Blurb

Thoughts, lessons, and theology from an eclectic witch from a varied background.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Full Moon Rite: Full Corn Moon/Full Barley Moon

First, I must apologize for this post being a week late. Things have been quite busy with the start of school and I simply have not had the time to get this finished by the last full moon (Sept. 6, 2017). This rite is one that could be used for pretty much any full moon during the harvest season. What I am presenting here is a fairly generic ritual that can be applied with minimal modification for other deities and faith practices that fall outside of the cultural norm of the USA (mostly Christian).

Like most of the other rituals and spells I present, I use a lay out that is similar to a recipe. Spells have a more focused 'ingredient' list and the steps taken are going to be different but the methodology is actually pretty close to the same for these. It is because I believe the more consistency we have in our magical and spiritual lives, the much easier it becomes to access this part of our lives at any given point in time.

For this ritual, it is best if it can be performed outdoors to take advantage of the last of the warm season's weather. Inclement weather will always demand safety of the participants (and comfort can be a big part of safety so don't count that out). If you are doing your rite indoors because it is cold and rainy, this is not a problem. (And may actually be an excellent time to acquire some rainwater for future ritual and spellcraft use.) The ritual has a central space for focus, this is the altar space. It can be a table dedicated for this use specifically. It can also be as simple as a coffee table in the living room. A cloth that evokes autumnal qualities is pleasant, but not vital. The rite can be performed with out an altar cloth of any sort or a table. As long as the altar space is visually designated as separate from the rest of the ritual space, that is all you really need here.

Candles are popular. In some cases, the old fashioned flame burning candles are not a good choice. I have found equal success with electric candles as I have with wax. (I do my best to use rechargable batteries with my electric candles to minimize the environmental impact of disposing of batteries. If I must throw my batteries away, I collect them in a safe container and then bring them to places where they are disposed of properly. If you ask your local electronics store or automotive store, they can usually tell you where they are collected for disposal.) At least one candle is dedicated to the deity(s) you are invoking.

In addition to candles on the altar, ritual tools for cleansing and purification are there. As are offerings and some manner of nourishment to be shared with the deity(s) and participants in the ritual. Breaking bread together has long been a blessed sacrament in countless faiths into antiquity as it is an expression of trust and community. If you can not make your own food stuffs for this rite, don't be troubled. Store bought is just as good (as a certain famous chef has said).

The Pre-Ritual Rites

Prior to this ritual, please make sure that the area is clean and easy to move through. This helps the ritual to proceed easily.

With the altar space clean and ready, place all tools, candles, icons, and food stuffs for the feasting portion of the rite. With the first tool for cleansing the space (I prefer to use incense of a floral nature with pine resin added in.), walk the perimeter of your ritual space. (If you are working in an established, permanent ritual space, the cleansing of the space via spirit is not a necessary step, though it may assist you in entering proper ritual mind set.) As you walk the perimeter, declare the intention that the space be cleansed of harmful and contrary energy to your goals. The first pass around the ritual area complete, place the first tool of cleansing on the altar and then repeat the process with the second tool (I asperge the space with blessed salt water.).

Ritual space established, if a candle is being used to signify the presence of spiritual allies, guardians, and guests, light said candle at this time. As you do so, make your invocation of these beings, making your invitation as specific as possible. This is an excellent time to request your spiritual allies and guardians to ward the ritual space and participant(s) from harm by way of malevolent and contrary spiritual beings that seek to disrupt or otherwise influence the ritual.

Invitations made to those upon the spiritual realms that you desire to have present or witness your ritual, it is now time to invoke your household and personal deities. (In my case, I would be requesting the presence of Ingvi-Freyr; Anna, the Priestess of the World; Mother Marya; and Deam Mysterium.) At the time of requesting the presence of the deities, it is good to state what the purpose of your ritual is and ask their blessing upon it.

The Ritual

The Full Moon rites of Wicca, and related faith traditions, are generally ones of thanksgiving when they are not focused upon magical work. The ritual I present to you today is based in the Wiccan ritual format, as this is how I was trained initially in ritual practices. The Full Corn Moon / Full Barley Moon is the harvest celebration that is closest to the Autumnal Equinox and when the harvest celebration of Mabon (one of the major celebrations of Wicca and related faiths) happens.

[...]

Alright folks, I need some help here.

