Tuesday, July 31, 2018

The Wheel Is Rolling On! Preparing for Lughnasadh

Lughnasadh is all but upon us!


 I don't know about you, but I LOVE celebrating Sabbats! I feel like I did when I was 6 years old on Christmas Eve - all but trembling with anticipation and joy for presents and wearing my "holiday clothes" and seeing family. I get to spend the day focusing on things in life that matter but make me happy, things that make life worth living. I love how the air seems to change as it draws closer to a Sabbat. It's as if there's electricity in the air and the closer it gets to the day the stronger the charge. Some sources say that the Veil thins on all of the Blessed days (not just on Samhain). I believe that. I'm a medium so I can sense beings from the Other side. The Veil is the thinnest on Samhain that's for sure. The electricity I feel before every other Sabbat is nothing in comparison to how it feels in October. But that's for another day! Today I am going to tell you:
  •  what Lughnasadh means to me
  • what I'll be doing to celebrate
  • suggest activities for families/covens/solitary witches
  • share a ritual and go over ideal spell themes. 
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What Lughnasadh is All About

For the ancient Celts, Lughnasadh first of the harvest festivals (harvest of fruits). 
It was time to begin harvesting corn as well.

It marked the point of the year when nights grow noticeably longer. Celtic days started with sunset so they actually began the celebrations the night before the first of the month. They had a different calendar than we do so if you want to do it like the Celts you'd observe Lughnasadh on the first full moon of August. 


Lughnasadh began with the Celtic god Lugh - hence the name (it's Gaelic for "Commemoration of Lugh"). Lugh held a feast in honor of his stepmother, Tailtiu. She is said to have been the one who introduced agriculture to Ireland which is why Lughnasadh is linked to the land and harvest.

In modern times we typically don't rely on crops and livestock for food, so the focus translates to things applicable to today's world. This is a day to appreciate what we have. Make a meal that has meaning to you, like using a recipe that's been passed down from generation to generation. I will be making chicken soup because the recipe holds sentimental value for me. My younger brother and his girlfriend just purchased their first house not too long ago- he's only 27! I'm 30 and the only thing I own is my car (πŸ˜₯) - but despite my envy, I am beyond proud of my brother and what he has accomplished. The amount of time and energy and love he and his partner have put into the house is incredible and the result is a warm, welcoming home (although one of their dogs was not keen on welcoming my toddler). My brother's girlfriend made us chicken soup from scratch for supper. My son, who I normally have to force feed if it's not mac and cheese, sat at the table like a grown up and ate all of his soup! It was phenomenal! So when I make the soup I will think of family, of the strong bonds siblings have, of talent and creativity, and of perseverance to make a house into a home. 


Other than food the themes of Lughnasadh are: 

  • abundance
  • prosperity
  • a time to begin new projects/careers or set new goals
  • gratitude
  • family 
  • protection of hearth and home

Lughnasadh Activities 

I have quite a few activities planned for Lughnasadh this year. The first task will be preparing the feast. Well, soup isn't really a feast but it's still fun to say. I'm making chicken soup from scratch and serving it with rosemary french bread. It'll go in the crockpot so I'll throw the veggies together in the morning and start them cooking in the broth with herbs. I will check on it periodically and do the next steps in stages throughout the day. Being a harvest festival I plan to harvest some flowers from my garden to make a decorative centerpiece for my table. I'm going to make sure I've got everything I need for the ritual and spellwork. Then I'm going to clean the house from top to bottom! While I clean I will memorize my lines for the ritual. I wouldn't look like a very competent priestess if I'm fumbling with note cards or a book while I lead ritual!

I'll have my son 'help' me by giving him a squirt bottle of water and a rag to have him wash the walls. He's 2 and at that stage where he wants to be involved in everything I do. 

When the cleaning is done it'll be time for something fun with the Gods in mind - part of my devotional practice is to do arts and crafts making something for them at least once a week, so, this is the perfect day to do so! I've already made statues as offerings so I'll make decorative altarpieces while my son makes a mess with his Model Magic. I favor Sculpey clay but it's not really child-friendly. Crayola's model magic never dries so it's perfect for little ones who tend to leave it out for hours but keep coming back throughout the day. 

Some activities you could partake in are:

  • Painting/Drawing (of what you want, of the Deities, of what you're celebrating today)
  • Sculpting (statue of the Deities, a mini spear for Lugh, a Goddess statue for Anu, an offering dish for the ritual/your altar)
  • create Corn Dolly's for the ritual (to represent the Deities)
  • Go for a walk and find the perfect stick to be your wand for the rites, or if its' big enough to be your staff- my son LOVED when I took him to help me find my staff
When the arts and crafts are done, and supper time is coming close, I will turn the crock pot to low and take my son outside so he can play for 20 minutes while I ground myself. I will take off my shoes so I can actually feel the earth beneath me. I will feel the strong, unbending ground and the warm, exhilarating sun on my skin and I will think about Anu and Lugh. I will think about ways they have affected my life, ways they could help me with my goals for the next phase of the year, how my love for them runs so deep and strong like the roots of an ancient tree. This is something I try to do every day as a part of my devotional practice for the Morrigan (I'm a priestess for the Morrigan so I will interact with her multiple times a day).

