Sunday, May 23, 2010

Ritual of Celebration

On Monday the 10th the Neo-Pagan Alliance met for our last celebration for the school year. We have had a successful first semester as a club. I feel so blessed that I have met new peers that I can practic with and grow with. Just the other day Caitlin and I made mojo bags. An idea I first heard about on Mrs. B's blog. That is another post to come.
Anyway, when we decided to do the ritual we talked about it being a celebratory ritual, but it ended up being that plus a little of a end of the school year closure.
I was in charge of the invocation of the goddesss and Mark came up with the idea of drumming and setting intentions for the next school year. Also, he thought it would be a good idea to write down some negative things from the year we would like to be release from out life and then burn those. And to balance that out, we also had to write down as many (if not more) good things about the year. I agreed with Mark and thought that this definitely was a good idea. We decided that if you wanted to wirte down and burn the good things you could as well and if you also wanted to set an intention on the paper you could.
The best part for me was writing the invocation. I honestly had never written an invocation before and was really nervous about it. One of my major struggles on my path is believing that I know what to do. Being a Catholic was easy. I just had to recite the prayers, kneel when others did, and go take the wafer. With Wicca, there isn't any rules. Well, I mean restrictions on what and why I do something. Harm none and it seems like the goddess will guide you.
When starting the process of writing I needed a goddess that fit the ritual. So I went to my favorite website of The Order of Our Lady of Salt to find a goddess. And as I was looking through the goddesses I saw one that instantly caught my eye. Nortia jumped out at me as I was researching goddesses and had to read into her further, She is a an Etruscan triple goddess and is thought to be one of the main goddesses of the ancients. She had a temple at one of the huge cities at the time and people came from all around to visit her temple. At her temple followers hammered nails into the wooden door frame for her to fix their lives and bring good fortune in the coming year.
For our ritual, the year we were asking Nortia to bless and fix was the academic year ( didn't want to end the real year earlier than necessary as Madrone put it). The writing of the invocation was actually a really nice process. I learned a lot about me and about working with a goddess. I am very glad that when I called Madrone to tell her that I wanted her to look over it, she told me to not worry and that it would be fine. I knew she would say something like that, but I still had to call her.
The day of the ritual came and I was so excited to meet and get merry. We made it a potluck so we could ground, have some good conversation and then head into ritual. The day was nice and it was a little windy but we were waiting for the sun to go down and for the wind to calm so we could have a fire.
The food was delicious.
I made asparagus, broccoli , and potatos cooked in the oven with lovely spices. It ended up tasting great and Bobby made sweet potato curry and it was the biggest hit . The food led to great conversation just as I had hoped it would and then we went out to set up the ritual.
We started the ritual off by walking down towards the fire. Amber met us at the end of the stairs and she saged us before we walked into the circle.
After everyone was saged and down we called the directions, cast the cirlce and then led into my invocation. When I let Madrone read the invocation she looked at me and said wouldn't it be nice to hammer some nails into wood. I had wanted to do that but didn't have a hammer or any nails, so it was nice to have confirmation that my idea was good. We took three nails to be hammered into a piece of wood. Before I read the invocation I told the group a little about Nortia and then explained that as we hammered in the nails that we should think about what we would like patched up from the academic year. As I read the invocation I felt a sense of power. I felt like I had made a huge leap on my personal spiritual path.
After we did the invocation and everyone hammered the nails, we through the piece of wood into the fire.
Then we wrote on paper the bad things from the past school year on the paper and when participants were ready they through the paper into the fire. After the bad we put the good down and some of us set intention for the next year to come. After that we started drumming.
The drumming was great. Madrone brought out her drum Radiance and Amber and I had a session on her and it was greatttttt. Dancing, drumming, and getting lost in the music was AMAZING. We let the fire start to die down and we all gathered around Radiance. We started to sing songs around her and the sound of our voices blending together was magical. Madrone offered a song, I did, Mark sang an Icelandic song, and Bobby sang a Thai song. It was beautiful to hear the different languages and I learned that Caitlin has a wonderful voice.
Overall the night was truely a wonderful end to the academic year and a great start to the summer!!
More entries to come about the garden and mojo bags.
Below I will post the invocation and Goodbye for Nortia!
Blessed Be!

Invocation of Nortia
Nortia, Goddess of Fortune and Fate,
be with us on this special date.
As we close the chapter of our school year,
bring your message loud and clear.
Help to mend the breaks and tears,
And bring us good fortune this coming school year.
As in old we slam the nail,
Bring the Fortune without fail.
Nortia, Nortia, NORTIA.
Be with us now!
Hail and Welcome!

Farewell for Nortia
The nail is sealed,
Our year is healed.
Nortia, you brought your fortune,
We feel the wheels in motion.
Thank you for your guidance.
Go if you must, stay if you will.
Hail and Farewell!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Celtic Zodiac

The other day I was looking at the blogs I follow and came uponMother Moon's blog about Celtic tree lore. I looked into it and was pleastnely surprised with what I found.
I am the Holly Tree.
The Holly tree helps to balance positive and negative aspects of the self, it is believed to restore lost energy, and bestowing the strength needed to continue toward a resolution. I came upon this after I found out about not going ot France. It was very nice because I had been asking the goddess for a guide and I think that the Holly Tree could have some valuable lessons for me. I also think I may have a new spirit guide making its way into my life. Lots to explore on this upcoming summer!

