Using Your Witchy Skills

The Universe has been sending me all sorts of messages over the last week that something is not right. Some of these messages have come through my personal tarot readings and some have come from outside sources. The only difference over the last week has been that the messages are getting louder. Because I have so much trauma in my past it can be easy for me to become really worried when I receive these insights and that worry often leads to a feeling of helplessness. Like ok, it’s coming and I just have to brace myself. I recognize that as an old coping mechanism and I know that it served me long ago but it doesn’t serve me now. When a fellow witch is in need I am the first one to offer help but I don’t always rush to my own aide. Morrighan always speaks the loudest and the most clearly and she is saying, Witch, protect yourself! I also feel she is reminding me of my strength and abilities and also reminding me to use those abilities. Sometimes I get so caught up in the deep personal work I am trying to do that I forget to do things like shore up my defenses. I am grateful for the reminder and I have made a plan to work some magick to protect myself but also to stand in my power as a witch. I spent time with my Book of Shadows this morning and I think I know what I want to do.

How has September been treating you so far? What messages are you hearing on the wind?

D

September Full Moon

September is here and I am loving the energy already. Normally Pisces energy doesn’t really feel energizing to me but today I am full to overflowing. My altar is lit up and magick is brewing in my cauldron. My goals for this month are ambitious and exciting. I am more than willing to allow the summer to give way to autumn. This summer has had its blessings but it has also exhausted me. Healing has been the name of the game this summer and now I am more than ready to move onto something else. September is also the time of the year when I start to think about Samhain and ready myself for the work it brings. I can feel myself turning inward already. This full moon brings with it a desire for deeper everything. Deep conversations, deep friendship, and deep work. Shadow work has been going on all summer and I have to wonder where it will go during the turn towards the dark. I recognize it might seem like I’m jumping ahead and maybe I am, I always start to feel the dark creeping in during this season. I hope this full moon finds you blessed!

D

The Scorpio Full Moon

I have become a bird watcher. In truth this makes me feel kind of old but I’ve decided to embrace it. They are all so different and their little habits so interesting. Right now I am trying to charm my neighborhood crows. So far I’ve had more luck with the squirrels so the struggle continues. I am a Gemini so my affinity for birds should surprise no one. When I first became a witch I had a very vivid lucid dream about flying that took my breath away. I had never had a dream like that before and I’ve never had one since. It seemed to be a message from the universe to say that I was on the right spiritual track.

Yesterday started off weird. I’m not a Scorpio moon fan and a Scorpio full moon can really throw me for a loop. I felt like my emotions were all over the place. Something came to a head within my heart while I was finishing a full moon tarot reading. I have been struggling with this highly personal issue for about a month now. I kept going to the gods with it trying to figure out why it was coming up and exactly what I was supposed to do with it. You know how it is when the universe wants you to look at something, it can just keep putting it in your face in different ways. So this kept going on over April and into May and so yesterday I asked The Morrighan for some clarity and answers. I read my cards and tried to find the truth there and all that did for me was bring up more questions. Bleh…My full moon plan was to work on courage and so I did my work and stepped away from my altar. Suddenly everything became clear and I felt that steely courage that only The Morrighan can encourage. I discovered that my issue was all tied up with my need for courage. I was seeing all the pretty ways courage would help me and not seeing this painful thing that could benefit from courage. So I took action and it was easier than I expected it to be and just like that, I felt free from what had been dogging me for over a month. Sorry, I’m being so cryptic it is just that this issue is very personal and hard for me to talk about. I debated whether or not to blog about it and decided there was value in sharing even if I don’t give you all of the specifics. I confronted something hard and because of that, I have let go of yet another issue making my transformation easier.

It’s funny how the full moon can surprise you. I never expected yesterday to pan out like it did but I’m so happy. I have additional freedom that will make turning 50 so much easier. As I leave behind the thoughts, patterns, and habits that have held me back up until now I feel freer to fly like my bird friends into the second half of my life.

