Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Into the Twilight by W. B. Yeats

Wanted to share something beautiful with you today. Enjoy.

Out-worn heart, in a time out-worn,
Come clear of the nets of wrong and right;
Laugh, heart, again in the grey twilight;
Sigh, heart, again in the dew of the morn.
Your mother Eire is always young,
Dew ever shining and twilight grey;
Through hope fall from you and love decay,
Burning in fires of slanderous tongue.
Come, heart, where hill is heaped upon hill:
For there the mystical brotherhood
Of sun and moon and hollow and wood
And river and stream work out their will;
And God stands winding His lonely horn,
And time and the world are ever in flight;
And love is less kind than the grey twilight,
And hope is less clear than the dew of the morn.
--William Butler Yeats 1902

Monday, September 28, 2009

A Pagan in the House

Today when I was running my M. H. and Early Recovery group, a couple of the clients asked what we do here for Halloween. Before I had a chance to respond, another client jumped in and stated that Halloween was an "evil" day. I tried to explain the true meaning of the holiday in a way they could understand...celebration of the end of summer and beginning of winter....a day to honor our ancestors...that there is nothing evil or bad about the day. Needless to say, almost the entire group was taken up with discussions of witches, ghosts, and goblins. Well, I think...or at least I hope, that I finally got my point across.

Ha! Just another day in the life of a pagan living in the city. Sometimes it is not that easy. Now, this might put my situation into more perspective for you. I am a Druid, a pagan; I live in a primarily Hasidic neighborhood with a few Pentacostals scattered about. My husband is Catholic, my eldest son is a Christian, and my youngest son is an atheist. So, as you can see, I live in a general hodgepodge of beliefs. Actually, it is not really so bad. I respect others, their views and their religions, and I try to be open-minded and to listen and learn. The trick is to stop worrying about what others think about you. If you truly believe in your faith, do you really need others to validate what you do or who you are?

If you don't go out of your way to push or even try to convert others, for the most part I have found that people coming from different backgrounds and upbringings usually will get along. It's when one tries to push their beliefs on others that issues arise. I am tolerant of my son's beliefs just as I wish him to be tolerant of mine. But even he, who has grown up with a pagan mother, has no true understanding what it means.

The trick is to enjoy your life, doing the things that make you feel good without harming yourself or anyone else...living your life to the fullest. Life is too full of beauty to live with regrets. Although I love being a pagan, one thing that I have learned is, you cannot just blurt it out to everyone. You have to think about the consequences. For example, I think today I was able to quell the untruthfulness of some nasty tales about Samhain, but, if my group had known I was a pagan, would they have been so quick to accept what I had to teach? There are a couple people here on my job that know I am a Druid, but that's about it. Some are more open than others.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

So, You Say You're Not Superstitious

The four leaf clover is a universally accepted symbol of good luck which is ages old. According to legend, Eve carried a four leaf clover from the Garden of Eden. It was particularly important to the early Celts in Wales as for the, it worked as a charm against evil spirits. Druids held the four leaf clover in high esteem and considered them a sign of luck. One leaf stands for faith, another for hope, the third is for love, and the fourth is for luck. What beautiful symbolism!!!

Superstitions! Like it or not, we all have them. You might say, superstitious? Not me! Not so fast. Read on, my friends. You might be very surprised. Although I try very hard not to be superstitious and have succeeded in putting several of mine behind me--knock on wood--there are some that have been so ingrained in me since childhood...not walking under a ladder...three on a match is bad luck...these will most likely remain with me throughout my lifetime. Obviously silly, where did these superstitions come from? Below are just a few of the traditions we carry with us today.

The Toast
The toast comes from a number of sources, one being the Northern rite called the sumbel or the full. In the full, the group would gather around a table and each person would raise their horn or cup and honor a god, ancestor or make ritual boasts.

Crossing Your Fingers for Luck
Crossing fingers comes from a pre-Christian practice in Europe. Originally it was performed with two people crossing their index fingers in such a way that their fingers formed a solar cross. The solar cross was considere a symbol of perfect unity and at the point of intersection, it was considered that there were beneficial spirits residing there. If a wish were made on the intersecting point of the solar cross then it was anchored there until such time that the wish came true. Gradually the custom evolved until only one person was required to cross their index and middle finger. Today we cross our fingers to get away with telling little white lies.

The Best Man
The Best Man in weddings originated with the Germanic Goths. Around 200 CE it was customary for a man to marry a woman who lived in his town or village. But, if there were a shortage of women, then the man would take a trip to a nearby village and 'steal' a bride. The person he would most likely take along for thi would be, of course, his 'best friend.' During the wedding ceremony, this 'best friend' remained at the groom's side, armed in case the bride's family had ideas of trying to take her back by force.

Carrying the Bride Over the Threshhold
This custom originated as a symbolic act for the above mentioned abducting the bride from which "The Best Man" tradition originated.

