Casting Creative Magickal Circles: Samhain excerpt

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Recognized as one of the most important holidays of the year,‭ ‬Samhain,‭ ‬meaning‭ “‬Summer’s End,‭” ‬is a major festival with several aspects.‭ ‬It is the celebration of the end of the harvest and the start of the dark half of the year,‭ ‬because of this transition it is also known as‭ “‬The Witches‭’ ‬New Year‭”‬.‭ ‬Many pagan traditions also see this as the time of death for the Sun and the solar gods,‭ ‬to be reborn at the Winter Solstice or Yule.‭ ‬It is a night when we remember our departed loved ones and honor our ancestors.‭ ‬Samhain is when the veil between the world of the dead and the world of the living is said to be at its thinnest.‭
Creatively speaking,‭ ‬Samhain circles are the most difficult to foster.‭ ‬There are so many different aspects of the holiday that it’s hard to focus on just one.‭ In Casting Creative Magickal Circles  I have included circles for the different themes that are commonly used in Samhain rituals.‭ This circle in particular uses an Ancestor theme that allows your ancestors to be a part of your circle and ritual. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!!!!

The Ancestor Circle

Items needed:‭ ‬photographs of your ancestors.
When casting your circle for a Samhain ritual that has an ancestor focus,‭ ‬you would begin in the west‭; ‬traditionally regarded as the realm of the dead.‭ ‬Begin by placing the first picture on the floor in the west calling out the name of the ancestor as you do.‭ ‬Continue clockwise around the parameter of your space,‭ ‬calling out each name as the picture is placed.‭ ‬If you do not have enough photographs to complete a circle,‭ ‬place them evenly throughout the circle.
When you have returned to the west,‭ ‬say or something similar:
‭“‬I have laid this circle in love and protection,
May all that have been named help hold,
This sacred space on this Samhain night.‭”
Visualize protective and loving energy connecting each picture,‭ ‬and then expanding into a sphere around your space.
Saying:‭ “‬So mote it be‭” ‬when you have created your sphere.

When you are ready to release the circle,‭ ‬starting in the west,‭ ‬walking counter-clockwise begin to pick up each picture,‭ ‬visualizing the energy being released out into the universe,‭ ‬while saying or something similar:
‭“‬I release this circle in love and honor.‭”

This circle casting can be easily adapted for group rituals as well,‭ ‬allowing all participants to bring and add their own ancestor photographs.‭

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Casting Creative Magickal Circles: Mabon excerpt

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Mabon is the second in the three harvest festivals,‭ ‬also known as the Autumnal Equinox and is commonly seen as the Witch’s Thanksgiving.‭ ‬It is a day of balance,‭ ‬when the equal hours of both light and dark are seen in the sun’s journey toward the equator.

At this time,‭ ‬many Wiccans and witches give thanks to the waning sunlight,‭ ‬and the blessings we have received.‭ ‬It is a time to begin reflecting on the passing year and give thanks for what the things that we have received and learned.‭

In Wiccan lore,‭ ‬Mabon is the time when the God prepares to die to be reborn again from his mother’s,‭ ‬the Goddess‭’‬,‭ ‬womb.‭

Over the years,‭ ‬I have written many Mabon and harvest themed rituals,‭ ‬but as of late,‭ ‬I would much rather focus on a community dinner gathering to celebrate.‭ ‬These‭ “‬dinner parties‭” ‬still have the aspects of ritual‭; ‬just not as formal as they would be any other holiday.‭ ‬The three circles I have chosen to include in this chapter were created during my years in solitary practice,‭ ‬but they can easily be adapted for a group.

 

The Gifts that Keep on Giving Circle

Items needed:‭ ‬one apple of any color,‭ ‬a handful of quarters.
This Mabon circle’s focus is about sharing the blessings of the harvest.‭ ‬Before you begin,‭ ‬place the quarters in the apple.‭ ‬The apple will be utilized to cast the circle.‭ ‬Begin casting in the north representing abundance.‭ ‬With the apple in hand,‭ ‬walk slowly clockwise around your space,‭ ‬saying or something similar:
‭“‬I cast this circle with the blessings of abundance,
With love and for protection.
I honor,‭ ‬sacrifice on this blessed Mabon.‭”
Visualize protective and loving energy emanating from the apple,‭ ‬then expanding into a sphere around your space.
Saying:‭ “‬So mote it be‭”‬.

