Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Magical Musings Samhain Series: Pop Culture Magick - Samhain Style!

Hello my lovelies! Before going into our topic today - Pop Culture Magick: Samhain Style - I wanted to give you a little personal side note. I had promised 13 articles before if you do the math you'll see that unless I post multiple articles in the following days that won't be possible. I won't give you any excuses...I will be honest in why I've fallen behind on my promise. 
I suffer from CPTSD (Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I have worked very hard over the past couple years to break free from the crippling symptoms of that mental illness. However, there are still triggers. I will most likely have triggers for the rest of my life. I am hopeful that I will work through them but according to psychiatrists and research, it's not likely. A few weeks ago I found myself in a situation that set off a lot of triggers, and flashbacks. Since that time I have been suffering from a type of depression, I suppose is the best term. I don't feel unhappy, and I don't even feel sad. But I have felt incredibly sleepy, unmotivated, and weak. I haven't felt inspired to write, draw, sculpt, not even to paint. It's really quite frustrating, that this person who means nothing to me was able to set off something in my mind that has had me tied down under the immense weight of my traumatic past for entirely too long. I have missed deadlines and been late submitting work to my clients. I haven't been outside, I haven't done magic, and I haven't even done more than sit in my recliner talking to the Morrigan for devotionals. The haze is clearing, but it still lingers. I suppose it's why I was put on permanent disability - the psychiatrist that evaluated me obviously saw that the horrors of my past have left scars that immobilize me in many ways. I have surpassed all expectations, but I'm still human and I still suffer from time to time. It drives me nuts to know that even though I have carefully carved the life I want, and am on the path towards the life my son and I deserve, that there are still monsters that can jump out of the woods and scare me into hiding. I will not apologize for my illness, nor am I ashamed of it. Too many battered women apologize for their abuse and for the aftermath. I will not be one of those women. My abuser is out of my life, but not all of the wounds he caused are fully healed. I am sorry that I haven't kept my word. I will do my best to provide as many articles as possible, but I won't sacrifice quality for quantity. With that said, let's take a breath, center ourselves, and open our minds to learn a new technique!

Monday, October 15, 2018

Following Fun: Click Follow for a chance to win a Samhain Spell Jar

Home Protection Jar I made for my apartment

Spell Jars are great...

They don't require any exhaustive, complicated conjuring. Cleanse, fill it with herbs and crystals and other tidbits charged with intent, seal it, set it somewhere safe and it continues to cast for as long as it's there!

As a token of gratitude for my lovely readers, I am going to offer a FREE Samhain Spell Jar to one person who follows me here or follows my Tumblr between now and Samhain. (Follow both and you'll get TWO entries!) On November 1st, the contest will be closed and I will use a raffle website to choose the winner. That ensures fairness. Don't worry, I won't be using one that requires email or any other contact information of the contestants. And, any contact info obtained will be so I can notify the winner and send them their jar.

So, what is a Samhain Spell jar?

Samhain is the Celtic New Year. It's a day to plan for the future, to remember the past, to acknowledge the lessons learned over the past year and set goals to learn new lessons in the new year.  I won't be sharing my recipe - but I will tell you that it will be filled with ingredients that instill confidence, assist with psychic abilities, and help ensure that your goals for the new year will manifest in a timely fashion. Once I choose a winner I will contact them to get a list of goals for the next year, so I can make sure the jar targets their specific needs. You can't beat that - click follow and get the chance to win magickal assistance for the next year! And remember, following both my blog and my Tumblr means you'll get 2 entries!

I look forward to sharing my Magical Musings with new followers, and can't wait to make someone's life a little more magickal!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

All About Altars - Samhain Series, Part 2

The Altar...