The White Flag
The White Flag comes from the Vikings. During a conflict, there were two shields that were kept for signalling. One was a shield painted red which signalled that the hostilities were about to begin. The other was a white shield which signalled for the hostilities to cease so that the leaders could confer about a possible resolution to conflict. From the white shield, it eventually evolved into a white flag.

Unlucky 13
This tradition comes from Scandinavian lore. According to the story, there was a bnaquet in Valhalla in which there were 12 Gods in attendance. Loki entered uninvited, raising the number to 13, and later, Baldor was slain.

Stork Bringing a Baby
This tradition began in Scandinavia. Mothers would tell their young that the new baby was brought by the stork and to explain why the new mother needed rest, they said that the stork bit the mother on the leg while there. The reason the stork was used was that the stork was so affection to its parents that it took care of them in their old age.

Friday the 13th
This tradition most likely began as a Christian attempt to dishonor our great Mother Goddess. It was said that when the Germanic peoples converted to Christianity, Frigga was banished to a mountain top and labeled as a witch. It was said by the Christians that every Friday (Frigga's Day) Frigga would gather 11 other witches and the Devil...making 13...and they would spitefully plan doing things for the following weeks.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Autumn Aromas

Happy Saturday afternoon, everybody. Boy, is it that late already? Why does time seem to fly by faster and faster the older you get?

Well, I am sad to say I didn't make Pagan Pride Day today. I really DID want to get there, to be part of something again, but things don't always go the way we want them to. Now to get there I would have to take the subway to the stop I get off to go to work, then make a transfer and go back downtown. Yesterday as I waited rather 'impatiently' for my train (which, for some reason is always late on Friday), I read a sign that said "No trains stopping at this station from 12 am on 9/26 through 12 am on 9/28. They then go on to tell you that if you need to get off at that station or make a transfer, you must go UPTOWN to take the same train back DOWNTOWN.

Well, that did it for me. There would be no Pagan Pride Day. For those who don't know me, I suffer from fybromyalgia and arthritis of the spine. Every day my trip to work is an adventure. So, it's not something I want to go through on the weekend. I did get out, though. I went to buy myself a pair of shoes. I got what I needed, but I realized that somewhere along the line I stopped enjoying shopping for myself. I guess that's good in a way. I have had enough addictions in my life...I don't need to add shopping as one of them.

It's a beautiful day here...sunny, cool in the lower 60's, with a slight fall breeze. What a wonderful day to be alive. But I noticed that, so far, autumn seems to have forgotten us here in Brooklyn, New York. The flowers are blooming, the trees are just as green as on a mid-summer's day. No matter where I looked, I couldn't find a colored leaf on the ground. Now, how sad is that!!! But, in any case, it's not so hard to bring autumn into your home. Even us city-dwellers can do it.

If you are like me and love the spicy, aromatic scents of autumn, you will be pleased to know that you don't have to spend a fortune; there are many simple and inexpensive ways to fill the home with autumn's crisp aromas. Scented potpourri is available in many of fall's favorites...including cinimmon, apple, and pumpkin scents. Potpourri containers can be placed in full view or hidden in inconspicous places if all you want is the scent.

Air fresheners can be purchased in aerosal sprays, solids, and plug-ins. I'm not as fond of these, but I always keep them on hand. I don't know if it is me or what, but even these sprays that are advertised to last for hours, seem to disappear in a matter of minutes.

I do love my spicy scented candles. I think I had mentioned in an earlier post that I buy up at least a dozen holiday candles to keep year round...expecially in my kitchen. Who can resist the smell of homemade gingerbread cookies or apple pie? And, many a person has been fooled upon entering my home. I do love my apple cider so on the cooler days, it's not uncommon to find some simmering on my stove with some cloves and cinammon sticks.

Well, gotta go. Time to light some candles.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Archetypal Fears

("On this site in 1623 a company of fishermen and and farmers from Dorchester England under the Direction of Rev. John White founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Here in 1625 Gov. Roger Conant by wise diplomacy averted bloodshed between contending factions: One led by Miles Standish of Pkymouth, the other by Capt. Hewes. A notable exemplication in the beginnings of New England. Placed by the citizens of Gloucester in 1907.)

When I arrived home last night, I checked my e-mails and found a short note from a cousin, a cousin I have never met personally, but have met through working on our family trees. That's been one of the benefits of keeping my tree public...meeting relatives I never knew existed. I've been in contact with relatives as far away as Britain. It's meant so much to me as I was an only child and am alone now. Our family was small, and I had never been allowed to meet my dad's family. Through genealogy I have not only been able to contact living relatives, but also learn about those who passed before me. I think that is so important for us. How can we possibly know who we are if we don't know where we came from? I finally have a legacy to leave my sons. Her message reminded me that I haven't checked my online tree for quite awhile...not since I started blogging. When I did check, I found a message waiting from a distant relation of one of my Massachusetts ancestors. That, and working on my Druid lesson got me to thinking.

