2018: Resolutions or Revolutions?

new years 2018 winter resolutions revolutions

When we look to the future? Instead of “looking” let us leap and laugh.

Ah, 2017. You have been so utterly strange for me. The world at large saw so much tragedy and pain and bigotry. But for myself, I saw a great hurdle end with the birth of my amazing daughter, Baby Moon. As we all close, or more accurately slam, the door on this past year, I’m having some mixed emotions.

The pregnancy was hard, especially at the end, and the struggles of the world did not go unnoticed by me. Rightly, I’m very excited to say goodbye to 2017 and start a new year, maybe not fresh as I’m extremely tired, but resolved.

However, among all the bad, 2017 will forever in my mind be the year of my child’s birth and that has a weight to it that is hard to overcome. And perhaps, that’s how it should be when we’re looking back.

We see the failures of 2017 and other years, but instead of letting ourselves fall into the pit of despair that is problematic nostalgia, we let the moments of joy take up more space in our minds, and hearts.

Cheesy? Sure. But a good idea? Most likely.

This makes me think of New Year’s resolutions. They can undoubtedly be problematic. Often, we make resolutions that are near impossible or just a bit too ambitious for the amount of actual time we have for them. And that, of course, leads to giving up on them and feeling like a failure.

But what if we were to use New Year’s resolutions as a time to simply set intentions for the following year, vocally and with all our magick behind them. This would instead turn this, sometimes unfortunate, tradition into a time to do magick and to reconnect to what we desire, and what needs to be done in our lives.

Intentions, after all, are just that. Something we intend to do, and this makes it much easier for us to forgive ourselves if we fall a little, or a lot, short. We are human after all.

When we remember to forgive ourselves for failing and remember that we at least tried, we can make these “resolutions” more doable. We’ll stick to a few and we’ll try our best, and that will be enough.

So, instead of choosing a resolution which is completely out of range, set an intention for 2018 that can provide just enough change to revolutionize your life. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll revolutionize the whole damn world.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

-Margaret Mead

::My 2018 New Year’s Intentions and Acts of Revolution::

I hereby put forth my intention to be kinder to myself, to remember that I am human and am not perfect, and that’s okay.

I set intention to get healthier and understand that doing so may take a long time.

I vow to hold the world accountable as I did in 2017, providing my little bit of strength to the Resistance and Revolution.

I decree that I will finish my second novel, or if not I will have worked very hard on it.

I promise in 2018 to love as fiercely as I can, to laugh, to sing, to be silly, to spend small moments with my baby and husband, with all my family, and to bask in the great joy that is each new day- full of choices and chances and opportunities to be brave.

 

With love and light to all of you!

Blessed Be!

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Winter Solstice 2017: A Holiday on the Cheap

winter-moon

As you probably all know, I just had a baby. And it is amazing, and tiring, and amazing, and tiring. Baby Moon brings so much joy to my life I can barely stand it but as many of you also probably know having a baby is not cheap, especially when you have to buy lots of formula and diapers.

Well, this can be particularly difficult around the holidays. I want to spend a bunch on my family and friends, even myself a little, but I just can’t.

And there’s no reason for me to feel guilty about that.

What I can do is spend my love on those I care about and remember the spiritual side of the holidays, particularly Solstice. It’s not about gifts, it really isn’t, and these little things you can do can help you feel the spirit without breaking your bank (which might already be empty like mine).

 

::Care and Cost Free Winter Solstice Activities::

 

Donate

When you’re exhausted but have just a bit of something to give, why not give where it really matters. Give money to something you support, or if you don’t have money but have time, volunteer at a shelter, soup kitchen, or charity over the holiday weekend. The Solstice is about remembering the light, so pay it forward and create a little light yourself.

Create a Holiday Play List

Music is always amazing, especially during the winter season. There aren’t as many Yule songs available but you can find some and you can even enjoy some secular Xmas favorites. Songs can even be a great meditation aid, plus you can sing with the intent of magick and create a little ritual right in that moment. Look up some ‘Yule songs’ or ‘Winter Solstice Music’, and see what you find. So curl up with your family, enjoy some cocoa or eggnog, and listen to songs that help you remember to feel the light return this Solstice.

Meditate

As the sun goes down on Solstice, think of the things you can leave behind. Think of this act as a metaphor for the past exiting. Meditate with the intent to leave what doesn’t serve you and welcome all the new joy to be had as the Sun returns. Get excited, motivated. This is a time of possibilities and a chance to make some powerful “beginning” magick.

You’ve made it through another year, another dark time of the wheel, and you’re stronger for it. Rejoice and reflect.

