30-Days of Samhain 2021:Day Eighteen

At Death’s Gate: The Labyrinth of the Dark Goddess

All Hallow’s Eve (aka. Halloween) is just a few days ahead and as we near the time of October 31st and its traditional celebration, it is time to prepare for the journey that will take us to the Crossroads. Today I have a special live recording of a pathworking recently done as part of the Labyrinth of the Dark Goddess series of classes. This particular experiential lends itself to the season of Samhain and our desire to seek the wisdom held at Death’s gate and make use of Hecate’s gifts and keys as part of our mundane/spiritual life.

When we seek to know ourselves in all of our parts, we are often resistant to know those selves in the form of death’s pall and we fear that meeting at the crossroads where we must surrender and leave behind what is of no value to our growth. This pathworking taking us through death’s door and the meeting with Hecate is one of trusting our innate nature to re-create and give birth anew to who we wish to bring back as our newly transformed self.

Find a comfortable space where you will not be disturbed for approx. 30-minutes. Settle in and relax into what is revealed…

At Death’s Gate: The Labyrinth of the Dark Goddess

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Seventeen

Opening to Divination

Circle round thrice As the witch’s pouch Is held tight.

The cauldron is filled With water and moonlight.

Gaze up towards Lady Moon And call forth your desire.

The herbs in the bag of art Throw now into the heat Of the blazing fire.

Gaze into that Which holds the key Reflecting back the Treasure of answer to me.

Herb and water Iron and flame The truth revealed The heart’s desire thusly named.

No Samhain celebration would be complete without some curiosity and action taken to peer into what “may be”. To that end, divination is the space of opening to being receptive enough to ask the query and receive the answer. Today’s post sets the stage for that work…

When we hear the word “Divination” it usually conjures up a picture of the gypsy fortune-teller who will predict your future love interest, dream job or soon to be received wind-fall. In reality, divination can take on that form, but it can also serve as a highly effective tool in extending and solidifying your energetic and psychic connection to the world around you. Lest, it be believed to be a less than a reputable source for information remember that kings, queens, politicians, warriors, dictators, businessmen, corporate giants and many others who would be considered “too rational” to believe in such “stuff” have routinely consulted with those having oracular abilities. The horoscope scrolls placed strategically at cash register’s end weave their magick and often engage even the most resolute of skeptics – if for no other reason than curiosity.

In ancient times those who practiced the art were called oracles, soothsayers, shamans, sorcerers, mages, fortune-tellers and more. The art, itself, in recent years has moved from that of being shrouded in mystery to the forefront of magickal workings with books, workshops and training in abundance. The internet is abuzz with “plug in your question and receive an instant reading” sites which are frequented daily by those needing “to know”. I use the word “art” because in its most pure, undiluted and non-commercialized form, divination remains a skill, that even with a natural predisposition towards natural ability still requires practice, hard work, a substantial knowledge base of magickal systems and years of study to elevate its effect beyond “parlor tricks”. So, what then are the mechanisms and guidelines for the serious student of Divination?

Expectations or Fate vs Free Will/Choice

Many who come to the diviner’s table accept whatever information is received as being the sealed deal. And, it is also those same who are often either disappointed when they do not meet the future lover with blonde hair and blue eyes or subconsciously manipulate their interactions and surroundings to fulfill the said prophecy. Neither scenario is good outcome, nor what the expectations should be. If we consider the information received as being simply that – “more information” this allows us greater option in how to exercise our free will and consequently how we will use that information. If approached in that manner, rather than allowing that information to narrow and limit our choice, giving excuse that Fate expects us to obey blindly, we open to the possibilities of making choice of a potential outcome based on the consequences of our will, not that of a diabolical Universal Plan. Take the information received in Divination and mull it over, meditate upon it and then act upon it in a way that is now fully informed by having pieces of a larger picture afforded you.

