Connecting with the Elements: Water

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Happy Lughnasadh!

For me, this month of working with the element of Water and the direction of West has been a whirlwind or in keeping with the theme a whirlpool.  So much has happened over this past month, I don’t know where to begin. I think the element has made experience every emotion a human can feel and then some. I will be glad when this one is over and I can move into the North and ground. I found it really interesting that everything that was pre-planned within this month fell in line with the element. From events that centered around the elements to taking a break with a camping and rafting trip down the Delaware River. The scary thing is that I still have a week or two before I am finished and I can see it getting worse. As I come to a close, I can feel situations pulling my moral compass into directions that are going to fuel emotions and my mouth. Retrograde has nothing on the element of Water.

This Month I put a focus on not only the element itself, but its associated direction and my traditions animal spirit of Bear. Bear for me has many personalities. Bear can be the two-sided mamma Bear who is loving and nurturing, and yet be the fierce protector. Bear is also the guardian and doorkeeper of the underworld. When working the Wheel, Bear takes over your journey after Wolf/Coyote lead you down your path. He takes you the land of the dead where you find your true self. Bear introduces you to your ancestors and puts in dangerous situations that rip you apart from the inside out.

Bear resides in the West, he lives at the base of the mountains, where lies certain death (hence his association with the dead).  But enough of Bear and the West lets talk a little about the element of Water.

The element of Water is most often connected with our emotions. Water is life’s necessity without it nothing can live. It is a component in the cells of all living beings; it is our very essence. It is the one common denominator that connects all as one. Water is constantly flowing and changing, which is why it’s associated with our emotions. Both cannot remain in one state for long and are always in constant motion. Our emotions are what define and shape who we are as living beings and as Individuals. In “The Modern Witch’s Curriculum”, I replaced the word Water with LOVE to help the reader subconsciously connect with the element. So, I will do the same here from this point forward. When we focus on increasing the LOVE element in our lives, we begin the process of cleansing and healing our spirit. The element helps us purify and cleanse our spirit of harmful emotions that could be holding us back. Once these emotions are removed or at least acknowledged, we can begin the healing process while working within this element. This is a time to focus on working out those unresolved issues that so many of us hold on to.

I have listed the practices that I will be working on over the next few weeks, as well as a few others that you can do to connect with the direction and the element of LOVE.

Mindful Bathing

I tend to do this more often than meditation when exploring this element. Although, I do still like to listen to the sounds of the ocean or rain when going to sleep, which usually turns into a conventional meditation session anyway. When doing mindful bathing, I recommend not using candles, incense, or salts. This will keep your focus on just one element. Prepare by drawing a warm bath. Before stepping in, request the element to physically, mentally and emotionally cleanse, heal and purify you. As you step in, envision the healing LOVE enveloping your body and spirit. Once you are settled and comfortable, breathe slowly and deeply.  Allow the LOVE to help you relax. Imagine becoming one with the LOVE. When you are finished remember to that the element of LOVE.

Devotionals

During this month I choose to devote time to two of the most important allies in my life, my Ancestors and the Orisha, Oshun. Although, both are always a normal focus for me, I really made it a point to sit and talk with them each day, rather than just my normal morning rituals. I have a strong relationship with both already, that this didn’t put me out of my comfort zone too much.

When creating a devotional routine to a Deity in connection with the element of LOVE, I would do this with a Deity that has some form of linking the element in their mythos or to you personally. You do not have to make it lengthy, just spend a few moments with your deity, asking for blessings, advice, or just thanking them. I usually like to offer incense and say a few words.

Ritual

Because each month begins and ends with a Full Moon ritual as I work through the ritual becomes a major part of connecting with the elements. I started this month off with a full moon cleansing ritual. Even though the members of my group are not going through the prep work of connecting with each element. They get to reap the benefits of the elemental focus of the rituals. For this Full Moon we utilized the cleansing and healing magickal properties of water by washing away the harmful energies that may lay dormant in our mind, words, and heart. We also put a lot of focus on our ancestors with a meditation session and then sending any messages we had for them down the river.