Tell Stories

Share stories of family, magick, love, and kindness. Look for stories of the Solstice, tales for children, and those myths we’ve come to love as adults. Tell the tale of the Oak King and the Holly King. Recite the traditions we have on Solstice. Find an Xmas favorite and change it to fit your own Goddess or Pagan tradition. You can even try it with A Christmas Carol or The Night Before Christmas. Pick the same stories each year, make it a tradition. You can also tell stories of the past year’s memories, good and bad, you can reflect as a family. You can tell of Solstices’ past.

And stories aren’t just in books. If you want, watch some of your favorites next the the fire or a glowing candle.

Enjoy the Lights

Take a drive with the fam and look at all the lovely decorations. Sit under your own tree or festive lights in the dark and watch the twinkling magick. Stare at the beautiful night sky outside in cozy blankets or from the warmth of your home.

 

Whatever you choose to do this Solstice, the most important thing is to remember what it is all about: Love, Light, Family, New Beginnings, and the Rebirth of the Sun.

 

Blessed Be!

Mabon and the Autumn Equinox

autumn equinox

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
of Shadows.

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
sustaining us.

But they must,
as so many do,
make their journey.

Falling golden
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,
their Death.

Through this cycle,
ever onward,
let our hearts
and spirit be strong.

Gifted sustenance
and fertility
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.
Reborn.
Renewed.
Rediscovered.

 

For more on this wonderful holiday, see my previous posts on the Autumn Equinox and Mabon.

Maiden to Mother Ceremony

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…

Magickal.

The Sky’s Celebration 

As I wake in the morning,

On this most auspicious day, 

The sky is bursting with raw energy and potential.

Gray clouds plump with rain,

Electric streaks of white crack

Them open and roar power at the peak.

A darkened, New Moon crosses

In front of the face of the Sun.

Eclipsed by the New.

The World is changing. 

I am changing.

What was once a Maiden,

Now a Mother.

Bless us powerful Sky.

Let the full range of your wonder 

Spill over today 

On this day of worshipped transition.

A Prayer to the Lunar Eclipse

new-moon-1

I had forgotten about you.

But you were always there.

Still,

a speck of something that never

went away.

Maybe I forgot

about you

because I was too afraid

to face the darkness that still lingered

behind my closed door.

You don’t serve me though.

You don’t make my days full

or wondrous.

And so,

upon this time

where the Moon’s bright face

is shadowed,

I ask for the strength

to let you go.

To move through

to a new place,

a wilder, freer place.

Even as the black falls across

the White Orb as full as can be,

the constant

guiding light of our Mother’s Nighttime Face

is ever there.

Bright One, Shadowed One

who asks that I look deep,

bless upon me

the Truth,

the Magick,

the Power.

I am ready to face you,

to see you for what you are,

to let you pass through

me.

Sweet Moon,

I heed your message.

I face the closet door,

and I see the Shadow,

and I am One Light

too strong to be diminished.

Blessed Be.

Celebrating Lammas/Lughnasadh in the Kitchen

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.

lammas lughnasadh ritual sabbat celebration altar

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!

lammas lughnasadh ritual sabbat celebration altar full

::Celebration Activities::

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.

Blessed Be.

New Moon Ritual January 27th, 2017

new moon ritual desert 2017 Chinese New Year magickHello!

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.

  1. Smudging– Have priestesses smudge in participants and have participants form a circle inside the temple and remain standing.
  2. Toning– use Mah to create sound vibrations. Repeat for 3 breaths.
  3. Call in Elements:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Call in Self:
    1. If small group, go around circle and we will repeat your name back after you say it three times.
    2. If large group, go around circle saying name once.
    3. Both end with in saying “Mother we are here,” in unison.
  6. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Release Elements:
    1. East- Spirits of East, powers of air. Thank you for your presence and blessings of knowledge, happiness, and renewal.  Blessed Be.
    2. South- Spirits of South, powers of fire. Thank you for your presence and blessings of courage, passion, and transformation.  Blessed Be.
    3. West- Spirits of West, powers of water. Thank you for your presence and blessings of peace, compassion, and balance.  Blessed Be.
    4. North- Spirits of North, powers of earth. Thank you for your presence and blessings of stability, abundance, and resilience.  Blessed Be.
    5. Above- Spirits of Cosmos, powers of above. Thank you for your presence and blessings of expansion, creativity, and hope.  Blessed Be.
    6. Below- Spirits of Silence, powers of below. Thank you for your presence and blessings of quiet, confidence, and beginnings.  Blessed Be.
    7. Within- Spirits of Enlightenment, powers of within. Thank you for your presence and blessings of acceptance, magick, and oneness.  Blessed Be.
  4. 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.
  5. Closing song and cackle

Empathy: More Than Just a Word

If we’re going to do these things and really help we must really work toward inner balance.

magick hands empathy Wicca pagan strength power
Empathy is Strength

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.

alchemy alchemize transmute empathy strength gift Wicca pagan magick magic
Project Change

~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.

