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The Temple Within

Musings of a polytheistic witch

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Wicca

First Harvest

Lughnasadh has come and gone. Energetically it felt like it blew into town with some pretty powerful fire behind it. I did some strong magick, in fact I kind of surprised myself because I have been feeling pretty low energy lately. It felt good to let my witchy hair down and to let go a little bit. My first harvest of this season has started with mint, lots and lots of mint. I am grateful! Mint has long been one of my favorite herbs.

I bought this small memo book to use as an Autumnal Book of Shadows. My intention is to use it to focus my devotion during the harvest season. One thing Lughnasadh brought in for me was a harvest of people and projects. Now I’ve got to sift through it all and decide what should stay and what should go. I am feeling pretty overwhelmed with all of the people clamoring for my time and energy. I have a surplus of projects to work on within the sphere of political activism. This is mostly good, I just have to figure out how to manage it all.

On the Pagan front, I have been meeting with folks and contemplating community. I feel the push of the goddess to get back to work. I will not lie, this scares the crap out of me! I have no idea what I am going to do but I do feel the tick tock of the clock. My goal is to get out to some community events or host one of my own before Samhain.

How was your Lughnasadh?

D

Getting Ready For Harvest

I am not digging the weather we’ve been having here in south central Wisconsin. We have had tons of rain and it is pretty humid. I think the ragweed has hit because my allergies are going insane. Late July always brings the same thing every year, a longing for autumn. Autumn is my favorite season and late summer is the season when I am the most house bound due to allergies.

One of the themes of autumn is the harvest holidays. This all kicks off in the late summer with Lammas/Lughnasadh or as I think of it Demeter’s Day. This turn of the wheel has long been one of my favorites. I have fond memories of making corn dollies with my kids and coven mates. Lammas brings to mind good meals and good times with friends and family. It also makes me think about what I want to harvest. My experience has been that each of the three fall harvest holidays grows in intensity with regards to what I bring in. This is also the time of year when I start to think about what I want to let go of. Slowly over the coming months, it will become more and more clear. Usually a day or so before Samhain I will know exactly what is required and I will be ready to throw it into the cauldron.

I think I will start my prep by doing some meditating on Demeter. I may start a list of things to harvest and release as well. Do you celebrate this turn of the wheel? I will post some pictures of my work as I move through this time.

D

Stength

I know I have not been posting much lately. I feel bad about that because this blog matters to me. I have been absent because I have been busy with the task of restoration. Morrigan has been my muse and Bridget has helped me strike my target over and over. I decided that since I’m moving a bit slower today, head cold, I would sit down and pound out an update.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned through this process is the more fully I become myself the more my strength is revealed. My current struggle is with my voice. I feel like I am acting from a place of power and I’m seeing some wonderful results. When I start to struggle is when I need to raise my voice to be heard or when I need to speak up in disagreement. I have been doing some pretty intense political organizing on the grassroots level and let me tell you it can be hard to be heard even when you are all on the same team. Add to that being a woman and being Mexican American, and you can start to see how it might be hard. The universe is putting me in situations where I have to fight to be heard and it has been pretty challenging.

On the up side, I have been enjoying life more and I feel like I’m well on my way to meeting my goals this year. The wheel keeps turning and soon it will turn towards harvest. I have a feeling my harvest will be bountiful and challenging. I just had my 47th birthday and I think this might be one of my best years yet.

My Month With Anu

My month with Anu has come to a close and I am very grateful. It did not play out as I expected. I thought it would be a month full of ritual and meditation. What it became was a month of connection with my ancestors and a new appreciation for where I came from. Many puzzle pieces in my life came together quietly and simply. Working with Anu opened my eyes making it easier for me to see what needs to change. It wasn’t jarring or overwhelming, it was a gentle recognition of the places where I have lost myself. I don’t want to give too much away as much of this is deeply personal. What I can say is I feel stronger about trusting my intuition than I have ever felt. Ritual is wonderful, but it is not the end all be all of my connection with the divine. ┬áSometimes she whispers to me on the wind and no candles are required. That is what my Samhain experience was like this year.