Now, my dad's family are from Norfolk, England, Ireland, and Scotland. They actually didn't arrive here in the states until the late 1800's. Actually, my 2nd great grandmother was the first to arrive. A sad story there. My great-grandfather died of wasting disease in 1891. He was only 21 years old. My great grandmother was only 3 months old at the time. Now, in those days women remarried quickly. They had too. It wasn't like today when women can get out there and support themselves. So, within two years my second great grandmother, Harriet, had remarried, and a year later was the 'first' of her family to leave Norfolk. What a brave woman she was!!! And, if Harriet had not been so brave to pack up and leave her family, I wouldn't be sitting here typing this today. I wouldn't be here...because her daughter, Constance Mary, never would have met my great great grandfather.

Now, I never intended this to be a post on genealogy, but you can see how impassioned I am about it. What I REALLY wanted to talk about was about our own individual and collective fears, fears stemming from the persecutions from the past. My mom's family has been here in the states since the 1600's. I've traced them to the Massachusetts colonies. Many of them were Puritans who, to escape religious persecution, left the only home they ever knew to venture out across the vast ocean to settle in a strange and unfamiliar land. The key words here are to 'escape religious persecution.' Isn't that still happening today? Aren't we still so intolerant of each other that our fears drive a wedge between us that cannot be bridged?

Move forward a few years... to Salem, Massachusetts where a total of 141 people were arrested, 19 were hanged, and one was crushed to death...and all because of fear. One of those who died there was my ancestor, John Proctor of "The Crucible Fame." In general, this holocaust was perpetrated against women who were sought after for their healing, counseling, and midwifery skills....perfectly proper into days world. Embedded in our history are two messages: wisdom is punishable by death, and to be fully empowered is to be life-threateningly vulnerable. So, is it any wonder that we hesitate to tell the world of the path we are chosen? I know that most people here on my job don't know I am a Druid. Some do, yes, and I am most certainly not ashamed of it, but I really even those that know, do not understand...and so, to avoid any perceived persecution or the possibility of my co-workers shunning and not understanding me, I keep it private.

It is a shame that now, 500 some years later, there is still this intolerance. Pagans, witches are still thought of as dark, evil. What the executioners began with their witch trials, we have perpetrated through our unexamined personal and archetypal fears. This is changing, yes, but we still need to transform any ancient fears that continue to lurk in the shadows of our subconscious. Only then, by bringing these fears into the light, where they can be examined for their present day validity, will we be able to transform them.

Sorry, this sure turned to a rant...and I never meant it to be.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


When I was in my 20's, I wrote plays. I loved writing plays...and actually had a couple of them published. Didn't make any money on it, but it sure was a good feeling to know that I had created something. But my ex-husband was a want-to-be actor who couldn't stand the attention that 'I' was getting and did whatever necessary to sabotage my work...from sitting at the table across from me and singing at the top of his lungs to picking a fight. Eventually, I packed up my typewriter (no computer in those days) and put it away. I am not going to say it didn't hurt...it did...but I had never once thought that I was ever going to make a career out of writing plays...It was giving up something that was my birthright. Creativity is a powerful and deeply spiritual birthright that each of us have been given as a gift; it is a primal desire to express our unique and individual selves.

Well, it wasn't long before I found a new hobby, a new release...Crocheting...Soon, everyone was getting gifts of hats and skarfs. After that, it was making beaded jewelry. Now, this I wanted to start a business with, but it never got off the ground...but I sure did love the feeling of accomplishment I had when a piece was finished. Somewhere along the line I let it go. I guess it was when I decided to go back to school. Here I was raising two young boys, working full-time, and taking classes at night. I was still with my awful ex...so there was little help there. I had to let something go...and that was my creativity. And it was many, many years before I got it back.

Although my husband and I had long since parted, the boys had become men, school was completed long ago, that creative part of my life was still missing and as much as I tried to get it back, I found there were things in life that I could no longer do. Years of typing have left me with carpal tunnel so crocheting was out and my eyesight is not what it once was so the intricate little piecework of beading was out of the question. I resolved myself to letting that part of my life go.

As busy as I might be with full-time work and Druid classes, something seemed to be missing from my life for although the creative fires may have been dampened from life's circumstances up to this point, they were waiting, smoldering, waiting to be rebuilt. And because creativity and wisdom are fraternal twins, tending the creative fires is a wonderful way to ignite and awaken to our wisdom. And there are so many ways to express our creativity. Some of them might surprise you.

It was a little over a month ago when a member of my Yahoo group turned me on to blogging. At first, I thought, "They're nice, but it's not me." And then one day I said, "Well, let me give this a try. Let me see what it is all about." And that was it for me; I have to say I was hooked. One blog turned into five in a short time...Addicted, yes, but, the truth be told, blogging is an expression of our creativity. Our blogs become an extension of us, our wisdom, our creativity.

