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Can Your Location Influence Your Spirituality?

I hadn’t really thought of this until recently.  I had never really given any thought to whether my spiritual path had been shaped or influenced by where I lived or where I grew up.  However, in recent weeks after moving from Germany to Texas I am starting to think that your immediate surroundings can and do influence your path.

I have always just considered myself a “Magpie Pagan”.  Magpies are birds that are really intelligent – but take bits and pieces of anything to make their nest.  This is how I saw myself.  Though my early years were mostly revolved around a Hoodoo influence with a little Appalachia thrown in – I now see no clear lines.  Can I easily classify how I practice?  No.

While living in England my practice shifted to something that any Traditional Wiccan would be comfortable with and could participate in easily.  This was not intentional – I just did what felt right at the time.  While in Germany my practice changed a bit to be something that seemed a little more Druidic – but my perception of Druid.  Not actual authentic Druid – but something similar.

A few weeks ago I moved to West/Central Texas.  Spiritually speaking there is a very strong Native American influence here.  While not completely unknown to me, and though I have always had an interest in different Native traditions, I have never taken that leap to fully immerse myself.

Could it be the environment?  Could it be that the land around me resembles something of a desert that I associate certain tribes with?  To be honest – I was born and raised in Southeast Missouri where there were many tribes of Natives – yet I never felt connected there.  Here in Texas …. it’s different.

This is not to say that I will start calling myself a shaman and throw some random stuff in a little pouch and call it a medicine bag … because that won’t happen.  But I will share a recent experience.

Four times a year a local metaphysical shop owner who follows a Native path holds drum circles, peace pipe ceremonies, and sweat lodges on her property.  I had never participated in a sweat lodge or peace pipe ceremony.  I decided to try it out.  I attended a sweat lodge – and holy moly do you sweat.  While the word ‘sweat’ is in the name — I thought it was figurative.

Something amazing happens though.  I have a hard time holding concentration not just during channeling, but meditation, remote viewing — everything.  I have this intent desire to analyse that I have yet to fully control.  The sweat lodge is dug into the deep rust red ground of Texas with a little altar of sorts outside.  Before we entered I asked if anyone would be offended if I got a deeper explanation.  Everyone was happy to wait while I was enlightened.

The dugout lodge is the womb of the Mother (Earth).  It is seen as a safe place to ‘retreat’ to gain the peace and environment needed to grow as a being spiritually.

At first the heat was unbearable.  I thought I was going to have to leave.  The smoke wasn’t comfortable.  I was told by the leader that I had to separate my physical self from my spiritual self.  I had to let the heat and smoke carry me to a higher plane.

I’m not going to lie.  It was hard.  It was hard to not cough, or wipe my face, or let out a disgruntled sigh of sweaty-ness.  I bet it took 10 minutes for me to worry less about my environmental uncomforts and focus on … nothing.  I literally focused on nothing.  I was just going to ‘be’.  Just have the experience and enjoy it for what it was.  A group of people each taking a little personal journey.

Then it happened.  At first I thought I was fainting.  I thought the heat had gotten to me and I passed out.  Then I saw colors and smelled smells.  I heard speaking, but didn’t understand.  It felt like I was seeing an area for what it used to be in a time gone by.

It smelled damp – which is strange for West Texas.  Then I saw a river.  I had no legs and wasn’t walking.  I was just sort of moving as if I was standing on a skateboard and someone was pushing it.  As I looked around I saw dark haired people throwing powder/sand/ash (something) into the water.  A few seconds later the fish would come to the surface and the younger ones would rush in and pick up the fish.

I saw some women doing bead work and the colors of the beads was so vibrant it hurt to look at it. I saw some people skinning a beaver and heard another woman giving birth.  It was a really small village not far from a river.  It was beautiful.  It was Missouri.  It was actually really shocking.

That vision has stuck with me just as plain as when it first happened for more than 2 weeks now.  I have had a vision or two involving a Native girl – but I believe that was due to a close connection of a friend of mine.  This was entirely my own and I am still cherishing it.

Does all this mean that I am suddenly going to follow a Native path?  No, probably not.  I don’t feel it is for me.  I still don’t feel a calling for that.  I will, however, be incorporating some things into my practice that are Native.  I will be making a smudge fan with collected feathers and doing a lot of beadwork with patterns I saw in my vision.