I'm looking this post over and I feel like I am just going on and on. I'm going to take another swing at this, but before I do, I would love some feedback.

Where do you think the strengths of this style of post are? What do you feel is missing? (Other than the other half of how to do this ritual.) I don't want to be boring you. I worry that this post's high level of verbage is taking away from the really purpose and goals of this post - to be informative and making knowledge accessible to pretty much anyone.

So, please, take a look at this draft. I've been trying to fix it because I have the distinct feeling something is wrong with it. I just can't place what it could be.

Please post your comments, suggestions, and recommendations in the comments below. Thank you so much for your time and your help. I want to make this the best little blog I can. I need a bit of help to do so.

Pagan Parenting: Shrines for Kids.

My eldest has taken a shine to Zeus. He's fascinated by him. He offers prayers up to him in his own unique way. On the whole, he is in the process of becoming a very affectionate devotee. As such, I wanted him to have his own special little bit of altar like space for his devotions. At the same time, I needed something his brother couldn't exactly destroy.

This is where I returned to the concept of jar shrines. Jar shrines are essentially a shrine inside a jar. There may be a permanent offering inside it, like the one I saw for Freyja that had rose buds inside it. Or offerings may go near the jar. In some cases, I have even seen them made so that the offerings could go on top of the jar. In the case of the one I made for my son, I made a peg doll based statuette of Zeus. I then set it on top of a bit of cork that I colored green (to look like Mt. Olympus) and then put white sand (for clouds) around it. This was in the lid of an old olives jar (that had been cleaned and waiting for a use, amusingly they were kalamata olives) and everything has been glued together with Gorilla Glue. Then, I ran a bit of Gorilla Glue around the edge of the jar before screwing them together.



The jar set up acts like a bell jar, keeping the icon safe. I'm going to be giving him this as a gift for the Equinox. I am also in the process of setting up something that he can use to help keep track of his prayers. A bit more friendly version of a kid's prayer journal that I started doing with them back a few months ago. (We didn't get very far with this prayer journal stuff because life happened and I was having a hard time keeping on top of my own stuff.)


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Commentary: Fasting from Media

It has been a difficult few weeks. I am not sure if the difficulty is because I have a cold that is throwing everything off or if I am just drained by the pure horror of what has been happening in the world. At one point, as I was in the process of reading everything I could about Filianism and Déanism, I encountered the idea of limiting how much media you consumed. Previously, this was an exercise that I did halfheartedly as part of my run through The Artist's Way (from Julia Cameron, ISBN 1585421464). At that time, it was an exercise to help recover my artistic voice by way of filtering out extraneous input.

As the news turned more dire over the last several months, I found it increasingly distressing. As Facebook posts did so as well, I became deeply worried about almost everything. As a person with anxiety problems, even medicated properly, this is not good for me. It has lead to my somewhat conspicuous absence from internet activity. One would think that placing such strict limits on my internet activity would be problematic. After all, it is my primary mode of interaction over the last year outside of my household and a few close friends. Instead, I found myself finding peace. Spending an hour at most online turned my days into spending two hours writing in my journal and more time building things with the kids. (They are very mechanically inclined, it seems, and love building things that have moving parts from random junk. It has been interesting.)

I finally saw the wisdom of that fast from media and careful monitoring of what I was reading. When you are living a life that has your resources limited, you must be careful where you employ them. It is a massive act of self care and healthy life to respect your limits. It is also an act of faith that all shall be well as you take care of yourself and leave the rest in the hands of the Divine.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Update.

Hi folks,

Did I mention that my kids went back to school last week? I thought it was going to mean things were going to calm down around here. That was silly of me. I completely forgot about things like the week full of appointments, paperwork for school stuff (my eldest is trying out school band, drums specifically, and there are forms to go with this), and the huge pile of housework that I need to catch up on.

As a result, the post that I started this time last week is about 85% finished (a ritual for the Full Corn/Barley moon that was last Wednesday) and the post that I started about two weeks ago is just out of research and outline. I should have a rough draft of that one finished Thursday. Editing will go quickly, I expect, and I will have something up Thursday evening, of the gods will it. I have a pile of notes and ideas that I have been slowly accumulating over the last little while. I am working my way through them to get together appropriate material for you all.

There is also going to be some rather small format changes coming up. Indeed, you may notice some of them as I make them over the next several days. I have been reading and studying how others engage in blogging. I may not have had the spoons to be writing much on here, but I have been making a point of learning how to improve this blog of mine.

