Happy Thanksgiving!

I’ve been trying to come up with something meaningful to write today. The idea of the magickal attitude of gratitude was on the top of my mind. But the most magickal part of that is making it a habit. It’s not meant to be relegated to one day out of 365. I’ve also been considering recounting all the things for which I’m grateful today, as so many others are doing. Well, that would be insane, because there is too much! It would be the world’s longest blog-post ever! So I’m going to quote my favorite film and then go about my day. I’m going to spend it enjoying all of those wondrous things for which I’m grateful.

The film is “Joe vs. the Volcano”. Yes, yes, I know, mixed reviews. For me it is a classic of symbolism. Joe’s journey from asleep to awake…. REALLY Awake… is beautiful, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes triumphant. There is a scene where Joe may be dying. He knows it. And instead of sadness, fear or remorse, it is gratitude that overcomes him, and a realization that our time should never be wasted. He looks up at that gigantic moon, struggles to stand and raise his arms and says:
“Dear God, whose name I do not know…. Thank you! Thank you for my life! I forgot…. how…. BIG!”

joe moon

And that is all.   Enjoy your blessings today and all days!!

Archive: Fun with the Interwebs!

 

 

computer frustration

In honor of my daughter telling me about her troubles with the phone company, I thought I’d post a little piece I wrote years ago for a writing aptitude test.  My assignment was to write a “How To” article.  Enjoy!

 

How to Pay (something like) an Eleventh Hour Electric Bill, Online.

Items needed: One slightly scattered brain and a vague awareness that the electric company will soon be leaving you in the dark.

Step one: Sit at your computer with no information and Google the name of your electric company. (After learning that the key words found in your Electric Company’s name are shared by a film production company of negligible merit, select the most likely target.)

Step two: Determine where on this vast website there might be hidden the “Pay Your Bill” icon.

Step Three: Discover that you must provide ALL of the esoteric information found in the small print on your statement in order to be deemed worthy of paying the company via the world wide web. (Spend the next 30 minutes searching for your statement.)

Step Four: After entering all of the pertinent information, it is time to choose a username and password. Try to choose a username that has meaning for you so that it’s easy to remember for next time. . . and then modify that to an unrecognizable degree in order to satisfy the requirements of the cruel webmaster. Next, carefully select a secure password and click on the “Submit Registration” button.

Step Five: After carefully selecting 26 other “already in use” secure passwords – use the following example as a guide: XYZElectricCompanySTINX! That will usually work. Congratulations! You’re now a registered user!

Step Six: Locate the Registered User Bill-Pay option and click on that.

Step Seven: Upon arriving at the “This Web Page Cannot Be Displayed” page, throw your hands in the air and call the 800 number on your statement to pay by phone.

Next up! How to Navigate your Utility Company’s Phone Tree!

phone call

A Magickal Arizona Treasure Hunt

arizona cactus

After picking up my life and following a whim and moving to Arizona about 5 months ago, I am still learning about my new home state.  I’ve visited Sedona and the Grand Canyon several times before and the spiritual lure of those places played a very large part in my decision to move here.  From the first time I saw the Canyon, I felt at home there.  I felt as though I’d been there before.  (And I had!  But we’ll save that delightful story for another day!)  The power and force of our Mother Earth which makes itself evident in the beauty and the Vortex sites in Sedona had me convinced, long ago, that I would eventually call this place home.  So what better time to explore the wonders of my new home than when a loved one is visiting!

My daughter came all the way from New York for a week and  we spent last week adventuring and exploring as much of this beautiful state as we could fit in! We started with a bit of a shopping spree at The Fountain Hills Arts and Craft fair, then took a ride up the scenic Apache Trail to Tortilla Flat.

tortilla flat


That night we rode up the Cave Creek for some great Cowboy atmosphere at the Buffalo Chip and Harold’s

Buffalo CHIP

We discovered a new attraction in Scottsdale The Butterfly Wonderland!  Then we were off to explore Jerome, AZ, the “World’s Most Vertical City!” – There were some great little shops, wineries and eateries!

