Ancestor Work

Ancestor Work:
Mom’s Holiday China

HlidyPttrnThe above plate is in the pattern with which my mom set holiday tables during my childhood. I forget our day-to-day pattern, but this one stuck in my mind.

As a child, I thought the dish pattern was tacky, but it remained a nice memory. Mom acquired complete settings for at least 10 people, obtaining the pieces one at a time by going to the movies. I love that Toni went to such lengths to add beauty to our home, not letting lack of income thwart her.

One of my brothers got the dish set when Toni died. I would not have used it.

But recently, I searched online until I found one dish in the pattern—just one in her memory and in reminiscence of her passion, amazing kitchen skills, and elegance—elegance I now see in this plate to some degree, and that showed immensely elsewhere.

Rest in peace, Toni. You were a model of exuberance, devotion, otherworldly flight, and competence both culinary and professional. You were also a true lady, in every positive way I use the word lady, including how the Goddess infused your spirit and your magic. Thank you for being a living example for all parts of my day, including my kitchen witchery.

… Later: The more I use the plate, the more beauty, elegance, and grace I find in it. I don’t know if that is objective. E.g., perhaps the grace I notice is a projection of my mother’s gracious maneuvering amidst the immense challenges of her life. She found reason to laugh and give, no matter what.

In any case, to snap the above photo, I had to wash the dish, since I’d eaten lunch from it. Handling the dish with soapy hands, I experienced more of its elegance, this time on a tactile level; the china felt so nicely made despite being a movie giveaway. I wonder if my mother loved handling it.

BYABar4

The Goddess … in Congee

Congee1After I made a topping for tonight’s congee, the topping struck me as so pretty. That got me thinking:

When I’m in the moment, I find the Goddess’ beauty.

When I’m in the moment, I find my own beauty reflected back to me.

I might run from the moment, especially when crisis hits. But, when I can return to allowing the painful, awful moments my full attention, I eventually find beauty again.

To be free, releasing my wild soul, I have to allow both the beauty and the pain.

Beautiful congee topping.Congee2BYABar4

A Beautiful Goddess and a Dirty Spoon

Remains

A Beautiful Goddess and a Dirty Spoon:
Kitchen Magic

Even the remains of breakfast—egg shells, tangerine peels, a dirty dish and spoon—are blessings on me.

A blessing: the remains of this meal flooded by sunlight pleases my eyes.

A blessing: to eat today and nourish my body is beautiful—such a gift!

For me, to be a kitchen witch means to acknowledge and appreciate the immensity of the harvests given me by my beautiful Goddess and to gift others in kind.

Today I will make a donation to feed a hungry child.

A blessing: to have some money to help someone in one of the most important ways—food.

To be able to give is such a gift. Were I to instead view giving as magnanimous on my part, it would imply that I was bending down from on high to help someone less worthy. I’d be denying who they are by turning them into a character in a story I’d written to pump up my ego. Instead, we are all in this together. Farming communities have long understood that it is by having each others’ backs that we all survive and thrive. It is a lie perpetuated by the American upper class that the best way to “make it” is on our own, climbing over the backs of others.

Getting to give is a gift. It is part of the cycle of life, a gate into the sacred circle, a consecration of the four directions, and one of the great mysteries. Giving is a chance to be a human being—such a gift! Giving is a chance to be with another human being (even if you never meet them because you’re donating to an organization that serves them)—such a gift!

BYABar4

 

How to Enchant Your Cup of Tea

Add Magical Healing to Medicinal Herbs

SaffronTea Herbs have physical properties that heal and strengthen one’s body. Herbs also have psychic properties that heal and strengthen one’s spirit and physical being, if given a chance. Here’s how to access that magical healing:

When your cup of tea is ready to drink, simply say, “May this tea Mother Earth has given me in Her wisdom and generosity heal and strengthen my body and spirit.”

Then just drink your tea!

It’s that simple! Saying the words I suggested gives the magical attributes of the herb—or herbs—in your cup a chance to emerge. And the words’ grateful acknowledgment of Mother Earth’s gift opened you to receiving the herb’s magical healing and empowerment. You don’t have to get fancy about it by adding visualization or any other technique. Just say the words.

(If you want to add magical techniques, though, go ahead. I love magical techniques and am committed to teaching them. But the point of this post is a quick enchantment anyone can easily fit into their day. Even advanced practitioners can add more magic to their lives if they embrace some simple spells. In fact, I’m committed to teaching both easy and advanced magic. They both have their place.)

Never use magic in place of proper medical care by a trained, professional physician. Magic is a powerful addition, not a replacement.

And remember, when it comes to herbs’ physical properties: just because herbs are natural doesn’t mean they’re all harmless. And what’s a good medicinal herb for one person can be really harmful for another. Know your herbs—research an herb using several sources. There are many medical conditions and other circumstances—and even many herbs—that require you consult with a professional herbalist instead of just deciding what herbs to use yourself.