The altar is the central hub of witchcraft. It's where you communicate with Deity, it's where you cast spells, and perform rituals. It's where you honor the cycle of the year, and where you recognize the power within. You light candles and incense, and lay out pretty cloths with colors and symbols to strengthen your magic. As a priestess for the Morrigan, the majority of my work is done at the altar of the Queen of the Witches. Naturally, the day after Mabon I cleared away leaves and symbols of fall in favor of Samhain style altar pieces. Here is a neat poster I found on Pinterest. I don't know if it's copyright protected, but just to make it clear it was on Pinterest, it is not a creation of own:

My altar has a black, lacy, altar cloth, a fun witchy light I painted myself, a pumpkin, acorns I made from clay and an acorn I found, as well as an offering bowl I made from clay using a pyrex bowl as a mold. My homemade incense has cinnamon, dried apple peel, vervain, dragons blood, ginger and mugwort - occasionally I will throw a whole clove onto the candle where I sprinkle the herbal mix to give it a nice strong spicy scent that protects as much as it soothes.(whenever I use charcoal disks it sets off my smoke alarms so I opt to put the herbs on the candle dedicated to the Morrigan). I have my typical altar pieces - handmade candle holders, clay and wire sculptures for offerings, my mortar and pestle, and my dagger is kept on the wall next to it. 

Dagger is nestled safely in the Trinity Knot bag hanging on the wall...
Gotta keep sharp and dangerous things out of my sons reach!

Ancestor Altar

I haven't set it up yet, but. I have been taking copious notes in my grimoire planning out my ancestor altar. I have gathered photos of my grandparents, of pets, and notes about symbols that could represent spiritual ancestors. I don't know for sure if I am descended from Celts, but my DNA origin test showed that my DNA originated in Britain, France, Spain, Italy, Eastern Europe, and Nigeria-all locations the Celts would have inhabited. So I will have Celtic symbols as tributes to them, and Native American symbols to honor my more recent ancestors- as close as my great-great-grandparents were Black Foot, Iroquois, and Abenaki Indians. (and before you get all up in arms for using the term Indian, I have a close friend that are Abenaki 100% and he has said numerous times "I hate being called Native American - I'm an Indian dammit! and his family all nodded and clapped in agreement, so I'm using that term in respect for their wishes.  I have Indian on all sides of my family, but because of the Dutch in my moms' blood I didn't inherit my dad's red skin so I look like, well, a white girl. But in the words of Moana, their ways "They call me")
Anyways end rant lol. I've read that on an ancestor altar, a white fringed altar cloth is traditional. As is using crystals at each corner. I will be passing on that, but wanted to lyk for your own purposes. I will have Indian corn for my Indian ancestors, Celtic statues of animals and trinity knots for my ancestors from across the sea, and photos for my more recent loved ones. In the middle I will make a bowl and each day I will write something to them. On Samhain I will pull out the paper, start a fire in the little clay bowl, and read each one aloud. Then I'll toss it into the fire. I will then fire-gaze, until a spirit, or spirits come through with responses/answers to my notes. I will have a bowl or plate to leave food, a little cup for spring water or milk. On Samhain I will put candles on each corner, and candles in the windows so that my Ancestors will be guided by the candle light, while any other entities are scared away - any altar generates a lot of psychic energy and there are entities drawn to that energy like a moth to a flame. That's why it's so important to metaphysically clean up after spells and rituals. 
The Ancestor altar is not a place for spell casting, but a place for the magic of love. It's a place to communicate, connect and cleanse yourself of worries and doubt, and to fill your soul with love and wisdom. 

Monday, October 8, 2018

The Morrigan, The Seeress - Samhain Series, Part 1

Samhain Series, Part 1

I don't know about you, but I love how my psychic abilities seem to go into hyperdrive this time of year. Just about every day I'll get a vision - sometimes I don't mean to, but it's still exhilarating when I'm right (of course it's bittersweet when I see an undesirable outcome for someone, I wish that I could change their fate but a persons' future is up to them). 

Halloween countdowns are all over the place, so I thought I would jump on the bandwagon, so to speak, and provide my lovely readers with a Samhain Series. In case you missed my last post, these articles will all be discussing various topics that are related to Samhain, or the time period leading up to it and directly after. The Veil takes its' time to thin, so of course it doesn't just slam shut on November 1st. One of the most popular Samhain activities is divination, because it's so easy to communicate with the Other Side. As a Morrigan Priestess Initiate, I wanted to start this series off by sharing with you advice about connecting with the Morrigan in her guise as the Seeress. My readings are much more powerful when I request the Morrigans' help, and thought I would share with you the rituals, invocations and exercises I do with Her. 

