There Is Much Work To Be Done

It’s funny how validation can still, after 20 years of Magick, rock me.  It’s one thing being confident in my own Magick and getting things done, but it’s another thing entirely when you get such swift and stark confirmation shortly after you’ve done Magick.

Remember Beltane this year?  I was all nervous and unsure because I did a spell to draw the right kind of love into my life.  It came to full fruition early this month.  So that’s a two month turnaround.  Quick!  Even for me!

On Thursday the 12th I found a perfectly peaceful dead Crow on my doorstep.  He was only barely decomposed and perfectly whole.  I found no trauma on the body.  I am not ashamed to say I may have squealed with glee and immediately grabbed my work gloves (although the new Guy I’ve been seeing, I will refer to him as ‘J’, totally saw me do that and there was a moment of awkward before I realized that he was completely unperturbed).

On Friday the 13th (amusing!) I rose early to fetch the dead Crow out of the bottom of my freezer.  J was so completely unperturbed that he decided to help me with the whole thing.  We laid out newspaper in the backyard, beneath the arms of the enormous Oak Tree and I smudged the space.  I burnt Kyphi as I gently and respectfully communicated with the spirit of the animal, asking it’s permission, before processing it’s lovely body for use in future Magick.  J gently clipped the feet for me and stretched the wings out for me as I quickly cut the sinew and bone.  We placed both wings and feet in a bucket of cornmeal to draw out the moisture.  I gently wrapped the body in a clean towel, took it further into the shadows beneath the Oak tree and buried it.  We built a small stone cairn on top of it and I marked the day, three months out from then, to dig it up and check on decomposition.

That evening I went to Circle and during my Journey I met with the Crow.  I asked if there was anything else I could do for him.  He told me he greatly enjoyed the incense and that he would like an offering of raisins.  I placed a plate full of raisins out by his cairn, along with a burning stick of incense and smiled when the offering was completely accepted in two days time.

This last weekend was my Drum Workshop which I had been breathlessly waiting for for about a month.  My 15inch, 16 sided, Elk-hide drum was painstakingly assembled, completely by me, over the course of 3 days.  The first night, I met with the spirits of the Elk as well as the Cedar that made up the frame to give thanks for their sacrifice.  I painted the inside of the frame with personal sigils as well as my magical motto (per aspera ad astra).  And I encircled the entire outside rim of the frame in Runes.  I did the entire Futhark, no repeats, in blood red, and I sang them as I painted so technically it was runegaldr.  The second day was pure assembly.  I lost myself in the task, pulling the sinew taut, stretching the damp, cold skin over the frame.  I was struck by how very dead the skin felt, cold and clammy.  I even dreamt about it that night.  The third day (yesterday) the drums were dry and there was much rejoicing!  We Journeyed to meet the spirit of the Drum…

I wasn’t sure what to expect on that Journey so I was going into it with a very open mind.  I had my drum laying across my stomach/lower abdomen with my left hand entwined in the laces and the beater was aligned down the front of my sternum, my right hand clutching it as I Journeyed.  I found myself in a huge cave, dimly lit by torches.  My Guides and Totems were nowhere to be seen which kind of alarmed me as there’s always at least one of them by my side when I am Journeying.  But I could feel them at a distance, like they were watching from a ways off.  I kind of shrugged and turned my attention back to the cave.  I was in water up to my ankles as I stared off into the deep dark of the cave.  I walked forward, feeling the cold water rise to my knees.  Then to my hips… At about chest level I had another bout of slight trepidation.  The water was deep and pitch black.  All before me was black and my Guides were not near.  I pressed on and slipped under the water.

I swam down, leaving all light behind.  The water was cold and black, nothing stirred other than me.  Then a current picked up and began pushing me.  The more I swam in the direction of the current, the more it picked up strength and speed.  All was still blackness as I sped through the dark passage.

Suddenly the world exploded in light as I came shooting out of a hole in the side of a sheer cliff face.  Everything seemed to stop.  (It really was like bullet-time on the Matrix!)  I was hovering in mid-air, soaking wet, water all around me, the canyon floor thousands of feet below me.  Panic surged as I hung there in a horrific but pretty fucking exhilarating stasis.  I thought about how bad it was going to suck to hit the ground from that height, even in Trance that kind of thing hurts.  The frozen second seemed to hang forever, my fear and panic began to wind up like the wail of an ambulance, until time unhitched itself.  I fell…

Onto the back of a Crow flying beneath me.  I merged with it effortlessly and realized with a shock, two things at once.  1) This was the Spirit of my Drum and 2) This was the Crow I had found on my porch one week prior.  Through it’s eyes I saw the world in blue-white, luminescent fractals.  I could see everything, including the clusters of lines that made up doorways to other realms.  Here was a way into the Underworld.  There was a way into the Past.  They almost looked like clusters of nerves, or nests of ley lines.  But it was immediately clear to me why crows and ravens are considered to be excellent travellers between the Worlds.

