Whew…this Mercury Retrograde has been brutal. That being said the new moon always brings a fresh opportunity to get things done, so here I go…
This month I’m thinking about things in a broader sense. Instead of working on goals I am working on fire and power. By power I mean the power that comes from within. I think I am just now starting to feel the real cost of the past year. Now that the physical pain is starting to pass away I am coming to terms with the emotional pain.
Both Thor and Freya have showed up over the last couple of days. I have worked with them before but I do not work with them all the time. I’m going work with them for this lunation and see where it goes.
How are you doing and will you be doing anything special for this lunation?
Here I am again near the end of another solar year. I am more than ready to wave this year goodbye. Everything about my 50th year has been hard and it turned out nothing like I expected. I am ready to let that all go as I try to envision a new solar year.
I was born on June 21st. I am a summer solstice baby. I like the summer season even though it always feels so busy. By the time I reach Samhain I am more than ready for the rest that comes with the darkness. Over the past year I feel like the soil of my spirit has been tilled over and over. With the shock of each trial I had to find the strength to get up and start over.
I don’t have a ton of fire in my chart and I’m always seeking ways to cultivate it. The gods have given me a powerful message about this. They have shown me that the fire I seek is within me and that all I have to do it release it and let it flow out of me. This seems like something I should’ve already known but somehow in my frustration I just could not see it. So over the next year you are going to see a lot of fire coming from me.
I also want to work on my relationships. Covid really did a number on my ability to connect with other like minded people. I want to get out to more witchy events and I want to meet some new people. Because of past pain I let go of much of the local pagan community. Stepping out can feel scary but I am ready. The hard part is discerning who is safe and where is a good place to start.
Between now and my birthday I am going to work on pleasure, my word of the year and then I will hit the ground running when Solstice rolls around. Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts today. How do you celebrate the longest day of the year?
This week I experienced another rebirth in my life. I’m finding the process of death and rebirth to be very accelerated these days. As I have been breaking the chains of past trauma and unlocking long barricaded doors inside my brain I’m dying and bursting back into the world of the living over and over again.
Last week I experienced the death of a long-held idea about myself and my childhood. I was stunned by how much the death of this idea hurt and haunted me. Embracing the truth that I uncovered stuck a knife in my heart and caused me to need to let that old view of the self die and a new self to emerge. I grieved this old self and felt sad to see this romanticized idea die and be replaced by something closer to the truth. As always a new self sprung to life and she is more compassionate to the little girl who was and she can see the landscape of my life with fresh eyes and perspective. This is magick! Being able to face the old ideas regarding self and embrace new ways of viewing the now and the past. This process can be heart-rending but through working with The Morrigan I have learned to face it all bravely knowing that the death of the old self is only temporary. She used to nudge me towards the changes I needed to make now I feel she watches over me as I move through transformation after transformation, recreating myself over and over like the creatrix witch that I am.
This week I intend to meditate and work magick using the Queen of Pentacles as my inspiration. She keeps coming up over and over. Mars is back in Gemini and so I’m hoping that will give me a tad more energy. I will admit that working magick when you are chronically ill can be very difficult. It can be hard for me to muster the energy I need and at times the brain fog makes it hard to focus. Early spring has arrived in Wisconsin and so I am hoping to draw some energy from that as well. The new moon will once again be upon us next Saturday. It will be in watery Pisces. I intend to work some over the next few days to removed obstacles so that when the new moon comes I can hit the ground running.
Do you work with the moon cycles? If so what will your new moon work look like?
Did you have a happy Yule? Mine was mostly quiet, cozy, and simple. We are all moved into our new house and I am enjoying having a yard again. I’ve been spending time getting to know the land spirits and we were even able to have a fire outside on the solstice. The lovely tree pictured above was found on a walk with my puppy yesterday. It reminded me of the crone adorned in her finest winter dress. There is something so magickal about snow and ice on trees making the whole world look like a fairyland.