When you are ready to release the circle,‭ ‬starting now in the north,‭ ‬walking counter-clockwise around your space with the apple in hand.‭ ‬Visualizing the energy being into the apple,‭ ‬while saying or something similar:
‭“‬I thank the harvest for its gifts,
I release this circle out into the world,
Let it touch all those who need it love.‭”

After your ritual,‭ ‬take the quarters out of the apple and keep them with you.‭ ‬Using them for good deeds,‭ ‬such as in a parking meter that is about to run out.‭ ‬Use them in moments of‭ “‬paying it forward‭” ‬or share the harvest with those in need.

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The protests of Philly’s Pagan Pride and Guided Meditation: Spirit of the wolf

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It has been a very busy last few weeks, I haven’t had a chance to sit down and write. Over the last few weeks, I have been facilitating private ceremonies, holding workshops, and attending various Pagan events. One of those events was the Philadelphia Pagan Pride, for which I am also a board member. If you are in the “Pagan Pride” community, you might have come across a few articles about this event. It has gotten a little focus due to a few “Christian” extremists protesting the event. I went back and forth in my head whether or not to write a blog post about the protest and its effects, but decided not to add to fuel that is their fire. Instead, I will only talk about some of the positive things I experienced and then move on to a meditation.
Unfortunately,, the protest started right next to my tent, which was for the children. It wouldn’t have been so bad if the tent wasn’t for the children. This tent was meant to be a sort of refuse for children to explore and learn about their spiritual interests and should not have been exposed to the ranting of negative remarks from a hate group. Although, I don’t believe that children should be shielded from such things, there is absolutely no reason for them to be involved in it. At the start of the protest, I had a few children working on various activities and they weren’t affected by it. Once it escalated, comments and questions had erupted from a few of the children, my nephew included. I decided to take the “teachable moment” and change the focus of negativity to something positive. It became a discussion of religious acceptance and similarities, rather than prejudice and hate (sadly, from both sides). Once the protest had ended, I witnessed an amazing sight; two of the children went around the event with sage in hand, smudging all the tents and area to remove the negativity of the protest. This was completely done without adult direction and solely on their own accord. For me, this made the event a success.

One’s spirituality can be a driving force for a multitude of emotions and experiences. Which is why so many religions find themselves in some uncomfortable situations. But what happens when these situations affect us on a personal level? By utilizing some meditative techniques we can learn how to better control our emotions in these situations. Such practices of breathing and quieting the mind can help us take hold of the responses our emotions can create. Having a regular meditation practice makes it easier to use these techniques during emotional situations.
This guided meditation employs the spirit of the wolf, who in many traditions is seen as a guide to spirituality. In our meditation we will visit the moon to get a better understanding of its energies within its various phases, all by means of the wolf.

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Spirit of the Wolf Guided Meditation

Begin by lighting a candle and some incense. Turn off the lights. Close your eyes, make yourself comfortable and relax. Next begin to prepare for the meditation by breathing in deeply through your nose, filling your belly, hold for a count of three and exhale through your mouth. Do this three times, or until you feel relaxed, centered and open.

Feel the room around you, acknowledge the glow of the candle and scent of incense.
As you breath in, begin to visualize the smoke of the incense circling you, surrounding you.
It begins to create a bubble around you. This bubble will protect your body on your journey.

You find yourself sitting in the dark, outside on a hill.
You can feel the cool grass beneath you, but, the air is warm around you.
Crickets quietly chirp in the distance.
Although, you are sitting in the dark, you are not afraid….
Appearing before you is the spirit of the wolf.
He sits harmlessly before you.
Looking closer you can see that he is in spirit form rather than solid, yet his soft fur sways in the warm breeze.
He will be your guide on this journey and will take you through the phases of the moon.
Begin your journey by feeling and reaching out to wolf’s energy.
Allow it to mix with your own, you will become one with wolf.

