#30DaysMagicalRoots Challenge Days 18 & 19

Day 18: Elemental Magic
Spend some time today working with and acknowledging the elements of your practice. Do you honor the Land/Sea/Sky elements, or the elements of water, fire, air, and earth, or something else? WHY do you work with those elements and what have they brought to your life?

If you couldn’t tell by now, my two favourites as far as elemental work and magic goes are water and earth. I have, however, certainly been working with a lot of fire since starting my tea shop, and air of course for inspiration. I very much like balance, so even though I am most comfortable with earth and water, at least for myself, I know I need to work with air and fire as well. In fact, the last couple of years have been very air and fire-intensive.

The other element that I feel strongly connected to is spirit, or what I like to think of as love. The thing that connects us all, that’s in us all, that we are all a part of. Every thing. I’ve also been thinking of spirit as simply connection.

I feel spirit most when I allow myself to be authentic with another person, when I allow myself to speak straight from the heart, to emit an openness and truth that we are often not taught to share. I feel this when I am overwhelmed with emotion when interacting with not only people, but animals, or even a place.
I know that pleasantries help us avoid conflict, but to always wade in the shallow end doesn’t allow us to really connect to each other and see our higher selves, who are connected by this human experience, connected by our very existence in this universe.

This idea of spirit and connection has allowed me to be much more compassionate and understanding with people. And with myself.

Day 19: Sacred Space/Circle Casting
How do you create sacred space for yourself? Do you cast a circle every time you work a spell? Or do you have a dedicated space that you practice in? Take some time today to settle into that space and enjoy its sacredness.

How I create sacred space changes a lot for me each time I do it, though it usually involves one of or more of a few simple actions. The first is to clear a space with incense. I will walk around the room I am going to be in whilst performing

The first is to clear a space with incense. I will walk around the room I am going to be in whilst performing magick or just connecting with my gods, or meditating.

The second thing would be asking the four corners of the earth to aid and protect me. This is something I do when I want to do some serious ritual or magick. This can also be asking the elements to aid and protect me. This would involve the incensing of the room, as well as salting, asperging, and carrying a flame around the room to not only help in cleansing, but infuse the room with each element’s energy.

For serious work, I will formally invite my gods in. It may be all of them, or it could be just one, depending on the work to be done.

Finally, I will create an astral boundary around the room, though I usually like to do the whole house. This comes from a combination of my own energy, as well as earth energy, and if I’m working with my gods, a bit of theirs as well.

 

Sitting in sacred space feels similar to sitting in spiritually cleansed space, in that it’s warm, and seems to flow easily. However, there is something more to a sacred space, something tingly, something that feels like home. Perhaps it is that we are more in tune with who we are outside of this body, this human life. I’m not sure, but it’s certainly different and lovely!

 

Why not give this #30daysmagicalroots challenge a whirl? You can find it on Plentiful Earth

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Making all the art

The inspiration bug has bitten hard over here. Not only for paintings, but I’m feeling the need to make music wash over me again. I’m focusing more on the paintings at the moment, but I have been recording snippets of melody and even lyrics now and again.

It’s funny that I used to think I SHOULD only focus on one or two things, and now I’m like, YAAAASSS, all the things, all the time. I’ve even been planning a couple different meads.  And also (see I told you I just wanna do all the things), I’ve been feeling a very strong pull back into witchcraft, which has fallen very far off to the side in the past few years.
I suppose now’s the time to do things since once the holiday buying season ramps up, I’m not going to have time for anything at all.

But let’s talk about the paintings because I haven’t shared them with you here yet. I currently have 4 that have been printed and are ready to ship when I get the proper sleeves for them, they’re my Elemental Goddesses.

 

Even though I wanted to start putting these up in the shop earlier, turns out I didn’t plan for the extra matting around the prints, and now I have improper sized plastic sleeves to ship the prints in. Sigh.

The reason why I’m waiting to fix that issue is that I am currently in preparations for my first craft market next month, so I’m waiting for funds to be replenished first. However, I’m excited to see what a market is like on the selling side of things!

Lastly, I just finished Her last night, is my Star Goddess. I really loved painting Her, and I think when I order prints, I’m setting one aside for my own wall. Also, nebulas are so fun to paint!