The Morrigan - The Seeress

The Morrigan has several guises, names and faces. Her abilities are vast. One prominent ability is her second sight- her ability to see the past, present and the future. Ancient Irish texts are abound with anecdotes of the Morrigan seeing into the future, seeing past the Veil, knowing a person's entire life with one glance. The Washer at the Ford is the Morrigan (often considered to be Badb) as a phantom who appears to men on their way to battle. They see her washing their bloody clothes and armor in the river, sometimes crying, or even wailing as she mournfully washes away their blood. They could turn back and save themselves, but most men that saw her kept pushing on, driven by courage, pride and love for their people and their land. Macha died of a broken heart in one of her myths, because she saw the Battle of Ulster, where the men were slaughtered. They were slaughtered because of a curse that was actually cast by Macha, in another life form. 

[[In that incarnation, Macha knew nothing good would come of her husband revealing that she had extraordinary talents, so she made him promise not to tell anyone when he went to the feast at the kings court. After getting inebriated, her husband forgot about his promise and boasted that his wife could run so fast that she would beat the kings' horses, the fastest in the land. The king was a proud, and vengeful man, so he ordered his men to bring Macha to court at once - to prove that she was as fast as her husband said. The reason Macha didn't attend in the first place was because she was going to give birth to twins soon. She went into labor, and the king still insisted she raced. No one - not even her husband - stood up for her, so she raced, won, and gave birth to her twins at the finish line. As she lay dying she cursed the men of Ulster for their ignorance and cowardice, dooming them to suffer the pains of labor when they needed their strength the most. Fast forward some time, a battle was about to begin and the men fell with labor pains. Since they were all doubled over in pain the opposing army easily killed them all.]]

These are only a few of the many stories of the Morrigan foretelling the future. If you want to learn more check out Stephanie Woodfield's book Celtic Lore & Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess: Invoking the Morrigan. Hands down my favorite book! (and pretty much the main source of information I got for this article).

The Morrigan does not only foretell the future, but she has the power to form the fates of men (and women). She can bring misfortune, even death, to those who have earned her wrath while good fortune, success and triumph are what people who gained her favor are destined for. She is the Seer and the Weaver of Destinies. 

As the Seeress, the Morrigan can help us to peer into the mysteries of the past, present, and future in order to seek our own truths and weave the threads of our own fates. (1)


Divination with Help From the Divine

How do we peer into the mysteries of the past, present and future? With Divination, of course. Everyone can learn divination, because everyone is naturally psychic. Most people will try to explain away, justify, or straight up ignore their intuition. As witches, we must harness this ability. It will help us plan for the future, learn from our past, connect us to our ancestors by revealing ancient memories locked away in our mind. Divination is practiced by every culture and religion all over the world. Here in the US, the most common methods are cartomancy (divination with a deck of cards), scrying with water or flame, pendulums, and by using Runes or Ogham. Since the Morrigan is a Celtic goddess, I like to use Ogham, but she will help you all the same if you prefer Runes. 
Elder Futhark Runes
Runes and Ogham are great, but my favorite is using Oracle Cards, or Illuminated Tarot. (If you would like for me to do a reading for you, check out my Etsy shop Enchanting Endeavor! Only $5 for a 3 card spread!)

Whatever method you prefer, the Morrigan will help - all you have to do is ask. And speaking of questions, when performing divination the question plays a major part - no matter the method. You should be specific, and include a time frame when it's applicable. For example, instead of "Will my business be successful?" try "How can I improve my business sales over the next three months?". Divination tools yield answers based on the energy surrounding the situation. They don't really predict the future, but show you a possible outcome of a situation if the contributing factors remain the same. Stephanie recommends keeping time related questions to no further than 6 months out, because the read would not be accurate. Too much can change in six months, so the tools -even with the help of the Morrigan - can't accurately give you advise on the situation. 

