As we make a push into a new season there seems like there is always someplace we need to go or something that needs to be done. The hustle and bustle becomes a pulse. So, as the season turns and we push into summer from spring we start gearing up for the festival season. We have a need to get out and experience nature and to share with people that we have missed. We experience a need to shed the cloak of winter which was wrapped around us as we contemplated our own projects as we prepare to open ourselves up to others and needs beyond our own.
It can be difficult to readjust and find a balance. When that happens it’s often good to get back to basics. I can’t think of anything more fundamental and more basic to most pagans than the elements. In almost every path they are honored. So, in that respect we will be grounding into the elements and reconnecting with the earth to bring balance back into our lives.
This meditation and grounding is written to be done indoors, but is easily adapted to outdoor and group use. You’ll want to gather items that represent each element. Some suggestions are: Earth – Use a rock, a crystal or a dish of salt. Air – You can use a feather, burning incense, or a fan turned on low. Fire – Place a lit candle, a statue of a dragon, or a red flower on your altar. Water – Use a container filled with water, a shell, or a picture of mermaid or water deity. Remember these are just suggestions; use the items with which you have a connection.
Arrange the items you’ve chosen on your altar or in front of you where you can see them. Take a deep breath and exhale slowly. Repeat this several times feeling more at peace and centered with each exhalation. Allow the day to melt away from you as you focus on balance and tuning yourself to the elements.
We’ll start with the element of earth to provide us a good foundation. Touch the item you have that represents earth. Feel the weight of it and the texture. What does this item represent and mean to you? Contemplate the subtle strength and stability of earth and what it brings into your life.
Place your hands on or through (incense) item that represents air. Though this element is not always tangible it is always present down to our very breath. What does the item you’ve chosen represent and mean to you? Consider the creativity and inspirational nature of this element.
How is the element of fire represented on your altar? Take the item and observe it, if it’s a flame, or consider what other way you may have chosen to recognize fire. What does the item you’ve chosen represent and mean to you? Fire can both destroy and provide rebirth. Ponder what the element of fire and the passion and rebirth it can bring into your life.
Finally, take the item that represents water from your altar. What does this item represent to you? The element of water is often representative of emotions and intuition. Reflect on how water manifests in your life and the tranquility you seek.
You have taken each element in turn. You’ve contemplate what each item means to you. Now, considered what you want to bring into your life from each that would bring you personal balance.
Finish your grounding by reciting the following:
Through the elements I find strength, inspiration, passion, and peace.
Each has its place and through them I find my balance and poise.
The strength of the standing stones sustains me.
The inspiration of the breeze carries me.
The passion of the flame lights my path.
The tranquil waters bring me comfort and peace.
These are the aspects of the elements that I draw to me.
As I will it so shall it be!
This meditation was previously published at Pagan Pages in January 2010 with myself as the original author.
Balance is tenuous, it is delicate and hard to maintain. The hustle and bustle of our daily lives often pushes us out of harmony with those around us and our spirituality. So, how do we pull everything back into alignment?
I find the best lessons always present themselves when we need them and are ready to truly listen. I recently went to the Botanical Gardens here in St. Louis with a couple of friends. While we were enjoying the morning, taking photos, and discussing a variety of topics my friend related to me the story of the Japanese garden and how it was laid out. Everything had been done in a precise manner, being mindful of the areas that were open, those that were closed, and those that focused on a particular area.
I had never taken the time to appreciate the layout before, just maneuvering through my previous visits and noting the plants and moving on. However, I took the time to hear her words, and pay particular attention to the landscape around me. The most striking aspect was the three standing stones in the lake. As we started the walk through the garden they were three distinct pillars. Through the journey they merged and seemed to become one as they jutted out of the water, and then as you emerged from the garden they again separated. The standing stones there mirror to me the way we all come into and out of balance. The moments of complete alignment are sometimes brief and intense or they can linger, but always it is a cycle.
For this meditation it would be better to be outside if possible. Lie in the grass and close your eyes, feel the earth beneath you and let your troubles melt into the ground. Take a deep breath and let it slowly out relaxing into the earth a little more with each breath.
See in your mind’s eye a series of standing stones. You see them arranged in a cluster in the distance and you’re mindful that you need to be in alignment with them. In doing so you’ll pull yourself into balance with the mental, physical, and spiritual realms. Be aware of the path you take as you try to pull them into alignment. Which direction did you go; did you move closer or farther away?