If you find your lacking that creative part of your life, re-awaken it as I did. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. As you inhale say, "I am" and as you exhale say, "creative." Visualize yourself tending a beautiful, vibrant, controlled fire. Enjoy it in whichever way feels good to you. This is YOUR creative fire. What sparks do you feel need to be fanned? What passionate part of it needs to express itself more freely in order to feed your soul?"

Thank you, Sobeit.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Who is going to take care of me?

Serenity...Peace....Quietude. Ah, the elusive time of having nothing to do. Do any of us 'city dwellers' really know what it feels like just to drift along aimlessly with no place to go and nothing to do? I wonder sometimes what it feels like...not to have someone to take care of, but to have someone take care of me.

Today was just an awful, awful day...one of those days that you want to curl up under the covers and sleep away. It was one of those "Murphey's Law" days...the subway was late, and even though I give myself ample time to have at least 30 minutes to unwind before I start work, I walked in just as it was time to run my group...Yahoo mail has been acting up the past several days, and today it was absolutely enough to drive anyone up a wall....And then, there are all these walk in's. Mama Mary will make it all better. Take my word for it, I love having a job that allows me to help others; I couldn't imagine doing anything else with my life...but in taking pride and doing the best I can do in my job, I've opened myself up for a case of burnout.

The Serenity prayer tells us to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Well, I have to accept that this is my chosen career, and I really wouldn't want to be doing anything else with my life, but is there something I could change? There is...and I can. I tell my clients that the first step in recovery is to surrender to their Higher Power. Well, the first step in MY recovery is to surrender to my tiredness. This a tough one for me; actually, I think that is a tough one for most of us. That is not how we have been trained to act. We keep going and going thinking we can do it all...just like that little "ever ready battery bunnie"...until we find ourselves just plain bone-weary.

To nourish our souls and our bodies, we need to surrender to tiredness before it become exhaustion. I am pretty close to that mark right now. I know better than to allow myself to get this far along, but sometimes it is just hard for me to say, "I am allowed to rest." I've taken care of others for so long (husband, children clients) , I find it hard to take care of me. iIt's time for me to sit, rest, and replenish. Surrendering to tiredness is not easy, but you must give yourself that permission. I know tonight, right now, I am giving myself that 'permission' right now to rest and replenish in the perfect right way for me...a good meal, a good television show (Criminal Minds one of my favs), some meditation, and sleep. Find the way that's right for you, and do it. Only YOU can take care of you.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

7th Moon of the Zodiacal Year

The appearance of the Crescent New Moon on the 19th marked the beginning of a special ten day/nine night period in which the world is recreated, a tradition which is shared by the Cherokee, the Jewish people, the Hindus, and by those who follow the Greek mystery school. Spiritual union is celebrated at this time. The New Moon which appears closest to the Autumn Equinox begins what is called the 7th Moon cycle of the zodiacal year. The Cherokee call this the "Great Moon" or "Big Medicine Moon". At this time, Cherokee women dance from the time the New Moon crescent first appears until the moon sets, and will continue for several evenings. The Cherokee believe that ,with this dance, the energies of the new time are grounded and embodied; the world has been reborn.

The shadow of the past cycle will generally begin to show itself in those days that fall just before the New Moon appears. All that is doubtful, fearful, and discordant crowds the dawn of every new time. This is even more true this year because there is a convergence of several cycles. The more there is awareness of the personal and the world shadow, the more spiritual power that is invoked for transformation, healing and renewal.

The blowing of a Shofar, a ram's horn, announces the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah. The Shofar is blown when the New Moon crescent appears. I live in a Jewish neighborhood, and here a whistle is blown to mark sundown. You can feel the excitement build when that whistle goes off. Rosh Hashanah begins the 10 High Holy Days known as the Days of Awe. Because the New Moon's appearance may vary with location, this year's festival began on the evening of September 18th.

At the sighting of the New Moon, while Cherokee women begin their dance, initiates gather at Eleusis to receive the Mysteries, and Kali enters into homes to consume the past year's discord. Revelation, awakening, and spiritual renewal come through the nine nights and ten days that follow...culminating on the 10th day when Hindu tradition says that the Goddess Kali slayed the demon bull...a symbol of our individual and group shadows.