Lughnasadh Ritual & Workings

Source: oghampathways.wordpress.com

"Alluring Anu"
©2018 Amanda Wilson. All Rights Reserved
Since I don't want to impact the efficiency of the ritual I'm planning I have designed one especially for you, my lovely readers. I have been really drawn to Celtic magic lately, so I have written a ritual that combines practices of Druidry, Celtic magic, and Wicca.  The ritual will be honoring Lugh and Anu, the Goddess of the Land,  the mother of the Gods and one of the three Morrigans. (To learn more about Anu, check out my article about her on Hubpages: The Magic of the Morrigan: Alluring Anu.) You will acknowledge and provide an offering for your ancestors and the Spirits of the Land as well. The intent of the ritual is to recognize and give thanks for the abundance in your life - what you've 'harvested' from your hard work and dedication. This could be beautiful paintings as a result of study and practice, a raise or promotion at work after years of working your ass off, a garden full of gorgeous flowers after spending all those days getting bitten by bugs, dirt under your nails and sunburns on the back of your neck because you were sitting on the ground messing with the soil, pruning the massive plants (I have some flowers that grow so big they weigh down the whole plant), or anything else that applies to you!

Before the ritual, you should clean your whole house. This is something I do with every turn of the year. Witchcraft values order, balance, and efficiency. By going through your house cleaning and organizing each room you are setting up the home for maximum efficiency. If you come across things that are no longer of use- and be honest with yourself here!- you should consider donating or recycling it. I used to have the hardest time letting go of things, but I've come to learn they are just that: things. Would I save them in case of a fire? No. So no sense keeping them in that box you keep tripping over because it doesn't fit in the closet. My rule of thumb is if I haven't thought of the thing in 6 months then its time to move it along (obviously certain things are exempt, like your kids' first outfit or heirlooms etc.). When your home is clean and organized the energy tends to be more positive and light. The Faeries certainly prefer a clean and orderly home over one that is cluttered, dark, and dusty. 


Now that your house is clean you probably are not. So take a shower and scrub yourself clean. You will be inviting Gods into your home tonight and you don't want to be grubby doing it!  As you're washing your body let go of all the things stressing you out. Let it slide down your body like the water drops and swirl down the drain with the soap and water. When you are washing between your toes you are washing away the bricks of stress weighing you down. Exfoliating your face is clearing the clutter from your mind as the gunk is cleaned out of your pores. The Celtic gods appreciate cleanliness and this definitely applies to you as well. Even if you aren't honoring Lugh and Anu, taking a ritual shower or bath is common practice before a ritual. Cleansing yourself helps to cleanse your mind and soul which allows for a fierce focus on the working.


πŸŒ–Lughnasadh RitualπŸŒ–


You've cleansed your body and your home so now you will move on to the next step in preparation. You should anoint yourself and perform a self-blessing. Just dap a bit of oil on your chakra points and ask your Patron/Matron deity to bless you tonight. If you don't have one then ask the Universe.

 You want to wear clothing that is both comfortable, easy to move in, doesn't pose a fire risk (long flowy sleeves + candles = OUCH). You also want to wear something that makes you feel Witchy. When you have clothes dedicated to ritual use only you will feel magical when you put them on and it will assist in the shift in consciousness, help you stay focused, heighten your psychic senses.  



Items Needed:
  • Candles to represent Anu, & Lugh (green and gold are common choices)
  • Altarpieces that make you think of the intent - like photos of your garden, a pay stub, the painting you're proud of.
  • offerings for the ancestors, land spirits and the Deities - traditionally this would be whiskey, wine, herbs, honey but when it comes to offerings I always tell people it's not WHAT you give but HOW you give it. Now the Fae do appreciate shiny trinkets and sweet food/drinks, like milk and honey. But offerings for Deities must come from the heart. Don't go out and get whiskey and absently pour the libations. You could offer herbs the Deity is said to favor, offer food or drink that you particularly favor, make something for them like a painting or a sculpture, or perform a duty in honor of them. Offerings can be as unique as the individual laying them out.
  • Incense: I know there are lists all over the internet that tell you which incense is appropriate for Lughnasadh. When I choose incense for rituals I use my intuition. Certain scents act as keys, that is once I smell them my chakras open and my energy becomes grounded, I start breathing slow and steady and my consciousness shifts to the necessary level for magic and devotionals. Nag Champa, Dragons Blood, and chakra aligning incense sticks are my go-to's but choose what works for you.
  • Magical Tools: tools are more than objects that assist us with a task, they are symbols for different concepts or themes in life. The tools that we will recognize/use in this ritual are the cauldron, the torc, the sword and the spear. If you don't have these things don't fret. You could use a bowl, a necklace, an athame (I'm using a dagger), and a stick. I'll be using clay statues of these things and the dagger to cast the circle and open the barrier etc. You could have pictures of these things too, the whole idea is what these things symbolize.
Bring all these things to your altar and set them aside - not on the altar yet. Light some sage or a cleansing incense. Rosemary, patchouli, dragon's blood, frankincense, myrrh, and vervain all work great to clear the air of negative energy. And by negative I don't mean ghosts - negative energy is energy that distracts from the intention of the working. So, cleanse the air, and then smudge your tools one by one as you put them on your altar. I'm not going to tell you how to set up your altar - the Gods don't care where everything is. Do what works for you. I like to have the tools arranged by the quarters, so candles in the southern corner, incense in the east, water or my cauldron in the west and then salt or soil from my property in the north. Again, this works for me but do what works for you!


