Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Magickal Thursday: Basic Energy Work

One of the first lessons I ever remember having with my teacher was sort of an energy 'game'.

Sit comfortably, place your hands in front of you a couple of inches apart and close your eyes in front of you a couple of inches apart. Direct your energy into your hands and then into the space between. Push it back and fourth from one hand to the other. If it helps, give it the shape of a ball. If you can work with someone else play 'catch' with it, gently pushing it from one person to the other.

Learn the 'personalities' of some objects, a stone, an old watch, your grandmother's quilt. What do you fell when you hold it? Are there any images that come into your mind? You must keep both your mind and heart open, don't dismiss thoughts that you may feel are silly.

So you don't drain yourself every time you work you must learn to draw up the energy of the things around you. One of the best and easiest is the earth itself. Like when grounding, you want to pull the energy up. 
Please remember to return energy that you don't use or need, holding onto it may cause you problems.

Unfortunately, you can't teach someone how to feel the energies in the world around us. Some may never be able to but the more you try to open yourself up to it the better you will become.

Image from the NY Reiki Center

August 29th: Feast Day Hathor & Urda

Hathor is the Egyptian goddess of love. From death yesterday to love today. Go Egypt!

I'm going to be honest, not a fan of love magick. I've done a spell or two in my day and it's given me exactly what I asked for, not what I wanted. So let's skip the "I need someone else to love me" and work on the "I love myself". If you can't love yourself, you can truly love someone else. Let's face it, we ALL need to remember ourselves once in a while.



Urda is one of the three Norse fate goddesses. She represents the past. So while we're working with Hathor to love ourselves, lets ask Urda's assistance to heal some things from our past. Can't hurt, right?

*I know some people do not believe in meshing different families of deities. If you follow one specific tradition and don't want to work with other deities that is TOTALLY fine. I'm eclectic and for the most part work with a generic "Goddess" and "God" image that fits both me and the season. I'm not, however, unashamed to ask for help where ever I can get it!

For more information about Hathor: http://www.touregypt.net/godsofegypt/hathor.htm
For more information about Urda: http://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/others/the-norns/

August 28th: Feast Day of Nephthys

Nephthys is the Egyptian goddess of death.

A goddess of death does not mean a goddess of bad. She is a goddess of endings! Is there anything you would like to end or stop? Because the moon is waning (growing smaller) anything you do to end, stop, or decrease something will be extra strong.

Learn more about Nephthys: http://www.touregypt.net/nephthys.htm

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Practical Tuesday: Sacred Space

Having your own space is important whether it's having a quiet space in your own home where you can go to recharge, collect your thoughts, and find peace. It is just as important to have a space where you can do any kind of magick or energy workings.

We're not all lucky enough to have a room to dedicate for this kind of space. Though I do have friends in Southern New Hampshire who have a whole third floor! Granted, they are directors of a Pagan organization so I guess it's ok. ;)

There are many ways to create a sacred space, I'll give you the evolution of mine.

The Space Saver
Sometimes it's not convenient to keep your magickal tools and workings in plain site. Dorm life is a great example. In college I was lucky enough to have roommates who were tolerant of my magickal path if not actively following it themselves. However, dorm rooms are a small shared space. Lucky for me, I received a trunk for a graduation gift. It wasn't huge like the 19th century steamer trunks but it was good size with a nice, flat top. I could keep all my magickal tools inside and use it as a coffee table when not in use.

The Forgotten Corner
Look around your living space. There must be some corner that isn't being used for much. Get a corner shelving unit or corner shelves (if you can install into the wall) that fit your budget and bingo! Instant vertical alter. If you plan on burning things make sure it's on the top shelf or the flame is not high enough to cause damage. You can leave your items out and they become "art pieces".

The "What the...?" Space
When I bought my home 4 years ago there was this space at the top of the second floor stairs. The second floor is in the eves, which means there's a lot of slanted ceilings and short walls. I saw this space becoming either a catch all for crap I didn't want to put away or a dust collector. So, instead, I found a chest of drawers that fit into the space! I can leave tools out, store extras, keep my books, etc. all in one location. There's enough space where I can sit comfortably and meditate or do work.