These ten days and nine nights bring us many opportunities for realizing our hopes and our dreams. The way is cleared through celebration, meditation, and prayers. The more we can attune and listen to our hearts, the more core issues we will be able to resolve and the more empowered we become to recreate our world.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Candle Magick

I love candles. I have candles in every room of my home...in every color, every size, and every scent. At Christmas I have pine scents, apples and cinnimon, and Christmas cookie candles. As a matter a fact, I stock up on both the apples and cinnimon and Christmas cookie candles to burn in my kitchen year round so my kitchen usually smells like cider mulling on the stove or cookies baking in the oven. My mother-in-law, a woman well-versed in many of the old ways in the Dominican Republic, hated candles. She had been taught that both candles and incense drew evil spirits into the house, so, out of respect, I would hide all my candles whenever she came to visit. My husband also believes as his mom did...although he will never admit it. He, too, hates candles, but he says they either give off too much heat, stink, or make the room smokey. So, out of respect to him, I only light my candles when he is not home...except for my kitchen candles. That is my room. Fortunately, I never let them sway me.

Different colors of candles represent different things. For example, if you want to use a spell to gain money, you would choose a green candle. Why? That's easy...green represents money. If you want love, use a pink candle. Lust? Use a red candle. Try the following basic spell. Take the candle and make seven notches in it, all equally apart. Dress the candle by rubbing virgin olive oil from top to bottom. Now, place the candle in a strudy candle holder (preferably a metal one). and light it. Concentrate on your tak while the candle burns down to the first notch. Burn the candle each night to the next notch until it has completely burned out. You can find out which color you want by checking out the correspondence chart listed on some of the Wiccan websites. A few examples follow:

White: Truth, purity
Orange: Attraction, stimulation
Purple: Power, ambition
Greenish yellow: Jealousy, anger, discord
Red: Health, sex, strength
Pink: Love, honor
Light Blue: Tranquility, patience, health
Dark Blue: Depression, changeability
Green: Money, fertility

Candle spells can be very easy or very complicated depending on how much time you have to put into a ritual. A spell can be as simple as lighting a green candle and chanting...money, money, money. You can also write out what you want to work with in a rhyme and burn it after saying it like an incantation. Keep any ashes and wax and make into a ball to use as a Talisman or keep in a spell box in case you decide to reverse the spell.
, Healing Candle Spell

You will need seven candles for this one. One white for the Lady, one yellow for the Lord, one orange for encouragement and attraction, one for yourself according to your astral color, and three red candles for strength and helth. You can also burn some incense if you lie, First, light the Lord and Lady cancles, then the incense. Sit quietly for a few moments and think of the goodness and health coming into you. Now, light the petitioner's candle and picture the person and say:

Here is _____________in excellent health.

Blessings from the Lord and Lady be upon him.

Next, light the orange candle and say:

This flame draws all that is good to ______________

It draws health and strength and all he desires.

Now, light the three red candles saying:

Here is to health and strength three fold.

Take into ____________to serve and build him as the Lord and Lady would wish.

Sit and meditate on the good health you desire. Extinguish the candles. Repeat this every Friday for 7 days, each time moving the red candles closer to the petitioner's candle. On the 7th Friday, they should be touching the petitioner's candle.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Autumn Goddess

In the Autumn when the Goddess wears leaves of
Gold, Rust, and Crimson,

I think most particularly of home, hot soup,
cider and fresh bread.

This is the nesting urge that Mother Nature Hecate has
imprinted in our breasts.

This is the longing to have our loved ones close
at hand and safe beneath our roof.

September the sweet month with lingering
summer days and deliciously cool evenings,

October the holy month with the dark night of
Samhain approaching in mystery,

November the transitional month with another
change of season coming our way,

These are the trappings of Autumn, of Mother
Hecate's joyous feast before winter's sleep.

I love Autumn--the Cronehood of the

Her perfume is wood mulch and burnt leaves

Her cloak is a tapestry of mums, orange and
black pansies and the last rose of the season,

She is initiated into the ancient wisdom by
Mother Hecate and grows white-headed under
winter's mantel before our eyes.

author unknown

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Mummer's Dance by Loreena McKennitt

Have to say this is my favorite song. I just sit and listen to it over and over again...love it so much. I was having quite a time reading a debate as to whether or not this is a pagan song. So, here are the words. What do you think?

When in the springtime of the year
When the trees are crowned with leaves
When the ash and oak, and the birch and yew
Are dressed in ribbons fair

When owls call the breathless moon
in the blue veil of the night
When shadows of the trees appear
amidst the lanterns light.

We've been rambling all the night
and sometime of this day
Now returning back again
we bring a garland gay.

Who will go down to those shady groves
and summon the shadows there
And tie a ribbon on those sheltering arms
in the springtime of the year.

The sounds of birds seem to fill the wood
and when the fiddler plays
All their voices can be heard
long past their woodland days.

We've been rambling all the night
and sometime of this day
Now returning back again
we bring a garland gay.

And so they linked their hands and danced
'round in circles and in rows
And so the journey of the night descends
when all the shades are gone.

A garland gay we bring you here
And at your door we stand
Here's a sprout, well budded out
The work of our Lord's hand.

We've been rambling all the night
and sometime of this day
Now returning back again
we bring a garland gay.