His voice was both male and female, like two voices overlayed.  I asked his name and he said we would find it together as his old name no longer applied to him.  He let me know that he didn’t just happen to die on my porch, he chose to sacrifice himself so that he could live on in my drum and help me navigate the Worlds.  He told me that he was particularly concerned with Psychopomp work and the Underworld.  The Darker aspects of the Spirit Realm and Self.  I saw myself drumming beneath my Oak tree, clad in black, Crow on my shoulder as a vicious wind kicked up.  I was singing.  He (the Drum) was singing.  Together our voices cut through the Veil.

After the Journey we performed an Awakening ceremony for the drums, to welcome them into the community.  This group was all female and filled with bawdy laughter, it was a good feeling of community.  When I presented my drum to the Circle, after initiating it with the Elements, I couldn’t wait to hear his voice!  When I finally got the go ahead to let his Voice be heard, I beat out a simple 7 beat, 3 times.  I couldn’t believe how deep and rich his voice was.  The resonance almost knocked me down!  It was the perfect voice, the beats felt like the heartbeat of the drum.

When I touch the Drum I can feel him.  I can feel the connection we have and I can feel that it gets stronger each time we sing together.  It’s going to take some practice to not immediately trance out every time I start drumming, the resonance is SO strong.  I need to learn to hold space.  But I adore this drum.  I adore this Spirit.  And I am completely tickled that Crow not only lives and sings in our Drum but that I will also have fetishes.  I will tie some of his tail feathers to the drum, and he showed me how he wants his skull painted when I unearth it in 3 months (just in time for Samhain!).  I am so very happy and contented right now.  And there is much Work to be done!

Fancy Meeting You Here! – Fae Journey

Last Friday was my Women’s Shamanic Circle’s Midsummer celebration.  Our focus was exclusively on The Fae, since most people, even the least sensitive can feel that this is their time of year.  I had been looking forward to this Circle for a number of months, as this group only does a Fae centric Circle once a year.

It had actually been awhile since I had gone to Circle, life having ganged up on me and inundated me with events and plans that kept me from it.  I was still Journeying on my own though, so it’s not like I let the ball drop or anything.  (And with my penchant for humorous Shameful Confessions ™ you know I would fess up to it if I did.)  But, like all of the best women in my life, once I walked into Circle it was like no time had passed.  I love these women.

We did our check-in and it was clear that a lot of the women there were going through some major things in their lives.  Where I was reaping all sorts of benefits and wondrous things from the Venus transit (which happened in my sign) others seemed to be finding themselves on the ‘testing grounds’ so to speak.  I had tears streaming down my face as the check-in concluded.  Deaths, miscarriages, mental breakdowns, I just wanted to hug all of them.

Then we discussed The Fae and told personal stories.  I told them about the Doorway Oak in my backyard and I got the distinct impression that one day, I should invite them to meet my Tree.  The energy, despite the heavy shit a lot of the women were going through, was light and jovial.  One of the more faery-touched of our number doused us all with glitter amidst gales of laughter.

When it came time for us to Journey, the leader, who I will just refer to as ‘T’ from now on, explained that we were going to be lead through a more structured Journey in order to meet our Faery Co-Walker.  This wasn’t mandatory, of course, and she made sure to impress upon us that if we felt pulled to another area of work, either by our own instincts or by our Guides, that we should go in that direction instead.  She went on to explain how Faery Seership was a time-honored tradition and that meeting and forming a relationship with your Fae counterpart was integral.  She explained that the Shamanic being was often seen as a three-fold joint endeavor consisting of You, your animal totem and your Fae ‘Cousin’ as she charmingly referred.  She also explained that the guided path that she would be taking us on was called the Two Trees and had been in use for centuries and beyond.

I was beyond excited and as with all of the times that I am super excited I start to doubt.  What if I can’t concentrate?  What if none of the Fae want me as a Co-Walker?  What if I meet my Fae Cousin and we hate each other?!  And that sort of rubbish.  The rational mind can be such a dickhead sometimes.

T got us all settled in the darkness and began drumming.  Her drum sounded particularly sonorous and rich, I’m not sure if she had cared for it recently or if it’s all the heavy-duty Energy Work I’ve been doing recently.  (More on that later.)  She lead us through the guided part of the Journey.  It was beyond lovely.  She left us at a 4 point crossroad to embark on our own Journeys from there.

