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The Temple Within

Musings of a polytheistic witch

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Magick

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

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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?

Samhain Letting Go: Fathers

I’m going to do some blogging about Samhain and letting go. The first thing on my list is fathers. In the simplest form, my father and all of the things he did to hurt me during my childhood and young adulthood. My father loved me, of that I have no doubt, but it was a very selfish kind of love. I feel like I have dealt with most of my issues with him but there is still a bit of work left to do. There are still ways in which I see his influence in how I see myself and my value. He was the first man to abandon me and because of that time and again I sought to find men who would do the same thing. Within my shadow lurks my father telling me time and again that my value is my beauty and that my intelligence (perhaps the trait I value most in myself) only exists because of him. I’m smart because I’m his daughter, I’m physically strong because he taught me to be, and I’m pretty because he was so handsome. Nothing came to me because of my hard work or because of my thoughts, that belong only to me. With this Samhain, I hope to root out the last of that pain and finally be able to no longer hear his voice in the back of my head. This is deep shadow work. My dad influenced both the things I like best and the things I like least about myself.

After all that it is time to turn my attention to my kid’s fathers. Looking back I see them as choices made from a place of desperation. Both of them brought destruction into my life and they both continue to lash out at me. They have been backseat drivers with regards to all of the work of parenting. Not around to do any of the heavy lifting (or spending) but always there to comment on my appearance and whatever life choices I might make. If the kids had success it was in spite of me and if they had troubles it was because of me. I have made a pretty big effort to remove them from my life, but still, they sit on the sidelines and heckle. My goal is to really let them go now that all of the kids have left the nest. I’m done receiving child support from them and so that cord is cut. Like my father, this is a rooting out of the last remnants of their influence. When they say things about me that are hurtful or untrue it still stings. It may be asking too much for that sting to go away but I’m gonna try.

All this matters so much because I’m stepping into a new phase in my life. No more kids at home and freedom to choose what I want to do and with whom I want to do it. Shadow work is afoot but I’m not worried, with the gods and my ancestors on my side I know I can do anything.

D

 

May Is Here!

May is finally here and I am so happy to see this month. The skies are much less gray and gloomy. I have had the opportunity to be out in nature and that is always good for the soul. Beltane was a quiet one this year but I’m not complaining. I was able to rest and call in some good energy. My focus this month has been on calling in male energy. I have fallen out of the habit of working with male deities. I only realized this morning that the full moon will be upon us in a couple of days. It falls in Scorpio which is not the best placement for me. My head is buzzing with ideas for the full moon but I will need to proceed with caution.

My Morrigan tools are still a work in progress. The doll is finished and now I am working on a wand. I’m also about to start another piece that will act as a trivet for my altar. Lastly, I am focused on Morrigan’s shapeshifting aspect. I have been rereading and working through Stephanie Woodfield’s book “Celtic Lore and Spellcraft of the Dark Goddess, Invoking The Morrigan.” There is so much juicy stuff in there! All of this work with Morrigan has reminded me of the power I have and has encouraged me to work more magick.

I have nothing earth-shattering to report. The world has continued to turn and I continue to try to connect to Spirit. I will post some new photos soon!

D

Letting Go

The moon is waning and my heart is pouring out into the universe all the things it wishes to let go of. In order to do this great restoration project I’m working on I need to make room. Every month I find things to let go of but this month feels different. I feel so much pouring out of me. Now that my heart is open and not barricaded behind walls I’m finding there is so much there I was unaware of. Sadness, fear, outdated relationships, old ideas, and just build up crap. I’m not afraid to let it all go, in fact, I’m excited!

letting-go In my little bowl, I placed all the things I wanted to burn away. I spoke them into the flame and watched them burn away. Softly I sang to myself that it was ok to let go.

collage

Contained within my letting go was rage, sadness, and relief. It feels good to be a witch and to know that I have the power to shape my world and myself.

Waning moon blessings,

D

Bare

I feel bare as the trees outside my window. Here in Wisconsin, the trees are bare in the winter. Some might think this would be ugly but it has a beauty all its own. I feel like those trees right now. The good thing about seeing the bare trees is that you can appreciate the beauty of what hides beneath the leaves. I feel pretty exposed due to my heart chakra being open and clear. My emotions are raw and my intuition is set on high. One of my goals for January is to keep my heart open and to let emotions pass through me. The key is to not hold onto anything for too long. So right now I’m feeling everything much like the trees in my yard. The wind blows through them and they have no choice but to stand tall and let the wind pass.

