Let’s Change Our Stories About Our Relationship With Darkness And Shadow

A Winter Sunrise

This time of year for the northern part of our world go through the dark time of the year. Further north you go the more shorter the days are. The other thing about this time of year for the north is the shadows get longer, same as the night hours do.

Winter has its own expression of beauty. Yet it also has some unique challenges and lessons. Some of those challenges seem to have so much to do with this season of long shadows and long nights, long times of darkness and shadow.

And I can’t help but wonder if we could heal those challenges we can have during this time of year! By healing our stories, beliefs, perseptions and such!

For life and the cycles of nature can help us see where we may need to change or heal a belief, a pattern we are stuck in, something of our past traumas and so forth. Creation and nature are great healers and teachers. And the seasons and their rhythms have so much to offer us.

                   

I also know that we as individuals and as a collective can point towards what is needing healing, transformation and change! 

And oh my goodness am I feeling and knowing in a deep way we need to change our stories and even maybe language about darkness and shadow!

Oh I know it may seem I’m talking crazy here!

But I’m not alone in understanding that the true relationship we need to heal is with our Minds! For it is there that All things come from in our lives! Our minds is where our power is to bring about change or destruction!

And dear ones, when we close those eyes for meditation or sleep, there you get to see Darkness and Our Shadow, it’s where we have a fuller access to ourselves!

And we are not going to be able to be whole, complete and having full access to our power. Oh no we won’t! Not if we keep making Shadow and Darkness places of nightmares or turning them into our scapegoat for all the nasty stuff we do to ourselves and each other. No! Instead we will run and run and run away! In fact that’s why we are hurting and our world is hurting!

Can we do anything to change this? Oh! Yes we can! But only if we are willing to change our stories about Darkness and Shadow! And only if we are brave enough to want fuller access to the fullness of our Minds!

So! How do we go about changing our stories, beliefs, perceptions and such about darkness and shadow? Well, are we willing to accept we are talking about our minds, when we speak our shadow and dark side?

That’s the first step is realizing we are having all kinds of stories and philosophies about the dark and shadow parts of ourselves being such terrible parts of our human psyche and that we are really talking about our thoughts, our mind.

I’ve had the humble privilege of being able to share my philosophy and my thoughts about humanity’s relationship with shadow and darkness and how we are really speaking to the inner workings of the mind. Yet when I’ve had some understanding from folks, I could still see they didn’t quite understand where I was coming from. That was until I had them do a few interactive things.

First I have them put on a blindfold or close their eyes. I like the blindfold better, by the way. Then I ask them first what they are seeing. Answer is, maybe you guessed it, darkness. But I take it further I ask them to remember a happy moment in as much detail as possible, with as many of their senses as possible. Then I ask them what they are recalling and then ask them where is this all coming from? Then yes, I have them recall a sad moment, all this is happening while they are blindfolded mind you. Again this time safely bringing up a sad memory as thoroughly as safely possible. Again my question of where is it coming from. Now mind you, some of them are getting that information through smell and touch. It isn’t just visually. I ask them a final time, where is this all coming from. Most of the time it’s darkness. The more visual type people can have a harder time with this. So I tell them clear the mind’s screen. Then they also realize it’s darkness that they are experiencing. In our sleep time is another time we are pretty much alone with the darkness of our mind. Our dreams happen there too.

For shadow, it becomes a bit of a fun time of shadow play. But I also take people outside to see nature’s shadows, building shadows and their own shadows in the natural light. I ask them things like, in the summer on a hot day isn’t sitting in the shade, the shadow of a tree nice when we’re hot? I ask them to look at the shadows and ask are the shadows detailed, do they look identical to the things casting the shadow? Then I ask, are these scary terrible things they are looking at? Most of the time the answer is, no.

As you see, through experiencing through ourselves blindfolded we have a real personal look at the mind, which when blindfolded we realize all our thoughts are coming from a place of darkness. With the help of nature we find that shadows are not perfect reflections of the things casting them. Yet in certain ways they can bring us comfort.

The most interesting thing about the darkness of the mind when blindfolded, is that darkness is neutral space till a thought brings up information. And for shadows they are not mirror images of things. Which allows us to see things in a different way.

We also have stories that are positive stories or myths about creation coming forth from darkness. Again darkness being as a neutral space till something happens.We have stories about how the people wanted it to be daytime all the time. Well those people changed their mind after awhile because they couldn’t sleep or the lands were drying up and no food was available. So they had to ask for darkness to be around again.

Life through the birth and growth of life happens often in a space of darkness, wether it’s the womb, the inside of an egg, the seed within the soil or the networks of roots and animals within the ground, under our feet.

But the most important thing I’ve learned is both shadow and darkness are very important parts of our human psyche!

Just as the people that asked for daylight to be all there was, we become bankrupt, dried up and starving because we are afraid of sitting with our minds. We get too caught up in specifics that we can’t see things in new ways.