There are many ways you can add water to your Full Moon rituals, in my first book “Casting Creative Magickal Circles” I have a circle casting that uses water taken from the four directions to cast a circle.

Divination

Many divination practices work well during this month as well. From scrying to dreams, this element has a profound effect on our ability to use our intuition. As with any types of magickal practices I always recommended keeping a journal, so why not keep a journal of your dreams this month. You find that your dreams will be heightened as you work through the element. Although, dreams are most often associated with the element of fire. It is the actual dream and the messages contained within them that can be attributed to the element of LOVE and not the actual act of dreaming.

You can also incorporate the use of tarot in when working with the element of LOVE. Here are a few ways to use tarot this month:

– Refresh your knowledge of all the cup cards of the deck.

– Pick a card that is associated with the element to mediate on each day.

– Use a spread that focuses on the magickal correspondences of LOVE. Here is one from “The Modern Witch’s Curriculum” that I tend to use often.

 

Place card 1 on the far left, then place card 2 and card 3 diagonally going down. Then place card 4 and 5 diagonally going up. Place card 6 between card 1 and 5 and above 3.

 

  1. Your tide. What state are your emotions?
  2. Your dam. What blocks you?
  3. Your depth. Where does my compassion lay?
  4. Your swell. What enlightens you?
  5. Your crest. What is your breaking point?
  6. Your ship. What will make you successful?

 

Some other things you can do

I have listed other things that I will be doing throughout the month and that I have done in the past as well.

– Write a Letter to someone who you have something to say too.

– Clean your house, car or office

Research and learn about how other traditions and cultures view and use the element of LOVE. If we look at the history of our ancestors, there is a direct correlation between LOVE and spirituality. For some Native American tribes Love is the creative life force. Hindu traditions consider LOVE to be a purifier, life giver, and the destroyer of evil. In the more recent western cultures, the Christian church places significant importance on LOVE as well, in their practices of baptism. Research your own tradition and ancestral practices and their uses and beliefs associated with LOVE.

– Attune yourself to the element of LOVE by evaluating your relationships (parents, children, companions, friends). Science states that our bodies are comprised of approximately 60% of LOVE. Metaphysically, then we can only assume that LOVE and its energy can affect us on a spiritual level and vice versa. According to the Japanese author and researcher Dr. Masaru Emoto, he claimed that our thoughts and emotions could influence water’s molecular structure. He analyzed frozen water crystals that were exposed to thoughts and feelings of positive emotions and found them to have beautiful geometric designs and water influenced by negative thoughts and emotions appeared to create jagged and ugly looking shapes7. Although, Emoto’s work is widely regarded as pseudoscience and has yet to be proven scientifically, there may still be something in his findings, spiritually. If our thoughts can affect the molecular structure of LOVE, then what effect might our thoughts have on our bodies and our emotions? Because our emotions also affect our relationships these two are both closely related to the energy of LOVE. Evaluate your relationships and the emotions they cause. In doing so, you open yourself up to a better understanding of the energy of LOVE.

– Study the correspondences of herbs, oils, and crystals associated with the element of LOVE. Create your own incense or oil recipe. The belief that unconnected things share a metaphysical connection is not an uncommon belief in many cultures and religions. Correspondences are not limited to just Witchcraft, Pagan, and other magickal traditions. Correspondences can also be found in Chinese and East Indian traditional medicine manuals and in many of the worlds religious teachings. This may be the reason that there are so many connections and yet so many differences among the teachings of Witchcraft. Nonetheless, this is what makes modern and eclectic Witchcraft so wonderful. Today, many Witches create their own correspondences based on their own experiences and personal beliefs. However, the one core concept they all share is that everything in nature has a special meaning and can be used in the magickal world. Use these special meanings to create your own LOVE oil or incense based on what you researched.

Create and perform a spell using the element of LOVE as its focus. LOVE and its magick are often used for healing and purification. For centuries, believers have journeyed to sacred springs and source of LOVE, and more recently people visit spas and hot springs in the hope of relaxation and of being healed. Just as then, the Witches of today understand the energy of LOVE. The practice of ritual bathing to wash away unwanted energies and to shift their consciousness can be seen in many traditions of Witchcraft and many other religions as well. However, these are not the only purposes. LOVE has many uses in magick. Create a spell using LOVE as its main focus or tool.

