May’s Flower Moon Ritual!

Hello dear readers! As I am unable to host a ritual at Witch in the World’s Cottage for May’s full moon, I thought I would give you this ritual that you can perform in your own groups or even as a solitary practitioner. Feel free to use all or any of the components given here. Change it up! Make it your own! And Enjoy! Happy Manifesting!

The Flower Moon is about expansion, blooming, bursting forth with life and color and beauty. It is a time of awakening, turning outward, expanding energies.

In preparation for this ritual, set yourself an intention which will be the focal point for the magickal working of this ritual. This should be some area of your life where you want grand, quick, explosive, expansive growth. Do you want your business to boom? Or your love life to be suddenly action packed? Would you like to have sudden prolific creativity for your art or work? Think it over a bit and discover what specific are of your life needs expansion.

Now you will prepare a talisman to be used in ritual. I used rocks on which I painted flowers, but be creative! Think of a talisman that is representative of the energies of blooming flowers and have it (or them) ready before your ritual. As you choose and create the talisman, think about your specific intention.

Make your altar and ritual space flowery and colorful. If you include worship of god and goddess in your rituals, choose representations of them for your altar, like candles or statues or images.

Create Sacred Space!

There are many ways to do this. Without going into excruciating detail, I’ll share my usual process.
1. Cleansing and clearing the space: I will typically smudge and use consecrated water and salt mixture to sprinkle around the space, as well as incense and a candle representing the light of spirit.  This consecrates the space with the elemental energies.

2. Cast a circle.  There innumerable incantations which can be used to do this.  Visualize a space around you and your company that is intended to protect, and shield as well as to contain the energies and powers raised during the working.

3. Call quarters.  I tend to call guardians from the four cardinal directions, invoking the elementals that correspond.

4. Invoke Deity.  Bring in the generic god and goddess or the god and goddess of your choosing.  Always invoke with respect and gratitude.  I usually light a candle for each to represent their presence in circle.

5.  The working!  I designed this particular working specifically for May’s Flower Moon.  Place your talisman or group of talismans in a bowl on the altar.  At the right moment you are going to direct the energy that you’ve raised into the talismans.

And you will be raising that energy by Blooming!

Here’s how?  If you are in a group, form a spiral in the center of the circle.  This should be a very tight spiral, like a bud, everyone’s head is bowed.  Link your arms together, close in shoulder to shoulder, as close as you can get.

The acting high priestess  should be on the outside end and will read the following visualization.  But this is not a calm, serene, meditative  visualization.  This should generate energy, beginning with a certain amount of tension between the participants as they stand shoulder to shoulder.  I chose to set this to a karaoke version of “Right Now” by Van Halen.  It had the right tempo and the right rise of the energy of the song. It also begins with a piano that sounds a bit like rain.  But choose whatever music works for you.

During the “blooming” think about flowers bursting into bloom – high speed, one after the other – every beat of the music will be another bloom – until – when the high priestess says “Right NOW! BLOOM!”   everyone takes a step back, opening the spiral and raising arms to the sky, placing all the energy into the cone that forms at the top of the circle.  As the priestess is reading this, her voice is rising in excitement and volume until it is practically a scream by the end.

The high priestess will then use a sword, athame, wand or her fingers to collect that energy and direct it into the bowl of talismans.

If you are performing this ritual as a sole practitioner, you’ll have to read through the visualization several times before the ritual and practice running through the scenario in your mind’s eye, until you feel confident that you can raise energy with it.  You would simply crouch down and make yourself small, arms folded, head down, until the right cue in the music comes and then you stand and bloom as above.

The Music Starts..
“ It’s raining. You’re in a field of green. Vast, endless green, leaves, stems and buds, ready to bloom. You actually feel the pressure of growth around you. You become aware that you are one of them, one of these wildflowers. Your roots, delicate but strong, stretch and intertwine into the ground.

You can feel the nutrients drawn up from the earth to your stem, to your bud. The tension and energy is building. The rain has stopped and the clouds are clearing now. The warmth of the sun beats down on you… enticing your bud to open.

You are at the ready – with an urgent need to burst forth in color, in brilliance. You notice some of the green field in the distance changing.

Sudden color begins to transform the field. One flower after another explodes open with it’s beautiful petals encouraging the bloom next to it. The full spectrum of colors is represented here… the rainbow, the bursting open spreads towards you.

Each bloom more vivid than the one before… closer to you. Continue seeing the flowers bloom!

Every beat of the music is another bursting forth of color! And another …. And another!! … they keep coming. You look to the other side of the field and see the color and blooming spreading there as well.

The power of the sun and the earth and the energy of this full moon are coursing through you… stronger and stronger. It’s so hard to contain!

Another bloom and another … nearer they come….

All you need is the energy of a close-by bloom to fulfill your purpose… they keep blooming … closer and closer, a red, a yellow one – a brilliant blue, a purple so bright it hurts your eyes… one bloom another!
Another Closer to you and Closer . . . see each one in your mind’s eye – how beautiful… how much you long to become – to open – to LIVE in the Sunshine! …
until finally…. RIGHT NOW! BLOOM!

The priestess now gathers the energy raised and directs it into the talismans.  When she gives the sign that this is done, each practitioner is invited to take their talisman.

6.  After the working, in my tradition, is the celebration of the Great Rite.  But this can be a celebration of any kind you like.  This is a time for joy and confidence in the work that you’ve done.  You must contain within yourself a solid belief that your magick is powerful and is successful.  This is also a time for some form of exaltation of the god and goddess.

7.  Cakes & Ale.  At this time I usually pass around cakes and ale (or cookies and wine or fruits and champagne, whatever you like and think is appropriate).  These are shared among all the practitioners as a final celebration.

8.  Bidding farewell to the god and goddess and the elemental energies that were invoked.  They are usually dismissed in the opposite order in which they were invoked.  Last in, first out, etc.

9. Opening circle.  Again, this can be done in many different ways.  The idea is that the sacred space that you have built should be taken up again, as though cleaning up after yourself.

 

And there you have it.  The Flower Moon!  Use it as you like and may your magick be powerful!

Please feel free to put questions in the comments at the bottom of this post if you have any!

Blessed Be!

 

 

Note: all sources for pictures are linked to the images except for the author’s original photography.

13 Weird Tips to Improve your Spellcraft (Parts 2 & 3)

So, You’ve already read Part 1 of this post, right???  If not, You absolutely must because the first 5 tips are the most important!  Go Read it.  Here. Then come back.

Part 2 – Preparing for Spellcraft/When and When NOT to Cast: 

spell-casting-fantasy-art

There is a time for a spell and there is a time to wait.  Sometimes knowing when, and when NOT, to cast is just as important as the components of the spell itself.  Following are some tips to help you determine when is the right time and to prepare for the spell you want to cast. (The inspiration for this particular tip comes courtesy of Bernadette Montana, fabulously witchy proprietress of Brid’s Closet in Cornwall, NY and High Priestess of her own rather phenomenal coven.  Check her out!)