Before you cast the circle center yourself - find your point of power (usually in the belly) and rock gently back and forth until you come to a natural stop, then rock side to side until you come to a natural stop. Now release all tension, control your breathing. Focus on your feet. From the bottom of your feet, roots are extending, they reach down into the ground -the body of the Earth Mother Anu, and when they come to a natural stop your breathing pulls up the Waters of the Earth, the natural currents that charge the power of the earth. With each breath, these waters rise higher. Continue until they fill your body. Now focus on the sky - see the Sun in your mind's eye. Now see the moon, the stars. See them together in a beautiful blended sky. Open your Crown and accept the golden stream of light, the Fire power from the Sky. Again pull it towards you and into your with each breath. Take a moment to feel the combined powers merging with your own. When you cast the circle, see the Waters of the Underworld and the Fire of the Sky emerge from your finger (or athame or wand whichever you prefer). As they meet they form protective Mist, that is both a barrier and a boundary, establishing a safe space in which you will conduct your ritual and carry out your workings.  As you rotate you could think or say something to this effect:

I cast now a circle of the Waters of Anu and the Fire of Lugh, a circle of mists that protects from the unwanted and invites the Divine. In the name of Anu and Lugh this circle is sealed!
Now call the Airts. If you have a call you particularly like then you may use it, or you can make one up. Ian Corrigan's Sacred Fire, Holy Well he provides an exercise to attune to the Four Airts, but I like to use it as the call. The short and sweet invocation for each corner allows for time to envision the wind and feel the qualities enter the circle and intertwine with your energy.
East wind blow Bounty
See red wind blow from the east and enter your circle, swirling around you clockwise until it wraps around you bringing the awareness of wealth in your life and the power of growth.
South wind blow Song
See white wind from the south blowing in and filling you with energy and new impulse.
West wind blow Wisdom
See the twilight gray wind enter your circle and infusing your spirit with knowledge and inspiration. 
North wind blow Strong
A black wind swirls in and around you, bringing strength and stability. 

Light the candle for Anu as you raise your power hand and with your wand/athame or finger, draw an invoking spiral (start in the middle and rotate clockwise). See the mist parting and Anu appearing and stepping forward as you say:

I call to you, Anu, Goddess of the Land and Mother of Gods, to come to my sacred circle to join and bless this Lughnasadh rite. Hail and Welcome Earth Mother Anu!
Now light the candle for Lugh and repeat the process, saying:
I call to you Lugh, God of Light, to come to my sacred circle to join and bless this Lughnasadh rite. Hail and Welcome, Master of Skills Lugh!
Take the offering for the Ancestors and as you pour/place it into the offering dish say:
With this offering I honor you, Ancestors of Blood and Bone. May you bless this rite with your wisdom and love.
Take the offering for the Land Spirits and as you pour/place it into the offering dish say:
With this offering I honor you Spirits of the Land, Guardians of this place. May you bless this rite with your protection.
Now state the intention of the ritual. Acknowledge the ways in which Anu and Lugh have blessed you thus far (say at least one specific thing, like "thank you Lugh for helping me write that proposal that got me my promotion", or "thank you Anu for blessing me with perseverance I needed to reach my weight goals"). Next share with them the goals you have for the future, and request that the bless you with their virtues so that you will achieve them.

Take the offering you have for Anu. Hold it up above the altar and say:
Behold my offering for Anu, a token of my respect, love, and gratitude. 
Place/pour into the offering dish and repeat for Lugh:
Behold my offering for Lugh, a token of my respect, love and gratitude. 
 If you have any spellwork planned you may proceed with it. If you don't, you may perform divination, using Tarot or scrying to find an answer to any burning questions you have or to obtain advice on how to achieve your goals. You could just sit and communicate with the Deities. Be sure to write down messages your receive and any feelings/sensations you felt during the ritual.  