As they start to merge into a singular monument in your line of site notice how you feel. Do you feel balanced, grounded, centered? Stay in this position and take note of what it would take to pull this into your everyday life. When you move on know that you are not out of sync now, but merely continuing on your journey. The balance and centering you experienced is within you always. Be mindful of your surroundings and how you treat those around you. If you do those things, you will always be in alignment with your highest good.
This meditation was previously published at Pagan Pages on June 2010 with myself as the original author.
What should have been a great feel good story for those of various Pagan paths became overshadowed on Sunday by the blatant ignorance of a ’news’ outlet. We certainly need to voice our concern as a community for their intolerance. You can do so by signing a petition here or go here for email addresses of the president and chairman.
However, rather than focus on the negative let’s take a look at the good news that came out this weekend!
In a move toward inclusion and tolerance of religious beliefs, the University of Missouri decided to update their Guide to Religion in order to include the Eight Wiccan Sabbats. The guide produced by the university outlines both dates of the holidays and their basic practices. It also provides guidelines for professors to recognize these dates so that they can know when best to schedule exams and activities for their classes.
What we have wanted all along is equality. Inclusion of our holy days alongside other major religions certainly goes a long way toward achieving that goal. We have to continue to be worthy of that inclusion and that means that we need to be diligent about advocating for our rights. We have to know when to stand up and fight intolerance and advocate on our own behalf. If we don’t do it, no one will!
There will be many who will question the University of Missouri systems inclusion of these holidays, but I applaud their effort toward inclusion! We need to be able to acknowledge those entities and individuals that look beyond themselves. Only with their willingness to do so can we continue toward religious equality for all.
There has long been a debate over love spells and their casting. It’s a topic that draws a lot of strong opinions from all sides. Some of the issues stem from whether or not they should be done at all. The other side of the coin is if you do the spell how do you do it properly.
Let’s be brutally honest for a moment. There aren’t too many people I know that haven’t at some point cast some sort of love spell. Now, it may not have ended up with an obsessive stalker hounding their every move, but let’s face it they seldom turn out well. The reason for this is really because instead of discussing responsible ways of casting these types of spells we just tell those new to the Craft not to do it.
I think anyone who’s ever dealt with a teenager can tell you the best way to push someone straight into the situation you want them to avoid is to tell them it’s a bad idea! Loneliness is another motivating factor. Everyone feels the push to find that special person to enrich their lives.
Here is a little practical advice to keep you from doing more harm than good if you decide to give Cupid a little help aiming his bow.
Cast a Spell for Yourself – Try drawing someone special into your life without a lot of stipulations. Open yourself up to the possibilities of the universe, put yourself out there and see what happens!
Keep it Simple – The spell should be simple and your intent clear to produce the best results. The more complex you try to make it the more chances that something can go wrong.
Be Patient – Realize that love takes time. The universe and deity may throw a few potential partners your way. It takes time for a good relationship to take root so that it can last.
Cast on Anyone Else – This imposes your will over someone else’s free will. It’s just bad Karma!
Be Vague or Cryptic – When you cast you don’t want to be vague or cryptic in your spell work. It leaves the door open for misinterpretation that can be far from what you initially intended.
Rush – Trying to rush a situation with a potential lover will only end badly for you both.
These are a few simple guidelines and by no means are they completely inclusive. You need to use common sense and take personal responsibility for any spells you cast. (Yes, I said it…Responsibility!) If something you put out there goes awry, then you need to take the steps to correct it. We’ll discuss the how’s and why’s of canceling out such a spell in another post.
As many of you know I work on the St. Louis Pagan Picnic Committee. I’ve been on the committee pretty much continuously since 2003. It’s been a great honor to be able to serve the community in this area and it happens to be one of my passions.
It all happened long ago, but I happened to open my mouth and make it known to the universe that I was going to get involved in the community once I moved to the St. Louis area. I know…I know…be careful what you wish for! Well, I went to a meeting for picnic intending to volunteer a few hours at the event and came away as Programming Coordinator. Fortunately, I had some good mentors and excellent support so I could get my bearings! I love my job on picnic and it’s given me a chance to meet some terrific people in the area and some of the more well-known individuals in the greater Pagan community.
Below are links to a few of the video interviews I’ve done at Pagan Picnic over the years! (From these you’d never know I was shy.) I thought that these would be a fun little extra to put up on the website for your viewing pleasure. As you can tell from the videos the weather in St. Louis is varied in June, but some years are hotter than others!
As we approach Imbolc, I thought that it would be a good time to share the following meditation. Part of my own personal journey has been giving thought to where I wanted my life and spirituality to go this year. I made a promise to myself that I would not allow fear to paralyze my ability to share with others.