 

 

She Speaks

Well, the world is a mess right now and I have been struggling to focus. On top of that, I have been feeling so much rage. I am currently trying to write a memoir about my childhood and that process is stirring all of the ghosts from the past. Part of my attempt to stay balanced in this time of uncertainty has been to take many many long walks with my dog. Maverick is a wonderful teacher with regards to staying present in the moment. He is the court jester reminding me to laugh and his joy when we are outdoors is infectious.

 

My Familiar

Yesterday while walking I took some time to really talk with Morrighan. I shared with her all of my rage and frustration. I didn’t hear much back probably because I wasn’t able to hear with all of my emotions pouring out. This morning I felt much calmer and I feel like I am hearing her speak to me.

It feels good to have this connection with my Matron deity. She is always responsive but right now things are so scary and hard. Today I plan to try to listen and plan for tomorrow’s full moon. I had no plans to work big magick tomorrow but that has all changed this morning. I’m hoping as the day unfolds I will have a clearer image of what needs to be done.

I hope all of you are doing well and staying healthy. What are your plans for the full moon? How are you keeping your balance during this hard time?

D

Listening

I have been feeling a little off the last couple of weeks. It isn’t that I have been feeling bad it’s more that I have been feeling numb and stuck. Last night after doing my full moon work I started to feel a breakthrough coming. Spirit gave me a gentle reminder that when I tend to my spiritual practice I can make things happen and that I have more power to change my world than I sometimes believe I do. I tried my best to listen to my intuition and the messages coming from Morrighan and then suddenly it all bubbled up. For a long long time, I have been working to release scarcity and it feels like it is never totally gone. Facing another Samhain and contemplating what I want to let go of led me to think about scarcity again. Part of my process is to dig deeper and turn things over in my mind to see if I’m missing something. All this introspection led me to something that seems simple but also something I never considered. This thing bleeds over into so many parts of my life and in some pretty profound ways. I don’t trust myself. I’m worried about losing control. This all leads back to childhood as most roads do and I don’t intend to get into all of that today.

It isn’t scarcity that I fear, I fear that I might make stupid money choices leaving me without enough. This leads to hating money and never enjoying spending it. I’m always working to attract abundance and money but how can you attract something that you hate? This also impacts my body acceptance issues. I don’t trust myself to eat right or to know how often I should exercise. When my body tells me it needs rest in the afternoon my internal talk is always about how I shouldn’t need rest. All this needs to change. I’m going to work on letting go of the distrust I have concerning listening to my inner voice. I already know that deep self-love needs to happen next year so I’m going to let go of the voices that tell me that I do not deserve love. Lastly, I need to work on self-respect. I need to listen to and respect the needs that I often ignore. That is a lot but it is all-important work and it is all connected.

This bleeds over into the community work I want to do next year. I have to trust my inner wisdom and know that I will make good choices when it comes to connections. It is the people part of the Pagan community that I fear. That fear is a big hump to get over but I know I can do it with the help of Spirit.

Full Moon Altar

What messages did the universe send your way for the full moon? Do you plan to let go of things for Samhain?

D

 

A Guest Blogger Writes About Habondia

Discovering Habondia, Goddess of Abundance

Recently I’ve found myself struggling with serious financial challenges. Out-of-work-for-three-months-will-I-make-the-next-mortgage-payment challenges. I’ve been working hard on both the mundane and magickal fronts to find a job and to cobble together enough money to keep us afloat in the meantime.

On the magickal front this has mostly meant talking with the deities I commonly work with (Brigid and Lugh) and doing some rather elaborate candle magick. In spite of this, and in spite of consistently positive tarot readings that essentially said “good things are coming,” I still didn’t have a job offer and the point where we would have missed the first mortgage and car payments was less than a month away.