The crossroad was at the top of a hill, the roads corresponding perfectly to the cardinal directions.  When I looked in each of the directions I could clearly see the associated elements.  East was a lovely, wind-swept scene.  A high, rocky moor with birds circling overhead, just below grey storm-clouds threatening to spill rain.  South was a stone path lined with torches that stretched off into a night-scape shadowing a deep, dark forest.  West was morning light infusing a beautiful beach.  I could smell the beyond-blue ocean.  North was a snow blanketed cave, nestled into night-cloaked mountains.  T had said that the correct path would glow to let us know which way.  Like always, when I first drop into trance, my thinking brain still tries to drive for a few moments.  Go that way!  It makes the most sense!  But ‘that way’ wasn’t glowing, so I batted the thoughts down and quieted myself deeper into the trance.  When I saw that the South path, the Path of Fire, was glowing my rational brain let out a last gasp of That would be the absolute last element I would have picked! before shutting the fuck up completely.

I started down the Path, watching the scene go abruptly from daytime on a hill to nighttime in a forest.  The torches lined the path as I ventured deeper, which was a good thing as the forest was treacherous.  This was no fairytale forest homogenized by Disney.  This was a wild, sharp place.  Untamed.  Fierce.  Ready to devour the unwary.  Thorns lurked to the side of the path, threatening to catch me and hold fast if I strayed.  The trees were black, gnarled and leafless leading to a confused moment where I wondered if it was Winter there.  It seemed far too warm to be Winter.  Then I realized, these trees weren’t dormant, they were burnt.  Charred black from some violent fire that had rent through the forest.  Their bony hands stretched to the midnight sky in silent defiance.  I pressed on with a shudder.

I began calling out.  I’m looking for someone here.  I think you’ve probably been looking for me too.  Is anyone here?  Quite suddenly two identical twins appeared on the path before me.  Their faces were sullen beneath dark hair as they stared at me.  I approached them, saying Are you whom I seek?  They side-stepped me after a moment of staring and walked past me on the path heading out of the forest.  I watched them disappear before continuing deeper.  I saw a number of the strangest creatures that I can’t quite remember.  A herd of antelopes with lion features.  A huge lizard that glowed a radioactive pulsing blue.  A satyr bounded across the Path in front of me at one point, startling a nest of birds into taking flight.  I kept calling, growing sad that I might not find my Co-Walker…

Then a light began to grow, deep within the blackened forest.  It was red fire-light, I could tell by the way it moved.  I pressed towards it with no fear, despite the warning signs of what fire does to the material world all around me.  I saw that the thorn wreathed path lead to a clearing up ahead.  A clearing with a number of bonfires burning.  And I saw the silhouette of a dark figure.  I broke into a run, knowing immediately that was who I sought.  It wasn’t by sight though, it was some nameless recognition that had nothing to do with the senses.  Like we weren’t meeting each other for the first time, just picking up where we had left off.  She was running towards me in the same instant.

We slammed into each other with an embrace that knocked the breath out of me.  Her hardened leather armor compressed me in uncomfortable ways but the hug was filled with such joy and relief we were reluctant to let it go.  Finally we stepped back, holding each other at arms length to get a good look at each other.

I don’t know what exactly I was expecting.  But it wasn’t her.  For some reason, not only had I expected anything but a Fire association but I was also expecting someone Male.  Just goes to show you…

She was maybe an inch or so taller than me, with short, choppy looking blazing red hair.  It flared around her pale face like a halo of fire, unkept and unwashed.  Her eyes were mesmerizing.  As if there was any doubt left in me that I was dealing with the Fae, her eyes were completely inhuman.  A furious, neon-green light glowed deep within them, reveling no whites or pupils, just uniform color.  When she moved her eyes left blazing green tracers in her wake.  Her body was thin but well-muscled beneath (alarmingly) blood spattered armor.  On her right arm she held a small buckler.  In her left hand she held a wicked-looking spear.  I could feel heat rolling off of her, like she had just been exerting herself vigorously.  She looked about 10 years younger than me but she’s Fae so who really knows?

After we drank each other in I started to ask, what is now, my usual battery of questions whenever I first meet someone in Trance.  What’s your name?  Is there anything I can do or get for you?  What can we do for each other?  Before I could even begin she cut me off in a voice that was sharp and rough, ‘Skavia‘.  I made sure I had it right by repeating it to her and then spelling it.  She nodded.  Her blazing green eyes were unnerving.

I asked, “Is there anything I can do for you?”  (I know my faery manners.)

She grinned a disturbingly feral smile, ‘Bring me your fears that I may consume them.’

I kind of blinked at her and then, ‘Are you sure your name isn’t Kali?’

Oh how she laughed.  A deep throaty belly-laugh that seemed to come from deep within the earth itself.  Then she clapped me hard on the back and lead me into the clearing.  I realized quite suddenly that it wasn’t just a clearing in a forest.  We were at the foot of a volcano.  I could see the red glow from the top of the mountain, not active in a run-for-your-lives way but definitely not asleep.

It’s good you pressed on, Sister.  I wouldn’t have come to you if you had submitted to fear.’

I told her that whatever violent cataclysm had destroyed that place had happened well before I got there.  She asked if I was fool enough to think that made it safe to be this close to ‘The Thunderer’ as she called the volcano.  I told her I was certainly fool enough for many things but not for that.  She laughed long and hard.