Requesting Help from the Morrigan

I perform a 3 card Illuminated Tarot reading for myself almost every morning - to find out how my day will go, or to find out what I should focus on. Before doing the reading, I will go to the Morrigans' altar and say the following invocation, which requests the Morrigans' energies to assist with divination.

Hail Morrigan
Poet and prophetess
Keening banshee
Goddess of vision
Mistress of Fate
Your gaze pierces the Veil
Seeing into all realms
The past and present and things yet to be
Come to me, O Mighty Seeress
Grant me vision and second sight
Part the Veil for me this night! (2)
If I am attempting to scry, or perhaps perform an automatic writing exercise, I feel that a divination chant is more effective.
Goddess of prophecy and might
Guide my hand
Grant me Second Sight (3)

Be sure to subscribe by clicking the Subscribe button so you are notified when the next article is published for the #MagicalMusingsSamhainSeries! Next time we will be doing a fun activity!
Until next time my lovely readers!!

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Magical Musings about Samhain, the Series

๐Ÿ’˜๐Ÿ’ฃ❗๐Ÿ‘ปPsyched for Samhain๐Ÿ˜ˆ❗๐Ÿ’ฃ๐Ÿ’˜

Samhain is just weeks away, and I can hardly contain my excitement!! This is my favorite time of year and Samhain is my favorite holiday! The weather, the colors, the scents, the activities...just everything! My son and I have had fall and Halloween decorations up since the third week of September, and he's had his costume since his birthday on the 3rd. He's going to be Spiderman, and told me I am going to be a witch. He's only 3 so his idea of witches is the pointed hat wearing, broom flying, hackling cackling kind portrayed on television. Knowing he would love it, I purchased a pointed hat - it's black with sequins and I sort of love it. Trick or treating is one of many things I look forward to - don't most parents look forward to it? There is so much about this season to be excited about, and as a witch I have even more to look forward to. 

In light of the season, (and to make up for failing to post articles for you every week),  I decided to design a Samhain series. I have a lot to share with you, and I am so excited! It was not easy to disperse my fun, freaky, festive ideas/activities -mundane and magickal- into different articles. I want to share it all at once, so deciding the order took some time, but I think I've finally got a plan I can stick to! I'm the kind of person that has to give someone a gift as soon as it's wrapped because I'm too excited to give it to them to wait for their birthday. My son loves it- rather than opening presents on his birthday he'll open gifts as early as 2 weeks before his birthday. But I will restrain my enthusiasm and will publish one article per subject. 

๐ŸŽƒFreaky Fun๐ŸŽƒ

It's believed that the Veil separating the worlds of the living and the dead begins to thin in October, and is so thin on Samhain that the dead, along with the denizens of the Otherworld, can freely roam our world. Samhain is the Celtic New Year, so the Celts would celebrate the liminal time with great enthusiasm, but took care to put protections in place so the evil entities and spirits could not harm or harass them. With protective measures in place, they would honor their ancestors and welcome good spirits, providing offerings to earn their blessings. Hosting a Dumb Supper was a common activity for Samhain. I'd tell you what a Dumb Supper is, but instead I will tell you to subscribe to Spiral Nature so you will be notified when my article about Dumb Suppers is published (of course I include a ritual and offer suggestions so you could host your own). I will, however, share with you rituals, spells and exercises in upcoming articles of the Samhain series. There is such a focus on communicating with the Otherworld occupants, so I will also share divination methods. To keep things from getting too freaky, I'll also share fun art and craft projects, creative casting methods and activities that the whole family can participate in. 