We hiked the Hermit’s Trail along the rim of the Grand Canyon and climbed Cathedral Rock in Sedona.  We also did a Jeep tour and this, I believe, was a bit of magick.  A few weeks ago, I received an offer from Living Social for a Vortex Site Jeep Tour in Sedona.  I thought it would be a fun thing for Maggie and I to do, so I bought the voucher.  It turns out that this particular tour company, was not your typical candy pink, look at the pretty rocks kind of tour.  This tour was given by a company called Earth Wisdom Jeep Tours.  Larry, our guide for this 2.5 hour tour spoke of the teachings that our Mother Earth still tries to impart, though most of us aren’t listening.  He brought us to a lovely garden containing a labyrinth and a medicine wheel.  He spoke about the spirit of the earth, the healing herbs She gives us, and the beauty that fills a space in our souls.  He brought us to vortex sites that felt absolutely wonderful and taught us of the scientific reasons behind the power and energy of these sites.  And when we reached a high plateau where we could see 360 degree views and watch the sun set, he told us of his love for a particular ancient Juniper tree. And he hugged her and I felt very at home.  He even played a lovely interlude of Native American Flute while we enjoyed the scenery.  No my friends, this was no ordinary Sedona Jeep Tour.  I had accidentally found a precious gem.  And I will return.  I suggest you give it a try yourselves if you find yourself in the area.

earth wisdom

And finally, this week of wonder was peppered with another wonderful experience- one that anyone anywhere can enjoy.  We were scavenger hunting the whole time!  For those of you who don’t yet know about Geocaching,  I highly suggest you check it out.  This is really my daughter’s thing… but I plan to start up my account again.  This is a worldwide treasure hunt!  You just go to the site and sign up, download the app to your smart phone and you’re off!  The site uses GPS to help you locate and log little boxes of treasure that are hidden by other Geocache members just about anywhere you are.  You check your phone app to see what is near you and go hunting.  Each Cache site gives hints and tips to help you find the cache.  Some are tin or tupperware boxes full of little trinkets for trade.  There’s an honor system of “take something, leave something”.  The boxes can contain anything from actual cash to little trinkets, buttons or charms.  I once traded some costume earrings for earbud headphones. Some are so small that all that can be included is paper on which to log the fact that you found it… that’s right, bragging rights!  And once you get into this, I guarantee you’ll get a kick out of just being able to say that you found it!  Some are very cleverly hidden in plain sight.  Others require quite a bit of hunting.  This activity adds so much fun to whatever traveling you do, whether it’s a trip to your local grocery store or a distant travel adventure.  Geocaching can add a whole new dimension to the fun!  We found seven Geocache sites in the seven days we had together.  Try it!  You’ll be addicted in no time!

So that’s my little Arizona travel log for last week – a week which ended in a full moon!  How appropriate!

I’m so grateful to Maggie, my 21 year old, vibrantly alive, beautiful, funny, smart, WONDERFUL daughter for spending this week galavanting with her old crone mother!  I”m grateful for every bit of this time we had together.  I’m a lucky mom, the luckiest!

I hope you enjoyed reading this and I hope you’ll check out some of the wonderful site’s I’ve posted!

Blessings!

Standing Stone and Twisted Tree

twisted tree1

Hello Friends!  I’ve taken a few days off and it was well worth it.  There is so much for which to be grateful.  I’ve spent this past week with my wonderful daughter.  We’ve talked and laughed (to the point of tears).  We’ve shared some mystical experiences and have immersed ourselves in the beauty of Nature.  The Mother has blessed us this week!

I’ve always loved the invocation “Thee I invoke by the moonlit sea, by the standing stone and the twisted tree.”  Well, the standing stone and twisted tree come together nowhere more beautifully than at the Grand Canyon.  I love the way the trees take on an ancient, magical feel there, as if trying to match the age of the stone.  I feel very alive standing on the edge of this wonder.  And I’m so grateful to have been able to share the experience with my loves.  I have visited the Canyon with the people that I love most in the world and that is very gratifying.

I believe my next post will be a sort of travel-log.  But first, I wanted to show my appreciation for the wonders I have experienced this week.  Several times over the past few days, I’ve stood in places of surpassing beauty, feeling the energy of the The Mother, warm, powerful, comforting beneath my feet.  I have breathed in the scent of the Pinon Pines and the somehow spicy dry desert air.  I have turned my face to the sun and marveled as the moon grew to almost full in the cobalt blue sky. I spoke with a raven and she spoke back.  I caressed an ancient Juniper tree and felt the embrace returned.  For these gifts and many others, I say thank you.  In these moments, we invoke the Mother effortlessly.  When we wonder at the breeze, the color of the sky, the shapes in the stones and the amazing vista before us, She is there.  She reaches out for us the moment we reach for any of her creations.

This full moon, I will ask for nothing.  I simply say, “Thank You, Mother Earth, Father Sky, Sister Moon, Brother Sun.  Thank you, Animal Friends and Human Family! You have all bestowed great blessings upon me.  I wish you all of these and more!”
Continue reading

Maiden, Mother, Crone

my magster

That’s my daughter, Maggie! She’s visiting me in Arizona this week alllllll the way from New York. It’s been a couple of months since I’ve seen her, so this is a real thrill! Today we’re going to Pagan Pride day… among other things! It’s so gratifying and wonderful to share that with her. She’s a witch too. And I have to say, I’m pretty damn proud of the woman she’s becoming.