        6.          Question Everything.

Once you’ve an idea to work a spell, start questioning it.  Play your own devil’s advocate, so to speak.  Ask yourself why you want this outcome. Try to ascertain whether you REALLY want it with your WHOLE Will.  (See #4)

The depth and breadth of your questioning, of course, should be commensurate with the scope of the spell.

If it’s a simple spell for some fast cash, you may not spend as much time on this step as you would if it is a spell to change your whole career and start a new life.

Broad scope spells have a much higher chance of yielding questionable results.  Explore the possible outcomes.  You may have in your mind that a great new job is offered to you in your chosen profession in a city where you’d love to live.

But what might happen instead is that you lose your current job, causing a move to another city to be necessary to reduce expenses, followed by a struggle to obtain a position in the career of your choosing. (Note: this type of result can be largely mitigated by practicing step 4 above.)

And if you’re okay with either route, then that’s fine, but just ask the questions and be sure, at the outset that you’re ready for the possibilities.  And, by the way, knowing yourself, as is facilitated by steps 1-5 is extremely helpful in this endeavor.

     7.            Clean Your Side of the Street.

sweeping

 

If your spellcraft involves other people and if your working has anything to do with something that was done by someone else, you’ll want to pay special attention to this step.

Check your intentions and motives.  Examine the situation as objectively as you can and look for the possibility that you may have misunderstood something or that there may be a way to solve this issue with relationship work, talking or a simple apology and an opening of a door to healing.

Make sure that you’ve done all you can, personally, to solve the issue before resorting to magick. Which brings us to….

 8.          Actual WORK.  

There is footwork to be done in the mundane world in order to set the stage for any magick to work.

If your spell is about a job, you’d better get your resume in order and be searching the want ads, or networking in your field.

If your spell is to sell your house and find that home of your dreams, you’d better have contacted a realtor, saved up some money for closing expenses and tidied up and repaired your house to the best of your abilities.

Do the earthly work that will help your magic work.  You MAY even find that taking this step eliminates the need for magick.  Do everything in your power in the material realm first.  Then do your spell, if you still need to.

Part 3 – Now that You’ve decided to Wield that Magic Wand:

Ok, so you’ve decided to do a spell.  Let’s get down and dirty with the crafting of something truly magickal!

witch-casting

9.         Study the Greats!

I struggled a little with the idea of including this step with the top five.  It sort of belongs in both places.  By “the Greats”, what I mean is great magicians of literature, wise sages of magickal workings, those powerhouses of mystical theory and history that have forged the way for the witchy revolution that is taking place these days.

Gerald Gardner, Alex and Maxine Sanders, Dione Fortune, Doreen Valiente, Aleister Crowley, Eliphas Levi.  And go back further to Hermes Trismegistus, Heraclitus, Plato, Ptolemy, King Solomon.  The list is endless and study of their work and philosophies is valuable any time.

But before your spell begins, try to do some research into the specifics of that spell in history.  We have modern greats too!  There are so many great magickal “cookbooks” out there!  Check out the work of Judika Illes in the “Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells” and Dorothy Morrison in “Utterly Wicked”.  The point is, study up on the type of magick you wish to perform.  Gather ideas. Check correspondences. Do your homework.

10.         Align With the Cosmos.

cosmos-align

Timing can be very important to some spells.  You must pay attention to things like moon phases, astrological positions, void of course intervals.

I don’t plan every single spell that I do around all of these factors, but I do consider them and decide whether to postpone or speed up my process depending on the positions and influences of the celestial bodies.

11.  Divine! 

It is a great idea to do a divination regarding the spell you want to cast.  You can gain information about the possible outcomes and the things you need to know or do to help make it a success.

I usually use Tarot, which is a great indicator as to your own psyche’s readiness for the outcome as well as advisor on possible components to include in the crafting of the working.

But if your preferred form of divination is something different, have at it.  Grab your pendulum, crystal ball, runes or Ouija board.   It’s just a good idea to do this before casting for those extra insights you may need.  And upon divining you should…

12.        Use your Intuition!

Once you’ve done all of this footwork, then, trust yourself.  Use your own innate wisdom and intuition, fueled by the personal power you’ve cultivated in steps 1 thought 5, the introspection and mundane channels you’ve gained from steps 6 through 9 and all of the knowledge acquired through this step to decide exactly how to cast this fabulous spell.  You’ve done the work, now waive that wand, witch!

13.          Look for Synchronicities – and Acknowledge Successes!

Once you’ve cast your spell, with confidence in its outcome of course, keep aware.  Notice the small synchronicities that usually show up while the magick does its work.  You may see little indications that your magick is afoot!

For example, after casting that new career spell, perhaps you will see a logo for a company you’d love to work for which has an image that precisely matches something you used in your spell.  Take that as the sign that it is and get your resume in front of a decision-maker in that company.  You have to pay attention and see what channels your magick may open up and then follow them!

Acknowledge and appreciate when you see these indications of the change you desire.

Now get out there and put your wonderful magick out into the world and share your successes with me!  I’d love to hear your stories!  With permission, I’d even love to share them with my audience in future blogs!  E-mail me at Renee@WitchintheWorld.com!

And if you’d like to work with me for coaching or divinations check out this page or email to the above!

Happy Witching!

13 Weird Tips to Improve your Spellcraft (Part 1)

The title for this article was the suggestion of a good friend of mine, who also happens to be a badass witchy wise woman.

maria-bird Maria Bird is a Strategic Motivator and Coach who can help you address many issues, no matter what your current situation. She has helped women recovering from abusive relationships to gain their confidence back and assisted top-level executives in upping their game. She teaches simple techniques using NeuroLinguistic Programming, Ericksonian Methods, mindfulness and voice to challenge and motivate her clients to reach their highest potential. Thank you for this great idea, Maria!

Part 1 – Maintaining your Magickal Prowess:

The first five tips here are related to making sure you are fit and ready to do spell work when you need it. These five practices help to keep your mind and consciousness in tip-top shape as a magickal practitioner.
If you’re not practicing these things on a regular basis, just don’t do magick. It won’t work the way you want it to.

I work closely with my coaching clients on cultivating all of these practices, so if you want some help in any of these areas, contact me. For the sake of keeping this article from becoming novel-length, I’ll boil it down to the bare minimum of basics.

meditation-techniques-bodhi-tree
1. Meditate.

A regular practice of meditation is the single most important tool in my magickal arsenal.

It’s really difficult to narrow down the benefits a meditation practice affords to a witch in her craft, but I’ll just give you a short list of the things you NEED to cultivate, that meditation can give you: improved physical health, clearer focus, visualization skills, stress reduction, anxiety relief, detachment, self-possession and composure, connection to source/deity, etc., etc., ad infinitum!

