Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Time for a Re-Dedication Ceremony?--When and How to Re-Dedicate Your Space

Sometimes a home feels right at home being a home. Other times, it may feel a little at odds with its intended purpose, which can cause the inhabitants to feel unsettled or simply not as empowered as they otherwise may.

For example, a home might feel a little wonky about its role if:
  • It used to be something other than a home, such as a business or a church,
  • It's in a relatively new neighborhood where the earth has been quite used to being in its natural state, or being something such as farmland, for some time,
  • It's built on land where something intense occurred, such as a battle or other tragedy,
  • It's built on space that was sacred to native inhabitants for a prolonged period of time.
For example, I recently performed a phone consultation for a long distance friend and client. With the help of my handy pendulum, I intuitively tuned into the fact that - even though her home was built within the last quarter of the previous century and was never anything other than a home (such as a business or a church) - it also wasn't quite solid in its role as a home. After speaking with her about this, I soon learned that her neighborhood was once a battleground during the Civil War. By human standards, the Civil War might seem like distant history, but by the standards of Mother Earth, it was only yesterday. The trauma and unrest of this historical period, as well as the clear role as "battleground" remembered by the very earth under her floorboards, was contributing to a lack of harmony in her home and life.

The good news is that our thoughts and intentions are powerful. By clearly and specifically channeling them - especially through the employment of a ritual - we can heal old patterns and bless the land and space so that it is clear in its role as a happy, harmonious living space. Here's a ritual that can help you do just that. It can be helpful if you feel that your home is not completely comfortable in its role as home for any reason, including (but not limited to) any of the bullet points above.

It's best to perform this ritual on a new moon, but there is some prep work to be done beforehand.

Prep work:

Sometime during the waning period before the new moon, perform a simple, thorough space clearing ritual. If you do this often and feel comfortable with it, just do it in a way that feels good to you.

Otherwise, you might begin by moving counterclockwise through each room and area while clapping loudly or shaking a rattle. Then burn a bundle of dried white sage so that it's smoking like incense (not burning like a log), while carrying a dish under it to catch any burning embers. Again move counterclockwise through each room and area. (This can be substituted with a mister of rose water or essential oils of sage or clary sage in spring water if you are sensitive to smoke.) Finally, stand in a central location and visualize a very bright sphere of blinding golden, white light completely filling and surrounding the space. In your mind's eye, see this sphere gently spin in a clockwise direction to lock in this new clarity and positivity.

Ritual:

On the morning of a new moon, wake up just before sunrise. Relax your body, take some deep breaths, and center your mind.

When you feel ready, call on angels and/or other helpful beings of your choice. (For example, you might call on Archangels Raphael, Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Metatron. And/or, you might call on The Goddess, God/Goddess/All That Is, or simply on "Divine Energies.")

Light nine sticks of sandalwood incense, and hold a small dish underneath to catch ashes and embers. Alternatively or in addition to the incense, add nine drops of essential oil of neroli to a mister of rose water and shake. If possible and appropriate, walk in a clockwise direction around the perimeter of your lot while misting and/or smudging with the incense smoke and inwardly chanting this or something similar: "I dedicate this as sacred space. I dedicate this as a happy home. This place is now harmonized, beloved, and blessed - above and below, to the north, south, east, and west, and in all directions of time."

Next (or first if performing the blessing outside is not possible for any reason), go inside with your incense and/or mister and continue the chant while moving in a clockwise direction throughout each room and area.

Safely extinguish the incense and stand in a central location with your hands in prayer pose. Visualize a sphere of very bright golden white light completely filling and surrounding your home and lot, moving gently in a clockwise direction. Then thank the specific energies and/or beings on which you have called. Finish by saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you. Blessed be. And so it is."

Optional:

To anchor in the new energies and intentions, you might bury four white quartz crystal points (any size, but the bigger the better) at each corner of the lot. First empower them in sunlight, and fill them with your intention to establish a positive, harmonious, cozy residential space. Then bury them points up, with the points very gently pointing inward toward the center of the lot.



Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Kindle Book!

I'm so excited to announce the publication of this exciting new book that I co-wrote with the illustrious Ellen Dugan! You can check it out at this link:




Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lammas Idea: Invocation to Saint Dorothea

I often can't help but see stories of saints - particularly stories of martyred female saints - as stories of the survival of the Great Goddess. These stories may or may not have been consciously designed with that in mind, and for that matter they may or may not be true. However, the fact that they've resonated so strongly with so many for so long shows that there's something archetypal about them, and that they are true in some very real (if not literal) sense.

Case in point, Saint Dorothea of Caesarea, who - the story goes - lived in Turkey around 300 C.E. After supporting two persecuted Christian women in being true to their faith despite the threat of torture, she was tortured and then sentenced to be beheaded. As she approached her grisly fate, a government official named Theophilus teased her by saying something like, "Hey Dorothea, why don't you send me some apples and roses from heaven?" She then replied seriously with words to the effect of, "I shall."