Children and Samhain

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The Halloween season for children and adults alike is a very sensory time of year. With costume parades, haunted hay rides, the thrill of wearing big comfy sweat shirts, the scuffing of feet on the way to school or work, the smell of autumn fires and my favorite the pumpkin spice coffee and treats popping up everywhere: all these things mean autumn and activate our senses in amazing ways. This time of year not only activates our muggle senses but our spiritual ones as well. We all know that this time of the year the veil becomes thinner, and it seems to be thinning earlier and earlier every year. I really believe this is due to ourselves, the Witch and non Witch collectively putting out it into the universe. With the department stores putting out decorations and supplies as early as Labor Day and with more and more emphasis on parties, costumes, and decorations growing each year we are bringing the underworld ever more closer. If you haven’t noticed, this holiday has become enormously popular, and even other related holidays, such as Mexico’s Dios de la Muerte (“The Day of the Dead”) are receiving more notice too. Television networks are showing horror films and Halloween sitcoms all month-long. All this unintentional intent is being put out in to the universe causing us to open the gates earlier for our beloved dead and wandering spirits to cross. If we are as adults experiencing this hyper-activity of spirits and spiritual occurrences, than children are definitely as well.

Since Samhain is the time when our ancestors may find it easiest to visit us, you can have your children ask for dreams about people they know who have passed on. If you think this will frighten your child, by all means don’t do it. But if your child has fond memories of a grandparent or other relative who has died, you can have them ask to be visited in their dreams. Tell them that their relative loves them very much and would like to see them and maybe give them advice. Suggest that they can tell their relative about any accomplishments or big events that have happened recently. As they lie in bed to fall asleep, help them say aloud that they would like to dream about a certain person. Have them focus on their memories of that person as they fall asleep.

If this is something that you or your child is uncomfortable with, there are many ways to celebrate the season. Remember that children often will not fully understand how you view this time of year especially when there is so much going on around them. I have found it best to separate the concepts of Halloween and Samhain. Although they are tied together in history and practice for children Halloween is Halloween; let them dress up and trick-or-treat. However, after they’ve collected all their candy, be sure that they leave a few pieces for the ancestors, as an offering.

Holding a family ritual is another great way for children to understand the spiritual aspects of the holiday. Keep it simple by doing the prep work ahead of time. You might want to create rituals about whatever you and your children might want to lett go of, be that a loved one, warm days, or a beloved summer shirt.

If your family doesn’t have an altar for Samhain, set one up before you begin. Better yet, let the kids help you put things on it. Feel free to raid your Halloween decorations for ghosts, Witches, skulls, and bats. Have fun with it.

One thing I have done in the past for a family Samhain ritual was to create a strand of dried apple slices to decorate an altar. We included a slice for all of our family or friends who have past. This became a great opportunity to talk about offerings.

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Other seasonal activities that can provide “teachable moments:

Make a besom, or Witch’s broom.

Make resolutions, write them on a small piece of paper and bury them. This is similar to New Year’s resolutions; as for many Samhain is seen as the Witches New Year.

Have a family dinner setting a chair and meal for the dead, a less complex dumb supper.

Pumpkin carving is a traditional good activity to do on Samhain with children, as carved gourds originated with our Celtic ancestors.

Samhain is a great time to spend time with our loved ones who are still alive, too. Visiting your elderly relatives is an especially good way to celebrate, as they can probably tell you all sorts of fun stories about their childhood and what their parents and grandparents were like. If you don’t have any family close by, consider visiting a nursing home, perhaps in costume. Most nursing home residents love seeing children, and would probably get a kick out of seeing their Halloween costumes.

Make a Witches’ cord as an expression of what you hope to manifest in the year ahead.

Introduce different forms of divination. Samhain is seen as the beginning of the Pagan year; divination was usually done to see the future of the coming year. One practice that was always done in my family was to give the gift of tarot. I received my first deck on Samhain 30 years ago.

