Babe was a small calico cat who must have been part Manx because she had no tail to speak of. Small framed, long-haired, and of an especially sweet and loving disposition, she was nevertheless a fierce, capable hunter, and like all cats that live on my parents’ 10 acre homestead, at least half wild.We noticed that she went missing in late Summer near Lammastide.
Apple & Root
Apples & Roots-they are common enough items and yet they have a great deal of magic, mythic, and folkloric value assigned to them-for healing, hexing, blessing, and all manner of ritual & religious uses.
That is the idea behind this blog-to fuse the everyday and seemingly ordinary life with the strong currents of your soul-work, spirituality, and magic. We will talk about religion, ritual, magic, divination-and how these mythic arts feed and inspire our lives and how our lives as a result grow richer, deeper, and more purpose flled.
I sometimes refer to my work as high-end hedgewitchery–because I work with many established professionals and artists who wish to use intuitive arts like Tarot and ritual earth-based magic to improve their lives. Everyday I wake up and feel so incredibly blessed to be doing the work that I know I was meant to do-whether its working in the garden, cuddling with my son and beloved husband, or talking to the most fantastic clients ever–every moment is saturated with love & devotion to my calling and those who make my work possible.
The altar is in your home, ontop the piano, the mantle, your bedside table. Its the dashboard of your car, the rim of your bathtub, and the window ledge.
The altar is the prayer card you carry in your wallet depicting a beloved Saint, your cat drenched in the morning sun, your two year old's toes....
While debate rages on in other corners of the web about what kinds of Gods we do or don’t believe in, I have been thinking about the way that we worship whatever/whomever we hold dear, sacred, and holy. I decided a series of posts that tackle this question from a deeply personal point of view would be useful to me, and perhaps to a few readers as well. I have also been thinking about shadows, storytelling, and ceremonies-so it seemed natural that I would start there.
Earlier this month I was researching the meaning of May-talk about a magical month rife with folklore and folk magic traditions! I noticed and recollected that many of the themes of May deal with similar themes that we encounter during the opposite time of year-as the sun enters Scorpio and we head into the season of Samhain, All Saint’s Day, and Dia de los Muertos.
Fortunetelling and forecasting are performed at both points in the year, faeries and the Hidden Ones are believed to be more active as the veils between the world are especially thin, the changing (and changeable) seasons offer both blessings and risks for those intrepid enough to venture out into the green wood, stark desert, or city streets....
For spirit workers the hedge is the threshold, the boundary line between the city and the country, a doorway into what is wild, uncharted, and unknown. The hedgerow is both a real phenomena and a potent allegory-whenever land is/was cleared for settlement and agriculture a liminal hedge shows up-usually composed of plants that have medicinal and magical use but that do not do well under domesticated conditions. Hedges in the old European Neolithic settlements were full of dubious plants like Hawthorn-long associated with faeries and witches, and Elder-associated with healing but also with life/death/life cycles. The hedge is an allegory many of us have grown up with-crossing the hedge is choosing to transgress or transcend cultural norms and to chart one’s own path-usually into the wildwood.
I was thinking about the idea of the hedge earlier this week and wondering what does crossing the hedge look like today in the 21st century?
Mercury in Retrograde-what is it?
The planet Mercury, like all planets follows an elliptical orbit. Three times a year for about 3 weeks (see a pattern?) there are times when Mercury appears to go backwards in its orbit (it doesn't really reverse course but it looks like it from our earthly vantage point.)
In Western Astrology the planet Mercury rules over communication, technology, organization and its the ruling planet of Virgo and the natural ruler of the 6th house-both of which are associated with health.
Mercury in Retrograde has a terrible reputation-people experience communication breakdowns, there are fights, there are lost hard drives, important agreements fall through, legal difficulties emerge and travel drama ensues-it can all be rather...unpleasant.
Magical folks tend to think about words a lot. We recognize the ability of words to influence and create reality, we sense that when uttered at the right way and at the right time they can open up doors to the otherworld-and bring us back home again.