It was at this point that my lovely wife, priestess, and owner of this blog suggested I try searching for a deity to work with who specialized in wealth and plenty. As a starting point she handed me Edain McCoy’s Celtic Myth & Magick open to p. 379 which contains a list of 28 celtic deities and demigods associated with prosperity and abundance. Among the handful of names I recognized and the large number I didn’t, one name jumped out at me – Habondia. I have no mundane explanation for why I focused on that name other than that I liked the sound of it, but in hindsight I believe Dame Habondia was the one on that list who was seeking my attention.

Celtic Myth & Magick says that Habondia “was a Goddess of abundance and prosperity, demoted to a ‘mere witch’ in medieval English lore.” It further notes that she is descended from a Germanic goddess, that she was sometimes equated with the Deae Matres (a triple earth mother goddess worshiped in Gaul), and that her symbols were the cornucopia and wheat.

A bit of internet research revealed further details concerning Habondia:

  • Patricia Telesco, in 365 Goddess: a Daily Guide to the Magic and Inspiration of the Goddess (cited at http://www.journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com), asserts that Her symbols include ale and fire, and that lighting any fire will draw her attention.
  • The unnamed author of http://www.holladaypaganism.com claims Habondia was adapted from the Roman goddess Abundantia and that her titles included Matron of Witches and Dame Habondia. Seeds, fruits, seedlings, eggs, babies, hamsters, and squirrels were sacred to Her.
  • Myth Woodling at http://www.AradiaGoddess.com says that “Habondia was one of the names of the medieval Queen of the Witches who led the ‘night flight.’ . . .  She was . . . a nocturnal spirit as she was credited with entering the households of her followers at night to bring prosperity.”

Working from these bits of information and my own intuition, I composed a prayer/invocation that appealed to Her for help in meeting my financial needs:

 

Dame Habondia,

Queen of Abundance,

Matron of Witches,

Visit my home this night.

Shower Your gifts upon me

so that I may prosper tomorrow

and in all the years to come.

I honor You for Your graciousness

and generosity my Lady, and pray that

Your name may

once again be on the lips

of the wise and cunning

throughout the earth.

The next evening before bed I opened a window, lit a candle on the windowsill, and surrounded it with apple seeds as an offering. I spoke aloud my fears for our finances and recited the invocation above three times. As I did so I felt a presence watching from the trees outside the window which I took to be Habondia. I left the candle burning and the window open and went to bed.

Habondia Ritual

The next morning, one of my small but regular sources of income deposited three weeks’ worth of payment instead of one week’s into our checking account.

Naturally, I called them to point out the error. They insisted there was no error and that they had only deposited a single week’s payment. Though I expected they would one day discover their mistake and require the money back, for now it was a god(dess) send.

I had heard of people having this kind of result from working with a deity or doing a spell for money, but I had neither seen nor experienced it. And yes, of course it could have been a coincidence. So I repeated the experiment, conducting the same ritual two days later before going to bed.

The next day an unexpected check arrived from a relative who knew I was struggling. A check large enough to buy me more time to find a job.

I’m continuing to work with Habondia, asking more specifically for aid in finding a job that will insure long-term abundance. While being very grateful for Her gifts that are keeping a roof over our heads right now.

And I’m spreading the word that Habondia, an all-but-forgotten celtic goddess, is alive and well and willing to aid anyone who calls upon Her name.

Habondia candle on my working altar.

Shawn McNulty

 

Full Moon Magick and More

It feels like autumn and I am thrilled about it. Autumn is when I feel the most alive and inspired. My hope is that I can really soak it all in this year and through that have enough energy to get me through the winter. The last couple of weeks have been so fruitful in the magick department. I created a ritual to reconnect and rededicate myself to my journey as a priestess. This seems to always happen this time of the year. I never plan it that way it just seems to be the right time. So once again I am faced with the question, “What are you willing to do in order to deepen your practice?” Along with this I have been thinking some about Mabon and what I want to harvest. In some ways I think I have that harvest already but who knows there might be more coming. I am also starting to think about my word of the year. I always chose a new word at Samhain so around this time I start writing down possibilities. Usually about three days before Samhain I feel pretty sure about what the word will be.

