To Be a Witch… A Life of Ritual and Devotion

It’s a common thing to hear that there’s a difference between our magical lives and our mundane lives. In reality, we have the ability to step into ritual and devotion each and every day.

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Gwion Raven

Gwion Raven

I've been a practicing witch and ritualist within the Reclaiming Tradition since 2003. I love being in service with this community of witches and world changers.   My own practice, my own way of changing the world is through devotional practice. It's my belief that we can re-enchant our lives by re-framing the so-called "mundane" as sacred and divine. By imbuing the familiar with a sense of wonder and infusing daily life with acts of magic, we choose to consciously make all of life devotion. Whether we engage in large, public rituals or sink sumptuously into the pure ecstasy of eating a delicious meal by ourselves or meditating at sunrise, our daily rituals can draw us back into harmony with the world and each other.  

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Time Magic - Enchanting Each Moment

Time. We are all bound by it. There are just so many moments in each day. Those moments expand into the years that make up our lifetime but, eventually, time runs out. At some point in the far distant future, even our bright sun will find, not withstanding The Rolling Stones declaration to the contrary, that time is not, in fact, on our side.

Over the past few years, I've been at several workshops and retreats where Time has been invoked as a ally. The idea being that Time would work with us for the duration of the event. There would be the perfect amount of time to eat and do magic and shower and get from here to there without feeling rushed. We would honour Time and, in return, Time would consent to move just a bit more slowly or not at all or, at the very least, time would amble along at a leisurely pace keeping in harmony with our activities.

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  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Dragon Dancer - I think I might have to contact Thomas Moore's agent and ask for a commission Thank you so much for your kind co
  • Dragon Dancer
    Dragon Dancer says #
    This is absolutely amazing. I love your suggestions, the experiences you've had, and before writing this, I popped over to Amazon

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Yule - Re-Enchanting Everyday Life

Many years ago, I read "The Re-Enchantment Of Everyday Life" by Thomas Moore. It's one of my favourite non-fiction books ever. I kept a well-thumbed and dog-eared copy of the book within arm's length for many years, until I gave the book away to someone who I thought might love it too. The premise of the book speaks to the notion that as we've become more mechanized, more technologically dependent, we've lost something important, something slow, something about touch and smell and connection to the inherent magic that is ever present in the world. Much of how I see and practice magic has its roots in this book. 

Here's an excerpt that rings especially true for me:

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  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hello Lizann - Thank you so much for continually following my blog
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    blessings in the re-enchantment

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Witch Gives Thanks - A Gratitude Ritual

Thanksgiving, as celebrated in the United States has a complicated history. We are inundated with bucolic images of blue-eyed, cherubic pilgrims in the buckled shoes, sharing a bountiful table with the ever so grateful and equally generous natives who are just so gosh darned pleased that the pilgrims could stop by for dinner. Then, of course, after dessert, the genocide.

The "real" story of Thanksgiving is particularly bloody, and not just for the turkey. The Pequot Nation lost over seven hundred men, women and children.The ensuing decades brought near total devastation for the First Nations peoples living all around what is now New England.

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  • Jenya T. Beachy
    Jenya T. Beachy says #
    Gwion, I love this. It's very similar to what we do and I see some things here that I want to add to our practice. Especially now,

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A San Francisco Samhain

It's quite early. I'm the only one up and about this morning, except the dogs. It rained through the night and soft, fine drizzle is continuing to fall. Heavy drops of rain are clinging to the leaves on the tree in my back yard, those leaves hanging on precariously enough themselves. To my way of thinking, it's just about the perfect morning here in Northern California.

Later on today, after cooking breakfast and showering and tending to the dogs and their muddy feet, I'll be heading out to San Francisco. I have a couple of out of town guests and I love showing off "The City". There are magical places that we'll visit that are dear to me and dear to the Reclaiming Community. Reclaiming witches and many other witches besides have visited these spots regularly for nearly four decades. There's something comforting in that, especially at this time of year.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Magic At 10,000 Feet

Breath. The first thing I noticed at 10,000 feet was breath. Actually, it was the lack of breath that really struck me. I became aware of the incredible effort it took to breathe deeply and slowly, enough to fill my lungs.

Altitude sickness is a thing. It's not a condition to be taken lightly. First there's that inescapable feeling of not being able to quite ever catch one's breath. Then there's the nausea. Next it's dizziness. Left unchecked, the shakes begin, you know the ones, like when you have the flu and no matter how many blankets you pile up around yourself, you shake and shiver and it feels like your teeth are going to shatter in your mouth. If the shakes set in it's time to get down the mountain immediately.

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  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Beautiful! Blessings on your deep breaths!
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Thank you Lizann

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Losing Persephone. Becoming Demeter

The room is mostly empty. A strand of Tibetan prayer flags dangles listlessly from a single thumb tack. The white walls are punctuated with tiny pinhole dots, the last reminders of where posters and photos once lived. A thrift store desk, repainted many years ago, sits empty. The lack of homework and hair scrunchies and change hurriedly deposited there makes it seem even older and somehow smaller.

The offering bowl filled with cleansing herbs floats alone on a sea of beige carpet. The charcoal is lit. A single, curling tendril of smoke rises from the center, and I close the door.

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  • Courtney
    Courtney says #
    This was good for me to read. My oldest is 14 and I'm already freaking out about the day she leaves. I'm only 34 so I can imagine
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hello Courtney, I remember being in my early 20's thinking about how young I would be when my kids hit 18 (ish) and were likely t
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    I imagine that we all get to be Persephone and Demeter at some point in our lives, whether that's with children or a business or a
  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan says #
    This is not an experience I will ever have, but you wrote it in such a way that it becomes real and raw and relevant to me nonethe

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
To Keep Silent - Listening and Remembering

It's mid-day. The air is crisp and cool. The fog is clinging to the tops of the redwood trees, wetting the forest floor with something not quite rain yet more than mist. Sunlight makes it's way, through leaves and branches to the duff below and highlights patches on the ground. I can see spectacular rays of sunlight, filtered and spreading out like fingers, illuminating stumps and bright green lawns of moss.

I'm standing still. The air and I are both still. There's no birdsong, just now, not even the distant croaks of the sentinel ravens, roosting high above me. It's as quiet as a forest can be. Practically silent, in fact. I take in one long breath and let it out with an even longer "ahh!". It is the only sound I'll utter for the next few hours as I wander about this oh so familiar spot in the woods.

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