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The Temple Within

Musings of a polytheistic witch

Mabon Harvest

My coven and I will be celebrating Mabon on Saturday. It has been a really tough week and so I have been looking forward to having a day with them to decompress and focus on the harvest and honoring the gods. 

This morning I spent a lot of time with my journal thinking about what my Mabon harvest would be. The main thing that bubbled to the surface is a  renewed love for my role as Priestess of my coven. This has been a summer of sifting and trying to figure out who I am now that all of my babies are out of the house. I’m harvesting clarity. I feel that Morrigan has reminded me why I chose this path and also how I cannot be separated from this part of myself. I’m not sure if that makes sense to any of you, but I feel like my devotion to her is a part of me at the deepest core of who I am, it is unchanging and has weathered all manner of storms and transformations. In a time when I have felt unsure about what kind of work I want to pursue and what my role should be with my adult children, my relationship with Morrigan has remained a constant. That is a great comfort.

It will not be long now and we will be thrust into my favorite month of the year. The forecast indicates that today may well be the last warm day of the season. I’m ok with that, I am ready to cool down and turn inwards. I have a feeling more little harvests will become apparent as we get closer to Mabon. If anything comes up I will share it with you.

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Harvest Season Part 1

My favorite season is underway! I love harvest season and the closer we get to Samhain the more excited I get. Lammas brought many wonderful little harvests. The biggest one being friendship. I struggle with female friendships and to be honest I can’t remember a time when this wasn’t the case. I decided on Imbolc to work on cultivating quality female friends. I planted that seed and went about finding friends by being more vulnerable and open. My natural state is to be pretty guarded so this is hard work. Plus I want quality relationships and not just tons of new people.

I also harvested opportunities. Opportunity was my word of the year a couple of years ago and it has been a long process to bring it about. Finally, at Lammas, I was able to bring in a bountiful harvest of opportunities. I’ve been able to have many new experiences and meet tons of new people. So many doors have been flung open. One of the best parts of this has been traveling. I’m not traveling far out of town but enough to feel like I’m gaining a fresh perspective.

All in all I’m very happy with my first harvest and I can’t wait to see what Mabon has to offer. For Lammas, my husband and I did a small ritual and cooked tons of yummy food. Corn cake is a Lammas staple in my house and my family loves it.

Summer Soup
Corn Cake

I have purchased my autumn Book of Shadows and I have been writing in it often. I use it to journal about the season and the rituals/spell work I do. I start thinking about and preparing for what I want to let go of at Samhain. I also start to think about and write down words that might be my word of the year next year. Right now I’m leaning towards Ambition, but that could change a million times between now and then. Usually about 3 days before Samhain I become really still and quiet and at that point, it all comes together. What I need to let go of and what word I want to bring into the new year.

Mine is the yellow one!

I am also reading Dark Goddess Craft by Stephanie Woodfield. It is all about shadow work. I have been chomping at the bit to do some more shadow work but I’ve been putting it off until harvest time. Now that harvest is in full swing I’m ready to start facing down all that lurks in my shadow.

How was your Lammas? Do you celebrate?

D

Summer Solstice Blues

Fairy Tree

My birthday often falls on the Summer Solstice and this year was one of those years. My friends and family gave me a lovely day and I am so grateful for all of the love.

I have been feeling pretty depressed due to what is happening politically here in the United States. I am an activist and so my days are spent trying to make the world a better place. I work to help good people get elected, I call my elected officials, and I volunteer for organizations that further causes that I believe in. My heart has been heavy because my daily work makes it hard to not be tuned into what is happening all around me. For the first time in my lifetime, I am scared for my country and worried that we will not bounce back this time. There is a heaviness all around me and this has made it hard to raise the energy needed to celebrate The Summer Solstice.

