Urban Hedge Witch
City Magic, Parking Lots as Mystic Thresholds, & Rose Mysteries
Before I share what’s been going on lately, a few introductory thoughts:
What is a Hedge Witch?
In Britain, hedges between properties are considered liminal spaces—potent realms suited to magic spells. A Hedge Witch is a magical practitioner who takes advantage of such powerful spaces to do rites.
You can think of hedges not only as as thresholds between properties but also as thresholds between the mundane and mystic planes.
A Hedge Witch is a shaman who often walks between the worlds regardless of whether a physical hedge is nearby.
Liminal spaces also provide thresholds through which we can enter into a new life, such as a transition from poverty into financial well-being or from lack of self-esteem into self-confidence.
I Love and Hate the Term Hedge Witch
When I first heard the term Hedge Witch, I was delighted. It evokes magical green depths, mysterious going-ons, and fantastical activities. However, I hate the way the term is often used nowadays aka I am a Hedge Witch. I am not like other Witches. I’m better than other Witches.
When we define ourselves by our differences, ignoring our commonalities, we strangle ourselves with categories. Definitions like Hedge Witch, Fairy Witch, and Green Witch can be wonderful when they help us find and affirm who we are magically. But they tend currently to be used divisively and arrogantly, neither of which helps magic work well.
And—I’m only talking for myself—the divisions don’t make complete sense for me because I’m a Hedge Witch, Fairy Witch, Green Witch, Shamanic Witch, and other types of Witches. They are all part and parcel of Witchcraft as I know it. I cannot be one type without being the other types. In fact, in my case, shamanism and Witchcraft are synonymous, as they were traditionally in Europe.
Again, only speaking for my Witchcraft: I need phrases like Kitchen Witch, Hedge Witch, or Solitary Witch because they each invoke a special magic that I want. They are lyric—not definitive—terms. Were I to use them as strict categories, they become cages that trap my spirit and my magic.
What is an Urban Hedge Witch?
Urban Hedge Witch is a term I made up. In the spirit of what I’ve said above, I don’t want to give Urban Hedge Witch a definitive meaning. Rather than provide a glib category, I prefer to let you read this post.
End of introductory thoughts.
A Happiness and Prosperity Ritual Using Rose Petals
I am having the best time! A friend sent me boxes of fresh rose petals.
We were on the phone, and I told her I wanted to strewn petals throughout my new apartment and, still on the phone with her, I looked up how to buy fresh rose petals online. I was stunned by the cost. My friend generously offered to buy the petals.
I’m becoming an urban shaman again after almost two decades of living in the woods. The rose petals became part and parcel of my return to city magic.
The petals strewn all over the floor are just a third of what my friend sent!
That same third is swept up against the door, waiting to be used again in the ritual:
I decided not to dump all the petals on the floor. I loved the amount that I dumped.
I’ve been walking through it, sweeping it up as a ritual for happiness and prosperity. Later, I re-scattered the petals I swept up, strewn them all over the floor again, to finish the ritual. (I’m not giving complete details of the ritual I channeled because I want to move on with the post, but here’s lots of Rose Magic info: https://stardrenched.com/2020/11/24/rose-magic/.)
And then there’s a great big container that I dumped the rest of the petals in. I put my phone next to it for scale. So many petals!
The rose petals were part of returning to urban shamanism not only because I used them in a housewarming rite but also because they were a gift from a friend. Generosity is pure magic.
The Right to Love Life and Live My Dreams
I’ve been running my fingers through the container’s rose petals, loving the licentiousness of so many petals against my skin and how it gives me permission to love life and go for broke. I also crush them in my hands for the sheer visceral pleasure of organic matter in my palms when I’m no longer in the country but in the middle of the gray dusty city.
Ritual Is as Inherent to Living as Breathing Is
My new apartment is tiny. After I moved in, it was wall-to-wall boxes. It kind of still was after only a week and a half here, though it was much better already.
I almost asked my friend to wait, not send me petals until a lot of my boxes were unpacked. I thought gobs of strewn vegetation might be a big mess, what with the crowded space.
Then I realized I should relish the roses whenever they came, and if they arrived soon, they would be a beautiful tool to bless my unpacking and other nesting.
I try to practice what I preach, and I teach to not wait until the “right” time to do a ritual, for example not wait until you are focused, or until you know what you want to get out of the ritual. Ritual is part of life, as inherent to living as is breathing, it was as much a part of the first humans’ life as was hunting.
Thresholds Can Appear Any Time, Any Place
The time when I’m not fully unpacked is betwixt and between; it is a threshold, which makes it a liminal space, a realm in which all possibilities can come forward for my choosing.
This is a perfect opportunity for rose magic. Rose is a symbol of the deepest Mysteries. Sometimes, they are more easily touched when circumstances are new or uncertain.
Plus Mysteries transcend time and space, so are always available to us, whether we’re in the country, the city, the suburbs …
Thresholds can open anytime, anywhere. I can be a hedge Witch anywhere, anytime. Someday, perhaps I’ll open the wardrobe that peeks into Narnia. That door can appear if I watch for it, continue to believe in magic, and ever-acknowledge that life’s problems are constant opportunities for spiritual growth—thresholds, for example, from self-obsession to self-care, from fear-induced stagnation to self-expression, or from resentments to emotional freedom.
To play with rose petals when there was unpacking I might have been doing was gloriously foolish and magically potent.
For one thing, it distracted me from the studio being filled with boxes, and from my being knee-deep in the chaos of constantly figuring out this new dwelling’s basics—where is the light switch I need right now, how do I buzz the person in who is trying to deliver a package, oops there’s no longer a door to my right, a wall is there now. My focus instead shifted to the eternal, the joyful, the potential for all I want to be manifested.
I’m an urban shaman again, using the magic that’s here, and the rose petal ritual was part of my reentry into that.
Urban shamanism was crucial to me till I moved to the country 17 years ago. My book, Be a Goddess!, originally had a passage about city magic. It was taken out, right before the book went to press. We needed to cut page count, and the section wasn’t pivotal to the lessons in the book. But I hated to delete that section. Remembering how crucial it was is important because it affirms my connection to the song I hear from sidewalks.
Urban Hedge Witch at Goddess Diana’s TriVia—Three Roads
In the city, I tend to rent places on the margins between two parts of town. It happens without my trying. I simply find an apartment I like, and it’s betwixt and between.
Now I’m living on the exact border between Duboce Triangle and the Mission District. I am the urban equivalent of a Hedge Witch, a shaman dwelling in liminal city spaces, living at a threshold.
There are actually three realities that my building borders because the Castro is so near that, as soon as I go out, I’m walking alongside members of the LGBTQ+ community.
I am at my Goddess Diana’s archetypal trivia—three roads. (See Roman Religion and the Cult of Diana at Aricia by C.M.C. Green for more information. Or click here: https://stardrenched.com/2020/03/25/dianas-crossroads-during-the-pandemic/ )
The junction of three roads in the wilderness, another liminal space.
All of San Francisco Is Betwixt and Between
The geological features beneath San Francisco are, for me, congruent with the definition of liminal spaces. The earth under the sidewalks enlivens them until they speak to me. I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of serpentine stone—California’s State Rock—hides below this city. Serpentine, unassuming, yet rich with secrets.
When I first returned to San Francisco, I stayed at a friend’s place for a few months in a posh area—Nob Hill.
I opened my friend’s front door one day, prepared to walk down the steps to go on an errand. But two fellows sat on the front stoop, clearly setting up for a “transaction.” When they saw me, they immediately stood but instead of walking off as I expected, they ambled only a few feet away. Then one of these shady-looking fellows leaned against a car, while his companion relaxed nonchalantly against a tree. There, they continued to prepare for commerce.
This was not an unusual occurrence. All of San Francisco is liminal, betwixt and between.
Greed’s Heartless Threshold between Wealth and Poverty
San Francisco has a merciless border—a thin transparent line between wealth and a poverty reminiscent of my worst nightmares, ones that woke me up in terror and left a foreboding I could not blithely shake.
There’s no San Francisco street where you will not see someone unsheltered. It terrifies me: the American attitude of “I want it all so will ensure very little is left for anyone else” is starkly revealed in San Francisco, and that American greedy norm could easily catapult me into poverty, as it could anyone, even someone wealthy.
I am also petrified by the fact that, were I to take a financial spill, the threshold through which one might travel from poverty to financial well-being is often impermeable. So I try not to morbidly focus on it.
Instead, I strive to acknowledge the possibility of deprivation as an ongoing fact of life, and I choose to participate in life. I must view my enormous fear and the possibility of destitution as thresholds for spiritual growth. I must face this fear yet leave it behind me. None of this is easy for someone who has known deprivation. But I have no choice. Fear will destroy the song in my soul.
I must also remember magic removes barriers (though my fear would tell me otherwise and can be hard to shake off) and take life’s ever-present possibility of pauperization as a threshold in which magic abounds—enchantment that I can embrace as a tool to, among other things, manifest prosperity.
Magic is miracle, so I can let go of the self-defeating belief “The deck is stacked. Success is impossible” and replace it with “All goodness is possible. All thresholds into plenty are possible to traverse.”
My Home in the Hedges
All San Francisco residents are liminal dwellers, but this current apartment stands at so many crossroads and borders, more than I’ve already mentioned. For example, the range of incomes demonstrated by the homes on my one block is remarkably wide. And then there’s the large parking lot by my building.
The lot accommodates a few businesses—a Fed Ex, a pet supply store, and a law office. The lot is a beehive of wildly disparate activity all day, ranging from elderly individuals carrying packages (usually well-off elders, or so their vehicles would imply), to truck drivers who I suspect are long-haulers taking a break, to drug dealers, to teenagers whose cars blare loud tunes, to elegant young gay couples with their dogs.
Unsheltered individuals go to and from the parking lot, as they do throughout San Francisco, though the proprietor of one of the stores makes sure no one sets up camp there.
One day, I looked out to see a homeless man whack back all the overgrowth that had come through the lot’s back fence. I don’t know why he did that. Did the owner of the parking lot hire him? A huge pile of cut-down brush is there now, weeks later. I don’t think it’s all from that one incident. I’m surprised no one’s taken it to build shelter.