But most important is the darkness of the mind and it’s shadows is where all things come from!

Yes! Our most amazing ideas, love and compassion come from our mind! Yet also our most nasty, fearful, judgmental and condemning things come from our mind. And that mind until we think, imagine, or sense something, all of it comes from the neutral fertile space of darkness and shadow!

So to heal this relationship for yourself, try the blindfold experience. Try the shadow play and outdoor exploration of shadows. Track down positive stories about darkness or cautionary stories about why darkness is important. And the best pictures I can recommend are of space. To see all that potential of life in the star systems is an amazing example of the amazing things that come from darkness. Look down an animal hole into the ground and you’ll see roots and such down there in the dark of the earth. And be amazed at the network of plant and animal living under your feet. Look at pictures of a baby growing in a womb and marvel at the miracle of life. And know this is your mind seeing all of this, learning and reading and such.

Yes dear ones it’s even with the darkness and shadows of your mind that is reading this!

Blessings to you all this Winter Solstice time of the year!

Crystal forms: A variety of curio magic

Crystal forms: A variety of curio magic

An assortment of Crystal types and forms

Crystals are simply larger and more defined pieces of minerals. They are often polished and tumbled for sale and decorative pieces. Most of the ones you find for sale at metaphysical shops are likely tumbled and polished. Raw crystals like the ones above are the ones that you can find yourself when you visit a local quarry or dig site. In these locations you will be able to find stones yourself in their natural environment. When you pull them from the earth yourself you have a closer connection to them and can feel their natural power more easily.

Crystals are natural curios regardless of the form. Crystals come from the earth and are natural items. While humans have shaped them and formed them for us to collect, play with, enjoy, and work with they are still gifts from the earth. They grew deep within the earth and are the bones of this planet. They are very powerful natural curious for this reason.

shapes, sizes,and forms of crystals
Crystal forms
shapes, sizes,and forms of crystals

In the above photo you can see several different forms of crystals. There are small totem stones, you have a crystal mala bracelet, angel carved crystals, shaped animals, hearts, raw, tumbled, skull, spheres, towers or wands, pendants and a pyramid. All of these different forms provide many different ways to work with crystals. By combining the shape of the crystal with the properties of the crystals you can find unique ways to work crystal magic that suit your personal body and style.

Raw and Tumbled

Raw crystal curios

Raw and tumbled stones and crystals make the best talismans and charms. They are easy to carry and to create into jewelry. For many stones and crystals the tumbled varieties are readily available and less expensive than working with a pyramid, sphere or object in that manner. Small tumbled stones and raw stones are easily obtainable. Which means depending on the stone obtaining what you need for the work can be done.

When it comes to crystal magic the best way to work with them is to carry them as a talisman or amulet. A Talisman is typically a piece of jewelry that is worn or a stone carried that has a symbol or phrase inscribed on it describing the magical use. Talismans are typically for draw something to you. An amulet is typically an item worn or carried to ward off something. Both talismans and amulets are used for protection. One tends to be more about removing it the other is more about preventing it from getting there to begin with.

Two of the best examples of stones carried as charms for protection come from warriors. Both of these stones were associated with blood and bleeding. The first is Bloodstone and the second is Hematite. Two very different stones that share a common historical use: Protection from bleeding or excessive wounds on the battlefield.

Hematite is a stone that has associations with blood and protection in battle. The name comes from the Greek word for blood. It has been used as an amulet against bleeding, and so is known as the “blood stone”. Many people believe that Hematite is actually the original stone referenced when folklore mentions “bloodstone”.

Blood stone was historically carried by warriors in battle. It was thought that it was a charm that would protect against bleeding in battle. Which is why warriors wore it or carried it for protection. Occasionally it was worn as a pendant hanging over the heart chakra to cleanse the blood and protect from wounds.

In the case of both Hematite and Bloodstone they are both working as protection charms. Bloodstone worked more of preventing and removing so it was more of a talisman while Hematite was more of an amulet designed to try and ward excessive or unnecessarily wounds and fights in battles. Both stones worked to protect the warriors and both stones dealt with blood.

Amethyst, quartz, Hematite Hanging Pentacle charm

Today wirewraped crystal gifts have become very popular. They are made with crystal chips or small raw or tumbled pieces. Witches by knowing the properties of the crystals can create charms that are hidden in plain sight. They will be able to place the decoration on the wall or in the window to catch the light and the properties of the crystals will be brought into the home. Creating powerful subtloe natural magic.

The above photo is a crystal sun catcher in the shape of a pentacle made out of Hematite, Amethysts, and quartz. Hematite isused for protection and grounding. Amethyst is used to promote peace and protection. Amethyst being an empath’s stone is also one used for healing and working out emotions. Quartz is also a good one to have in the mix. Quartz provides power to all other stones and is a good overall energy stabilizer.