When you are ready to end the ritual thank and dismiss the Deities and then the Energies of the Directions. Saying something like "Thank you for joining me on this night. Depart in peace ____"


Open the circle by extending your power arm and rotating counterclockwise, envisioning the mist separating into the Water and Fire and returning to the Earth and Sky.



πŸŒ– Lughnasadh Spell✨πŸŒ–

Lughnasadh is a great time for spells that involve prosperity, abundance, relationships, and protection. The moon phase for tomorrow night is Waning Gibbous, so for prosperity and abundance, I recommend casting the spell during the day, drawing from the Sun's energy. The Sun has cycles just like the moon. From sunrise to noon it's like the waxing moon so spells bringing things to you are best, from noon to three the sun is most powerful so you could cast any kind of spell and typically from 3 until dusk you would cast for release, serenity or removal. 
The Druids follow the year's cycle just as Wiccans do but with a few differences. Again explaining this in detail would warrant another full article, but here it is in a nutshell: instead of a hierarchical modal of realms, they believe that the Upper- and Underworlds manifest themselves here on Earth in various time phrases. There are specific moon phases, times and holy days that correspond to each Station of the Year - Station being holy days. For Lughnasadh, the energies for spellcasting are strongest when the moon is a Waning Gibbous between the hours of 3 and 5:59 in the evening. This year the moon is, as I said earlier in Waning Gibbous so from 3 until 5:59 tomorrow would be the best time to perform your ritual and spells. You would draw on the powers of the Sun, the Moon, and of the earth. 

I am a firm believer that the most effective spells are ones you write yourself because that much more energy is put into manifesting your Will. I will provide a spell I've found to be effective and easy to manipulate to cover just about any type of spell. 

Anu Earth Magick Spell¹
This spell involves calling on Anu and the element of earth to manifest your desired goal. Useful for material things, such as money for a bill, a new job/promotion, new car or home, etc.
Items Needed: 
  • Anu's incense (small pinch of soil, 3 tbsp of mugwort, 2 tbsp Irish moss)
  • a small bowl
  • 1 cup soil from your property
  • Athame
Light the incense and pass the bowl through the smoke. Fill the bowl with the soil. Hold your hands over the bowl and say:
I am one with Anu, Mother of the Land, whose body is the green and fertile hills, whose blood flows through the rivers, whose bones are the stones of the earth. The power of the earth flows through me, I am one with the spirit of the earth, I am one with Anu!
With your finger or athame draw a symbol representing what you wish to manifest in the soil. See your desire clearly in your mind and see it flowing into the soil, moving from the realm of Energy to the physical realm to manifest in your life. When you're done sprinkle the soil outside on your property (releasing it into the Universe to manifest and send you what you want). (Woodfield, 2011, p.90-92)

1. Woodfield, S. (2011). Celtic Lore & Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess: 
Invoking the Morrigan. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications.





Thursday, July 26, 2018

Thoughtful Thursdays: Finding the Magical in the Mundane

✨✨There is magic all around, no matter where you are, no matter what you’re doing... you just have to be open to it. There are many realms within this world - little worlds within this world: Forests, Fields, Beaches, Backyards even. Today I will tell you how to transform a mundane walk through the woods into a Spellcrafting Stroll through a Magical Woodland. ✨✨


When you have the chance, go for a walk through the woods. When you step onto the path, you are entering a different world. Instead of a vast blue sky and all-encompassing light, the air is cool, the breeze is gentle, the Sun only meeting the ground in sparse rays of light. Continue forward, following the splashes of light - these are your guides to the perfect space in which you will perform your working. Walk slowly, so your eyes can thoroughly observe the scene. What colors do you see - shapes, shadows, take as much of it in as possible. Your goal is to immerse yourself in this world and learn how you fit into it. You are not on the path, you are a part of it..you are a part of the woods. 

As you stroll listen to the wind... what is it saying? Pause for a moment and breathe in through your nose. Close your eyes and focus on the scents. What do you smell? You can better understand your surroundings by using your sense of smell to identify the things your eyes don't detect. 





Your hearing can further define the world around you. What can you hear? As a breeze glides through the branches imagine the leaves dancing about when you hear them rustling. Can you identify the bird calling nearby? What do you think the squirrels are chattering about?


Go to the nearest tree and place your hand on its' body- observe the sturdiness of the trunk... the refreshing coolness of the bark. Stand in the presence of this tree and feel the energy radiating from it- how does it feel against your body? Does it carefully nudge your aura? Or is it a strong force enveloping you in a hug?







The sun peering through the trees is more than streams of light illuminating the forest path...it is the Goddess, sending you energy that, when accepted through your Crown Chakra (the top of your head) merges with yours, making your magic determined and fierce.

