Enjoy this time of balance and abundance on this the Second Harvest- Mabon. The Autumn Equinox brings with it the lengthening nights and a time of inner reflection and stillness. Below is a poem I wrote to capture the essence of the season. As you celebrate today, remember to give thanks, show appreciation, and open yourself to the changing of the Wheel of the Year.
As the Light Recedes
And now the time has come
to find ourselves
at the balancing of the light.
Perched upon the edge
of a silvery blade.
Sun and moon made equal.
With Great Sickle in hand
The Wise Crone reaps
the ready harvest.
A time of darkening has come.
He is changed.
From Greenwood, to Corn,
to now the Dread Lord
She is changed.
From a Maiden in youth, to full
and heavy with child.
Now she must depart.
Return to the deep earthen wells.
We take with us
their power and life.
The bountiful harvest
they have given
But they must,
as so many do,
make their journey.
and rust to the earth.
To be swept
along until they reach the end.
There to transform
and start again.
Let us see
in them the story.
Our Horned God
and Mother Goddess,
traveling from woods
so green and alive
to the dark cauldron
of the Underworld.
Great time of balance,
mystery, and lore.
Give us space of remembrance.
Thinking on their sacrifice,
Through this cycle,
let our hearts
and spirit be strong.
which will carry us through.
Through the Dark of Times.
Through the Waning Sun.
Through the Place of Night.
To come through again
And rise as the Sun.
New but the same.
Changed but forever sure.
On August 21st, 2017 at the Sekhmet Goddess Temple I was gifted with the most beautiful Maiden to Mother Ceremony. My Priestess friends, Peace, November, and Laurelinn did an amazing job with facilitating and photography.
The experience was incredible and I’ll try my best to recount the fantastic magick that took place.
The ritual was held on the incredible day of the New Moon and Solar Eclipse. There were several women who attended as regular guests of the Temple, and of course my amazing husband, Ryan. We called in the Elements, Sekhmet, and ourselves as usual. With the lovely twist that the name I used that night was Mama and Ryan’s was Papa Bear.
The space felt filled to the brim with love, from strangers and loved ones alike. I was given a flower in the beginning of the ceremony to carry as symbol of the Maiden. It was a beautiful pink rose from one of the bushes which grows on the property. Ryan and I took our place near the Priestesses and when we sat, listened to a special Charge of the Goddess.
As we continued, I was asked if I freely gave up the symbol of the Maiden to accept my new role as Mother. I did and as the flower was taken, it was replaced with a beautiful apple and red scarf as symbols of the Mother. I was also gifted with a beautiful gold necklace of Sekhmet to protect me and Baby Moon. I’m currently wearing it and will do so every day until Baby Moon is here in the world.
We were then guided through a beautiful meditation where I was to ask for a message from the baby and feel my little Moon grow strong. The other women there could use the meditation to here their own message from their inner child and it made the entire temple swirl with loving, positive energy.
Baby Moon kicked and rolled throughout the experience and reminded me to stay in my own space of calm and not let anyone pull me out of it.
We also enjoyed going around the circle with messages for me and Ryan. Normally, we have discussion during ritual about our lives, a meditation, whatever we feel needs to be said, and it felt wonderful to hear so many women give me inspiring and human advice and words of encouragement.
I was so moved by everyone’s love, even though they had no idea who I was. I felt strong and ready and prepared to be exactly the mother this baby chose.
That statement was one of the most powerful from the evening.
This baby chose me to be its mother, and I couldn’t be more proud or happy.
We closed out our circle and, as is traditional, I cackled as loud and wonderfully as I could. The evening was truly…
This Monday, at the Sekhmet Temple in Indian Springs, my lovely Priestess friend Candace will be performing a Maiden to Mother ceremony for me. I’m so very excited.
One of my favorite things about Wicca and Paganism is that these religions and beliefs celebrate so many more important parts of a person’s life. There are ceremonies to celebrate birth, naming, marriage, coming of age, spiritual milestones, passings, beginnings, endings, every part of life has a way to show your appreciation for the event or lesson learned.