Another day, I looked out and, in the corner of the parking lot right below my kitchen window, a homeless man performed obsessive and compulsive movement patterns for about ten minutes. … Well, I’m not sure he did it the whole 10 minutes since I walked away from the window and returned only briefly to peek surreptitiously.
Last week, I happened to notice a woman in the same spot below my kitchen window. As I said, it is not only homeless people who come to that parking lot but San Francisco residents of all kinds, constantly. Beautifully dressed and sharply focused, she was exiting her car. Then she placed a small rug on the ground. After removing her shoes, she stepped on the rug and knelt for, perhaps, Islamic prayer. I backed away from the window, not wanting to disturb her worship. I returned to the window moments later to see her put her shoes back on, pick up her rug, get in her car, and drive away.
This week, a man appeared in the same spot, with his own car, prayer rug, and fulfillment of sacred obligations. Like the woman who had been praying, he appeared to be well-off.
That spot below my window is the parking lot’s most recessed corner, so has become a haven for city dwellers.
How could a parking lot not be a mystic threshold, with the constant comings and goings and potential for anything to occur?
My Home Is in My Heart
I think the Old Gods sent me to this apartment to grow spiritually, become more prosperous than ever, indulge in glorious Mysteries, hone my urban shamanism, and dwell in my full power during my elderly years (I turn 73 this fall).
I may not remain in this apartment for more than a year. It might be a transition. Yet another liminal space.
But my home is in my soul and in care from my Gods, including Gaia and Mother California.
I do not feel rooted into this apartment. I feel rooted into the land beneath it. This plot of earth loves me. As did stony Nob Hill when I briefly lived there.
My roots extend deep. My roots extend wide throughout the West Coast. Uprooting myself to move to Pennsylvania was awful and unsuccessful. I felt like my legs had been cut off, my roots still here. In my 18 years in Pennsylvania, there wasn’t a day I didn’t miss being here.
Children Understand Magic and Liminal Spaces
I grab a huge bunch of rose petals. It is a small amount compared to the exuberant quantity in the container. I drop the bunch back in, I repeat this—grab and drop, over and over, the feel of the petals in my hand, then I squeeze the red velvet as it heals my weary eyes, squeeze, drop, squeeze, drop, then press my face hard against the vegetative red.
One of my favorite childhood memories appears—my father clipped the hedges (oh my, hedges, I never made that connection until right this second) then put the clippings into a huge barrel, after which I found a long something, stick he had chopped from the hedge? Shovel? and I used it to stir the clippings, stir the leaves, pretending to be a Witch, one of my favorite childhood memories, my young heart delighted by the fancy.
The delight made child-me as big as a fairy tale.
All my rose play now and the memory remind my belly and soul that anything is possible; I have all the power I need to achieve what I want.
Taming the Wild? I won’t Let That Happen!
My father, who was a terrible man, burnt down my mother’s rosebushes. (Roses! Everything is connecting. Mom’s beautiful womanly magic in the backyard.)
When he cut the hedges, he must have been trying to tame them, sculpting them into typical bourgeois rectangles. I suspect my child self felt, deep down unbeknownst to herself, that she was rescuing that liminal space, freeing it to be wild again.
I have all the power I need to achieve what I want.
So mote it be! Thank you, thank you, my Gods, my California, and my friend who sent me rose petals!
Basking in Goddess Love
A Three-Month Immersion in the Presence of the Divine
What Is Basking in Goddess Love?
Basking in Goddess Love is a three-month immersion in the Presence of the Divine.
The event consists of half-hour rituals, three times a week, via teleseminar—group phone calls. No special technology; just dial your phone.
The whole time, every meeting, will be ritual, during which we simply spend time with Fairy Gods. (The word Gods includes male, female, and any other gender Deity.) In other words, our sole activity: to be in the presence of the Divine.
The exceptions will be a few preparatory steps, which I lead during the meetings. For example, we’ll set up protection to create a safe space for ritual or will center so you can focus on the rite. You’ll also need three minutes after each session to do a special grounding I’ll teach.
How Can a Half-Hour Just Being with Fairy Gods Help Me?
Simply being in Their company is to receive all blessings.
The rituals will be a chance to completely give yourself over to care from the Fey Gods.
When I spend a half-hour visiting my Gods, everything changes. No matter how much negativity or despair I feel, how many problems have piled up, or how much evil I see in the world, if I spend a half-hour with my Gods, I turn into a completely different person—the truest me. I become more centered and strong. Ideas and solutions I need come to me intuitively. A positive attitude is easier to sustain.
The energy around me shifts, too. My luck is better. Throughout the day, I’m more likely to feel my Gods by my side, the wind at my back, and my feet firmly on my path.
Trauma, Shamanism, Divinity
I want the world to be my talisman. I want the whole day to be my talisman. But how do I reach that talismanic reality when there’s so much horror and woundedness all around me in the world, every day?
Despite challenges, trauma, and the cruelty we see, the Great Mother Goddess—Magna Mater, known worldwide as the Fairy Queen—and other loving Gods can help us have the inner power to control our lives and make a better world.
Repeatedly focusing on companionship with Them also brings us into a beautiful liminal space in which we shift into peace, prosperity, healing, power, and happiness.
Some of us need empowerment more than ever right now. Experiential awareness of the presence of the Old Gods provides it.
Consistent ritual is vital in difficult times. During crisis, enrolling in this event might be one of the most important steps you take. For one thing, it’ll help bring the most powerful you forward to face challenges and accomplish exactly what’s needed.
Basking in Goddess Love meets for three months, starting May 2.
Three times a week, I will lead half-hour-long ceremonies via group telephone calls.
To participate, simply dial the phone.
We’ll meet from 2:00 to 2:30, Eastern standard time—11:00 to 11:30, Pacific time—on Mondays, Wednesday, and Thursdays.
Reserve Wednesday August 3 and Thursday August 4, the usual time, for makeup sessions in case I’m unavailable for planned sessions.
Enrollment is $250 a month for three months. Your carrier might charge you for the calls.
I’m charging far less than I would usually for the amount of work I’ll be doing, because you needn’t attend every ritual. You have the yummy option of coming to all of them, but you can miss meetings without wasting your money. Show up when you can, even if it’s only half of the meetings.
I won’t repeat information and rituals that you missed. If that leaves you unclear about something during a meeting you’re in, just do the best you can, going along for the ride. You receive huge benefits when you simply show up for rituals in which you feel a Divine presence. Plus the accumulative effect of the rituals’ loving energy is huge. More about the accumulative effect is below.
Click the Subscribe button to enroll securely through PayPal:
Limited enrollment. Upon receipt of payment, your seat is reserved. You receive event phone number, etc., by email. Refunds unavailable. Call me if you want more information or to discuss scholarship, trade, or payment plan. My number is below.
Basking in Goddess Love can be used as one of the two qualifying electives needed to participate in the advanced Fairy Witch Training .
Are You Thinking, “I’m Too Busy for These Rituals”?
When I’m not centered in my Gods’ love for me, I lose far more time than the three half-hours a week we’ll do ritual. Without that centering, I waste time on worry, obsession, time-robbing bad habits like too much social media, and ineffective solutions to problems so I am battling them endlessly.
In ancient shamanic culture, tribes were busy—hunting, weaving, etc.,—and all the more so during crisis. However, they didn’t try to shoulder on without group rites. Sacred group meetings were part of the everyday, even during major upheaval.
More Benefits from Being in the Presence of Fairy Gods
I find the Old Gods so beautiful that, when I am conscious of Them, as we will be during the rituals, Their beauty somehow reveals and affirms the full extent of my own inner and outer beauty. This is self-confidence to the max.
Experiencing Their beauty also centers me into my wisdom, gloriousness, and power. I also center into a flow of beneficial synchronicities.
When I am aware of the presence of the Fairy Queen and the other kindly Fairy Gods, They are more able to lend me all Their powers.
They are more able to give me assistance, sustenance, magic, joy, and good luck.
How Do I Benefit from Repeatedly Spending a Half-Hour with Gods?
After visiting with Them on a regular basis for a while, you start to feel Them with you more consistently, not just during our rituals or on the days you attend them.
A half-hour with Pagan Gods three times a week snowballs into ongoing blessings, for example, you more consistently go about your life centered into your truest needs and wants, and you live in peace and love.
The sum of the whole becomes greater than its parts. This includes extensive healing. This three-month immersion is a soul-healing, which is greatly needed by some of us in these crazy times.
Healing includes recovering from ancestral traumas.
If You Know How to Visit Gods Without a Facilitator:
If you have the skills to visit Gods on your own, it might be hard for you to get around to doing that, unless you are part of a scheduled group.
And it can be hard—if not near impossible—to find time and willingness to spiritually tend to oneself on one’s own.
Honestly, part of why I’m leading this group is so that I have to show up three times a week to hang out with beautiful people and my sweet Gods. It’s amazing how much we humans can resist the very things that are best for us and that we love.
If lack of time keeps you from shamanic self-care, including creating or choosing rituals to take care of yourself, I have your back. I have rituals already prepared for you.
You needn’t go it alone.
What Will Our Visits with Gods Be Like?
To be in the company of the Fairy Queen and all our other good Fairy Gods is to be in Their hearts, Their care, Their magic, Their realm.
The Old Gods are miracle makers so a half-hour with Them can accomplish a lot.
For three months, we will be immersed in the source of all power.
Otherworldly time spent with Them is a nourishment and joy unlike almost anything else.
There will be various rituals. Here are some of them. We will:
* Visit the Goddess’ garden of bounty. She never kicked us out of the primordial garden. The Biblical story that we were thrust from the garden is a lie tailored to convince us we need to toil miserably for our nourishments. No! The Old Gods will welcome us into the garden and shower bounty on us.
* Also visit the Avalon isle and other Fey realms where Gods walk.
* Dwell in magic. The current of magic that flows through the universe is the living presence of the Gods and Their love for us. When we sink into that magical flow, it carries us to our dearest goals.
* Abide in Their Love for us, in the sense of settling into that love and experiencing its transformation of us and our lives.
* Revel in connectivity with the cosmos. That connectivity is union with the Gods.