Basically this entire story is just a call to take a chance.  Even if you have little interest!  It may turn out to be awesome!

Path Searching

I have had lots of friend ask me:

How did you find your path?

Honestly?  I just tried a bunch of stuff until something just felt right.

As a pre teen in the mid 90s I started out reading books about Wicca.  I still own some of those books.  There were things that resonated with me, but there were things which didn’t also.

A couple years later I looked into some Germanic and Heathen paths.  Some of it sounded super cool.  I was really interested in Norse mythology.  However, it didn’t stick.  The way things ‘went down’ just didn’t jive with me.  No embodiment of the Lord and Lady spoke to me.

In the early 2000s I was introduced to a woman who simply called herself a wisewomyn.  Sometimes she’d refer to herself as a hedgewitch.  Now – this woman knew her shit.  She knew every possible thing there was to know about herbs and dirt.  How did she learn it?  This is what she told me:

Well I looked up all the shit that was poisonous.  I stayed away from everything toxic.  Everything else I ate, drank, or used until I could determine its use.  Then I wrote it down.

I said to her:  They make books for that.

Her answer:

You think I’m going to let someone else tell me what works and what don’t?

To this DAY that is my advice to everyone.  Don’t let someone tell you what works and what don’t.  Try it.  If it works or if it feels right – adopt it and shape it into something that is yours.

I understand that sometimes we have to be exposed to something new in order to try it to begin with – but don’t be afraid to try it.  No one person is exactly right.

Here’s an idea:

Try casting your circle differently.

Typically it is:  East-Air … South-Fire …. West-Water … North-Earth

Try it this way:  East-Earth … South-Fire … West-Water .. North-Air

Why North as air?

Because the cold is blown in from the North every winter 🙂

Does anyone else do it this way?  I’m sure someone does.  I think each person needs to decide what element goes with what direction and what it means to them.  I think each person should decide what everything means to them!

Is there something that you know you do differently?  For example:  I read tarot cards.  However, I have never read a ‘how to’ book.  I know that each card is supposed to have a meaning but I can’t for the LIFE of me tell you what each card means.  Instead – I rely on my intuition and the order of the cards as they are pulled along with the pictures on the cards to tell me a story that I then relay to the person getting the reading 🙂

Does anyone else do this?  Or do you do something similar?  What things work for you that you don’t think would work for anyone else?

Choosing a Patron God or Goddess

Not everyone feels the need to choose a patron God or Goddess.  Some, though, feel called to do this.  A lot of what I will say in this post will probably not apply to anyone.  That’s okay.  I feel its never a bad thing to hear information.  You don’t have to agree, disagree, adopt or transmute any of it.

In my opinion all religions have ‘characters’ which are all basically the same thing.  They all share similar paths but the names have been changed.  I choose, to mix and match depending on who identifies with me.

But Jen if they are all the same person why does it matter which ‘name’ you choose to call them?

Well let’s say you have a favorite book.  A few years later that book becomes a film.  Its named the exact same thing.  The characters have the same names, but something is off.  Its because the person the producer/directer has chosen to play those characters aren’t how you had pictured these people in your mind’s eye.

That’s how choosing a patron God/Goddess is to me.

Why choose a patron God or Goddess?

I think it gives you focus.  It gives you a reason to focus on different aspects that you’d normally not pay attention to.

I devote myself to a different God or Goddess for a minimum of one year.  There have been years I have chosen to rededicate myself to the same God or Goddess because I don’t feel my work is done.  Its a way of improving aspects of yourself. I try to adapt their vibrations and energies to my life.

For example:

When I was young I pictured my Goddess as a ‘spider hag’.  It was an old lady who could take the form of a spider.  She was venomous but wouldn’t attack unless provoked (like most wild things.)

Later in life I learned about the Greek Pantheon and happened to put the name Hecate to my goddess.  Do I worship the ex-Titan Hecate?  Not really.  At least I don’t think so – but there are some similarities.  I happen to think if the energies of the deity I work with didn’t like me calling her Hecate I would have been corrected by now.  Perhaps this Goddess doesn’t have a known name and has just allowed me to call her Hecate because that is simply what is comfortable with me.

