“Hoof and horn hoof and horn Those who die shall be reborn Corn and grain corn and grain Those who fall shall rise again”
I’m not sure the origin of the chant above but I learned it when I was a new witch. I’ve been thinking about it this morning. I posted in one of my witchy groups about mourning and sacrfice. I believe that even when you work magick to assist you in meeting a goal you have to be prepared for sacrifice. Will that goal require time, money, and energy? Nothing comes for free. The sacrifice could be as small as throwing some of your favorite plant into the fire to assist with your spell. At the last full moon I threw some of my precious lavender flowers into the fire because I have found my magick works better when I use materials that are sacred to me. When thinking about the harvest I’m bringing in for this turn of the wheel I was reminded of the sacrifices I had to make to get here. I had to leave my home of 50 years and move. In doing that I lost many friendships and connections and even angered some of my family. I’m in a smaller community which means a loss of opportunity. That being said, I have gained a back yard to practice my spirituality in, a studio where I can work on my business, and a safer community to live in. Oh yes and a lovely dedicated temple space!
Another thing I have been focused on is mourning. Here in Wisconsin, if you haven’t planted most things by now you are out of luck till next spring. If your crops have failed you have to just mourn the loss and look ahead. I feel it goes that way for goals as well. What goals did you plant in the spring? Did they all sprout up and grow or did some of them never get off the ground. It might be time to allow yourself to mourn those goals and let them go until you can plant them next year. I know not all witches live on the wheel but I do for the most part. Right now I am focused on harvest not planting. When the wheel turns again to Imbolc I will be ready to start thinking about new goals or old goals I want to restart.
Lughnasadh is one of my favorite turns of the wheel. We celebrate by playing games and having a big feast. We remember the sacrifice of John Barleycorn and we honor Demeter as the mother of grain. Usually we have pretty good weather this time of year, although it can be humid. It is always a great day. Underneath it all the energy calls on us to recognize we are turning towards the dark time of the year. The god of the grain will be cut down and Demeter must prepare to be without Persephone soon. As with everything there is light and shadow, harvest and sacrifice.
I can feel the energy shift towards the darker season. This morning when I went out to my backyard I saw two yellow leaves resting on my deck. It was just a glimmer of what is coming.
What will you be harvesting? Do you have things you wish to mourn?
Whew! I have been going through it lately! I have experienced this before and I know that this is the tilling of my life that preceeds a huge season of growth. Whenever the soil of my inner life is worked, turned over, over and over again, it is a very painful process. Things are cut off and pulled out, displaced and disguarded. My nights are sleepless as my body vibrates with anxiety and vigilance. Typically I view this vigilance as a by product of my childhood trauma, now I’m trying to see it as the vigilance of my spirit awaiting the new growth about to arrive.
Beltane is coming soon and I can hear and feel its song in the distance. It will bring with it flowers and sunshine, dancing and a bursting forth of new possibilities. This soil that has been painfully turned over will create space for my new self to push through. So for now, I’m trying to embrace this season of pain and struggle. I trust the universe that the wheel is always turning and soon the rewards of hard work and endurance will come to me.
Spring is a messy season and I’m feeling kind of messy right now. It has been rainy this week but every so often the sun peeks out to remind me that it will not always be gray.
Last week my mind was brimming with ideas but I didn’t want to put them into action until the new moon. Now that we are past that everything is starting to move forward and take off! I have added all my social media info into the about page so please connect with me on Instagram and Twitter. I’m excited to announce I have also started a closed FB group with the same name as this blog. Please feel free to ask to be a member over there. I’m also taking the leap into tarot readings and online coaching. If you are interested in any of that you can find info on the services page. Whew!
Have I mentioned it is the first day of October?! Or as I like to call it the first day of Halloween! It’s my favorite month of the year and so I’m planning to celebrate a little today. I intend to put up my Day of the Dead/ancestor altar today and will leave it up through the first week of November. I will also spruce up my main working altar space in honor of the Crone. Something about this time of year really gets my blood pumping. Here in Wisconsin, it is gloomy and raining. I think we are supposed to get some thunderstorms which only adds to the mood.
I take Samhain and The Day of the Dead very seriously. My practice is pretty Celtic in nature and that fits well with my ancestry on my mother’s side. On my father’s side my ancestors are from Mexico, so celebrating The Day of the Dead helps me to connect with them. Halloween is something that brings me joy and I feel that in and of itself is sacred. Each of these things is a part of what I consider to be the most sacred month of my year. Each has its own meaning and each adds something different to my practice. Yes, I consider Halloween part of my practice! Winter is hard for me due to Seasonal Affective Disorder and so I try to store up as much joy as I can before that hits hard. Halloween makes me so happy.
I have been feeling the wheel turning me inward and I have already started to prepare myself for Samhain. Have you been feeling the pull to turn inward?
June is my birthday month! I am barely a Gemini having made it just under the wire in 1970. Soon I will be entering the last year of my 40’s and I have some big changes I want to manifest before I turn 50. One theme that has appeared over and over the last few years is Freedom and Liberation. Just when I think I’m done with that lesson it comes back around and goes deeper and deeper. Now I have a feeling of being at a brass tacks place. I’m at the edge of the deepest point with the toughest lessons. I’m being called to stretch to some pretty scary places and also to act whether or not anyone is by my side when I do it. Being a Gemini I prefer a partner to work with but sometimes that just isn’t possible.
I feel like the gods have been pulling out all of the stops. I have my primary gods and then others that I’ve worked with regarding certain issues. Lately, they have all been making an appearance and their voices are getting louder and louder. I’m trying to take it all in and process it all. I’ve had some things thrown in my path this year that have made everything feel harder. That being said I am ready to fight for what I want and keep moving. The lesson happening right now is that liberation doesn’t always come so easy, sometimes it isn’t just about untying your own hands and undoing your own chains, sometimes it is about busting out, drugging the jailor and taking a saw to the bars. Sometimes you gotta She-Hulk that bullsh*it!
Soon it will be Summer Solstice and then the wheel will turn towards harvest. I’ve got some work to do just regarding the things I planted at Imbolc. I know there are no short cuts so I should probably say goodbye for now and light up my cauldron.
Have you ever worked on Freedom or Liberation? What gods/goddesses did you find most helpful?
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.
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.