* Worship the Gods, not in the usual sense of uplifting them while demeaning ourselves but in a mutual, empowering celebration of ourselves and Them.
* Nestle into the good luck that flows throughout existence. Good luck is the Fairy Gods’ care for us.
We Will Avoid Hard Spiritual Work, LOL
I am planning rites that are joyful and easy. Sometimes shamanism is hard. But not always.
Though this event nurtures inner growth, it is unlike many of my events. We will not pursue the usual vigorous disciplines I teach. For example, the focus on inner growth will not include examining oneself for behavior, feelings, and ideas that hurt oneself and others.
A mystical approach that does not include hard work can be escapism and function like a drug unless accompanied by the ongoing spiritual practices that I teach. But they are not part of this upcoming event because everything has its season.
There is a time to simply be in the presence of Deity. That is what we will do.
Catch a breath. Rest, recoup, regroup.
Relax. Let yourself have ongoing easy spiritual sustenance.
During every ritual, I also give a direct spiritual transmission.
To define my transmissions: I was born generating a beneficial field of energy. During our meetings, it adapts to your needs, e.g., personal growth, soul-healing, physical health, joy, safety on the mundane and etheric planes, the spiritual strength to get back up after life’s knocked you down. The transmissions do not focus on one benefit only, but bless you as a whole being. They also add luck to your efforts to improve your life.
Skepticism about Spirituality Is Healthy
If you’re dubious about these rituals accomplishing what I’ve outlined, you’re smart. The world is full of “spiritual” con-artists.
My claims aren’t hype. If one of my services or books accomplished something for you that nothing else had, that begins to give you the real picture.
I trained from childhood as a shaman. I dedicated my life to developing shamanic skills and innovative ritual methodologies and to becoming a guide capable of addressing different life arenas at depth.
I can make a half-hour shamanic experience extraordinary.
Don’t take my word. Trust what your gut tells you. … Does it say my methods create miracles?
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Rooster Magic, Symbolism, and Meanings
What Is Rooster Magic? What does Rooster Symbolize?
Rooster is a symbol of joy, vitality, inner fire, passion for life, healthy pride in your accomplishments, and fun.
Thus, rooster magic creates all those blessings, and I’ll show you how to do rooster magic in a sec, yay!
What Is the Meaning of Rooster?
If a rooster appears in your dream, or rooster pics are showing up an inordinate amount in your online newsfeed, here are ways you might interpret that symbolism.
1) It could mean that you need to find more joy, healthy cockiness (heh, accidental pun there— cockiness), self-respect, or any of the other things I mentioned roosters symbolizing.
2) On the other hand, it could be the universe affirming your lust for life, fire, or other rooster-like traits, so that you know you’re on the right track.
3) Or both messages could be present: a confirmation of your fabulous rooster self, with an urging to strengthen those traits.
With three options to choose from, it can be confusing. Go with your gut. But then confirm with a friend who is a straight-talker, so you don’t fool yourself.
How to Do Rooster Magic
Try any or all of these:
* Place a picture or statue of a rooster in your home and/or workplace. This totem—or call it a fetish—attracts rooster powers into a space.
* Contemplate a picture or statue of a rooster for five minutes. You needn’t study the totem with a sharp focus or intellectually analyze it. Rest your attention on the rooster the way your head rests on a pillow at night. Try for relaxed attention and gently note what you experience, whether an idea, feeling of empowerment, peace, or anything else. There’s no right or wrong here. If you experience nothing, it doesn’t mean you’re not receiving rooster power. You may not notice it yet. If you have a tiny positive experience, that could be the tip of the iceberg, the rest of the improvement occurring during the contemplation or after it.
* Crow like a rooster when you wake in the morning. Sounds silly, but it plugs you into rooster energy and helps it flow through you, empowering you for the day ahead.
* Strut around like a rooster. If the silliness of it makes you laugh, that’s great. Laughter is medicine that heals and uplifts the spirit. And fairies, drawn to the merriment, will add to your power.
* Wear jewelry with a rooster picture on it. The jewelry functions as an amulet.
* Let’s not forget actually raising a rooster and hens as an option. In a world where the abstract or symbolic are often considered more powerful than the actual items being symbolized or discussed, it’s important to remember having a real rooster in your yard would be powerful rooster medicine.
* If a deity in your pantheon likes roosters, put a photo or sculpture of a rooster on your altar and tell your God it’s for them. Three Gods partial to roosters:
I Learn Rooster Magic
I didn’t pay attention to rooster magic until fairly recently. Then I saw a beautiful stone pendant carved as a rooster. I just had to have it, even though till then I’d usually found the plethora of rooster decor annoying.
When I received the carving, I knew Exu would love it.
African God Exu and Roosters
He is a major figure in my pantheon and takes good care of me.
I had to laugh when I was putting the finishing touches on this essay and happened to see the following Yule 2020 photographs. They show me wearing fascinators (tiny hats) I designed and made.
Usually you wear only one fascinator, but I wore three. They don’t look like hats but like flowers and hornlike flora growing from my head, and the three work well together.
Anyway, I laughed with delight and happiness—not self-denigrating mockery—because, in the photos, I might as well have been strutting around a barnyard! I look so pleased with myself and happy, full of life at age 70, proud of my wild whimsical designs, and relishing the abundance of hair ornamentation that adorned my crown for the Yule ceremony that was about to happen, and Exu fosters all these traits.
In other words, I laughed to stumble across photographs that show me an utter and happy rooster-like example of my above remark that Exu bestows certain traits:
I’d never seen any lore about Exu and roosters, but He told me He’d like to wear my new pendant. I draped it over a statue of Him. In the process, I sensed that rooster holds some of Exu’s powers, which is how I learned and became enamored by the magics of rooster. … In retrospect, they’re self-evident.
When I researched Exu and roosters, still nothing. But I believed He loves them nonetheless. My belief was corroborated when I happened to learn the God Mercury likes roosters.
Roman God Mercury and Roosters
Mercury is one of the Roman Pagan Gods. His affection for roosters makes sense to me. Exu and Mercury have so many similarities that they’re beyond the confines of this post. But both Deities have a sense of humor, lust for life, fire, and out-of-bounds exuberance. I know either of them would exclaim, “Cock-a-doo·dle-doo” with great gusto, luscious pride, and yummy silliness.
An exception to my ignoring rooster magic before my experience with Exu and the pendant:
Goddess Athena and Roosters
Athena is one of the Greek Pagan Gods. I love this Goddess Warrior Mother Who protects and upholds me. I saw a wee portrait of Her online that I purchased:
The wee gold-tone spheres around Her portrait are not part of the piece I purchased. I beaded a setting from gold-colored seed beads, to hang the portrait from a cord around my neck.
Who wouldn’t want a portrait of Athena with a rooster on Her head, LOL!? So I did some online research to discover She likes roosters. Then I forgot that Athena pendant and the related research, until after I had the rooster experience with Exu, made up ways to do rooster magic, and created a jointed paper rooster doll as one of those ways:
Jointed Paper Doll of a Rooster
I love making jointed paper dolls and channeling sacred art. Combining the two is the best experience for me. Making a jointed, paper-doll rooster was a way to learn more about rooster power and drink it into my cells. A video of the rooster doll I made:
If I spoke too softly at the end of the video, here’s what I said: “Magic is in everything. The magic rooster, my magic hands, your magic nose, my magic toes.” Hahahahaha.
Have a Rooster Totem in Your Home
An exclusive for my newsletter subscribers: in an upcoming newsletter, I’ll gift subscribers a PDF painting of the doll’s parts. You can print and cut out the parts, to assemble your own jointed, paper doll rooster. Click the banner below to subscribe.
Fairy Flower Magic: Rose Enchantments
Children, Magic, and Gardens
Children are wise in their innocence. They hear flowers sing, see garden fairies, and trust that magic is real. Children sing to the flowers, pile fallen petals and leaves to make wee beds for the Fae Folk, and leave cookies in the garden in case an otherworldly friend is hungry.
When I embrace this attitude, life is magical, and magic is in everything.
As our childhood is left behind, it can become harder to connect with magic. However, the magic of flowers is obvious to a lot of people, even after they reach adulthood. Gardens, potted plants, and cut flowers, for many a witch, have an easy-to-notice otherworldly energy.
The magic of roses, in particular, has been easily recognized worldwide for centuries. No surprise many mystical groups use a rose as one of their main symbols, if not their main one.
Roses, Italian Witchcraft, and Goddess Diana
Roses are important in many witchcraft traditions. Let’s look at one: la Vecchia Religione—the ancient shamanic witchcraft of Italy.
To explain rose’s relationship to the Strega (practitioner of ancient Italian witchcraft) as well as some of the powers of roses, I need to provide context.
La Vecchia Religione fosters joyful living, unlike religions that insist people be dour and view their existence as an uninterrupted burden.
In the old Italian religion, the Magna Mater—Great Mother Goddess, Creator of All—was known as Diana. Italian lore reveals Diana to also be the Queen of Fairies.
I call Her consort and Cocreator My Good Father, because He is true goodness, not the pretend goodness of another God many of us know too well. Nope, My Good Father is not a bully but instead protects me from those who are.
The Magic Powers in Roses
The rose is a symbol of:
* the ebullient joy we might take in loving the Magna Mater and My Good Father
* the ebullient joy They take in loving us and in using all Their powers to see that we become whole and happy.
In other words, a rose is not merely a symbol; its wee self is the living presence of any and all joys. Power in every petal! That living presence draws joy to us.
* attract the Fairy folk
* are sacred to the Magna Mater and hence to My Good Father
* draw Their blessings and protection
* add power to spells
Eight Simple Rose Magic Spells
These eight simple methods attract any or all the blessings in the above two lists:
* Strewn rose petals on an altar or all over the floor.
* Add rose petals to cookies, place one on the kitchen counter as an offering to the Fey, and eat one yourself. If you want to eat more because you enjoy cookies, no problem!
* Burn rose incense.
* Grow a rose bush.
* Carry a rose petal in your pocket.
* Put a rose on your altar.
* Put a picture of a rose on your altar or in your wallet. A rose or even rose petal is a powerful amulet. I find a depiction of a rose can have the same power.