Choosing a patron God or Goddess can give you some strength and solace.  Its also a good opportunity to expose yourself to different paths that you may not be familiar with.  I hope to one day feel comfortable with Oshun and ask her to lend her aspects to my life but the time has not come yet.

Some Goddesses and Gods are more picky than others.  You can’t just say in your head “Yep I am now a devotee of Isis” and that be it.  That is not it.

You should be able to answer:

  1. Why are you a devotee of this God/Goddess?
  2. What characteristics of them do you hope to adapt?
  3. What kind of daily offerings would they like?
  4. Am I prepared to pray to and give offerings to this God/Goddess every day?
  5. Am I willing to accept aspects which I may not think I need?
  6. How long will I devote myself?

These may seem like stupid questions but there are people who say they are a devotee of a God/Goddess yet have never had a line of communication.  Gods and Goddesses will come in your meditations, dreams, while you’re typing a blog.  They will present themselves in different ways and its up to you to recognize it.

There are signs.  You’ll know them when you see them.  Once you have inner confirmation, allow yourself some time to debate.  If that God/Goddess is willing to work with you, they want you to be sure its what you want, too!

Who do you work with regularly and why?  How did you know they were right for you?

“I think I will Google how to do a spell”

If that thought has crossed your mind, STOP.

You do not need to do an internet search on how to do a spell.  There is no right way or any certain way to do any spell.  In my opinion, beginner witches shouldn’t be doing spells, honestly.  I feel that you need to have a personal relationship with your chosen deities before you start asking for assistance of things.  They need to know you’re serious.  They need to know you aren’t just going through a ‘phase’ and want to see if you will get what you ask for before you commit.

What is a spell?

Well a spell isn’t something that requires a list of exotic and expensive ingredients.  As a matter of fact – I get a bit insulted when I see ‘witchy stores’ offering spell kits.  I feel that when it comes to spell casting there should be no convenient alternative.  I don’t feel any spell should be offered in a zip loc bag for the low, low price of $19.99.  From a business point of view, I can understand why they do it.  However, I feel a better alternative would be to offer ‘make your own spell kits’ where a customer can pick a candle, an herb, an oil, piece of parchment, incense, and a crystal.  That’s just how I would do it if one day I live my dream of having my own ‘witchy store’.

A spell is simply a prayer.  A prayer that has been strengthened with other items.  Some spells are as simple as thinking of something really hard – or as elaborate as acquiring crystals, specific herbs, etching a candle, burning a special candle for 7 days … the list is endless. The bottom line is – all spells are a prayer with focused intent.

I heard to do a spell you need x, y, and z.

No.  You don’t.  Not unless you personally feel you must have those items to strengthen your intent. The more you do yourself for the spell, the more powerful it will be.  If you simply punch “love spell’ into  a search engine and write everything down word for word, gather the exact things the internet says to gather, do it at the time the internet said to do it – how completely pointless.  I imagine that for the God and Goddess hearing spells like this is like going and hearing a really bad cover band.

I can understand becoming stuck while trying to write a spell.  It happens!  But I personally feel that casting spells should be done once you have a personal relationship with your chosen deities.  That is because the human mind is very powerful.  The saying “you can do anything you put your mind to” is very true.  Anything you put out to the universe can be done.  Does it always happen?  No.  Why?  For the same reason that we aren’t all millionaires.  The potential is there.  Anyone could be a millionaire.  Yet we aren’t all millionaires.

Spells are the same.  We can all cast spells.  Should we?  No.

When is the best time to cast a spell?

When you aren’t angry.  When you aren’t sad.  When you are totally emotionally stable and have meditated on the focus of your spell for at least 48 hours.  Why?  Well this is to be sure that if your intentions aren’t entirely good that you have time to back out before its too late.  Sometimes we think we want things, but all too often we wish we could go back and change it.  In my path there is no repentance.  You will pay for your mistakes no matter how sorry you are for them.  Eye for an eye.

Can’t you only cast spells at certain times of the week/month/moon phase?

Some people think so.  There are people who believe that if you want to cast a protection spell it should be done on Thursday night between 8pm and 11pm in the New Moon with a black candle, a mirror, a piece of quarts while burning blue sage.  I, however, do not think this.