Pagan Blog Project – N is for New Perspective

image

The last few weeks has been full of preparations to attend the Sunwheel Pagan Arts Fest in Alberta, and helping some friends during an emergency. In the past few weeks of finishing the blanket, I had contemplated selling pagan themed knit blankets online.

The weekend and few days before travelling to the Fest, I had fallen in a terrible dark place that I couldn’t seem to climb out of. Something became clear from it, yet even after that realization, I still was full of despair.

I was hoping for lots of sun in Alberta, and boy did I get it! It was very hot, and the moment you began to move, you broke out in sweat. But I asked for it. The very first night, I walked on glass then fire. Being told to write down something that we wished to walk over through fire, it took me a minute to realize the all encompasing problem I’ve had the past 9 months… fear. It was at first fear of death, which mellowed into just an overall fear.

Well, I walked some of it out over the fire… then I sweat it out over the weekend, enduring the fire of the sun, and the fire of alcohol. As much as I was dreading going the day before, I am so thankful for having gone with some of my trad and coven mates, and making friends with fabulous people.

So, what’s this new perspective? It’s this: I need to sing. I have to drop all of these other ideas of doing something else for a living/career. There’s a reason why nothing else sticks. Being surrounded by amazing and talented people like Chalice and Blade (who also happen to be friends), Heather Dale and Ben, Sharon Knoght and Winter, and Vanessa Cardui along with her posse…. I realized in creating and performing my music in a pagan sphere will give me what I need as a performer (the ability to control my schedule), and as someone who wants a house, a garden, and children one day in the not so distant future.
I’m not going to have to worry about some other prima donna soprano ready to take my place every time I need quiet and home, and having a very difficult time trying to find a spot in an opera when I’m ready to go back in.

Now I’m writing these songs that have broke through the distraction of fear, and researching how to do what needs doing leading up to being a pagan musician.

Hail the Sun!

The Month of Alder

Latin Name
Alnus Glutinosa(Black Alder found in Europe)

Common Names
Scottish Mahogany, Irish Mahogany, King of the Forest, Tree of the Fairies

Celtic Name
Fearn

Dates
March 18 – April 14

Constituents
Between 16-20% tannins in young shoots and the bark of the trees. The bark also contains phenolic glycosides, lignans, emodin, and triterpenes. The leaves contain flavonoid glycosides, specifically hyperoside, and resin.

Medicinal Uses
As an astringent, tonic, antiviral (especially for herpes), haemorraghic, antibacterial, emetic, vulnerary, febrifuge, anti diarrhoeal, lymphatic, and possible anti inflammatory.

The leaves were traditionally added to a bed to treat rheumatism. They are just as easily added to a duvet for the same effect.
They are also used to treat inflammation and burns, especially inflammation of the breast.

As an astringent, it is used to treat bruising, swelling, mouth ulcers, and sore throats. It is also used to combat eczema, acne, and impetigo. The cones are used to treat heamorrhage and haematuria.

Can be used to cleanse the blood and tissue, and well treats rhinitis.

The whole plant is used to be rid of fleas in the house.

Associations
Moon, Mars, Fire and Water, lapis lazuli, amethyst, ravens, hawks, seagulls, purple, Odin, Bran, King Arthur, Apollo, Astarte, Aphrodite, Pan, Lugh, Orpheus, Branwn, Arianrhod, fox.

Magical Uses
As it is associated with both the Moon and Mars, and Water and Fire, there is the obvious connection with balance between the emotions and with actions. It’s also used when you need to face all that you’ve avoided recently.

Because of it’s fantastic dyeing properties, it has strong associations with spinning and fabric making.

Making whistles of the shoots is quite easy as the pith of a shoot is simple to push out, making it possible to create Panpipes with the shoots and cutting them at different lengths, then tying them together. This holds great sway over the four winds and Air Elementals, in fact, “whistling up the wind” is said to have started with Alder whistles.

Because it is a tree that allows access to the faerie realms, it is not good fortune to cut one down, as it is a charm against malevolent fairies. Water sprites are said to protect the tree, so again, be wary of cutting it down.

A really fascinating property of the tree is because of its love to be near water (you’ll find them growing near rivers/streams), when the wood is emerged in water, it does not rot, in fact, it becomes incredibly hard, almost as hard as ebony.