So, this upcoming Maiden to Mother ceremony is a very welcome one. Though many choose to progress through life without becoming parents, which is totally fine, I am excited to mark this momentous occasion with a special ritual to recognize this big change.
I’ll never be “the Maiden” again. I’ll never not be someone’s Mother.
It’s certainly an ending of a big part of my life. A part I thoroughly enjoyed and celebrated vastly. The flourishing growth and experiences of Youth are nothing short of amazing and I hope others can experience the wonder and innocence and daring and stupidity of this time.
But as one door closes…
Yes, as cliche as that phrase may be, it’s true. I’m ending my time as the Maiden and stepping forward into my time of Mother. While this chapter of my life’s story is only just beginning and the character development of this protagonist is certainly expanding, I believe the future holds great things.
I am fully ready to embrace this new identity, this new life, both mine and the one growing inside me. Through all the rough and tough parts of being pregnant is a wonderful feeling of actually creating a human. I’m growing this little human inside me and it’s strange and amazing and fascinating and still a bit of a mystery as to exactly how it’s all happening.
I’ve even gone ahead and taken these maternity photos of myself and am embracing the bump, which seems much more like a giant front hump to me.
So, I’m very ready to meet this little person and I’m very ready to celebrate this transition into Motherhood. I am so thankful as well to have such an awesome group of women supporting me, including my wonderful fellow Priestesses at the Temple.
Before I’d gone out to the Temple for another ceremony, I’d thought about what I wanted to do to celebrate being a mom and I had decided I would probably have a private ritual at my home since I didn’t want to overwhelm an already overworked Candace. Well, lo and behold as I was enjoying eating before the ritual started she asked if I was going to do anything to celebrate and if I’d like to have a Maiden to Mother ceremony.
Well of course I would!
And so the Universe, and Candace, saw fit to make my desire to celebrate this big event in a big way come true. On the night of the Solar Eclipse and New Moon too!
Thank you Universe, thank you Candace, and thank you baby for making this moment a reality.
Stay tuned for updates and photos from the ceremony coming soon!
Happy Lughnasadh or Lammas, whichever you wish to call it!
As the full sun rises on this beautiful Summer day, I can feel the heat around come to the crest in its pendulum swing. Things will start to cool after this burst of warmth and the harvest time will be upon us. To celebrate this wonderful Sabbat, I am getting in touch with my Kitchen Witch side (thanks very much to the amazing treasures contained in this month’s Sabbat Box).
::The Story of Lammas-Lughnasadh::
Celebrated on the Eve of August or August 1st in most traditions, Lughnasadh is an Irish Gaelic name for the feast which signals the death games of Lugh, the Celtic god of light and child of the Sun. The Sabbat is often called Lammas, or Loaf Mass, as well.
The Wheel of the Year;’s story tells of the Sun God transferring his power into the grain during this time. He is then sacrificed when the grain is harvested. A dying, self-sacrificing and then resurrecting god of the harvest. Who by doing so saves his people. This tale, as you can probably tell, influence later religions. It is also said that this funeral was not actually for him but for his Mother, Tailte.
As the grain grows and ripens, the power of the sun goes into them. The first bread of the season is made from what has been harvested. This is where the Saxon hlaef-masse, or loaf-mass, now Lammas, comes in. Seed grain was also typically saved for planting the following year’s crop. Allowing the Sun god to rise again in the Spring as the new green shoots are seen. There are many traditions and customs all over the world which celebrate this time and you can also see this in the tales of the Harvest Goddesses and a procession of the Maiden turned to Mother now becoming a Crone.
This is the time for bread-making and corn-dollies. Goddesses celebrated on this Sabbat commonly include: Demeter and Ceres, and any other harvest deity. Trees associated with Lammas are Hazel and Gorse, with the herbs Sage and Meadowsweet being associated with this Sabbat. Additional herbs associated with Lughnasadh include: All Grains, Grapes, Heather, Blackberries, Sloe, Crab Apples, Pears. Colors associated with Lughnasadh are gold, yellow, and orange for the God and red, brown, and also gold for the Goddess.