I think any time you need to cast a spell and you are in control of yourself – do it.  I am not entirely comfortable only doing things when I’m told by someone else they need to be done.  Sabbats are different.  Spells, I feel, are personal.  Rituals when done with a group/coven are less personal but still powerful.  I have never been part of a group that does spell work together.

I just heard about witchcraft and I want to cast a spell.

Who am I to say you can’t?  No one.  But I like to tell people “I just heard about heart surgery and I want to do a transplant on you”.  It doesn’t work that way with anything else in the universe, so why should it work that way with witchcraft?  It shouldn’t.  It doesn’t.  It won’t.

Try doing a daily devotional for a few months first.  Get familiar with what it feels like when you are charged with energy.  Get familiar with how to release that energy in a focused way in order to empower your intent.

Have a conversation with your chosen deities every morning when you get up.  Tell your deities what you would like to focus on that day (example: let me have patience with co-workers today) and start from there!

Try it!

Assumptions in Paganism

My father has always said

When you assume it makes an ass out of you, not me.

There are so many assumptions in regards to Paganism and spirituality as a whole.  All humans like to categorize things.  We like things to fit into neat little columns and rows and when we can’t do that we can sometimes get .. well .. pissy.

The worst part about it all is the amount of assumptions I have seen/heard about Pagans BY Pagans!  Here is a long list of examples.

“You aren’t a real Pagan because you wear makeup.”

Really?  Are you kidding me?  Pagans aren’t allowed to wear makeup?  Why!?  If my heart tells me wearing makeup is somehow wrong, then I won’t wear it.  I have no spiritual conflict wearing bright purple eyeliner and multi-colored eye shadow

“You can’t possibly be a real Witch because you don’t wear long flowing skirts and shawls.”

While it is true that some Pagans enjoy wearing a certain style of clothing – we are all individuals.  We don’t ALL like it.  I love seeing the stereotypical witchy lady – but I don’t feel I can pull that look off.  Does that make me less spiritual?  Of course it doesn’t!  How insane!

“You aren’t vegan?!  You’re not a true Pagan.”

Some Pagans choose to be vegan.  Others don’t.  While many Pagans follow the rule of “An it harm none, do as thou wilt” – (in my opinion) is pretty damn vague.  Does that mean only humans?  Humans and animals?  What about plants?  Its very open to interpretation.  I do know of non-Pagan vegans who use ketchup on their fries.  Unless it clearly states it is vegan … ketchup is flavored with beef.  I know of Pagan vegans who use drums during ritual.  They’re covered with animal hide!  Life is all one huge contradiction – and I’m totally cool with that.  But don’t force your views of whatever it is upon me if you, yourself can’t fully accept them!

As a community (whether we’re physically connected or not – we are all the walking, talking, breathing representatives of whatever it is we believe) we should support each other.  I know that sounds like ‘tree hugger bullshit’ but its true.  There is so much harsh criticism outside our own faiths (ANY faith!) that we shouldn’t meet that kind of judgmental stereotyping within it!

So many years now I have heard how Pagans are so misunderstood and want to be accepted … but time and time again there have been many who have shown me that they can’t even accept each other!  How can anyone else except us if our own brothers and sisters can’t?!  I think its sad.  It really does hurt my heart.

I, for one, do not agree with all aspects of all Pagan paths.  I do not, however, judge those who do!  Is it not possible for us to follow these steps:

Hear information

Does this work for me (Yes/No)

If Yes – Adapt it!  Share it!

If No – Move on.  Nothing more to see/hear.  Thanks for sharing, though!

My whole point is:  don’t assume.  To my knowledge there is no total right and wrong.  Circumstances make everything in life complicated.  What works for A won’t work for B – and there is nothing wrong with that.  If you see something wrong with that – that is totally fine!  Regardless of how big the group you belong to feels it is wrong – doesn’t make you right!  What’s right for me probably won’t be right for you.  That’s what makes being a human beautiful!  We’re all different.  Celebrate it instead of hating, criticizing, demeaning, assuming, and putting other negativity into it.

