Monday, November 16, 2015
Indeed, children are natural mystics, and they have absolutely no problem believing in the power of the wonders they weave. Which makes them all little wizardry whiz kids, as our belief in our magic's effectiveness has everything to do with how effective it actually is.
If your whiz kid is ready to try his or her hand at some magic, here are some splendidly sparkly spells with which he or she might like to start.
Backyard Bird Blessing
To bring blessings, joy, and wellbeing to you, your child, and the birds, and to facilitate a relationship with the birds, simply instruct your child to sprinkle birdseed in the backyard or to add birdseed to a bird feeder (of course, you can help with this part) as she chants,
"Birds be happy,
Birds be free,
Birds bring smiles to [Mommy/Daddy] and me!"
Repeat daily until the birds become a regular fixture, and continue the habit if desired to let your child's relationship with the birds - along with the entire natural world - deepen.
Bubble Spell to Release Challenging Emotions
To support your child in releasing challenging emotions and cheering himself up, give him a jar of bubbles and show him how to blow them. Then, have him repeat these words after you:
Sadness, tears [or worry, fears], thank you for you.
You've been helpful and you've been true.
Into these bubbles, it's you I blow,
So I can smile and let you go!
Explain that it's great for him to keep feeling his sad or fearful feelings for as long as he keeps feeling them, as long as he keeps blowing bubbles. In time, the old mood will work its way out and transform into a more empowered outlook.
Peppermint Candy Healing Charm
To empower your child to heal her own minor complaint such as a headache or tummy ache, give her a peppermint. Have her hold it in both hands and imagine that it's filled with very bright, golden white light like the sun. Explain that this light has healing properties and knows exactly what to do to help her feel better. Then instruct her to let the candy dissolve in her mouth, describing how her body will absorb the healing light along with the candy.
...Oh, and hey: please drop a line in the comments if you try any of these, and let me know how it goes! I don't have kids, so I will have to live vicariously. :)
Monday, November 9, 2015
This proximity to the certainty of mortality came with so many blessings. One of my favorite is my ability to remember - in an instant! - how exceptionally lucky I am to spend even the tiniest of moments with a loved one. Another is my ability to bring myself back to an awareness of the unfathomable preciousness of every individual breath.
Still, it's easy to forget these things during the daily grind and the relentless hypnotism of our cultural messages. So, in the spirit of gratitude (and to warm us up for the upcoming holiday) I thought I'd share 8 of the countless things that make you the luckiest person ever.
1. Your loved ones. When I think about beloved people and animals who have passed, I know without a doubt that a single minute with them would be the most magical and precious gift I could possibly receive. And just think of the loved ones with whom we still get to have not just minutes, but hours, days--weeks even! Truly, could we be any richer or more blessed?
2. Your relative degree of health and ability. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of health, you very likely have a number of wonderful abilities, including (but not limited to) any or all of the following: the ability to walk, run, dance, speak, hug, laugh, see, hear, taste, smell, and touch. You also very likely have many or all of your appendages. We don't think of these things much when we have them, but if one of them disappears, how much we miss it, and treasure the memory! But just by remembering this, we can treasure these things now.
6. Fresh air. Every breath truly is a gift. When we consider how much we would treasure a breath if we knew it were one of our last, we can inhale with immense gratitude for this constant flow of vital nourishment.
7. Your home. It's such a good idea to love where you live no matter what. This doesn't mean that you can't manifest a positive move in the future if you so desire, but starting with loving where you live always activates blessings and opens doors of opportunity. So what is there to love about your space? Mentally assess, and rejoice in your good fortune. Even if you're currently staying on someone's couch, you can find a lot to be grateful for.
8. Books. Sometimes I remember that I will never, ever, ever even come close to reading all the books there are to read. And there are libraries! So you can read and read and read for free. For the rest of your life. I mean --- !?!? Talk about lucky.
...And of course, that's not all! Remembering to pull back and look at the big picture can always yield reasons to marvel at your shocking good luck. And the more you do, the luckier you get. Which just goes to show you: the rich really do get richer.