The Traveler
We can't always work from home, in any aspect of life! So when we're on the road it's good to keep a travel kit with you. It can be as big or small as necessary. A couple of crystals in your pocket or, in my case, a 12" x 6" x 6" box. I live near some Native American healing springs and when I go to visit I tend to do a great deal of work. When traveling far from home, however, I usually just keep a couple of crystals and a stick of incense with me. (Yes, I am one of those weirdo's who smudges their hotel room!)

Monday, August 26, 2013

August 27th: Festival Day of Consus and Devaki

Consus is the Roman god who protects grains and other stored foods. Today would be a great day to go through your "grain stores", or in the 21st century lingo, the pantry. Check for expired foods, wipe down the shelves, donate foods you don't use. For those of us who live in the colder reaches of the world we need to think about winter and providing for our family. Things aren't as imperative now that we have access to food year round but as little as 100 years ago it was very important to have your stores ready for winter. So instead of having your stores full instead take time to winterize your house.

Wheat, photographer unkown


Devaki is the Hindu mother-goddess. Wife of Vesudeva and mother of Krishna. While everyone has different experiences with their mothers, a mother-goddess is THE mother. She offers protection, unconditional love, and encouragement. Seek out mother-goddesses to help with mommy-issues. If you had or have problems with your mother seeking the guidance of a mother-goddess can help you heal. It won't necessarily improve your situation but it can help you heal.

Learn more about Consus: http://www.mythindex.com/roman-mythology/C/Consus.html

Learn more about Devaki: http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Devaki.html

Sunday, August 25, 2013

August 26th: Feast Day of Krishna & Ilmatar

Krishna is the 8th incarnation of Vishnu, the supreme god, in Hinduism.
Internet image, photographer unknown



Ilmatar is a Finnish goddess of air. Her literal translation is "female air spirit".
Ilmatar & the Scaup, Helsinki Finland by Aarre Aaltonen 1946

For more information about Krishna visit: http://www.krishna.com/

Friday, August 23, 2013

August 23rd: Feast Day of Nemesis, Vertumnus, Vulcan, and the Nymphs

Feast days are days that are special to a specific deity or deities. If you are looking to work with a specific deity or ask favors these are the best days to do them. Most deities have multiple feast days so if you miss one don't worry, there will be another.

Nemesis, was the Greek goddess of fortune and retribution. In Rome she is known as the balancer of life.

Vertumnus is the Roman god of the changing seasons, plant growth, gardens, and fruit trees. (Vertumnal Equinox anyone?)

The Nymphs as the personification of nature. There are many different kinds of Nymphs but most often found in forest groves and springs.

Vulcan Roman good of fire and smithing. Today is his feast day, Vulcanalia.

In honor of Vulcanalia light a fire! It can be as big or as small as you are able. Historically, offerings of small animals were given to Vulcan as a way of keeping fires out of the cities but this is the 21st century. Instead offer some of your harvest, a cutting from a houseplant or a plant from your garden or be creative! Offer Vulcan a sketch, a song, or a poem. Something that can be put on paper and burned.



Learn more about Nemesis: http://www.theoi.com/Daimon/Nemesis.html

Learn more about Vertumnus: http://www.maicar.com/GML/Vertumnus.html

Learn more about the Nymphs: http://www.maicar.com/GML/NYMPHS.html

Learn more about Vulcan: http://www.napoliunplugged.com/vulcanalia.html

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Magickal Thursday: Grounding & Centering

Magick this the ability to manipulate the energies of the earth. For all you geeks and sci-fi lovers out there, think "the force". (Your journey begins young Jedi.) Chuckle all you want! Honestly, minus the really cool Hollywood effects you've got yourself some magick working!