One of the things I learned, or figured out, or was given by the wisdom of the universe a while back had to do with motherhood and what is really important.  I started observing other parents and their children.  I watched mothers of little ones.  I analyzed relationships between mothers and their grown daughters.   I figured out that, whenever I was in a quandary about any issue in my own life, if I imagined my daughter in the same situation, instantly, I would know the wisest answer. We love our kids unconditionally, as we SHOULD love ourselves.   So when you take that perspective, suddenly, you know exactly what you have to do.  And it isn’t always the easiest thing or the most convenient thing… but it’s the RIGHT thing. Because our kids never grow up to do what we say.  They grow up to BE WHO WE ARE! So, If you want the best for your child, you have to do what’s best for you!  End of story!

We’re going to go have fun now!  Cause that’s what’s best for us today!  It’s in keeping with my recent blogs about laughter and gratitude.

May you all have a Sunday filled with joy and laughter and gratitude!

Blessed Be!

One

Dragonfly; an archive

dragonfly and girl

I was visited by one of these amazing creatures today… in November!! What a blessing! So I’m pulling out an old poem I wrote. Enjoy!

Dragonfly

Stained glass wings –
Rendered all but invisible by their vibrations
Zip, stop, reverse, hover, zip again
You greeted me, one day
I sat alone,
Watched your erratic flight
Observed your hunting technique
Bending space.. to YOUR time
To catch the morsel and save us from the bloodletting
I silently thanked you for your services.
Suddenly, without the need to travel the distance
You appeared close before my eyes and became still
For a moment – suspended
Wonderment spared me no time for thought
Then I watched your departure, slower,
More deliberate than your arrival.
It was only after you’d gone that I had time to be grateful for that moment
And find a description for the image that still hung in my mind
Still hangs here, to this day
Iridescent body, flashing greens, reds, purples to my eye
Crystal wings, a-blur around that perfect stillness
How can so much motion be accompanied by such serenity?
O beauty! Come once more, if you will,
For the image in my mind fades – and does you no justice.

Gratitude!

Alright! I think I’m finally ready to let go of the Samhain season! (Not Really!) But Thanksgiving fast approaches! And as I believe strongly in the magickal properties of thankfulness, I plan to devote a goodly portion of my writings between now and November 28th to the topic of gratitude.

I learned, first hand about this concept some years ago, when I worked very hard to change my own ways of thinking toward the positive. I began to notice that the things I was most grateful for started to increase and become more abundant. Some folks are naturally grateful, others have to practice. I had to practice.

And because today, there are many things for which this witch is grateful, I’m going to make this a quick blog, because my wonderful man is here waiting to watch a movie with me. My adorable kitten is purring and making goofy faces. It’s time to enjoy.

Think of whatever makes you happy and grateful and enjoy that. There will be more to come over the next couple of weeks. Watch this space for the formula to happiness as I have experienced it!

Blessed be!

The Magick of Laughter

laughter

I’ve often been told, and believe firmly, that Magick changes things and the first thing to change is the practitioner herself!

Today, I was reminded more than once of the healing properties of laughter. I remember hearing a news story about a woman with cancer whose holistic treatment (and cure!) included watching funny films regularly.

I began to wonder if I could craft a healing spell using laughter.  Would it involve casting a circle around an entire comedy club?  Hmmm… perhaps it would be better to a have a recording of some kind or some funny pictures.

The thing about laughter is that it’s so unpredictable.  There are the carefully crafted word plays or deeply humorous interactions that produce the merest chuckle. Yet, some jokes, while admittedly lame, will throw you into uncontrollable fits complete with snorts and tears. That suff’s GOTTA have some powerful medicine!

Often, the element of surprise is key in making the difference between a giggle and a full on belly laugh.  So, I’m thinking it might be difficult to plan a spell that will really get me laughing enough to make it magickal.

I don’t know, it’s just a thought, this laughing spell idea. And perhaps it will come to something someday.  I’ll be sure to let you know, dear readers!

But for now, because sometimes the real magick is in our everyday life and because our habits create our future, I’m simply going to resolve to laugh more often.  In fact, somewhere around here I think I have a Living Social voucher for a comedy club.  That’s a good start, circle cast or no. That is the next healthy, if not so magickal practice that I’ll be implementing to change this practitioner.

Wishing you much love and laughter, I remain ever, your Witch in the World

Ancestor Night

Last night I attended “Ancestor Night” at the beautiful Irish Cultural Center in Phoenix. The ritual was hosted by The Grove of the Rising Phoenix, which is a chapter of the ADF and the Wolf Pack, which is a local Heathen group.

