Monday, December 26, 2011

The Blessing of Winter Solstice

 There she is, our Mother Moon... full and beautiful before the Winter Solstice. She encourages me to walk my path and champion other women to share their wisdom. Our planet Gaia depends on us.

 I always spend time in the woods in early December, and on the water I spied a lovely sundog. A reflection of rainbow... reminding the world that all the colors of people are needed to share in the beauty.

 Two trees hold hands, or branches. It's time for the masculine and feminine to strike a truce and balance the yin and yang that has been out of sync for too long.

 Good food in the form of a hearty stew of earthy vegetables and a little meat graced my celebration table.

It might look like a Charlie Brown tree, but the sun shines brightly on the bare branches of this sapling. Very hopeful!

 The sky writes messages in clouds and the flight of birds. Winter is a time of introspection and hibernation... and yet it is peaceful, pleasant, and joyous for me!

And so I baked some happy, crazy, gingerbread people... and in that lighthearted endeavor I made my plans for the coming Winter months. Solstice is about hope... and the Sun shines to us that our journey should never be without it! In the days of darkness, we look to the Moon for the nurture of the Mother... she shines for us just as well and so should we! Brightest blessings!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Samhain Flexibility

 I have been a practicing Solitary Witch for over ten years now, and I get very excited to celebrate Samhain, the last of the harvest celebrations within the Turn of the Wheel. It is both a time for reflection and thankfulness for the rich heritage of my ancestry and also a day to plan ahead for the coming year... it's my true New Year celebration.

I often spend may hours alone in the woods, near a stream or river to commune with Nature and feel the lifting of the veil between the worlds of hidden mystery and our own day to day human experience.

It's a time when the trees seem to speak as they prepare for the winter's sleep... and I like to hug them and thank them for their lessons in quiet, humble beauty and flexibility in the winds.

 I sat with October's full moon to reflect on the positive changes I would choose for the coming year and unlike the usual litany of New Year resolutions which list out things not to do, Samhain affirmations seek to take actions that often explore new direction.
Two of things year's activities will be an increase in positive and peaceful political protest and also sharing my love of writing in addition to my love of photography.

 Surprisingly, there was a freak storm two days prior to the Samhain celebration, which was a rare phenomenon in NJ... a real trick or treat depending on how it was received. We had no damage or power outages and only a pretty dusting and so for me it was a treat!

 I had a hankering for a spicy apple pie and so I got busy in the kitchen and filled our apartment with that warm homey and fall aroma that an apple pie can induce.

 Here is a view of our daughter's home on Samhain eve where we celebrated Halloween with our children and grandchild ( as they don't share in my Wiccan activities).

 On Samhain night, the house was lit with candles, chamber music played, and my husband and I enjoyed a harvest meal of ham, scalloped potatoes and a roasted vegetable medley after toasting our ancestors ( for which I also set a table setting and goblet of wine). We remember our grandparents especially with loving warmth. Usually after dinner we would then perform a ceremony with my tools and readings... and magick, however this year my son called to say he was without power and asked to stay at our place that night. My son does not resonate at all with my beliefs and remembering the flexibility of my tree friends as the wind howled outside, I put away my cape, tools, and other related items and welcomed him heartily. The ceremony could wait.

I fed him a nice dinner and we shared a glass of wine and some apple pie together and I was surprised when he apologized for interfering with my celebration. It was the first time he acknowledged my "holiday."
As the night wore on we sat outside listening to the wind in the trees and I listened to his work stories and made up the futon for him to stay over. My jack-o-lantern continued his smile as the night wore on. It was a perfect celebration after all!

May you all have a Blessed New Year!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Preparing for Samhain

It has been a year since my husband and I set out on a cross country journey without the confines of house, job, or plan. It was the fulfillment of a lifetime dream of ours and as we settle back into the daily routine of working, creating a new home, and finding joy and meaning in our current lifestyle, I prepare to celebrate my New Year... both to honor our ancestors and plan for the year ahead. Samhain (sow'en) is very important to me and requires some reflection and reevaluation of what it means to be a solitary witch.

It is the appreciation of the ALL that exist around us. The ability to see mountains in skies and embrace the idea that there is more than meets the eye than just our land of human being.

It is seeing the patterns in Nature and rejoicing in the grand design, knowing we are also co-creators in the web of life.

Being a witch enables me to feel the spirit of birds and gain insight from their birdness.

It allows me to love the insect and appreciate their greetings and visits.
I find spiritual inspiration and renewal at the Full Moon phase.

Rainbows and sundogs are frequent and natural occurrences as my head is usually in the clouds.

I can be moved to tears by the silhouette of a solitary plant against the sky... and I can't articulate why.

The dark mystery of a night sky inspires me to create my own brand of magick.
I feel for a man felled tree, but know the gentle compassion of the little blushing leaf who consoles it.

I watch as Nature bends in the winds and wishes a fond farewell to the passing season... and prepares for the next.

I see death as a beautiful part of life and a chance for renewal and reinvention.
I hear the whispers of trees, and their excitement of the blowing breezes.
And this year as Samhain approaches... I marvel at the mystery of snow on the pumpkin in lieu of the usual frost.

Brightest blessings as you prepare for Samhain!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Practicing Magick On the Road

 I was recently inspired by a post by one of my Wiccan friends in the blogshere, that I felt compelled to write on this blog that has been neglected since I left home and family for life on the road...
the goal is to visit all the National Parks in America.

Serenity Athenina wrote about her take on dark magick, and I have to say that one of the hardest aspects of practicing The Craft is the self-work needed to acquaint oneself with the darker side of life. Many aspiring witches cling to the notion that all magick should be light and cheerful, which takes the practice into the realm of silly.

Before embarking on this trip I had to delve deep into the dark chamber of my soul and pull out many painful and negative attributes that have been part of life and personality and explore them head on. It was not easy and yet I found that when I did this in a purposeful manner, they no longer had the power to haunt me in the shadows. How can you possibly banish what you are unwilling to understand?

Along the way, I get freaky reminders to follow my Wiccan path. Who would expect a pentagram to appear on a small chapel. How nice if a pilgrim on the Path could visit such a chapel and leave behind a token of home-made homage, or borrow one left behind after offering a meditation to Spirit. Just an eclectic vision of mine.

Here is one of the many new places I refer to as home...

and here is the house I travel in... yes, I live in a van down by the river (joke reference from SNL).

The hubster and I celebrate frequently with a fire out in the elements. A campfire has such a grounding effect for me... wild, yet tamed it stirs a cauldron of thoughts and feelings.

My kitchen and living room, though I can usually be found outside in the woods or on a beach with my camera.

In spite of the small living quarters, I still maintain a little alter. And Venus, my favorite goddess looks down upon me from the night sky.
I love the vultures, whether black or turkey... my friends seemed to have followed me from NJ and I like to think they are looking out for us.
A tender moment with Otis, our pet bunny who seems to enjoy life on the road.

Whatever Magick you practice, may you have moonbeams of blessings this year. And remember the moon would not be so beautiful if it wasn't for the dark sky.

We blog our adventures @ Astral Nomads