D

Preparing For Samhain

Today I sat down with my journal and a very sharp pencil to try to make some sense of Samhain. Usually what happens is I have no idea what I want to do and then it all comes together in the moment. As I put a pencil to paper today everything just came pouring out of me. I have been spending a lot of time communing with the ancestors, thanks to Anu, and so I have been revisiting the past. As I have reached for the past I feel the past reaching forward towards me. As the veil is thinning and thinning I feel like I can almost reach out and touch them. Memories surface of napping with grandpa in an olive-green chair with a green leafy pattern on it. Every other piece of furniture had plastic on it, it was like grandpa and his chair were real and the rest was cold and fake. Great grandpa did not have a comfy chair. His chair was wooden and hard and his lap felt bony and breakable. I would sit with him and sing songs in exchange for candy. Both grandpa and great grandpa had deep pockets filled with candy. To this day when I taste a butterscotch candy my mind travels back to them. They were not in my life for a very long time. Great grandpa passed when I was 11 and he was 98. Soon after my grandpa moved to Florida. These two men were the only positive males in my childhood. It makes sense that as the veil thins I would sense them here. I’m sure they were complicated men but in my child’s memory of them, they are simple, good, and accepting.

My word for next year (Samhain is my new year) is restoration. I feel that I have much to restore within. This word was the first seed on my path to understanding what my Samhain work would be. I also intend to return to working with the Queen archetype. I worked with her a few years ago and kind of fell away from it, or so I thought. I realized today that I have read so many books about so many queens and even if I wasn’t understanding why I was still working with the queen. This morning I revisited that archetype and looked at her light and dark aspects.

Now I only have to decide what the formal working will be. I know I need to clean house and get rid of some things in order to make room for fresh things to come in. I know it will come to me when the time is right.

D

The Full Moon

I am thankful today that the full moon is on the way out. I feel like I got my butt handed to me by this moon. Right now I am trying to be grateful for fresh insight and clarity. I have a feeling this Samhain is going to be a doozy. Big changes are afoot and I can feel the energy shifting all around me. My month of devotion to Anu has been going well but not as I expected. She has inspired me to connect with my ancestors and figure out who I am. When you’re a wife and mother it can be so easy to lose yourself in your roles. This week my focus is on starting to identify what I want to let go and bring in for Samhain. My lesson from the full moon is being awake can be hard to take, but I’d rather be awake than asleep.

D

New Moon/Black Moon

Wow! I can feel the energy cooking today.

pent

I started my day with a good strong cup of coffee. I put on my oldest Pentacle because it carries so much energy. I journaled to get my thoughts down on paper and to be sure I was clear before I started. Then I had some ritual time and I was very surprised. The energy was very strong and apparently I have been holding some things inside that really needed to be given a voice. Once that was completed then I set about to cleansing my house. It felt good to get the stale energy out and bring in some fresh energy. I take care to get all of the doors and windows. I also cleaned up my altar and myself.

new-moon-altar

Tomorrow I plan to start my 30 days of devotion and I’m very excited.:) I hope you all have a wonderful new moon!

D

A Month of Devotion

September has been a rough month for me. Nothing big and bad happening, I’ve just been having some health issues. I’m feeling much better now and I’m ready to start preparing for Samhain. Samhain is my favorite time of year and I tend to do some big magick and spiritual work during this time. I’m feeling inspired to complete a month of devotion. My plan is to work with Anu every day for the month of October. I have been working with Anu over the last year but I’m feeling the need to really focus right now. I’m also going to focus on meditation because I have become kind of lazy in that area.

Do you have any plans for the month of October? Do you celebrate Samhain and if so how do you plan for it?

D

Fall Equinox Herb Bundles

I know I am a little early but I really felt an energy shift today. I decided to harvest some herbs and add them to others that I had, creating herb bundles. The house smells heavenly! It feels good to have a distraction from the pain I’m experiencing. I had all four wisdom teeth out and my mouth is not happy. Anyway, here are some pics of the herbs.

herbs-1

herbs-2

herbs-3

What are your plans for fall equinox?

D

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