Both of the above mentioned groups do a lot of work and volunteering for the Cultural Center, in order to provide for their communities this truly beautiful venue for rituals. There is a large courtyard, paved in cobblestone and surrounded by some green areas with trees and the buildings that comprise the Irish Cultural Center itself. Those buildings have a decidedly “old castle” look. What better place! AND…one of the truly nice things about living in Phoenix is the ease of holding ritual outdoors all year round.

The ritual itself was comprised of the Druid framework, which does not cast circle but creates sacred space by making offerings. First the “outdwellers” or any spirits who might be capable of causing harm or mischief to the ritual are given an offering, thereby purchasing peace. Then offerings are made to Mother Earth, The Land Spirits, The Cthonic Ones, Gods and Goddesses, to Brid, specifically, and finally to the Ancestors including the Nordic Ancient Mothers, the Disir and Ancient Fathers, the Alfar. Many were honored with song as well. There were many participants who made the different offerings and spoke parts with regard to the season and reasons for the rite. It felt sincere and praiseful and joyful and quite moving.

Once Sacred Space was undeniably and solidly established the folk (almost 100 of us, I think!) were given the opportunity to make our own offerings to our ancestors or loved ones who had passed. One of the leaders played bagpipes while the offerings went on.

Finally, we were treated to a deep and powerful meditation led by a member of the Heathen Group. We were guided deep into the earth under a sacred tomb, deep into our own personal ancestry and history. I felt as though I made a very personal connection.

And, of course, in true pagan style, the ritual was followed by a potluck feast and toasts to everyone who could be toasted. All in all, it was a great evening! I’m grateful to all of the leaders and helpers for putting this together and I look forward to being a part of this group in the seasons to come.

Brightest Blessings to the Wolf Pack and the Grove of the Rising Phoenix, the Irish Cultural Center and all those who participated!

Warning: Witch Rant Ahead!

Hi Readers!

Something stuck in my craw last night and so I thought, why not get it off my chest here! Lucky you! – Honestly, I promise not to rant too often but here goes.

Last night I watched the film “The Conjuring”.

Bathsheba

This lovely creature is the “Witch” Bathsheba who apparently caused all the trouble.  Yes, I said witch.  So here’s my review of the film.  The Conjuring is a well done, high tension, beautifully “Hollywood-formula” fright fest!  As entertainment, I would say it was right up there.  Bravo, director James Wan!

The trouble is that this is presented as “based on a true story”.  This is the story of an investigation by Paranormal researchers (pioneers of their industry), Ed and Lorraine Warren. They investigate the demonic possession of a farmhouse and family in Rhode Island.  Without including spoilers, I’ll just tell you that “Bathsheba” was supposedly an escapee from the Salem Witch trials.  There seemed to be an implication that the fear-based and ignorant atrocities in Salem in 1642 were somehow warranted because clearly there was some evil to be uncovered there. And, frankly, it irks me a bit that a 2013 film could imply that there might actually have been a good reason for hanging and or crushing 19 innocent people.  (Face Plant!) There was another statement made in response to the question, “How could a mother kill her own child?” The answer?  Get this!  Witches believe that this act of evil will elevate them in the eyes of their Lord Satan!  Yes, they said that!  (Face Plant #2)  These little bits of ignorance were enough to make me question everything else in the film, including the apparent benevolence of the would-be real-life heroes, the Warrens.  Also, throughout the film there are implications that Catholicism is the only religion (“Go to Church, have your children baptized”) wherein one can secure any hope of protection from the many demons bent on possession of humans.  And they’re everywhere people!  EVERYWHERE!

Last, but not least, the rented dvd included interviews with some of the folks involved in the Warrens’ New England Society for Psychic Research.  One of the minions thereof informed us that the use of Tarot cards or Ouija boards or Runes is a conscious decision to allow the evil in, like an invitation.  By the way, “Tarot” was pronounced like carrot and “Runes” was pronounced Ruins!  (Face Plant No. 3) Psychic Research, my broom!

Now I am all for mindlessly entertaining, jump-out-of-the-closet, things-under-the-bed, hopelessly terrifying films! Love ’em!  But don’t insult my intelligence by calling it a true story and by trying to bring back the teachings of the Malleus Maleficarum!  Then again, perhaps I was just moved to write this my My Lord, Satan!

End of Rant!

On a much lighter note, I’ll be attending a combination Druid/Heathen Ancestor night tonight.  That will be the uplifting and much more interesting topic of tomorrow’s blog.

Blessed Be!