Here is a great exercise:

Make friends with someone who has totally opposing views to your own.  Give them a chance to break any stereotypes you might have about them.  Maybe you already have a friend like that.  Ask what kinds of things they assume about people who present themselves with some kind of difference in religion/politics/sexuality/race/economic standing.

I think everyone should meditate on who they are.  Are you being true to your spirit?  What can you do differently to improve?  Have you improved in some way?  Are you guilty of rampant assumptions?  Let’s talk about it.

Celebrating Holidays while on Vacation

Every summer I return to my home state.  Often there are at least two holidays I ‘miss’.  I do not have and likely will never have a travel altar.

The first few times I felt really lost during Litha and Lammas.  I had become so accustomed to celebrating a certain way that I didn’t now how to celebrate without all my ‘pretties’.

Its taken a few years, but I have finally learned that I don’t need any of my regular tools to celebrate.  Once you’ve gotten into the habit of using tools its hard to imagine holding ritual without them.  Trust me, though, it isn’t as hard as you think.  You probably already do many of these things without really realising it!

This is what I do:

Litha-

Spend most of the day outside.  I greet the sun when I wake up.  I thank God for helping all the crops grow.  I admire all the flowers, wildlife, and spontaneous storms as they roll through.  At night when the fireflies start to twinkle, the moon rises, and the bullfrogs start to croak I am still.  I thank Goddess for shining through the darkness (if there is a dark moon – I empathise with her need to rest) and giving the nocturnal wildlife the light they need to see.

Typically I use this holiday as an excuse to gather wild flowers.  I thank God and Goddess for the flowers.

Lammas-

Thanks.  That’s all.  I thank God and Goddess for all the fruits, vegetables, and grains I will eat to sustain myself through the dark months.  I thank the God for his strength during summer, and give a heartfelt inner speech about what kind of success or prosperity I’ve had during the year to that point.  I praise Goddess for all her motherly work.  I spend these few days making ‘fall’ food such as pumpkin soup, bread/rolls, squash etc.

I use this holiday as a time to feast.

I don’t cast a circle in the normal sense.  I find a way to just be still and be alone with the feeling you only get when you have a personal connection to the divine.  It isn’t quite meditating, yet it isn’t a fully awake state.  Its like a light daydream.  Right before I feel myself hitting this state I take notes of the smells, temperature, animals (if outside) and my feelings.  Offerings made during the time I have no altar are always simple.  Sometimes its just the heel of a loaf of bread.  Maybe its leftover lettuce or spinach from the big bowl of salad I made.

No one realises I’m having a little mini ritual.  I don’t say anything out loud.  Everything is kept very personal and silent.  I make no hand gestures (this doesn’t mean I couldn’t – I just choose not to.)

Celebrating holidays without tools helped me appreciate what my tools really mean to me – and what they bring to my spells and rituals.  While I am on vacation I don’t do any spell work.  I use this time, instead, as a study time.  I will spend this time learning new techniques and information which will guide me once I return home.  I also use this time to catch up on reading.  Since purchasing an e-reader I have been simply devouring books.  Sometimes book stores with a variety of Pagan books is hard to find!

Before I leave my house – I cleanse my sacred space.  I make sure my libation bowl is full.  My libation bowl is a small crystal bowl which I fill with gathered rain water, a crystal of some kind, salt from my altar, and some ritual water (I make it myself but I think the popular name for it is Florida Water).  I cast a circle and converse with God and Goddess to tell them that I will be away.  I ask that they take no offence if the libation bowl dries (sometimes I am gone for 8 weeks or more).  I burn some incense, light a candle, and ask that they see over my travels.  I leave an offering of some kind (flowers, bread, salt, ashes from my incense) outside.

When I return – I start with lighting my working candle while I physically clean the entire room top to bottom while playing clearing music.  Sometimes I find a good radio station on iTunes, at times I pop in a generic ‘nature sounds’ CD, and there are times I even sing.  My intense physical cleaning includes all altar tools.  I recharge everything for two days(technically one FULL day):  a day in the sun — a night under the moon.  Depending on the weather the items may be charged through the window in the light of Goddess. The moon doesn’t necessarily have to be full, but I normally prefer it that way.  However, if I know I will be doing any workings or ritual soon after arriving home I will not wait for the full moon.  Even when we cannot see Goddess she is always there. This allows me time to recuperate from traveling while everything cleanses and charges.