::My Altar and Ritual::
Today, I’m getting in touch with my love of cooking and home. The gifts I mentioned above came with a sweet, little cookie stamp in the shape of a pentacle and a recipe for Honey Almond cookies. I’m going to be making these for my celebration at the Sekhmet Goddess Temple tomorrow. Although, I will admit that I am a little hesitant to go into a hot kitchen while it’s in the 100’s outside and I’m pregnant and hot anyway. Oh well.
I’ve also decorated my altar with a beautiful corn dolly statue, which is a nice change from the real thing which can flake and breaks down. This dolly can hang out all the way through to September. The altar is also be covered in beautiful golden trinkets that remind me of the Sun and all it has given us to survive and flourish, and with it being Leo season one of them is a golden lion leaping up inside the round circle of the Sun.
A specially created Lughnasadh incense and candle is burning on the altar and filling my nose with spice and flowers and sunshine. Sashes of yellow and red and orange lay draped across the top of my altar and I’ve anointed myself with a custom Lughnasadh blessing oil. Sitting in the setting sun and soaking up all the goodness, I’m taking this time to thanks the Harvest Deities and the Sun for another prosperous year under their guidance.
This is the time to reap what we have sown and take stock for the coming Fall and Winter. I am feeling very connected to the cycles this year as my belly has grown with the sun and it will soon be time to harvest this little one and welcome Baby Moon into the world.
Bright Blessings All Around!
Aside from doing a ritual to recognize the changing season, here are a few other ways to celebrate this Sabbat.
Create and/or decorate ritual items like a Stang, or if you’re feeling the Kitchen Witch vibe your cooking tools like a wooden spoon.
Take a walk through the woods and spend time meditating on beautiful surroundings.
Make bread and enjoy it with friends and family
Make a wicker man and put all of your bad habits into him and then toss him in your ritual bonfire.
Make a corn dolly.
Harvest any plants you’ve been growing and use them to make something yummy or beautiful for the coming Fall.
Drape yourself in yellow or the rays of the Sun and pull in the warmth and growth this Sabbat offers.
This Sabbat is a wonderful time to be grateful for all that is coming into begin because of the seeds you planted earlier in the Wheel of the Year. Take stock, enjoy, and as always enjoy the tiny, crazy ways the world is expressing its joy and beauty.
The longest day of the cosmic year, Summer Solstice 2017 is your time to strip it down and swim back to your roots.
Connect with Summer Solstice energy through these fun celebratory ideas. Then, read on for three in depth looks at the Solstice energy building around us.
Ignite a Fantasy Life with a Movie: The Sun is now entering the sign of Cancer for this Solstice. This mermaid’s energy is focused all around the creative power of our fantasies. Whether you’re dying to be Wonder Woman or want to enjoy a steamy, romantic read, take joy in the free flowing potential of your inner visions by allowing yourself to be swept off your feet by fantastically real stories of love and adventure.
Go Skinny Dipping: This Solstice is definitely about stripped bare and diving into our private lives. Take the plunge at noon with friends or go solo at midnight. It’s all about celebrating begin wholly in your own skin and connecting with your internal world. If you’re like me and swimming isn’t your strong suit, get naked and enjoy a bath with your favorite aromatherapy and allow your mind to drift inward.
Host a Slumber Party: Stay up all night on this the longest day of the year . Pamper yourself with at home spa treatments and channel the nostalgic Cancer Season feelings with Old Hollywood classics, high school yearbooks, or photo albums.
Relax with your Deities: Ruled by the Moon, the Solstice says to connect to our feminine ancestors and those who came before, whomever this means to you. Those you’ve held dear, who’ve made a place in your heart, who you’ve admired and bowed to at the altar their force of nature. Honor them, however you can, whether it’s a full blown ritual or a simple moment of reflection enjoying your favorite tea.
Love Thyself: Light the candles, let the mood music ring out, and dress yourself to the nines in your most sensual attire. Get intimate with yourself and determine just what turns you on in your most private moments. Romance yourself.