Now, as wolf, looking up to the black sky, you notice a tiny sliver of light begin to appear, it is the new moon.
Feel and see yourself going toward the moon.
At the same time the moon also comes to you.
You and the moon meet and join together.. You are the new moon….
Take some time and feel the energy of the new moon.
It is of new beginnings and birth.
Allow yourself to succumb to its energy and let the moon show you what you need to learn at this time…….

After a moment, wolf calls you back and to let go of the new moon’s energy.
As you pull away, you begin to see the sliver of the moon begin to grow into a waxing crescent moon.
It’s energies of growth and love begin to surround you.
Allow the knowledge of where you are headed to enter you, let the moon show you what steps you need to take to grow at this time.

Again the wolf calls you back after a few moments, the images begin to fade and you are now overcome by the bright light of the full moon… The energies and power are almost too overwhelming.
It is time to open yourself up to them and be the full moon.
These powerful energies feel as though they are recharging you, like a battery.
You can feel your own magikal energies reach the highest they have ever been.
You are now glowing with pure positive energy.
The energy pours out of you in all directions and reflects off the clouds above and touches the trees and plants below.
As above, so below you are the full moon…

Just as you feel you are able to expand your energies around the world, the light fades into a waxing crescent moon.
It begins to draw back some of the energies you have just absorbed.
Along with some the full moon energies, the waning moon extracts all the negative thoughts you hide within yourself.
It takes your fears.
Your self created obstacles.
You can see all this pouring out of you in a long dark plume of black smoke…..

You are now floating in darkness, no sound…Total emptiness.
You are not afraid. You know you are protected by the spirit of the wolf.
This is the time to confront all the negatives that had poured out of you.
Face them, learn from them… This is the dark of the moon……….

After a moment, all the images begin to fade as you hear the cry of the wolf.
You have now returned to the hilltop, looking up, you can see all the moon phases in the sky.
Bid farewell to them, individually and thank them for their wisdom.

Eventually, the darken sky becomes day and before is the wolf.
Thank and honor his spirit.
You may also wish to take a moment to accept any wisdom he gives you.
Say your farewells.. Take 3 breaths, and open your eyes….

Guided Meditation: Visiting the Gods of Egypt

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Although, I do not follow the pantheon of Egyptian antiquity, I have a love for the history, myths and the deities found in ancient Egyptian culture. I wrote this about five years ago for my monthly meditation group.
This guided meditation takes you to Ancient Egypt, where you meet with the Gods and Goddess of your mind. Pay close attention to who they are, there is a reason why your mind has chosen these particular deities. You will also experience a moment of seeing parts of your higher and shadow self. The information you receive may also be valuable.

Visiting the Gods of Egypt Guided Meditation

Begin by lighting a candle and some incense. Turn off the lights. Close your eyes, make yourself comfortable and relax. Next begin to prepare for the meditation by breathing in deeply through your nose, filling your belly, hold for a count of three and exhale through your mouth. Do this three times, or until you feel relaxed, centered and open.

Feel the room around you, acknowledge the glow of the candle and scent of incense.
As you breath in, begin to visualize the smoke of the incense circling you, surrounding you.
It begins to lift you off the ground.
Now floating with every breath, allow your energy to form a bubble around your floating body.
Visualize yourself and the bubble rising higher and higher. As you climb higher you can see the earth below. Take a moment and look at the earth moving below you.
Looking closer you notice that it is turning counter clockwise, and that it seems to be spinning faster and faster, and faster.
In an instant it suddenly stops and reverses to its normal clockwise spin.

You and the bubble begin to slowly sink back to the earth. From the darkness of space to a sunlit sky.
As you pass through the clouds like a feather, the bubble begins to fog up so that you can no longer see.
After a few seconds, you can feel that your bubble has stopped falling and gradually, the fog dissipates.
As the fog clears, a scene is revealed before you of a desert landscape of reddish sand. Nearby, you can see the mighty walls of four temples standing face to face, creating a square courtyard between them.
Your bubble begins to disappear, allowing you to Stand and walk freely.
Begin to head towards the courtyard.
You can feel the heat of the sand beneath your feet, and the hot sun on your body.
Looking down, you notice you are wearing a white linen robe, that blows in the occasional warm breeze.
As you reach the center of the courtyard you can see that there is an obelisk. It is made of your favorite stone, take a few moments to examine it.
Rearing above you, you see that it is covered with hieroglyphs, some seem familiar to you and others are strange and foreign. However, take note of them because they may hold a message for you.