Enjoy the spell! This magic in a teacup is simple kitchen magic anyone can use, whether a witch or not.

BYABa3

Do You Fear Making Mistakes?

Heart6

If I’m afraid of making mistakes, I will be afraid all day every day.

But I need help to not be afraid. When I receive Divine help, my fear dissipates. Here is my prayer for help:

MistakesMay I not fear my mistakes.

May I have the highest ideal possible and do everything within my power to achieve it. May I realize that even my best attempts are riddled with imperfections.

May I remember mistakes are part of doing anything, and thus fearlessly reach for the stars.

May I feel safe knowing whatever problems my errors cause are nothing compared to the Goddess’ power as She carries me unceasingly toward beauty and happiness. May I fearlessly trust She is doing this even when I cannot see it.

May I love myself exactly as I am and celebrate my mistakes as part of my attempts to live fully and serve the Goddess well.

BYABa3

Spell to Banish Anxiety

Kitchen Magic

MyDoorDetailLife is filled with small tasks that are opportunities for a witch to perform natural, easy magic.

Here’s an example. I use vinegar to keep ants from my kitchen—it works! I mix white vinegar and water, roughly half and half. In a 25 oz bottle, I’d add about eight drops of essential oils that thwart ants. Here are a few: tea tree, peppermint, and clove. If you don’t like those, use a search engine to find others.

Be careful using essential oils: they’re very concentrated so can burn you if they get on your skin; and they’re not for internal use.

Twice a week during warm weather, I wipe the vinegar solution along the ant trail from outside into my kitchen. Otherwise I’d have an ant-filled kitchen.

Channeling a spell to get rid of worries and anxiety, it occurred to me that worries are like ants:

Ants invade the home like worries invade the mind. And the way ants can invade everything in your cupboard, anxiety can invade every part of your life.

So I channeled the following spell to help get rid of worries, large and small. There are two versions of the spell. The first can be used if you have an ant problem in your home. The other one can be used independently of that.

First version:

PastelSqI believe the properties an object has on the mundane plane often translate into otherworldly properties. This provides an opportunity, when doing a chore, to apply the chore’s tools to magical purposes. Tea tree not only deters ants, it is a natural cleaner. For example, it is somewhat antibacterial. So I figure it must also be a cleanser on the psychic plane. That would help the spell cleanse away anxiety. Peppermint is an uplifting scent, so probably has the energetic ability to lift the spirit magically, even if you can’t smell it in the vinegar. The same goes for clove’s uplifting scent. So I think those two essential oils would be good in a spell to relieve anxiety.

As you start to wipe the vinegar solution along the ant trail, say this chant once:

Ants and worry, go away.
This is not your place or day.
No anxiety need be here.
Heart and home be free and clear
to only hold what I hold dear.

Next, while you continue applying the vinegar mix, relax your feet, then your legs, then pelvic girdle, then each of the following one at a time: torso, shoulder girdle, arms, hands, neck, and head. You only need to spend a few moments on each part of your body.

Consciously relaxing the body not only helps stop anxiety but also helps the magic of the spell flow. No need to worry if you’re not good at relaxing. The attempt is what matters.

When you’re done applying the vinegar solution and following the above magical instructions, say, “So mote it be!”

You can repeat this spell whenever you want.

Second version:

PastelSqSay the following three times. After each recitation, do the relaxation described above. Doing both recitation and relaxation three times compensates for the lack of essential oil magic.

Antlike worries, go away.
This is not your place or day.
No anxiety need be here.
Heart and home be free and clear
to only hold what I hold dear.

When done, say, “So mote it be!”

You can repeat this version whenever you want.

BYABar4

Join the Faerie Circus

feycircusI take my work as a shaman seriously, hold myself to a high standard, and do everything in my power to reach that standard. That doesn’t require pompousness. Fun is important. It adds lightheartedness to the shamanic journey. I teach ecstatic shamanic witchcraft—we have fun in our process. The end is the means.

Writing the ditty below to promote my newsletter was fun. So was making the little painting above, to accompany the ditty. The newsletter helps people, so spreading word about it is a service, and service can be fun.

Come one, come all,
join the Faerie Circus!
This is no movie, no metaphor.
This is the real deal,
this is going somewhere—
get my newsletters:
click here.

The sky’s my big tent,
a star’s my trapeze.
Come swirl through the air with me:
click here now for magic,
confidence, too,
the self love you need,
and other awesome breakthroughs.

Your witchcraft will thrive
more than ever before.
Check out my mailings;
they open the door.

Plus you’ll get freebies
that only go to
my newsletter readers.
Click here—that’s your cue!

I Will Not Live in Hate

2016nothatesmBoSNwsltrSmI Will Not Live in Hate

Move on! I do not have time to hate you.
I’m too busy loving myself.
I’m too busy loving the stars
and feeling them love me back.
I’m too busy loving people and all my other relations
by fighting the good fight for them.

My love does not make me a doormat.
Cross me or mine, and I will go into battle with you.
I am lethal as a warrior.