Enjoy and sing along if you want.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Riding the Coaster

Okay, so here I am...one day after I said that I would be taking a break from this blog....here I am posting again. I just can't stay away. This is the only one of my blogs where I am me...where I can really express my thoughts and feelings. And, as of this moment, my life is much like the photo above--a roller coaster. I feel darned if I do, and darned if I don't. I am sure you know what I mean; we've all had those times in our lives. I feel as if I have reached a 'fork in the road' but am unable to choose in which direction to go--spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

Well, there's not much I can do about the physical direction. I've almost accepted that pain will be a daily part of my life. For those that don't know me, I suffer from fibromyaligia and arthritis in the back which stems from an old injury. I guess I am lucky because, up to this point, I haven't had to rely on medication...only an occasional Motrin. But, it seems to be getting worse lately ... and that is adding to my 'emotional' instability right now.

It is only natural to feel, at times, depressed when you have to deal with pain on a daily basis. And, I am not really depressed...not the truly mental health kind of depressed where I cannot get up in the morning. I am just feeling sad....sad that I am unappreciated and over-worked on my job...but is that the truth? Or is it just a feeling? I DO know that a lot of responsibility is piled on me at work and sometimes I just don't want to deal with it. Like today. This is why I am sitting here writing on this blog and not doing my work.

Spiritually? I am at peace that I have finally found my path....it took me long enough. What displeases me is that I found it at a time in my life where I cannot wholly participate in it. Because of my fibro, I don't get out much anymore...only to go to work. I would love to participate in a Druid ritual...a ritual...in a grove...at night with the Moon shining down on me. Oh, that is my dream.

Enough whining for today. So, what am I going to do with this blog? I'd like to thank my friend, Sobeit, for her suggestions on some good books. Payday is Friday so I 'will' be looking into them. I'm also thinking of just posting some odds and ends...maybe some Mabon stuff...rituals, things to do, recipes. Maybe even some book reviews. There's really lots I can do here. Just have to put it all together. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dion Fortune

We've all had people ask us the question, "If you could spend the day with someone famous, who would it be?" And then, all sorts of names start rattling through your head...perhaps the president, maybe a famous actor or actress, a famous figure from the past? When you think about it, there are so many people out there that this really isn't such an easy question. So, if you are at all like me, when pressed for an answer, you blurt out a name, then start scratching your head. "Is that 'really' the person I would want to spend my day with?" We don't have anything in common. Well, I can now honestly say that the next time someone asks me that question , I know exactly who I would say....Dion Fortune. I fell in love with her book, "Glastonbury: Avalon of the Heart" and have read it several times. I love the picture she paints of that mystical place. Then, over the weekend I began to read her novel "The Sea Priestess" and I have to say, that clinched it for me. This is the woman I would most like to spend my day with.

She was, as I once considered myself, a bit of a rebel. Back in the day I thought nothing of walking across the bridge in support of a cause or to protest an unjust cause, but those days are over. Physically, it would be impossible for me to do it today ...although I did walk the Brooklyn Bridge when we had the last blackout, but could I do it now? But see? See how my mind wanders!!! This is not about me; this is supposed to be about Dion.

What strikes me the most was that she was very much her own woman. In a forward to the book, "The Sea Priestess" Gareth Knight writes, "The most striking was her mode of dress. Dion Fortune had a penchant for large, very wide-brimmed hats that partly concealed her face, together with a long cloak that descended almost to her ankles, while underneath she might sport a scarlet dress. She was also very fond of furs and chunky jewelry, including rings with enormous stones." I've been considered a bit of an eccentric, at times...and although I don't like furs, I do love my chunky jewelry and have tons of the stuff home.

To me, she was a woman far ahead of her time, and she fit in very well today... new age and occult books are coming out on the market everyday. But, remember, in Dion's time, things were very, very different, but she still managed to get her point across. In her time, esoteric matters were not something you discussed in public, so, after she was accused of revealing too much about her beliefs in her book, "The Mystical Qabalah", Dion decided that she would begin writing fiction . She found that with fiction she she was able to expound on her teachings without raising an eyebrow. Her fiction works also contained examples of practical magick safely hidden in the guise of a novel. "The Sea Priestess" was written as a teaching novel; some of the information in the book has made it into some of the traditional teachings Wiccan students receive today. Her message was not designed for everyone, but only those few who understood.

If you have a chance, I highly recommend your picking up the book. I can't put it down.

Taking a Break

Taking a short break from this blog as I try to figure out what direction I'd like it to go. Anyone with any suggestions, please feel free to post your ideas. I will continue to post to my other blogs. Of course I took a break from my Avalon Blog, too, and that only lasted about a day or so. Guess I just need to regroup here. This was my very first blog and I jumped into it head on without a plan. I've got several things going on in my head at this point.