We seated ourselves before one of the bonfires, backs to the forest with the volcano before us.  She spread out a hide with what looked to be blueprints on it.  She wanted me to construct a spear in what she called ‘your world’.  It was to have an obsidian blade for the spearhead.  The instructions were extremely specific (measurements and all!) and she went over and over them with me to make sure I didn’t forget.  Then she listed off, rapid-fire, a bunch of stones that she can resonate with in my ‘world’.  Obsidian.  Peridot.  Tektite.  (I noticed that all of these stones either have volcano associations or meteoric associations.)  Also Copper.  She was very specific and made sure that I got what she said by repeating.  (Which is a good thing because on Journeys it’s easy to forget information on the way back.)  I asked her if there were any plants that she liked.  She shrugged slightly and said, ‘I am fire and earth.  I do not grow.

All too soon the call-back beat came.  We hugged and she made me promise to come back to her later that night, before I went to sleep.

Now that I’m a few days out from meeting Skavia I’ve noticed a few things.

1) Generally when I meet a new Guide the first meeting is rather formal in a ‘we don’t really know each other yet’ way.  It’s still warm but there’s usually a bit of formality the first time.  Not with her.  Like I said, it was like our relationship had been paused.  I’m thinking we’ve know each other before.

2) There’s an extremely strong sense of sisterhood.  I feel like we share some sort of fundamental something or other that makes us like Sisters.

3) Serpent was there the whole time although she remained quiet during the meeting.  So this certainly followed what T said about it being a three-fold connection.

4) My connection to Skavia is extremely strong, in that she has already popped in a few times during daily life.  I know she’s near because I can feel the heat.

5) She has explained to me that the Spear I am to construct is a ritual tool.  She says it connects directly to her own spear and once I have made it and consecrated it properly it will allow us to ‘pool our talents’.  I’m unsure what exactly that means at this current time.

6) Even though it’s quite obvious she is a warrior she also has very very strong seer abilities.  This threw me at first, since I tend to associate seership with priestesses, not warriors.  She insists that I am the priestess in this relationship though.

7) I asked her if she also had a relationship with my Fetch.  ‘No.‘  She was adamant, even though they seemed perfectly polite around one another.  ‘He is yours and you are his.’

Going With The Flow

A lot of times I find myself fighting against the tide of my surroundings, be it environmental factors or people in my life.  I don’t mean fighting in a violent way, of course.  More like attempting to either stand my ground in the face of a rushing current or trying to go in the other direction completely.  It’s exhausting and every inch of ground gained is hard-won.

Learning to recognize the times in which the current of my life is actually going in a direction that is beneficial has been very hard.  I don’t know if it’s just that my brain has been conditioned to fight the tide always or if it’s a defect of perception.  But I find myself wondering at how many opportunities I’ve missed in the past simply because I failed to really look at things in the moment.  I’m not longing for the past, mind, just sort of wondering about it.

Meditation is invaluable for perspective.  It puts me right in the present moment, but at the same time kind of outside of it in that there is nothing that immediately needs my attention.  But sometimes even meditation can’t break through my patterns.

I think there must’ve been a point, somewhere in the past year or so, where I decided, on a subconscious level, to stop fighting.  Maybe it was my mother’s death.  I know it broke a lot of things in me, maybe it broke that too.  Or maybe I realized vaguely, deep down inside, that this wasn’t working anymore.  Maybe it never worked.

Being able to let go and float with the current is terrifying on a level that I can’t quite express.  Yet now that I’ve actually done it the feeling it has infused within my life is incomparably wonderful.  So I guess it comes back to what I consider to be the best bit of writing advice (or any advice rather) I’ve ever received:

Jump.  Then build your wings.

You can’t micromanage these sorts of things, you’ll just fuck it up.  Sometimes you have to just trust.  You don’t even have to know or understand what you’re trusting.  You just have to put yourself into that state.

I know this post is a bit abstract but honestly if I sat down to list all of the wondrous events and blessings I have received I’d be here all day.  I do have one specific I want to mention though.

My Shaman Drum

A number of serendiptious events started popping up over the past few months, pointing me towards making my own drum for trance work.  At first I balked, because shamanic drums, whether you buy them ready-made or build them yourself, are expensive.  So I placed it on the back burner of ‘This would be cool at some point.’

Then I received some information via an Oracle I had consulted that was pretty unmistakeably pointing me towards a drum.  I was stunned but growing annoyed, because again, expensive!  Nonetheless I moved it to the (still) back burner of ‘No seriously, this will be important at some point.’

(Note – Ready-made shamanic drums run about 150$ and up.  The actual drum-kits for making your own are cheaper but seeing as how I’ve never made one before I would have to attend a workshop or class.  The workshops I had seen started around the 200$ mark.)