* Wear a rose boutonniere.
Being Creative about Magic
I spin yarn on a stick from a wild rose bush. (I tend to spin on a stick instead of a spindle.) This adds rose blessings to the yarn.
I harvested the sticks from my property in an environmentally sound manner. They are from invasive rose bushes that kill plants in their proximity. So my harvesting is blessed by the Faerie Queen.
Oh, I just had another idea: give someone a rose as a way to bring rose magic into my life. When we give something away, we gain the gift ourselves.
Rose Amulet Jewelry
I also like to make and wear rose-shaped pendants as amulets.
Elaborate or simple rose amulet jewelry—it’s all good.
I like both.
You could just put a string through a tiny picture of a rose and wear it around your neck. The Fey Folk will get the message. So will the rose’s magic, which will do its thing for you. Magic is alive and cognizant.
As to more elaborate approaches, the rose amulet necklace I just finished designing and making is an example. (I make ones more elaborate than this, too.)
The complexity I often enjoy when constructing a magical charm came into play with this necklace:
* My braiding is not simple. (The necklaces are not macramé, but I’m delighted some folks think my braiding looks like macramé.) It took a lot of time to work out the techniques needed for the look I wanted and then practice them until I could get them right.
* Dragon that I am, I’ve spent decades collecting pretties to make charms. My bead collection alone is mammoth. Now, when I make a necklace, the exact pieces I want are at hand to weave my magic. I mean, look at the wee bell-shaped flower beads braided in the necklace. Searching until I find that sort of thing, let alone in the color, glaze, and what not I want, takes a lot of time but is worth it for me.
If you’d like to buy this necklace, here’s more info:
* I don’t know what stone the carved stone rose is, but it might be stone from Russia and, given the quality of the carving, I suspect it would’ve been much pricier than my dragon collection skills allowed me to pay.
* The back of the stone is lovely. It is carved. There’s also a vulva-like fissure there, adding secret feminine mojo. No one will see it when you wear the necklace, but you’ll know it’s there. … I think it’s a fissure, not a crack. But if the pendant breaks anytime soon despite reasonable care, I’ll refund.
* If interested in purchase details, comment below or email me, and I’ll send you info. Once the necklace has been sold, I’ll update this post to say so.
* I titled the necklace Gentle Magic Is Powerful. When I design an amulet, I give it a name. The name describes at least part of the charm’s magic and, I believe, adds magic. The above necklace has all the rose enchantments I’ve mentioned, but I also wove in another magic, noted in the amulet’s name. When worn, the charm supports your gentle, powerful rites and also honors/supports your gentle powerful magical beingness.
* I’ve done a great deal of magic on the necklace. If you purchase it, no need to bless it further, unless you feel otherwise.
Blessing an Amulet to Give It Power
Blessing a rose amulet is optional. Roses are magic, end of sentence. However, if you want to add power, that’s great.
There are both simple and elaborate methods.
I performed elaborate blessing ceremonies on the above necklace. Those rites are beyond the confines of this post.
However, simple blessings work great. There is power in simplicity.
Simple Amulet Blessings
Here is a simple way to bless any talisman—not just a rose amulet: leave it outside overnight during a full moon and then, if you want, leave it in sunlight for a day. If you can’t leave the charm outside, put it on a windowsill.
Another simple method that is natural and organic: I think the many hours I spend finding perfect beads adds power to them, automatically. That mojo is incorporated into any talisman I make with them.
More about Roses and the Old Fairy Gods
Below are excerpts from a 2007 piece of writing, telling a story so personal that I barely shared it with anyone for a while.
I don’t know why I’m sharing it here but get a strong sense doing so is important. Perhaps, the story’s acutely personal nature provides a bit of insight into the Old Fairy Gods’ immense power—and how that links to roses—better than any abstract exposition might.
If memory serves, these excerpts are from a journal entry. I shared some of them in a newsletter years back. I tweaked them for clarity’s sake and the like:
“When I talk about shunning greatness, I’m referring to a very specific dilemma. I need to push everything far past what I’ve ever done. There is no escape anymore, except fully into Her will all the time and into the pleasure of Her embrace, not as escapism but as a simultaneous retreat from the world and utter integration with humankind’s plebeian existence. To fully find my Fey self in a new way. I run from that constantly. Makes me miserable. . . .
“Even though I resist, I bit by bit surrender. Or at least I hope that is the progression I am in. . . .
“ . . . As part of a book signing at a Border’s Books, I led a rite. . . . The moment I ended the ritual, the room filled with the scent of roses.
“A moment before, I had peripherally sensed, to my left, a female—wearing a rose scent—walking past me with a male. Then I realized they had not been on this plane—they were the Lord and Lady. I flipped out!
“I’m not, mind you, afraid of phenomena. I flipped because I felt like I’d been caught in my spiritual underwear. I was visible in the bookstore as a shaman, mystic, and guru (in the real sense of guru: not someone who is mindlessly obeyed, but someone who is plugged in and helps others get plugged in). I didn’t want that visibility. I thought people would start coming to my classes not for the message but for the bells and whistles. Or call me a fake who had put rose oil in the ventilation system. And look at what they did to Christ! I was upset!
“Here Goddess had given a gift, and I was flipped. (We are all such jerks!) . . .
“If the scent had happened in my living room or some obscure little metaphysical shop, I would have felt okay. But Borders is so mainstream I felt utterly exposed.
“Finally I accepted the gift.
“ . . . When someone moves toward my classes because they want a “piece of a celebrity,” they cannot help me create the scent of roses. They are looking for the wrong power, so see none, acquire none.
“ . . . Faeries are almost always invisible. So I guess it is okay. I adore the few individuals who see me. (I need to better accept that the rest parse me according to a bean-counting standard that reduces mystics and greatness to ashes, neuroses, and petty motives. Until I am accepting of these folks, my soul is soured by my haughty judgment of them, and I remain trashed by my false ego.)
“ . . . After my first bestseller, a marketing expert told me that few bestselling authors teach wee classes like I do, and that I should go on the circuit. But I’m just a shaman = small classes = big connection with a small number of people.
“… I’m just a Faerie. . . . I hide from the Faerie Queen’s love then, running toward Her, move through the mind-gate into Faerie. Then become confused, rejecting the stars in the heaven because I love my humanity as much as I adore my Fey blood. The stars. They always call. But so do the humans and plants and animals.
“. . . It’s my job to serve them. I am also drawn to them because I am human, and because I need every human, plant, and animal on this planet probably more than any one of them needs me.
“All of this happens together, in my home, where I am housebound with MS. Two examples: I teach beautiful people long distance. I travel the stars with my otherworldly wings.”
The Old Gods Welcome You: a Mystic Rose Ceremony
In this rite, Mother and Father, Who are the most loving Beings, welcome you into Their care, bestowing Their love, power, and protection, as well as fostering your magical power, otherworldly perception, and wisdom. The ritual can be done just once, or whenever you feel the need.
Place before you a rose of any color, a photograph of a rose, or a drawing of one, done by yourself or someone else. It does not matter if you draw “poorly.”
Then recite the following liturgy, which is called Divine Welcoming:
With Us, you can take pride in yourself
and have honor.
Here, there is joy.
Here, there is safety.
and welcome you into Our Mysteries.
We welcome you into their joy.
for you are safe, loved, and honored in Our care.
I initially channeled a more complex version of the above ritual, for my course, La Vecchia Religione. I streamlined that rite for this post so someone without any training could do it. It can be a lovely, important step for beginners.
Many adepts will find this simple version works well for them because the Gods are powerful.
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Newsletter subscribers also often get first dibs on my talismanic jewelry.
Months back, I gathered with some of my sister Third Road initiates, by phone, to do a magical spell. (Third Road is a tradition of Fairy magic that I channeled and continue to channel.) During our ceremony, Jenelle Leigh Campion read a poem she’d written about her garden, pictured above. Her artistry wowed me once again.
The poem also portrays themes dear to me:
* Inner wholeness created through connection with the larger whole and through appreciation of every part of the whole. This sensibility is central to my journey as a spiritual seeker and Fairy shaman.
* The green world as an enchanted realm in which each plant is a living spirit. Plants are my friends who give me great joy with their beauty and wisdom, while they help me with my witch spirituality.
Here’s Jenelle’s poem, prefaced by her introduction:
This piece was inspired by a writing prompt that asked me to write from a “family consciousness” perspective and use the “royal we” pronoun to describe a family having a group experience. Instantly, my garden called out as the collective voice that would like to be channeled into my writing and this was the result.
We are the garden.
We are the ones who grow.
In the misty, humid dawn we drink in dew
from the evening’s contraction.
Hibiscus sees the light first,
standing almost as tall as the wall behind us.
Only a few shy flowers appearing amidst the bush.
Our bright pink petals of Lady Magenta
in the sea of our green.
The tender arrives to inspect
our changes and newness
and inspire the cherished waters to flow,
refreshing and preparing us
for the work of the day.
New achievements unlocked.
New blossoms to bloom.
Magnolia is always in the light drawing nutrients
down from the heavens and
up from below the foundation.
She hugs the earth and sky.
The cluster of Bamboo and Rosemary
are the grandmothers in the garden.
Kwan Yin stands in their heart,
These plant darlings shimmer in green
and laugh into the wind as they bend.
The potted plant party corner thinks
it’s having an exclusive event.
And they are right.
The late day sun is their jam!
Drinking in and
reveling in brightness
their medicine becomes
plump and potent.
We all become more
plump and potent,
happy in our brightness
Easter Lillies, Holly, and Queen of the Nile
liking their cool calm zones
to chill and become beautiful.
We are the garden.
We are the ones who grow.
We are one circle,
within a larger neighborhood circle,
and a city circle,
One global plant family
everyday turning up
to bring delight
to our courtyard.
Jenelle, who also paints amazing pictures, says, ”It is my joy to send art out into the world because it nurtures happiness, creates feelings of abundance in our lives, and shares the spiritual support and magical empowerment that the sweetness of beauty can provide.
I’m blessed by my students because, like Jenelle, they are amazing companions for me along the Faerie path. Join us. My newsletter tells you about upcoming classes and other events. Click the banner below to subscribe.
