I’m Back!

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Hey all!  Been trying to get back on here and start up writing and journaling again.  As some of you who know me personally, it’s been one hell of a time since the end of February! A little background here – at the beginning of February, everything was going along fine.  I attended a beautiful Imbolc ritual sponsored by the Church of the Spiral Tree (CST) with my Kindred out on the land in Roxanna, AL.  It was a ritual having us to look back upon where we’d been, where we’d like to be, and what would be needed to be done in order to achieve those goals.  I thought I had everything planned out –  a healthy pregnancy, picture perfect delivery, managing my time, and starting back going to school in the Fall.  I was going to do everything “right” this time around; to do and have things that I had wanted to have and have done during my previous 2 pregnancies that I had wished for.  I was busy planning, shopping and “nesting”, interviewing doulas, setting up birthing altar…I was so proud of myself!  I was making things happen and even standing up for myself and fulfilling my needs against what my husband thought was “best for me” (which is very hard being codependent and married to someone who I believe has a Narcissistic Personality Disorder).  But, I guess the Universe had other plans for me…

Later that month, on February 28, I went to Labor & Delivery at my hospital because I had felt decreased fetal movements the previous night and none that I could feel that morning.  After being monitored all day, a decision was made that evening to deliver my baby at 31 weeks via emergency Caesarean section and was immediately transferred to the NICU at another hospital.  The whole experience brought me to Hel and back if you will – the hardest and most difficult Descent that I’ve ever had to go through in my life, bringing me to where I am today; so please be patient and bear with me… 🙂

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Cailleach Went Down to Georgia

On January 28, 2014, Cailleach made a special appearance in Georgia.  Apparently the last time a “storm” of this magnitude hit Georgia was back around January 9, 2011 and happens roughly every 4 years or so – so we were especially lucky to be here when it hit, LOL!  Now, me, being from Central New York, just kind of watched all the madness and craziness unfold and thought to myself, “Really?”

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But to be fair, they’re not prepared for this sort of weather and don’t have the fleet of plows and stock piles of salt that we take for granted in the North.

 

Here are some photos from Cailleach’s visit:

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Backyard on Jan. 28, 2014 at about 5PM

 

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Down the street at about 9PM later that night

Neighbors were out playing in the snow, attempting to sled and creep around the streets – amazed and in awe at the natural and wonderful gifts Cailleach had dropped on us.  The kids and I could barely wait to go out the next day and play in the powdery Winter Wonderland – remembering our times back in Upstate New York the previous year.  That night I left offerings of fruit muffins out for Cailleach and the Nature Spirits and Land Wights who I’m sure were a little confused…

Offering to Cailleach

Offering to Cailleach – taken Jan. 29, 2014

 

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Offering for the Nature Spirits that seemed to have been accepted 😉 – Jan. 29, 2014

 

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A little piece of wildness outside our house with a natural altar I’m contemplating utilizing as Sacred Space…. – Jan. 29, 2014

Now, this feels more like Imbolc!

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Jan. 29, 2014

We enjoyed the snow while it lasted for about a whole 2 days….soon, it will begin to feel like Ostara again…

2014 – Year of the Horse

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Ha!  So, speaking of the Horse – come to find out, 2014 is the year of the Horse in the Chinese zodiac!  Here is a great little read from http://www.cycleharmony.com entitled, “7 Goddess Powers to Jump Start 2014” by Jing J.

“It’s the beginning of a new year – 2014, the year of horse. In religion, mythology and literature, horse represents our inner strength and driving force in life. It also symbolizes our ability to overcome obstacles in life and pursue our goals no matter what may stand on our way.

It’s time to let go of self-defeating thoughts, shed off self-limiting beliefs, and remove barriers to positive changes.

It’s time to uncover who we truly are, express our creativity and authenticity, and unleash our goddess powers from within.

It’s time to stay centered and grounded, and walk confidently in the direction of our dreams.

It’s time to deepen the relationship with ourselves and the relationships with one another – to expand our global community of Cycle Harmony sisterhood!

Because we’re goddesses who can no longer be denied – by ourselves, or by others.

Here are the 7 super powers we all have as goddesses!

The power to love

It’s time to love others for sure. But it’s time to love ourselves even more. When the light of self-love shines on the goddess, she smiles, blossoms, and warms up everything and everyone around her.

Someone once said, when a man changes, he changes himself. When a woman changes, she changes a family and an entire nation. So love yourself. Because when you do, you’re doing it not only for yourself, but for everyone within your sphere of influence.