I have had the tendency to think that there would be no one who would want to know my personal take on Wicca, Witchcraft, and Paganism. However, I’ve been issued a few challenges that I feel I need to take on. I have had a few projects on the back burner that I am trying to bring to fruition and my spouse has been pushing me along and helping get me the tools to do it! There have been a few people in the Pagan Community that have acknowledge my contributions and are pushing me to do more. I am hoping to live up to those expectations, but more importantly my own.
Before we can welcome the light we have to acknowledge and accept the dark both within and without!
The Shadow Self
There are times where we seem to be waging an internal war. At those times we can be our own worst enemy, worst critic and hardest task master. So, how do we pull ourselves back into balance? We must acknowledge and embrace the opposing forces inside of us. Once we accomplish this task life will flow much more peacefully.
The way to do this is to recognize and accept your shadow self. You have to be able to identify the part of your psyche that you generally try to keep at bay. When you are ready to deal with this part of yourself you will be ready to begin.
As usual, you will want to find a quiet spot where you can relax and be undisturbed. You will want to take that mental side-step from daily life into the other realm. Close your eyes and relax slowly. Take a deep breath and exhale relaxing your neck as you do so. Roll your shoulders and feel your tension ease and as you take another breath and feel the muscles relax down your arms. Move your hands and fingers to remove the last of the tension from them. Take another deep breath and feel the core of your being within your solar plexus. Feel the light within you burn bright and melt any tension. Allow that light to continue down your torso and into your legs. The tension in your thighs and calves continue down, down, down into your toes. Wiggle your toes and feel the last of the tension leave your body and return to the earth.
Once you are relaxed open your minds eye. Notice your surroundings and that you are in the middle of a small clearing within a grove of trees. There isn’t much light, just enough to cast flickering shadows all around you. As your eyes adjust you notice that there is a thick fog obscuring your view and making any clear exits impossible to see. The only way to find your path is to identify your shadow self, know why it is a part of you, and understand it.
As you sit in the grove pondering the darker side of yourself you’ll want to ask several questions. What do you find most challenging about yourself or your personality? Does it affect your self-esteem or your interpersonal relationships? Do you find yourself prone to jealousy, anger, or doubt? Whatever your issue(s) may be, name it. Say it out loud within the grove and own that part of yourself.
Beside you, you’ll see a small stick next to where you are sitting. The ground around you is bare and soft. Take the stick and write into the soft ground what you have named your shadow self. Once you have done this you’ll notice a shape starting to form in the mist in front of you. You may or may not be able to identify what exactly the shape is. If you can, make a note of it for later. The fog will soften the image, making it almost intangible, but you can interact with it.
Talk to this aspect of yourself. You can ask any questions of your shadow self you’d like in order to gain a better understanding of its presence in your life. Tell your shadow self that you understand and accept that it is a part of who you are. It is a part of what makes you an individual and makes you stronger. Instead of fighting with your shadow self come to an understanding of how you can work together.
When you are able to come to the realization that you are stronger together than separate you can take the shadow self back into your life. The shadow within the fog will come closer to you; it will still be transparent and ethereal like a ghost. Close your eyes and it will float toward you and go to pass through you. Do not be afraid. Allow it to reenter your being and realign itself with you. You may feel something click within you as this piece of the puzzle finally fits into place. Once this shift has occurred you will be feeling whole again.
Now as you open your eyes and blink several times you’ll notice the fog starting to recede. The light in the grove is starting to brighten and new green shoots are sprouting out from the bare earth you were sitting on. The shadows around you are beginning to dissipate, retreating to the edge of clearing. When you are ready and you have addressed your issue(s) a path out of the grove will open. Walk out of the clearing and take the step back into reality.
The ability to face the darker nature that is within each of us takes courage. Understand that it is an integral part of who we are. Addressing it and how it manifests in your life will bring you greater inner peace and as a reflection your other interactions will be smoother.
This mediation was previously published at Pagan Pages in February 2010 where I was the original author of the piece.
Well, another calendar year has turned the page and it’s now 2013. This for me embodies the ‘Year of the Witch,’ in more ways than just being denoted by a 13. There is so much going for this year and it’s difficult to describe exactly why that is. There just seems to be more on the horizon than in years past.
So, here is a breakdown on what the year promises to bring so far!
I have two writing projects that I am working concurrently on. One has been on the back burner for quite sometime, but I have the sudden urge to bring it to fruition. So, I’m working on getting it ready to go. The second is a pretty new idea and it’s something I hope to be able to offer on the website soon.