Take a deep breath through your nose and smell the air. There is a light sent a musky wood burning.
Looking for its source, you notice that there is smoke drifting out of one of the temples.
Walking toward the temple; its heady aroma fills your nose. It is the same smell as the one you were burning when you started your journey.

As you approach the entrance of the temple, you can hear the faint humming of what seems like monks praying from inside.

Slowly you enter the temple, the floor beneath you is smooth and polished.
Out of the hot sun you find yourself in a vast chamber with stone columns.
It is quite dark, but along the walls there is bowls of burning oil that emits a flickering light. Here, the air is cool and refreshing, and the smell of incense is complemented by a strong fragrance of flowers.
Spend a few moments exploring the temple chamber.
As you look round, you can see at the far end of the chamber someone kneeling, as if in prayer.

You decide to walk across the hall of columns toward the kneeling person.
Upon approaching the person, you find you have entered a small shrine. Against the back wall is a large statue with its head covered with a black cloth. The statue seems to have a masculine body. Bowls of incense smolder before it and it is flanked by flickering flames.
As if feeling your presence, the kneeling person stands and turns toward you with one hand raised as if to say welcome.
This person appears to be a priest of some sort and you return the gesture out of respect.
He steps forward and says “welcome to the temple of the God”, you look up at the statue and notice that the black cloth is no longer there revealing one of the gods of ancient Egypt.
He has chosen to reveal himself to you.
Take a moment and think about why this particular God has come to you.

Just as you are about to turn and talk to the priest, he vanishes and you are left alone before the statue.
Return your gaze to the God before you.

Looking upon its stone face, it seems as though it is a living entity.
As if its eyes were becoming living eyes.
Gradually, the statue seems to come alive. Slowly, the stone turns to flesh.
Standing in awe, the statue of the god begins to descend toward you, his eyes now full of calmness and peace.

This is now a time to have your questions answered.
Spend some time speaking with the god. He may show you things, give you a symbolic gift or simply offer affection. He may have words of advice for your work to come, or ask you to do something for him in the real world. Let your mind wander freely….

When he has finished, thank him for this time in a way you see fit.
As you are about to say farewell, he touches your shoulder and you find yourself back outside in the courtyard. Now facing one of the other temples.
A slight breeze blows from inside, on the wind you hear your name, as if beckoning you to come inside.

As you approach the threshold of the temple, you can hear faint music coming from deep within.
Upon entering the corridor ahead, you can hear the ringing of strings and the low beat of drums in the air.
Unlike the last temple the wall here is painted and again, it is quite dark, but you can see where you are going by the dim lamplight glimmering on the floor. The entering corridor opens out into a vast room, lined by columns. Ahead of you, at the other end of the chamber, you see a flight of golden steps that lead up to a life-size golden statue of a female.
With anticipation you walk toward the staircase, noticing again that the statue’s face covered with a cloth. She wears a long sheath dress and you can make out the hint of a necklace around her neck, but her feet are bare. Just next to the statue you can see a small group of priestesses playing various instruments. The music is soft, but lively music. Another priestess begins to dance sensuously to the music around the base of the statue. The floor is covered in petals and she dances, they release their rich fragrance.
As you approach the foot of the stairs, you are overcome by the music and begin to dance.
As you dance, cast your inner eye back to your room where your candle stands, imagine that the light of this candle shines onto the statue. Through the light of this candle, you can feel your inner self become one with the statue.
Through the eyes of the statue, you can see yourself dancing through the cloth that covers your head. Reach up to remove it, as you pull it off, you find yourself back in your body looking up at a Goddess.
Seeing now, who this Goddess is, you open yourself up to her energy.
She is a friend to you. Let your mind wander to connect with her. You may have words or questions for her. Take a few moments and spend some time with this Goddess…

After a few minutes, thank her for this audience, and say farewell.