The Focus and Intent

We’ve talked of the importance of Intent upon any magickal working and the ultimate success or failure given the specificity of that intent. Divination uses this same important component to draw the information received into a concise form. In order to align yourself with energies that are able to align and resonate with the answers sought, the work of developing a state of focused and directed energy towards that goal is also required. Quieting oneself, visualizing that you are in alignment with the source of all knowledge and removing your conscious mind from the distractions around you opens the subconscious to retrieve what is needed. It is precisely this principle that accounts for those flashes of inspired though when least expected and when you are most relaxed and not actively trying.

A nice analogy is to use is the idea of your focus and intent as being the zip code that is added to that important bill payment. If left off, it will eventually be received at its destination, possibly late enough to incur a penalty for the lack of clarity. If added, that piece of mail will be promptly sorted and directed towards its destination on time and in support of future good credit when that all important purchase is made.

Developing the receptivity necessary for a clear stream of information can be cultivated through development of a regular meditation practice. This component, as stated in prior lessons, trains the mind to remain fixed, clear and precise in what its desires are. This is what also makes it an excellent tool to incorporate into your practice of learning to work with a divination tool. In the work of Divination a large portion of what is received will be filtered through your own understanding, so to minimize the internal interpretation (particularly if you are doing readings for others) you want to set aside a portion of your own consciousness and work from a state of consciousness that is receptive and open to pure communication devoid of internal commentary. Most importantly you also want to be able to actively turn off the extraneous noise and distractions that convolute the stream of flow and setting into a tangled mess of miscommunication.

Reading for Yourself

It is for this reason that doing a reading or Divinatory work for yourself can be a bit more challenging. You know what outcome you wish to occur (albeit often at a subconscious level, but it is there nonetheless). You know every weakness and strength that you overtly display. You already have more information about yourself than you would any client you are reading for. So, subjectivity in the reading and filtering the information will be colored with these known as well as those unknown biases. And, if you are anything like me I LOVE to play mind games with myself! So what to do?

Remember the act of focusing and getting the preconceptions of your mind out of the way? This is where dedicated practice (meditation) will help. And, having this pre-sorted information does play into the clearly formed query. Most importantly, rather than a detriment, the subconscious can be an ally, as long as the intent is clear and the focus strong. Remember, we carry within ourselves the solution and answer to every problem, query and situation and the storehouse of memories, past experiences including ways of coping that were both productive and negative are stored as well. We do already know the answer, ultimate the solution and the precise course of direction to be taken, that once received and processed through the Higher Self’s understanding is exactly what the action should be.

The process in reading for others is largely the same, with the exception that the focus and intent are directed towards connecting with their subconscious store-house or experiences through the information you are getting. As you relate to them the information received (it generally will make no sense to you and your work is not to restructure and interpret that information through your own understanding) it opens keys and connections within their own framework that can be processed and ultimately understood within their context of what is being asked.

*** As a side note. When I do tarot readings for others I do not ask what the question is. I have the client silently focus their intent and query into the energy of the deck I will be using and then begin the reading. My feeling is that I want to go into the reading in a state that is unprejudiced and unbiased to a specific answer as possible. Now, there have been times when I sensed that it was important for the client to state his/her query; largely because it enabled the person to open more fully. In those circumstances, the client would have shut down the energetic connection made and the information received would have been more consciously driven and manipulated to fit the situation. This is not necessarily the right approach for everyone, but I have found it to be most compatible with my way of receiving and processing the information received.

Some Common Tools of Divination

Below you will find a listing of the most commonly used tools for oracular work. Take some time to explore the various options and go with what feels right to you. Be aware that sometimes what you feel is absolutely the right option may lead you to something you have more interest and ultimately more engagement in and are better at using. I started with runes, moved to a brief stint with the Oghams and finally settled on the Tarot as my primary tool.