Cicely Mary Barker – The Alder Fairy

Allspice

Image from Wikipedia

Latin Name: Pimenta dioica

Common Names: Pimento, Jamaica Pepper, Eddo, Madere, Basheen, Kouroubaga

Parts Used: Fruit, the shells in particular

Herbal Usages:
Although Allspice is now mostly used as a flavouring and condiment in foods, it does aid in griping (pain in the bowels), and when using a purgative (cleansing) for the bowels. It will rid you of the flatulence associated with bowel issues.

Image from Wikipedia

Magical Properties:
This is a spice associated with Fire and Mars, a very masculine spice indeed. It is used for attracting money, luck, success, and healing. Carried in a green flannel bag, it will bring you luck while gambling. Allspice will help you beat out your competition, so carrying some on you while going for interviews, or while competing for something will greatly increase your chances of coming out on top. It is a very useful spice to carry while being a salesperson as it makes it more likely people will buy more from you. Sprinkle the powder at your business or place of work to bring great success; rubbing your hands with it will attract money to your hands.

Image from Wikipedia

The Merry Month Of May

Cernunnos The Golden King Stag – by Sapphire Blackrose

What a busy month it has been! My trad had their Beltaine celebrations on the first weekend in May, which was wonderful! The old Stag King died to regenerate into our new Stag King; the May Queen’s crown was passed on to the renewed May Queen. On this same weekend, a friend of mine said she was in town for the night before my trad’s Beltaine, and the day of our celebrations, so we were very busy having fun with her, perusing our huge mall, lol, eating good food…

Then it was my birthday on the Monday after that weekend, I went and hung out with my HPs while my man was at work. What a lovely day it was! It’s so nice to be somewhere far away from your family, but have people here that feel so much like family. I am feeling the love 😉

Then this past weekend was a camping trip with a local pagan group for Beltaine! What a weekend! I am so lucky that a coven member of mine put on the rituals for the weekend, and how absolutely beautiful they were! The Friday night, we all walked out into the night darkened woods, cast our circle and enjoyed a very sensual ritual 😉 Then there was much merry-making and couples walking away from the light of the sacred fire to go a Maying 🙂 On the Saturday, they held another ritual to charge two new gifts that my coven-mate had made as gifts for the May Queen and Stag King. The energy pulsing through all of our bodies and through our held hands to our neighbours was powerful, warm, strong. The energy raising definitely took much of my energy out to be imbued in the items!

Venus Verticordia – Dante Gabriel Rossetti

A half hour after that ritual was done, it was time for the men and women to separate to experience each sex’s mysteries and to choose the May Queen and Stag King for the year. I enjoyed a small group of the women having a meditative time making something to wear by the fires that night; we chanted and raised more energy while the Goddess was choosing who would represent Her for the coming year. It was such a beautiful afternoon, very trance-like, and very much full of love.

When the time came, the men came back, the God within them all, the fire of the season all in their eyes. The new Stag King came forth to combat the other men, then finally to combat the Old Stag King who was to be sacrificed. When the battle was won, He came towards us women who were protecting our Queen, pushing his way through until they finally came together. A passionate kiss was shared, and all were rejoicing! Hail the King! Hail the Queen! Hail! Hail! Hail!

Image from Wikipedia

The May Pole was picked up by the men and the Stag King, raised and penetrated the earth. We chose our ribbons to dance the May Pole dance. We skipped and twirled, laughed and flirted, made a horrible of the weave until our Queen stopped us to begin doing it the right way 🙂 As we danced, we got closer to each other, there were winks and sexy propositions, warmth and touch.

Dancing and singing continued by the fire, and before the sun went down, we un-danced the May Pole, it becoming a veiled phallus in the night while couples came and went from the fire again.

After this weekend of ritual, magic, love, friendship, kisses, and sex, I am feeling very much connected with the Gods… the energy still courses through me. I am in bliss.

Hail the King! Hail the Queen!

Winter Fires

Winter Fires
Now, as winter  fires
fall soft and low,
and the snow is tossed
and blown about,
I find in the blankets
of my weary head,
the comfort of things
I might of said.

In my tiny bed
of make believe,
the dragons, the demons
are glad to leave.
And the icy chill that wraps
the window pane,
is lost to the warmth and wonder
within my brain.

So, the wind may blow,
the fire may die,
but neither can ever
ferret why . . .

