Last Sunday the Neo-Pagan Alliance gathered for our first ritual of the semester. It was a wonderful occasion. Full moons always seem to be a great ritual to have bonding experiences. It was a great chance to gather and celebrate in a new way and share sacred space with others. For this ritual we went out to Kachina Village outside of town and I honestly did not know what to expect. Katie one of our memebers suggested the location (I believe she has done ritual there before or just hung out) and it was amazing!
To be honest one of my top three places I think I have seen in Flagstaff for ritual. It lwas a mini mountain/clif/huge rock thing. I don't know how best to describe it. We walked up one side of the mountain and it was fairly easy to get up, we wondered through some lava rocks and came to the clifs edge area. It was a beautiful open space as you can see in the picture. The cliff was about I would say 2 stories high. When you faced north on the plateau you look down and see a big pond with tons of reeds. It was honestly beautiful. In the middle of the plateau there was a huge rock that we used as our altar and it was absolutely designed for that purpose. It had a place to put all of our candles, sage, and items to charge in the full moon light!
Before the ritual started Katie told us that there were caves below the cliff and that we could get to them. I was super excited and said take me there now please! It was awesome. The cave kinda looks like a giant took a slice out of the middle side of a cake.
It formed an acute triangle and was perfect to sit under. There was also a crack from the cave to the top of the plateau so of course I had to climb up it. Mark and I decided to go through it. Ps check out his blog it is called Behind the Vines. A few people were still down in the caves while I was looking at hte lake and was starting to focus on ritual, when all of a sudden, one of our members started playing her flute. It was magnificent. She was hidden in the cave so it reminded me of a movie. It was a lovely song that fit the mood perfectly. The wind was blowing Erins dress. She looked like Eowin from Lord of the rings! It was magical.
We gathered everyone together. Discussed what we were going to do in the ritual and then waited for it to get darker. As the light dimmed and the temperature dropped the group was ready. We found two rocks that we used as an entrance way to our ritual area and where we were saged. Liz did the saging for the group and then we went into calling the directions. Mark did west, Caitlin did north, Erin did east and Becca did south. I really enjoyed Becca's call to the direction of the south, I found it moving and inspirational. With the directions invited I cast the Circle. I used a circle casting from my mentor Madrone. It is a wodnerful circle because it focuses on each direction as part of the goddesses body. I also used a flash light as a modern day wand if you will. I was using the flashlight to focus the energy and represent the light of the full moon!
Once that was done we were going to light some candles on the altar for our ancestors and I had a feeling that everyone should light a tea light candle for there own personal ancestors. It was one of those ideas that the goddess sent down and I just went with it.
It was very nice and to have the rock altar all lite up like that was great! Next Becca did the invocation of the goddess and then played another song. We had some alone time to meditate and clear our minds. A time to appreciate the silence and cold and start the introspection process of the dark period of the year.
Mark lead our calling down of the moon. We each had a cup that had water in. The water was Katie's sacred water so that was special. We blessed the water to make our three wishes. On the full moon my mentor taught me to make three wishes. One for yourself, one for someone else, and one for the Earth. I don't know of many other witches who does this but I love the tradition.
So I pass it on to who ever I can. The magic of the moon is amazing and can help heal many wounds. I was very stressed that day but during the ritual I relaxed. I calmed down and allowed myself to observe what was around me. Knowing that the group was holding sacred space for each other was comforting. I was so happy to be apart of thsi experience. After the wishes I am pretty sure everyone was very cold so we took down the circle and said goodbye to the directions and the goddess.
Afterwards we shared some wonderful moon cakes that our member Kelli made. She couldn't be at the ritual but her cakes were there and she was also there in spirit.
Over all a wonderful experience.
Tonight is my big Samhain ritual and I cannot wait! I am really excited to strip my soul to the bones and start over for the new year. Update on the ritual soon to come!
Blessings to you all!
Friday, October 29, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
So Today is the 20th day of Halloween over at Mrs. B's blog. Go check it out. My favorite is the Intuitive Goddess reading! I am really hoping for that one (hint hint goddess hahaha). And don't forget that for the rest of the summer she will be holding this wonderful blog event.
Also over at Nydia's blog there is her amazing giveaway going on. Check it out I am hoping for a mini god to match my mini goddess!
And last but not least I won a giveaway over at Following the Path as a Thrifty Pagan!. I am super excited to see what the pentacle is going to look like!