The irony is that at the very beginning of my search into the options, the Tarot was something I had the least interest in and just did not feel anything calling me to its use. With that being said, the experience of trial and error has however, offered opportunities to incorporate some of those tools in ritual or when the Tarot is just not the right source, I have other options I am familiar with that give the information I need in the form I need it. As with everything on this Path, you change, your spiritual nature changes and evolves and so do the tools, interests and those things that enhance and enrich your experience:

  • Tarot
  • Scrying
  • Crystal Gazing
  • Candle or Fire Gazing
  • Water Scrying
  • Mirror Gazing
  • Pendulums
  • Runes
  • Palmistry
  • I Ching
  • Celtic Oghams

Read more about these Tools here:
The Tools for Divination

Tomorrow’s post: A Special Tarot Spread The Gift of My Ancestor

Revisit Divination in These 30-Days of Samhain 2021 Posts:

The Witch’s Year Tarot Spread

Divination for Samhain

Read more about Divination and Spell Work here:
Divination and Spell Work

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Sixteen

The Ancestor’s Cauldron
A Pathworking of Communion

I would like to invite you to join me on a journey of seeking wisdom from the ancestors. The pathworking  may be used anytime to deepen your connection, but it is particularly useful as a tool at Samhain and during the time between that flows into the Winter Solstice.

You will want to find a comfortable space where you will not be disturbed for approx. 20-30 minutes. I would suggest that you have a small object that belonged to or represents your beloved ancestor to hold while experiencing the pathworking. This will set up the intention of reaching out. You may also light a candle if you wish.

When you are ready, you may either read through the transcript below or click on the link to access an audio recording. Blessings on your journey…

audio –The Ancestor’s Cauldron
(you will be redirected to Teachings on the Path at Bandcamp)

Transcript -The Ancestor’s Cauldron

Find a quiet space where you will not be disturbed and sit comfortably allowing your breath to establish an even and relaxed rhythm. Make note of any tension you may be holding in your body and as you exhale gently breathe that tension out; allowing it to drop around you like beads of water. Allow any thoughts that wish to have your attention to be acknowledged and then gently let go to pass as leaves in a gently flowing stream. Draw your consciousness up to rest in the space of your third eye and mid-forehead. See in this space a blank inner screen. You are sitting as observer and you take note of a small blue dot of energy that is central within that space. As you continue to breathe deeply and fully you see that the blue sphere is expanding and coming to fill the entirety of the space in front of you. You feel the energy of thousands of tiny blue dots comprising this veil of mist and you issue forth the intent of communing with your Ancestors and seeking their wisdom. You take a deep breath in. As you slowly and gently exhale you step through this mist and emerge to find that you are standing in the center of a moonlit forest clearing. You see the silhouette of tall shapely trees just ahead of you and can smell the fragrant burning of wood wafting through the air.

You offer up a call of invocation to those ancestors you wish to help with the opening of your intuitive sight on this journey. Before the last utterance of name and word is issued you see that an opening has appeared between two of the largest trees just ahead. You walk towards the opening in the trees, passing through a gossamer like veil of multicolored energy. The particles of this veiling are very refined and the sensation is one very much like that of a piece of the softest silk as it is gently drawn across your skin.

As you move forward you now see the flickering of light and the smell of wood burning growing stronger and brighter with each step you take towards this light. As you reach the edge of the trees you see that there is a small clearing centrally located and surrounded by another circle of smaller trees. There appear to be shadowy forms creating a circular shape. As you move closer, you can make out the shapes and forms seated near each of the trees and instinctively know that these are the ancestors you have called to aid you in your working.

A fire is crackling and hissing in the center and offers its light to this darkened space. You move towards the fire and see placed just in front of it a large cauldron sitting atop a very large and round tree stump. You move towards the cauldron and see that it has been filled with water that shimmers from the reflection of fire and candlelight. You look around, hoping to see more clearly the face of those observing, but they are cloaked in a veiling and you don’t have the clarity to see. You hesitate for a moment, unsure that you should be in this space and just as you are about to turn to walk away, you feel gentle yet firm hands on your shoulders. Words fill your mind, not spoken in audible manner but more of a telepathic knowing. You are told that you are welcome in this space and that they have been waiting for you to ask for assistance and guidance. You feel a bit more pressure and come to kneel in front of the cauldron.