The point is don’t just create seasonal memories but lay the foundation for spiritual growth as well.  Happy Samhain!!

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Don’t forget to check out The Hierophant – Opening This Samhain.

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A Witch at Home: Awaking the Ancestors of the Land Pt 1

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As we step into the darker months of the year, I thought it would be fitting to write something relevant to the season. Although, it bothers me to no end how most modern Pagans and Witches only tend to focus on their ancestors and the dead during the Samhain season, I still thought it was a perfect time, especially after some recent events that unfolded at my home.

Since humans have walked this earth we have always had a sacred relationship with our dead. Whether it is because of our belief, fear, or need in the continued existence of the soul or the knowledge that they can and do influence our lives. Despite working with them or not our ancestors are our strongest allies, teachers, and guides. They are our link to the mysteries of the underworld, the land, and even sometimes the gods. Through ceremony, devotion and offerings, we call them back to being part of our lives and brings us back to our true nature. Unfortunately, modern society has put our ancestors on the back burner of tradition. Our dead are pushed aside for our own satisfaction. You die, your disposed of, and then left to a memory. We do this because of the selfish healing thought of out of sight, out of mind. Sadly, this way of thinking can even be found in the modern magickal traditions. Whereas, the only time the dead are honored are during the Samhain season. Although, over the last few years I have seen a larger focus of the dead in new writings and books this once a year reverence of dead is still very common. I wonder how many keep it as a part of their regular practice. With the exception of Hoodoo, Vodou, Santeria, Palo, and other indigenous and cultural traditions where the practice remains strong and the ancestors are regularly honored and called upon throughout the year. One other thing that I often see among modern practices is that the only ancestors given respect are the ones of blood. The ones found in your family tree are not the only ones we should be honoring and working with. The benefits of looking past our selfish lives are immeasurable.

Upon moving into my new house, I not only called to my blood ancestors to be reawakened to the house, but I also called and honored to dead of the land. Asking for protection and acceptance and in return I would honor them and honor their land. I wanted to let them know that they have not been forgotten and that we can coexist on the same land without harm or disrespect. Living in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania would mean that the majority of spirits and ancestors of the land are primarily of the indigenous American tribe of the Leni-Lenape. Now, because I have not traveled far from my first landing in Pennsylvania, I already was accustomed to their culture and ways and understand their needs. In fact, I have been working with these tribal spirits for years. However, it is more about honoring those spirits who reside on the property itself rather than the area of residence. When honoring and petitioning those ancestors of another culture and/or tradition, it is best practice to do so in ways they are accustomed to. You would not want to leave an offering of your family’s recipe for baked ziti, especially at first. Take the time to learn and understand their way of life. This act also shows respect.

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On the night of the most recent dark moon I set out to not only honor and awaken Hekate to the land, but more importantly the ancestors of the land. I started by collecting all the necessary items I needed for the ceremony, including offerings of tobacco and corn. With everything in hand, I proceeded outside and of course it started to rain once again. However, I wasn’t going to let that stop what needed to be done, despite what rain can do to my rattle and drum. As I walked around beating the drum I could feel them awaking with signs of curiosity. It wasn’t until I gave my offerings that I felt them ease off. After I was done, I sat down to ground and compose myself after the ceremony. This is when I began to see the spirits in full glory walking the property. A sign that I did well with my goal. Fast forward a few days later, I had a housewarming/birthday party planned, which by the end of the night had turned into a spirit fest. Although, this is nothing new when I get together with my spiritual family. However, this time it had tuned into more than just doing some spiritual work with friends. Due to the circumstances and people involved I will not discuss what transpired that night. One thing that I will tell you is about a dream I had after everyone had left. Before falling asleep, I started thinking of one of the gifts my friend had given me and how perfectly it fit into my plans for my bedroom. I was given a carved bear head for my wall. Which coincided with my idea to represent each directional animal on all four walls. At some point I fell asleep thinking of the north wall and having a buffalo skull there. In my dream the skull kept changing to a deer skull. Moving onto the next morning I woke up feeling like I was hit by a spiritual truck and had no plans to do any kind of magickal workings. However, the ancestors had other plans for me. As I was trying to relax, in walked my roommate’s son and asked me why there was a deer skull in the yard. What the hell was he talking about? So, I got up to entertain his antics and low and behold, there was not only a deer skull but its lower jaws as well. It was in the middle of the yard where we had been removing an old fence and had just mowed for the party. We would have seen this; how did it get there? First logical thought was someone from last night placed it there for fun. Upon inspection, I could see that it wasn’t just sitting there, it was partially embedded in the ground. I knew that it had something to do with what had happened the night before, but just didn’t know what. Was it a gift or a warning? I will be honest with you, I did panic a little bit. Even after all the weird and unbelievable things that I’ve seen and experienced over the years, I am still sometimes amazed and taken back. After freaking out and discussing the findings with a person who was involved with the nights previous events, I set out to connect to find the answers. Turns out it was a gift from the ancestors of the land. What a better gift to give a Witch on his birthday, than a skull. I also knew that this was not just an act of kindness from the spirits, but an acknowledgement of my working with them.