Let your intuition guide you to The Spot - the place where you will conjure and cast. When you find this place, stand there for a moment and slowly rotate, taking in your surroundings. The techniques you were practicing along the way will have you all warmed up for this task. Once you have etched the area into your mind, stand comfortably with your feet shoulder width apart. Feel your power start to warm and rise in your belly, and send it down your legs, through your feet. Push it from the bottom of your feet into the ground, in the form of roots if that helps. Send those roots deep as you can, allowing them to stop naturally. Now breath deeply, into your belly and then your lungs and hold that breath with the muscles of your belly and chest- don't close your throat. Hold for the count of 2 or 4, whichever you are more comfortable with, and then release. Let the air out of your lungs and then your belly, and again hold by flexing the muscles in your middle. The next deep breath you take, envision you are absorbing the power of the earth, drawing it up with your breath. Continue this breathing technique until the energy has traveled up the roots, entered your feet, then up your legs, into your belly, rising up until your body has fully absorbed the powers of the Earth. How does it feel as it merges with your personal power? With the power of the sun?

Now comes the fun part! You may cast a circle if you wish, or set a protective barrier around you. In Wicca, the circle is cast in order to keep the energy raised in a contained space. It condenses as it increases, and so when you finally open the circle it is sent into the world like a stone shot into a field with a slingshot. In Celtic magic, the circle does the opposite in a way, whereas instead of creating a pressure cooker for magic, it establishes a sacred space with no veil so the deities or spirits you call to may communicate with you. Depending on the working I may use the Wiccan circle or I may use the Celtic. Whichever you use, if any, is totally up to you.

This working will be sent into the Universe, to tweak and shake the delicate strands of the Web of Life encouraging the series of events necessary to ensure that what you desire will come to pass. The power of Speech was believed to be immensely powerful by the Celts, so begin by stating your desire out loud. See the destination in your minds' eye - if you are casting for a new career, imagine your daily routine from the moment you wake up until the time you lay down to sleep. How has your life changed with this new career? Do you drive a different car? Does your house have any new furniture? What is your range of emotions through the day? Do you have a peaceful commute? Or do you start your day by taking your laptop out to the chair on your back porch to check emails in your pajamas while you sip on coffee? What was the busiest part of the day? How did you feel when the rush was over? See these things clearly as possible. When you get home from work or when you decide your work day is over,  are you tired?...feel a sense of accomplishment?...giddy because you landed a new client? When you are getting ready for bed, what thoughts are going through your mind?

When your journey self drifts to sleep, bring your awareness back to your body. Ground the energy speeding through your body and with it send your intent. Once the energy charged with your Will is pushed into the earth the soil will nurture it, help it grow sturdy and strong.  The power of the Sky is of the element Fire, so it is the spark that will bring change to your life that will lead you to your goal. Feel that spark traveling with the power of Sky through your body, and when it comes up your midsection to your head let the power shoot out of the Crown chakra and rain down around you. Feel the strength and stability and potential merge with the earth energy and send it back down your roots. This energy is now a part of the Woodland floor, the soil in which these trees have taken root. The trees will absorb the energy, and the sunlight that caresses their leaves will ignite the intent into motion.

You should pour a bit of water onto the earth as an offering and a sign of gratitude for accepting your presence and for contributing to your magic.

✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨✨

Your body, mind, and soul are the only tools you need to make magic. Sure, an athame or wand helps to focus magic but your finger is just as efficient- maybe even more powerful, at casting a circle.  Your Will, Determination, and your Imagination- your Inner Sight are essential to magic as they are the catalysts which bring your desires to life.  Your bodily senses will define the world around you, help you understand how you fit into it. Your intuition will guide you towards the location both safe and sacred -perfect for making magic- and your Inner Sight will set into motion that which you are determined to accomplish...what you Will.




Tuesday, July 24, 2018

It is Incredible...

◇◇◇◇
It is INCREDIBLE... 
the power of a woman who is not afraid to say no.
No matter how many times I watch this video I get chills. Fleassy Malay has found the words, the voice, and even the facial expressions that reach into my soul and grip my core. It was when I finally claimed back that no as mine that my life started to piece together. I was a shell of a human being, merely staying alive to care for my son, but I was not living. I couldn't do what my family, my peers, everyone in my life told me I should do - and my whole life that's all I've done. I'd never said NO. I'd come up with excuses if it was something I really didn't want to do but never said no. 

You see words, they have meaning. I'd convince myself that what I was doing was the right thing because my parents/teachers/peers said it was. I thought they would only accept me, approve of me if I did what they said. But when I hit bottom and had no hands reaching down to try to help me up, I was done listening to the words of others. I decided it was time to give my own words power.


Becoming a witch meant finding the power that was laying quietly in my mind, the energy slowly trickling through my body undetected. It was not easy - the discipline, the research, the exercises. But by the Gods, it was worth it! 

Through the hubble and the bubble and the toil and the trouble we grow stronger...