You close your eyes and take a deep breath in and pull to the center of your consciousness the question that you have. This question has long been held in the deep recesses of your awareness. It is important now to your future growth and you are in safe space and supportive company that it may freely and have its own will rise to the surface. Holding firmly to the intent of this query, you take another deep breath in and as you exhale you breathe out and into the waters of the cauldron. A swirling of violet mist briefly surrounds you, the cauldron and the flames and just as quickly dissipates as images begin to form on the surface of the waters.

You feel excited and energized at what lie before you and breathe deeply to calm and steady your sight. As the images become clearer an inner dialogue begins of question and answer as to the nature of what you are seeing, how it may be applied and the relevance it has for you at this time. Spend some time gazing deeply, listening purposefully and taking in the sensations that are moving through you.

As the last image and words of explanation fade you feel the energy of what you have experienced rising up and moving through you informing all aspects of your being. It is as though you have drunk an elixir of warm liquid and you feel calm, centered and very much aware of all that is around you. You look into the cauldron once again and see that the waters are shimmering in reflection of the fire; their deeper mysteries cloaked until the next opening and parting of the veils. You rise up and feel more firmly anchored to the earth beneath and connected to the sky above. You turn away from the cauldron and look around at all that surrounds you.

One of the ancestors rises and approaches you. He takes a spark of flame from the hissing fire and holds it before you. He tells you that this is the spark of flame that is held within all living beings and that this flame is what fuels the desire to commune with him and other beings of his kind. It is this flame that opens you to the deeper mysteries you carry within and will warm and light your journey of introspection as the days grow darker and the winter chills the air. He bids you take a deep breath and pushes the glowing flame into the center of your being. There is no discomfort, just a rush of energy and the sense of acceptance and acknowledgment of like attracting like. Everything appears to glow more brightly now and as you look around at each of the faces of the ancestors you called to witness and guide this working, they come into crystal clarity. Take a moment to acknowledge each and offer up gratitude for their blessings and inspiration.

When you have completed this offering, you take a deep breath in and as you exhale the space around you fades. Each inhalation and exhalation dissipates more of the detail and energy of the space. You feel a lightness and exhilarated warmth moving through you and you know that this is a space you will revisit again at the next parting of the veils. You close your eyes and return to the space of being observer of the inner screen within your consciousness. You breathe deeply and think for a moment on your experience, recalling the images and words that were offered in answer. The last memories pass through and you sigh deeply into the next breaths. Each breath brings you back to the physicality of your being, the space in which you began this pathworking and the sounds of life around you.

May the blessings of this communion with your Ancestors carry you forward through the year to the birthing of new light and inspiration at Yule and beyond.

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Fifteen

Preparing To Meet the Ancestors

Who Are the Ancestors?

Samhain is particularly ripe with talk of the ancestors and honoring the dead and often is an integral part of the celebration. The term “ancestor” is used in different ways depending on the intention and your personal perspective. Today’s post is about who the ancestors are.

Generically, the term ancestors has come to mean those of your lineage, either biologically or culturally, who were at one time incarnate human beings. These are those from whom we claim a legacy in some way and if familial in nature, share the common thread of family history as well. These souls would also be known as ghosts or spirits of the departed. For this writing, this is how I will use the term ancestor.

The practice of honoring our familial ancestors has been around for aeons in one form or another. Sometimes that honoring spread out to be inclusive of an entire tribe or clan, each and every individual considered to be a familial ancestor; so deeply embedded was the energy of collective community and shared experience.

Every culture has its own ways of celebrating the departed, such as Dia de Los Meurtos in Mexico or Central America, Ari Muyang in Malaysia, Chuseok in Korea; Pitru Paksha in India or Obun in Japan. In each the central theme is one of remembering the legacy left to the living and setting aside a special time from the mundane and routine tasks to gift their ancestors with blessings, food, gifts and more. Some are single day events, others last for days on end and many of these practices are part of the funerary rites and extend into the daily activities; seeing the departed as always present in spirit.