If you think you can’t meditate, find a way. I promise you that unless you cultivate this practice, your magick will never gain the power, accuracy and effectiveness that you desire.

2. Dream Journal.

Your dreams are a portal to your inner life. Ever notice, if you become lucid in a dream, how easy it is to manifest in that dream world? Wouldn’t it be great if you could translate that power to your waking existence?

Well, you can – with lots of practice, insight and work. Pay attention to your night-time dreams. Write them down. Some will be meaningless but some may give you profound insights about what spells to cast and how to carry them out.

A dream, well examined, may even give you inspiration for healing that will make the spell you were thinking of casting unnecessary.

These are important clues to your own psyche. And the one thing that I always teach my students before they begin any kind of spellcraft is, “Know Thyself!”

3. Make Regular Offerings.

offering-altar

Many spells involve calling on deities or spirits for assistance. Cultivating a relationship with those beings is essential to your success.

It’s like building credit. If you’ve never had a checking account or a loan of any kind and you want to buy a house and obtain a mortgage loan, you will have difficulty. Yes, there are lenders who will work with you, but what kind of deal will you get and what kind of sacrifices must you make in order to get it?

It’s the same with spirits and deities. If you are a stranger to them, where is their motivation to help you? But, if you make small, but meaningful, sincere and grateful offerings every day (such as incense or lighting a candle, bits of food or fresh water) to the local spirits where you live, to the deities of your choice (preferably ones that align with your purpose), then you are a known entity.

You have forged a relationship and have shown that you can be thankful, loyal and helpful to them, making them more willing to bestow blessings upon you in your endeavors.

4. Shadow Integration.

Further to the idea that every magickal practitioner should “Know Herself” before endeavoring in spellwork is the practice of Shadow Integration.

The desires of our conscious mind are quite frequently at odds with the desires of our unconscious. I believe that we create our own lives. And when we create hardship, difficulty, even tragedy, there must be a part of ourselves that truly desires to experience that.

Unless we uncover, understand and give permission to that part of ourselves, then we are divided. And a house divided cannot stand. Your magick will not have much power without the cooperation and support of your unconscious will.

So you must integrate. Now, there are many methods and many paths to doing this kind of work. Find one that works for you. And if you want to know more, consider working with me toward that end with one of my coaching packages.

5. Use Your Words!

“In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God.”
I know, I know! I’m writing for witches and I’m quoting the bible. But many different scriptures point to this idea. Words are profoundly important.

And this goes really deep for a witch working magick. Words used in witchcraft and spellwork are absolutely vital. We craft incantations to bring about very specific desires.

But your word, in general, should also be impeccable (as in Don Miguel Ruiz’ book The Four Agreements). Every word has meaning and power in it.

If you are casting spells to improve your life i.e., to bring you prosperity or that new job you want or the love of your life, but you post a “FML” status on Facebook, you are working against yourself.

EVERYTHING COUNTS. And the words you use regularly, habitually, continually can easily gain more power than that beautiful incantation you wrote for a spell you’re performing on the full moon.

Think about it. You utter it once – or perhaps chant it a few times during your ritual, but the other 30 days of the month you are speaking about your lack.

You must become hyper-vigilant about keeping your everyday discussion and use of words, in print or in voice, in alignment with the things that you work on in your magickal life.

Speak in such a way that every word can cast a spell for your good and the good of others. It’s not easy and it cannot be accomplished to perfection, but become aware and make changes where you can. This will give you so much more power than you can imagine.

veronica-lake-i-married-a-witch

 

Ok, Witches, those are your first 5 tips, so before you start casting, look for 8 more tips in tomorrow’s blog, where we get to the nitty gritty of crafting great and effective spells!

And here’s Veronica Lake at her sexy, witchy best!

 

 

 

 

*** Image Sources (if necessary) are embedded in the pictures. 

City Witch? 7 Ways to Connect to Mother Earth

Update to this post!  This blog post was inspired by my Facebook friend Cinnamon Carriere.  She is an awesome Shamanic Witch and I suggest you check out her website!  Parts of it are available now and parts are under construction, so I encourage you to check back frequently and see what she is up to!  Thanks Cinnamon!

And now, my dear City Witch, Read on, for your 7 tips!

 

For 10 years I lived here.

odyssey-view

I had three dedicated ritual circles on the property.

faerie-circle

This one is the Faerie Circle.

It was the second largest at about 35 feet in diameter. The main circle, was about 70 feet. And there was another one, deep in the woods behind the house, with a natural stone altar and thousands of ferns surrounding it.
I made a Labyrinth that was 100 feet by 120 feet.

odyssey-labyrinth

I held festivals on this property.

odyssey-solstice

(BTW – The above photo links to the Facebook page photo album for the Summer Solstice Festival of 2012. Check it out)

There was a Hiking Path, called the Long Path. Here’s what the New York and New Jersey Trail Conference’s website has to say about it:

Extending 358 miles from the 175th Street Subway Station in New York City to John Boyd Thacher State Park near Albany in New York, the Long Path is a thread connecting many of New York’s parks, preserves, and state forest lands.”

I had access to this path about a third of a mile from my doorstep via a trail I bushwhacked myself through the woods at the back of my property. Here’s one of the many views along that trail.

long-path-view

 

Yes, I lived in a Witch’s paradise. My house was basically made of windows and Mother Earth had no trouble reaching in. The mountain I lived on was made mostly of quartz and the connection I felt was constant and deep.
After 10 years of this idyllic life, due to financial (and other) reasons, I packed up, gave away most of my things and moved with my love and our dog to a 600 square foot apartment in the city of Phoenix, AZ. I was worried.
How would I find my communion with Nature? How was connection to the Mother going to feel in the desert, in a city, in an apartment which looked out on a parking lot? Would I even be able to feel Her?

 

I’m happy to tell you that I did. And I do, very well and in an extremely fulfilling way. She is everywhere. I just had to look with new eyes.
So, dear city witch, fear not. Here are some of the tips I learned along my journey.
#1.            Look up.

The sky is the one thing in nature that you can always see just by going outdoors and raising your gaze. In a city setting, you have to open your awareness of nature to a wider degree.

You have to consciously try to notice the colors of the sky, the way the clouds move and the play of sunlight or moonlight. And realize that, although you may be looking at something that appears to be distant, it is right there, touching you.

Think about it. Where does the sky end? Only where the earth begins. So you are in it. If you ponder on that notion, you can feel it. Air is part of nature. The Goddess provides us with this breath of life that is so vast, that we can only really look at it from a great distance.

But it is right there, touching your skin, filling your lungs, oxygenating your blood. Take the time to feel your own merging with sky, day and night, every chance you get. And thank Her for it.

 

#2.         Become as a child.

Expand your sense of wonder.

If you make a conscious decision to have a child-like awareness, wide-eyed and accepting, you will see more. More beauty, more newness, more everything.