Because we all took Physics (cough, cough) we know that everything in the Universe is made up of atoms (or a vacuum but I digress). Atoms are little balls of stuff that exude energy. (Are we seeing a pattern yet?) What magick workers, heck, anyone who can focus long enough, can do is take all this energy and transform it. Remember Newton and his laws! Energy cannot be created or destroyed only transformed.

(Awe, come on Sue, we didn't want a science lesson!)

The (un)fortunate truth is, metaphysics has a great deal in common with regular physics. For those who thirst for more scientific proof, check out Quantum Theory.

Now back to the magick!

Grounding

When you work with energies you don’t want to store them all inside of yourself, this could cause a whole lot of problems: insomnia and the shakes in the short term; chronic diseases in the long term. Your body may be a battery but it is not designed to handle large amounts of energy for long periods of time, it will fight back. Therefore, we learn how to ground the energies we don’t need, like a grounding rod.

If you do Yoga or any number or eastern practices you may already understand and practice grounding on a regular basis. Excellent! As a practitioner of magick you really want to get into the habit of grounding and centering daily. None of us are perfect! I know I haven't been good about this practice myself but with the kids, the house, work.... We can all make excuses but it really is something we should do. Everyone, not just magickal workers. Here are some simple ways to ground!

The Shower Ground
While standing in the shower stand under the spray and visualize the water washing away all the excess energy; cleaning out your energy center leaving them fresh and recharged. Work from your head to toes. You may find touching the areas as you go makes it easier to focus. An extra 2 minutes in the shower and done!

The Tree
(For the first few times it may be easier to do bare foot and outside in the grass.) With your feet touching the ground, sitting is fine. Visualize that you are a tree, you have roots coming from your feet going deep into the ground. "Feel" the earth as you move through it absorb the different layers of earth, rock, and water. Pull that energy up through your roots, into your legs and torso, through your head where it feeds the branches of your tree. Feel that the sun above you is nourishing and your branches and leaves stretch up high toward it. Pull that energy in and down through your branches, into your "trunk" and down into your roots.

Centering

We've grounded but we still have our own energy to deal with. For some people, exposure to magickal workings can leave them feeling exhausted. Why? Because they haven't centered (stored) their own energies. Centering goes hand in hand with grounding. By storing or locking away your own energy you won't deplete it while doing your magickal workings or get rid of it all when grounding.

To center, draw the energies into your body into your abdominal region, some like the “belly” area, some prefer higher or lower. Or you can store them in one of your chakras if you know were and what they are. Most people chose to center in the “belly” region simply because that could be considered the center of the body. Draw in the energies until you feel full. When I center I usually visualize the energy filling a balloon or beach ball, when the ball is full I stop drawing in the energy.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

August 21st: Feast Day of Hercules

Feast days are days that are special to a specific deity or deities. If you are looking to work with a specific deity or ask favors these are the best days to do them. Most deities have multiple feast days so if you miss one don't worry, there will be another.

Hercules is a Greek demi-god. His father was Zeus and his mother a mortal. He is most famous for completing the Twelve Labors.

Hercules and the Hydra, Antonio del Pollaiuolo


To learn more visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hercules

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 22nd: Feast Day of Nu Kua

Feast days are days that are special to a specific deity or deities. If you are looking to work with a specific deity or ask favors these are the best days to do them. Most deities have multiple feast days so if you miss one don't worry, there will be another.

Nu Kua is a Chinese goddess of healing. Haven't been feeling well? Light a white candle and ask Nu Kua to aid in your healing.

Nu Kua, Artist Unknown


To learn more visit: http://journeyingtothegoddess.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/goddess-nu-kua/

An Introduction


Pagans worship nature. It really doesn't matter what form (and there are many) you practice all believe that nature is sacred. We all tend to have a touch of an environmentalist in us, it's stronger in some than others. I would classify myself as a light to moderate environmentalist. You won't hear me preaching, no worries. 

I am an exceptionally eclectic pagan. I studied Alternative Medicine in college which included me receiving a Reiki Master/Teacher certification. My pagan studies have run the gamut of formal Egyptian magick to Native American Shamanism. This being said, my teachings tend to lean heavily toward balance. My rituals not ceremonial and often done on a whim. 