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The results of working with the ancestors are not always what is expected, but something you can always count on is that as long as you honor them regularly they will be present in your life. It brings a type of wholeness and balance to everyday life that may not be present without that extra guiding hand. Working with them is like working with your own personal army. If you enter a regular practice you can always count on that army for protection, love, and the occasional odd happenings that can blow your mind. As my close friend would say “You can’t make this shit up”.

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A Witch at Home: Outdoor Altars and Shrines

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There is a reason why my posts and I have been M.I.A. I have picked up my broom (which still needs to be fixed and saged) and moved to the Pocono mountains. The move has taken a lot of my time, with unpacking and organizing. So now that my altar, office, and most of the house has been put in place I can start focusing on my projects again. Thanks to the non-stop raining here all that’s really left to do is to find a home for the outside altars. Hekate was very vocal about where her altar should be. Oshun has chosen her spot next to the creek that runs right through the property and the ancestors have chosen a knotted-up apple tree as their home. Although, the places have been set, they need to be fed and awaken to the energies and relics need to be placed.

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With this on my mind, I thought this would be a perfect time to write a post about outside altars and shrines.

Before we discuss a few ways to set up outdoor sacred spaces, lets take a look at the basics of what they are.

There is a slight deference in what an altar is and what a shrine is. A shrine is a sacred place, which can be dedicated to a specific deity, ancestor, or similar figure of respect, where they are venerated or worshipped. Shrines often contain statues, relics, or other special objects associated with whom the shrine is for. Shrines are found in many of the world’s religions, including Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, and the Pagan traditions. They can be found in almost every setting, such as churches, temples, cemeteries, or in and outside of the home. It is a sacred place that is dedicated to its resident. Prayers, blessings, and respect are the main focus for shrines, no other work is usually done at a shrine. If offerings are made or any other type of spiritual work is done, then it would be considered an altar.

An altar is any structure upon which offerings are made, ceremonies are held and is usually consecrated for spiritual purposes. Just like shrines they can contain statues, relics, or anything related to its specific workings.

Building a Permanent Outdoor Altar/Shrine

When first building your outside altar or shrine, be sure to ask its resident(s) where they would like to be placed. Begin by quieting your mind, relax open yourself up to the specific energies or call out to whom you are trying to connect with. Next turn slowly, notice if there is one particular direction that pulls or speaks to you. Walk in this direction, slow and deliberate. Pay close attention to shifts in energies and whether you are drawn one way or another.  Look and listen for signs or messages. Always ask for a confirmation.

Remember when constructing an outdoor altar or shrine keep in mind that the conditions around the area that has been chosen. Your altar’s area may become wet, flood, or have strong cross winds. If possible take consideration to these conditions. You also want to be able to safely access the altar, if the location is not safe, ask the resident for another location because it is unsafe or un accessible.

If you’re lucky to live in a wooded area and want to make a stone altar, but there are no rocks in to be found you will have to carry your rocks. As with any altar, you will want to try to use objects that are native to the area. You also want to make sure that your materials won’t harm the wild and plant life around. If you also plan to leave offerings, be mindful not to leave something that could be harmful.