As I learned to cast a circle, how to make charms and enchantments, wards and wands, my soul grew stronger. My life got better. In the past year, I have reached a level of happiness I have never known before. Even as a child I always felt like there was a hole in my heart, my soul. I felt like something was missing from my life and to make it worse I didn't know what it was that I was missing! I vividly remember being 4 years old, laying in bed and feeling that pain - It made me cry so hard my mother came in. I told her the first lie in my living memory when she came in. She obviously asked why I was crying. I told her I missed my uncle - which is really random because he lived across the country. But that memory stuck with me because I lied to my mother. At 4 years old I knew that I couldn't just tell her I was crying because I felt like a wasn't a whole person, that I was missing something, a part of myself. How I knew that I don't know, and randomly just knowing something was another thing that stayed with me since that night. (Claircognizance - a very odd and at the same time freakin' awesome ability to have.)

So now we cast spells with our mouths, pieces of our hearts spill out. It is incredible... 
I have finally found that missing link, filled that hole within my soul. Now my passions are all the fiercer, my will all the stronger. I have entered the fire, I have risen from the ashes. I am a Witch and I have learned to say NO!  I refuse to allow anyone to tell me what to do, I will no longer listen to "you should...". You see words, they carry meaning - they are powerful, so powerful spells can be simply words spoken aloud. I refuse to be affected by the words of others- I have broken the curse that caused me to be filled with dread and misery whenever I so much as mildly disappointed anyone. I have freed myself from the enchantment that caused me to just lay down and let people walk all over me, allow people - family members even- to put me down. If I am insulted I say something. If someone asks too much of me, I say something. I have reclaimed that no as Mine!


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

About Me

This website will take you along for the ride of my transformational journey. It is one of strength, vitality, sovereignty, and a little magick. Let me catch you up!

I was in two relationships(one right after the other), where I was mentally, physically, and emotionally abused, and it broke me. My mind, my soul, my will to live. Over the past year, however, I have been reclaiming my sovereignty. I have been on a scavenger hunt for the bits of my soul that fled my body with every harsh word or painful blow. I had three different doctors try to put me on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds, but I refused. I was determined to find a way to heal my mind naturally. Now, I am NOT suggesting that anyone stop taking or refuse to get on medication to help with mental disorders. That is not what this is about. I have other medical conditions that would have been affected by barbituates, so the medicinal route was not for me. My doctors all said that it would take AT LEAST 5 years for me to start recovering. Well, here I am a year later, feeling good enough to put my life story on blast. I've even got my anxiety under control enough to try to start working again.
⇒ (I understand that working as a Freelance writer isn't going into an office from 9-5, and 99% of my interactions will be through a computer screen, but I would have never been able to put myself out there to promote my availability and commit myself to a job even 6 months ago.)

Breaking Free

I will never forget the moment the court gave the ruling that I had sole custody of my son, and that his abusive father was not to come within 500 feet of either of us. I cried tears of happiness and relief. I was free. Finally free... This was the second relationship in a row where I had endured abuse, and my mind just couldn't cope. I was suffering from C-PTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I will list resources for this disorder at the bottom of the page).  I was seeing a therapist every week, but it wasn't really helping. I couldn't really wrap my head around what being free meant at first. I just went through the motions every day taking care of my son. But I didn't enjoy anything. I didn't desire anything. I did things for myself only if they were necessary - like feed myself and shower often enough so I didn't stink or get sick. I remember sitting in my recliner one afternoon, watching my son play. It was a beautiful day - kids kept running by the window. I realized at that moment that my painful loneliness, paralyzing anxiety, and deep dark depression was affecting my son...I decided then and there that I had to figure out a way to get through this- at least manage my symptoms enough to take my son outside to play once in a while!
I don't know how much time had passed since my resolution - a week, maybe two - that I had found the key that unlocked the chains of C-PTSD. Witchcraft. No, that is not a typo. Becoming a witch has vastly improved my mental disorder. It's not really that crazy of an idea actually. More and more psychiatrists are recommending holistic remedies, such as the activities of witchcraft, like meditation, prayer, devotional work, etc. Becoming a witch was a process, and my identity as a witch is constantly evolving. I am this close to being able to say I'm "this" kind of witch. (Click to follow my blog so you won't miss my Turning into a Witch entry.)

What To Expect from this Website

As I said before, this website is all about my journey, my story. I have a few different things going for me. I'm a mother first and foremost, so I'm sure I'll have an article or two about being a single mom or about two-year-old boys. My son is such a character. He is incredibly like his uncle, which is fitting because I named him after my brother. But at the same time, he is his own person - the cutest, and sometimes annoying, little quirks. I know any mother can relate. This is my little angel.

My other hobby: ART.  I paint or draw every day. I started out crocheting (in fact, I crocheted the blanket my son is laying on in the photo above). Then I decided to start drawing. Once I figured out that I could draw things if I had a reference photo, I tried my hand at painting. I LOVED it. Which was a surprise because I was never good at painting. In high school when it came to choosing electives I did everything I could to avoid taking an art class. When I went to college I had to take an art class - and I found a loophole: Art History! So it really surprised me that I 1. Enjoyed painting and 2. Wasn't the worst painter.