I am getting more and more inspired for my giveaway. I hope it is coming soon.
Have a wonderful day and don't forget to wear purple today for Spirit Day!
Monday, October 18, 2010
I would like to just say that I am finally starting to get into the Samhain season and am LOVING IT!
This weekend was a big part of it. I had a wonderful time with my partner and our amazing friends Brad and Matt. I cant forget to mention that we both had our adorable dachshund's Darci and Rafiki. Rafiki is mine and he is just a joy! He and his sister had so much fun romping around the creek!
But anyway back to the season. The boys came down for a couples retreat which was perfect! We had some champagne, dinner, and fun laughs. We woke up on Sunday morning and made AMAZING breakfast. Then we headed to the creek.
I wasn't really thinking that it was going to be a terribly spiritual event but it turned out to be what helped me to realize the seasons were changing. When you live in a Pine Forest you don't get to see the leaves change. (although that is not entirely true because the Aspens up on Mt. Humphrehys change and I can't wait for pics of that).
Down in Sedona by the creek there happens to be many signs that the fall faeries have been at work. The hike was honestly so beautiful. Walking along the creek with the boys, dogs, and my partner combined with the magic of Sedona and the creek is what I needed to help shake the negativity I have been carrying around with me.
On the way to our destination there were trees that were starting to change colors. The yellows, oranges, and reds whispered to me "Samhain is on its way. Are you ready?" As if that was not enough our walk led up to the most beautiful doorway I had seen by the creek. There was a patch of grass that the dogs loved and a doorway of trees above.
That is my friend brad over there. He was my model but didn't know it. (side note check out his blog Chronicles of an Ex-Smoker)
Next came the huge Cottonwood tree that was basically parallel to the ground and perpendicular to the creek. It was an awesome break that just invited us to climb all over it and even a place for the puppies to take their first steps in a creek.
Darci really liked it but Rafiki was having none of it. We continued on our hike further down the creek area.
As we traversed the landscape we had to climb up mini mountains, past cactus, down a rock face, between a tree and rock, and pass the puppies over a part in the creek. It was intense and I loved every second of it. The further we went and the harder I had to work the less I thought about troubles. They all seemed to fade away. I was focused on the hike and the nature around us. I saw some cool lizards and one fish. The water is very sediment filled. We hiked for about and hour and a half and then decided to turn on back around. This picture is where we stopped and went back. I love how peaceful the water looks behind the branches.
In our garden in Sedona we have experienced the end of our growing season. There are a few things popping up that I am not sure about but we will see what becomes of them. The sunflowers died so we chopped them down and broke them up. We layed them on the garden to become mulch for next years growing season. Even the pear tree is showing signs of Fall coming.
I am getting more and more excited for this season!
Can't wait for more and more signs of fall!
PS after that long hike Rafiki was totally tired! Isn't he so cute?!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
AS mentioned in the post before I am participating in two blog parties this Samhain season. This post is for the blog party ran by the wonderful blog A College Witch's Experience.
This post is about the witches real or imaginary who inspire us on our journeys.
I have decided to post about one real witch who inspires me and a set of witches that are from a TV show.
I will start off with the TV show witches. If any of you know me then you will know I am talking about the Charmed Ones! The Charmed ones are a set of sisters who have some amazing powers. In the 8 seasons that I watched them I was sent through all emotions and back. I survived the death of a sister, birth of 2 baby boys, gods, hordes of demons, and lovers that took the ladies to hell and back! This was a show that I honestly can say I was emotionally invested in. For the first 3 seasons the Charmed Ones actually have experiences with "real" everyday witches. They learn what the holidays are about, they connect with their ancestors, and they visit city witchy shops. From the fourth to the 8th the show took off. The ideas became crazier but were not to disappoint. My favorite episode out of all the seasons was the season finale of the 5th season. The sisters became Goddesses and I think it was great. Of course it is every gay boys dream to one day become Aphrodite and attract all the men in the city. All the sisters had amazing powers but they also wee excellent spell writers (I have actually used some of their rhymes in my spells) and the made amazing potions. I do wish that potions had the effects that theirs did.
Enough with the fake witches, written by some man who probably does not know the first thing about the craft, now onto the real deal. The woman who inspired my whole path and who is responsible for how I have come to finally trust myself and stand in my own power. MADRONE!!