P.S. Have you checked out my new oracle deck? I've been working with it a lot lately, and loving it so much! One more thing to be grateful for. :)
Friday, October 30, 2015
1. Hecate Cauldron Purification Ritual
After casting a circle, and calling on Divine protection in a way that feels powerful for you, light a black candle to the goddess Hecate. In a notebook or journal, brainstorm all the qualities and conditions you'd like to purify and release from your life. This might include things like fears, unhealthy relationships, compulsive thought patterns, and addictions or unwanted habits. When this feels complete, tear out the pages, place them in a cauldron or pot, and safely use the candle to light them on fire. Thank Hecate. After opening the circle, throw the ashes in a moving body of water, or just flush them down the toilet. Let the candle continue to safely burn throughout the night, extinguishing before going to sleep or leaving the house. You can continue to burn the candle down at intervals until the next new moon.
2. Mugwort and Sweetgrass Smudge
In case you don't know, smudging is when you light a bundle of herbs so that it's smoking like incense, and then wafting the smoke around a room, area, or person in order to purify and fine tune energy. On Samhain, it's particularly appropriate to smudge with a mugwort bundle, as well as a sweet grass braid, or with both herbs bundled up together in one. The mugwort protects from negative spirits and energies while harmonizing the natural portal between the worlds that opens up most fully at Samhain. The sweet grass also harmonizes the portal of light, assuring that only the most positive and loving of spirits and energies are permitted to come through. This practice will also generally harmonize, purify, and fine tune the energy of your space.
3. Anise and Sea Salt Bath
In addition to being relaxing, a warm bath with a few drops of anise seed essential oil and a cup of sea salt is highly purifying to the energy field. Removing old patterns, stagnant energy, and repetitive thought forms, it also protects against negativity and unsavory spirits. Light enough candles to light the room pleasantly, then soak for at least 40 minutes. (Be sure to have plenty of drinking water on hand to replenish your fluids.)
4. Cord Cutting Ritual
Light a fire in your fire place or outdoor fire pit. Take a moment to assess all the things you'd like to cut the cords from in order to free up your vibrant, Goddess-given personal power. These might include old relationships, responsibilities, beliefs, or habits. For each one, tie a single piece of black embroidery thread around a red pillar candle with a knot. Then, with great certainty and focus, snip them all away with a sharp pair of scissors. Cast the old cords into the fire and watch them burn. Light the candle as a symbol and representation of your calm, vibrant, and unhampered personal power, and let it burn throughout the night. Extinguish before bed, and light again at intervals until the next full moon.
5. Road Opening Door Cleanse
Like the sunset is a threshold between day and night, Samhain is a time when the weather is rapidly shifting into the winter-like half of the year. It's also the end of an old harvest cycle and the beginning of a new one. This is what makes it a portal between the realms of seen and unseen, known and unknown. Draw upon this threshold energy by cleansing your physical door today as a symbol of clearing away anything that may be holding you back. Place a few drops of sage and rosemary essential oil in a bucket and fill it with warm water. Using a rag, wash your front door, first inside, and then out. As you do so, say or think, "I am clearing the way for my positivity to flow. I am making way for blessings of all varieties. I am reinforcing my boundary of light."
(For more ideas, check out this fun new Llewellyn book!)
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
So, here we go:
Essential Key #1: One strand of white Christmas lights. What is the biggest difference between a pleasing atmosphere and an unpleasant one? Lighting. And when it comes to creating a magical atmosphere, I've said it before and I'll say it (a million times) again: white Christmas lights. They soften everything (like freaky curtains and wonky paint jobs) and create instant ambiance. Store one short strand in your suitcase, and you've got an instant vibe. You'll have to see where to put it when you get there, but finding a way to position it across the headboard might be a good bet. Then it can serve as your main lighting strategy, and you can employ other lamps around the room as needed.
Essential Key #3: An aromatherapy product. Let's face it: sensitive people with delicate energetic palettes (like us) feel unsettled by stuffy institutional scents and the lingering fragrance of lots of different people who have been there before. So bring a small aromatherapy mist or travel candle, and replace the stale mystery scent with the scent of fresh sage, or lavender, or cedar (or all of the above).
...And now for the non-essentials, which can also add quite a bit.
Extra Credit Key #2: One or more sheer scarves. It's almost like the people who decorate cheap hotel rooms look for the harshest and most un-magical lighting they can find. But a sheer scarf draped lightly over a lampshade can make all the difference!
...So this is what my travels have taught me thus far in terms of hotel room vibology. Please let me know in the comments if you know other secrets that may contribute to my continuing education. :)
Monday, October 5, 2015
But what exactly is this veil? And why does it thin? And why does it matter?