When the person who bought this pentacle hangs it in their house they will be bringing the energy of those crystals into the home. The shape of the pentacle ensures protection as it is a protective symbol. The way the crystals are aligned balances the energy of the three crystals in a repetitive pattern so that none of the energy overwhelms each other and they all work in harmony for the purpose at hand. Now all they have to do is charge the crystals like they would with any other crystal item. once it is charged and dedicated by hanging the crystal on the wall they bring that magic and energy into their home.

Mini prosperity and succsess grid

Raw and tumbled stones are also the corner stones of grid work. Crystal grids are a way of laying our crystals in a pattern that sends out your intent and desire into the universe. Most crystal grids are more complex, the one above was a simple one created for one day. The Aventurine stone was the anchor or core for luck, prosperity and succsess. The five citrine tumbles were arranges around the center piece in a star or pentacle pattern to direct the desire for sales and succsess into the universe through the directions and elements. Citrine was chosen for its money, luck, and prosperity properties.

Wands

Wands of crystals and stones

Wands are actually a new thing in my life and in my practice and I have to say its a new way to look at one of the most common tools in witchcraft and magic. Wands are the most common tool in magical traditions and practices. Wands are used to direct and raise the energy manipulated for the spell at hand. Wands are tools traditionally made out of wood and fashioned with crystals feathers etc. Crystal wands allow us to work with crystal energy in spells by directing the energy trough that crystal.

A Selenite wand is good to banish and remove energy. I use it regularly to wipe myself down after a day of high anxiety. The properties of selenite are clarity and dispelling negativity. Its an excellent stone to use to work with banishing and removal work. My wiping myself down with selenite after work is an example of banishment and removal work.

An Aventurine tower held over a money incense as it burns would be a great way to work with the energy of the wand. The wand will absorb the energy from the incense, add its own energy to the blend and then direct it out into the universe amplified and further charged. As seen in the grid photo posted earlier the wands also can work effectively as core components of grids. This allows them to direct the energy from their root (bottom) to the universe up through their tip. They in the end focus the energy of the other crystals from one point into the universe to create your change.

An amethyst wand would be a great way to direct specific healing energy. Simple hold the crystal wand over the area with the specific ailment and direct the energy through the Crystal into the area. The point of the tower will provide pinpoint accuracy to the area. The energy channeled will also be charged by and effected by the energy of amethyst infusing any healing energy with amethyst healing and protecting properties.

One thing wands are really good at is directing energy long distance. Lets say you have a friend that is feeling depressed and you want to help them heal and feel better but can’t travel to them. A Rose quartz wand with lavender and catnip incense burning and a photo of your friend combined together can make an effective love and healing spell. You’d burn the incense and chant something about love and healing for your friend then take the Rose quartz wand and direct the energy of the chant, the incense, and your mental/emotional energy at the photo of your friend sending it into the universe towards your friend.

The more assortments of wands you have the more opportunities you have to work crystal magic. You can work with many different wands until you find the right crystal wand for a specific task. You may even find that some crystals dont work well for you in a wand form but they do work in tumbled or shaped or other forms. The crystals will speak to you.

Totem Stones

Totem crystal collection

Many people work with animal symbols within their spiritual practice. These totem stones and soapstone or gemstone animals are tools that can be used to call upon animal energy and powers. The shape and image of an animal can be a powerful way to connect with that animal when physical contact or items are not possible.

By carrying those stones with you in the shape of an animal or with the engraving of an animal you have that energy with you. Not only that but you also have the combined power of the stone with you. Its a double wammy. Great way to create charms and talismans with very few tools.

So if you have an Unakite totem stone with a dolphin carved into it you not only have the power of the dolphin in your hands but also the power of Unakite as well. In this case the symbolism of dolphins can be protection, rebirth, and renewal. The stone Unakite encourages psychic visions and the development of the third eye. Unakite is a powerful healer too. Unakite helps balance emotions, it can help with sleep, stress and healing addictions. With these two sets of symbolism there are a few different things that we can have here.

For someone trying to overcome and addiction they could carry the stone to help balance their emotions, relieve stress, and protect them self from the addiction. The healing of the addiction will also lead to renewal. They would simply need to create a dedication spell for this purpose. That spell should include herbs to heal for strength and for power. Lavender, Woodruff and Rosemary would help in this working.

For someone who is still developing their psychic abilities the protection and rebirth aspects of the dolphin can be of help while the Unakite stone itself can help them deal with the new information and regain balance. As with the above the person carrying this stone would now need to create a dedication spell or ritual for the purpose of strengthening their psychic abilities and providing a new start. Here I would recommend using herbs like Frankincense, Mugwort, and again Rosemary.