The time I spend with all my stuff when I return helps to strengthen the bond I have with those items.  They are mine.  They belong to me.  Like any healthy and strong relationship, my passion is rekindled for these things when I have been away for any extended period of time.  These things are not just things.  They are my things.  They are the physical representatives of other things.  They each mean something to me.

“I think I will Google how to do a spell”

If that thought has crossed your mind, STOP.

You do not need to do an internet search on how to do a spell.  There is no right way or any certain way to do any spell.  In my opinion, beginner witches shouldn’t be doing spells, honestly.  I feel that you need to have a personal relationship with your chosen deities before you start asking for assistance of things.  They need to know you’re serious.  They need to know you aren’t just going through a ‘phase’ and want to see if you will get what you ask for before you commit.

What is a spell?

Well a spell isn’t something that requires a list of exotic and expensive ingredients.  As a matter of fact – I get a bit insulted when I see ‘witchy stores’ offering spell kits.  I feel that when it comes to spell casting there should be no convenient alternative.  I don’t feel any spell should be offered in a zip loc bag for the low, low price of $19.99.  From a business point of view, I can understand why they do it.  However, I feel a better alternative would be to offer ‘make your own spell kits’ where a customer can pick a candle, an herb, an oil, piece of parchment, incense, and a crystal.  That’s just how I would do it if one day I live my dream of having my own ‘witchy store’.

A spell is simply a prayer.  A prayer that has been strengthened with other items.  Some spells are as simple as thinking of something really hard – or as elaborate as acquiring crystals, specific herbs, etching a candle, burning a special candle for 7 days … the list is endless. The bottom line is – all spells are a prayer with focused intent.

I heard to do a spell you need x, y, and z.

No.  You don’t.  Not unless you personally feel you must have those items to strengthen your intent. The more you do yourself for the spell, the more powerful it will be.  If you simply punch “love spell’ into  a search engine and write everything down word for word, gather the exact things the internet says to gather, do it at the time the internet said to do it – how completely pointless.  I imagine that for the God and Goddess hearing spells like this is like going and hearing a really bad cover band.

I can understand becoming stuck while trying to write a spell.  It happens!  But I personally feel that casting spells should be done once you have a personal relationship with your chosen deities.  That is because the human mind is very powerful.  The saying “you can do anything you put your mind to” is very true.  Anything you put out to the universe can be done.  Does it always happen?  No.  Why?  For the same reason that we aren’t all millionaires.  The potential is there.  Anyone could be a millionaire.  Yet we aren’t all millionaires.

Spells are the same.  We can all cast spells.  Should we?  No.

When is the best time to cast a spell?

When you aren’t angry.  When you aren’t sad.  When you are totally emotionally stable and have meditated on the focus of your spell for at least 48 hours.  Why?  Well this is to be sure that if your intentions aren’t entirely good that you have time to back out before its too late.  Sometimes we think we want things, but all too often we wish we could go back and change it.  In my path there is no repentance.  You will pay for your mistakes no matter how sorry you are for them.  Eye for an eye.

Can’t you only cast spells at certain times of the week/month/moon phase?

Some people think so.  There are people who believe that if you want to cast a protection spell it should be done on Thursday night between 8pm and 11pm in the New Moon with a black candle, a mirror, a piece of quarts while burning blue sage.  I, however, do not think this.

I think any time you need to cast a spell and you are in control of yourself – do it.  I am not entirely comfortable only doing things when I’m told by someone else they need to be done.  Sabbats are different.  Spells, I feel, are personal.  Rituals when done with a group/coven are less personal but still powerful.  I have never been part of a group that does spell work together.

I just heard about witchcraft and I want to cast a spell.

Who am I to say you can’t?  No one.  But I like to tell people “I just heard about heart surgery and I want to do a transplant on you”.  It doesn’t work that way with anything else in the universe, so why should it work that way with witchcraft?  It shouldn’t.  It doesn’t.  It won’t.

Try doing a daily devotional for a few months first.  Get familiar with what it feels like when you are charged with energy.  Get familiar with how to release that energy in a focused way in order to empower your intent.

