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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Reclaiming
Spirits of Place - What They Need You to Know

It's just after noon. The weather is warm. There's a slight breeze that causes the leaves high in the canopy to rustle. The redwoods are creaking as they rub against each other. Loud raven clicks and caws punctuate the quiet forest. I'm one of only a few people standing in the camp grounds and we are all silent, breathing deeply, settling our rushed minds and sinking in, just sinking in.

In two hours witches from all of over the world will arrive. Some journeying to these woods for the first time, others coming home as they do each year. There will be hugs and kisses and hearty shouts of "oh! There you are. I'm so glad you came back." After the hub-bub of getting here subsides and the first night's dinner dishes have been put away, it's time for ritual.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Raggedrose - Thank you for your comment. The forest is indeed in a transitional space. What we look at as Ancient, in many cases,
  • Raggedrose
    Raggedrose says #
    Mendocino Woodlands is indeed a powerful and wonderful place. The forest there is in transition, which makes it only more so. It w
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Thank you Steve. Your connection to and passion for the Spirits of Place and the planet we share is obvious and runs deep. Be wel
  • steve
    steve says #
    The title really caught my attention, the Spirits of Place, and that's due to my own interaction with the spirits of places. They

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Start by Grounding - Becoming Present

I've been examining the parts that make up many common Pagan rituals. I recently wrote about Cleansing. I'm moving on to Grounding. There's real irony here, because this week, I need grounding more than ever.

Alright!  A few personal details about my life are in order to set this article up. I'm a busy witch. Over the next few months I have a lot going on. I am helping to organize California WitchCamp which happens in late June. I am presenting at the upcoming Many Gods West conference in late July. In early September I am teaching at Aurora Borealis WitchCamp in Canada and in mid-October I'm teaching/facilitating the Mysteries of Samhain retreat. Woven through all of this are planning meetings, research, magical work and scheduling - endless scheduling. I also have three classes I'm teaching between now and then and I'm one of the folks that is putting Reclaiming's 36th annual Spiral Dance on October 31st.

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Cleansing - How a Ritual Begins

I am fascinated by ritual. Rituals of all sorts. In every culture, in every age there are rituals to commemorate births and comings of age and marriages and deaths. There are high holy days set aside to celebrate the gods, goddesses, fallen (s)heroes, venerated Ancestors and important moments in a culture's mythos. Rituals can be elaborate festivals lasting many days or simple, daily actions such as changing the milk in an offering bowl or setting a piece of food aside for the Fae folk or just taking a moment to pray.

Rituals are made up of many components. There's the liturgy, the actual words that are spoken. There may be songs and offerings and costumes and incense and props of all sorts. For me, whether it's a grand affair or the most humble of rituals, stepping into ritual space is a beautiful and necessary act, because rituals ask us to leave the mundane "outside" of the temple and allow us to connect with life and our past and our future, right now, in the present.

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  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hello Connie, Thank you for your comments. I'm glad to hear that you aren't sweeping the whole forest when you are doing ritual o
  • Connie Lazenby
    Connie Lazenby says #
    I can't DO a ritual without proper cleansing. If it is outside, I obviously leave out some steps (I am not sweeping the grass with
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hello Elizabeth, "Writer's Hygiene" - I think I'm going to adopt that term. I think of writing as a ritual and I'm recognizing th
  • Elizabeth Creely
    Elizabeth Creely says #
    I love salt. Saltwater, shaken from the tip of my whisk, is probably the most consistent thing I do -and the last thing I do- to m
Ritual Elements Earth - Loving the Earth

Author's note: I'm re-running this article in honour of Earth Day - April 22, 2015 

I've spent the last month examining my practices and interactions with the Elements. It's one of the core pieces of magic I teach in the Reclaiming Tradition. I revisit this work every so often as a teacher and as a student. In my last three articles I've chronicled my explorations with Air, my connections with Fire and my dive into Water. I'm turning now to the Earth.

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  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    You know Annika, I pretty much always want to roll around in the soil and duff and get that rich, dark, wet earth all over me. G
  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan says #
    Now I want to go out and roll around in the dirt and breathe in the scent of grass and moss and bugs and listen to the cry of bird
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    > thank you Lizann
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Brilliant!
Ritual Elements Center - The Cauldron in the Center

I've been examining my practices and interactions with the Elements for the past month or so. It's one of the core pieces of magic I teach in the Reclaiming Tradition. Not all magical traditions work I've been part of work with five Elements, some work with three, others work with four. I revisit this work every so often as a teacher and as a student. In my last four articles I've chronicled my explorations with Air, my connections with Firemy dive into Water and my complex dance the Earth.And now I find myself standing in the Center.

The Cauldron of Mystery

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  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Thank you Annika - As my practice has deepened, dare I say matured, I find myself more often in the Center. Although, the moments
  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan says #
    What a fantastic description of Center, I love it!
Ritual Elements Water - Immersing Myself in Water

Over the past few weeks I've been examining my practice with the Elements. It is one of the core pieces of magic I teach in the Reclaiming Tradition.I revisit this work every so often as a teacher and as a student. In my last two post I talked about my explorations with Air and my connections with Fire. Now it's time to dive into some deep Water.

Immersing myself in Water -

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  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    I love that too Annika - There's a scene in the movie "The Graduate" where the main character sits at the bottom of his parents sw
  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan says #
    Oh, what a great exploration and complicated relationship to water. I didn't grow up near water, my refuge and place of exploratio
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hello Crystal, thank you for commenting and sharing something of your story. I am a Fire sign actually, but I think your point st
  • Crystal R. Martin
    Crystal R. Martin says #
    Is earth by chance your element? I ask, because I too was scared by water as a child. I almost drowned, and it terrified me. I've
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    As a child growing up in French Gulch, a tiny mountain community in the Trinity Mountains of California, the first voice of The Di
Ritual Elements Fire - Re-igniting the Spark

I've recently finished co-teaching a six week class titled "Elements of Magic". It is one of the core pieces of magic I teach in the Reclaiming Tradition.I revisit this work every so often as a teacher and as a student. In my last post, I talked about my explorations with Air. Now I'm moving into Fire (cue music -The Ohio Players "Fire" )

Re-igniting The Spark -

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  • Jeanine Byers
    Jeanine Byers says #
    I love fire, too! I've only recently come to realize it, though, that my love of candles and fireplaces and sunshine are all fire-
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hello Jeanie, Thank you for your comments. candles, sunshine and fires - yep! All big for me too. I hope the other elemental pos
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Annika - What an incredible experience that must have been! I've been to Mount Shasta, so I can only imagine. Thank you for your
  • Annika Mongan
    Annika Mongan says #
    Beautiful, thank you! I love fire! It is passion, music, dance, community, transformation to me. My first meditation in my very
  • Gwion Raven
    Gwion Raven says #
    Hello Brittany, Thank you for your thoughts and your experiences of Fire. Like you, I think I've always been drawn to Fire in all

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