Lets take another stone and animal combination. Red Jasper is a very common stone. Red Jasper is known for dream work, sleep aid, and protection, Eagle is a popular bird to call on for spiritual aid. They bring independence, vision, strength, power, and freedom. Here are a few different combinations here.

Lets say you feel that you need more insight and are looking for dream wisdom. By sleeping with a Red Jasper Eagle totem stone under your pillow you can call upon the eagles vision for insight and you can call upon the Jaspers properties for dream work and sleep aid. Together you have a sleep magic dream work charm. As with the Unakite an actual spell to dedicate and charge the stone would be required. Chamomile and lavender with rosemary or ginkgo would work well in this spell.

Eagles are strong and powerful. Lets say you aren’t that physical strong but want to feel more confident. Red Jasper is a stone of strength and protection. It will bring you protection energy and build your confidence. By charging this crystal in a spell calling upon the animal and stone spirits you can create a charm to carry for protection that fits in your pocket. In the charging process I’d personally add Dragons Blood, Frankincense, and Nettle Leaf for additional energetic and spiritual protection.

Skulls

Crystal Skulls

In witchcraft communities you will find a lot of people who love their skulls. Many witches wear skulls in various jewelry and there are those who have skulls on their altars. Skulls are powerful symbols for many cultures. For many witches skulls are a symbol of the powers of death and rebirth and decay. Witches dont see death as a bad thing. Its seen as part of the life cycle. For many death is not an ending but the start of something new. For other witches death is the end of this life but not our full journey.

For most witches skulls are symbol a symbol of the dead and of our ancestors. They provide us a way to connect with our ancestors. Some witches use animal skulls on their altars to represent the God and some use human skulls to represent ancestors. Most of these skulls are resin or made out of clay/ceramic. For those who want to have a skull on the altar but dont want ceramics or resin and a more natural material crystals provide that opportunity.

Skull shapes crystals offer us a unique way to work with the dead. The skull shape due to its symbolism allows us to call on ancestral powers and properties fairly easily. Like with the totem stones crystal skulls would retain the properties of the crystals that they are. They also gain the additional property of being able to connect to the dead and be used to channel ancestral energy.

A quartz crystal skull is a great addition to an ancestral altar. Quartz crystals are good all purpose crystals. They also empower and power up any and all other magical workings. So with a quartz skull on your ancestor altar any workings that you do with your ancestors is automatically amplified. Quartz skulls also hold energy so it can be charged with the energy of your ancestors and brought with you so that you can take their energy any where with you. To charge a quartz crystal Frankincense and Copal are good for generic all purpose spiritual cleansing and workings.

An Opalite Skull would also be a great addition not only to an ancestor altar but a working altar as well. Opalite is a highly spiritual stone and is great for communication, meditation, and all around healing. Opalite can also help us be successful in business. By placing the Opalite skull on the ancestor altar it opens your communication with the dead making it easier to let them teach you and help you in your life. Magically lets say you had an ancestor who ran their own successful business and you want to do the same. When you do a spell or working to help with your business succsess add the Opalite skull into the working. This will allow you to call on that ancestor, their wisdom and the energy of the crystal at the same time. To add further assistance I’d add herbs like Cinequfoil, Cinnamon, and Dragons Blood.

Obsidian Skulls are probably some of the most popular Skulls out there. They are Black, which is a color associated with the dead and underworld as well as death and they are simply beautiful. Obsidian is also a very protective stone. Its great against psychic attacks, removes negative energy, grounds, and protects. IN many traditions the first spirits that should be called on for protection magic or any magic is our ancestors because they will answer before any other spirits will answer. An Obsidan Skull allows for that instant connection to ancestor energy and protection. To charge it I would run it through an incense that is a combination of Wormwood, Dragonsblood, Basil, White Sage, and Frankincense.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the many different shapes and forms that crystals can take. There are many other shapes and forms that haven’t been mentioned that all have their own unique properties and benefits. Let these styles, shapes and ideas be another way for you to begin your journey into the world of crystal and gem magic.

The hip of the rose: leadership in Pagan communities after crisis

When Pagan communities have unfortunate uproars, or controversies, it often leads to fissures in the communal networks. In the settling dust of the aftermath is where the remains of once seemingly seamless connections burn slowly under their own power. The hurt and anger expressed by the parties involved spill out and touch all the events, celebrations, and organizations in some way when factions draw lines over who is right, who is wrong, and who is interested in healing through discussion vs. excommunication and banishment. It is at this time that the responsibility of leadership to not only bring peace, but also truthful constructive examination and amelioration.

In these times, we have access to the power to inform one another in the blink of a cursor. Information travels as quick as the thought can leave our brains and animate our fingers upon the electronic devices that serve as our virtual avatars. Words that we would not serve in person are dished out upon the byte filled landscapes of social media. When used for confronting the pains brought by crisis, they are the stallions of our causes. They deliver the emotions and thoughts that join the fray in order to bring about justice and fairness. When used carelessly, they become hellhounds that are unleashed to destroy our opponents without the nasty inconvenience of having to look them in the eye and share the same air in the same room.