Once the area is set, it should be dedicated in however your tradition calls for or how and what you feel is necessary.

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The Art of Living a Magickal Life

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Recently, I was asked to be the keynote speaker at Iron Garden. For those who don’t know who or what the Iron Garden is, it is an eclectic night-kind community found in NJ. I highly recommend checking out their website. This blog post is based of the speech I wrote for their event.

At first, I was a little reluctant about being a keynote speaker, not because of the atmosphere that Iron Garden employs, but because I had no idea what I was going to talk about. Of course, talking about the typical Witchcraft and Magickal topics would have been easy, but after looking at Iron Garden’s past events, I knew It had to be something special and different. it turned out that the very thing that brought me to this point, would also bring me to my topic. I like to consider myself a Witch, and an Artist by choice and intention, and an Author by divine persuasion and to my own astonishment. I’ve studied and worked hard in becoming a Witch and an Artist because this was the path I chose to follow. it’s what I wanted to do. Of course, I have had my teachers and guidance along the way, but It was all due to my intention.

Ten years ago, I never would have thought I would be or even wanted to be an author, let alone being asked to be a keynote speaker. The idea of writing books was never a life goal for me, it was my guides who thought otherwise. I truly thought they were out of their Divine minds, me, writing books. I was an artist not an author. Fast forward 3 years later, I have written three books, magazine articles, and maintain a blog. All while still creating art, although that has also taking a surprising spiritual turn as well.

I have a very busy and magickal life. There is not a second that goes by that doesn’t have a magickal component to my life. Even in my classroom when I am wiping snotty noses, I am connected to the magick of the universe. Maintaining this magickal life has become an art all its own. I can attribute everything I am and do to being aware and listening to my intuition, my deities, my ancestors, and who and whatever else decides to throw their mystical two cents in.

What does it mean to live a magickal life?

Living a magickal life means being constantly in tune with the spiritual world around you, it’s about listening and being open to your intuition and to the messages from your spiritual guides. It happens twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, three hundred sixty-five days a year. Does this mean you need to run around shouting “Love and Light to all” of course not, that’s crazy. So instead I talk to the dead and spirits of animals.

The image most people have of those living a magical life is often of a robed priest or priestess, dancing around a bonfire, under the full moon, or mixing exotic herbs in a mortar and pestle. While this can seem very exciting and theatrical, alas we are not Laurie Cabot.

Actually, most of the time life can seem pretty daunting and un-magickal, between caring for our families, going to work, going to school, cleaning the house, running around stubbing our toe on that box we have meaning to put away since January. However, all it takes is a shift in perspective to see how the mundane can become magickal. Magick can be incorporated into your daily life simply just by being mindful and putting a little extra effort into your everyday life. You don’t have to perform an elaborate ritual every day to be connected. It’s about being aware of the simple things around you.

One way is by paying attention to the natural world, the seasons, the phases of the moon and how the world around you affect the way you feel or how it may correspond to aspects of your life. By doing this you are actually tuning in to the energies of the universe, which can give insight to how life will be during those times.

Secondly, Take the time to get in touch with nature and the land you live on. Even if you live in a big city, there is nature all around you. Just take a second and connect with that weed growing in a crack of the sidewalk. He may feel just as lonely as you do or he may have advice on how to deal with that loneliness.

Another way is to listen to your gut, your intuition. This takes a little practice but once you understand the feelings, life changes for the better. In most cases your intuition is your first thought or feeling, the first thing that pops into your mind and trust me it’s usually not the most logical of thoughts.

Lastly, when you are doing something mundane, think about how you can use it in a magickal application. For example, when you’re baking cookies, consider what sort of magickal working you can incorporate into the recipe. There is nothing wrong with adding a little passion magick to a meal you make for a lover.

Another way I found that helps is to keep a sort of magickal schedule and routine. It’s about dedicating yourself to doing one magickal act every day of the week. I believe so much in this practice that I created an entire curriculum around its use. In my second book, A Modern Witch’s curriculum, which will be released in June that is based on a weekly schedule, whereas each day, week, and month has a theme.

