I have been on a vacation of sorts. Two weeks ago my doctor expressed that she thought I needed to take it easy for a couple of weeks and give myself a break. That was a tall order because I tend to be rather type-A in my personality. Now I am at the end of my vacation and I can agree that she was right. One thing I did while on this break was I stopped my daily altar time and instead just let my relationship with the gods flow naturally. I think this was a good thing. Over the last couple of weeks, I have been giving more offerings and trying to engage with gratitude more. This can be hard because I have been in so much physical pain. Now that I am going back to my routine I am trying to decide what practices to keep and what to release. I have been spending a fair amount of time in the woods and by the water and one thing I know for sure is that my practice needs more of this. I can hear the goddess so much more clearly when I am surrounded by nature. The picture above is of one of my favorite watery places. Something about this water calms my spirit and heals me. I am not calm by nature, anyone who knows me can tell you that. So it is a miracle that when I sit by these banks my whole being becomes still. I treasure stillness because it is so hard to come by.
The full moon is tomorrow and I have no idea what I am going to do. I am sure it will come to me as it usually does, at the last minute. Right now I am just grateful that the gods have helped me find a way to meet my needs. I am a much better witch when I have a wild place to commune with.
How have you been doing? The world is kind of a tough place right now. I hope you’re all well!
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.
What messages did the universe send your way for the full moon? Do you plan to let go of things for Samhain?
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Did you do anything special to celebrate the full moon?
The last couple of days have been hard. Nothing major has happened but I have been having some low-level depression. I find in times like this it is important to have rituals. At the start of each week, I work two rituals. One of them at my altar and then one at the hearth. I have also been writing in my Autumnal BOS every Monday. This helps to keep me from getting too far away from my practice due to having depression or just because I am busy.
I celebrate the wheel of the year and I find that this practice helps in that area too. Often I hear people talk about how they have neglected their practice and then can’t jumpstart it again. Jump starting at a turn of the wheel can really help. Holidays are fun and can give you the inspiration to get back on track. Even if you are not feeling it you can start with decorating. There is a wealth of information on the web (Pinterest/Tumblr) about decorating for each turn of the wheel. You can do a fun witchy centered Mabon craft to help you get back into your practice and it might even lift your spirit. I find the more I do the more I want to do.
Remember gratitude. Gratitude as a practice can be part of your witchy ritual. Write in your BOS about what you are grateful for. Leaving offerings for the gods can also be a part of your gratitude practice.
Food! One of the best parts of celebrating the wheel is cooking. You can celebrate with seasonal food and maybe share it with some witchy friends. Cooking can be magick if you do it with intention.
Find your balance. Balance can be pretty hard to come by in our modern world. Working to find balance will make your practice better and can help to revive a witchy practice that is filled with cobwebs. For me, this means shutting off the TV or laptop and making the choice to meditate or write in my BOS. Sometimes it means cleaning my altar space or getting out into nature.
Letting Go. Harvest season is a good time to think about letting go. Samhain is coming just around the corner. Start writing about what you might like to let go of and see what bubbles up.
Little things add up in your witchy practice. Depression and daily life can take us away from our craft and then it can be hard to navigate back. It is ok to start small, it is ok to use the holidays as a way to jumpstart your practice, and every little action counts.