The power to enjoy

When the goddess plays and has a good time, everything falls into place, easily and effortlessly. When things get too hard, it’s a reminder to take a break, play a little and have some fun. The power of the goddess allows things to flow and take their course – with ease and grace.

The power to express

One of the goddess’ great powers is to know herself, to express herself authentically and unapologetically. And when she does, people rise up to meet her – and to honor her.

The power to create

The goddess has great powers to create – whether it’s a new life, a painting, a book, or a business. She is a magician who brings to life what she sees in her mind’s eye, and she manifests the glorious life she has imagined in her mind.

The power to heal

The goddess is a natural born healer. She knows that whatever pain or illness she’s experiencing, she can heal herself by calling upon her magnificent body and powerful mind.

The power to connect

The goddess knows that she is connected with the divine – the infinite, the ageless, and the unlimited. So she gives herself time and space to meditate and rest in the stillness, silence and spaciousness. Her connection with the divine and with herself enables her to connect with everything and everyone around her.

The power to give back

The goddess loves to share, to give back and to help others. She knows that when she helps others, she inevitably helps herself, since we’re all connected and we’re all part of one big family.

Which of the goddess’ powers would you like to cultivate and strengthen in 2014? Please come and join our community of goddesses. We are all on paths to uncover and unleash our own magnificent powers – and to support one another on our journeys…”

Retrieved from http://www.cycleharmony.com/menstrual-myths-and-rituals/7-goddess-powers-to-jump-start-2013

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Or, if Unicorns are more your style, celebrate the year of the Unicorn!  MYTH Masque says: “This is a time of creative renewal, of wild inspiration and visionary aspirations…a time to tailor your reality to your own grand design. If you are a Dreamer and a Do-er, an Artist and a Myth-maker, this is the year your Legend comes to light. Of course, seeing such things to fruition cannot happen without an incredible amount of dedication and hard work–but know, now more than ever…it is possible.”

Ostara in Alabama

So yes, this is EXTREMELY late – but I really wanted to write about this before the next High Day comes, which is in about 3 or 4 days…

Artwork by Thorskegga Thorn

Artwork by Thorskegga Thorn

I was fortunate enough to be able to celebrate Ostara this year with the Nine Worlds Kindred in Auburn, AL.  I had been very interested in attending their Seekers Class and when I found out that they were hosting a Freyja blot & Disrblot for Ostara, I prayed to Freyja that there would be an opportunity for me to go – meaning that my husband would be home in time to watch the kiddies so I could go as his hours have been CrAzY!!  Alas, the Shining Ones allowed me the opportunity and I was on my way with a freshly baked loaf of bread that I had inscribe with the runes Ehwaz, Berkana, and Fehu – all runes I associate with Freyja and a bouquet of flowers to offer to Her.

The class went really well and I wished to continue as it opens door and explores different types of magic that I’m not all that familiar with, Hermetic and Ceremonial Magic that has always kind of intimidated me; but – good to know nonetheless.  I believe that it’s good to learn about all different Paths so you can become familiar with them and not “fear” them and may even incorporate them into your own practice.

The blot to follow was lovely.  In fact, parts of it were very familiar, having some similar elements to those found within an ADF style ritual: kindling a sacred fire and making offerings; pouring of water and offerings for the sacred water and honoring the sacred tree; referencing and acknowledging the land, sea and sky; and acknowledging and giving offerings to the outdwellers.  We bid hail to the Gods, the Disr and of course Freyja – the Goddess of the occasion.  A horn of mead was passed around as we hailed the Disr or a family ancestor followed by sacrifices and offerings being presented to Freyja.

During the ritual, I was provided the opportunity to sit in a seer session that was quite fascinating.  After such time, thanks was given to the Gods and Goddesses, the Disr, Earth Spirits and Ancestors and the gates were closed.

I was incredibly thankful for the opportunity that Freyja had opened for me.  It felt good, the people were awesome and I hope that some how, someway, I will be able to continue on with classes and activities with the Nine Worlds Kindred.

Reflections During the Dark Moon

So, I’ve been meaning to sit down and write a little bit this past two weeks since the last Full Moon, but things picked up and got really busy (and rightfully so – ’tis the season with spring right around the corner and work to be done to prepare for the coming year!).  I’ve started back taking 2 online college courses and we’ve started growing vegetables, essentially turning our dining room into a greenhouse, LoL!   More on that I think in a later post – but here’s a sneak peak…

Lots and lots of veggies!

Lots and lots of veggies!