Have a conversation with your chosen deities every morning when you get up.  Tell your deities what you would like to focus on that day (example: let me have patience with co-workers today) and start from there!

Try it!

Imbolc

Many of you know that Imbolc (pronounced EM-bulk)  is just around the corner!

What is Imbolc?  Well, it is one of the 8 Sabbats.  Its also sometimes called Candlemas.  Think of it as the Spring starting to kick within the womb of Earth.  It is a time to celebrate the lengthening of the days.

There are many traditional stories about Imbolc/Candlemas.  Groundhog Day is a spin on an ancient Celtic tradition where they thought if the weather was nasty – the hag stayed inside and gathered no more wood for the winter (meaning Spring will come sooner).  If the weather is lovely – then the hag is out gathering wood and Winter will last a bit longer.  This is of course the Laymen’s Terms.  I tend to just give the basic idea so as not to drone on and on (I do that sometimes.)

This is the time of year (first couple weeks of February) that the ewes give birth en masse.  In England they called it “Lambing Season”.

Here is a list of things associated with Imbolc/Candlemas

 

Activities Usually done at Imbolc/Candlemas

  • Light a candle in every window (never leave candles unattended! Just light one in the room you’re in)
  • Hiking and searching for signs of Spring
  • Making Priapic Wands (wand made out of an acorn, ribbons, a stick, and a bell. Its meant to be phallic to represent fertility. Instructions to make one is below*)
  • Feasting
  • Bon Fires

(some) Deities associated with Imbolc:

  • All Virgins/Maiden Goddesses
  •  Brighid
  • Athena
  • Gaia
  • Gods of Love and Fertility (such as Eros)

 

Symbols of Imbolc/Candlemas:

  • Purity
  • Growth
  • Re-Newal
  • Fertility
  • ‘Out with the old – In with the new’ 

 

Herbs associated with Imbolc

  • Angelica
  • Basil
  • Bay
  • Blackberry
  • Coltsfoot
  • Iris
  • Myrrh 

Stones/Gems of Imbolc

  • Amethyst
  • Bloodstone
  • Garnet
  • Ruby
  • Onyx
  • Turquoise 
*And if you’re interested .. here’s how to make a priapic wand:
You will need —-
An acorn
A stick
Glue (hot glue works best)
Ribbon (any color you want!)
Bells (the small jingly kind)
Glue the acorn to one end of the stick.
However many bells you are using – leave that many strands of ribbon hanging free
Wrap the rest of the ribbon on your stick however you like!
Attach the bells
Go outside and wave your fertility wand about.  Find new growth and make a fertility tornado/cyclone around it.  The bells help wake the sleeping earth after its Winter hibernation.
This is a great activity to do with children in particular – but its fun for adults too!

The First Post

Well here goes.

This is officially the first post.  Well, the second actually.  I spent way too much time filling in the ‘about’ page.  Have you read that?  You should.

I hope to post here very often with information, inspiration, divination and anything else that pops into my mind.

As a witch who started her path at the dawn of the Internet Era, I have sifted through a lot of garbage as far as my online guidance attempts go.  I grew up in the Bible Belt where there was no ‘New Age’ section at the Barnes & Noble (which was over an hour away from where I lived) or any way of finding other Pagans easily.  If they did exist – they were super deep in the broom closet.

Some posts here may be as simple as a picture.  Perhaps as complex as a new ritual I am trying.  Maybe I put a song I heard on iTunes that I think others will enjoy.

I am not the authority on Paganism.  I would go so far as to say there are many people out there much more qualified to share what’s in their mind than I am.  However, without the guidance of other Pagans from all over the world I would have never become the Witch I had always wanted to be.  I think there is a time in everyone’s life path where they need some information, ideas, or inspiration from someone else’s mind.  I want to be that.  I want to help push others.  I want them to be the witches they want to be, too!

Information I share here will be open ended with no path as a focus.  That is because it is the way I have chosen to travel my path.  I spiritually identify with a lot of paths, but I can’t seem to 100% follow everything on any one path.  Instead of having any internal conflict – I take the bits I like.  The bits that feel right.  The pieces that are non-restrictive.  I’m just totally Pagan.

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