Let the Music Play: Put on your favorite upbeat, summer mix and dance till you fall down. Rejoice in the fulfillment of this time. I’m personally quite fond of this one.
::Let’s Get Deep::
~Increased light means increased consciousness.
When we have times in the year that change the flow of the seasons they offer the chance to help us to define time and get in touch with the Universe’s sacred rhythm. We transition from one phase of time to another. This is the longest day of the year, and increased light means increased consciousness.
Since the Winter Solstice, we’ll been in a yin state, filled with rejuvenation, six months of inward processing, and clearing away that which doesn’t service. Now, we open ourselves to the Universe and push forward into a yang state.
On the shortest day of the year we planted a seed. After it had been fertilization by our new ideas and spirit, it grew into a beautiful flower now ready to open its petals. A sweet release of a held breath that welcomes this new growth into the world.
Find something you can get your hands on and honor the fullness and richness of life available right now. As you take joy in this splendor, you’ll move move into your heart space, attracting your desires.
~Grounded, Connected, Clear
August brings with in Eclipse Season. So, the Solstice and Cancer season is a great time to get grounded, connected, and clear. The New Moon in Cancer follows the Solstice by two days, and it’s time to create new intentions, have a blast, and enjoy summertime vibes.
At the precise moment when the Sun enters Cancer, the Waning Crescent Balsamic Moon in Taurus joins with Venus in Taurus. This auspicious alignment in the Solstice chart shows us that this seasonal change will grant gifts of bounty. The Moon rules Cancer, and is in Taurus, and Venus, Taurus’ ruler, is dignified in here. What’s more, the Moon forms an perfect trine, a supportive angle of manifestation, to Pluto and all its glory.
This luxurious and poignant alignment grounds us as the Sun hits his peak and we ready ourselves for the season of Cancer. Cancer, who loves to connect immensely with loved ones, opens a doorway to nurturing our connection to lovers, friends, and family as we reach down to our roots for increased safety and abundance.
~Skinny dip into your heart
Deep in your soul, how does midnight shine? This Summer Solstice, dim the lights, strip down to beautiful skin, and take the plunge into your heart’s most intimate places.
With Neptune, the Sun, and Mercury entering our mermaid friend Cancer on the same day, the Summer Solstice is a water goddess’s dream. This ocean breeze Solstice is a homecoming to wash delicately, yet fiercely, back into our own shores, to take stock of where we’ve been, and to let everything which has grown in our inner treasure troves give us the strength to sail on strong winds into Tomorrow.
Dance in the waves and swim back to your home. And remember that home is inside you because you belong everywhere, and always, to yourself.
~Activity for Solstice
Think on these words, “I bow to worship my most tender, nocturnal aspects.”
Eat foods like your favorite nighttime snacks and home-cooked classics. Try out some nightshade fruits and veggies, like tomatoes, sip some yummy cardamom-infused milks, and enjoy robust, family-made pastas.
And remember, if you’re like me and can’t get to the ocean or water source near you, you can always enjoy a loving, long soak in your tub with your favorite aromatherapy or bath salts that spark images of the sea. And if that’s not doable, simply enjoy a cool, refreshing glass of water and reflect on how it connects us to everything and our emotions.
As I head off to my New Moon Ritual with my ladies at the Sekhmet Goddess Temple, I though I would share the ritual I created for this evening. I’m leaving it in the template I use so you can see what the breakdown of time is like. This is just one example of a ritual and you can use it to create your own or simply enjoy thinking on the words and information presented for the Chinese New Year.
Smudging– Have priestesses smudge in participants and have participants form a circle inside the temple and remain standing.
Toning– use Mah to create sound vibrations. Repeat for 3 breaths.
Call in Elements:
East- Spirts of East, powers of air. You are the cool breeze that rushes over our skin in the dark of night, fueling an inner spark. Welcome to our circle. Blessed Be.
South- Spirts of South, powers of fire. You are energy and transformation made manifest. You fill us with the courage, strength, and passion to our sparks build into roaring fires. Welcome to our circle. Blessed Be.
West- Spirits of the West, powers of water. You are the blood flowing through out veins. You are an emotional quiet and stillness that balances our growing flame. Welcome to our circle. Blessed Be.