Full Moon Magick

Last night I worked my full moon ritual and took a moonlit walk with my husband and dog. The ritual was lovely and personal. I talked so much over with Morrighan. We have been doing so much of that lately. Just talking and I have been making more time to be quiet and listen. Sometimes my practice is more about the magick and some times it is more about connection with the Goddess. Right now I’m in a very intense season of connection. I’m so grateful for this path that I’m on because the world can be a very harsh place and at time I feel so powerless. Morrighan reminds me of my ability to create change.

Harvest Moon

Did you do anything special to celebrate the full moon?

D

When Your Harvest Is Overwhelming

Back many many years ago I was lucky enough to harvest an enormous amount of apples with some friends. All of us gathered in my big kitchen and started to process this amazing bounty. We made apple beer, chutney, fruit roll-ups, apple butter, and sauce. Due to a malfunction with the apple press my ceiling, floor and walls were covered in apple. Weeks later I was still finding bits of apple that we missed in the cleaning process. It was a fun community experience and it was a mess. I was a little overwhelmed trying to find ways to use them all (I canned a lot)before they went bad. In the end, I had plenty for myself and tons to share!

So Many Apples!

My Lammas harvest unfolded much the same way. My community gathered around me to help during the process. The work was messy and time-consuming. The abundance of blessings was great but also overwhelming. I have been working towards this harvest for a very long time. I have put in long hours both working magick to manifest my desire but also just working hard in my mundane life. I planted the seeds of this harvest years ago and each year I would get a little closer to seeing my goal. Now it has arrived and it is magnificent!  At the same time, all this bounty demands that I put it to good use, and share it with others. I also have to shore up my boundaries and make sure I am engaging in self-care, too much of a good thing can be bad.

I am saying all of this to say when you are working magick and hoping to harvest your desires it is a good idea to be prepared. I recommend doing everything you can to prepare for what your life might look like if you actually get what you want. Will you need support? Are you ready for success? When you get what you want how will you use it? Will you share it? For me, my success meant tons of phone calls, emails, public speaking, being vulnerable and having my life out there on display. I’m an introvert who displays as an extrovert, so all that talking and being seen is not easy for me. When I was working on manifesting my desire I visualized what it would look like so I could be prepared for what might be asked of me in exchange.

Since Lammas, I have had almost no time to process how amazing this harvest has been. Instead of blogging, I should be sleeping but my mind is wide awake. I’m enjoying the delicious quiet of my office and giving myself a moment to let the magick of it all really sink in. We have two more turns of the wheel dedicated to harvest, I can’t wait to see what is coming!

 

Turning Towards The Dark

Samhain Altar

It is that time of the year again. I love October! My Samhain/Day of the Dead altar is all set up and it makes me smile every time I see it. Because my ancestors are both Celtic and Mexican my altar reflects both parts of my heritage. I try very hard to create an inviting atmosphere for any ancestors passing through to stop and be with me for a spell if they wish. 

October brings so many gifts, my first hot chocolate of the season, first hot apple cider, and pumpkin everything! The trees are at their peak and covered with bright colored leaves. Everything around me is beautiful and yet there is a dark gloomy cloud following me around. SAD has hit and I have a feeling this year is going to be a bad one. I’m not sure if it is worse this fall or if it just seems worse because I’ve had such a good spring and summer. I’ve spent most of the growing season feeling super energized and inspired. Now I’ve landed on the ground hard and I’m scrambling to get it all under control. It has been creeping in for a couple of weeks but I thought maybe I was just having a natural reaction to the dumpster fire happening daily in U.S. politics. I finally realized over the weekend that this is the real thing and I better start dealing with it. 

