Monthly Archives: June 2017

Bobcat’s Message

If you discover that your call is to the animal world you may find this article helpful -though, it does indicate that personal work and devotion is required. The call may come in the form of personal experiences (and attraction)  with animals or very vivid repeated animal visitation in your dreams. What do we do with these dreams and experiences? What do they mean and how can we begin to open to the understanding that calls us?

My first experiences with the animal folk began as a child. They came to me in person and in dreams. At the time, I was unaware of the gift they were offering me. As a child often is, I was careless. I tangled the beautiful web of spider into a jar and held her prisoner. Then spider came to me with hissing, raised legs and in crawling numbers too numerous to count. I’d wiggle myself awake trying to shake them off. In time, I grew a healthy respect. Animals were my death teachers -showing me that decay was a part of life not separate from it.  Vulture brought those lessons.   They attacked me in a dream but then later asked me why I was so upset, they explained “We are picking out the dead parts of you that are not helping you anymore.”

The world of dream and waking cross when we discover that the animal is visiting our front door. In 2014, I went for a walk in the woods. I’d been having ominous dreams about a man in black with a fox mask following my daughter and I. In the dream there were many eyes in the forest watching me. The next day, as I wrote the dream, I felt inclined to visit the forest. I had a talk with a friend and he took to onto the land. There were many signs of animals: Stags marked the trees with their horns, coyotes bleached a tree by peeing on it over and over, and the bear had knocked over several logs as if to say: I am here. William had spent many years on the land, I was grateful to learn these things and he was a good teacher -whether it was his intention or not.

I didn’t encounter any animals that day -only signs…which was part of the message. In the quiet of the night, the bobcat came to see me. In the dream, he came to sit at the edge of the property. As usual, I was concerned for my safety but bobcat did not show any threat. Eye contact with bobcat suddenly revealed a need for me to separate, to be alone and “unseen” for a while in order to cultivate understanding. I considered dreaming as I recorded it. Hearing the last of my coffee strain, I poured a cup and headed to a chair right outside the camper door. The cool moist leaves greeted the soles of my feet and I felt the inclination to look up. There, right before my eyes was the gray, full coat bobcat. Her eyes held me directly and time held still. Immediately, I had the understanding that it was time for me to prepare to move, the feeling was this (It is time to be solitary for a while, sit with it.) Bobcat broke the gaze and disappeared into the misty morning.

The past few years have given me the keys to tap into the dreams and messages of the animal folk. Despite Bobcat bringing me to being a solitary practitioner (a path I didn’t initially feel was for me,) these last few years have helped me to grow immensely. To understand the messages that you may be receiving it is important to make space for yourself (even if it is only fifteen minutes in the bathroom with a lit candle and a locked door.) In addition, get outside and into nature more often. Remove yourself from harmful, negative environments, practice meditation, still the chattering mind, be open and receptive. Observe the behavior of the animal and research how this creature thrives. Ask questions for revelation and contemplate how this energy may be relevant to your life.

What are the strengths and weaknesses of the animal?
What kind of environment does this animal thrive in?
Who/What are the natural enemies and threats to this animal?
What have we symbolically attributed to this creature?
What do I need to take from this experience?

The pathway to understanding can take a lot of patience. No matter how many animal Oracle books you may read, it won’t take the place of needing to make space for these sacred experiences. The space you make (it honors your connection) for stillness and meditation, for that walk or hike, to simply be open and receptive -that will be of greater service than you might imagine. May your journey be one of revelation, safety, and success!

Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons

Spell Crafting and Casting

Casting a spell is about focus, intent, and energy. While there is nothing wrong with borrowing a good spell, the ones that pack a punch are those that are written by the caster.  This article helps you to prepare to write your own spells and then afterward document them (at least I would.)  As it is helpful later to see what worked for you best and what didn’t.

Spells do not have to be complicated but, it is helpful to understand the energy in your body when it comes to casting.  Imagine a water hose with a lot of holes poked into the sides.  If the water is draining out all over the place it is difficult for the water to develop pressure.  This is the way I think of how energy is directed; it needs focus.  Some things you may research in addition to planning your spells are the following.  I’ll be writing future articles in these topics as well.