Friday, September 11, 2009

We Remember

Take a few minutes of silence today to remember those who lost their lives in the attacks of 9/11. Search out rememberance pages of our fallen heroes and leave a note of thanks and appreciation.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Crow Flies in Brooklyn

My son actually heard Crow before I knew he was there. He had one day complained that the birds were too loud this year, especially one bird, and he couldn't catch up on his rest (He works nights). I just sort of laughed it off and reminded him , "What a wonderful part of nature....the songs of the birds...Listen for the joy. Listen to what they are trying to tell you." Then, I went off to my job and forgot all about our conversation....until the weekend when I went out into the backyard early morn to welcome the new day and heard such a squawking...caw, caw, caw....just demanding of my attention. Then, , looking up, I saw him sitting atop the cable wires which stretched across the rear of the yard...such a beautiful, majestic creature he was. It seemed like my attention was all he was after for he quieted down once he knew I was looking at him.

I'd seen crows many times when I was still living in the countryside, but not here in the city... although I knew they existed in places such as Central and Prospect Park... but here in my neighborhood? Why the largest park is no larger than the size of a medium sized parking lot. So, I began doing some research in order to understand what my crow friend wanted. Could he be my totem? Was he aware of my new-found yearnings, and was he here to show me the way? I found the following in "Medicine Cards: The Discovery of Power Through Animals" by Ja,mie Sams and David Carson, Illustrated by Angela C. Werneke.

There is a medicine story that tells of Crow's fascination with her own shadow. She kept looking at it, scratching it, pecking at it, until her shadow woke up and became alive. Then Crow's shadow ate her. Crow is Dead Crow now.

Dead Crow is the Left-Handed Guardian. If you look deeply into Crow's eye, you will have found the gateway to the supernatural. Crow knows the unknowable mysteries of creation and is the keeper of all sacred law.

Since Crow is the keeper of sacred law, Crow can bend the laws of the physical universe and "shape shift". This ability is rare and unique. Few adepts exist in today's world, and few still have mastered Crow's art of shape shifting. This art includes doubling, or being in two places at one time consciously; taking on another physical form and becoming the 'fly on the wall' to observe what is happening far away.

The Europeans that came to Turtle Island were named the 'boat people' by Slow Turtle. Even with the knowledge of alchemy possessed by certain boat people, non had ever seen the power shape shifting of shamans who utilized Crow medicine. Many boat people were frightened by what appeared to be animals coming into their camps or dwellings to discern their medicine. Crow medicine people are masters of the illusion.

All sacred texts are under the protection of Crow. Creator's Book of Laws or Book of Seals is bound in Crow feathers. Crow feathers tell of spirit made flesh. Crow is also the protector of the 'ogallah' or ancient records.

The Sacred Law Belts, or Wampum Belts, beaded by the native women long before the boat people or Europeans came to this continent, contain knowlege of the Great Spirit's laws, and are kept in the Black Lodges, the lodges of women. The law which states that 'all things are born of women' is signified by the Crow.

Children are taught to behave according the the rules of a particular culture. Most orthodox systems create a mandate concerning acceptable behavior within the context of worldly affairs. Do this and so, and you will go to heaven. Do this and so, and you will go to hell. Different formulas for salvation are demanded by each 'true faith'.

Human law is not the same as Sacred Law. More so than any other medicine, Crow ses that the physical world and even the spiritual world, as humanity interprets them, are an illusion. There are billions of worlds. There are an infinitude of creatures. Great Spirit is within all. If an individual obeys Crow's perfect laws as given by the Creator, then as at death he or she dies a Good Medicine death--going on to the next incarnation with a clear memory of his or her past.

Crow is an omen of change. Crow lives in the void and has no sense of time. The Ancient Chief's tell us that Crow sees simultaneously the three fates--past, present, and future. Crow merges light and darkness, seeing both inner and outer reality.

If Crow medicine appears in your card spread, you must pause and reflect on how you see the laws of the Great Spirit in relation to the laws of humanity. Crow medicine signifies firsthand knowledge of a higher order of right and wrong than indicated by the laws created in human culture. With Crow medicine, you speak in a powerful voice when addressing issues that for you seem out of harmony, out of balance, out of whack, or unjust.

Remember that Crow looks at the world with first one eye, then the other--cross-eyed. In the Mayan culture, cross-eyeds had the privilege and duty of looking into the future. You must put aside your fear of being a voice in the wilderness and 'caw' the shots as you see them.

As you learn to allow your personal integrity to be your guide, your sense of feeling alone will vanish. Your personal will can then emerge so that you will stand in your truth. The prime path of true Crow people says to be mindful of your opinions and actions. Be willing to walk your talk, speak your truth, know your life's mission, and balance past, present, and future in the now. Shape shift that old reality and become your future self. Allow the bending of physical laws to aid in creating the shape shifted world of peace.

