May Day & Beltane

bde5001b60f5b1d3a136f11e622ffaaf--vintage-fairies-beautiful-fairies *ding dong* HAPPY MAY DAY

I love these vintage May Day postcards I found on the interweb. Fairies dancing around a dandelion may pole. I would give credit if I knew who made them first. I am just old enough to remember making May Day baskets to hang on your neighbors door, ring the bell  and run away.

Making the May Day baskets was easy just a rolled tub of pretty paper all decorated. A paper handle. Find some flowers in your garden wrapped to keep them moist and bright. If you were really luck some bits of chocolate or other candies slipped in as well. You can even adult them up and add a small bottle of mead.

Having grown up above the 45th parallel May 1st has always felt more like the start of Spring than March. Even now after all these years of living below the 45th where spring weather does match the calendar I find it hard to think of Spring before May Day. These old ingrained habits die hard.

Today I shall be baking some fairy bread (think Beingnets or fry bread), enjoying the sunshine and new life exploding all around me. Tonight the fairies will dine on some treats.

May your Beltane bring you joy, green growing things and flowers.

Nettle

 

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Hestia

Bear with me, my friends. It has been a while sense I have done any writing. Still trying to settle in from another cross country move. I know the three of us need to get back into the habit of writing for our blog. I’m starting simple on how I start my morning.

Ritual(s) are important for humans, it’s something we crave and need to mark milestones in our lives, transitional times even daily activity. Rituals give a form to follow, comfort and familiarity with our magical and spiritual lives.

What are your daily? What is minimum you do each day to stay connected and working with your spiritual side, to honor your guides and god/esss

I know mine have helped me when settling into a new house or area to feel connected.
I start each morning by lighting our candle to Hestia, next to her are two salt candles I light one for the other god/ess hanging around the house that day. The second is to those unknown deities in the area that I don’t know or work with personally who are in the area. It’s a trick I learned in the desert after gaining the attention of a native spirit I just called “The old man”. It’s a peace offering saying didn’t know you were there sorry if I accidentally disturbed you. Then I light two sticks of incense, one for my ancestors of flesh and blood, the second for my ancestors of spirit and nature. The second goes outside in one of the flower pots.

I always try to share my last good drink of morning tea with Gaia.

I try to remember to honor Bast by keeping the cats litter box clean their food and water dishes full.

Lastly who hasn’t dedicated their garbage disposal to Hekate – I know almost sacrilegious but really who better to take what I don’t need and make into something useful to the world.

What are your daily rituals, the simple ones that you do to feel connected?

Namaste

Nettle

 

 

Imbolc in Review

On the night of the full moon – that amazing blood moon of January 31st – we hosted an Imbolc-ish ritual. Imbolc-ish because I and Coyvere are not Celtic or Wiccan we are Hellenic Greek. Greeks were not big on Imbolc. It’s hard to squash the Greek god/dess into the Celtic wheel of the year. Sure, I could wax poetic about how there are the archetype of deities found in each pantheon but sometimes you just gotta go Greek.

There is very little written about The Lesser and Greater Eleusinian Mysteries. The lesser took part in the spring tended to be about purification and rededication, the greater in the autumn about the harvest and the abduction of Persephone. The Eleusinian Cults were a secret cult (who doesn’t love a good secret cult?), probably really meaning women’s traditions passed from mother to daughter and not written down. The Golden Dawn and other patriarchal lodges have tried to tie these mysteries to their lodges, but I find that to be a stretch for an agrarian rural society focused on goddess worship. Digging into archaeological sites there is discussion about the city of Eleusis and the cult of Demeter, the Homeric Hymn of Demeter and Persephone and a few ruins but these articles are rather dry. The only way to discover the true spirit of the rituals and mysteries is to go to the source – The Goddess.

With a good bit of brainstorming and meditation Coyvere and I came up with our Ritual. We felt it was important to have three steps in this ritual: a conscious rededication to yourself and your goddess, a stripping or lifting of the mundane so you can see yourself as a magical being and a cleansing of the body, mind and soul/spirit. Our ritual would historically have involved snakes, hallucinogenic drinks and a bath or swim in the river Lethe. In this modern day it included a basket of plush snakes, fairy milk and a simulated river.

We started with casting our circle of protection. It’s lovely here this time of year in South Western Arizona, making outdoor rituals welcoming and letting us be bathe in the light of the full moon. Once we had our circle cast we gathered our participants and explained the symbolism and mechanics of the ritual. Those in the group who were more comfortable calling their own deities were invited to touch on their guides or patrons before we started. Our next step was to call our gods and goddess.