I kind of forgot about it, because again, back burner.  And then my Birthday hit on the 17th, which prompted my only remaining extended family member to send me 100$.  (Best.  Aunt.  Ever.)  I was excited when I got that in the mail and coincidentally (let’s all laugh now as you will soon see it was no coincidence) was on my way to Kachina’s house to have tea.  So here’s how it went, I left the house, grabbed the mail out of the mailbox on the way to the car, opened mail as I got in the car, saw the check and cheered and then drove over to Kachina’s.

I wasn’t in Kachina’s house but for maybe 5 minutes before she excitedly tells me that one of the awesome women in our Shaman Circle is helping to facilitate an all-female Drum making workshop.  I thought to myself, “Ohh, that would be cool to go to.  Maybe when I have the money…”  Kachina quickly added that it would only cost the price of the kit.  I stopped whinging in my head and asked her to repeat herself.  Yep, I had heard right.  Just the cost of the kit.

I sat there and zoned out for a moment, putting all the little pieces together in my head.  Signs pointing to a drum.  Me agreeing it was good idea but knowing it was too much money at the moment.  Money comes out of nowhere not 15 minutes before I am told that there was a drum workshop happening for the price of the kit.  (kits run from 30$ and up)

Even I couldn’t beat that into a coincidence shaped hole.

Here I am a week later.  I’ve grabbed my spot for the class.  I am paying the money for the kit to the instructor this Friday.  I already put in my order with her for a 16 sided, 15 inch Elk-hide kit with a 3 inch depth.  The workshop runs from July 20th through the 22nd.

Friday will be the meet and greet (although I think I already know a lot of these ladies from Circle), soaking the hides, creating sacred space and giving thanks to the trees and animals for their sacrifice.

Saturday will be the construction day.  We will assemble our drums and beaters.

Sunday we will hold sacred space and Journey to meet the spirit of our drums.  We will also be holding an Awakening ceremony to welcome our drums into the world.  And then we jam.

I am ecstatic.

Life is good.

Beltane 2012

I celebrated Beltane on Lunar Beltane this year, which was May 5th at 10:35 for my area.

In the months leading up, my coven and I had engaged in excited banter about all the plans we had for Beltane but ultimately, crossed wires resulted in my celebrating alone.  I decided I could be bummed about it or I could grab the stag by the horns and make the most of it.

I knew there was no way I was going to celebrate Beltane indoors, it just seems… wrong to me.  So I began gathering stones as the late afternoon sun began to die.  I have these amazing stones that my father has been bringing to me from where he lives.  They are sun-bleached, bone-white and the shape of them is also reminiscent of bone.  Dinosaur bones was the first thing I thought of when I saw them, they are large and amazing.  And some of them have perfectly flat sides that are perfect for setting tools/candles on.  I took a stick and some string that I had measured out and marked my Circle perfectly.  Then I placed the stones.

At first my intent was to form the Circle under the ancient Oak tree in my backyard.  But then I wouldn’t have been able to see the Supermoon that night so I opted instead to form it off to the right where there would be a clearing of sky.  Little did I know that it would overcast anyway.

I gathered my tools and placed them in their appropriate spots as the sun began to set proper.  I decided to use the Earth as my Altar.  So I didn’t grab a table or any other board or surface.  Just the soft green grass and if something needed a flat surface it got it’s own bone-rock.  I made sure to do everything I needed light for and then I went back inside and waited.

I should mention that I had been directed to do a few things on that Sabbat by Bast, my patron.  One of which was a spell that I had been sitting on and wrestling with for the better part of 2 years.  Confession: I rarely ever do actual spells.  I celebrate Sabbats and the lunar cycle, celestial events and personal events.  I do many rituals, meditations and journeys.  But spell-work I very rarely engage in.  Mainly because something seems terribly selfish about it.  When I was a young witch, just getting my feet under me, I can remember doing spells all the time.  And I think that kind of constant striving for fast, selfish personal change is the mark of a young witch.  I wouldn’t change it for anything though, as I learned an awful lot, and fast.  But as I’ve matured, both as a person and as a witch, I’ve found that the slower transformations that manifest via regular meditation, ritual and study is where the honey is.  So when Bast told me ‘It’s time’, I almost started arguing with her.  Before I could she just shook her head and repeated, ‘No.  It’s time.  And you know it.’

Sidebar:  The spell I had been sitting on for years was a love spell.  Now before you get judgy let me just state that I do not, nor have I ever performed love magick with the specific focus on one person.  There’s something terribly entitled and desperate about trying to aim a love spell at someone specific.  I’ve only ever done love spells twice in my life.  Once was on this evening that I am writing about and the other was long ago when I was in a similar position in life.  Both times they were spells to attract the right kind of love to me, rather than to attract a specific person to me.  So it’s basically like putting a sign out in your Universal garden, “Hey, I’m ready.  Hit me with your best shot!”  Or rather, as tends to happen when I fall in love, it’s more akin to the line from Fight Club, “I want you to hit me as hard as you can.”