For me Madrone is not only a mentor for my spiritual path, but she is also my spirit mother. She and her partner Rich have invited me to events at their house, introduced me to their friends and answered every question I have had about anything they show me. Madrone is the woman who introduced me to Starhawk's book The Spiral Dance, which jump started my journey. She introduced the goddess to me through the Goddess of the Cinder Moon circles and has shown me the wonders of rituals that are planned and heart felt. She has helped to instill confidence and trust in myself and my intuition. She has opened many a portals for me to gaze into and I have learned a great deal from those journeys. Madrone has been there for me as more than just a mentor, she has become my friend. I am so grateful that 2 and a half years ago I nervously entered into a goddess circle with friends and met the woman who would show me the way back to finding myself.
Thank you Madrone!
Thursday, October 7, 2010
This Samhain season I have decided to participate in some blog parties. I have never done this so I am making an effort this year with two. I think it will be a good way for me to get into them and see what I can come up with. I also do not want to over extend myself since school is really intense this semester.
But I am making my first post for the blog party hosted by Whimsical Cottage! Head on over to find out the other bloggers participating in the blog party.
The idea is to post as often as you do and include things about the season.
Since it was about the Samhain season I decided that I needed to make my altar appropriate for the season.
This is a good thing because I have been meanign to cleanse my altar and get it going. As you know if you read my blog my life has been pretty crazy recently and it has been hard for me to get things going. So I took this blog party as an excuse to motivate me enough to clean off my altar and make it into a Samhain altar.
Before my altar was cluttered and had a lot of items on it realating more to summer and spring and now I have stripped it to the bones.
I am getting back to basics if you will. Last year I participated in my first Samhain ritual and it was quite an experience. On our journey that night we encountered three goddesses Baba Yaga, the Shadow, and the Crone. These goddesses had a story to tell at each station and a lesson to leave us with. Baba Yaga is a goddess who strips you to your bones in her cabin in the conutry side. That message really stuck with me. At that station we drew a rune and when I drew mine it was the spiritual warrior rune. This was a very important sign for me and because of that it is layed on my altar during Samhain.
The desgin of my altar is pretty basic. I have the deities in the back. And of course in the middle is the wonderful Tree of Life god I purchased from Nydia from her wonderful etsy shop! I highly recommend you head on over there and see what is happening.
In the center of the altar I have a stone wrapped in rope that is from my mentor Madrone. She received this is the giveaway she attended at her summer retreat called Long Dance. Ever since she told me about Long Dance I have wanted ti attend, but it is unfortunately only for womyn. I felt very special to receive something from Long Dance because I know it is a place of change and happiness for Madrone and others. I can tell by the stories that many people experience huge amounts of growth on the retreat. I decided to place this item on my altar because for me the time of Samhain and what is to come next is a time of growth.It is a time mostly for personal growthas it is a time for intospection. It is the dark time of the year. This is the time when during the darkest nights witches can scry for their deepest desires. The stone sits right above my scrying mirror. This is a mirror I received from attending last years Samhain's ritual. So of course for this season I had to bring it out. On top of the mirror is a star garnet. I find them to be extra helpful in protection spells and charms.
I am pleased with my new altar and how it looks. I think it reflects the time I am going through in my life right now and also is appropriate for the season.
This is the first of hopefully more frequent posts during the Samhain season.
Saturday, October 2, 2010
The past few days have been really really hard for me. I have been put in a position I had hoped to never have to be in with one of my best friends and my partner. I am not sure how it will play out but I am hoping that the package I got in the mail will be enough. I forgot that after I didn't win Nydia's giveaway on her blog I knew that I needed to buy somethings from her. I was really excited to support another witch and to add to my collection of witchy items.
What I got in the mail was a Tree of Life god. He is so beutiful I can't wait to find a place for him and call on him for some guidance.
Next we have the mini freya goddess! I really love that color on this one. I have worked with Freya in the past and I think she might actually be really awesome for me to do some magic with her. With her influences at my altar hopefully I can get back on track.
Finally Nydia sent me a Dia de Los Muertos skull magnet! I love it.
Like I said I had totally forgotten the fact that I ordered these and to have them come at a time when I need some guidance is great. I wonder if Nydia put any herbs into the dolls while creating them. Anyone know any herbs that are good for conflict? And I mean helping to solve or reduce the effects of conflict in a home?
This new god and goddess will enlighten my life in one way or another so I guess I will have to sit, wait, and see!
I found this amazing plant the other day and was just reminded of how amazing the goddess can be at any point!!!