Powerful indeed. At first I was speechless. Saw so much of myself in this. None of my acquaintences know this, but I was cross-eyed as a child. I had to wear a patch over one eye to strengthen the other. If you look closely, you can still see that both eyes are not even because I would take it off at times when playing with friends. My parents never knew this, but hey, I was only a kid. I didn't know how important it was....But, alas, I must have left it on enough to do some good because my eyes are not that bad.

Also, the last paragraph really hit home to feelings and frustrations I have been going through recently at my place of employment. Actually, everyone there has been affected, but none of us have really spoken out about the problem. I actually took off work today because I needed some time to sort things out, and what Crow is telling me is "Stand in your truth. Be willing to walk your talk, speak your truth." I've been holding things in for so long, they are actually starting to affect my outer demeanor and how I deal with people...which is bad for me because dealing with people is my job. I am nearing that dangerous point where I quit...not a good idea in today's economy and at my age. What Crow is telling me is to no longer hold in what is bothering me, but to speak up about it, to speak my truth. In only that way can the old reality be shape shifted into a world of peace. People's feelings will be hurt, definitely, but if those people were not so out of balance, there would be no need to speak of what is right and what is wrong.

Ironically, as I sat down to work on this blog, I heard the now familiar caw...caw...caw...of my friend. It makes me wonder how long Crow has been there for me, but I was too deaf too listen.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Strange day today!!! Can't quite put my finger on it... Just feels somewhat out of the norm. Mercury retrograde? Is that what it is?...Or is it something more? Does anyone else feel it, or is it just me? Truth be told, I am bored....I feel as if I have been stagnating lately, like I need something more in my life, something new...and not something material. I have enough of that. What I need is something to feed the soul. Druidism will always be in my heart, and I will forever be a Druid, but I am ready and eager to take the next step... and the fact is, Druidism and Shamanism go hand and hand. It is not as if I am turning to an a new path altogether. I am just adding knowledge to the one I am already on.

I guess my restlessness started when I began a study of Tom Cowan's book "Fire in the Head: Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit. " I found myself hungering for more. For those who haven't read it and are interested in Druidism and Celtic Shamanism, I highly recommend it. Throughout the book, th author probes the common Shamanic roots of Druidism, witchcraft, and Celtic Christianity. He touches on mysticism, visionary experiences, and the soul of nature.

And then came that nagging little voice inside "But you are too old to become a Shaman. You are 62 years old, a crone, but don't crones make the best wise women? And, it is not that I have never been to the Otherworld; I have visited there since I was a child. And all my classes with NOD (New Order of Druids) have been leading up to this, haven't they? I've learned to communicate with Nature...and isn't that something that Shaman's do?

Thursday, September 3, 2009


I realized something yesterday. I will always be an addict. I can become addicted to anything and everything very quickly. Truth be told, it was a really, really busy at work, and I was unable to get to my blogs...and it ate at me all day. Now mind you, I've only been blogging for a little over a week and already have 3 started and another one in the works. One is never enough for me. It's like that with everything. I have so many bottles of nail polish that it ends up going bad and has to be thrown away. It's the same with lipstick, eye shadow, and blush. I've been addicted to alcohol...many moons' ago. I've been addicted to cigarettes and am currently 2 months smober. I've had my go-rounds with coffee, soda, cookies, candy, and ice cream.. clothing, necklasses from the 99 cent store, hair goods, books. The list goes on and on and on.

Speaking of books, I began re-reading "The 21 Lessons of Merlyn" by Douglas Monroe again, and I chanced upon something interesting. It is found on page 19 and is called "Three Things a Man is". These are:

What he thinks he is.
What others think he is.
What he really is.

Something to think about you. Check with me tomorrow about that one.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

In September

A Perfect Brooklyn morning in the fall.

September 1st. Fall is my time of the year. September has been my month. I used to wait eagerly for school to start so I could show off my new clothes. Now, with Labor Day right around the corner, it is time to start packing away and digging out. This year I am going to give away. Each season I have clothes that I dig out, wash, dry, fold or hang, and then they just sit until the next season comes round...and this has become almost a tradition with me. This year, in the spring, I packed up two shopping bags to give away, and where are they now? Still in the shopping bags waiting to be packed away until next spring.

I am feeling a little depressed this September, though. I am not getting around as I once was. I loved to go for my long walks in the fall, and now they are a thing of the past. I'm getting up in years, not an old lady yet although I feel like one, but it seems like everything is catching up to me. I suffer from fibro and arthritis in the back. Until a few months ago, I didn't let anything stop me. I was able to grin and bear with it, but now, it is getting just so painful to walk. I guess the time is coming when I am going to have to 'give in' and take a prescription medication.

All and all, though, it truly is a wonderful day...and I don't have to go for long walks to enjoy the weather. I have my porch, my yard with its myriad of creatures....And a full moon is fast approaching. Yes, there is still much to love about life.