North- Spirts of the North, powers of earth. You are the firm earth that creates a foundation for our fiery expansion. A root to ground the explosive transformation of our roaring fire. Welcome to our circle. Blessed Be.
Above- Spirits of Cosmos, powers of above. You are the arching totality of the universe. You guide us and create a big picture where we can direct our fire. Welcome to our circle. Blessed Be.
Below- Spirits of Silence, powers of below. You are the void and the quiet from which our souls, our embers are born. You are the cauldron from which this miraculous potion boils over. Welcome to our circle. Blessed Be.
Within- Spirits of Enlightenment, powers of within. You are at our core connecting us to our sisters. You are the light that keeps our inner flames glowing bright and proud. Welcome to our circle. Blessed Be.
Call in Sekhmet– Sekhmet, Great One of Magic, Awakener, Lady of Transformations, The Aware, and Enlightener. You are our Great Mother. We ask that you join us now so that we may be aware and awakened to the growing flame within us all, so that we may release that which doesn’t serve us and move forward toward transformation. Sa Sekhem Sahu.
Call in Self:
If small group, go around circle and we will repeat your name back after you say it three times.
If large group, go around circle saying name once.
Both end with in saying “Mother we are here,” in unison.
Declaration of the Year of the Fire Rooster: Information from the Numinous- A flock of hot-tempered fowl strutting around like they own the place in not what we need right now. We need love, compassion, and action. We should take heart however. Fire Roosters can be show-offs, but if we look past the plumage, beautiful in its own right, we’ll be relieved to see they are not the competitive trickster like 2016’s Fire Monkey. This change in sign for 2017, indicates a change toward playing fair again, realizing that “winning” and slinging mud isn’t worth our pride and personal relationships.
If you were born in 1933, 45, 57, 69, 81, 93 or 2005, you could very well be born under the Chinese astrology sign of the Rooster. But January or February birthdays should look at when the New Year fell that year.
The Year of the Rooster holds:
Hard work will pay off—so tend to that nest egg.
Good old-fashioned hard work—with some Rooster-style flair—will rule. The rooster rises with the Sun, so get an earlier start to your days. Create a morning ritual and become mindful with money. This is not the year to rush ahead without a plan. Good habits and regular exercise will keep us productive during uncertain times.
Beware: This may be a year of inflated egos and power tripping. Be clear about the pecking order in joint projects, even if some people have more authority than others. If you’re in charge, don’t be “all squawk, no action.” And watch the cutting critiques of other people in power.
The Year of the Fire Rooster is a fine time for joint ventures. Gather the flock and pool your resources. With the thrifty and financially strict Fire Rooster leading, there could be large cuts in government spending to get national debt under control. Collecting back taxes and recouping old debts may also be deployed with vigilance.
Love will get flirtatious, showy, and hot.
The feisty Fire Rooster is a shameless flirt who loves attention. Let yourself be a little more flamboyant as you court the sizzling spotlight or strut through the metaphorical henhouse. As modern-day humans, let’s take gender out of the equation. No matter your romantic preferences, welcomed, titillating, and tawdry exchanges can get some serious sparks flying. However, don’t mistake Rooster swagger for the real deal. Occasionally, a little tempting and teasing is just for fun, so enjoy this “cage-free” fun for what it is.
Flamboyant fashion will be a trend.
Break out the feathers, headdresses, and showboating style! The preening Rooster loves to be noticed. Mega-entertainers like Beyoncé and Jennifer Lopez were born under the sign of the Rooster. A little of the area’s natural Vegas-style glitz or a return to the 1970s wild patterns could return.
The role of men will get a much-needed upgrade.
With 2016’s Monkey-minded misogyny hopefully fading in our rearview mirrors, and though the barnyard king can be cocky, the Rooster is known to take care of his hens. In 2017, the fight for gender equality wages on—and it won’t come solely from women. We can expect to hear more men and non-binary people standing up for women’s rights and embracing the feminist label. This works especially well when women as feminist’s open and embrace diversity beyond womanhood. Think on your transgendered, gender-fluid, intersex, and ethnically diverse sisters, and even brothers, listen to their voices, welcome them, and we’ll all be the better for it.