We started with Hades and Persephone. Imbolc H&P

After all we were making a trip down to the underworld and who better to have at your side then the King and Queen? We lighted a candle for each of the gods and goddess as we called them. Hades and Persephone acted as guides and guardians for the ritual. The next three deities we called as an Orphic triad – Hecate, Demeter and Dionysus. Hecate as the gate keeper of the underworld, Demeter as mother of Persephone and guardian of the mysteries and Dionysus as opener of the divine self. Dionysus is an interesting one to deal with. He is often only thought of in madness or drunkenness. He is in Demeter’s grief as she searches for Persephone when she falls into despairing madness. With the full moon Dionysus is most active. He, like many of the Greeks when you ask, will give you gifts freely – so be careful what you ask for. His lunacy/madness is often a gift allowing us to see deep within ourselves. Not to the shadow side but to the divine side who we are when we are at one with our divine self or daemon. Often the madness his followers experience is the opening of that self-divinity without preparation or protection from its truths.
The last candle we lit was for Lethe herself, Titaness and Goddess of the river Oblivion where mortals bathed to forget their old lives.Imbolc Trio

With candles lit and deities present we moved on to the next part of our ritual – the rededication of self to your god/dess or as it was known in the lesser Eleusinian mystery a test of faith. In times old – so the archaeologists tell us – a devotee would stick their hands into a basked of snakes as a reminder of their mortality and their faith in their goddess Demeter to watch over them. I’m not really a snake person, but I do have a surprise basket of stuffed snakes! It worked really well to have people stick their hand into a basked and pull forth a deadly snake.

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Once our faith had been tested it was time to drink. Ah the old alcohol debate – to have alcohol as part of a ritual or not? Especially one with Dionysus. He is after all the god of wine and madness. Traditionally they would have had an ergot-based drink made with barley and mint. A rotten grain beer, with mint hum…. Not a fan. Both choices made me nervous so we opted for warm almond milk with nutmeg, cloves and a touch of honey. Fairy milk as it’s sometimes called. Almond milk (well a kind of milk and a nod towards the Imbolc theme) because we have members in our group who can’t drink lactose. Nutmeg because it is a mild sedative and hallucinogen, cloves because they help to open the third eye and honey for a touch of sweet to set off all that bitter.

Faith tested, and our sight opened and enabled, we were ready to set into the river Lethe and bathe – washing away what we no longer need, cleaning ourselves of karmic residue we no longer required and stripping away of the human to see the divine within.
Right before the ritual, Coyvere and a few others took strips of blue crepe-paper and created a waterfall for us to walk thought. This gave both the illusion of a river as well as a physical “wall of water” to walk though, lettings us fully enjoy a swim in the river Lethe.

Imbolc Ritual
Holding on to Persephone’s energies I stayed in the river until everyone in our group had their chance to bathe. It is Persephone’s job to see that the souls once cleansed are sent off onto their next incarnation. By staying in the river, I could also watch people’s energies and help guide should someone feel overwhelmed or stuck in the river Lethe.
Everyone in our group made it safely back to the mundane world, much cleaner spiritually and karmically. We ended the night with light conversation and snacks.
While I can’t speak for what others experienced in the ritual or in the days following I can speak for myself. When you spend time in the Lethe you spend time really seeing the core of your being which can be intimidating and inspiring at the same time. It has been a rough couple of weeks emotionally and spiritually speaking. Those blinders I had against myself have been stripped away. There is no ignoring them – there is only going forward and upward into my spiritual path.

Scratch That Itch!

I am consumed with curiosity, and hope that our followers will help me out here.

How did you find this blog? What do you hope to learn from this? What are you curious about?

As you can tell, we tend to ramble on about whatever takes our fancy, or catches our attention, or is happening in our lives.  Sometimes things like the flu striking our families will keep us offline for weeks. Or we just don’t feel the need to write. Or we don’t know what to write about.

I thought, when we first got the order to begin this blog, that the deities were going to use it to speak to anyone who was following us. Ha! Just goes to show how wrong I am about that! Only occasionally do the deities seem to have anything to say.  I sure hope that things start moving again. I’m tired of the calm and quiet!

You fear it for a reason

A short while ago I wrote a post about writing what you fear. High on my list was the fae. I thought I’d see if anything had changed vis a vis me and them.

Took down the iron troll cross at my front door, and took down my fae specific wards. In a few days they found me and things began to happen.

At first it was innocuous – the black streaks that moved around the living area. Walking outside I was accompanied by something approximately knee high that had a metallic chirping noise – if it was trying to talk to me I couldn’t understand it, but I talked back. Then the faucet on the Britta turned on during the night and I got up to find the dish pan full and overflowing into the sink – thankfully it wasn’t turned onto the counter! Good joke – just letting you know they’re around – so far so good.

Then one morning I got up to find the water glass by the bed had been contaminated with something that looked like blood. I leave a full glass of water there in case I want a drink, but that night I slept right through. Good thing – I can’t imagine how icky it would have been to gulp that nauseating mess down! That fell into a whole different category from light hearted pranks. That was a warning and an attack.