Of course, as with anything, this schedule can be as simple or as complex as you want to make it and not only will it keep you connected but can open the doors to learning about your path and yourself as well.

There are also a few other practices that you can incorporate into your daily magickal life, such as regularly openly communicating with your deities and spiritual guides. Through daily meditation and devotions with your deities and guides you keep the lines of communication open. This is by far is more complex of the methods of spiritual guidance there is. It doesn’t happen overnight.

One practice that I find the most rewarding is working with your ancestors. By building a relationship with your ancestors you can inherit valuable information about almost anything. Who better to get advice from then someone who has lived through it.

There are many ways we can reconnect with our ancestors, some of which you probably already do.

Some of the most common ways to connect with them is with use of:

Relics: these are personal belongings of the deceased, photos, written items by that person, even the cremated remains of loved ones.

Altars and shrines: Altars are a place to hold your collection of relics and to give offerings and whereas shrines are usually dedicated to one person and temporary at the time of death until they are moved to your altar. However, both are a place to honor and communicate with them.

Offerings: are how we feed the dead, we are not physically feeding them, we are feeding the link between us and the physical world and the spirit world.

Communication: conversations are a form of offering. At first this may seem a little strange, but once you do it after a few times it becomes easier. When starting out openly speaking to the dead I recommend you do this just before bed. You may find that you may receive answers to your conversations in your dreams

By connecting or reconnecting with our ancestors we bring the past and present together and bridge the gap between generations. They are and will become a foundation to your magickal life.

One of the most asked about of my practices is with working with animal spirits. Of course, this could be an entire blog post on its on as there is so much information. But what I will say is, if an animal spirit has something to say it will show up over and over again until it is heard. One rule of thumb that I follow is, if it shows up three times consecutively it has something to say.

Another question I am often asked is, how do you know if it’s a message or if it’s your imagination? There is two ways to answer this question.

1. Ask for validation. It’s ok to ask the spirits to validate your thoughts and questionings.

2. Be aware of possible causes. If you are constantly seeing a deer on your way home from work, is it because it’s in the evening when they come down out of the mountains to graze, or maybe it is hunting season when deer seem to be running amok?

I know of an acquaintance that swore up and down, backwards and sideways that her spirit animal was the red tail hawk and that they follow her everywhere and even circle her home. Ok, yes, she lives off a mountain where red tails frequent, however, they do not regularly circle, especially in multiples. Although, I had a feeling I knew what these birds were, I just left it alone. Until, one day we were together at an event, and she pointed out “her” hawks. I looked up and what do you think I saw circling above…. Yep, turkey vultures! Nope not a sign, just normal animal behavior.

Whether you are working with deities, the dead or animal spirits, the simplest way to connect to them is sending out your intentions to make contact.

And Although, these practices can take a little more work than the previous, they can be very helpful in making your life magickal.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t try. If you open yourself up to the endless possibilities, the possibilities for yourself could be endless.

Living a magickal life really is an art, it’s about being able to balance the mundane and the magickal. it’s living consciously and subconsciously, in harmony with the worlds around us and to the best of your ability. It’s about acquiring knowledge, not only about magickal practices, but about yourself and your own life.

 

 

The Modern Witch’s Curriculum will be available for pre-order in late May.

Nominate Author, E. Massey for a Witch Way Magazine Award

 

 

 

 

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 will only be available FREE!

until the end of October. 

Download it today at:

www.e-massey.com and at:

The Veil: A Game of Tug of War

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If you ask my Witchy friends and spiritual family “what is the most annoying thing that I do? they would probably say “ He always needs to know why something is the way it is.” Although, this is one hundred percent true, it usually only pertains to spiritual topics and not so much to the mundane. I have a tendency to question everything and want to know the reasons why. I cannot accept the answers of “it just is” or “because that’s the way we do things”. I am sorry; I have to have a logical and even sometimes scientific reason for things. I am often told that I should just believe without questioning. For me the way to believe in something is that I have to fully understand it or at least have some kind of practical theory behind it. Continue reading