But I will not dwell on hate:
any moment I might spend hating you
is too precious to waste that way
because I require every single moment
to love myself and all my relations;
I need every bit of love possible,
and all my relations need every bit of love I can give.

So move on, you will not snare me
in your ugly world by making me dwell in anger,
nor can you distract me from
the wonderful business of love.

My Wonderful Students

My long-term shamanic students are the best people. It’s such a gift to have them as my fellow seekers.

I celebrate them today by introducing you to three of them and the remarkable work they do in their respective fields.

sarah_photoSarah Josey—see above photo—is a Clinical Herbalist, Nutritionist, and Sacred Living instructor. She says she’s “passionate about helping people achieve health through natural means and supporting people on their life path towards overall wellness and happiness.”

Sarah started studying with me before entering her profession. I had the joy of watching this dynamic, young woman grow into her career. I try to empower my students, but it is up to them to take the ball and run with it. Sarah has definitely done that.

She owns an herbal apothecary in Fort Collins, CO, and also spends part of her year in Fairbanks, AK. Check out her work at SarahJosey.com.

I spend as much time as possible in trance because I love it, but I also believe my shamanic classes should create concrete results, improving all aspects of someone’s life. So it’s always a joy to work with someone who’s multifaceted. Kathy Crabbe, who is wrapping up a two-year shamanic training with me, is an artist, illustrator, writer, and soul reader, and lives in Southern California in an adobe style home she and her husband built.

Here’s Kathy:
kathy-crabbe-bio-pickAlong with her impressive list of talents is Kathy’s commitment to using her gifts in service to community.

Kathy blogs at kathycrabbe.com/blog

A spirit portrait I painted of Rommy Driks gives a sense of this writer who has studied with me for eight years:
starfirestargazermergedRommy says of her blog, “I create strange brews of urban myth and faerie tales, while grooving to good music and sipping better tea. Stop by and enjoy a cuppa and a story.”

That’s a modest self-description, considering her writing is truly original, exquisitely crafted, and conveys important ideas. I thoroughly relish her “strange brews.”

Check out Rommy’s work at http://kestrilsrhythmsandgroove.blogspot.com/

I am blessed to be surrounded by exceptional people.

PortraitBotmBnr

Using Scorpio Energy Regardless of Your Sign

faerierlmwetwpnk2smThe days from October 23 to November 21 are governed by the astrological sign of Scorpio, making Scorpionic powers easily accessed throughout that period. Here are some ways to draw on that energy to improve your life.

The Phoenix, symbol of rebirth, also represents Scorpio, which is the sign of death coupled with regeneration. I think that’s one reason many people find fall weather so energizing and renewing.

However, renewal usually requires effort. We might be loath to do that work if we lose hope that positive change is possible. A personal, joyous, spectacular Phoenix rebirth I had a few years back proved to me we can reach happiness and victory if we grow from rough times.

I mean, I had an immense financial, emotional, and physical renewal after a nightmarish time. If you need belief that change for the better is possible, check out my post about that rebirth, my friend: http://stardrenched.com/2014/02/05/phoenix-resurrection/ (I did both its Phoenix paintings.)

scorpioHere’s yet another way to build hope. Scorpios tend to go through many renewals in their lifetimes. That Scorpionic sense of renewal flows through the natural world strongly right now so, if you want to trust renewal is possible, take a walk in the fall weather; it might inspire you.

Scorpio deals with deeply hidden parts of life and self. Scorpios are often intuitive, insightful, and good spiritual healers. (So no surprise that this is considered a witchy time of year.) Part of being empowered by this scorpionic time, at least for me, is affirming and celebrating my intuition, psychic abilities, and spiritual healing. These traits are often invalidated in this culture. So it’s good to affirm and celebrate them now and again.

William Blake said, “If the Sun and Moon should doubt, they would immediately go out.” So instead of doubting your magic, intuitiveness, and other hidden wonders, try the following celebration. It only takes a minute or two: Notice the vigor of fall and the peacefully darkening weather. You might feel how they reflect and affirm the witch in you. Whether you feel that or not, say the following affirmation a few times: “Blessed be the hidden beauty in me and my efforts to see it.” Yep, it’s a simple ritual, and it works.

Preparing for the upcoming Pagan harvest festival Samhain, I’m dwelling on how wonderfully suitable Scorpio themes are for Samhain rites. So during a ritual I’m creating to celebrate a Faerie Samhain, I will lead attendees through a process to draw on Scorpionic energy to empower themselves.

Scorpios like to indulge (I should know, I’m a triple-Scorpio.) Much as I like the ideas I’ve offered in this post, I want to take the Scorpio energy a lot further during the Samhain rite, full-tilt celebrating our beautiful, beautiful witchiness and the dazzling magic that surrounds us every day.

You’re invited to attend. The ritual is a free event, via group phone call, and is open to all. My enewsletter will have full details. Subscribe by clicking here: http://www.well.com/user/zthirdrd/InfoForm.htm