So I figured – what better way to spend the Dark Moon than reflecting on the happenings and workings since the last Full Moon in preparation for the New Moon?  Like I said, a lot of good stuff set into motion since the last Full Moon.  If you recall in my post in Journeying to the Goddess on this year’s Snow Moon, I stated that “NOW is the time to cleanse and re-balance before the Full Moon in Virgo on February 25th.”  Yeah, I made sure I did just that.  I felt that it was imperative if I was really serious about healing issues deeply imbedded in my Shadow self that have been affecting me pretty much my whole life and moving forward with a healthy and positive outlook on life and with current relationships, and future relationships for that matter.

It all started out with a message received through Witchvox (YES!  Witchvox strikes again! 🙂 ).  I was invited out to a “Brewing Pot” meeting (kind of like a Pagan Night Out/meet and greet/discussion group with open and like minded people) in mid-February at the Celestial Azul Healing & Wellness Center in Columbus, GA.  I met some really fascinating people and was inspired by the lady who hosted the Brewing Pot’s information and advice about February’s full moon.  I called her the next day to schedule a Chakra Balancing session on Sunday, the only day I could do – which turned out that Sundays were the only days that she did the Energy Balancings – cool!

After a half hour session of energy balancing, talking and some wonderful advice on how to proceed with the healing process that involved candle work, I felt nervous, anxious, kind of spiritually high; yet strangely calm and satisfied knowing that I had taken a real first step in preparing to work with and fully utilize the energies of the upcoming Full Moon.  A few days later, I was back at Celestial Azul Healing & Wellness Center for a really neat Full Moon ritual.  Then, the next day it was off to a local International Caribbean market to pick up some suggested novena candles for some much needed spellwork.  I’ve always liked using candles in spellwork – in fact, my main medium when I actually do any spellwork is candle magic; but I’ve never worked with novena candles or any type of rootwork for that matter.  The magic is pretty amazing and I can honestly say pretty powerful.

Novena candles

Different types of novena candles

Here are some videos that I found helpful in preparing for and working with novena candles:

Love spell 7-day Candle by AnthosArtifex

How to dress a novena style/7 day candle by Oseaana December

How to fix or dress a 7 day candle by Krazyboytx

If you do any type of candle magic, seriously do some research and check into this to see if there’s anything that resonates with you or that you feel may improve your spellwork.

Brighid Is In the Details – Part 2

"Spirit of the Woods" by ~ArwensGrace

“Spirit of the Woods” by ~ArwensGrace

“You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need.” ~ Jerry Gillies

This year started out as most of you know with a big move from New York to Georgia.  We were blessed with a speedy move, immediate availability of housing and our household goods delivered for the most part intact.  But, I was still feeling kind of down and out and empty (see “New Beginnings“).  By the time the Full Moon had rolled around this year on January 26, I was starting to pick back up a bit and feeling hopeful.  I conducted a simple yet very personal and powerful Full Moon Ritual, visualizing all the yuck and muck being transformed into positive energy, peace and Divine love.  I made some very personal offerings to the Goddess, thanking Her for the life and blessings She gives us in the hopes of developing an even more serious and intimate relationship and devotion to Her and hoping that She’d open up some opportunities for me as I continue down this path in a new place.  One of the wonderful people who follows my blog told me, “Do not fear the empty feeling. Just be with it. It’s there to hold your new beginning.”  Words of wisdom my friend, and you have no idea how right you were…

Around mid-January, my friend Carol shared a link with me to a Dianic tradition of Druidry, The Apple Branch (we both have some Dianic tendencies, so obviously she knew I’d find this very interesting) founded by Deanne Quarrie (who I’ve reblogged a few times from Feminism and Religion).  She started down that path and a few weeks later, and after some serious consideration and emailing Deanne back and forth describing my interest in Druidry, shamanism, runes, the role of the seiðr and my questions (especially pertaining to their Guardian Program), I too decided to take the plunge and on February 1, I was officially welcomed into The Apple Branch 🙂

So, here we are – at Imbolc.  Looking back and reflecting upon where my path started out 9 years ago and where I am right now (obviously 9 being a very sacred number), I really wanted to put a lot of energy into honoring Brighid and thanking Her this year for the blessings that I’ve received thus far.  I started out by cleaning the house up, preparing a bed (which I’ve never done before believe it or not), making sure I had a lit candle (well, an LED candle) in the window, and hung my “Brighid’s Mantle” on a bush outside overnight for Her to bless and be used for healing if needed in the year to come.  It was also my Flamekeeping shift for Her, so it was extra special.

"A candle invites you into my house this night.  Enter in and be welcome in this place."

A candle invites You into my house this night. Enter in and be welcome in this place.