I’ve had one article published in the Magical Almanac with Llewellyn Worldwide for 2013 and I will have another one for 2014! So, I’ll keep writing smaller things as well.
Not to mention my duties as editor for, The Correllian Times. That takes up a good chunk of time, but it’s something that I enjoy.
I’ve also have started a discussion group with my good friend, Ellen Dugan. It’s going to be on a monthly basis out in St. Charles, MO. We’re also tossing a couple of other collaborative ideas around for later in the year. It’s been a lot of fun to just bounce ideas off of one another and put our love of community out there for others.
Of course, this summer there will be St. Louis Pagan Picnic, which will be on June 8th & 9th! I’ll be there as usual. There are a lot of great workshops and activities planned.
It may seem like a lot, but just like with everything else I try to take it one thing at a time. That way I don’t get too overwhelmed!
In fact, I recently had a conversation with a friend about that very topic and she was having a hard time with the changes she was wanting to implement for the year. I told her that the best thing she could do was to make one change now. Work on that change until it becomes a habit and then add another. All the small changes will eventually add up to a large change. Once that occurs you’ll be able to look back and appreciate all the hard work that it took to get there.
The reason most people’s New Year’s Resolutions fail is that they try to take on too much at once. If you break it down into smaller parts, you’re more likely to succeed. I know it’s a philosophy that I try to implement into my own life. It’s allowed me to take part in a great many projects and to expand my writing as well. Don’t let anyone discourage you from accomplishing your dreams, even if that person is yourself!
We all need to clean out the clutter from time to time. It allows us to take stock of what we have, what we need, and what we’ve out grown. It also allows us to give these items a new home in some cases. Items that we may have outgrown may be just what someone else is looking for. I’m a bit of a collector and it’s amazing the amount one can accumulate in such a short time.
In that spirit, here is a list of items that I’m currently looking to downsize from my personal collection. I hope that someone will give them a good home and enjoy them as much as I have.
If you need a picture of an item please let me know! Shipping will be an additional charge and will depend on where you are at! To order or for more details email: email@example.com I will be adding to this list in the future once we’ve gotten settled in our new place. Keep an eye out for more items or let me know if there’s something you’re looking for!
Kemp, Gillian – The Good Spell Book: $5
Melville, Francis – Love Potions & Charms: $5
Molyneaux, Brian and Piers Vitesbsky – Sacred Earth, Sacred Stones: $10
Morningstar, Sally – Spellweaving: A Book of Spells and Practical Magic: $5
Wedeck, Harry – A Treasury of Witchcraft: A Source Book of the Magic Arts: $10
Wolf, Stacey – Secrets of the Signs: $5
Zolar – The Encyclopedia of Ancient and Forbidden Knowledge: $5
Brinkerhoff, Marc – Your Spirit Animal Helpers – $2
Horne, Fiona – LA Witch: $5
Lady Sabrina – Exploring Wicca: $5
Lazenby, Gina – The Healing Home: Using Feng Shui to Organize Your Home and Transform Your Life: $10
Morningstar, Sally – Making Spells and Charms: $2
Montgomery John Warwick – Demon Possession: $2
Patai, Raphael – The Hebrew Goddess: $15
Rain, Mary Summer – Earthway: $5
Rain, Mary Summer – The Singing Web: $5
Serith, Ceisiwr – A Book of Pagan Prayer: $5
Simons, T.Raphael – Feng Shui Step By Step: $5
Stephenson, Bret – From Boys to Men: Spiritual Rites of Passage in an Indulgent Age: $10
Winstein, Merryl – Your Fertility Signals: $5
Baker, Trisha – Crimson Kiss: $2
Bergstrom, Elaine – Nocturne: $2
Brennan, Marie – Doppelganger: $3 (Or Both for $5)
Brennan, Marie – Warrior and Witch: $3 (Or Both for $5)
Clemens, James – Wit’ch Gate: $2 (2 Copies)
Hamilton, Laurel & Others – Bite: $2
Kiraly, Marie – Mina: The Dracula Story Continues: $5
Moning, Karen – Darkfever: $2
Rice, Anne – Interview with the Vampire: $2
Rice, Anne – The Vampire Lestat: $2
Roberts, Nora & Others – Bump in the Night: $2
Romkey, Michael – I, Vampire: $2
The Sacred Rose Tarot (Book & Deck in Box and out of print ) – $20.00
Oracle of the Goddess (Book & Card Pack) – $7.00
Size 4 – Gold Plated with 7 garnets in a leaf pattern: $5
Necklaces (never worn)
Single strand multiple gemstone necklace : $10
Single Strand with sterling silver beads, shell, and turquoise: $10
Single Strand to Triple Strand Necklace with amethyst beads and moss agate chips/large round beads: $20
Necklace (17in), Bracelet, and Earrings – Handcrafted Blue Coral (Rare) and Hematite Jewelry Originally Bought in Maui: $75
Small Djembe (Drum): $20
Body Worlds Coffee Table Book & DVD (Brand New Never Taken out of Plastic Bag) : $30
It’s been a bit since I’ve sat down and wrote out anything for the blog. It’s been an interesting time and I’ve been a bit more introverted than I usually am. There have been quite a few changes in my life as of late that have made me slow down a bit and take stoke of the important things.
