Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Thank You

My dear friend and colleague Amanda Morris blogged about a leather runic headband that I made for her. It was my very favorite kind of commission - she asked me to make her something cool. We chatted about a few ideas, but in the end she said she wanted me to do my thing. As an artisan who comes from a long line of artisans, directions like that are music to my ears. I especially love working with people that I know. That way, I have a general idea of their likes and dislikes. Then I get to let my creativity run wild!

Meanwhile, you ought to check out Amanda - she is a fantastic writer, educator and community leader. In addition to her own blog, she writes for Paranormal Galaxy and PaganSquare. Amanda also collaborated on a new book, Esoteric Mysticism. I can't wait to read it! When she's not writing, Amanda is a co-founder of the Triangle Pagan Alliance, a group devoted to building a strong Pagan community in the Triangle area of North Carolina. She also runs Gaia's Circle, an open circle that runs fantastic rituals and a pretty righteous study group.

Thank you, Amanda, for a lovely writeup and for this chance to highlight your amazing gifts. Share the love, pay it forward - we ARE all stronger together!

Want your very own personalized creation? Check out my Etsy shop and get your own runic headband.

Monday, February 23, 2015


The Pagan Experience - Wk 4- Feb. 23 –  Any writing for the letters C or D.

My Yoga students know how much I love chanting. We chant during class all the time, I sing in the car, I sing when I'm happy and I chant the runes to calm down. I have long thought that the inner vibrations of chanting and singing are powerful therapy. Singing and chanting alter your state of consciousness, quite simply. It requires no special equipment, and everyone can do it. What a great magical technique!

One thing I love about chanting in magic is the versatility of the technique. We can chant the names of the Divine, mantras, spells, or simply sounds that feel correct in that moment. In other words, I use chanting and singing, which are truly interchangeable names for the same thing, like a yogini, like a witch and like a shaman.

Chanting can be used in so many ways: to calm, to center, to focus, to raise energy, to celebrate, to enter an altered state, to perform devotions, to make the plants grow, and to dissolve the ego. Really, chanting, like all magical techniques, can be used for anything. The only limitation is your own imagination.

The following video is the Seven Goddess Chant, written by Deena Metzger and recorded by Inkubus Sukkubus. This is one of my favorites and I use it to calm myself or to honor the Full Moon. I like this recording and often listen to it while writing or planning rituals.

More and more, I integrate chanting into my magical practice. This year, I plan to record and publish more chants and songs on my youtube channel. Stay tuned for my own Eight Gods Chant, which is in the spirit of the Seven Goddess Chant. I'll also soon be intoning the runes of the Elder Futhark!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Liminal Gods

The Pagan Experience: February 16, Week 3: Deity and the DivineThis will be the third week’s topic every month and an opportunity for you to share with everyone those who guide, inspire and inform you.

The other day, Pan came up in conversation. This is usually rather entertaining, as most people think Pan and they just think S-E-X. Perhaps they add partying in for a rather Bacchanalian image of drunken fornication. And sure, Pan is into that. But he is far more than this as well.

My favorite aspect of Pan has always been his liminality. I hadn't thought of it until this conversation, but he is a liminal god. And how can a halfling be anything else? Half goat, half man. Half divine, according to some. Half beast, half human, belonging fully to nothing.

Pan is a poet and a philosopher, and a musician. He sits at the border of the wilderness and cultivated lands, guarding the flocks and the shepherds. Occasionally he bewitches them with his flute, but I suspect that more often than not, he broods. He thinks about the nature of reality, and his place in it. Perhaps he dreams about the nymphs, perhaps he yearns for true love and connection. He possesses a sort of magnificent melancholy that breaks out into a divine madness from time to time. I also suspect that all shepherds and cowboys share this spirit to some degree.

After all, when one is surrounded by herd animals, alone on a broad prairie or pasture, what is there to do but face the Void?

Then I realized that nearly all of my personal pantheon are liminal deities. Gods of the crossroads, the borderlands. Gods of transformation, of the beginning. But what does that mean? 

Liminal is defined as:
  1. of or relating to a transitional or initial stage of a process.
  2. occupying a position at, or on both sides of, a boundary or threshold.
The word comes from the Latin, "limen", meaning threshold. A liminal deity, then, is a Goddess or God who stands on the threshold.

Liminal deities share characteristics of helping humans understand and navigate their own liminal territories and to provide transcendence. Liminal deities also sometimes throw roadblocks in our way. They do this to further our growth, not for the sake of malice, though it is sometimes a rather tough love.

Once again, I was struck with a sense of rightness. What better sort of deity could there be for a witch, a walker between the worlds? And who better to look after a shaman, an explorer of spirit?

Suits me. The liminal spaces are where discoveries can be made. In the borderlands, the spaces between, anything is possible.

"Confuse the sacred and the secular in your environment. Create a liminal, neither here nor there, milieu. It is always in the liminal places that significant things happen, so work at creating liminality." 

-A Religion of One's Own, Thomas Moore pg 144

Look for the junction between mountain and valley, forest and meadow, creek and river, and there you will find them. Pan, Lord of the Hunt and keeper of shepherds. Cernunnos, Lord of the Wilderness and he who is sacrificed and reborn again and again. Hecate, the Torchbearer, Goddess of the Crossroads, holder of the keys to many realms. 

Look there, in the liminal spaces, and you will find me as well.

Sunday, February 8, 2015


"Mostly harmless." - The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Wk 2- Feb. 9- Earth- The word “earth” has multiple meanings. What does it mean to you? How do you use its definitions to support your work?