I smile
I choose to ignore their face
gone to the memory
of some happier place
by Linda Copp

Month of the Rowan



Celtic Name
LuisLatin Name
Sorbus Aucuparia

Dates
January 21 – February 17

Parts Used
Berries, bark

Medicinal Qualities
The  bark of the Rowan, as well as most other tree’s bark, has astringent and tannic properties. The bark would be used in a decoction as a blood cleanser, to treat diarrhea, nausea and upset stomach.

The berries are high in vitamin C, and were used to fight scurvy. The berries were made into jams and jellies; teas for diarrhea, hemorrhoids and urinary tract conditions as the berries have diuretic properties; a gargle of the fresh berry juice aids with inflamed mucous membranes

*Please note that before consuming the berries, they must be cooked as they contain parasorbic acid, a cancer causing compound.

Magical Properties
Associated with masculinity, Mars, fire, Imbolc, Brighid.

Used in protection spells, especially against fire and lightning. It was hung around dog’s necks for increased speed, hung in homes to protect against charms of fire, and protection against fires. The Rowan also has the powers to protect humans and animals alike against baneful spirits. It is also used in healing of the body. Equal armed crosses of Rowan are carried for protection against harm and wands placed above doorways for luck and good fortune.
The trees were planted in churchyards to watch over the dead. Because of the five pointed star you see when you slice a berry in half, it is believed that the tree has the ability to protect against witchery, trickery and enchantment. The tree is also said to bring about more strength through courage.

Elemental Magic(k) – Fire

It’s now time to discuss Fire elemental magic(k). Fire is the element of the South (or East, depending on your tradition), Summer, the Spirit, youth, will, the masculine, activity, sexuality, transformation, courage, protection, physical strength, physical exercise, passion and growth. We work with Fire when we dealing with issues of will power, being fearful, and generally moving forward (motivation).

Herbal/Oil/Incense Associations:
Copal, Frankincense, Rose, Olibanum, Orange, Cinnamon, Calendula, Saffron, Almond, Basil, Juniper, Lime.

Stone Associations:
Pyrite, Fire Opal, Fire Garnet, Amethyst, Firestone, Fire Agate, Ruby, Obsidian, Lava, Red Jasper, Bloodstone, Carnelian, Quartz Crystals, Tiger’s Eye, Rhodochrosite.

Elemental Beings:
Salamanders: beings who excite passions, powerful emotions; help in tearing down the old and making way for the new; help in healing the body and mind; stimulate spiritual ideas and perceptions.

Animals:
Lion, Phoenix, Dragon, Lizards, Praying Mantis, Ladybug, Bee, Scorpion, Shark, Horses, Coyotes, Foxes, Snakes.

Tarot:
The Wands suite, The Emperor, The Tower, The Wheel Of Fortune.

Gods:
Hestia, Brigid, Hephaestos, Adranus, Belenos, Ayao, Belisama, Sekhmet, Ra, Loki.

Magic(k)al Workings:
Will power, creativity, healing, purification, passion, love, courage, motivation, growth, spirituality/faith.

Month of the Holly


We are now enjoying the month of the Holly, Tinne, from the 8th of July to the 4th of August. Awesomely enough, the new place we are living in has a nice Holly tree in the front yard! They are beautiful trees to say the least and hold a lot of mythological and magical history.

Latin Name:
Ilex aquifolium (English Holly)
Ilex opaca (American Holly)

Parts Used:
Bark, berries, leaves

Herbal Usages:
Holly leaves have been used in infusions as a diaphoretic (induces perspiration) for fevers. The juice of the leaves also aids in jaundice.

The berries are a very strong emetic and purgative, and therefor should not be ingested unless vomiting is needed. In which case, only a few should be taken.
The berries in powder form is also used as an astringent for swelling and to check bleeding.

Associations:
Fire; Holly King; spear; Odin; Mars; Ares; feminine; life, death and rebirth; dark half of the year.

Magic(k)al Workings:
An incredible protective wood, it is used to ward off negative energies, evil spirits, poisons, angry elementals and lightning. It is also used in dream magic(k), placing a piece of holly under your pillow is said to bring prophetic dreams. It works very well in fertility magic(k) too.

It is very useful in magic(k)s that overthrow the old to bring in the new; to bring success to a new stage of development; and when seeking for a successful business endeavour.