Garden Starters Update 2

Tragedy has befallen the garden starters. I had to go out of town for a show (only a night and came back the next day) and I came back and the starters were all DEAD!

I had one tomato plant that was alive and now from the picture you can see that the tomato is dead as well. I have learned a valuable lesson. I think that I planted the seeds to early. But when Bobby and I went down to the garden in Sedona what I found made me very happy. Most of the garen was still just dirt, but in one area was teeming with life. The bend where we planted the Three Sisters was full of life
. We also added sunflowers in the area and they seem to be doing marvelously. The base of the stalks have a very beautiful purpleish color. I believe the sunflowers will have some different colors in them! Can't wait to see what they look like!
Bobby and I decided to plant a whole new batch of seeds because we think a frost must have killed the previous seeds.
Hopefully they will start growing soon so we can see what this garden will really look like!

I am constantly being reminded that there is always a good that will come out of the bad. Even though my trip to France did not work out the goddess had other plans for me. Now is a time for grounding and enjoying my summer. I have many new plans this summer. I think I will post a list so I can check them off as I go.
The Neo-Pagan Alliance had our celebratory ritual this past Monday so I will be posting about that very soon.
I invoked the goddes NORTIA. It was such a fulfilling ritual!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Heart Break

The universe dealt me a huge blow on wednesday. I found out that I will not be able to study abroad bc of financial reasons. I am terribly sad by this but the weird thing is that when I woke up that morning I knew I was not going to be able to go.
I know this was my body preparing me and maybe a tip from the goddess so that I wouldn't take the news as hard.
I tried all I could to find more options of going, but unfortunately all that came about as a possible way for me to go had to much attached with it.
I went through my sadness but I can say that I know I will get through it. When I was speaking with Madrone she helped to confirm all that I knew. She helped to put things into perspective. She also said the hard things, which I knew but didn't want to acknowledge them.
Things always happen for a reason! I am a firm believer in that and on some level maybe I was not ready to go to France. Madrone pointed out that perhaps I need a rooted summer, which is very reflective of my garden that I started this year. Now I will get to see my garden take full root and become the amazing garden I want it to be.
I will just have to spend this summer working in my garden and catching up on my arts and crafts. I feel like this will be the summer that I can connect with something I have been missing.

I will be setting some intentions for this summer and really rooting myself in my path. Time for some exploration and I can't wait!

Blessed be!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Candle Sale

I feel like I haven't posted anything in my blog forever. School has been getting crazy with the semester ending and me heading off to France in 28 days.
But it is time for a new post and this one will be about the Candle Sale the Neo-Pagan Alliance did.

First of all our group decided to do a fundraiser for us to raise some money to buy some altar supplies. We thought that making candles would be something nice, easy, and witchy. We decided on buying some votive candles and making them herbal candles.

I went and bought the candles and Amber had the herbs, so we planned a day to make them and made it a potluck and waited till that day approached. When the day came I was super excited. I got to Amber's and we ate the wonderful meal she had prepared and the snacks that myself and other members brought. It was nice to be visiting with the group off of campus and it definitely helped to bring us closer as a group.

After we got all the supplies on the table we started the candles.
What we did was set up stations where people sat at to do different tasks. We needed someone to melt the outer layers of the candles, someone to roll the candles in the herbal mix, someone to actually make the herbal mix and someone to paint the paraffin wax over the herbs.
I got the wonderful job of mixing the herbal mixes. I was super excited about this but nervous because I wanted them to be the proper herbs for each type of candle.
There were 3 different herb mixes we came up with. We made a luck candle, abundance candle, and a stress relief candle.
Amber and I used Scott Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs book. It was a great experience to have on my journey. It was my first real encounter with matching herbs for a purpose and I really enjoyed it. After preparing the mixes I handed over to Madrone for her to take a smell and see what else it needed. With the luck candle after she smelled it she said "it needs a touch of self-love" it was great. It was a very practical magick moment as she said. Loved it.
Mark took the role of melting the sides of the votive candles. To accomplish the melt on the sides we used a small hair dryer.
This is a delicate process that requires the person holding the dryer to not be to close or too far. Just the right length is needed to melt properly and then roll the herbs in the candle.
The rolling of the herbs fell to Cailtin and she did an amazing job. It was nice to see how each candle came out. I ended up helping Cailtin with rolling the candles and then she switched over to putting the paraffin wax on them with Amber.
When it comes to these candles one special thing was the intention behind them. When making them all of us had positive thoughts and set forth good intentions as we worked to create the items for our fundraiser. As long as you have good set intentions as you work things will end up right!

After we made them, I took them home with me to sit on my altar till they were going to be sold. The day finally came to have our fundraising event and I was nervous. It would be my first real public experience of having people see me with the label Neo-Pagan. I was nervous for the potential discrimination and for the laughs. But surprisingly it wasn't like that at all. Right after Caitlin and I put up our sign we had someone ask us what a neo-pagan was. Surprisingly that was a common question. We had a faculty memeber stop by and she wanted more info on the group and actually gave us her email to put her in our list serv. We also had one student give us his information. I am hoping that with more tabling next semester we will attract those hard to reach pagans as they seem like they are never reachable by flyer.
Overall we almost made all of the money back that we used to buy the candles. I learned that people need information of what our group does and stadns for. Also that on my campus there is a need for major education on earth-based spirituality. This was a positive starting point for the Neo-Pagan Alliance and there is more amazing events to come from us.
Blessed Be!