It is the wounds that words and actions inflict that must be healed. To do this, those same words must be examined and digested. The community must eat from the plate that it serves. If our words are truthful, that means the meal will be pure. And if our words are cruel, that will season the meal. If we refuse the meal by avoidance or dissembling, then we starve our souls. And if we only eat from one side of the table, we are in a state of imbalance. All sides must be present at the table if the people involved are to heal and grow stronger.

Leadership is not pushing the truth under the tablecloth. Leadership is not forcing a narrative. Leadership is not playing holier than thou, or claiming the cloak of respectability by staying silent behind group statements. Leadership does not tip over the lid of the boiling pot of problems, and then walk away to pretend nothing has happened. Leadership does not call attention to a transgression and then refuse to take the next steps.

What are the next steps? What do those look like?

The next part to any situation where hurt and pain and anger have burned through the bonds that connect us as peoples in the Pagan circles is examination. After the flash of conflict has faded, it is the time to really look at what happened and weigh how it was handled. Was it done with determination and fairness? Was it righteous? Was the will of what is right served? Are there ways that could have led to the desired outcome that may have been more productive? Did the desired outcome happen? Why, or why not? How does we heal after this?

If the crisis is legal, have the authorities been contacted? Did we follow through with making sure the reports were filed and accurate?

If it was ethical, were all parties contacted? Was there a town hall meeting type of conversation? Was there an opportunity to make amends given? Was there a desire to do so?

Now comes the part where foot to ground comes into play. What actions are leaders taking in order to decompress the atmosphere? Did they set up a forum, or simply walk away back to their regularly scheduled programs? Are there educational events or rituals scheduled in order to make peace or bury animosity? Is there any effort to heal the fractures that this may have caused? Where do we begin?

Each body of people is its own. Each will find its own way of handling what may be a pivotal moment for them as individuals and part of a greater circle of connections. However, it is the responsibility of leaders to take part in finding what that looks like…with purpose and action.

 

 

Upcoming Events

Calendar of Events
Date Event City, State Website
10/14/2017 Midwest Witches Ball 2017 Warren, Michigan http://michiganwitchesball.com/tickets/
10/15/2017 Pagan Pride Day LA/OC Long Beach, California https://www.facebook.com/paganpridela/
10/20/2017 Little Witches Ball Warren, Michigan  http://usoam.org/little-witches-ball/
11/2/2017 Flames of the Ancestors Hudson, Florida http://tagmeet.org/reg.html
11/3/2017 Flames of the Ancestors Hudson, Florida http://tagmeet.org/reg.html
11/3/2017 Changing Times Changing Worlds Kerhonkson, New York http://ctcw.net/
11/4/2017 Flames of the Ancestors Hudson, Florida http://tagmeet.org/reg.html
11/4/2017 Changing Times Changing Worlds Kerhonkson, New York http://ctcw.net/
11/5/2017 Flames of the Ancestors Hudson, Florida http://tagmeet.org/reg.html
11/5/2017 Changing Times Changing Worlds Kerhonkson, New York http://ctcw.net/
6/8/2018 Three Gates Gathering West Plains, Missouri http://threegatesgathering.com/
6/9/2018 Three Gates Gathering West Plains, Missouri http://threegatesgathering.com/
6/10/2018 Three Gates Gathering West Plains, Missouri http://threegatesgathering.com/
7/20/2018 New England Metaphysical and Holistic Festival Augusta, Maine theenchantedbazaar.org
7/21/2018 New England Metaphysical and Holistic Festival Augusta, Maine theenchantedbazaar.org
9/22/2018 York Pagan Pride Wrightsville, PA http://yorkpaganpride.webs.com/

Ancient Oak Scouts Donate Crayons

Ancient Oaks

This year, our family joined Ancient Oak Scouts, a new-ish Pagan youth program that started here in the Detroit area.  We’re our own little group – doing any youth group or scouting program with two children with multiple special needs is a challenge, so we’re keeping it small and simple so we can work at our own pace.

One of our first projects was a community service project – we collected crayons at the end of the school year from the kids’ teachers to donate to an organization called The Crayon Initiative – they take broken or otherwise used crayons, re-melt them into new crayons, and donate the new crayons to children’s hospitals around the United States.

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Circle Etiquette

Circle Etiquette

At some point in our paths we have the opportunity to be a part of either public or privately held circles. Being a part of a circle is a powerful experience, builds community, cohesion, and helps to deepen our spiritual path. I have always held the best way to teach our path is to be an active part of the path, not only by books alone but by experience.