  1.  Experiencing personal energy (this is your energy)
  2. Developing awareness of your flow. (there is a projective and a receptive flow)
  3. Connecting with other energy sources. (elemental energy, divine energy etc.)
  4. Drawing up and projecting energy (channeling the energy into your body, raising it and projecting it while focusing on the goal of the working)

Writing and Designing Spells

Spells do not have to rhyme though I do enjoy the way that they flow when they happen to.  It also has helped me to memorize them over time.  Spells do not have to be overly complex and require mysterious ingredients.  What you use in a spell is relevant because symbols have real power in the mind and because natural items such as shells and herbs carry energies of their own. When you become adept at the energy work aspect of spells, you’ll discover that you won’t need items at all.  However, I enjoy working with “things,” the colors, symbols, and tools appeal to my inner child.  You should know your intention prior to casting a spell.  If you are unsure of your motivations and the purpose of the spell a lot of energy will be misdirected.  It is important to set clear goals but not to over limit yourself.  For example, if I desire to own a vehicle for my transportation needs but limit it to a Corvette only, it may take much more time to manifest (setting up your own blocks in this case.)  Visualize the end result and don’t worry about all the details.  This was my challenge when I first started to practice magic.  I found myself bantering over the tiniest details and attempting to imagine how each thing would unfold.  Over analysis can be the death of a good working.

Consider what kind of magic will use.  There are various kinds of magic and though we will not be discussing them here, some of them include knot (cord), candle, petition (paper), elemental, herbal magic, art as magic, and combination magic (using multiple techniques such as stuffing a candle with charged herbs. Ask yourself questions (Will this spell take more than one day?  Will I need a place to keep spell remnants?   Decide upon the timing of your spell.  While not everyone plans their spells per the phases of the moon, I’ve found it very helpful. Is it necessary -no.  But, I’ll add that attuning my own work to natural forces has been personally enlightening.

Spell Casting

As you gather the items for your working, keep in mind what each item is for.  When I first began, it helped to tell the item as I picked it up what their purpose would be in the work.  I’ve referred to this before as “gathering with intent.” After all your items are gathered and your space is prepared, take a few deep breaths.  You might have a special ritual prepared around beginning a spell (such as lighting a candle, clearing the energetic space with a broom or sage, tossing salt or casting circle.)  This will differ from practitioner to practitioner.  It is important to note that over time, you will develop your own special rituals around your work.  Though being spontaneous has its high points, I’ve found great power in the personal rituals that have unfolded with time and remained relatively constant.  Now, there are multiple methods to magic, you may read about some of these in the Green Witch series by Ann Moura.  She discusses various methods:  sympathetic, directive, transference, and comparative.  I primarily use directive as a method which requires that personal energy is raised during the spell casting process.  For the spell, you are “raising” the energy both from your body and the energy that you draw in from around you.  To raise the energy, first, hold the goal in mind, then use one of the many various techniques to raise energy (drumming, dancing, chanting, humming, progressive tensing of the muscles in the body…)  At the end of your spell casting, remember to ground out any excess energy that you did not use.  This is important if you do not ground, it is likely that you will experience symptoms that are much like withdrawing from caffeine (tiredness, headaches, feeling the need to take a nap…just “zapped.”)

For the last fourteen years, I’ve documented my work as a practitioner.  I wish there were words that explained how useful documenting spell work, results, meditations, and experiences has been in my personal growth (especially in retrospect.)  Whether you are a planner or your spells just pop in your head spontaneously, try to jot them down and record the results.  Be excited to try new things prior to judging them.  Most importantly, let your personal experience dictate your work.

 

Negative Entities (How to begin to heal and be rid of them)

Occasionally, something serious pops up -the kind of things that give you chills.   Sometimes, it begins with a crawling sensation up your spine, the feeling that you are being watched or objects going missing and turning up in very, very strange places. It may accompany physical and mental illness too such as anxiety and depression which need support and guidance.  It can leave you feeling vulnerable, alone and energetically depleted. 