As my beau and I traveled across the country from our former home in the woods, we would stop whenever the truck needed gas. Somewhere around Oklahoma, I began to notice a type of bird that I’d never seen before. At the gas station stops, there would always be a group of them near a landscaped corner or in a nearby tree.

I could tell they were urban birds, scavengers of sandwich crusts and cold French fries. They were all black with yellow eyes and a tail shaped like a ship’s rudder when they flew. And they had amazing calls, many different tones and pitches and rhythms. I absolutely LOVED them and began to wonder what they were.

Within seconds of my wondering something in my head said, “Maybe they’re Grackles”. Now, I’m no ornithologist. I wasn’t sure that I’d ever even heard of a Grackle before! They were certainly not present in my former town. But for some reason, that popped into my head.

I wondered why that would have occurred to me, assumed I was wrong or just making things up and sort of dismissed it. But once we arrived in our new home and I  unpacked my books I came across a field guide to birds and decided to check it out. Sure enough, Grackles! They are city birds. And they are every bit as fascinating and fun to watch and listen to as the red tailed hawks and great horned owls that occupied my former property.

When you look at the world with wonder, the magic follows you. That is all.

And since we’re on the subject…

 

#3.             Urban Animals.

 

I’ve always loved wildlife. I used to get such a charge out of seeing a bear on my property or finding bobcat tracks in the snow.

But we tend to dismiss things like squirrels, pigeons and raccoons, because they seem common in an urban or suburban setting. But I encourage you to take a closer look. The Mother made them and sustains them just as she does a wolf in the wilderness.

I’ve forged a bit of a relationship with one of the aforementioned Grackles who visits my backyard each day at a certain time. I always talk to him and he delights me with his varied calls.

Now, grackles are categorized by city dwellers as nuisance birds, just like pigeons in New York City.  But I saw beauty, fun and value in them and I wanted to learn more about these charming birds, so I did some reading. In Chinese folklore it is said that the Grackle has 7 calls, representing the 7 human emotions; Joy, Anger, Anxiety, Pensiveness, Grief, Fear and Fright. So I listened, and I think I can identify most of them!

My advice is to use that child-like wonder that you’re cultivating and mix it with your own intuition to discover some urban animal in your area that fascinates you, and learn more about it.

And a last note, there is one particular animal of nature that you will encounter every single day in an urban setting. Humans. As pagans we are consciously aware that “Nature” is not separate from us. But our society operates in such a way as to make us forget this. So, when you look at other people, remember that they are every bit a part of nature as a beautiful mountain vista or the grandest tree.

Make your connection with that beating heart, that movement of breath, that symphony of senses and take it all in. The Great Mother created and sustains us all.

#4.        Appreciate the Landscaped Beauty
I was fortunate, when I began working in my new city, to be living less than a mile from my office. So I took to walking to work.
People expect “the desert” to be quite barren. But on my daily walks I discovered plants and trees and flowers that I’d never seen in the northeast. An abundance of flowers, in fact!

chihuly-flower

This picture links to the photo album “My Walk to Work” that I created on my Facebook page! Feel free to peruse the beautiful photos!  (And while you’re there, send me a friend request!)

On my walks, I took to greeting the trees and flowers along the way.  They were such bright spots in my day!  And I definitely felt the Mother walking right beside me with every step.

The more you give thanks for the beauty that you notice, the more you WILL notice. So, just look closely at what is around you and you will find it. I promise!

 

#5.              Seek Out the Nearby Wilderness

Most cities set apart “wild spaces” within their borders. Phoenix is a valley, which means that it’s surrounded by mountains. There are quite a few mountain areas preserved for hikers and explorers. They are not vast, like the actual wilderness, but in a good number of these preserves, you can hike to a spot where no sign of civilization can be seen.

Research the places that your city sets aside as “green spaces” and go exploring.

Very early one morning, well before dawn, I packed up my portable altar and went to the top of a beautiful nearby mountain preserve to perform a full moon ritual. As it turned out, I wasn’t as alone up there as I thought I would be and some very interesting shenanigans ensued.

That is perhaps fodder for another blog post, but I bring it up here because I found that whole experience, ultimately, very rewarding to explore new places and find new ways of doing my thing in the beautiful outdoors.

Go on an adventure and explore your area as much as you can. It’s worth it! You will find an oasis that is just right for your thing!

 

#6.           Farmers Markets and Kitchen Witchery

One of the great things about living in a city is convenience. There is everything you could want. And many cities have farmers markets. In the warmer climates they occur year-round.

I have found several markets with wonderful offerings from farmers who come from the more rural parts of the state to pedal their wares. And when I visit, it’s not just a grocery shopping trip.  It’s a treat!

All of the fresh produce and beautiful herbs and homemade goodies make the farmers market a destination in and of itself. While strolling in the sunlight and stopping from booth to booth I am taking in the aroma of the perfectly ripe strawberries, or marveling at the colors of the heirloom tomatoes and receiving samples of a giant and ridiculously sweet casaba melon.

Look around your local market and see what appeals to you. Talk to the farmers about their work and how they grow and how beautiful their fruits and vegetables are. It’s a wonderful place to commune with others who commune with nature.

And then, you get to bring some of those goodies home and prepare a nourishing and delicious meal to share with your family. Or perhaps you’ll just watch a movie and snack on fresh cherries until you’re stuffed!

As you are enjoying the bounty of the earth, realize that you are integrating that into your body, and may the Great Mother bless it into your body, “bestowing health, wealth, strength, joy and peace, and that fulfillment of love that is perpetual happiness.”

 

#7.              Get Outta Town!

 

Sometimes, there is just no substitute for real wilderness. Check out the area within driving distance of your city and plan some getaways.

I am very fortunate to live where I do because within a 90 minute drive, I can be HERE: Beautiful Sedona, AZ

sedona-tree

And a few hours of HERE: The Grand Canyon

edge-sitting
antelope-slot-canyon

 

 

 

 

…and HERE:  Antelope Slot Canyon

 

And there may be places like this within your reach as well. So get outta town and get into the earth.

Happy Naturing!

The Woman in Black and Cumulative Magick

woman-in-black“Depression is like a woman in black. If she turns up, don’t shoo her away. Invite her in, offer her a seat, treat her like a guest and listen to what she wants to say.”  – C.G. Jung

Depression is a manifestation of the unheard, unacknowledged Shadow.  I like this quote because it gives me a visual for some of the Shadow work I do as a witch.  And why does a witch do “Shadow Work”, you wonder?  Because it is the source of your deepest power.

I’ve been practicing magick for a long time.  And I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

Of course, I started out like anyone else, with the simplest of recipes from some magickal cook book or another.

I think my first spell might have been in high school. I performed a love spell with a mojo bag (red of course) filled with rose quartz, rose petals, rose oil, my lonely tears and possibly blood from a finger pricked by a rose thorn.