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Crashing Wave

If you like Crashing Wave, go to my profile on Fine Art America and purchase a print! You can purchase a print of the painting, or you can purchase a wide array of merch with this image on it, like a cell phone case, shower curtain, and many more.
Finally, you can definitely expect blogs about witchcraft and magic. Being a witch has had a major influence on my life. How I think, how I feel, how I see the world; even who I worship. I may post spells or rituals, and will definitely recommend resources that I've used (some books are starting to fall apart because I've read them so many times).
With any blog I publish, I welcome comments. If you have questions, anecdotes of your own, constructive criticism - I would appreciate and almost all feedback! The exception, of course, would be spammy or negative comments. My mother taught me to say nothing if I had nothing nice to say, and I expect the same of anyone I interact with.
With that said, welcome to my blog and I hope to inspire, entertain and enlighten!

Thanks for reading! (Don't forget to click to subscribe!)



Bright Blessings to You and Yours!
Always with Love,
Amanda

Monday, July 16, 2018

When Your Craft Hits a Wall

I had read every book I could get my hands on. I had bookmarked dozens of websites about magic, spells, Wicca, and witchcraft, and revisited them each multiple times, soaking up every bit of advice and tried all the techniques suggested. I had hit a brick wall of learning. It was time I found a mentor!

When solitaires first start their craft, most will read anything and everything they can get their hands on. Books, ebooks, magazines, websites, blogs...Everything is so new and so foreign. I came from a Christian family, so I literally mean everything. I didn't know the difference between casting or invoking, I didn't know what the Wiccan Rede was, (I actually thought it might be a god or something at first)...you get the picture.
I am on limited income, so I was only able to purchase at most a few books a month. I was online every day though, searching hungrily for new information, or for more details about the information, I just read about in a book. After a few months of studying every day, I finally felt comfortable with the basics. I was ready to start putting my own flair on my practice, versus rigidly following the Wiccan Intro books for rituals and spells. I became more confident in my spellcasting abilities and even was able to come up with spells on the spot whenever I found myself in a bind. But I knew there was still a lot I didn't know and knew there was no way I could call myself a novice witch unless I started learning from an actual human. I needed a mentor.
So, there is not even a new age/witchy shop within 50 miles of my home. My local library doesn't' even carry any books about witchcraft (at least informational books- they have a handful of fictional novels about witches). My first thought was Etsy or Craigslist, but Etsy witches really only offer single spells at a time (like they cast a spell for you or send you a kit so you can cast it on your own), and I scratched the Craigslist idea as soon as it came. I decided if I was going to advance in my craft, the closest thing  I would get to a mentor would be to find a witch school.
Google dictionary defines a mentor as an experienced and trusted advisor. When you are practicing a new religion, and a new lifestyle, I don't know how anyone could graduate to an experienced level without a mentor. And being a mentor cannot be an easy job. Think about it: you've already studied everything your student is grilling you about, and you have to deal with silly, sometimes redundant questions. You have to repeat yourself, you have to be patient, you have to be creative. To all the mentors out there: THANK YOU!After several weeks, and three online schools later, I finally found not only a school but a mentor as well! I registered for Witch School, an online school designed to offer magical education to anyone who wants it for little to no cost. Witch School also trains clergy members for the Correllian Nativist Tradition. For several subjects, such as Lessons for the First Degree (the first level of clergy membership), or for Divination, they offer mentors. You select a mentor from a list for the subject, and you correspond with your mentor via email or on their social site The Daily Spell. I can't even express how much this school has helped me advance. My mentor is WONDERFUL. She will help me with anything, whether it's related to a lesson or not. They provide extra help for tests, and if you are like me and can't sit still for multiple choice tests, your mentor can give you essay tests. You simply write one or more of the essays they email you then send it back in an email formatted per their instruction. So simple! I retain information much better when I write an essay about it.

(Originally posted May 10th, 2018- transferred from my old Wordpress account)

Mother Sun: Written in Honor of Litha

Mother Sun

By Amanda Wilson

Mother Sun, shining down
You are the cure for every frown.
You are strong and regal and bright
Like Macha, with invigorating Light,
and Γine, whose simple touch can heal. 

Majestic and fiery Star
Your life is guiding from afar
On this day we honor you
and give thanks for the blessings you imbue.

Today is the longest daya Liminal time when the Good Folk to come out and playI hope that I make you proudas I celebrate, dance and sing out loud.

Until the time you sink down low,
I will make the most of this day you know.
Until you fall below the hill,
Only then I will be still.