The Fairytale Witch, Greed, & Joy
Why Are Old Women in Fairy Tales usually Evil Mean Witches?
Many traditional fairytales portrayed elderly women as monstrous witches. Descriptions included despicable eating habits. These witches were gluttons who scarfed down absurdly massive quantities of food in a single sitting, as I’ve seen in paintings of Baba Yaga. Worse, they ate children.
I’ve been thinking the root of such lies was likely greed, at its worst. I imagine selfish people begrudged an old lady her food—her right to life—and, in the same vein, coveted her land, the source of food. They wanted all resources for themselves, leaving nothing for anyone else, not caring that it could be a death sentence.
These skinny ladies in old tales usually stayed bone thin despite dining on children and disgustingly extravagant banquets. Perhaps she represented elderly women actually struggling without much to eat, the mischaracterization meant to provide the justification to rob them regardless. In other words, if an elderly woman was resented for eating any amount of food, then misrepresenting her reasonable or insufficient meals as gluttony provided an excuse to “righteously” rob her—greedy witch! She did not deserve food and its source—land and livestock.
Logic plays no part in justifying wrongdoing. A person gorging themself yet maintaining a thin frame makes absolutely no sense. However, reasons to steal and oppress don’t need to be reasonable; any excuse will do. Spread nonsensical slander about an aged woman, and her neighbors who are greedy like the slanderers will cheer about their thievery. The slanderers have given those neighbors permission to follow suit with other vulnerable elders.
I can easily imagine greedy envy turning into disgust about an elderly woman’s meals. A person’s selfishness often disguises itself, even to that person. Disgust is an effective disguise, distracting everyone from the real greed by projecting it on to an innocent elder.
When they call an old lady a dragon or witch, I take it as a compliment because I am a real dragon and witch. Many dragons and witches are kind and generous with food, magic, and other treasures. They also protect people from oppressors.
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Land
Land, food, and greed are tied together. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness was originally Life, liberty, and the pursuit of land. For whatever reason the phrase was changed, the original version outlines the basis for a classless society. Land is wealth at its most fundamental level. The right to pursue happiness is vague enough to establish the pretense of forgoing classism. In some ways, classism is simply systemic greed: one group taking too much for themselves so that another group does without, whether the classes are delineated by gender, race, or any other excuse to oppress.
Eating an Entire Pizza Topped with Anchovies and Joy
I was visiting my friend, Jenn Campus. As usual, we touched on one of our favorite topics: food.
I mentioned that I’d made a pizza from scratch and was delighted because I was going to get to eat the whole thing. I live alone, so that pizza constituted two or three meals (with perhaps a salad added). Yum, a couple of pizza meals!
I also told Jenn some of my realizations mentioned in this essay.
Then Jenn’s husband and foodie companion Roberto joined us. I again shared my delight about eating the whole pizza. I added that I’d been wondering how much of a pizza each member of their family got in a meal. Given their large family, I imagined they had to divide a pizza up, and perhaps no one ate more than a slice. Roberto, who’s Italian born, responded that eating the whole pizza is “very Italian of you.” He added that each family member always got their own pizza, except maybe the children split one.
Roberto’s comment was wonderfully affirming, even though I hadn’t told him my thoughts about old ladies and food. My Goddess spoke through him. Though the following were not Roberto’s words, She was saying, “Let old ladies eat the whole pizza!”
Jenn, when I’d mentioned greedy people begrudging an elderly woman her food, suggested that they possibly begrudged her the pleasure in food. Good point. Especially for me. Joy is one of my life’s keywords.
Have You Ever Been Attacked for Being Happy?
The right to pursue happiness—joy—includes the right to land or a comparable means to material well-being, such as a reasonable wage instead of employers earning far more than is even decent while employees can’t make ends meet.
Oppressive religious bodies often portray joy solely as non-material pleasure, as if it’s sinful to care about worldly things. This pseudo-spiritual propaganda fools many people; they become unwittingly complicit in their own oppression (internalize their oppression), by thinking they’ve no right to a proper income.
I’m not implying joy relies entirely on material well-being. Depending solely on the material for happiness creates greed. However, it is appropriate and healthy to pursue both material and spiritual well-being and find a balance between the two, instead of seeking only one or the other.
Your happiness is sacred. Convincing you to abdicate rights by shaming you as if you’re selfish and uncouth to care about worldly things is an attack on your life and your happiness. If you internalize those attacks—internalize your oppression—you might shame or otherwise hurt yourself when you desire joy, start to feel joyful, or have even the smallest joyful experience.
I’ve always feared I’d be punished for my joy. I thought I’d conquered that fear but am revisiting it to overcome it at a new level.
Internalized Oppression Can Damage Physical Health
I have a lot of joy in my day. That doesn’t mean I’m free of problems around it.
It is easy to internalize oppression so extensively that deep-seated, self-destructive beliefs or emotions can affect one’s physical health.
For twenty years, I’ve had serious physical problems caused by extreme swelling that is unrelenting, throughout my body, and visible. (E.g., one of my eyes became swollen shut for days. The doctor asked if something had struck my eye. The swelling was so huge that I looked like someone had socked me.)
Years of exercise, food choices, herbal remedies, and shifts in lifestyle and attitudes reduced the swelling bunches, and with it the number of serious symptoms it had caused. There are far fewer. But a great deal of swelling—and hence serious unremitting symptoms—remains.
In desperation, earlier this year, I decided to go grain-free. The swelling abated radically within days. If the improvement had continued at the rate it was going, my need for a wheelchair would’ve been gone, or near gone, within a year.
However, I suspected that I do not have a grain allergy, but that a deep-seated, subtle anorexia was compelling me to deny myself my “daily bread,” as if I don’t deserve food.
I also wondered if I have a deeply-hidden inability to stand on the ground of my truths. Stand, instead of using a wheelchair. I’m pretty good at standing for my truths, but there’s always another layer of growth. Internalized oppression can be subtle and deep.
(These two things I wondered about are related in ways I don’t fully understand yet. The understanding I do have is beyond the confines of this essay.)
I decided to eat grains again. That might seem ridiculous, given that serious symptoms were abating so readily. But I don’t want to deprive myself of my “daily bread“ longterm only to find that I ignored the spiritual solution that would’ve been the longterm fix. Ignoring the source of the problem will simply make it manifest in another way, sooner or later.
Plus life-threatening allergies already seriously limit the foods I eat. If the decision to be grain-free is subtle anorexia, elimination of foods from my kitchen might escalate until I allow myself to eat only a few types of food—not enough to maintain health. (I’m not implying that being grain-free is anorexic per se.)
Psychological states can cause serious medical problems. I do not mean those problems are in one’s head. They are quantitative symptoms, measurable by Western medicine. I need to overcome my fear of being attacked and stand up.
Overcoming Internalized Oppression and Claiming My Rights
I wrote a large portion of this essay before the pandemic and the economic severities it has caused many people. For months, I put the piece aside, to focus on blogs that seemed more related to current affairs. My mind kept returning to this piece, and I couldn’t figure out why. Eventually, I realized it is utterly relevant right now. Perhaps it’s even more important than it was before the pandemic. Elderly people are spoken of as disposable. Greed is rampant, as are illogical excuses for it. People worldwide are struggling and scapegoating, divided instead of standing strong and successful together. … There’s that word standing again.
Hm, elder abuse and the other problems described in the above paragraph are not new. Well, my real point is that I realized the article’s relevance. And that my not seeing the relevance was internalized oppression; I turn 70 this year so am at risk of being scapegoated—viewed as disposable in a society often structured by greed.
There’s another reason the article is relevant. Our current worldwide trauma can deepen longstanding internalized oppression, perhaps reopening healed wounds. That can result in horrible demoralization and other devastating states that stop us from doing what’s needed to take care of ourselves, our loved ones, and our communities.
Nevertheless, it can be an opportunity to see inner oppression and overcome it. In my case, this has included revisiting my fear I’d be punished/attacked for my joy.
That fear is reasonable. If repeatedly attacked for your joy, whether by family, friends, or societal beliefs that joy deserves rebuke and infliction of shame, you might come to expect and fear attack. However, I refuse to live in fear.
Simple Magic Spell to Claim My Right to Food, Life, and Joy
Simplicity has magic: to do the spell, just recite the liturgy below once or, if it feels right, repeatedly. You don’t have to do anything fancy, “right,” or grimly serious like the Great Master Wizard of the Universe. (No, the Great Master Wizard of the Universe isn’t a real thing. I made that up.) I found myself laughing as I wrote and then said the liturgy, and if anything’s right for this chant, laughter is. I intentionally made the chant silly.
When you speak the chant, include the title in your recitation.
I can pay for the whole pizza.
To add extra magic to the spell, eat a good meal immediately after the recitation. Kitchen magic!
Preparation before reciting the liturgy is not necessary. You can jump right in and do the spell. If you feel preparation would be helpful, here are suggestions:
* If you prefer to set up magical protections before you do any ritual, do so.
* Take three to fifteen deep breaths. Nothing fancy, just natural deep breaths.
* Examine yourself for internalized oppression regarding your right to food, life, prosperity, and joy. Then try to feel that inner negativity, then start the chant.
As I said, I wrote much of this essay before lockdown, before revisiting my fear of punishment. The revisit makes me doubly happy for the lighthearted chant, which was in the original draft of the article and balances its seriousness. I want my heart light. I want to continue to find fun and beauty no matter what. When in my most difficult times, I see more than ever the vital importance of trying to find joy, even if it’s small.
Those two silly lines hold power for me. Perhaps they’ll also work for you. A simple, silly spell can have great power. (The spell’s strength is not always obvious until you use the spell.) The chant, beneath its silliness—and supported by its silliness—is a ritual to overcome my internalized oppression and claim my right to food as a woman, human, and elder. Since food is central to life, I’m claiming my very right to exist, which shouldn’t even be in question, but the greed of the world challenges our right to live. The liturgy also claims my right to joy.
You needn’t be elderly for this liturgy to be relevant to you.