For days I was trying to figure out what to do and tying myself in knots. Then I heard the voice of the Goddess tell me to rest. She reminded me that harvest is coming and there will be lots of time to work and celebrate. On the Solstice, I took a social media break and that helped a lot. I did my best to only look at birthday and solstice wishes and let the rest go. It was good and needed. I spent a long day with friends and family. We ate good food and laughed a lot, we had a few drinks and I slept well. My simple act for Summer Solstice was to leave some cheese under this wonderful tree we found out hiking yesterday. I saw it and it looked like a fairy tree. I crept up and left a small food gift and tiptoed away. It was an offering and a thank you for helping me to keep going during the dark days. My lips were silent (unusual for a Gemini) but my heart was quietly reaching out for connection.

If you are a witch, empath, or priestess please take care of yourself. I am a Gemini who likes to live in her head and my heart has been bursting at the seams with sadness and rage. I have had to work hard to allow myself to feel but not become stuck in all of the sadness. Take time to recharge your spiritual batteries, rest, and turn off your social media for a short time if you need to. There is no shame in feeling scared, angry, sad, or anxious. Lastly, remember you are not alone. I’m here, reach out if you need to.

D

 

Beltane

Beltane Tree

I had a really lovely Beltane. Our coven celebrated our first Beltane together and it went wonderfully. We are small in numbers but we still had a good time. The magick was flowing and laughter and dancing happened. I’m so glad that I decided to put this coven together. The first steps were hard and scary but the pay off had been big and good.

My private work for Beltane went well too. My husband and I tried to get outside and be close to nature but the weather really did not cooperate. We had rain storms for most of the day. We were able to get a short hike in. I did some divination and personal magick and left it all feeling very inspired and grateful.

I’m ready for the next turn of the wheel. I am a Summer Solstice baby and so I’m just a few weeks away from a new natal year!

D

 

Ostara-Reconnecting With Pleasure

Yesterday was Ostara. My husband and I had a lovely little ritual. In my attempts to connect with this turn of the wheel something bubbled up. I struggle to connect with joy and pleasure. The seeds of this problem start in my childhood. My hope is that I will be able to take advantage of the Ostara season to reconnect with joy and pleasure.

During my childhood morality was assigned to every choice. Was it ultimately good or bad? Godly or sinful? A piece of cake might be delicious but you must be mindful of not being a glutton or of eating too many sweets. A day in the park playing was all fine and good but be sure to get that homework done and look out for strangers. All of this may seem minor but every choice was followed by the idea that god was watching and keeping a list of your wrong choices. I no longer believe any of that but the messages still speak to me when I’m enjoying something too much. This thinking has made me hyper-vigilant and when you are in that state of mind joy cannot come forward.

Yesterday during my ritual planning and during the ritual itself, I tried to let my inner child out to enjoy the fun. Right now I’m working on joy and I’m hoping to lean into pleasure for the Beltane season. Ostara energy is perfect for letting out my inner girl! I’m going to take more time to play and seek out the things that make my heart sing.

Art Brings Balance

If you have been reading my blog for awhile then you know that balance is always something I am striving for. I have been engaging in some pretty intense shadow work for the last few months and so to balance that out I have been working on some art projects. Art always makes me feel better.

Fertility Art

This project was inspired by Molly Roberts over at HerSpeak. I created this to serve as a backdrop on my altar. My plan is to use it during the fertility holidays coming up. Layered in the background are the Goddesses that made up my solstice garland. I wanted to show the fading of winter and the coming forward of the spring. I had so much fun creating this piece. It really helped me to get in touch with my inner child.

Over the weekend I cleaned up my altar space and decorated for Ostara. I love all of the bunnies and eggs. I used an old Ostara tree decoration that my kids put up every year as the centerpiece of my altar.

Ostara Altar

I’m grateful for this cheerful space to remind me that I cannot be all shadow all the time! As we move from Ostara into Beltane it will become more adult focused.

My shadow work has been so good. I feel like I am being transformed every day. It is good but it is not easy. I have a feeling the spells are going to be flying off my fingertips on the next full moon?