Most of us started our spiritual path in some form of Christianity with a regular church attendance. With this in mind, there were certain observations one had to make so the service was not disturbed and everyone could benefit from the experience. While Pagan circles are not usually as formal as Southern church services, there is still a certain amount of etiquette one should observe when attending either public and privately held circles. Generally, it’s just common sense and common courtesy.

13. With social media making it very easy to locate and attend circles knowing when to RSVP and when not to can be tricky. Generally if it is a public circle and it states specifically to RSVP, do. The coordinator will probably want to know how many to expect for refreshments or other post ritual arrangements, the amount of supplies necessary, space, and parking. If you are planning to bring a guest please have them RSVP also, or RSVP for them.

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Tools of the Craft : The Besom

Brooms are everywhere this time of the year. Black ones. Orange ones. Black and orange. Brooms with lightening bolts on the handle. You name it and you can likely find it on a besom. Other than the pointy hat, few other things identify witches as well, witches other than this universal accessory. Brooms have played an integral part in modern witchcraft and occult history. In fact, it would be hard to locate a circle anywhere this time of the year where a broom wasn’t somewhere to be found. It’s not just for sweeping the front porch anymore, at least not these.
As I said, brooms come in all sizes, shapes, textures, and patterns. Traditionally brooms were created from an ash or hazel (depending upon which was readily available in the area), sometimes willow, and birch branches or an herb called…you guessed it!….broom. Broom in it’s natural habitat of England, Scotland, parts of Asia, and warmer climates of Europe, has many uses, making brooms is just one. This bitter tasting herb grows as a shrub and can be used as both a toxin and a medicine. As an herbal treatment for bladder and kidney problems, and as a diuretic broom is used in conjunction with other herbs usually as an infusion over the course of a week or two until it is ready to be mixed into a potion. Unlike most herbs, this one is better taken with alcohol as it is very bitter and has an unpleasant scent after it dries and is boiled down.
The herb itself is very tall almost three feet high, woody with long tangling twig like stems, and grows in unlikely places. The rougher the terrain the happier this particular herb is. In fact, it will grow on rocky mountains in poor soil with little rainfall. This made it ideal for using as a tool or utensil for cleaning as well as magick.
Constructing brooms (besom) is pretty simple really. All that is needed is a long stave of either hazel, ash, or willow, willow twine, and long twiggy broom. The broom is connected to the stave with the willow twine and voila a besom is born! Of course the use of said besom isn’t always so simple.
Besoms were used, and still are, to clean the space for circle, to sweep away stagnant energy, as a protective barrier, to welcome guests, as a marital fertility aid (jumping the broom), and in some cases as a form of circle casting itself. Besoms placed near doorways welcome guests and ward away negative spirits. Sweeping the doorway, porch, and front of the home prevented energy from gathering and remaining there to cause problems later. In some cultures, sweeping of one’s feet meant the person in question would either get pregnant, go to jail, or get married. In other cultures it’s a way of removing the last bits of energy after shaking it loose with the besom.

Other lore regarding the besom include never sweeping with a broom while a deceased family member is in the home. A broom that suddenly falls from a door way announces company on the way. Brooms placed over the door protects against fairies and imps. Never bring old brooms into a new home and never burn a broom. Both are very bad luck.

 

The Welsh gypsy practice of jumping the broom is said to bring the newly wedded couple good fortune and many children. In parts of Africa sweeping over a man’s feet is said to bring on impotence. Of course, one can’t mention brooms without the practice of riding one.

 

The Dark Ages brought mountains of superstition regarding witches and devils. One is said to be the consort of the other and riding a broom was a reward for carrying out the devil’s work on Earth. I strongly suspect that should a Witch be able to actually get a broom to sweep his or her floor on its own, much less fly, there would be mass conversions. Certainly modern television witches have no problem twinkling their noses to a spotless home. However, Dark Age witches probably used a salve called flying ointment which was used to dress the broom for ritual use. This ointment consisted of a fatty base in which essential oils and herbs were mixed and then used to dress the broom from tip of the stave to the joining of the herb. Herbs such as wolfsbane, hemlock, henbane, and Nightshade were used and still are as a basis for charging these brooms. Charging is the practice of imparting energy onto an object so it become personal and receptive to the individual’s will. The first mention of flying ointments in conjunction with brooms and their use could be as early as the mid 1400’s.
The besom itself is a work of symbolism. It represents the union of the God and Goddess, a holy marriage, that revitalizes the Earth. Brooms may be created on May Day (Beltane, Belteanne, Beltaine, Cetsamhain), but not purchased on this day. To do so is said to sweep away friends and family and prevent visitors from returning.
Today modern witches still use the besom as an altar adornment, to sweep away negative or stale energy, and to recharge the energy in a space. They are used to cast circle, to mark the barriers of a circle, cleanse and consecrate the circle, and to prepare for smudging. Non-witches also use the broom to scent their homes, adorn their doors, and decorate their homes. It’s unlikely any of us witchy folk will be saving gas and riding our brooms any time soon, but the tradition and lore still live on.