Roses are for love, right?  And I have always been drawn (Ha! Pun intended) to blood magick.  Perhaps there’s a bit of vampire in me. Hmmm.

red-mojo-bag

In any case, I can’t remember if it worked or not.  I’m guessing not because I don’t ever remember feeling any kind of love fulfillment in high school.

Anyway, the point is, in spell-work, experienced and novice witches alike tend to spend a lot of time on intention, on correspondences, on the stuff that goes into the mojo bag.  We design elaborate rituals and recite beautifully written, rhyming incantations. We visualize our intention with intense and vivid focus. We chant and dance and burn things and sweat, naked under the moonlight.

And then nothing happens.

This is due, my friends, to the desires of that Woman in Black, the Unconscious Will.

I did my experimentation and performed many, many failed spells.  I put in the time and made the mistakes and wondered and agonized over the “why” of it all.

I wondered if perhaps I was just someone who didn’t have magick in her, which made me very sad and gladly turns out to be very untrue.

If you are wondering the same, dear witchy readers, stop it.  We all have magick in us.  More magick than you can possibly imagine.

After all of the experiments and disasters, when I finally turned my attention inward like the Hermit, I began to understand that there is a far more powerful catalyst for my spells than the things and the conscious intentions that I put into them.

hermit

Don’t get me wrong!  The THINGS count!  Everything counts.  But there is an alignment which must be reached between those things, the conscious intention AND the Unconscious Will in order for a spell to have a chance.

Know thyself, Witch.  This is the first order of becoming a great Magickal practitioner.  And very often, what we think we want, what our conscious mind desires, is not in alignment with our Unconscious Will.

AND, we’ve a tendency to do magick on the very things that the Woman in Black has magickally and magnificently manifested.  Very often our conscious mind labels the manifestations of the unconscious will as wrong or bad.  Our conscious mind says, “No, I don’t want that!”  So we do magick on the things we want to change.  But those things exist in our lives for a reason.

Did that make any sense at all?  No?  Okay.  Let me give you an example.

A number of years ago, I was working a thankless day job of about 50 to 60 hours a week.  This job (the only one I’d been offered in over two years of unemployment) was located about 75 miles away from my home, so I had a commute of approximately 3 to 4 hours a day.  When you figured in all the extra hours and the cost of the commute, the pay I received for said thankless job was below poverty level.

Meanwhile, I was also a very active elder in a large coven, facilitating rituals for groups of up to 150 people at a time, AND running a spiritual center and facilitating workshops, rituals and festivals out of my home.  Oh, yes, I was very busy.  I don’t even know, now, how I found all the time.

My conscious desire was to have an easier life.  My goal, magickal and otherwise, was to have more time for the things that I loved; i.e. ritual, teaching, divination, priestessing.  This meant either finding a better paying job, with fewer working hours, closer to home, or making enough money from my workshops and divinations and rituals to devote myself to that full time.

And don’t think I wasn’t doing magick around that goal!  I was!  Frequently!  And I was working as hard as I could on the mundane channels to achieve it as well.  But this went on for about 7 years.  7 years of toiling, under-appreciated and under-paid.  7 years of being that amazing “ohmygods how do you do it all?!” person that my friends marveled at.  7 years of struggle, hard work, martyrdom!  Ah… there it is!

Why would I stay in that situation for 7 years unless some HUGE part of myself was extremely desirous of it?  The answer is, I wouldn’t.  It was clear that part of me wanted it this way.

That deep-down part of my unconscious, The Woman in Black wanted, longed for, enjoyed and, indeed, LOVED to be known as that marvel who managed so much. She was positively orgasmic over the idea of being the martyr and the ever-struggling one. And she manifested this life-style despite my efforts in the real world and in my spell-craft to produce something different.

(Here’s me, the long suffering martyr.)

martyr

 

The fact is, that any Magick I performed around this conscious desire would be ultimately ineffective without HER cooperation and agreement.

Let’s perform a little experiment, shall we?  Will you participate with me?  Go ahead and raise your right hand in the air.  Go ahead, just do it.  Did you?  Okay.

Now, did you do that consciously or unconsciously?

Most people answer that they did it consciously, because the conscious thought to raise the arm preceded the event.  However, our minds are not capable of consciously firing  each and every synapse in the sequence which is necessary to make the action happen.  The chain of events of muscle movement, tendon stretching and nerve action is far too complicated for our conscious thoughts to comprehend.  All of that is done under the surface, like that proverbial ice-berg.

So, we can’t accomplish much without the cooperation of that dark and steamy underworld dweller dressed ever so provocatively in black.  This means that if something exists in your life there’s a part of you that brought it about.  As the wise witch Carolyn Elliott says, “Having is evidence of wanting.”

It may seem like a harsh truth, but to me, it was a great revelation to know that part of me was that powerful and all I had to do was convince The Woman in Black to agree with my conscious desires in order to get what I wanted!

So, what did I have to do to change that 7 year stretch of martyrdom?  First, I had to acknowledge that the Woman in Black was wearing the witch hat in a way that I never could, and give her the respect she deserved.  And then, I had to let go of the person I thought myself to be.

It didn’t happen overnight.  It happened over time. And all of the magick I did leading up to the “spell that worked”, counted.  Just like the color correspondences, the stones, the herbs, the incantation AND the intentions counted.  Because everything counts.  And it adds up.  Over time, our conscious mind can feed our unconscious mind the desired, well, desire.  But the key was understanding that my deeply held belief about being a struggler, a martyr, a hard worker had to be recognized in order to be dislodged and changed.

Awareness is the first step, right?  So, once I was aware that I was really digging being the martyr, the put-upon one, once I came to know and appreciate the love I had for my identification with the never-resting-ever-working marvel that I’d become, I had to say goodbye to her.  But the Woman in Black wasn’t going to just let her go.  I had to feed her some new identity to latch onto, one she would enjoy just as much.

There are two ways to dislodge and replace a deeply held belief.

Think of a glass of muddy-dirty water.  You want this glass to be full of clear, pure water.  There are two ways of accomplishing this.  The first is to dump it out, wash the glass and re-fill it.  This example would be equal to a deep, devastating trauma that drastically changes your perspective.  And if you don’t have a trauma at hand, but still want to change, then what?

Take the glass of muddy water and start pouring pure, crystal clear water into it.  Keep pouring until it over-flows, then continue to pour until all that mud and silt and sand has been lifted out of the glass and displaced and you are left with a glass of pure, clear water.

That’s how cumulative magick works.  Each time I did a spell, each time I acknowledged the deep desire to be seen as a martyr and each time I focused my intention on wanting the change, I was pouring the pure water into the muddy and displacing it a little at a time.