My reticence towards actually doing this spell had more to do with personal reasons than anything else.  It boils down to, I’m highly adaptable.  And being a Gemini, I adapt quicker than anyone else in the zodiac.  While that’s useful in a lot of situations, it can also lead to me settling into a groove that isn’t necessarily good for me.  And although I give off the air that I am fine with it and in complete control, I know that’s bullshit as I’m highly self-aware.

So it was time and Bast went on to cite why this was the moment for drawing love to me.  1) It was Beltane.  2) It was not only a Full Moon but a Supermoon.  3) The Occultation of Venus was very near.  In other words, she convinced me.  And now, looking back, I’m actually wondering if she sabotaged my coven’s plans of gathering for that night in order for me to go it alone so my intent was pure.  Cause honestly, looking back, the crossed wires were very strange.

So night fell and I went through my usual transition into personal ritual space.  Meditation.  Divination.  Ritual Bathing.  Raising Energy.  (I danced to raise it.  As it seemed more appropriate than usual seeing as Bast had her hand on this evening.  And let me tell you, if you get an evening completely alone, there’s nothing quite like putting on some music and letting loose and losing yourself by candlelight and ritual smoke.  I tranced out hard.)  And then I walked barefoot into the night, reveling in the feel of the soft grass.

I won’t go into the spell itself.  As I’ve said before, I will never give out specifics like that.  If you can’t devise your own spells then you’ve missed a step somewhere in your spiritual path.

Here are the most interesting things that happened that night, while in Circle.

1) After calling the Circle and settling onto the ground I called forth my Guides and invited Bast into my Circle (formally).  And then, because it was Beltane, I offered an invitation to the Fae.  (I had already made an offering of milk and honey at the foot of the Oak tree.)  As soon as I offered the invitation a bright blue glow came up from just behind the trunk of the Oak.  At first I actually thought it was someone with a flashlight in the wooded area beyond the creek.  But no, that’s definitely not what it was.  The position of the lightsource and the quality of it was such that it was not man-made.  The glow continued for about 20 seconds and then faded dark again.

2)  Shortly after that my entire yard came alive with fireflies.  Now I’m no firefly expert but I generally only see them in that sort of concentration at sunset.  This was at 11 at night.  The fireflies rose up from the grass, blinking to each other and I started stating my intent to the Universe.  I got lost in my own words for a bit, ignoring the fireflies as I actually began performing the spell.  After a few minutes I looked up to discover that a few of the fireflies were slowly circling the boundary of my Circle.  Sunwise, I might add.  They never once passed into the Circle proper, but remained floating right on the edge of it, slowly spinning and blinking in the darkness.

3)  I heard a distinct murmuring and whispering coming from the direction of the Oak tree.  It was in a language I couldn’t parse and it sounded like there was a group talking softly.

4) I went back to my spell-work and lost myself in it.  I’m unsure how much time passed but if I had to guess, I’d say about 20 minutes.  A flash caught my eye.  You know how when you see a bright flash of light in deep darkness it leaves an after-image?  The after-image was humanoid in shape.  I fell silent and stared out into the yard (it was over towards the Oak tree, I might add).  I saw the flash again, this time not out of the corner of my eye.  It was a bright blue-white, humanoid in shape and about 3 feet tall.  I think my jaw was hanging open at this point.  It kept flashing like that, appearing in different spots in the yard, over near and in the tree and I slowly realized it wasn’t just flashing to get my attention, it was teleporting.  And it was getting closer.  I started my spell once more (it was in the verbal stage at this point) and kept my eyes on the darkness.  The creature drew much closer.  It took my breath away.   It was long of limb and very thin, with extremely sharp angles (cheekbones, joints, etc), no hair to speak of, just sharp spikes shooting from the top of it’s head.  The body was unclad and completely sexless.  The eyes were large and angular and fixated on me.  It didn’t stay in any one place very long, and seemed to only move by teleportation (accompanied by a bright flash, which was the only time I could actually see it).  The impression I got from it was curiosity.  I welcomed it to the space warmly but it seemed content to just blink about in my yard, watching me.

I wrapped up my spell and leaned back on my hands to just enjoy the warm night.  And I also pleaded a little bit with the cloud cover to let me see the supermoon, even if only for a second.  They did not comply.  I pouted a little bit.  Around midnight I finally decided it was time to think about wrapping it up.  Lightning flashed over my head and I almost shouted.  1) I didn’t know we were in for any sort of rain or storm and 2) the quality and nature of the flash was the exact same as the Fae I had seen.  (Which leads me to believe it was a lightning elemental.)  I watched a few flashes, smiling up into the night and then the heavens opened and dumped a bunch of water on me (it was seriously like someone had pitched a bucket of water into my smiling face, hilarious).  I opened up the Circle and released and thanked those I had called (I had to shout over the storm) while the rain drenched me and the lightning flashed.  I laughed as I grabbed my tools and sprinted into the house.