Earth is home. It is the only planet known to support life in a mind-bogglingly large universe. We are a web of interconnected and interdependent beings, though not everyone realizes that this is the case. Really, the Earth itself is an organism, a meta-being, if you will, made up of the sum of all life contained on it. Which in turn, is itself a mind-boggling, uncountable superabundance. The Earth is alive. Nearly every inch of this blue-green planet teems with life. Beings fly through the air, swarm on and in the ground, and swim in the waters.

In literal terms, Earth is soil, substance, ground. It sustains us, shelters us, and refreshes us. When our wits are scattered, a good walk on the Earth will center and ground us. When we are hungry, we plant seeds in the Earth to feed us and collect that which grows wild and free. When we are tired, Earth shelters us with Her loving arms.

Magically speaking, we consider Earth to be the foundation of the five elements. In this context, Earth includes all the plants and animals that live on and in it, as well as the metals and minerals within the Earth. Earth is power and wisdom, solidity, physicality and the body.

Earth is Goddess, our mother, She who is known by a thousand thousand names. She endlessly gives birth to life, endlessly nurtures life, and endlessly loves life. She is the Creatrix; 'we all come from the Goddess, and to Her we must return - like a drop of rain, flowing to the ocean'.

My work and my path is fairly Earth-centric. Just as some practitioners are called to etheric realms or astral planes, my work is here. I work with Earth as a member of the biotic community, a teacher of the web of life and a tiller of the soil. I worship Earth as Mother Goddess, as sacred ground, our blessed home.

Yes, this cloud-covered, misty ball of ocean and land, sky and rock, fire and ice, this Earth is home. This Earth is alive. The Earth is Goddess. Without Her, we would not be.

So it is. Blessed be!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

An Offering of Music

Recently, I got some much-needed woods time. I brought my Native American flute, and stopped to offer songs to the waters along the way. Offerings of music in the woods, on mountain tops or near waters is one of my favorite practices. Here is one of those songs for your enjoyment.

Did you know that I have a Youtube channel? Please like, share, and subscribe! 2015 is the year that I begin to make videos in earnest!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Humanity: Power and Potential

WK 1- Feb. 2- HumanityHow do you define “humanity”? What is your contribution to the collective space of humanity? How does your spiritual path support this definition and contributions? 

We humans are beautiful and terrible, at once transcendent and terribly ignorant. We're sentient, that is to say, we know that we are. That knowing sometimes inspires us to be our best, sometimes frightens us back into the cave*. We're clannish, tribal creatures, much given to an us vs. them view of the world. We're thinking, tool using apes, to put it in practical terms. Yet the shell of our bodies does not fully describe what we are. We are divinity in fleshly form, shapers of energy and destiny. We are spiritual beings having a physical experience, as the saying goes.
When I think about the nature of humanity, I can't help but think of Plato's allegory of the cave. To sum it up briefly, imagine human beings chained in a cave, forced to look at the back wall. Behind them is a fire, which is used to project shadows on the wall. The prisoners come to believe that the shadows are real. They never look backward to see that they are mere puppets, and that the way outside is open. Outside is the sun, which represents all that is good and true, all that is truly real.

This concept is quite similar to the view in Eastern philosophy. Vedic texts discuss the concept of maya, or illusion. This world we live in, the Earthly plane, is mere imagery, or illusion. We can transcend illusion through study and practice.

Quantum physics also is catching on to this view of reality. Quantum physicists describe physical reality as a hologram, as if it's a giant projection on some theoretical screen. Each tiny sliver of the image contains all the information of the whole. Scientists refer to the observer effect - the fact that simply observing a subject will cause it to change. Imagine then, the effect that a conscious act of will could have in comparison to an impartial scientific experiment.

So reality is a hologram, an illusion. We humans have the capacity to mold and shape it. All we have to do is wake up. Become aware of the true nature of reality. Accept and honor our gifts. Then, we can do and be, anything. We are fields of infinite possibility, as Deepak Chopra puts it.

My contribution is to spread this message: our universe is co-creative and participatory. We are movers and shapers of reality. We have immense power and potential. We are members of an interconnected web of life with a responsibility to use our power wisely and for the highest good of all. We should be good stewards of our Earth and all the beings on it - animal, vegetable and mineral. My mission is to empower and inspire others to develop their potential as balanced and awakened beings.

My spiritual path fully supports this definition of humanity. At the beginning of this post, I discussed western and eastern philosophy, and the new science of quantum physics. Pagan philosophy espouses the same beliefs, of course. "As above, so below" is just another way to talk about the macrocosm/microcosm of this holographic universe. It also neatly covers the immanent deity concept. You are Goddess, a Wiccan might say. Magic is just another word for co-creation and focusing the will to create change. Various realms or levels of reality neatly coincides with concepts of maya and the cave allegory. 

As a witch and a shaman, my spiritual path supports my contributions to humanity. It's my job, my calling, to heal and teach others. Stewardship of the Earth? Definitely part of the job description. Shaping energy with my will? Check. What I believe, what I practice and what I do for income, they're all connected. All of a piece. They are all part of the hologram, the macrocosm that is my personal world. 

I am that I am. I am Goddess. I am a human being - flawed, strong, whole, imperfectly perfect. 

And so are you. 


As always, the light within me recognizes and honors the light within you.

So mote it be!


*Plato's Myth of the Cave, from The Republic, Book VII, 514a-518c