And how did I acknowledge the desires of the Woman in Black?  I invitedher in, treated her like a guest and listened to what she had to say.  When she told me how fulfilling and wonderful it was to feel that struggle and hard work, I would close my eyes in ecstatic empathy and FEEL that with her.  When she spoke of being known as that miraculous, ever-busy, make-things-happen kind of woman, I grinned and fanned at my fa
ce and neck to cool those passionate flames arising in me.  You have to really get INTO it in order for her to feel heard and understood.

 

And then, in visualization and in my spell craft and in my mundane life, I began to convince the Woman in Black how fun it would be to be able to do all of those things and still have time to rest.  I gave her the image of us lounging decadently or floating in a pool.  I also gave her the image of us identifying with being a godsdamned fierce, badass magickal practitioner.

spell-caster

Finally, I did a spell to bring me a new life.  But this time, I was entirely ready to HAVE that new life.  I was absolutely done with my martyrdom and ready to move on to the next phase of things.  Within about 6 weeks of that final spell, I was living in a beautiful new place, working a job at almost twice the pay of the old one, with rewarding work and within walking distance of my new home.

And I must tell you, it has been one hell of a magickal ride since then too!

So if your spells aren’t working, it’s probably not a problem with your correspondences or the “recipe”.  It’s probably not an issue with astrological timing or the proper chant. (Although it could be those things too, because remember, everything counts!)

But it is much more likely something deep within you which fears, or is not in alignment with, what you think you want.  Have a chat with the Woman in Black and see if she can’t help you figure it out.

Happy witching!

 

*** Links to Image Sources are embedded in the images.

In the Company of Yin

cover yin yang

There was a time in my life (in that maiden to mother phase) when I naturally fell into a routine of caring for my mate and child, spending more of my time on them than on anything else.  It’s easy to do and I think many American women can identify.

Your girlfriends are in the same stage and it’s easy to let those friendships fall by the wayside.  It’s easy to allow yourself the joys of family and immerse yourself in your relationship with a significant other.  With the exception of lesbian couples, this is almost always a male dominated time in one’s life.

Family

And there’s nothing wrong with that.  I know, for me, it was a time to explore the Animus side of my own psyche.  I spent a tremendous amount of time trying to put myself in my husband’s shoes, in order to better understand him.  It was part of my endeavor to be a good wife/partner in our relationship.  And much of this time in my life was worthwhile and valuable and enjoyable.

But something was still missing.  I realized, one day, that so much of my life revolved around Husband and Family that I no longer had strong bonds with women.  In fact, I wasn’t sure I ever had.  I seemed to hold a belief in the back of my mind that I’d always identified more with men anyway.  In hindsight, this might have been a “sour grapes” sort of attitude.  I felt obligated to that life… even though, when I got honest with myself, I had to admit that I chose it.  But there was, at that time, a bit of a feeling of being trapped in that.

In my marriage, our friends were HIS friends.  My women friends were the wives of his friends.  So I thought I’d try to cultivate some real bonds in that pool of choices.  I decided to have a party just for the women in our social group.

High Tea

I devised a beautiful, pampering “High Tea” sort of soiree.  I called it my Sereni-Tea Party, during which each woman would receive massages, manicures, a soak in the Hot-Tub and all sorts of pampering.  I also devised a small ritual, where each woman was crowned as a Goddess.

The idea was to remind each of us that we are sovereign in our lives, that we may choose, daily, how (and for whom) to live.  It was a big hit.  Everyone loved it.  No one loved it more than I did.  It sparked some changes in my life that are still in the works, I think.

aphrodite

I’m not sure if anyone else at that party “got” what I was trying to convey… but I did.  I claimed myself that day, and again and again on many days that followed it, I claimed my own sovereignty.

The experience sparked a new way of thinking for me.  I had one close female friend and I forged deeper into that bond.  She supported me and cared about my outcomes.  It was a really good start.

friends

I began to embody the Queen archetype.  And that sovereign queen of her own life was not the woman my husband married.  So in some ways, I could call that the beginning of the end of my marriage.  It’s okay.  It was a marriage that needed to end. And when it did, those women (the wives of his friends) shunned me like an Amish photographer. And that’s okay too. They were not “my tribe” anyway.

After the divorce I began to create more and more relationships with women.  I came honestly and openly into groups of females sharing my experiences and my ideas, and offering my empathy for the things that they may have experienced as well.  And that’s when the magick started to happen in my life.

I joined a witch’s grove of learning.  We met each week to discuss books, teach and learn and challenge each other toward excellence.  In the process we also loved, nurtured, supported and cheered each other on.  The grove developed into a coven.  I served as one of the leaders of that coven for quite a few years.

circle of women

I learned and grew more in those years than any other time in my life that I can recall.  I increased my personal power exponentially during that time, because of the company of other powerful women, all striving for their own excellence and the collective excellence of the group.  It created such momentum.  We were all swept along in it.

My leadership role in that group led me to more leadership.  I formed a non-profit spiritual center in my own home.  We offered worship services of an inclusive nature. We provided workshops, support groups, had festivals.  And I gained all of the experiences of facilitating that. And I could not have done it without the blessing of a number of breath-taking feminine souls who were regular members at the center.  They enriched me and the others in our group tremendously.

Life changed, as it does, and eventually I closed the center and moved clear across the country.  In my new home town, I volunteer and teach at a non-profit which supports women in ALL their endeavors to improve their own lives. It’s called Fresh Start Women’s Foundation.

And now, I also facilitate women’s spiritual retreats.  The latest installment of that happened in Sedona, AZ last month.

(There’s a new one coming up in November – Click here for more info!)

Six women from different backgrounds, understandings, beliefs and challenges came together.  We discussed and explored our hopes and fears. We worked towards our dreams.  We shared laughter and shed tears.  We moved forward in our lives, powerfully and magickally.

Above is photographic evidence of the goddess power we generated around us.  (Watch the orb at the foot of each goddess.  This showed up on 3 different cameras!)

owl yin yang

Yin in Taoism is the Feminine Principle.  The feminine aspect of this dualistic reality in which we live occupies the “dark side” of the yin yang symbol.

In Wiccan circles the Goddess is represented by the Moon, the night, while the God is represented by the Sun and the day.

This, in no way should be interpreted as meaning that the feminine principle is “bad” or “wrong”, although that is the way that much of our patriarchal society defines it.

But the divine feminine is a mystery.  The High Priestess card in Tarot holds a scroll, which is half hidden and sits before a curtain, beyond which are mysteries and wisdom untold.  There are even popular jokes about how women are complete mysteries to men.

High Priestess

There’s a reason for that.  And I think it’s our power.  This kind of power cannot simply be offered to everyone.  The power of the Feminine Divine is hidden for a reason.  The right to exist in its web must be earned.

And the women whose power is blatant and obvious to the world have been called everything under the sun, from demon, harlot, bitch to witch, activist, boss and Goddess.