Simultaneously, a return to chivalry, which can appear chauvinistic at times, could also occur. There’s a fine line between helping and treating women like helpless “little ladies.” Certain men must learn this.
On the world stage, 2017 could bring more swagger from governments who puff themselves up to look strong. Global leaders must be careful not to get swept into petty “cockfights,” while also being strategic and focused on details. Homeland security will be a big issue for many countries, got to keep that coop safe! Left unchecked it could bring another wave of xenophobia however. We have to work harder to keep open dialogues in 2017, instead of continuing to polarize across racial, philosophical, gender, and class lines.
Health and wellness will continue to be thriving issues.
Are you caring for your body? The fastidious, Virgo influence of the Year of the Rooster helps us incorporate wellness as part of our regular routines. Find a gym or set one up at home, move every day. Schedule checkups and find a doctor who listens to you and wants to help you discover underlying chronic health issues.
In 2017, preventative medicine like massage, acupuncture, and a vitamin-rich diet is the smartest prescription. Clean eating gets another boost from the Rooster year, and with the fire element afoot, the menu will likely include more spices, spicy and savory, cooked foods, raw juices, and smoothies. Results won’t come overnight this year, but by putting healthy practices in place, we’ll be crowing AND glowing by the time 2017 is through.
Activity- A tradition when celebrating the Chinese New Year is a complete cleaning of the house and removing the old and welcome the new. This can also mean cleaning your physical self through a ritual shower or bath, and cleaning your mind. To great the New Year, consider cleaning the house, taking that special bath, and work out releases old emotions and thoughts and welcoming new, positive ones. You can try it a little right now. Think on a thought or feeling that’s been holding you back. Focus on a single idea. Then, let it fill your mind, not to let it take over but to understand it entirely. Next, as you breathe in think to yourself I welcome the new, and as you breathe out think I release the old. Let go of that thought. Release it to the universe where it can be safely recycled. You can take a few more breaths to fully let it go. Try this with different thoughts, with bigger habits, each time releasing and welcoming new, better thoughts and habits.
Discussion– Open chat about what we want to create and transform, go around circle. If don’t want to say anything, simply say blessed be.
East- Spirits of East, powers of air. Thank you for your presence and blessings of knowledge, happiness, and renewal. Blessed Be.
South- Spirits of South, powers of fire. Thank you for your presence and blessings of courage, passion, and transformation. Blessed Be.
West- Spirits of West, powers of water. Thank you for your presence and blessings of peace, compassion, and balance. Blessed Be.
North- Spirits of North, powers of earth. Thank you for your presence and blessings of stability, abundance, and resilience. Blessed Be.
Above- Spirits of Cosmos, powers of above. Thank you for your presence and blessings of expansion, creativity, and hope. Blessed Be.
Below- Spirits of Silence, powers of below. Thank you for your presence and blessings of quiet, confidence, and beginnings. Blessed Be.
Within- Spirits of Enlightenment, powers of within. Thank you for your presence and blessings of acceptance, magick, and oneness. Blessed Be.
Release Sekhmet– Sekhmet, Mother of the Gods, Lady of the Place of the Beginning of Time, Finder of Ways, Keeper of the Light, and Beloved Teacher. We thank you for you ever present love and guidance. You are in all our days and nights, within and without. Sa Sekhem Sahu.
Winter Solstice, a time of quiet on the longest night. This is the moment where the pendulum hovers at the time of darkness ruled over by the Holly King and the Dark Mother.
As this cold, long night reaches its peak, the pendulum swings back. Now we journey toward the time of light, of energy. The Bright Mother and the Oak King will reign over this other half of the year.
To the rest of the world the year itself is coming to an end. But we know this is only a tipping point. Nothing is “ending.” In fact, each day will get longer and longer. This is a time of beginnings.
We look forward to ushering in the hope and promise of this lighter half of the year. Our solstice is a time of renewal. It is also a time to let go of that which is no longer serving you.