Interesting Information๐Ÿ™‹

Since this is the introductory article of the series, I want to share some interesting information about Samhain. Our modern day Halloween falls on the Celtic New Year. The ancient Celts viewed the year as having two "hinges"- Samhain was the first and Beltaine was the second. Liminal places and times - places that were "in between", times of transition from one season/month/etc to another - were considered to be highly magickal to the Celts. Samhain and Beltaine were the most magickal, and possibly the most frightening, days for the Celts. Samhain was the day of transition from summer to winter as well as the advancement into the new year. On Samhain, time ceased to exist; the past, present and future became one. Winter was the Season of Ghosts, and it was on Samhain that they were released from the Otherworld, along with everything else that resided there. The faeries traveled from their summer hillocks to the winter barrows, so it was the one day of the year that people had a chance to rescue any loved ones who were kidnapped by the faeries. Celtic citizens lit fires and set out torches and even wore disguises to protect themselves from evil entities that roamed. To appease their ancestors or loved ones lost, they would hold dumb suppers to honor them - they'd serve the head of the table careful to avert their eyes, eat in silence, then take the food out to the woods to leave out as offerings. 

You know how I love to write articles that are interesting and informative, so of course they will be in the Samhain Series. I love learning and love to share what I learn. There will be articles about Goddesses and Gods that may be associated with Samhain, or would be great to work with while we transition into the next cycle of the year. I will share information I've learned about the origins of Samhain, and cultural practices through time and location. I will cover some myths, maybe some ghost stories. And don't worry, I won't be teaching you by writing long, boring research papers. I don't want to spoil the surprise, but just trust me when I say I will be sharing the information in an interesting, entertaining fashion. ๐Ÿค“ 

Decide, Design, Do

The season of Samhain is about transition, growth, perspective and reflection, celebration, preparation, connection, and cycles. While I will be publishing articles covering different subjects, each one of them are intended to help you accomplish the three D's: Decide, Design, Do. 

  • Decide what your intention(s) is/are for this season. Perhaps you want to learn a new skill, establish a relationship with a god or goddess, heal emotional scars so you are no longer inhibited by fear, trauma or resentment. If you aren't sure what you want, look back over the past year and ask yourself what didn't work and why. Ask yourself if there is something you should let go of, or something you should accept. Meditate, communicate with loved ones, with Deity, perform divination, do whatever you need to in order to decide. A new year means a chance to start means the opportunity to shape experiences that are more enjoyable, more enlightening, more exquisite. 
  • Design a plan of action to manifest your intention, and then find or make something that represents your desired results and put it on your altar. If your intention is major, you may want to get a notebook for it. Write your intention on the first page. On the next page write out your plan, or at least list ideas of how to design a working that will manifest your will. 
  • Do what you need to in order to meet your goal. If you aren't sure about how to accomplish it, then do anything you can think of that will bring those answers to you. Do divination, meditation, seek advice from friends and family - you get the idea. 

My intention is kinda complex, but simply put I want to be well grounded with balance established in my life, so I can reach skyward without toppling over. I know, I know - this metaphor couldn't be any cheesier. You all know I have created a business, and that I have some clients so it's off to a great start. But I have no balance. I either spend too much time working, or too much time making art, or too much time playing with my son. I don't devote nearly enough of my time and attention to my spiritual practice, and even less to my witchcraft practice. I want to finish stocking my Etsy store, establish my brand, and start promoting Enchanting Endeavor so I actually sell something. I won't bore you by continuing to list all of my goals - you get the idea. I'm sure you're thinking "um, make a schedule?". I've made a number of schedules - it would take me hardly anytime at all to design a schedule that is practical and efficient. The problem is following it. So that is what I will be working on. And since I can't seem to settle on just one thing at a time, I will have a secondary focus of strengthening my psychic and magickal skills. 

Enchanting Endeavor, my Etsy store, will provide a way for me to make art - which I could do as a part of my spiritual and witchcraft practice, and for me to exercise my psychic and magickal abilities when I list spell jars and kits, Oracle card readings, and charmed home decor. So if I learn to tell others no if they want me to do something that interferes with my work, develop discipline to stick to my schedule, and resolve my procrastination problem, I'll be right on track to a balanced life! 

Following Fun Contest Closed

We have a winner! I've notified the winner, and contacted them to find out what they would like the jar to be made to do - the jar...