Mmm, storm energy as well, Bast wasn’t kidding about it being the exact right moment for my Work.

As an update, the spell that I performed only began on Lunar Beltane, it continued in performance and energy gathering until the Moon went Dark on the 20th.  I made my last big Hail Mary push on that evening, which by the way was also lent energy by the Solar Eclipse.  Yowza.

On the 25th I attended an amazingly decadent, all-female, Love & Beauty Ritual with some new witches.  It was an evening filled with candlelight, champagne, dirty stories, dark chocolate, red wine, fresh fruits, honey and bawdy laughter.  When we really got going with it the lone male pagan (who was the roommate of the house we were gathered at) headed for the hills, I would have felt sorry for him if it wasn’t so funny.

Abnormalities Or Why I Haven’t Been Around

It’s only just occurred to me how very strange things have been over the past month and the other day I was struck by the fact that this may not be a natural low-tide, so to speak.

I wax and wane very much like the Moon.  I go through periods of intense activity and social commitments and then I swing into hermiting (is too a word)  and study.  So it’s natural for me to have periods of intense introspection and a drawing inward from the rest of the waking world.  I like to refer to these times as ‘Percolations’, as it’s very similar to what a coffee pot does when it’s fully loaded.  I draw back from study from social activity and outside input and I digest and brood.  It’s natural and I do it on a regular basis.

Which I suppose is why this recent phase didn’t set off any alarm bells.  I thought I was percolating.  But then it occurred to me that I’m not percolating I’m just flat-lining.  I haven’t been able to concentrate on anything of a magickal nature (save Beltane, which I still need to post about).  I haven’t been reading or studying.  I haven’t been Journeying.  I haven’t been keeping cognizant of celestial happenings.  I haven’t even been meditating.  Just nothing.

It’s unheard of for me not to be able to tell someone what phase and sign the moon is currently in.  It’s weird for me not to be reading anything.  I never miss a day of meditation usually.  So this phase of what can only be described as a dead battery is alarming now that I really get a good look at it.

I’m not one of those pagans who feels they are constantly under attack.  I ward and shield and cover my ass and that’s always been quite enough to keep my daily life free from worry.   But lately something strange has been happening and I’m at a loss as to what’s actually going on.

I changed bedrooms last week.  Those of you who have followed this blog for a bit know that I live alone in a 3 bedroom house.  I switched from the room that I’ve been sleeping in for about 8 years now, back to the room that was my bedroom 10+ years ago.  The reasons for this move were simply 1) this other bedroom is bigger 2) this is a big house for just one person and I don’t feel I’m utilizing the space well and 3) I’ve never slept well in this room but I always slept like a baby in that one.  I was pretty excited about moving back into that room because I like the configuration of the windows and again, I’ve always slept sinfully well in it.

The ‘interference’, for lack of a better term, that I’ve been experiencing always happens when I’m transitioning from awake to sleep.  Basically, I lie down, roll about for a bit to get comfortable, start to fall asleep and then my clairaudience switches on like a brass band has snuck into the bedroom.  I hear everything from voices to banging to singing to just white noise.  I have a day here and there where it’s just like that all day/night and then it usually just chills out.  But this is every single night for the past week and only when I’m starting to fall asleep.  So I’ve just sort of clenched my teeth and born through it and eventually I get to sleep.

Now for the dreams.  Weird doesn’t even cover it.  My dreams have been haunting me.  They are almost full-blown nightmares but the main difference is they are just disturbing in a very subtle way and also seem to have a darkly sexual element to them.  Not in a sexy sexy way but more in a ‘evidence of sexual violence’ way.  Not cool.

Upon waking from these nights of harassment I am tired, cranky and all I want to do is be alone.  Three days ago I got so alarmed by all of this that I re-smudged my entire house (which I do every 2 months anyway) AND salted the perimeter with a combination of salt, vervain and cascarilla (The white egg shell variety, not the plant.  Yep, I got so rattled I defaulted back to Vodou.)  And even after that I’m still experiencing the same weird bullshit.

The night before last I could hear a man’s voice talking, like I was listening to someone very far away.  And instead of just ignoring it and trying to get to sleep, I instead chose to really focus.  What I realized was that although I was experiencing it in my bedroom I didn’t feel a damn thing in my space.  My place is locked down tight and I would know if anything was in here with me.  Nothing was.  Which leads me to believe that whatever this is that’s happening is happening on the astral.

Last night I attended my first group magickal working in almost two months, a gorgeous Love and Beauty Ritual with some new friends.  When I got home I was buzzing and full of love and delicious energy, so the last thing I wanted to do was lay down and be plagued by… whatever the hell this is.  So I climbed into bed and as soon as the weirdness started I called to Brother Jaguar.  To my completely fucking surprise Bast showed up instead and planted herself outside my window where Jaguar usually sits when something is amiss.