Self-Awareness, Self-Defeat, Self-Absorption
I like my head in the clouds and feet on the ground. Magic is not enough. I’m doing additional things to decrease swelling, while eating grain. In other words, I suspect not standing sufficiently in my power, truths, and being, coupled with the internalized oppressions of fearing attack, are causing the swelling and, once lessened, will no longer do that. So I’m trying to overcome these inner blocks.
Here is one way I’m trying to do that, in case it suggests action(s) you might take to overcome internalized oppression and/or medical problems caused by it.
I have a daily spiritual practice of watching myself for certain faults to which I am prone. Now, I’m trying to enlarge that practice (temporarily, until it becomes no longer necessary), by becoming more aware of when I’m:
* afraid of being attacked for my joy
* not allowing myself joy
* not noticing or letting myself feel my fear of attack
* not standing fully in my being and truths
* not being sufficiently self-aware and thereby unable to stand fully in my being and truths
About the last item in the list: I’m trying to, more than ever, be aware of my cellular levels, be present to the moment, and forsake numbing, that I might more than ever know deep levels of myself and of what I’m feeling and being. When I have that degree of self-awareness, I trust in magic. I become my child-self who believes in greatness. I stand on the ground of my being and truths at deeper levels than ever. If I hit that level, often enough, we’ll see if I need the wheelchair anymore.
I should add: the self-awareness I’m describing is a far cry from self-absorption. For example, I am of service when I stand for who I am and what I believe in because, in that state, I work more effectively.
Goddess Sehkmet, Please Replace My Fear with Power
I’ve been asking Goddess Sehkmet to remove my fear of attack and replace it with power. I’m praying to Her because I sense She’s especially good at empowering people to be proactive. I want to step up to the plate more than ever by 1) claiming my right to food, life, joy, and prosperity, 2) standing in my being, and 3) doing whatever else is needed to gain maximum abundance and joy and be of maximum service to my community.
Though I’ve read no lore corroborating the ability I’ve above attributed to Sekhmet, one of my students did teach me that Sekhmet protects Ra and carries out His business. (I’m not attributing the student by name because they prefer anonymity.) That reinforces my sense of Her. I’ve seen Goddess Sekhmet referred to as a “protector of truth,” which also seems to make Her the perfect help for the concerns I am discussing here.
Drawing on my above thoughts, I wrote a prayer to Her:
that I may step up, step up, step up.
Goddess Sekhmet, protector of truth,
help me stand stand stand
in my being and truths.
Sehkmet, grant me the power to
claim my rights, my rights,
my rights to food, life, joy, and prosperity.
You Who protects Ra and carries out His business,
please protect me and grant me the power to protect myself.
Help me carry out my business of
good food, long life, abundance, joy, and service.
So mote it be!
If concerted spiritual efforts do not diminish swelling significantly after 6 to 12 months, I’ll get rid of grain.
Food is life. Food is liberty. Food is land—abundance, property, the earth on which we stand as free people. So mote it be!
One of my pizzas, ready for the oven:
Here’s a rough recipe for it: no measurements, complete list of ingredients, etc., because I tend to wing it and eyeball it in the kitchen. But I put the recipe here in case it gives you ideas.
The crust is my adaptation of a gluten-free pizza dough recipe that was at https://www.mashupmom.com but is now gone. It was the first gluten-free pizza dough recipe that suited both my palate and allergies.
If memory serves, the recipe uses brown rice flour and garlic (among other things), with eggs and flaxseed meal to hold the dough together.
To make a more flavorful, high-protein dough, I added sunflower seed meal, almond meal, garbanzo flour, and enough garlic to curl my toes.
I wanted pizza but didn’t think I had the makings for tomato sauce. Then I remembered tomatoes I’d dried and frozen. I reconstituted them quickly by putting them and a bit of water in a pan and simmering the mixture down a bit. Topped the pizza with goat cheese. Yum.
When I cook or talk about food, the power of kitchen magic visits me. (The little pizza chant is kitchen magic, at least for me, because it focuses on food.) Sharing the pizza recipe brings to mind another reason the crone was hated for her kitchen activities. Hearth magic is power available to oppressed groups, thereby threatening oppressors. Elders will have had many years to hone their power, which makes them all the more threatening.
A kitchen is often the heart of a revolution. People quietly talk at the table, where food, beverage, and camaraderie build the strength needed for the fight to live free. So mote it be!
More Kitchen Magic
Add magical healing to medicinal herbs. How to Enchant Your Cup of Tea: https://stardrenched.com/2017/03/29/how-to-enchant-your-cup-of-tea/
Honoring the Ancestors: The Man Who Raised Me
Honoring ancestors has many aspects for me as a witch, and just as many for me as a human and individual. I want to touch on a few, before talking about my dad.
Ancestors Who Were Oppressors
Human nature being what it is, we all have ancestors who were horrible people, and some who were outright oppressors.
When I teach how to contact ancestors, do ritual with them, and live in alignment with the old ways of our forebearers, someone inevitably asks, “What should I do about awful ancestors? I don’t want any contact with them, let alone honor them.”
Whether the student deems those ancestors oppressors or terrible in other ways, the question is important.
The answer can’t be one-fits-all. Nor can I personally hang the problem all on one hook; I’ve had to approach it from a lot of different angles, including the following:
I myself have had to make peace with awful ancestors. For one thing, I don’t want hate in my heart. I can no longer bear the damage it does me.
For another, making peace helps me regain wisdom lost over the ages—herbal medicine, witchcraft, and other empowering choices suppressed by oppressors.
My very first ancestors at the beginning of human time (well, I believe the line from which I descended started long before that, but I won’t get into that here) started threads of wisdom and power that have spun forward in time. Every one of my ancestors has held and holds a piece of that thread. I don’t want my resentments to break the thread any further than has already happened. Even if an ancestor contributed to that breakage, I want to repair it.
Making peace doesn’t mean I ignore injustices ancestors have perpetrated, any more than I’d bury my head in the sand about living family members who are complete racists or otherwise awful.
But I find some peace in my heart, and that is how I honor ancestors whom I otherwise want nothing to do with, and thus repair threads that might’ve been damaged by them and my own hate. This is what I’ve learned through my own trial and error and what works for me.
What Is Ancestral trauma?
Ancestral trauma—or ancestral wound—is the suffering of a family member or members that then passes down to the next generation and the next, until it is healed. Though it’s passed down through behaviors and internalized oppression, as a shaman I also sense a maimed energy that each generation picks up. That energy also transforms the familial DNA. The behaviors and internalized oppression help create and maintain the energy. And vice versa.
Finding peace about awful people in my familial line is part of how I’ve healed the ancestral wound they passed down to me from the trauma they themselves caused to my other ancestors and that they themselves might have suffered. Carrying hate in my heart continues the legacy of hate and holds trauma securely in my DNA. Feeling hate is one thing. Holding onto that hate is another.
Ancestors if You’re Adopted
Another common question is how to deal with ancestors if you’re adopted. There are so many questions when it comes to that, including one relevant to this post: making peace with an abusive adoptive parent who has passed on, or with their ancestors.
A family member of any kind carries (or breaks) the thread of ancestral wisdom, power, and information. My theory is that, should that family member have adopted you, they hold a piece of the thread not only in their own bloodline, but surprisingly enough, hold a piece of the thread in your own bloodline. There’s not space here to go into that theory. But, if you’re like me, making peace with adoptive parents who’ve died could be important.
Awful ancestors are no small concern. There can be huge challenges, including endless questions. It takes time to deal with it all.
For example, it’s taken years to make peace with my father who has passed on. And I still experience some hate for him. I will continue to work on it.
Learning to align with my ancestors that I might live in the magic, beauty, wisdom, and power known by my forebearers has been an ongoing process. There’s been no single step then, voila, all done. But I take one step at a time, and that yields big results.
I’ve repeatedly needed to take different types of action.
For example. I’ve had to channel a lot of ritual to do this work. But now I have a body of rituals I can continue to use and also teach in my classes, and draw on for one-on-one shamanic counseling sessions. (Links to information about classes and counseling are below this essay.)
The answers that help me might not be the right ones for you. My experiences are not your experiences. But sharing our experiences can be healing. The following story about my father represents a bit of my journey making peace with him.
May 12, 2020:
Honoring the Ancestors: William Stafford
My father was always on the outside looking in. And he loved music beyond all reason.
He was a small-minded, violent man, who suffered a hard life.
I found his name in the census, which shows that, at seven years old, he disappeared from his mother’s household.
I found someone by his name in another household, that of a farming family. I suspect Bill had been sent out to work and live on a farm because there were too many mouths to feed in his own home. This is possibly corroborated by information one of my relatives has provided. In the census, Bill appears back with his mother a few years later.
Around the time he disappeared from home, his mom remarried. Did Bill’s stepfather not want him? Was this one of the first times Bill was on the outside looking in, face pressed up against the glass?
After a stint in the military during World War II, he returned from overseas and disappeared again. As a child, I was told that, during that period, he was in the south, “living with hillbillies, and ended up on a Georgia chain gang.”
Decades later, I asked him about it. All he’d tell me is that it wasn’t a chain gang. It was prison or jail, I can’t remember which, and he wouldn’t tell me why he was arrested.
After his time in the south, Dad came back to Boston—where we lived—and continued to be on the outside looking in.
He would pretend to be Irish, in a town that adored the Irish.
He would pretend to be a cop. In 1964, I was 14, and the Beatles were playing in Boston. The arena was a madhouse. When the concert was over, the crowd poured out into the lobby, and there was my dad, come to drive me home.
“How did you get in, Dad? Why did they let you in?”
He had convinced the security guards that he was a cop. Perhaps he’d flashed them a fake badge; I can no longer remember.
There was a police radio in his work room in the basement. My dad, the not-cop.
He chased fire engines. One time, he pursued one of those howling trucks, only to see it turn onto our street. He kept following. The truck stopped at our house.
Always on the outside looking in. A spectator to his own house on fire.
The man was as right wing, racist, sexist, -ist, -ist, -ist, as you can get. But when I was sixteen, I met a guitar-carrying hippie who didn’t have a place to stay. I brought him home. In retrospect, I don’t know why. Dad hated hippies.