I have been thinking about rewilding. It was a focus of mine last year before my health went down the tubes. I know that I have some unfinished work there. A year later I am seeing rewilding differently. I have never been far from the earth, trees, and wild things in my environment. The forest isn’t where I will find the wild I seek. The wild I’m in search of comes from within me. It is stoked in the furnace of my soul and in who I was before the world told me I wasn’t enough. My word for this year is pleasure and I think to find pleasure I need to get reacquainted with my inner wild.
When I was a little girl I had a wild imagination. I ran wild through the wooded area near my apartment making that space my home away from home. As a young adult, I would go to see live music almost every weekend. I would dance and sing along with my favorite bands and allow myself to float on the wild current of the crowd. All these versions of myself still exist within me. I just need to allow myself to connect with them again. At some point, I learned that I was too old to spend my days climbing trees, dancing became harder once the responsibilities of adulthood came crashing in. My imagination dimmed when there were no more worlds to create other than the mundane world of work and the “shoulds” so many of us face.
When I first started practicing witchcraft I felt that wild energy. In being a witch I was not bending to what others thought I should do or be. I was being fully myself, it felt good and it felt wild. I remember when I would have dreams of flying and meeting the gods/goddesses face to face. I remember the wonder of seeing things I hoped for manifested in the world for the first time. It would be good to reconnect with that energy again. Pleasure waits at the place where I can let myself feel wild without constantly judging whether or not my feelings are mature, best for others, or if they serve a purpose other than giving me happiness.
As I follow this path I will post more. When do you feel wild? Did you choose a word for the year?
We moved last week. For the last few days I have been trying to get in touch with the earth on the property we moved to. We haven’t had much snow this year so I took advantage of it. I found a spot under a tree and I laid down on the ground. I ran my fingers over the grass and then pressed my palms into the soft earth. For the first time since we moved I was able to pour all of my anxiety into the earth
As I gazed up at the tree I whispered my secrets and asked the tree to share her secrets with me. She spoke to me and told me her name is the mother tree. She shared her calm life-giving energy with me. I felt like I could just fall asleep under her. My little puppy Sansa came and laid with me. Together we enjoyed the moment dozing in the peace of the warm earth. After a while, we went inside and took a long nap together. I have really bad insomnia so any time I can sleep deeply and well it is a good thing. I woke up feeling so rested and relaxed. I’m planning to take an offering out to her later on today. I’m so grateful for the calming energy. My new backyard already feels like a sanctuary and I already feel a part of the community. A couple of days ago my husband and I took out offerings of gratitude for our new property and I went around and introduced myself to the land. I can’t wait to spend more time out there working magick and communing with nature.
During the month of November I like to focus on gratitude. Today I am greatful for a lovely Samhain celebration last night. It is so delicious when you can feel your ancestors on the wind. I threw what no longer serves me into the fire and brought in some fresh inspiration for the new year. Who knows what this month holds, I only know that gratitude makes most things easier for me to get through. Are you focusing on gratitude this month? What are you grateful for?
Next month I’m turning 50! It seems unreal and impossible. I have been preparing for this big birthday for the last year. I have been casting off the things which I do not want to carry into the next half of my life and cultivating tools that will help me when the calendar turns. I feel the queen/mother energy flowing through me strongly and I can see the crone waiting in the wings. When I start my new solar year I want to hit the ground running! The biggest shift is moving from mothering into creating. Not creating new life but projects. I have always created groups and projects but I’ve always had to look after others while doing this instead of being able to throw myself into things with abandon and to some degree selfishness. I’ve had an empty nest for a couple of years now and I have been slowly shifting into this new phase of life. Since Samhain, I have been focusing on figuring out what I want the second half of my life to look like. That is the easy part, the harder part has been being willing to take time for indulging my dreams and wants versus always thinking about the family first. I had my first child at age 22 and I have to figure out who I am all over again!
On the upcoming full moon, my focus will be courage. When you have kids at home you can always have an excuse for not doing things. When those babies move on it removes so much from your life and opens up so much time. Now the only thing stopping me is often my lack of courage to step out of the shadows and like the Fool card step out into a new adventure.
Right now I am more excited than nervous. I feel supported by Morrighan, Dagda, and Brigid and maybe pushed a little bit, but it is a good push. What will you be working on for the full moon?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.