As you may know, the realm of magic is something we understand through symbol, emotion, and vibration...Although it's important to remember that we never quite understand it, at least in the most literal sense. The divine, magical realm is always mysterious. By its very definition, it resides just outside our everyday consciousness and linear, reasoning mind.
This doesn't mean that we can't have a familiar, working relationship with all that is magical and mysterious, or that we can't draw upon it to create positive change. We absolutely can, and it works fabulously well. It just means that we can never quite put our finger on what exactly it is and how it works.
Of course, drawing upon magic to create positive change becomes much, much easier when we take the time on a regular basis - through things like ritual, communing with nature, and meditation - to tap into the divine/magical realm. When we do this, we remember that while we appear separate, we are in fact one with each other and with All That Is. Knowing this, we are empowered to wield our power to do things like energetically protect ourselves and manifest the conditions we desire. Additionally, things that appear like "cold, hard reality" in everyday consciousness - such as the separation of life and death, seen and unseen, known and unknown, as well as the linear and finite nature of time - are, quite obviously, revealed to be illusions.
And now we've arrived at what the veil is. It's the ethereal curtain between the everyday illusion of separation and the divine truth of eternity and oneness with all that is. When we meditate or perform ritual, or when we have a mystical experience of any variety, this curtain parts and we are able to gaze into the place of power, the place between the worlds.
And in October - particularly as we approach the end of the month - the Wheel of the Year naturally thins the veil for us so that it is easier to tap in and see the truth of interconnection, empowerment, and eternity.
Why? Because the days are getting shorter and the natural world is preparing to temporarily withdraw from the realm of life and growth. In other words, the harvest cycle is waning, but it's not gone. It's a transition, a doorway between the season of life and the season of death. We are reminded that in this realm, everything is in a state of flux. This allows us to see that beneath this realm of constant change, there is a wide open space of eternity. A place of stillness in which the appearance of change arises. A serene openness to which we will always return, and with which we are one, even at this very moment.
And that's why we love fall!
Its also why we naturally feel drawn to certain themes at this time of year, all of which correspond to the parted veil. Let's briefly examine a few of them.
There's no denying that at this time of year, whether or not you're magically inclined, death is the primary cultural symbol. Scary movies, ghosts, graveyards, zombies, and skeletons abound. And it's worth noting that for a culture that normally does its best to brush the topic of death under the rug (or to pretend that it's a freak occurrence that only happens to other people), this is rather astonishing. Also astonishing is that this time of year (which falls in May in the Southern Hemisphere) is rather consistently associated with death, across cultures and continents.
For three generations, my dad's side of the family has been in the funeral business. And I love visiting the Spanish style funeral chapel in my rural California hometown because it's always like October there: the veil between the worlds is always thin. It's a place where the transition between this realm and the other realm has been honored over and over and over again for decades. There is something about the way the sunlight shines through the windows that brings you smack into the center of eternity.
If you're friends with a black cat, you likely know that that consciously connecting with one can be like gazing beyond the veil of time and separation, and looking straight into the heart of magic. Why? I couldn't say.
It's (quite fittingly) a mystery.
And why do stray black cats like to make their home base the garage of my hometown funeral chapel? Besides the fact that my dad feeds them and takes care of them, that's a mystery too.
Although I'm sure it all has something to do with the fact that cats - particularly black cats - have been traditionally considered "psychopomps," or beings that assist with the transition from this realm to the next by kindly ushering souls into the spiritual realm.
Magic and Witchcraft
Finally, for magical practitioners and non-magical practitioners alike, magic and witchcraft are a favorite theme of the season. Naturally! As we've discussed, the place of power is between the worlds. It's the place where we remember that we can draw upon the unseen world to affect the seen world and vice versa. It's the place where we bravely gaze into the realm of death and transcend our fear so that we can draw upon the infinite power that is our birthright. Here, everything is illuminated with that special light that reminds us that mundane is the illusion and only magic is real.
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Some call it the Law of Attraction. Others call it quantum physics. Still others call it the power of positive thinking.
But no matter what you call it, it's not ethical to use it in order to affect the free will of others. Not to mention, messing with other people's free will always results in some sort of undesirable karmic backlash. Not sometimes, not most of the time. Always.
So, when you're in an unpleasant situation that seems to be attributable entirely to someone else's behavior, what's an ethical magical practitioner to do? Certainly not resign yourself to mistreatment or unfairness!