This winter solstice meditation will allow you to ease yourself into this new half of the year. Welcome the turning of the Wheel and step into the light as your best self.
As you begin your meditation, follow your typical habits. Get comfortable, relax, and take a deep breath. Feel the Earth beneath you as you sit or lie down. Feel the air around you. Feel the fire within you. Feel the water as your blood flowing through you.
Think on this affirmation, “I lay to rest all the worries and all the negativity of the old year.”
When ready, hold your hands to your chest to form the Dharmachakra Mudra.
To do this mudra, pinch your left middle finger with the index and
thumb of your right hand. Put your index finger and thumb together with both hands, this symbolizes the Wheel of Life. The left hand represents your inner
world, and the right hand represents the external environment. This mudra brings the two worlds together. During this meditation think of one wheel as the ending half of the year, and the other wheel as the new half.
Take another grounding breath and think on something you wish to release. As you inhale, pull all the energy connected to that item into your lungs. Then, exhale and as the air leaves your lungs imagine yourself blowing out the negativity, the habit, the thought, holding you back. Blow out all that doesn’t serve you.
Take six more breaths, totaling seven. Inhale and release as before. Think of something you wish to let go and blow it out of your life. Imagine your breath as a cool rush of Winter air. Let it sweep clean the things from your past you don’t need.
When you have completed your seven breaths, think on a symbol, a sigil, that represents what you wish to achieve in the coming months. Brew the image in your mind like a hot cup of tea, filling you with warmth and power.
With the image solid and strong in your mind, open your eyes and draw it on a piece of paper. Hold it tight to your chest and fill it with your intention.
Work on this goal each day and when you feel you have accomplished it, or are ready to move to a new goal, burn the paper in a sacred fire.
The time of darkness is ending and a new light lies around the corner. The Wheel of the Year turns again and each time it does we have a chance to learn something about the world and ourselves.
Let go of the past, welcome the future. Be present, be hopeful, be the light.
Empathy has been tossed around a lot on the Web these days. A lot of it has been good and can help many people. But what’s the deal with empathy and can our spiritual practice help us with it?
There are many different ways to interpret the word empathy. However, the basic idea remains the same. Empathy is the process of emotionally reflecting, experiencing, or absorbing the emotions surrounding you. In addition, the experience of empathy necessitates a return of compassion. Think of it like this. Sympathy can be explained as “feeling for” a person. Empathy is more emotionally intimate and could be explained as “feeling with” the external emotions present. Empaths then are those who continually absorb emotional energy and frequently “walk a mile in someone else’s shoes.”
If you’re like me, then you’ve come to realize that what you’re feeling and experiencing is more than just general sympathy. We’ve realized we are empaths and we’ve experienced all the ups and downs.
For those of us who are very emotionally sensitive, to the point of absorbing external emotional energy each day, personal balance isn’t just a great goal it’s a necessity.
Don’t think of empathy like a curse though. It helps us find social unity, reinforce love, and assist to heal the world. If we’re going to do these things and really help we must really work toward inner balance. To manage strong levels of empathy, the metaphysically inclined empath, and others seeking balance, can work toward the items below.
~Shielding and Protecting~
It’s so common to want to hide away when the emotion load gets heavy. But instead of forcing yourself into perpetual self-isolation, which is actually really destructive, choose to protect yourself. This is when shielding comes into play. Constructing shields using ritualistic visualization each day or week is a way to help maintain balance. Most psychic shield visualizations are crystalline, spherical, glassy, or “mesh-like.” When using these techniques, avoid visualizing impermeable or reflective shields, unless the need is dire. This can actually push your energy way too far away from the outside world. Additionally, remember that we empaths are notoriously emotionally vulnerable. If you feel like your shields have been compromised by a challenging social situation, they can easily be remade with added visualization and re-connection.