A few days later I woke up feeling a little odd. That’s the first and usually only warning sign of being tampered with. Later that day I developed a tooth ache. It built over the course of a couple days into a raging pain that even an 800 mg Motrin couldn’t keep at bay for long. I couldn’t get in right away to see a dentist, either. One night the pain was so bad I couldn’t sleep so I stayed up asking Loki for some relief. The pain would diminish and then return as bad as ever.  Finally, around 0300, it occurred to me that I should ward myself. By 0330 the pain had subsided to the point I could go to bed and sleep.

When I got up that morning I immediately rehung the troll cross and reworked my wards, banishing all fae from my area. Over the next 2 days the toothache kept getting better, and today it is finally gone completely.  It’s funny but a psychic attack is generally the last thing we think of when something happens. From now on it’s going to be second, if not first, on my list.

I had asked Beth for a reading on the situation, which she wasn’t able to get to immediately because she, too, had a toothache! Hmmm! But when she did feel able to do a reading for me, and one on Freya as well, the cards were not propitious. Needless to say, I stopped offering to Freya and Freyr, removed everything with their energies from my abode, and added another layer of protections against the Aesir (excepting Loki), the Vanir, and the fae in general.  After that, I’ve had no further problems.

I had also asked my friend here on the blog for some insight, and she got a communique from Loki telling me that I had endangered not just myself but my husband (I was counting on Loki to keep him safe – lol) and that I can detail my wards to allow in only those I wanted in. Which I did. If anyone wants in they’ll have to contact Loki and he’ll contact me for a decision.  I took down the protections because I wanted to see if the relationship could be repaired, to experiment and learn. I discovered that Freya isn’t the fair and just goddess I thought she was, and that she is willing to help her allies without finding out the whole story. That was a disappointment.  So, the experiment was a success and I definitely learned something useful.

I’m going to make a charm for my husband, with two layers. One is an obfuscation spell, so that he isn’t noticed or remembered, and the other is a calming, non-aggression, and friendly feeling spell, ten foot radius. The obfuscation spell will automatically kick in as soon as he leaves a building while the other will be in effect all the time. I don’t mind putting myself into dangerous situations but I definitely don’t want my husband or our cat harmed because of it.

How about that! They really DO listen to us!

Now that the insanity that is the holidays is behind us, we can return to the questionable normal tenor of our lives – looking for jobs, homes, information, reasons, etc.

I took down the iron troll’s cross that hung by my front door, just to see what would happen. It  didn’t take more than a few days before I began to see the darting black shapes out of the corner of the eye, although my cat remains unperturbed. Could it merely be a symptom of the cataracts that now plague me? I should be so lucky!

Going outside one day I walked around my fiver accompanied by not just the cat but something that made a metallic chirping noise. It sounded to be about knee high and as insects don’t normally follow me around I ruled that out. The weather here has been brrr cold at night, and in the 40s during the day, and insects are few in the winter, so I think I can safely say it wasn’t a bug. The grass is dead and very short as well. Someone trying to talk to me? Perhaps, but I couldn’t make out what was being said.

On New Years Eve we managed to stay up – my husband watching tv and me reading a book, until it was officially 01 January. Cat got me up at 0 dark hundred thirtyish as usual, and I dragged myself into the kitchen area to let him out. Turning on the light, I noticed that the faucet for the Britta was running and the dish pan was overflowing into the sink. I shut it off, puzzled. Had my husband turned it on and forgot it? Not really likely, but we were tired when we went to bed. Thankfully it was over the dish pan and not pointed at the counter!!! I went back to bed, and when I got up that morning he greeted me with a question as to why I had filled the dish pan to the brim – and I explained. He didn’t turn it on – and you must physically push a lever up for it to work – and I didn’t either. It never did that before that occasion and hasn’t done it since.

I’m a slow learner.

It’s taken me this long to come to grips with the way TPTB teach lessons. I kept expecting formal classes, but that’s not how it works. Life itself is the classroom, and the classes appear to be informal and unannounced. They pounce on you from around corners that you never knew existed. And it’s usually not until later that I realize – if I realize at all – that I just got schooled. I’m stubborn and won’t listen, and insist that things should conform to what I think they should be, and so I progress at a snail’s pace. Sometimes, it’s a dead snail’s pace. I have learned to duck those cosmic 2x4s, though!

And I’ve recently had an example of how TPTB listen to what I’m saying when I make offerings or just mouth off/day dream.