If you don’t know me personally and/or follow me on Facebook or Twitter then you may not know that I’m currently pregnant with my first child, the second for our little family here in Mid MO. At first, I was in a bit of denial about it because I’d basically been told that I would have a very slim chance of ever conceiving. So when I took that pregnancy test and there was a ’+’ I had to take another one as it didn’t quite register in my brain.
Needless to say, we’re past the worrying point right now and well into the second trimester/beginning of the third. From all reports we have a healthy baby boy on the way! We are all looking forward to the addition to our family and the changes that it will bring into our lives.
I’m always looking for a challenge and if there’s something you would like to see covered in the blog or a product you would like to see reviewed or have one you’d like reviewed please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season and there will be more regular posts from here on out!
At least once or twice a week I find myself fielding an email that goes something like this, “Hi I’d like more information on your group/coven. What does it take to join?” That’s the very simplistic version, but the answer is almost universally the same. I have to tell them we aren’t currently taking new members and then I suggest ways for them to become more involved in the community they are a part of.
Sometimes, the response is positive and other times not. In our, immediate gratification society, it’s difficult for people to understand why they are being turned away. Covens are, for all their mysticism, actually quite a bit of work. They are built on the bonds of friendship and those relationships typically don’t develop overnight.
We all have a need to belong, to know that we are not alone on this journey and to find others that hold the same beliefs as ourselves. I think everyone goes through this and sometimes that need shifts into overdrive.
Everyone has to start somewhere and when you’re delving into a new spirituality it can be daunting and confusing. Wiccans/Pagans/Witches typically don’t proselytize, so if you started seeking you feel like you’re pretty committed to the process. You feel like you should be taken seriously, and that everyone should want you in their group.
Here are a few tips for those looking for a coven, mentor, or teacher:
1) Become involved in your community. You’ll find you will naturally build connections with others as you attend open functions, study groups or volunteer at an event.
2) Be yourself. All too often people pretend to be someone/something they’re not in order to garner acceptance. This only hurts you in the long run because trust is hard to regain once broken.
3) Know your craft. Read/Study/Practice on your own. Groups like individuals who take initiative and show they would be a valued member.
4) Be selective. Just as a group is being choosy you should as well. What do the members offer you? Will they help further your path? Do you connect?
5) Be persistent but don’t stalk. If you have a desire to study with someone or join a particular group take no with a grain of salt. Ask if they have study groups, open circles, or other opportunities to meet with them. Making a connection takes time but groups evolve and change all the time and a closed door today may open in a year or two.
These are some very simple concepts, but they are the ones that people seem to overlook all the time. If you are patient and persistent opportunities will present themselves. When I first moved to St. Louis I didn’t know anyone and I wanted to make friends in the local community. I decided that I was going to get involved.
I even went so far as to make that declaration out loud. Little did I know what the universe had in store for me. There really is something to the saying, “Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it.” I ended up meeting someone that pointed me in the direction of Pagan Picnic. I decided to contact the committee to see about donating some time at the event.
I was invited to the next meeting and I went with my significant other in tow. By the time the meeting was over I was being asked to assume a committee position. I told them I’d need to think it over, but by the second meeting I was in and suddenly in charge of programming for the picnic. Now, years later it’s become once of my passions and it opened up so many doors to me. I met people from all kinds of different groups and I got to know them. Eventually, I had groups inviting me to attend functions and consider becoming a part of their group. Those people I know consider family. We have the occasional tiff, but push come to shove, they are there for me.
When you look to bring a mentor, teacher, or group into your life they are becoming a part of you and your journey. Make sure those you surround yourself with are ones that are worthy of your time and energy and that you are doing the same in return!