If you happen to be very sensitive, dealing with the “yuckies” (negative spirits especially) can be exceptionally difficult.  However, necessary.  It isn’t a quick fix; it is a life-style change.  It is important to address the need to love yourself, to set boundaries both physically and spiritually, to clear out forces in your  life that have ultimately brought you to harm.  Your personal spiritual practice can be an important support in your life.  As a practitioner of the Craft, as a witch (Wiccan or otherwise).  Really, this is a real call for addressing serious change in life -and these changes are often life altering.  You can’t ignore it (although you can try), staying frozen in fear will only allow more fearful experiences in and screaming and yelling for it all to go away just feeds the force. 

In 2007 I was dealing with similar forces in my own life.  I was absolutely terrified.  My dreams provided me with the solution though I was unsure how to approach it at the time.  I stood at the bank of a river.  I saw something coming at me and just knew it was going to get me.  The surface of the river was broken and a turtle of massive size eyed me.  It is going to eat me, I thought! She didn’t eat me.  She eyed me, I felt calm.  Suddenly, she looked behind me at a large cliff.  She pulled deep into her shell only moments before the ground shook.  I panicked and attempted to dodge the falling stones that threatened to crush me flat. I witnessed the stones bouncing off her shell and falling harmlessly into the water below.  After the danger passed, she emerged from her shell and again made eye contact.  An understanding unfolded in that moment.  It is ok to protect yourself, to go within and to be firm about your boundaries. 

Some of the things that you might do are listed below.  Stick to it, smile, focus on your joy and let the magic of love unfold.

Ø Clear your home with a strong incense:  Rosemary, sage, frankincense work great. 

Ø Play uplifting music. 

Ø When you visualize, or feel intrusive thoughts that you feel might be coming from elsewhere, visualize a huge red or black X over the top and use a power word: “no” “delete” “enough.”  “not happening.”  Of course, if you have aligned yourself with any force or power that you feel can help you, feel free to use a familiar name (such as the name of a deity.)

Ø Focus on your healing.  Every time you catch your thoughts wondering to negative, fearful things, acknowledge the thought, focus on your breathing the best that you can and bring your attention to your personal healing.  Approaching it this way helps to keep your energy levels a little higher. 

Remember, when dealing with negative energies/entities, the idea is the break you down, make you susceptible and vulnerable.  If you are experiencing paranormal activity in conjunction with the feelings, it is important to be active and vigilant.  Don’t feel afraid to ask for help or advice from those of like mind.  If you have family or loved ones you are close to and that support you, stick close to them as it will help to protect you.  Our supportive connections are often why there is an attempt to make us feel alone and isolated.  There are no quick fixes for situations like this and healing takes time -sometimes a lot of it.  Be committed to yourself and to what you need in your life.  Be patient and kind with yourself on your journey and remember that really, no one is truly ever alone. You might not care for all the guidance given but you might get some information that you needed.  

Magic and Integrity

Years ago, when I aided in teaching young children martial arts, we would attempt to teach children vocabulary relevant to their lessons.  One lesson was integrity.  It was defined as “Doing what is right even when no one is looking.”  The questions that rise to the surface are; What do you stand for?  What code do you live by? As a Wiccan hedge witch, I sometimes find it difficult to completely take in the concept of “harm none.”  Is that truly possible?  Do we not destroy life as we walk upon the land, deprive someone when we choose to take?  Talk about opening a Pandora’s box of philosophical questions that will make your head and heart ache!

This work tells a little about how I’ve managed to find a personal understanding of “harm none.” At some point in my contemplation came the realization that it is intention that is left out of that statement.   I’ve personally interpreted it as; do not intentionally seek to destroy another and do not use the power against your brothers and sisters in a way that brings ruin.  Let me clarify however that I do not mean that energies cannot be directed to bring balance to a situation, to uncover and dispel lies and illusions and to make someone responsible for their actions.  The best spells honestly are the ones that bring powerful, personal revelations to all parties involved.