~Practice Spiritual Connection Every Day~
Life is a spiritual experience. No matter what spiritual path you’re on, you can connect with divine every day. Choosing to manage your emotions and personal energy on a daily basis will be the most important daily action for empaths. To help break free from the daily cycles that can bog you down, take time out for morning and/or evening meditation, tarot reading, prayer, ritual, and even simple solitude. Instead of throwing yourself into it right away, gradually build up how much time you spending taking a moment for yourself. Plus, everyone’s spiritual needs will be different. Do what works for you. There isn’t a correct way to connect and revitalize. As you grow, challenge yourself and allow the spiritual work to come from your heart. The heart is after all where empaths find their strength.
~Service Work as Personal Healing~
Empathy’s greatest gift is that of connecting with others. We are natural healers. When we are in a balanced state, we can help facilitate unity and understanding in those around us. We can choose to express this energy with others not only socially, but also through charitable volunteer work, educational activities, vocational social work, art, political activism, and the healing arts. We can also dedicate ourselves to support strictly progressive and earth-conscious companies with our everyday consumer purchases.
~Tailor Your Surroundings~
To the best of your ability, choose to surround yourself with kindhearted individuals who empower your strengths, encourage your happiness, and positively challenge your perception. Naturally, choose to do the same for them! Decide to minimally interact with overly pessimistic and discouraging people, and come up with a game plan of how to react and respond when you are faced with difficult individuals. Also, don’t forget to take breaks when needed; some amount of alone time is deeply beneficial for every empathic soul! Additional environmental suggestions include taking good care of pets (love them and receive love!), not spending too much time gaming or using computers, and even considering therapy, counseling, or life coaching during extenuated periods of emotional stress.
~Alchemize, Transmute, Transform~
Did you know that as an empath you can not only absorb emotions but transmute them? Empathy is not just absorptive, but projective. Often, empaths can change the mood of a room simply by being there. This displays how empathy is an influential force as well. You can take this to the next level by deciding to utilize emotion-based alchemy in a ritualistic environment when you feel overloaded or very negative.
If it’s in your tradition and you feel comfortable, cast a circle or use visualization to create a sacred space. Place an image, object, or a deity’s statue which personally represents transformation in front of you. Put your intention for transformation into this item and dedicate it to that purpose. Gaze at the focal point and sit with your emotions. Open yourself up to insight into the origin of the emotions you’re experiencing. Are they yours, someone else’s, or a combination?
From the right side of your body, or your dominant side if you use this, project your emotional force to the chosen focal point. Then, pull the transformed energy out and into the left, or receptive, side of your body. Sit with these new, magickally transformed emotional energies. Let them carry you through the day. Experiment and try other techniques which appeal to you. Determine which work best for you when working to remove your emotional stress.
~Let Creative Juices Flow~
Art and creativity naturally spring from empaths. Creating art of any type encourages energy from the internal to transfer the external. When we express ourselves, our psyches and spirits can project emotional energy outward rather than having to stay locked inside. Plus, art exists in every imaginable form. Go with what feels right, paint, dance, sing, write. Let intuition be your guide.
It’s not uncommon for very empathic individuals to become disconnected from their physical bodies. It makes sense. Empaths are guided by emotions. But, our bodies are our temples for a reason. They exist on the manifest plane and serve as sensory receptors for our consciousness. To function as empaths, as people, we must be mindful of the holistic picture. Body, mind, and soul all working together. Manage your unique physical body with balance. Get the right amount of sleep, consistent exercise (especially Yoga, which is great for empaths), and with medicines, natural or otherwise, as needed. Relaxing baths and cleansing showers are also super helpful and can assist to connect your energy to water, the element of emotions and empathy.
~Know Your Strength and Own It~
Lastly, remember that empathy does not make you weak. In fact, you are incredibly powerful, charismatic, mystical, and socially influential, even if you don’t feel that way sometimes. Say this and feel it. “I am a significantly powerful being in a world which desperately needs emotional awareness and compassion.” And remember, don’t get overly paranoid or depressed when you’re overwhelmed. Not everyone is out to get you or hurt you.
The more proactive we are each day and the more clearly we look at life’s tough moments as lessons, the more we can develop our power as empaths. Thus, helping to change the world. That’s right. You’re changing the world every day just be you. Congrats!