So here are 5 tactics that can help you get your way without violating the free will law.
1. Improve your own vibration. This may sound like a crazy question, and like it has nothing to do with the situation at hand, but hear me out: do you have clutter that could be cleared? Like, anywhere at all? In your car, your storage area, your fridge, or your basement? Most of us have at least a little. So here's the thing: since everything is connected - and since our external environments mirror our personal vibrations and vice versa - the more physical clutter you release, the clearer and more positive your personal vibration will become. And since like attracts like, the more positive your vibration, the less you will be in alignment with negativity of all varieties, and the more likely it will be to disappear from your personal experience.
Other ways to improve your own vibration include clearing your energy field with things like sage and sea salt baths, saying affirmations, meditating, and calling on the Divine for help. And every single proactively positive action you take gets you that much closer to changing the current momentum of your life experience.
2. Be willing to learn the lesson of the situation. OK, it may really seem like the other party is entirely to blame. But the truth is, in some way or on some level, you've chosen this situation in order to learn and grow in some specific way. Now, I know this concept causes some resistance. After all, who would choose, for example, to be abused? Why would one's Divine self - if that self really and truly is Divine - ever, ever choose that, ever in a million years? Here's the thing: the challenge has already happened. Or it's happening now. So why not choose to choose it? Why not own it fully, simply for the purpose of taking back your power and moving on?
What I'm getting at here is that it doesn't matter so much if this concept actually makes sense from a philosophical standpoint. Because from the practical standpoint, the minute you choose to be the one calling the shots in your own life is the same minute you become powerful. You stop being the victim. You tune into your Divine knowing. And in less time than you previously thought possible, you courageously move through the challenge. (After all, you can't go around it.) When your cocoon of disempowerment falls away, you spread your wings and ascend to another level.
3. Interact on the Divine level. In meditation, you can move your awareness up above your crown chakra and consciously embody your true identify: your Divine self. You can rise above the "little you" -- the temporary appearance of this fleeting human life -- and connect with the part of you that is eternal, all-knowing, and all-loving. From this place, in the astral plane or on the etheric level, you can clearly sense that the other party involved in this situation also has a Divine self. Connect with this other Divine self in a way that feels powerful for you. Feel the harmony and love that flows between you. From this place, appreciate and love the other fully. You can have some kind of conversation at this point if you like. But simply placing your attention on your relationship at Divine level, and being present with it for a short while, can help shift matters in the physical world in a positive way.
4. Recognize and activate a Divine aspect of the other party. Out of the five tactics listed, this one has the potential to veer the closest to affecting the other's free will, so you have to be really careful with it. You must feel entirely beneficent and completely non-attached to your ego when you do this! If at any point, you feel any snarkiness or one-upmanship arising, abort immediately.
Ok, Here's how it works: let's say the other party is your boss. And let's say that your boss treats you with an extreme degree of disrespect. However, because we're all actually Divine beings temporarily having a human experience, the truer, more Divine aspect of your boss actually has a deep and authentic desire to treat everyone with respect. And embodying this aspect will actually bring much more joy to your boss than her current behavior ever could. So if you embody your Divine aspect and connect with the Divine aspect of your boss (see #3, above), you could clearly recognize the part of her who wants to treat everyone with respect. By placing your attention on this aspect, and seeing it light up with bright, divine light, you can activate it, and empower her to embody it more in everyday life.
Before doing this, it might help to affirm something like,
"I now call on the Divine and my Divine Self to allow me to interact with the Divine self of ____. It is my intention that any shifts that I help set in motion are in alignment with her free will, for her highest and truest good, and for the highest and truest good of all. Thank you."
In the future, when you see her and interact with her in the physical world, you can consciously connect with the part of her that wants to treat everyone with respect, and even expect her to do so. This will reinforce the energetic work, and works in accordance with the metaphysical law that states, what we focus on expands.
5. Strongly affirm that no other human has any power over you. Finally, it's important to remember that you are always the one who chooses how to react. And, as we discussed in #2, as someone who has chosen to walk the magical path, you are also always the one who has chosen to be in charge of every single condition of your life. Sometimes, this can be like waking up from a bad dream. Like shaking yourself out of a nightmare of disempowerment and saying, "Oh yeah! [This person or group of people] isn't the one with the power in my life. I am! And I am tapped right into Infinite Power, so there is always a way to find the blessing, transform the situation, and move on!"