Although it's thirteen days away, I am getting ready to celebrate Litha. As a Witch, a Pagan, a mother, and a woman, the Summer Solstice is an important day for me. On the morning of June 21, my best friend and I will get up, put on our favorite "witchy" clothes, put braids and flowers in our hair, and head out to my backyard.  Once outside, we will play Celtic music and dance to welcome the Sun as She rises on her last dominating day of the year. At dusk I will paint the sunset, hoping to capture the magic of the last light of the longest day. Litha is a day to celebrate your blessings, to enjoy the Sun, to honor your favorite Sun god and goddess. I will honor Lugh, the Master of Skills, and thank him for blessing me with the courage to paint, and the talent (albeit small amount) I have. I will ask him to shine rays of inspiration upon me, so that I may learn and grow in the craft of painting. I will thank Anu for my son, and for my abilities as a mother. I will honor her by tending to my flowers, and by taking my son to the beach so we may both enjoy the realms of land and sea, both of which Anu rules over. I will end the day with a ritual honoring Áine, asking her for blessings and honoring her with offerings of honey and herbs.
Wiccans across the Northern Hemisphere will recount the tale of the battle between the Holly King and Oak King. The Oak King rules the light half of the year, while the Holly King reigns over the darkness. On Yule, the Oak King is reborn, stronger than ever, to reclaim his throne. I am not Wiccan, but I still find the lore to be fascinating and beautiful.
The Wheel turns so fast. I feel like just a few weeks ago I was celebrating Beltane, and only a month ago I was performing divination on Samhain. My son is growing too fast, but I'm looking forward to including him in my celebrations throughout the years to come. I will teach him the Craft, about my beliefs, and the Christian beliefs of our family. Well, some of them. The bits about a man owning his wife, or the section saying the wife must obey her husband I will leave out. I don't want him to think he is superior just because he is a man. I want him to grow up appreciating life, soaking in every blessing as the sand absorbs water as the ocean heaves salty waves upon the land.
The Summer Solstice is a time to plan for the future as well. In ancient times, the Celts would harvest the summer fruits, and perform rituals to ensure the fall harvest was bountiful - the clan would starve throughout the winter if it wasn't. They would be stitching up any holes in their heavy cloaks, making any necessary repairs to their homes so the walls could withstand the harsh winter, they would be planning and preparing for the Darkness that falls as the Sun disappears behind the hills on the evening of the Solstice. This Darkness gradually overtakes the days - the nights grow longer and colder, and the days shorter, the sun growing weaker each day.
As the Veil thins, I can feel the energy in the air changing. It is more and more charged - electrified almost - as each Sabbat approaches. Of course, some are more noticeable than others. Samhain and Beltane are the strongest, as the Veil is all but gone on those holidays. Litha is a day when the Good Neighbors are said to make themselves visible. Some suggest taking the time to make an offering and ask for help with spells from the Fae on this day. My advice: unless you work with the Good Folk regularly, don't ask them for anything. Leave them an offering and acknowledge their presence respectfully with a small offering. You could even invite them to your Circle, but I don't recommend asking for favors unless you plan to continue to work with them. They will know if you are only giving an offering to buy a favor, versus respectfully acknowledging them and wishing them well on a day when communicating with them is easier. I've only read a few books on the matter, so I'm no expert. But from what I've read, the Fae (who don't like to be called that btw - call them The Good Folk or Good Neighbors) are easily offended, and you DO NOT want to do that.  I plan to put out some milk and honey and wish them a Happy Solstice. I will also spruce up the rock garden I made for them on Beltane - I'll probably add glitter or some shiny bells. Faeries love shiny things.

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Litha is the longest day of the year, some say the sun is at its highest peak and its light illuminates all you have accomplished so far.  It is a time to be grateful for, and cast spells to acquire more prosperity. Even though I only have $6 to my name,  I will not be casting any money spells on June 21. Instead, I will be giving thanks for everything I have: my son, my home, the food in my fridge, the grassy backyard where my beautiful flowers are growing. I will give thanks for the money I do get, and that it is enough to keep a roof over my head, food in my son's belly and diapers on his bum. I will give thanks for the times I was given help when I didn't have enough money to get gas or to buy milk. Abundance and prosperity are all around, and when you are truly grateful for what you have, you will be blessed with more. I am confident that I will sell something on FineArtAmerica, or that I will start earning more than a few cents a week on Hubpages. It will happen, eventually. And until then, I won't let my poverty get in the way of my happiness, and I won't let it distract me from how prosperous I am when it comes to love and blessings.
Around noon, I plan to go to the beach, where land, sea, and sky meet.  I will say a prayer thanking and honoring the Sun. I will recite the poem I wrote, Mother Sun, then I will say a short prayer to Lugh, the Sun God and Master of Skills, and another prayer to Macha and Aine, two sun goddesses I work closely with. I will pray not only for myself but for all of my Pagan sisters and brothers.

I WISH YOU ALL A BLESSED LITHA!


(Originally posted June 8th, 2018- transferred from my old Wordpress account)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Following Fun Contest Closed

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