But dad didn’t throw the kid out, didn’t care that he was a peace-loving hippy with long hair. The guy was carrying a guitar, and that’s all that mattered.
Or, maybe, Dad knew what it was like to not have a place to stay. Perhaps that’s what happened.
Bill loved folk music as much as he hated liberals. In those days, folk music was paired with Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, and revolution. Dad didn’t care.
I wonder if his appreciation of folk music came from his hillbilly friends.
Bill loved show tunes. This macho man raised me in a home where vinyl recordings of Broadway musicals constantly played in the background. I still know a lot of those lyrics by heart, and still happily belt them out to entertain myself.
When I was 14, I asked him and Mom if I could start going to folk music clubs. These were clubs for adults, and were not in my neighborhood. They were in downtown Boston and Cambridge.
Mom and Dad went to a club with me and decided I could go to them on my own.
Their attending the club with me was bizarre because they usually had very little to do with me. I was a feral kid who’d raised herself.
But there was Dad’s love of music again (and Mom’s huge-hearted ability to foster my wild dreams and artistic escapades).
Within months, I was playing some of those clubs myself as a musician.
When Bill died, I felt like someone hit me in the head with a 2 x 4. But only days later, I needed to be in the music studio. Before recording my album, there’d been 10 years of starts and stops. Recording were finally underway, due to circumstances that were temporary, the deadlines were incredibly tight, and I didn’t know how much longer Bruce Smith—my coproducer—would be available. It was now or never for this, my first, album.
It just so happened we were scheduled to record a song I’d written about Dad years back. When I arrived at the studio, I told Bruce that I’d probably break into tears at some point, and to give me five minutes to cry, and that then I’d be as professional as always. I also told him to not pull any punches when we were critiquing the mix; I didn’t want him being sensitive to my feelings; I wanted the best possible recording.
When recording the song, I thought of how Dad’s face was always pressed up against the glass, an outsider looking in. He would’ve loved to have been in that studio with me that day when I was recording a song about him, would’ve loved to have been on the same side of the recording booth’s glass walls.
The album was a bestseller. Dad would’ve loved that.
Mark Chimsky, who’s edited some of my books, asked me for a blurb today. I don’t usually give blurbs. The whole blurb thing is often just one big dishonest elitist scam, with people in power giving blurbs only to other people in power, and excluding most everyone else. But Mark is one of the most ethical, dear individuals I’ve ever met. He would’ve opened the window if he’d seen Dad’s nose pressed against the glass.
Later that day, I saw my blurb along with 19 others. The top blurb was from Johnny Cash. There was my name right below Johnny’s. I wanted to cry. The two names together would’ve meant a lot to Bill.
It doesn’t matter whose name is where. It’s all ego and illusion. Bill’s lack of self-worth drove him to construct a false ego, which he kept inflated by pretending to be Irish in the Boston of my youth, where Irish was a big deal—and an Irish cop at that, which was an even bigger deal—and by bragging about his teenage kid who played guitar.
He kept his false sense of self inflated by hating everyone who wasn’t … him. America was better than the rest of the world. Massachusetts was better than the rest of the country. Our neighborhood was better than all the other neighborhoods. Our family was better than all other families. And he was better than everyone else in the family.
He’d disappeared from the census, disappeared into prison, and disappeared into the recesses of his own self-doubt. So he bragged and hated.
I’m not saying his choice to brag and hate is the inevitable result of being made invisible and being shoved to the other side of the glass.
I’m not saying he shouldn’t have been made accountable for his hatred. I’m saying his choice is understandable.
I didn’t like Bill. He was an awful man, in ways there’s no point in giving details about here. A few years ago, when I found out that he wasn’t my biological father, it was a relief to know that we didn’t share DNA.
But I’ve come to understand that he was an intelligent, passionate, inventive fellow, and that he was shoved around and denied, denied, denied. (For one thing, he was a self-taught electronics engineer and resented that lack of college education kept his earnings low, despite many years in the electronics field.) I’ve come to compassion for this guy who helped make my childhood miserable.
No, I didn’t like Bill. But I’ve come to appreciate him.
… I guess in that sense I’ve come to like him. I appreciate his wandering restless spirit that led him to the south after he’d already been in Europe, long from home.
I appreciate his intelligence, vehemence, passion, and determination.
I’ve often wondered if he was one of the young boys who hopped trains during the depression, thrown out of the house because there wasn’t enough food. If so, that was a hard time, and he was a vagrant, wandering. I appreciate that he wandered away from his own soul, and the closest he could get to chasing after it was running after fire engines.
Wherever he thought the fire engines would bring him was an illusion, even when a fire truck brought him home to our house. And somehow, I’ve come to even like Bill for that.
I imagine somewhere, on the other side of the veil, Bill is wandering. I can’t imagine he’s been laid to rest. I can almost see him with my otherworldly eyes, see him waiting for reincarnation, needing another chance.
Though it’s geared to inflate his false ego, I’m happy today to tell his spirit, wherever he is, “Dad, look, look where my name is. Next to Johnny Cash’s.” And, “Dad, I never mentioned it before. My album with the song about you on it? It was a bestseller. And that book I told you I was writing, right before you died? Bestseller and dedicated to you.”
It doesn’t matter whose name is where. The prestige of a best seller doesn’t matter either. It’s all ego and illusion. But I’m happy to tell Dad where my name went today and to tell him the album and book gained recognition. Because illusions can be all someone has. Blessed be, William.
Honoring mothers: https://stardrenched.com/2017/09/18/ancestor-magic-mothers/
Mentioned above, the best editor ever: https://markchimskyeditorial.com
Newsletters to stay abreast of upcoming classes: https://outlawbunny.com/newsletter/
Spiritual counseling for ancestral trauma and other concerns: https://outlawbunny.com/pastoral-counseling/
Magic Cats: Goddess Bast, Fairy Kitties, and Feline Familiars
“Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea.”—Robert A. Heinlein
Superstitions about Cats Being Evil Aren’t True
We all know the superstitions. A black cat crossing your path is bad luck. Cats will jump into your infant’s crib and steal their breath. Bah humbug.
I wouldn’t allow a cat into a crib, in case it accidentally smothers the baby. But a cat has no demonic agenda of stealing breath. Cats are God’s creatures.
They are held dear in culture after culture.
Most people know they were worshiped as deities by ancient Egyptians, but respect for felines is worldwide.
For example, there is an Italian myth, found in the book, Aradia, Gospel of the Witches, about a fairy cat who helped the Goddess Diana play a trick on Her brother. This resulted in all of creation coming into being, showing that kitty was one pretty special feline.
There’s also the ubiquitous Japanese sculpture of a cat with one paw raised. You’ve probably seen it in restaurants. That statue brings good luck.
Who Is the Goddess Bast?
Bast is an ancient Egyptian Goddess.
Often portrayed as having a human body and Lioness head, She was considered a fierce protector. Later, images of Her tended to be a house cat, with perhaps a sistrum (a rattle used in ritual) by Her side. The shift of Bast’s image from lion to domesticated feline accompanied Her becoming the patron Deity of women, children, and domestic cats.
In the ‘80s, I saw so many images of the house cat version of Bast having a gold, hoop earring piercing one of Her ears, that I assumed it was traditional. Then, I researched to see if the gold hoop is a modern addition, but couldn’t find the answer.
Bast loves perfume. This delights me since beautiful scents are part of my magic. Next time I use scent in a spell, maybe I’ll wear my Bast amulet and ask Her to bless the spell. I think perfumes would be a lovely offering to Her, too.
I personally do not believe She became any less fierce or effective a protector when She became domesticated. Humans no longer live wild in caves, but we remain fiercely protective as parents. And One of Her aspects is a loving parent.
Bast as a Fierce Protector Goddess
Bast has a ferocious side, which I turn to for protection.
While making three Bast amulets—photographs of them are throughout the remainder of this post —I was super aware of how well She protects me. Bast sometimes looks like a cute little kitty, but She’s fierce.
One of the many blessings from the entire feline kingdom is protection. Princess Beast, the cat who lives with me, looks like the sweetest, gentlest little ball of fluff, but she once reared up and attacked the postal carrier with such viciousness that the person scrambled out the door in fear.
When writing this post, I used voice recognition software. It translated my spoken words the feline kingdom as “God the lion kingdom.” That wild change cracked me up because my trickster Goddess sometimes guides me through incredibly funny voice recognition mishaps. I feel the particular synchronistic rewrite about cats affirms that in every cat resides mighty lion Deities, both male and female, lending us Their immense power, ferocity, and protection. And that Bast’s power is unquestionable, no matter how She is represented.
Bast Also Has a Gentle, Loving, Nurturing Aspect
In my experience (as opposed to any lore I’ve read), sometimes Bast turns into a cutie, an adorable kitten curled up around me with gentleness and love. Except that, being a God, the gentleness and love with which She surrounds me is immense beyond measure.
Words can’t convey what I experience when I visualize the universe being run by a Deity Who is as sweet, gentle, and softly furry as a kitten. All fear of any God or of a hostile universe leaves me. It is as if Princess Beast, who curls up on my lap, purring, affectionately licking my hand, has a larger version—an immense version that is God, curled up around me, and governing all things so lovingly that my material and spiritual needs are well taken care of.
That visualization is not the only time I’ve turned to Bast for help when I forgot that my Gods are loving, kind, and sweet, instead of judgmental, uncaring, and disdainful. Here’s another time:
I try to not chastise myself for my oh-so-human feelings of anger, but one day, I was actually hating the part of me that feels anger. I don’t want self-hate; it serves no good purpose. Hate for myself is not healing. In fact, self-hate hinders change.
After making the Bast talismans, which invoke Her into your life, She showed love for the part of me that’s angry. Her love transformed both my hate and anger. A God condemning me for my anger would not have helped me.
Another time, I was hot with anger at someone who’d seriously messed with me. Bast not only wrapped Herself tenderly and lovingly around me, so that I did not hate myself for my anger, She also told me I needn’t be pulled down by fear of my anger or of the person messing with me. That message helped me face my anger, be empowered by it, and release it, all of which in turn allowed me to take appropriate steps, on both the magical and mundane planes, to protect myself.