Truth be told I like the dark time of the year. Spring and summer are hard for me due to allergies and asthma. Once we have had a nice frost I feel like I can breathe again and I kind of come alive. I know that as we turn towards the dark time of the year we are turning towards Samhain (my favorite turn of the wheel) and the winter holidays. I like gathering with friends and family for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Solstice. I like hibernation and cozy afternoons by the fire. Sadly all of this wonderful comes with a war against depression. It is a battle I fight yearly and if you fight it too here are some things that might help…

If you work with gods/goddesses keep communicating with them. I tend to isolate and I stop talking to everyone including my deities. Share with your deities. If I have a cookie or something else delicious I will leave an offering. It might not seem like much but that simple act can help keep your connection alive in the hard times and also remind you that you are never alone. 

Light up your home! If you like candles burn them often, if you can’t burn candles keep your home well lit. Open the shades and meditate on the beauty of the natural world. Try to position yourself where you can get some natural light and if you need it use a lightbox. Maybe consider working with a deity associated with the sun and see if that helps to brighten things up.

Do something nice for someone else. It can be easy when you are depressed to become very self-focused. Plan a get together with some witchy friends and watch a movie or read tarot cards for each other. Whatever you like to do is fine. A great topic of conversation during the dark months is gratitude. Get together with friends and talk about what you are grateful for and maybe make a group offering of gratitude. Leaving an offering for the wildlife in your neighborhood would be greatly appreciated during the hard winter months. 

Carrying some stones on your person might help. I recommend Smoky Quartz for absorbing negative energy, Citrine to help put your brain in a more positive place, and finally Rose Quartz for healing and to soothe your nerves. I find that both Lavender and Lemon Balm help me when I’m struggling. I also use orange essential oil in my diffuser to keep my spirits up. I like brightly colored candles for any magick I work around depression. So a bright orange or yellow candle would work best for me. If soothing is what I need then a lavender or light green colored candle works best. Make your magick work for you, these are only suggestions, use what speaks to you personally. 

I’m missing my mother. 

Turning towards the dark and shadow work is a part of every year for me. The key is to not get stuck in the darkness. When I spend time at my altar it can be easy to become sad and lonely. I miss my mother very much. When I find myself in this place emotionally I try to let myself feel what I feel and then let it go. I chase the sadness with all of the good memories I have of my beloved dead. Sadness is normal but I also know that they would not want me to dwell in that sad place forever. 

How are you handling the season? If you have depression how do you deal with it? Do you use magick to make it better? 

D

Simple Spirituality

Today I want to talk about everyday life and the simple things I do to keep my spirituality engaged. If you spend time online you might start to feel bad about your everyday witchiness. So many people present these glamorous super witchy personas to the world and that is just not my reality.

Monday blessings! On Mondays, I give thanks to the universe and light candles for the gods on my main altar. I also do a hearth blessing focused on the Goddess Bridget. Doing this helps me to start the week with gratitude and it gives me a chance to leave offerings and to clean up my spaces.

Almost every day I pull a card. It forces me to slow down and focus my energy and it gives me some guidance for the day. I record my card in my bullet journal so I can track trends. I also check the position and sign the moon is in and my personal astrology for the day. Whenever I journal I make sure to take a moment to record my gratitude.

Now that I am running a coven again I check for coven email and do whatever little tasks I have to do. Today I made a video for a tarot series I am doing with my group. Some days there is more to do than others.

In my day-to-day interactions with the world, I look and listen for messages from the Goddess. I try to keep my eyes and ears open so I don’t miss anything. I also know that if I miss her message she will shout it out to me louder and louder until I hear her.

I focus on the cycles of the moon and the turns of the wheel. I have been doing it for so long now that it has become second nature and I don’t have to think about it much. I write in my BOS when I work magick and I try to keep learning.

It may not be glamorous but it is real and I’m so glad that I have the practice I have. It gets the job done and that is what matters to me. I enjoy high ritual! It has its time and place in my life. It is reserved for when something special needs to be marked. I enjoy all the sparkly things many witches enjoy but I know now that I don’t need them. Give me a trusty spoon and an old pot and I can stir up some powerful magick!

What does your everyday magick routine look like?