D

Rededication

One thing I did to celebrate Imbolc this year was to do a rededication ritual. I rededicated myself to my gods, my craft, and my role as a priestess. It was a really wonderful experience. I chose a moment when I could be alone and the house was empty. I walked away from that ritual feeling a great sense of renewal and connectedness.

It was the perfect time to rededicate. I have a lot going on in my life right now and I know this next year holds big challenges. I knew I needed to come at these new challenges from the best place possible.

This weekend we had our coven initiation ritual. It went so well and it was nice to finally get together and do a ritual. For the past few months, we have been ramping up a little at a time towards working together. We set Imbolc as our true start date and I’m very excited to see what the future holds!

This week I plan to create a love altar. I was inspired by Molly Roberts over at HerSpeak! I want to create something that I can carry on and add onto through Beltaine. Starting with a focus on love and moving into more passion and fertility. I’m more than ready to release my altar from its wintery theme and move onto something brighter and more spring-like.

How was your Imbolc? Did you do anything special?

D

 

Imbolc 2018

Last week carried some crazy energy. During the full moon, I was on pins and needles because the energy felt like anything could happen. As it turns out last week was a big week for me. It was filled with tears, dragon slaying, and eventually victory! As usual, there was so much to let go of and so much good stuff to draw in. My brain was super chaotic so I went to my cards for some guidance. I asked the gods to help me gain clarity about what to release and what to cultivate. I also asked for clarity on how to take action. Often I know I need to take action but then I question myself about what action to take. I did not understand what the cards were telling me at first but within 24 hours it all became clear.

Full Moon Tarot

Imbolc brought with it a more soothing energy. I spent the day thinking about the returning light and my dreams for spring. I planted the seeds of my future. I sang and spent time in my sacred space. It was simple but beautiful, sometimes simple is all you need.

The Tiniest of Flames

We started with one flame and slowly added candles to symbolize the growing light. With each candle, another aspiration was sent out into the universe. We sang and meditated on the flame until it felt right to end our ritual.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8H3rHBQakRk&list=PLkHralscgawfPvYMXq5I9Uu7XGRkrxT7f

I am the spark before the fire
from winters cold I do inspire
I am the promise of the Spring
I am the tiniest of flames.

A dancing fire upon the snow
in darkest night a mighty glow
I circle toward the coming spring
I am all life awakening.

Mid-Winters’ slumber I do shake
I coax the seed and bulb to wake
I pull them slowly from their dreams
I am the Maiden of the flame.

Protecting all at time of birth
In love and safety draw them forth
I wrap all newborns in my light
I am the Maiden dressed in white

Aspirations

Tomorrow I hope to find time to create a love focused altar for the month of February. I have been so inspired by Molly Roberts’ work and it feels right to follow along. What are your plans for February?

 

Shadow Work

I have been engaging in some deep shadow work. That is why I have not been posting here very often. This work is inner child work combined with present day work. I’m actually glad to be doing this work and I recognize that it is part of the restoration work left over from last year. I feel like I’m nearing the completion of a very long cycle. This cycle has taken me from child victim to survivor to warrior to teacher. I’m finding that at times I feel overwhelmed with gratitude and other times the burden feels so heavy and hopeless. I’m also having one of those moments when I can feel something big coming, but I’m not sure what it is. I’m trying to not let the fear of what it could be overtake me, I’m trying to believe in the possibility that it could be a good thing.

Thankfully I have Morrigan to help me deal with all of this. It is comforting to know that as my bones break and my heart cracks open she is there to help me put myself back together. I’m looking forward to Imbolc and the light it brings but for now, my focus is on dark shadow magick. While doing this work will be rewarding, in the end, it really takes everything I have within me to do it. This means I have to make sure I’m taking time for self-care so that I can be ready for the next battle.

Wish I had something uplifting to post today. This is real life witching. It isn’t always light and love, sometimes it is nitty gritty and down and dirty. For now, you will find me down in the mud, in the mess of my shadow.

D

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