Now, walk back through the temple, bidding farewell to the priestesses. Go out into the courtyard.
This time you are not alone, there is a shrouded figured dressed in black standing before the obelisk. The figure beckons you closer. Feeling a little unsure, but not afraid, you begin to walk toward him. He reaches out holding a papyrus scroll in each hand. His hands are old and writhed with time. Knowing you need to make a choice between the two scrolls, you reach for one.
As you touch the scroll of your choice, the other bursts into blue flames, and the figure disappears. Holding the scroll, you begin to unroll it. Slowly it reveals a painted image of a boat with its bow facing the same direction of the hand you choose. Be it left or right. You know that is the direction of the next temple you are to go to.

In excitement to see what happens next, you walk closer to the directed temple. Upon approach you notice that there are stairs leading down.
A cool breeze rushes up the stone stairs as you begin to descend. The further you go the darker it gets. At the moment you think that it is just to dark too go on, you see a faint light ahead of you and push on. The air is musty and damp.
As you reach the source of light, the stairway opens to a fire light room. Walking through the entrance you can see, you are not alone. Before you, are five figures and they all turn and face you as if they have been waiting for you. They walk toward you and without a word take hold of you and guide you into an adjacent room. Entering the room you can see another figure standing on a platform before an over sized golden scale. You recognize the figure to be as Anubis, the lord of the underworld. Although, you know he is usually associated with death you feel at peace. His dark jackal face is just slightly lit by two tall candles. The five ushers leave you standing before the platform. You recall this scene from before. It is the judgment of your soul, the weighing of your heart.

Anubis turns toward you and you can see his ruby red eyes glow like fire. He steps off the platform, places his hand on your heart and instantly everything turns white.
As if playing on a movie screen you begin to see pictures of your life, he is showing you all the good you have done thus far.

Just as a feeling of pride washes over you, everything turns black and you begin to hear your heart beating slow and steady. Again, images begin to appear this time in the darkness, you are now being shown all that you hide and the bad you have done.

After a few moments the images and the darkness fades back into the room with the scales and you are alone once more.

Looking around in confusion, you can see a white feather floating down as you reach for the feather, a flash of light returns you to the courtyard.
The sun now is setting and you can feel that the temperature has dropped. Knowing now you are to visit all four temples, you proceed to the last.
As you reach the doorway the entrance fills with a thick fog.
With confidence you begin to walk into the fog. Gradually the fog turns into a black void.
After a moment, the darkness begins to clear and once more and you are back in your own reality. Open your eyes when you are ready.

Birds, Snakes, and Airplanes. PT 1 – When Your spiritual path takes a new direction.

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When re-inventing this blog, I had no idea what direction I wanted for my first posting. There were so many topics I could write about. At the time, I had just returned from my local groups Beltane celebration, where they had conducted two rituals, one for adults and one for children. I thought this might be something I wanted to discuss and expand on, especially because this is where my expertise lies. What a better way to help promote my forthcoming book and classes. But alas, It just didn’t feel right. So I decided to dye my hair instead. I thought maybe the time away from my computer would have helped, but again I had no direction. Then it hit me like an airplane. Direction! A topic I myself and many around me have been experiencing. “What direction has my path led me? ” or more so “what direction am I supposed to go on my path? ” Continue reading

Guided Meditation: Journey to the Spirit World

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A few years ago, I and members of the Moonlit grove, my local group got together around the full moon and held guided meditations sessions. I somehow ended up being the one that organized and supplied the meditations for the night. After running out of options every month, I began to write my own. Since then, they have been sitting in my external hard drive collecting virtual dust. Now that I started this blog, I have a use for them again. Although, they have been updated and reworked from their original development they still hold significance. I remember this guided meditation had been originally written around Samhain. It sends you on a journey to the spirit world, enabling you to communicate and connect with the spirits of the underworld. This may be done at your ancestral altar or somewhere that is comfortable and where you can relax. Choose soft music to play during your mediation to help set the mood. Continue reading