I fell asleep immediately and slept like a baby.

So today I’ve decided to take the bull by the horns and force the issue.  The apathy, the lack of focus, the passivity is all getting turned around.  I arose and completely dismantled my altar, first thing.  I cleaned everything thoroughly and rebuilt it.  Then I rearranged the furniture in my Den (which has nothing to do with anything magickal I was just tired of looking at it).  Next up I cleaned and smudged my dreamcatcher and hung it over my new bed.  Now my plans for the rest of the day/evening involved curling up on the big chaise with a number of books that I’ve been steadfastly not reading.  We’ll see how this affects me tonight.

 

More to Come

It’s been a ridiculously busy month for me.  Filled with road trips, adventures, parties, new people and house guests.

A few weeks ago I took a road trip with my Shaman Circle to Enchanted Rock.  The weather was beyond perfect, a balance, rarely seen in Texas, of warmth and refreshing cool breeze.  And the sky was a shocking cobalt blue with not a cloud to be seen.  I spent the trip in the same awesome space that I spent at Burning Man in 2005, just kind of moving effortlessly between various clusters of people, both known and unknown, with small stretches of sacred solitude in between.  I did a Medicine Walk Light ™, allowing nature to send me any messages that needed to get through.  Only one animal messenger appeared to me but it was a constant presence.  Mockingbirds followed me wherever I went in the park.  Everywhere I looked, there was a mockingbird looking back at me.

Mockingbirds mean curiosity, fearlessness and protectiveness with a heavy emphasis on vocal communication.  So there’s that urging once more that I need to focus on my voice.  I’m still mostly confounded as to what exactly that means but I have a few ideas for experimentation that I will post here when I get them underway.

I’ve had some odd nocturnal disturbances over the past month.  Just disturbed sleep and being awoken in the night.  It was the distinct alerting from my home wards, which is how I know this isn’t my usual ‘I’m bad at sleeping’ thing.  Something/one was poking about.  They didn’t seem to be making a focused effort, just similar to a child tossing rocks at an electric fence.  Brother Jaguar always ran whatever it was off before I had a chance to fully rouse and act, so I wasn’t too worried.  And the activity seems to have stopped now.

But another sort of activity entirely picked up last night.  It was Lunar Beltane and a Supermoon to boot so I will give it its own post.

 

Lunacy

‘Tis moonlight, summer moonlight,
All soft and still and fair;
The solemn hour of midnight
Breathes sweet thoughts everywhere,

But most where trees are sending
Their breezy boughs on high,
Or stooping low are lending
A shelter from the sky.

And there in those wild bowers
A lovely form is laid;
Green grass and dew-steeped flowers
Wave gently round her head.

-Emily Jane Brontë
That was my night last night.  We three were we four as we had invited a friend of ours to join us in our revelry.  At first there was some hesitance and a bit too much politeness, as is to be expected when you invite someone new to your Circle.  But for me, personally, I settled into an easy rhythm shortly after we got well and truly started.
We smudged each other with sage and cedar, laughing softly in the dying light.  Flowers adorned our altar and our hair.  We called our quarters in the gloaming, fitting that, as we had all agreed to work with the Fae.  Intentions were laid bare upon the scales of Libra.
But the best part of the night was when we moved our altar to the grass itself and encircled it with our bodies.  Shoes came off.  Hair came down.  Peripherals were forgotten.  A small smoldering pot of Copal and Dandelion smoked in our midst as we regarded each other by candlelight.
Then I saw it.
The moon, bigger than I can remember seeing it, rising just over the treeline.  It took my breath away.  I couldn’t even explain to my Sisters what I was reacting to, so I just held my breath and pointed.  We four sat in wonder and rapture, as the sacred smoke wafted over our bare skin in the spring air.  The moon was ripe with abundance, laughing as she bobbed further heavenward.
And then all hell broke loose.  In the best of ways.  There was spontaneous uncontrolled laughter.  Resonant humming.  Electrical malfunctions.  Curious eyes peeping over rooftops and small, sharp faces peering from the trees.  Pinching.  Tapping.  Tingling.  Swaying.  All set to a soundtrack of us four, laughing softly.
Lunacy, if you will.  Unsurprising since three of the four of us have Cancer Moons.  We all have the distinctive ‘lunar laugh’.  I’m sure you’ve heard it before.  Sometimes it starts out normal and then explodes in a shrieking cackle that startles everyone in the area.  Sometimes it’s low and deliciously sinister.  And sometimes it’s a soft, warm staccato that commands attention even though you’re not sure why.  No one laughs like a Cancer.
Edit – I am unsure what is going on with my nonexistent paragraph breaks.  As an Editor this post horrifies me, you have my apologies!  (trying to fix it)