I had read that it was sometimes customary to have a wooden wand with an acorn or pinecone attached at the tip to represent the God so She wouldn’t get lonely (sounds a bit Wiccan to me, but hey – why not?  Who doesn’t like a good cuddle?).  Because the bed was small to begin with and I didn’t have a wooden wand handy, I opted for going out back and found a pinecone from one of the pine trees in our backyard instead.

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A bed is made for You to rest Your head.

Offerings of milk, bread and honey were left on Her altar.  Offerings of sage and lavender were also burned as offering to Her.  And yes, She was there 🙂

Bestow upon us Your gifts of peace and light.

Bestow upon us Your gifts of peace and light.

For Brighid’s Mantle, I used a layered silk wrap skirt I had purchased in TX about 5 years back.  This totally reminds me of Her – She is a multi-layered Goddess with both fiery and fertile aspects – bringing the spring and making the land green as She roams.

Brighid's Mantle

Brighid’s Mantle

Now, just a little FYI: Imbolc is a what is considered a Greater Sabbat or “cross-quarter” day.  “According to the late and great astrological philosopher Dane Rudhyar, the cross-quarters are points of greatest momentum and release of power…”  Bearing this in mind, astrological Imbolc occurred on February 3 this year when the Sun was at 15 degrees of Aquarius.  On a very interesting site, “Aepril’s Astrology” she wrote a piece entitled “Prophesy and Purification. Imbolc 2013, in which she states, “…My dear friend Laura says that Imbolc is not the fire itself necessarily, but the moment the match is struck.  It is lightning.” (Please pop over there and read the entire piece – it’s illuminating!!!)

Many “matches” and surprises awaited me on Imbolc this year.  I made a three hour drive out to Hallowed Oaks Grove, ADF  in Birmingham, AL.  I was running late, but as I crossed the state line, I saw that they were in a different time zone, one hour behind – thank the Shining Ones!  There, I was met with warmth and Southern Hospitality at its finest.  Brenda Lively (aka Pixie), the Senior Druid and her husband Dave graciously opened up and welcomed us into their home for a lovely ADF ritual that I actually got to actively participate in.  One of the people who was supposed to honor the Earth Mother wasn’t able to make it and I was asked to take their part and honor the Earth Mother which of course I said yes to (this is where the help from Grey and my experience with the Northern Druidic Study Group came in real handy!).  As Brenda stated in the pre-ritual brief, the ADF has a Core Order of Ritual, which makes it easy for others to know what’s going on and step in to take a part if needs be.  The ritual was so familiar, reminding me of the rituals at Muin Mound Grove, ADF and with the Northern Rivers Protogrove, ADF back in NY.  A most delicious feast was to follow along with great conversations, some history lessons and the making of new friends.

To make it even more interesting, I met a wonderful and profound woman, Angela Farmer (aka Ehsha Apple) who come to find out later on in conversation was the original author of “The Bad Witch Files” and now writes on “EhshaApple“.  “The Bad Witch…” I thought to myself…I know that blog…”I’ve heard of your blog,” I told her.  In fact, I had been following it…for awhile.  You see, what makes it so interesting is that back in August, she had actually nominated my blog, Journeying to the Goddess, for a Sunshine Award and that’s when I started following hers.  When I got home, I just wanted to confirm and make sure that it was the same blog I was thinking of and shut the front door! It was!  Was Brighid in the details on this one too? I couldn’t have put it better myself when Ehsha said, “I love when the universe says: ‘And *NOW* you will meet!’”  To top it off, Ehsha is also an ordained Pagan minister and High Priestess at the Celestial Earth Grove in Auburn, AL.  She has a vast amount of knowledge as a teacher and on the subjects of the seiðr, the Völva, and Teutonic Shamanism…many of the things I’ve been feeling called to since earlier in December (see “Exploration of the Norse Pantheon“)…how wyrd is that? 😉  AND…her Grove is only about 30 miles away…totally within driving distance…

Did I just hear thunder and see sparks flying?  Brighid, is that You?

The Start of a New Journey!

So, FINALLY…I’ve settled on a name for the new blog that I’ve been wanting to start for awhile, “Journeys of a Nomadic Pagan”, and will be writing about my journeys, experiences, little adventures and thoughts as just that – a nomadic Pagan, physically (as most of you know, we are a military family and have been on the move quite a bit) and spiritually.  I will be moving and/or re-blogging some of my older stuff onto this new page from my “Journeying to the Goddess” blog as I see fit.  I look forward to another new adventure with an open heart and open mind.  I will be working in and writing about some of my other past experiences at previous locations and duty stations as well.  I hope that you too will enjoy the journey and perhaps will find my experiences relatable or even inspiring and relevant to your Path or Journey…Goddess bless!