Crystal Grid Basics

Crystal grids are all the rage in the metaphysical and natural sciences world. Scientists are beginning to explore these simple crystal patterns as a means of healing and exploring the Earth’s natural energy grids. Crystal grids are part applied science and part intuition. They work with the Law of Attraction and the natural ley lines in the Earth.

Ley lines are bands of geomagnetic energy that stretch across the globe usually beginning and ending in a mountain or hill source. Where you find ley lines you will usually also find a location of water. The Earth is naturally embraced within a magnetic field. This magnetic field can be used as a guideline for planting strong crops, finding healthy water,

Archeoastronomy, and geosciences. The ancient civilizations of the Mayans, Incans, Aborigines, Celts, Sumerian, Babylonian, and Chinese, knew of these ancient lines of energy and used them to construct sacred spaces, to conduct rites of worship, for healing, and energy work.

The Law of Attraction states simply that your thoughts translate as energy. That energy is released through intentions. Speaking or sending positive thoughts yields positive results. Speaking or sending negative thoughts yields positive results. This is a mixture of perception and belief. If you believe your life is negative it is. By keeping your thoughts positive you emit positive energy, as your thoughts and perceptions are nothing more than energy. The energy is reflected in the vibration of the energy field around your body. In terms of science, the Laws of Thermodynamics may be applied, which states simply that energy can neither be created nor destroyed but it may change form and it may be transferred from one thing to another. In this respect the energy you create with the Law of Attraction (using thoughts and perception as forms of energy) may be transferred to the crystals using the First Law of Thermodynamics. When you charge your stones this is what you are using.

By using natural laws of energy and using sacred geometry, you can create a simple, beautiful, and powerful crystal grid to attract abundance, healing, love, and tranquility into your life.

Sacred geometry applies within the shapes used for constructing pieces of spiritual art, buildings, shrines, temples, churches, and so forth. This is a very ancient form of mystical science which gives the vibration of a form a number, the number of which is applied to a specific spiritual attribute. Ideally the form should connect and be made of equal parts of the same number. Using crystals with a specific vibration is also important as this determines the frequency that your grid will emit. With the aforementioned science in mind, use this as a determining factor for your crystals:

* All things are energy in one form or another. The crystal you are holding is created from the same exact energy that also created you. All energy is derived from a central source, however or whatever you determine that source to be. Therefore you and the crystal already have an energetic connection.

* The same energy that connected you and the rock is also the same energy that connected other people, things, and creatures in the world. You are already a part of their lives by collective consciousness, and also a part of the stone. Creating and sending energy through an extensive length is space is positive through this collective connection.

* Crystals have their own energy. The numerical values of their name is not their frequency. Their vibrational frequency (harmonics) is measured by the density of the crystal which is reflected within the color, structure, and weight of the stone. Note the weight difference and intensity of color in a piece of tumbled clear quartz, rose quartz, fancy jasper, and hematite. Structural differences may add to the energetic qualities of the crystal and function, but doesn’t really affect the actual harmonics of the crystal that much.

You can use pre-set crystal grid kits or you can create them yourself. You may also use as a center stone a crystal generator, points, balls, pyramids, or merkaba. These are all used to collect, cleanse, and magnify the energy used with the grid. Use what you are drawn to, what you like, and what connects with your purpose. Excellent general use stones include clear quartz, selenite, jaspers, amethyst, aegerine, agates, moonstone, and river stone.

The Magickal Child, Creating Effective Thoughtforms

I suppose by now it would be fair to assume Mama Gaia is mightily unhappy. The Northwest is burning, Texas, parts of Tennessee, and Louisiana are having flooding issues, monsoons are hitting parts of Asia hard, earthquakes are hitting the Southwest, and Florida, the Leelands, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and accompanying islands are getting slammed by Irma with Jose following up a bit too closely. This is accompanied by prayers, positive vibes and more than a little fear. But it’s also accompanied by weather magick and a big aspect of that is creating and sustaining effective thoughtforms.

A thoughtform is a carefully crafted package of energy that is triggered by a specific switch (timing, contact, or energy level) and may be an integral aspect of shielding as well. If you are not familiar with effective grounding, centering, shielding, and visualization skills this is not something you may want to attempt, nor should you.

Thoughtforms may be created during intense rites, sex magick, ecstatic worship, or deep meditation in which the energy package is given a specific purpose and also a trigger that will cause it to activate and de-activate and dissipate. This package may take on any form that is easy for you to work with. If you are comfortable working with dragon or unicorn energy, go for it! These magickal children are not limited by either physical plane nor the laws of physics any more than any other form of energy. Physical laws do not apply to them.