Luckily, Dorothea was granted some time to herself to pray before her execution. While she did so, an angel arrived with three roses and three apples in a basket. Dorothea requested that the angel deliver these items to Theophilus, which he did after her death. Because it was the beginning of February, this was seen as a miracle.

Regardless of the group who was responsible for the beheading (and in the story it was the pagans), you might say that beheading people for their faith is an indication of an overabundance of masculine energy, i.e. powerful masculine energy not sufficiently aspected by powerful feminine energy. Certainly the people with whom Dorothy gained popularity - the early and medieval Christians - did not support or recognize Goddess worship, and the general feeling among this group around these time periods was, in very real ways, violent, intolerant, and generally anti-female.

If you'll notice, the beginning of February is precisely at the opposite side of the wheel of the year from Lammas, the ancient festival of first fruits, celebrated beginning of August (i.e. right about now). Considering the dark and violent cultural climate (comparable to an inhospitable winter) in which Dorothea lived and gained popularity, you might interpret the fruit and flowers to be symbols of the unflagging survival of Goddess energy, which encompasses life, love, warmth, and nourishment.

Additionally, the name Dorothy means "divine gift," which is precisely what we consider the first fruits to be as we give thanks for them at Lammas. And of course, roses and apples are both potent symbols of love, femininity, and the Great Goddess.

With all of this in mind, if you celebrate Lammas (or if you'd like to start), you might consider invoking Saint Dorothea as a part of your ritual celebration. Of course, an ideal offering to her would be (you guessed it!) a basket containing three apples and three roses. Saint Dorothea is also the matron saint of fruit trees, so if you ever want to bless a fruit tree, Saint Dorothea might be just the helper on which to call.

Here's an invocation to Saint Dorothea, which is derived from her prayer. I've altered it to be relevant to Lammas and to those in Goddess-centered traditions.

Saint Dorothea, emissary of the Great Goddess,
By your divine radiance, and against all odds,
You reminded two sisters of their sacred truth,

And lovingly sent roses and apples, which sowed the seeds of understanding.
You kept the sacred fire of the Goddess burning throughout the cold and dark night,
Keeping our hearts warm and spirits alive.
Dorothea, for this, we thank you.
Please bless us and ground us in our truth as we give thanks for our physical blessings as well as the spiritual fruits and flowers of our practice.

Please renew us, bless us, and align us with your kindness and your strength.
By the Great Goddess who eternally endures, we thank you.
Blessed be.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nostalgic Enchantments--4 Favorite Magical Ingredients and the Times We've Shared

Now that I've been actively practicing magic for almost two decades (!), there are a number of magical ingredients that occupy a special place in my heart. Like old friends, every time I see them I think of the good times we shared and the happy conditions we manifested together. I find that this is particularly true for ingredients that I worked with during those first few years of magical practice.

I thought I'd take a walk down memory lane and celebrate some of these beloved old friends in this post.

Wikimedia Commons/Rob Lavinsky
When I met Ted (my boyfriend of 15 years), I had a love-drawing charm containing a naturally heart-shaped lepidolite tucked into my bra. Since that time, I have always kept at least one lepidolite in my home, particularly in the relationship corner or on a love altar.

flickr/farmanac
For my very first spells and rituals (according to instructions I read in Good Magic by Marina Medici) I added dried thyme to my bathwater before performing spells, in order to bolster my power and get me into the magical mindset. The scent of thyme still reminds me of the wondrous feeling of awakening to a new world of magic and power.

flickr/Tehmina Goskar
Years and years ago, my friend Sedona and I spotted a display of aqua aura crystals in a metaphysical store and each latched on to one in particular, with which we could not bear to part. I purchased mine for what was then, to me, a huge price ($14, if I remember correctly), and kept it close to me almost constantly for months. As I held it, it literally vibrated, and it filled me with a sense of confidence and feeling of possibility that I had never before known. Alas, the aqua aura chapter of my life came to a close when I fell asleep with it in my hand, and then - as crystals will do - it disappeared quite thoroughly in the night, never to be seen again. (It actually looked a lot like the one in the photo, and looking at it makes me SO nostalgic!)


While living at the edge of Grand Canyon at the age of 20, I picked desert sage and tied it into bundles with hemp twine, then smudged with it after it dried. No one taught me to (at least in this lifetime), and I had never seen it available in smudge stick form in the past. I just somehow knew it would be perfect for smudging - I imagine I learned it from the plant himself.

Even after I moved away, I had some bundles left that I burned in my new space, which reminded me of the profound inner shifts I had undergone while gazing at the canyon's seemingly infinite, quiet, empty depths. To this day, the scent of desert sage smoke fills me with a transcendent sense of serenity, comfort, and safety. (Also to this day, I love the Grand Canyon and always want to go back!)


What about you? What are your nostalgic enchantments?

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