We live in an rv – a fifth wheel to be precise – that we bought new in ’03, so it’s getting on in years. It’s not well insulated, and it is missing things we’ve come to yearn for in a fiver. Wayne wants a larger residential style refrigerator. I want a washer/dryer. I HATE having to go to a laundromat! Especially in the winter. There isn’t much storage space, either. And while our all-around fix-it guy has kept it in very good condition, we agree that it won’t last much longer, especially with the amount of miles we travel yearly. So the great rv search began!

Originally I concentrated on getting another fiver. We have a truck, although it too is old, but still valiantly serving as the reliable steed. Much like a Suffolk Punch, it gets us from Point A to Point B without fuss. And much like a Suffolk Punch, it’s hard for me to climb into the saddle, and I rappel out. But looking at the prices of Class A models it was obvious that we would have to either get a very old one or go into massive debt, and I’m not willing to do that. Fivers, not having motors and transmissions, are easily $100k cheaper. So I talked to TPTB and explained all that, not expecting an answer or even an acknowledgment from them.

Last Tuesday I had an appointment in town, and when I came out of it and started the truck the check engine oil light came on. It only comes on when the oil level is almost down to nothing, so I knew I had to add oil ASAP. Truck is very big and I can’t easily reach into it to add anything, and the oil was in the bed out of reach. Hoping that our fix-it guy was at his shop, I drove the couple of miles there, and luck was with me. Or so I thought it was luck at the time.  He took care of the oil problem, and then I noticed a Class A outside his shop. It is a thing of beauty – a Monaco Windsor diesel pusher easily 40ft long. He has to fix the awning and the owner has it up for sale, having already bought a replacement. He showed me around and while not perfect it has our wants covered. Big fridge? Check. Washer/dryer? Check. It’s the same age as our truck – an ’01 – but in great condition. Only 100k miles. We have 3 times that on the truck. And the owner is asking $38k. The fiver I had my heart set on is $46k.

We aren’t wealthy. Putting my Social Security check towards the monthly payment, it will take us close to 4 years to pay it off. I hate borrowing money. I hate being in debt. But we have to have somewhere to live, and be able to get from job to job, and this coach will work very well for us. I had no intention of stopping by the shop that day, and without the goad of the engine oil light I wouldn’t have done so. And wouldn’t have seen the coach.  So, thanks for listening, guys! And thanks for the help!

Cloves, they have secrets to tell

lemon 1I’ve been working most of the afternoon on a post for another blog/e-zine that I write for Spiral Tree on pomanders and clove fruit for the holiday season. My house, my kitchen was almost overwhelming with the smells of oranges, lemons, limes and cloves. Now those of you who know me, might be aware of the fact that I can be a bit ADHD at times… squirrel!! *()*)(* what’s for dinner, I need some tea, lets make 12 batches of cookies for the Yule ritual we have on Sunday and clean the house get out holiday cards,write a blog post, teach a yoga class… oh yeah what was I doing!?!?!? SQUIRREL get back here! @@

I tell ya it’s amazing I get anything done.

Hope often tells me my totem animal is a bedazzled squirrel. *sighs*

see… so off track right now…

Back to lemons, cloves and pomanders

I enjoy the smell of oranges and lemons and use the essential oils of both often as a mood lifter and stabilizer. I haven’t spent as much time working with cloves other than the usual in cooking, as a mouth wash/ rinse for a sore tooth and the essential oil as an antibacterial. I read once that cloves were a mental simulator but never paid it much mind. I had put cloves, in my mind, into the category of culinary herb and not that magical.

We all make mistakes

This afternoon as I was working on 101 things at the same time making clove oranges and lemons I got a reminder to be careful with who (or what) you play with.

I was up to my elbows creating pomanders and my mind was buzzing with ideas and thoughts. Racing really to the point where I felt frantic and overwhelmed and it continued to grow. I mentioned something to Coyvere who in his calm way said “maybe you should to meditate.”

“Meditate! HA!” I responded “There’s too much too do!” And I started listing everything that needed to be done RIGHT now.

He blinked calmly and said “Go meditate” the foolish man….

So I huffed myself off and tried to meditate. Gosh darn him if it didn’t work

Hecate, bless her heart (and I mean that with affection in a southern polite kind of way), had been trying to talk with me. She wanted to remind me that cloves are not just culinary they are magical. A stimulant. “Stop sniffing the cloves, you silly little witch.” That was the message and  I finally slowed down long enough to hear.

Cloves, lemons, moon, secrets long lost trapped in our memories. We are coming into the longest night. The night where women, especially those of us approaching our croning time, should should be celebrating in the dark. The dark, the night these are the precious times for women, when the moon shines bright letting us see glimpses of magical secrets long lost. I don’t know all the secrets of cloves and the moon, nor have I even scratched the surface of understanding this mystery before me. I do know that I’ll be spending some time this Solstice meditating on Nyx mother night and finding comfort in the dark not running towards the sun.

Enjoy the dark my friends

Nettle