~Get Physical~

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!

Samhain Altar and Celebration

night-sky-1111702_1920Most Blessed and Happy Samhain! Our Witches’ New Year is here!

As the Wheel of the Year begins again, so too do we have the joyous opportunity to take our harvest and make something magickal.

Now is also the time to honor our ancestors and be grateful for all the bounty they have wrought.

And as promised here is my Samhain altar and autumn images that I took.

altar-and-autumn-collage

And to help as all get connected with our ancestors on this most enchanting evening my Samhaim ritual. You can change this up however you like and it can work for a solitary practitioner.

Samhain 2016

Samhain, a Celtic-based holiday, is the festival where we honor the ancestors. Some traditions and groups really embrace this aspect of the holiday, while others do not. This will often depend on the strength of the group’s relationships with their ancestors. Some Wiccans and pagans revere their ancestors, honoring them each day, frequently communicating and receiving messages from them. Others may feel disconnected, and in a world when the ancient wisdom can be difficult to hear, it is even more difficult. But think on this. We all have loved ones who are now spirits, and this is the time to honor them.

For ritual, gather one candle for each person there, smaller candles work best. Also gather a bowl to place the candles in, where they will stand upright, or candle sticks for larger candles.

I often make an ancestor altar, as pictured above, and you can do the same. This process can be a ritual all in itself. It is sad and joyous to remember those we loved and look at their images decorating our altars. You can do this on your current altar or create a entirely separate one for this purpose. There should be room for the candles in addition to an offering. If you are doing this in a group, people can bring their own photos and place them on the altar as well. You can also use special items that were once theirs or which represent them. One large candle should also be atop the altar.

Once everyone has been given their candles, .address the idea of ancestors. Saying your own words or:
“On this eve of all evenings, when veil be thinned between the worlds, we honor those who have gone on before: our sacred ancestors.

Our ancestors shaped us and made us who we are. Physical ancestors, family going back who have now crossed over and spiritual ancestors, those to whom blood is not shared but are connected to us through love. Those who have shaped us through their example and actions. All have made us who we are and we honor our physical and spiritual ties to them.

Visualize your ancestors. The people in spirit you will honor and remain forever linked. They are here. They have always been here. For in the Otherworld there is no space, no time as we know it. The spirits are limited by neither. Think on your particular ancestors. Imagine them here, standing among us. See them clearly. Hold them in your hearts.

Beloved ancestors, we address you. Honored ones, holy ones, we know you are always with us. In some moments we can hear you speak to us. And even when we can’t, we know you are here. We call upon you and ask you to enter our circle. On this eve set aside just for you, we honor you. We remember you. Accept this offering in token of our love and respect.”

Now, light the large candle on the ancestor altar. Next, make your offering. A libation of water or wine, or an offering of flour or cornmeal is a good choice. Do what feels right. As you offer them, hold them up and imagine light pouring into it, filling it with positive energy.

Now direct those around you to do the following, saying whatever you wish or:
“One by one we’ll approach the altar. At your turn, think of your ancestors. Then, light your candle in their honor. Place it in the receptacle and leave it to burn. Speak to them. You can speak your words aloud or project them from your heart. They will know your message.”

If I’m in a group I typically go first so they know what to expect. Then I step to the side, moving clockwise, so that the others can go. Once everyone has gone and moved clockwise like I did, we should all be back in our original places.

Then, join hands and begin a chant. You can also dance if you wish. I like to say:

Beloved spirits! Loved ones who have passed unto the veil!

Those gone before but still with us! Connect to us now and forever!

Our soul lives many lifetimes and the bond of love always remains!

The veil does not dim your light but lets us feel your soft glow in times of need!

Beloved spirits! Loved ones who have passed unto the veil!

Those gone before but still with us! Connect to us now and forever!

Honored ancestors, we wish that our offerings please you. That you will keep us always in your hearts, as we keep you in ours. We will think of you always and honor our connections as the Wheel of the Year turns. Now at this time that we can feel you, see you, hear you the most, we honor you. We thank you for your contributions to our lives. Honored ancestors, may blessing be upon you! So mote it be!”

Then all repeat: “So mote it be!”

A Blessed Samhain to you all sisters and brothers and loved ones.

Blessed Be.