The fact is that all women possess this power.  The degrees may vary or the power may be more or less suppressed by this patriarchal jailhouse, but, make no mistake, it is there.  It is present and can be awakened to greater strengths to greater missions and to the greatness of all things touched by such power.

I’ve found that when women come together in any kind of group, there is a magickal phenomenon that takes place.  There is a heightened power, an increase in intensity, like a spiritual battery being turned on.

A woman is powerful.

A couple of women, or a group, aligned in their Will, connected at their hearts and clear in their intentions, are UNSTOPPABLE, and deeply magickal.

Goddess Group

I’m not talking about excluding men from your life, by any means!  Today, I am in a committed and happy relationship with a loving, wonderful man. In fact, I believe that the time I’ve spent loving and nurturing other women (and myself) is a direct contributor to my finding him and to my being worthy of him.  Our relationship is very strong.  We believe in each other. We encourage each other. We acknowledge each other’s sovereignty.  And I adore spending time with him.

But these days, as the sovereign queen/goddess that I am, I choose to also spend a lot of quality time in the company of Yin.

Goddess Divine Empowerment!

How I went from Playing Way Too Small to Being an Empowered Goddess and So Can You!

oppressed-women  My last blog post ended with me in the depths of addiction and and suffering the pain and humiliation of a terrible marriage.  So, how did all of this turn around?  I’ll tell you!

A few years into that marriage I finally decided to get a handle on my addictive, self-destructive practices. That makes it sound like it was easy, like I made a decision one day and then got clean. That’s not what happened. There was a LOT of “Facing my Shadow”, and “embracing my darkness” at that time. I was introduced to the concepts put forth by the noted psychologist, Carl Jung and began to study the practice of uncovering and accepting our “Shadow” aspects, those parts of ourselves that we would rather deny. I had a lot of that. Also, during that journey, in my twenties, I was introduced to the concept of spirituality as opposed to religion. Cultivating a connection with some “unknowable force” helped me greatly in my recovery from alcohol and drug abuse, and I became a seeker. Learning about spiritual practice became my new drug of choice, I believe, because it touched on that true nature and those gifts I was denying. Some part of me recognized that something here might actually have an effect on the root cause of my destructive behavior. I wasn’t consciously aware of this, of course, but I believe it was there.

So I read everything I could. I spent many years investigating different spiritual practices. I studied, and continue to study, world religions, and philosophies like Catholicism and Christianity in general, Buddhism, Taoism, Hinduism, and so on. And while I can’t say that I felt a deep connection to any one religious view, what I did find was the practice of meditation. Meditation was the single most important component in my recovery and my journey to here. And it remains the staple of my current practice. I cannot over-state its importance in my evolution from frightened little girl to empowered Goddess. It saved my life.

I’m going to repeat that here because it’s REALLY IMPORTANT!

Meditation was the single most important component in my recovery and my journey to here. And it remains the staple of my current practice. I cannot over-state its importance in my evolution from frightened little girl to empowered Goddess. It saved my life.

empowered goddess   My studies continued and began to include more philosophy, psychology and mythology. I read some classics by great scholars such as Marcus Aurelius, Socrates, Plato and added in some more modern works by the likes of Eckhart Tolle and Joseph Campbell. My views continued to expand as I continued to grow in every way that I could manage. During all of this, I became the mother to a beautiful old soul, a daughter. Witnessing the miracles of her birth and growth and my regular meditation practice were putting me in connection with the divine on a daily basis. Everything changes then. You see, when you meditate it puts you in touch with that ineffable ground of spirit that permeates all that there is. It verifies the unbreakable connection between these bodies we are currently inhabiting and that limitless “other” which we discover is not “other” at all. It’s like plugging in to a vast switchboard where everything is accessible. The miraculous is occurring all around us at every moment in time. I began to notice, is all.

All the while, I was still married to that overbearing, narcissistic man. And during most of our marriage, because there was still that part of me aiming to please and eager to be seen as “the good wife”, we got along fine. But then I began to grow a spine. I began to understand that I had to set an example for my daughter. And I began to disagree with some of the decisions he was making for us and for me. And that was when it got bumpy. I won’t go into the details here of the ultimate awakening that brought me out of that marriage, but know that I did break free and I did so in a meaningful and mindful way, understanding my part in all of it and understanding what I would no longer accept for myself or for my child.

In the following years I was inspired to study the many connections between science and spirituality and became very interested in (um, ok, obsessed with) quantum physics and the philosophies of mind over matter, what some call the Law of Attraction (what I call witchcraft). There was a wonderful feeling of being carried along on a wave of new information and discovery. One insight led to another. One book led to a dozen more. With a broader understanding of myself and the concepts of energy, I renewed my interest in divination and I studied the Tarot, with all of its wonderful Archetypes and insight into the human journey. I also began again to experiment with Skrying. All of this brought me to the study of Nature-based religions like Wicca and Heathenry and paganism in general. And a new wave of discovery launched me into practice with others and the structure and benefits of ritual, shared energy and sisterhood. I delved deeply into the study of mythology, especially the Goddesses which re-energized my desire to facilitate women’s empowerment. I was given the opportunity to expand my leadership skills as a founding member of a coven, often presiding over Ritual as Priestess. And, finally I put that into practice in my own spiritual Meetup Group and opened an inclusive spiritual center from my own home where I hosted many, many workshops, ceremonies, rituals and festivals before moving to Phoenix, AZ.

Aphrodite2   So here I am today, wanting to share some of this learning and insight with you, the seeker with the Goddess hidden inside. I can help you find your inner Goddess because I worked so hard to find my own. And I’ve distilled all of the seeking and struggles and mistakes and successes into some very essential lessons to set you on your personal journey to Goddesshood. Join me and a number of your sisters on this amazing, life-changing adventure. Simply email me at AffordableSedonaRetreat@gmail.com for all the details.  There is absolutely NO obligation, NO spam, NO sharing of your email address and a free gift!  This retreat will fill up, so don’t hesitate!  

With Love and Sisterhood,

Renée

Blessed Be

… How I went from Natural Psychic to Natural Disaster…

This series of blogs is dedicated to  Goddess Divine -A Spiritual Retreat for Women which will be taking place in Sedona, AZ in May.  Email me at AffordableSedonaRetreat@gmail.com for all the details! When last we connected, dear reader, I had given you a brief overview of my “qualifications” to help you bring forth your inner […]

Goddess Divine Women’s Retreat – Why You Need It!

Sedona

So there’s this amazing event coming up!  The Goddess Divine Retreat for Women in Sedona, AZ on May 20, 21 and 22, 2016 will bring you into deep connectedness with your Sacred Self.  In this way you will discover and form a truly rewarding relationship with your inner Goddess and be excited to share her outrageous beauty and light with the whole world!  If you’re even the tiniest bit curious, do yourself a favor and e-mail AffordableSedonaRetreat@gmail.com right NOW!   There is no obligation and you will receive a valuable FREE GIFT – and even MORE valuable information about how you can be a participant in this wonderful weekend of Sacred Sisterhood! 