Often, I have received requests to do magic for others.  This is a rare act on my part.  I’ve heard this said:  People that use magic are selfish, it shouldn’t be used for personal gain.  Ever dancing between the wondrous greys, I try to look beyond the black and white extremes (I do keep them in mind though.)   I use magic for my own ends ultimately as well as in a broader sense.  Let me explain.  When something terrible happens in the world, I work for peace, understanding, love and to dispel ignorance and confusions that pit people against one another.  Of course, that does not mean I won’t work for myself!

I deeply feel that in the endeavor to heal ourselves, to make ourselves more whole in each moment (yes even with the power of magic) is to begin to heal aspects of the world.  When we come from a place of love and healing we can begin to approach problems much larger than those on an individual scale. I have used magic to reveal the source of my anxiety, to face and dispel fear, to negate harmful energies (both intentionally and unintentionally directed.)  To clear space, to find courage and confidence, to bring me to resolution and so much more.  The greatest part?  Magic has taught me more about myself than I could have imagined.  While I can think of an array of examples, one stand out.

In 2012, I became quite aware that something wasn’t right in my marriage.  I’d no proof at all but suddenly a wonderfully detailed spell popped right into my head involving securing fidelity in my relationship.  I was supposed to do it right! I mean, it did pop into my head.  I chose not to.  Instead, I decided to follow the deep seeded feeling that something was wrong.  Animals came to visit me in my dreams, Lynx with her secrets and vulture begging to peck out the dead parts…and you know, it was painful as any hell I could describe.  I lost nearly everything I’d come to know during that phase of my life.  The real point is; I needed to lose it.  While I don’t have all the answers about personal integrity and the use of magic, I have learned that it isn’t always the answer.  Sometimes, you must put it down, tap into your deeper self and just listen.  You may not like what you hear, but most of the time it is well worth it -even if it sends your life reeling; you’ll find yourself on the road back home to your own heart each time.

St. Louis Pagan Picnic 2017

This year’s Pagan Picnic was an absolute blast!  I started the day by repeating something I’d done two years ago, coming in  on the wrong side of the park.  It took me about half and hour to realize the farmers market (which was awesome too) was not what I was looking for.  I merely assumed a lot could change during a year.  Note to self, the large, beautiful gazebo’s mark the wrong spot.

Luckily, with a little guidance and a bit of a walk I found my way to the right side of the park where all the adventures awaited. My daughter was very pleased with the walk and enjoyed spending time lazing beneath a gum ball tree (which we always seem to be pulled to.)

 On our walk we were joined by others who also managed to wonder to the wrong side. Nothing like finding your way by getting a little lost!  Note to self -and anyone else with a befuddled sense of direction, Magnolia and Grand St.  (helps with the parking.) Next year, just in case, I’m taking a map with me -remember “Grand” (click here for map.)

As we managed our way through the entrance my daughter found the closest stands selling soaps and bath bombs while I stopped for a fantastic divination reading.  I usually stop at a few readers during my stay.  My card reading was a real joy (thank you Michael). Not only were well needed messages revealed but I also discovered a kindred spirit.  I do love the dragon folk.  My favorite vendors to visit were Michelle Streetman’s Link Leather Scale and Feather, Alinore Rose’s Beyond the Hedge and Donna and Michael Cramer’s Ancient Stone Inspirations

Tossing my blanket to the ground, my daughter and I had a small snack and decided to explore a little more.  I was pleased to discover that Country Hill Creations had returned once again to the picnic.  I saved my purchases from this vendor last for the day because I knew I’d make several and they would be a little heavy. If you are looking for a way to create a journal that is flexible and long lasting, check out their wonderful wooden binders. This year, I picked up a book stand (perfect for that binder) and a pendulum board. There were other goodies to purchase on vendors row too that I

couldn’t resist such as the frozen lemon-aid, some vendors selling special stones, garments and a magical tools. After snapping a picture with Selena Fox and catching up,  My daughter and I picked up a few gifts, ate a scrumptious lunch and had apples to top it off.  We finished the day by listening some music  by Spiral Rhythm with friends.

If you didn’t happen to make it this year, set the date for June of next year and come and join everyone.  Bring a few friends, explore the sights enjoy yourself among a community of like minds and open hearts.