I’m thinking about how I can work some magick in order to bring some of my lost pieces back to me. My word for the year is restoration and I think it will be turning up as a magickal theme all year. This tree is not in my yard but it is one of my favorite trees.

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As I sit here in my chair I beckon all of the lost pieces back to me. So many of these parts were not willingly given up but stolen from me. I envision them as small flames coming back into my heart. Hopefully, when the trees get their pretty leaves I will have a few new buds of my own. For now, I’m resting like the trees, quietly calling all the missing pieces home.

D

What You Leave Behind

I am a Gemini. This means that I have many many interests. Witchcraft is up towards the top of that list and my spirituality is even a bit higher. In order to be a more focused twin in 2017 my plan is to leave some things behind. Social media is one of them. I’m not throwing it away totally but I do plan to greatly lessen my consumption of it. I want to create more time for craft work and I want to continue to cultivate balance. Water magick is in the cards for 2017 as is more writing in my book of shadows. I also intend to shore up my boundaries and take more down time for self-care. I’m hoping that by lessening my social media consumption I can change my attitude some. I feel that social media really brings my mood down and tends to make feel a bit defeated. Facebook is the worst. I find Instagram to be the most uplifting. When I am feeling defeated it can be hard to find my passion. I really use my passion when working magick so no passion means no magick.:( I also want to engage with my heart chakra a bit more.

Another thing I intend to leave behind is bitter, negative, judgemental people. I have been doing this over the years but there are still some hangers-on that need to go! Like social media, these people drain me of my passion and spark. This year more than ever I’m feeling the call to make manifest my will and so I need to get all the garbage out-of-the-way.

If anyone has good insight or info to share on any of these topics I would love to hear about them. I hope you all have a blessed and productive 2017!

D

Season of Holiday Healing

Last week I did a ritual for heart healing and opening. Damn! That really worked. I have been awash with emotions and feelings. I have been crying because of sadness and happiness, really for any reason. I feel more like myself, more whole, and in better shape for working magick. I know that there is still healing work to be done and I plan to use the holiday season to bring that along.

altar

Starting tomorrow (The Winter Solstice) and thru the New Year my plan is to focus on my family and loved ones. I’m going to tend to my book of shadows and listen to beautiful music. I plan to take in lots of holiday classic movies and maybe eat a few cookies.

My Solstice Tree

My wish is to soak up all of the holiday joy, light, and warmth that I can. I have a feeling it is going to be a long winter and so I want to start from the healthiest place possible. My Solstice ritual will be simple but meaningful. My goal is to live this season as one long ritual. Being mindful, listening to Spirit, and adding light to the world.

The Holly and the Ivy is one of my favorite holiday songs. I have always believed that it could be a pagan song, obviously, it would need some tweaking but it has potential.

“The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown
Of all the trees that are in the wood
The holly bears the crown
O the rising of the sun
And the running of the deer
The playing of the merry organ
Sweet singing of the choir”

Happy Solstice and may 2017 bring you all happiness and blessings!

Debbie

Full Moon Snow Magick

Today I wanted to honor the full moon with some water magick, snow magick to be specific. I have been wanting to work with water ever since I felt a tug from Melusina. After studying her myth I had the realization that I’m out of balance. My heart is all bound up and behind walls. Because of past pain, I have become militant about protecting my sensitive heart. Boundaries are good but feeling nothing is not. I have been feeling super flat and unable to laugh or cry. This is no way for a witch to live and it can have a negative effect on my magickal work. I used aquamarine, rose quartz, and blue topaz on my heart chakra to help open things up. I placed snow on my heart and let it melt. I asked the gods/goddesses to help me melt away the bonds on my heart and aid in healing my wounds. I called on Morrighan, Melusine, and Skadi to help. For the male aspect, I called in Pan, Poseidon, and Odin. I know these seem like odd combinations, but I work with all of them and I felt they all offered help. My goal was to gain healing and to thaw my frozen heart. Now my heart feels very full and heavy. I think I need to have a good cry even though there is nothing making me sad in this moment. As the walls and chains melt away I suspect that pain is what is behind all that. This Gemini full moon is all about self-care, if you are a Gemini, and I intend to take the time to let my tears flow.

candle-light

stones

altar

Lastly, I listened to music with a water theme and that inspired me to create a water playlist. I hope you all have a productive full moon.

BB

Debbie

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