joy upon the arrival of Spring.  We eagerly plant the seeds in the warming soil and delight in our expectations of what will be born from the renewed Earth.  I have been anticipating the coming of Spring more than ever, this year, as I hoped for it to herald the much-needed new beginning in my life, — the end of failure, poverty and despair.

But, then, I noticed this little tree.

We planted this lemon tree about this time last year.  I believe we hoped it to eventually take the place of another which, to our delight, has thrived many years past its estimated life expectancy.  One year later, this new little tree, by most, would have to be called a failure.  The green leaves turned yellow very soon after it was planted, most eventually falling off.  We tried a few fixes — suggested by the folks at the local garden center — but nothing seemed to work.  We eventually gave up. We gave up trying to save the tree, we gave up noticing the tree.  We gave up caring about the tree.  To our surprise, it eventually produced a small crop of lemons, but most were so small in size they seemed unworthy of picking.  The grass, then the weeds, crept closer and soon engulfed the base of the weak, stunted, failed little tree.

“Why can’t we grow a simple lemon tree?” I asked my husband one day.  Frustrated, I pointed over the fence to my neighbor’s bountiful garden.

“Maria can grow anything!  She pushes a stick into the the ground, turns the hose on it, and a flowering hedge of roses appears.  Look at her little tree!  Didn’t she plant it only about a year before ours?”

The moment I looked to her tree, I could note the difference.  How many times had she mentioned, when leaving something for someone to pick up, or when someone was dropping something off for her, to “Leave it by my little tree.”?  How many times had we noticed the animal figures, the potted plants, the bouquets of flowers lying on the ground beneath her tree, or the bags of fruit adorning the branches?

Her tree was an Offering Tree.

————-

I have taken my journey into the Wild Wood tarot, and this Ostara I turn my eyes toward the Six of Bows.  By patiently attending to what I have sown, I will receive the blessings of the new growth.  The promise was made to me at Imbolc; all that was asked of me was my patience and endurance.  I will enjoy the plentiful bounty that is to come, which will bring much healing and joy.  But, for now, I wait.

I have spent the last months asking for what I need, praying to receive the gifts I desire.  Because of this, I have felt the anguish that haunts an empty hand and an empty heart.  All has not been lost; for all I need is not what I have left to receive.  What I truly need is to give, — to share what I have, already.  My hands are not empty; they will only be free to receive when I share freely what I already hold.

This Ostara, I will walk the path of The Ancestor, following with new eyes and a joyful heart.  My own inner Ancestor is strong and patient and wise. Trusting Her, I will share the bounty that I have already received, my own abundance, no matter how meager it seems.  The gifts I will bring my own garden will feed the spirits of the Ancients, and the joy of sharing will bring the new sense of inner peace that I require.

This Ostara, I give thanks and accept all the blessings of change that continue to occur along the Wheel as I commune with the Wild Wood.

 

 

Unveiling the Mysteries at Imbolc

As I pause on the Wheel to welcome the returning light and the stirrings of new life, I can’t help but to wonder what this season of renewal will bring.  I have laid the preparations, cleaned my home and cleared my mind.  Each day, I work on opening my heart to what lies in store for me.

I love this time of year!  Traditionally, Imbolc is the time to honor the pagan Goddess Brighid (sometimes referred to as St. Bridget in the Christian Church).  She is a Goddess of healing, poetry and smithcraft, — of Fire, the Sun and the Hearth.  Now in her Maiden aspect, She brings fertility to the land and to us, her people.  We welcome her as we witness the passing of winter and the beginning of a new agricultural year, with the first sprouting of young leaves and flowers.

Winter came and hit us pretty hard this year, at least by southern California standards.  We had an usually cold and wet November and December, which continued well into the beginning of January.  One of the few warm days, I was lamenting on the fact that I had no winter garden, to speak of, this year.  As I looked upon one particularly long, bare, border bed, I decided to scatter some random seeds and see what I got.  I admit that I didn’t hold a lot of hope that anything would come of this random planting, especially since the days to follow brought both high winds and enough rain to flood most of the garden.

But, the Maiden has kept her promise.  The photo, above, shows the first few sprouts that have broken through the Earth, now warmed by the returning Sun.  Spring is returning, and bringing new life, just as we were sure it would.  I can’t be sure, yet, what this new life will look like.  But, I know the harsh Winter is ending and, — just like these young sprouts, I will grow and thrive within the protected circle of the Elements, to a place where Spirit leads me.

I wish you blessings.