Some of this is going to be involving more formal research and what not. I really feel that my previous posts did a poor job of presenting information and showing you my take on things. Thus, I have been doing things like if I was writing a paper for a college class. It is mildly alarming just how much stuff I was letting slip by. If you see some posts that link back to previous ones, there may be a good chance that I am presenting material that I completely failed to do before that was actually pretty important.

I thank you for your patience with me in all of this. And I am excited to share with you all of the new and lovely things I have been learning.

May the Autumn be blessed for you who live in the Northern Hemisphere and the Spring be doubly so for you who live in the Southern Hemisphere.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Thursday stuff.

Hi folks,

I'm not back to doing videos just yet. I'm still eyeballs deep in other things as well as handling school resuming. I figured it had been a little while since I posted stuff. I am considering making a little, very poorly drawn comic. Here's the first attempt. The figure with the red hair sticking up is Loki. The figure with the brown hair is myself.

It depicts a literal exchange between him and I. It actually happened a few hours ago. I was at the table doing stuff. I looked down and saw my sneaker was untied. I sat up and hit my head. At which point this happened. Because nothing says love like terrible puns.


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Divination Notes: Rune Fehu.

Fehu is a powerful rune, like Ansuz. I skipped out of the alphabetic order I was planning to highlight
this rune that looks visually similar to Ansuz. It is commonly the first letter of the runic alphabets. It is among the runes associated with Freyr. It is the rune of mobile wealth, commonly considered to be cattle or sheep in antiquity. It is the glyph associated with the letter 'F' and is argued to be derived from the Etruscian letter that looks the same as Fehu but the branching lines are reversed along the vertical axis.

Interestingly, Fehu is associated with three rune poems that has an unexpected division in how they assess the rune. The Norwegian and Icelandic rune poems speak of wealth as a source of conflict between kin. The Anglo-Saxon rune poem speaks of wealth as a comfort to all people that should be shared equitably to attain favor with 'the Lord'. Some may argue that the Anglo-Saxon rune poem is speaking of the Christian deity and others argue that it is speaking of Freyr, whose name is translated as 'Lord'. In either case, it speaks of wealth as a boon rather than bane.

In divination, Fehu is generally considered a positive rune. It is one that, when direct, speaks of prosperity and matters of finances in generally favorable conditions. When reversed, however, it speaks of a loss of prosperity and financial challenges. It is separate from the related rune, Othala that speaks of inheritance. Fehu is often used as a shorthand notation regarding finances in spell craft by many modern practitioners.

There is not much evidence that I can find as to how Fehu may have been used in ancient rune magic. It is possible that it was used, but I am confident that it was not in the fashion that modern practitioners do.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Divination: Reading Tarot Example.

I realized in my process of presenting information about tarot reading, I didn't give any examples. So, here is an example of a three card spread that I did for myself.

I realized in my process of presenting information about tarot reading, I didn't give any examples. So, here is an example of a three card spread that I did for myself. This is a spread that is like my usual three card with the card at the extreme left as the past card, the center card as the present, and the card at the extreme right as the future. There is one small difference here, however, which is this spread is being used as a form of spirit communication with the deceased. As I shuffled the cards, I asked the spirit of Stargazer what she felt I needed to know right now.

This was her answer. (A side note, this is the same style of deck that she had and I had admired it greatly. After she passed on, I missed her greatly. Then Beloved was moved to buy this precise deck, unaware that this was the precise deck that Stargazer traded so many readings with me. It was an unexpected touchstone from two individuals that I love deeply.)

Deck: Deviant Moon Tarot by Patrick Valenza
The first card is the Magician. It isn't that clear in this picture, but he has multiple arms. This is something I haven't seen in any other deck. He is literally doing ALL THE THINGS. This is a card that speaks of not merely having ability but mastery and skill. In this reading, the card tells me that I have the abilities that I have been doubting in myself.

The second card is Judgment. It is usually a card indicating a matter of justice or something karmic. Here is the deal, though, with myself and this card. It always indicates something is going on that involves my true self. Here, I'm being reminded to trust in myself and who/what I am.

The third card is the World. This is a card of great success. It is a message that all things shall be well and I can achieve what I am trying to do. There's other layers to this meaning, but they're much more personal.

But, here's an example of a three card tarot reading for you. :)