Begin your rite as you would any other rite. Be in a state of mind that allows you to separate from limiting scenarios and physical law. Before your rite you should gather items together that represent what you wish to achieve, what form you wish your thoughtform to take, exact details of your creation, and then set your triggers and exact details of your goals. It should have a trigger that releases it back to the Aether as well.

The latter is very important because without it it will keep going and without a goal once the one it was created for is completed, it could cause a bit of mischief. Because these packets of energy have no particular morality or charge, merely a purpose, they will grow unattended and unreleased according to whatever charge feeds it. This is why it is very important to both give it a specific purpose and a trigger that dissipates it.

You will want to raise a great deal of energy and if you are working solo there’s a lot of ways to achieve this. You may work with others through your online groups (only those you trust!), dance, drum, sing, trance, or through masturbation. All of these are perfectly reasonable and effective ways of raising a great deal of energy alone. If you are working with a group you may opt to leave out the latter option, but be sure everyone is on the same page and working as one unit. For that reason alone, this type of magick is well suited for solitary practitioners.

Now that you have safely set up your ritual you need to create details. These details allow you to easily visualize your creation. If you wish to create a sigil that embodies this working, do it.  Visualize the color of the energy you are working with. If I wanted to create a dragon, imbued with ice for instance, I would use the rune Isa, which literally means “ice”. This rune slows things down. I would resource my vast love of dragons and pull something white, silver, and gray. I would imbue it with freezing breath and chilling scales tipped with ice and I give it the elements of Sky and Sea (Air and Water). It would have a very fluid body type, very lithe, and be suitably airborne when necessary. Its purpose would be to deflect and hopefully diffuse and when the energy level of its target drops below a 3 it would be triggered to diffuse and return to the Aether. I would then give an offering, blessings, and close my space.

Other sources of inspiration could be forms of High Magick, Low Magick, sigils, cultural and ancestral lore.

Keep in mind you may set a specific time on these but the most effective magick takes time to craft and may take some time to fully manifest. These specific forms of magickal children can be very draining so you either want to keep the goal to the point or you want to give it less energy intensive tasks and a quick dissolution timeframe.

Self-care is also important as you are essentially attached to your creation while it is active. You will need to imbibe on living prana through raw fruits, vegetables, edible flowers, and herbs, walks outside, and clean beverages without the additives. When your thoughtform has dispersed you should feel less tired and more balanced.

As I’m loving the energy and coolness of the beautiful Harvest Moon, I hope whatever you choose to manifest this evening works in your highest good.

Hurricane Harvey Flint (Genesee County rescue team) mobilizing tonight

Ryan LoRee, Candidate for Michigan House of Representatives, 50th District, is kicking into action with the Hurricane Harvey Flint (Genesee County rescue team) in putting some made in Michigan compassion to work. He, along with a volunteers of determined folks with boats, supplies, and other items, are heading out this evening to put the rotors to the road. Hurricane Harvey has devastated Houston and surrounding areas. These Michiganderns have answered the call.

The situation continues to deteriorate. The flood waters show no sign of relenting, and rain continues to drown the urban centers and rural areas with devastation. Water rescues by law enforcement, the Cajun Navy, and the National Guard forces are happening, but the task is monumental.

National Guard Bureau Official Briefs Reporters on Harvey Response

The volunteers on this mission from the Midwest are moving out tonight. With goals and guts, they are traveling to Texas with bootstraps firmly pulled up and ready to roll. But, one thing.

They need your help.

We are assembling a recovery team to head down to Texas. We are looking for rescue equipment, medical supplies, Pet food, canned foods, water bottles, GAS CARDS ect… Please let me know if you can be of any assistance? The team we have assembled is very trained and proficient in rescue operations. Thank you for your support and please let me know if you can help!!!!

Local Witch, and Leader, HPS Morgana Moonwater gave PBN News the heads up that this was going down. To her, big thanks. Keep up the good fight for the true and right.

On the list of items needed, they include

  • Baby Formula
  • Medical Supplies
  • Pet Food
  • Canned Foods
  • Solar emergency blankets
  • Flares
  • GAS CARDS
  • Gas Cans
    Etc…

In addition to those listed above, there is a major need for blankets, pet food, and sanitary supplies. Gas cards to get there make it possible. Food cards to major stores are also something you might wish to donate.

public fundraiser image

As of two hours ago, they released this statement from the team, via LoRee’s fundraiser FB page:

We have aquired a 24ft Airstream to take on the trip. We are expecting to leave by at the latest 7pm. If anyone has artistic talents and would like to make signs from home we can collect and stick them in the widows with your messages!!! Thank you all for your support and encouragement. Please share this to at least 5 friends. This will be one of the main sources we pull from for resources.

Donate to their mission by visiting

Hurricane Harvey Flint (Genesee County rescue team

on Facebook. Let’s make it happen people. If not you, who? If not now, when?