Silver Cascade, Crawford Notch, NH

August 19th: Feast Day Venus & Minerva

Feast days are days that are special to a specific deity or deities. If you are looking to work with a specific deity or ask favors these are the best days to do them. Most deities have multiple feast days so if you miss one don't worry, there will be another.

Venus is the Roman goddess of love and beauty. Aphrodite is her Greek counterpart.

Since this is a feast day o f Venus, Goddess of love and beauty, it is an excellent day for love spells (though they would be strongest if this day fell on a Friday). It would also be a great day for some more mundane things like a beauty day! Schedule yourself a facial, mani-pedi, or hair cut. Do a home facial, dye your hair, or paint your toes.
The Birth of Venus Sandro Botticelli

Minerva is the Roman and Etruscan goddess of wisdom, arts, trade, and defense.

It's back to school time and who better to ask for assistance than Minerva! This would be a great day to dedicate a small shrine on your desk or somewhere in your work space. She is often represented with an owl so placing a small owl figure would be appropriate. A similar shrine could be done for a business (as goddess of trade) or for a theater, dance studio, art studio or gallery (goddess of arts). You may also wish to invoke her for protection (goddess of defense).

Minerva in Onyx, The Louvre

The Barley Moon

Full Moon: August 20th 8:45 pm EST



The full moon in August is called the Barley  Moon. While the name is self-explanatory, the August moon is so named do to the fact that it is the time of the grain harvests (in the norther hemisphere).

During the harvest time (August 1 - October 31) it is always good give thanks for all that you have been given. It is also an excellent time to reap what we have sown. Revisit old spells or rituals that have been sitting around. Have they served their purpose? Are you reaping their benefits or is it time to move on?

During this time I go through more personal things as well such as belongings, expenses, and relationships. Are they helping with growth or are they stagnating? Do they need some tending or have they served their purpose?

While it may seem harsh to think about relationships like a plant, in the long run it really is a great way to think about them. There is a cooperative relationship with plants, we give them food, water, and protection and they give us sustenance for the body and soul.

Think of a relationship this way: Is it mutually beneficial or is one party demanding/giving more attention? What about that friend who expects you to drop everything when they call but is "too busy" to help you with the smallest thing? While you may think nothing of it this relationship is toxic and is physically, emotionally, and spiritually draining.

So go through your life, your closets, and your cupboards. Scale back the time and energy you spend on friends who are not helping you grow or that you may be stunting. Donate clothing that doesn't fit or you don't wear. Throw out your expired foodstuffs and donate those unused cans of food to a food shelf.


Friday, August 16, 2013

August 17th: Feast Day of Diana

Feast days are days that are special to a specific deity or deities. If you are looking to work with a specific deity or ask favors these are the best days to do them. Most deities have multiple feast days so if you miss one don't worry, there will be another.

Diana is a Goddess from the Roman pantheon. Often called the Virgin Huntress, she rules over the hunt, the moon, and birthing. She is associated with wild places and animals.

As the Goddess of birthing, woman nearing their birthing time may wish to ask Diana for her assistance. Hunters may wish to ask her to bless their hunting gear, remember that Diana's hunt is not just for sport but for survival.  Those who live in our urban wilderness may wish to ask Diana to remind them of the ancient wilds. On the other hand, those of us who live in the wilds may wish to ask for protection from Diana.

Diana of the Tower, Augustus St. Gaudens

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Welcome!

Over the years I have shared my knowledge off and on with one student or another. It was never a regular thing, a few months here and there. I've always felt that it was something I should do. That feeling that you've forgotten to do something.

Living in an extremely rural area means it's difficult to find students or for students to find me. So in order to reach a larger group I have started this blog. 

I will be posting twice weekly on Practical Tuesdays and Magical Thursdays. Yeah, I could have picked days with better alliteration but I'm a single Mom, I work full time, and I'm a student so this has to fit around everything else. 

Sue