She also made it clear She would show Her other side should that person try to mess with me again. Picture a guest walking in my door, and Princess Beast instantaneously going from cuddling with me to leaping off my lap in order to prepare to slash out fiercely at the guest, should they be dangerous.
Witches and Cat Familiars
Witches keep cats or other animals as familiars (magical helpers).
I am such a cliche witch: I adore cats. Whether it’s the Goddess Bast, the fairy kitty in the aforementioned creation myth, or the black and white feline who’s been meowing at my door recently, then scrambling off as soon as I appear, I cannot resist a cat.
I find all cats to be Fey, and haven’t been without a cat familiar by my side for decades.
Familiars Are All So Different
Every cat has their own personality, magic, and lessons to give us. Every one of my familiars has come to me right when I needed its particular powers.
Teenie, my familiar of 17 years, may she rest in peace, was peaceful, loving, and noble. She tried to teach me these virtues. Ganesh, a high energy fellow who lived with us for a few years, embodied and taught me lessons in joyful chaos. Princess Beast is a comedienne, an utter Holy Fool who helps me be lighthearted and enjoy life more.
Princess Beast constantly offers photo-ops, whereas Teenie usually hated having her picture taken. She tended to immediately change whatever darling, gorgeous, or otherwise noteworthy position she was in, if I grabbed the camera to capture the moment. She taught me to be in the moment instead of losing an experience by trying to document it.
Bast Talismans / Kitty Faerie Charms
I made three talismans that invoke blessings from the Cat Goddess Bast and Faerie cats.
I make charms my own way. So I’m not suggesting you need to make them the way I describe below. I just like sharing my magical process.
I imbued the talismans with the feline magical energies described in this post, as well as the power to grant blessings you personally might expect from the sacred feline realms.
Two of the charms are necklaces. One is for me. (Mine is the one with the paler cord.) A friend will probably be buying the other one.
Here is what I strung on both necklaces:
I am 90% sure each pendant is carved from a single piece of ribbon jasper. Ditto the cat in the wall hanging, later in this post. I love how different colors emerge in a ribbon jasper carving, especially when a skilled artisan takes advantage of it.
I find ribbon jasper exudes happiness and contentment. This was not taught to me by a human but directly by the stone itself. Ditto its happy, grounded energy that helps keep my feet on the ground when I’m walking between the stars.
The carvings remind me of a Victorian cameo. I’m an old hippie who loves Victoriana, so it is inevitable some of my designs end up BoHo meets Queen Victoria.
Immediately above each pendant are three large beads. The smaller two are moss agate, a stone I find wondrously Fey; a stone that appears so mosslike seems a magical marvel to me. That Fey energy is a good match for these talismans. Could anything more Fey than a cat? They run into the room when you’re doing a ritual because they want to join in. They stalk invisible beings. And many a strega (traditional Italian witch) honors the fairy cat who figures prominently in the aforementioned creation myth.
The largest of the three beads is a focal lampwork bead. I go to great lengths to acquire items that help make each of my talismans shines with both its own unique beauty and singular magic. I buy beads carefully, taking my time. The lampwork beads in these two talismans are two of 18 unique beads I commissioned from Jill at https://www.wyomingsilvers.net. (I’m not suggesting Jill is Pagan. I’ve no idea. I found her shop because I love lamp work glass.) I’ve acquired a number of pieces by this talented artisan.
Woven up each side of both necklaces are designer seed beads. They have a mottled appearance that goes perfectly with all the natural stone in the necklaces.
Woven with the seed beads are three larger, round beads on each side. They were destash so I don’t know what they are. I suspect they’re serpentine because their surface has the “waxiness” of that stone. I’m not a gem-identification expert.
Serpentine is one of my favorite stones.
Or perhaps the round beads are not serpentine but the same stone as the cat cameos: I carefully sorted through a few hundred of those round stones—I love fastidiously creating talismans—to find ones that best match the carving, and I was able to match some well enough that it made me wonder if they were the same stone.
Regardless, these beads have a lovely, smooth ancient energy—gentle and peaceful.
I’m really happy my friend and I will have sister necklaces.
I make one of a kind charms. Sometimes, when creating one to sell or gift, I make a somewhat similar one for myself while I’m at it. I don’t make them identical, mindlessly going about the work. Quite the opposite. For example, I sorted through my moss agate and lampwork beads to find the ones best suited to each pendant.
Sometimes my Gods make it quite clear I’m not to create the similar piece for myself: e.g., I won’t be able to make the one for me work aesthetically, or its cord gets hopelessly tangled.
The Third Bast / Fairy Cat Talisman Is a Wall Hanging
It is strung on waxed cotton cords. The large orangey barrel-shaped bead is copal. I seem to remember amber being sacred in ancient Egypt. I didn’t have any, and copal seemed a perfect substitute. The large, long faceted piece is probably bone. Bone represents the eternal. The idea of a cat’s nine lives represents the same thing to me.
Here’s a close-up of the two wee designer beads I selected to put right above the kitty. Tiny bits of loveliness hold magic:
When knotting the cords in this amulet, I tied in blessings. When adding beads, I added blessings.
Crafting amulets is an important part of my magic and witch spirituality. To read a bit more about my talisman-making journey, check this out: https://stardrenched.com/2018/08/31/making-talismans/
I don’t get a chance to create talismans to sell very often right now. When I do, my newsletter subscribers often will get first shot at purchasing them. Click below to subscribe.
During crisis, mysticism can become a source of strength, renewal, and hope, or foster self-destructive escapism and denial. This post has an empowering ritual.
Please note: though this post discusses how to avoid denial and escapism, sometimes it is important to let them be. Trust yourself to make the right choice. Or, if unsure, ask for input from a trusted expert. For one thing, denial and escapism can be trauma symptoms that help you cope.
Some situations can feel like too much to bear, and I long for something bigger and more powerful than me to fix my problems. I turn to mysticism for the solution. It often works.
Sometimes, all doors seem shut, and I am desperate for a door to open somewhere, somehow. I turn to mysticism. It often works.
However, mysticism can be healthy or unhealthy. Personally speaking, my otherworldly endeavors must be very grounded in my real life, so I get my feet on the ground and remain down-to-earth. I will explain what I mean by that. … Well, a full explanation would take pages, but I can quickly explain enough for the purposes of this post.
Some of my rituals are not as mystical as other rites I perform. All magic is mystical, but there are varying degrees. Sometimes I do very mystical rituals; they might have highly lyrical liturgies and fanciful images, and create a very trancy, sparkly, buzzy experience. Other times, my rituals are less mystical, more direct, and more straightforward, e.g., they proceed in a rather mundane manner, directly dealing with my inner blocks, by necessitating I own up to a specific anger, fear, self-doubt, sense of powerlessness, or the like. I often deal with anger, trauma, fear, etc., in extremely mystical rituals, but that would be escapism were it the whole of how I handle inner turmoil.
The ritual below deals with unsettling emotions, self-defeating beliefs, and the like in quite a grounded manner, while also including more mystical ritual elements. The more grounded aspects of this little ceremony help keep it from feeding denial and escapism.
The Choice to Have Power: a Ritual for Magnificent Selfhood and Divine Support
This magical spell can help you experience spiritual renewal and fortitude, and feel longed for peace and hope. Other possible benefits are increased confidence and a substantial claiming (or reclaiming) of selfhood—who you are deep down, with all your strengths. The ritual also helps you tap into the Goddess’ immense power.
If, when doing this ceremony, you feel you are not doing a “good enough job,” not to worry. The sheer attempt is sufficient.
If unsure how to implement part of my instructions, you might explore whether that text is suitable for one of the three following approaches.
1. Do a visualization. For an example, let’s use the ritual’s paragraph “I choose to live in the reality of my truest self with its wisdom, balance, and magic. I settle into that reality by letting my body sink into it. I sink into my truest self with its wisdom, balance, and magic.” Decide what physical sensations you might experience if you trusted that you had wisdom, balance, and magic, and then imagine your body feels that way.
2. To continue using the same example, you could recite that paragraph as a liturgy, slowly reciting it two or three times. That can be powerful.
3. Or read that paragraph aloud as if you were telling a Faerie tale, and try to go along with the mood of the tale.
Here’s the ritual:
Additional ritual instructions:
1) During the ceremony, if you don’t land smack dab in the center of your personal essence, at least momentarily, you likely moved radically toward it. Try doing the ritual once a day for five days, over the course of a week, to continue the energy’s positive direction.
2) If you feel performing the ritual once didn’t progress you toward your magnificent selfhood at all, it could’ve happened anyway—even to a large degree—without you feeling it yet.
3) If the ritual felt effective, or even fairly so, you might want to do the ritual twice more over the next week, to re-find, remain in, or move deeper into the reality of your most competent beautiful self who is living in the care of a loving Goddess.
4) Here are two reasons to work on only a single block in the ritual:
Sometimes, working on more than one not only diffuses a ritual’s energy but also turns the rite into escapism.
Also, focusing on a single block allows me to own up to it on a gut level, rather than just recognizing it with my mind. That gut recognition can make a big difference in whether I can move past that block or not.
I’d love to hear how this ritual goes for you.
… I want to time how long it takes to read and execute this ritual. … It took nine minutes, reading slowly. That nine minutes includes time I added for pauses in case someone needed to go over the instructions to better understand them. The timing also represents doing the rite as you read the post, as opposed to reading it all first then going back to do the ritual.
I timed for three reasons. I wanted to see if this is a ritual that easily fits into a busy schedule.
Brief ceremonies can be powerful.
I also wanted to see if I might use the ritual in the Virtual Pagan Monastery, an event held via group phone calls. The meetings are mini-retreats that last fifteen meetings, and I lead a ritual in each one. A nine-minute ritual leaves us time to open with the quick protection spell with which we always kick off meetings. We’d also have time should anyone need to jump in to ask a question about instructions as we were doing the rite. Perfect!
My third reason for timing is that I love my Virtual Pagan Monastery. It’s a chance to touch down a few times a week with other seekers and lead a rite to take care of ourselves. But some folks don’t enroll because they don’t realize that brief rites can be powerful. So now this little ceremony is here to prove otherwise.