There is power in words-the words we write and the words we use. We also recognize that words when applied in fear, ignorance, or simple misunderstanding can create problems for us.
Today I am inviting all of my readers to think about the words that they use to describe what they do/believe/practice. There are so many words out there-so many choices to consider. What words do you use? What words do you love? What words are in common parlance right now that you wish would fade into oblivion? Are words overrated? Why or why not?...
As promised in last month’s post-this month I have set out to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about magic and spell work. Whether you are a professional magical worker, a talented amateur, a novice, adept, or someone who just wants to understand how magic actually works-once you start working with rituals and spells these are the questions that consistently come up.
Magic is worked with for many reasons-to bring us closer to our Gods, to facilitate our communication with the Otherworld, to bring beauty and ceremony into our lives. But one of the oldest forms of magic found in all cultures and times is that of spells and rituals meant to influence a certain situation and achieve a specific outcome.
Spells to find a new lover, to make more money, to be gifted with the ability of the poet, are all examples of this kind of magic. And today as always there are those who deal in creating these rituals and make them available to individuals, usually for a fee. I count myself among those who do this kind of work, I am both an intuitive reader and a root magic ritualist-nothing gives me satisfaction like spending quality time at one of my many altars on behalf of clients. I have witnessed first hand how magic-when correctly applied-can result in wonderful manifestation and allow a person to experience the sweetness of life fully+deeply. I have also seen magic abused by so-called professionals and unknowing clients taken advantage of.
The air is cool, the mists swirl, and the veils are thin…its the time to listen to our Ancestors as we honor our departed ones.
Many seekers of different paths honor the life/death/life process and venerate their Ancestors. Traditionally we honored our Ancestors to maintain familial relationships and heritage and also to learn-divination is performed at Samhaim and during the Day of the Dead so that we might get insight on the year ahead.
But what about getting insight into our priorities from those who have passed beyond the veil?...
I rolled into my yoga class last week, placed my mat in my usual spot and prepared for my normal Thursday night level 1-2 Anusara practice. My yoga teacher started the class by talking about a studio she has practiced in for many years-and then drew our attention to the particular studio in which we sat which had just turned 4 years old. She talked of foundations-how this particular floor and these particular walls have held us all as students-in our successes, our failures (if there is such a thing as failure in yoga) and all of the emotions and thoughts that run through us as we fold over into downward dog or kick up into headstand. I paid special attention to my bones during that class-their alignment or lack thereof, strength, and hugging the muscles into the bones as well.
And of course, being the animist, ancestor venerating, root magic-making, self-inquiry sorceress that I am I started thinking about my own foundations-my ancestors-who come from all over the place-Cherokee First People, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, France, Germany, Spain, and the list goes on. I thought about all of the religions and spiritual traditions that have poured out through the ages into the pool of my heart-indigenous European pre-Christian traditions of so many stripes, indigenous Cherokee and Choctaw pre-Christian traditions and knowing, Judaism, Catholicism, and Baptist. The animals, plants, deities, and spiritual allies that have been with my lineage for centuries and the ones that have made themselves known to me in this time and this life. For me-these people, their traditions, devotions, and knowledge are the foundation upon which I stand. I thought of my own mother who taught me how to read tarot and runes when I was barely three-of my first magic spell performed with great success when I was four and a half, my father who taught me the power of prosperity, how to run a business and how to make a difference, of my dearly departed Cherokee grandfather who taught me about crystals, red clay, and root medicine and my grandmother who still lives and to whom I owe my intimacy with the King James Bible-on all of their shoulders I stand and I bow in honor.
My immediate family-husband and son and the land upon which we live in our tiny San Antonio historic neighborhood are my walls-within the confines of my family and my beloved my work has stretched and curled deep into the ground-anchoring itself in the sweet. dark earth. My daily ritual practice and devotions are also part of the walls-my alliances with my spiritual allies-the offerings made and promises kept-they all feed into this foundation. And of course, my clients-those that I serve, that I work with, who trust and share their most intimate stories with me-they are my foundation too....