In a previous post, I promised you more details about ME Renee Damoiselle of Divining Damoiselle, your retreat facilitator.  So, What qualifies me to prepare you for Goddesshood?

Well, to begin, I will tell you that, as a much younger woman, I was very focused on being perceived as “good” and on not being too noticeable (all the while fearful that my “freak-flag” would be uncovered at any moment!) In other words, I was very much NOT living like the Goddess that I am!  Today, however, I enjoy referring to myself as a Badass Witch Priestess of Warrior Deities, with a divine mission to save the world, one woman at a time.  In other words, I successfully grew a spine and stepped into my Goddesshood, after a time of hiding my light.  It was not easy.  It took work and desire and commitment, but because I’ve been there, I can show you the way.

Shine

That’s me now.   Along my journey, I’ve met many other women whose light has also been kept hidden.  The reasons may be varied (patriarchal society, misogyny, trauma) but the result is actually tragic, for the individual woman and for the world.  The divine feminine light that glows within every woman is meant to be anchored in this world and to shine brightly.  What a woman can achieve once she embraces her true divine nature is limitless.  The healing ripple effects of her efforts will be felt universally.  This is my mission because I know, intimately, what it feels like to break free in this way, and that joy must be shared.

Looking for a juicier story?  Stay tuned for the next blog, where we’ll get down and dirty with the details of that amazing journey!

… to be continued… 

Goddess Divine

Goddesses dancing

The first week of 2016 was rough for me.  I’d failed to reach some of my goals for 2015 and was, at the moment, failing miserably at my “Healthy Lifestyle” goals.   I was pretty down on myself, which, as a spiritual adviser, I know is self-defeating. But, as a human being, I say, “Hey!  Sometimes I get mad at myself!  That’s life!  Deal with it!”

Funny, I’ve been contemplating hard on doing some more Shadow work lately.  The Universe says, “Your wish is my command!  You want shadows?  Here ya go!  Self-loathing!  How’s THAT for Dark?!”, she proclaims with pride.  (HeHe)

The fact is that this whole thing (yaknow- life, the universe and everything) is a process.  You think you’ve learned a lesson and then you discover another layer of the same lesson hidden underneath.  It’s cool!  I’m not ready to be “Done” yet.  I kinda like it here.

So, there I was, in my MOOD; cranky, frustrated, restless – STUCK!  And when I’m stuck, I think about my spiritual practice.  It has always been what has saved me.  I realized I wasn’t finding enough time for it;  Meditation, Ritual, Offerings.  I was “fitting it in” here and there, instead of making it central to my life and my days.  And, for me, that means I need a sort of shock treatment – a BIG DOSE of my medicine to bring me back from this profoundly human habit of pleasing others and attachment to outcomes.  (All those goals = outcomes, for me.)  I need some “freedom from the lust of result”.  (Thank  you Mister Crowley!)  The fact is that those “goals” I had set for myself, in truth, were largely rooted in that particular aspect of my Shadow that says “Prove yourself.  You’re no good unless others recognize your successes.”  And that, dear readers, is ego and nothing more.  The goals I’d set for myself were not meant to feed my soul but to prove myself.

In my ponderings on Shadow and my moments of self-loathing, I realized that I had entered the auto-pilot mindset of dealing with things like the day-job and the mundane “have-to’s”, “Need-to’s” and “Get-to’s” of life.  I was embracing the lazy routine of working, and doing what I thought I had to do, then coming home to much deserved “relax” mode (doing nothing!).  I had allowed myself to slip into the comfortable groove of the “normal”, “mainstream” life.

This witch, dear readers, is far from “normal”… even for a witch!  In this realization I felt that I needed to firmly establish my “witchy-ness”!  In an expression of my MOOD at the time, I thought I’d change my entire wardrobe to nothing but black, flowy dresses! As black as my soul!  Then I laughed at myself, realizing, of course that it’s not about appearance at all.  In fact, it’s about the opposite.

So I  asked my brooding, black, moody soul what it needed.  The answer was SILENCE!!!  I realize that’s a bit of a paradox – a shouted “SILENCE!!”  But that was what I got!

I thought, “I need a couple of days away – a sort of Spiritual Immersion retreat.  You see, in the time before I moved to Arizona, I LIVED at a Spiritual Retreat.  I was in need of total immersion in my practice, no distractions, no excuses.

I happen to live about a 90-minute drive away from “Spiritual Retreat Central” aka, Sedona, AZ!  So I began researching what was available.  None seemed totally suited to my needs and ALL were EXTREMELY PRICEY!  So, since I didn’t win the Powerball, I started thinking, “Well, I know of this lovely, small (affordable) Inn in the heart of Sedona and I have hosted numerous Spiritual events; retreats, workshops, festivals, you name it!  I’m a goddamn High Priestess of Warrior Deities!  I’m a Badass Diviner, Channeler, Intuitive!  I can come up with my own weekend, filled with that BIG DOSE of Spiritual Practice (with lots of silence) that I need.”

So I began planning.  And then what happened was pure Magick, the kind of Magick I’d become accustomed to when I WAS honoring my spiritual practice.  You see, when you decide to give to your soul, when you honestly ask it what IT wants and when you are willing to face that Shadow side of yourself, well, everything aligns.  The universe will marshal its every force to help you.

So, as I was planning my own retreat, I realized that many other women I know have felt this way.  I understood that, yes, I could get away in a month or so and give myself this gift, but why leave it at that?  I could create this gift of an affordable retreat for others as well.  Since coming to that understanding, I have been OBSESSED!  I’ve blown through goals like there’s no work involved.  Yesterday, I spent 16 hours learning new software, creating a new meditation recording, planning the event, getting ready to launch this creative baby to which I am giving birth.  Those 16 hours went by in a flash.  I’ve been so IMMERSED in this creation that I’ve lost track of time.  My previously moody, black soul has exploded in color and joy!  THIS is (part of) the food that my soul has been starved of!  I’ve been extremely present in the planning of this and nowhere else, because I’ve no desire to BE anywhere else or to DO anything else!  This is BLISS!  And I’m following it! (Thank you Mister Campbell!).  It’s happening!  Goddess Divine – A Spiritual Retreat for Women.  May 20th, 21st and 22nd in beautiful Sedona, AZ.

And so, dear reader, if you have identified with any of these feelings, and if you feel that you’d like to get away for a bit and maybe even examine a bit of your own shadow in order to emerge on the other side with a goddamn FORCEFUL PURPOSE, then email AffordableSedonaRetreat@gmail.com for more information and for your FREE GIFT of that Meditation MP3 that I spent so many hours creating.  More information can also be found at my Goddess Divine page here on wordpress.  I’m looking forward to hearing from you!

Bright Blessings!