These celebrations are joyous and reverent events that not only celebrate the human life of the individual, but often incorporate the journey of the Soul in its non-corporeal form. Masks, lanterns to light the way for the ancestors and grave side feasts are all part of thinning the veils between the living and dead and demonstrating that the dead have not been forgotten and are ever important to family and friends who benefitted by their life.

For many in the pagan community, Samhain offers opportunity to reach across these veils and sit in the company of their ancestors. These are some components that you may wish to incorporate into your Samhain celebrations:

  • Setting up an altar that contains pictures and things that were special to your beloveds in life. Perhaps a favorite cigar, candy, perfume, piece of jewelry, etc.
  • Wearing something that belonged to your beloved, such as a piece of jewelry, favorite sweater, etc…
  • Going to a special location that our loved one enjoyed such as a park, restaurant, museum, etc..
  • Setting a plate for your loved one at the table and offering a toast to their joining you for your Samhain meal. A more elaborate version of this is the Dumb Supper. Our coven has had Samhain celebrations that incorporated the Dumb Supper in it. All brought tokens of their loved ones and a picture. The picture was placed where each individual was seated. Drink was offered up to each loved one and the food was blessed in their honor. The entire meal was eaten in silence, listening to the conversations and words of the dead as they graced us, and when finished all left in silence carrying the memory of the experience out into the mundane world with them. It was a very powerful ritual and one that can easily be done for a family or just yourself and your loved one.
  • Dedicating a new experience or way of being to your loved one such as: being more mindful of your health in the coming year because that was a concern of your loved one for you or having a more positive attitude in honor of the beloved who always seemed to have a smile and kind word for you.

You may find that after trying some of these things during this season that you will want to keep a small (or larger) ancestor altar in your home in a special place. This becomes a place to interact with and routinely honor your ancestor year long. Whatever you choose to do, remember that we are who we are in part because of those who loved us (whether biological family or not). So don’t limit the thought of an ancestor only to those of biological heritage. That is only one piece of a more complex puzzle that is our human existence. And, at some point when that existence loosens its hold, we will become the most honored ancestor of those we love.

Check out the Bonus Post: Full Moon in Aries Ritual of Devotion for a complete ritual experience that may be used to honor your beloveds or to inspire to craft your own.

An excellent resource for learning more about the distinction between ghosts, Ancestors, the Mighty Dead and more:
Spirit Speak:Knowing and Understanding Spirit Guides, Ancestors, Ghosts, Angels, and the Divine by Ivo Dominguez, Jr.

Ancestor Altars

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Pictures, Ideas and More

Today’s post follows yesterday’s about Samhain and ways to honor our beloved departed ancestors. As promised, I have pictures of various ancestor altars to inspire you. Begin by realizing that whatever you decide upon as the space of holding your ancestors near and dear will become sacred space dedicated to them. Whether this becomes a permanent fixture or an annual event the intention and simply the act of constructing a space of honoring is an act of devotion. The creation of sacred space and what I described as an act of devotion are all things we are familiar with in terms of our interactions with Deity or celebrating a Sabbat. The same is true, and in my opinion, even more so, because we are calling the memory of our deceased loved ones in a dynamic way of engagement that transcends the separation of planes of existence.

The pictures I’ve selected are a very few samples of what this sacred space could become. The picture below gives you a sampling of items that could be incorporated into how you set-up your altar.

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The important piece to creating a scared space in offering to your ancestor is intention. The size of the altar does not really matter. Making use of furniture surfaces can be a space saver…

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For some, incorporating pictures placed on the wall and then adding to this is a nice way to have more than what could be accommodated simply on a table alone….You can also add to what is existing and permanent by including feast foods….

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A temporary space will serve as well, such as a small end table that can be decorated in accord with the season, the beloved’s birthday, anniversary of death or any other time that you wish to do a little more….

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Simplicity does not mean lack of care. Some of the most meaningful ways I have honored my grandmother and mother have involved very little “stuff”, but were abundant in the love that moved through my memories and was returned in reciprocity by the nearness and reach of connection and gratitude I felt.

A mantle or a book shelf can be decorated and dedicated to your ancestor..

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It’s always a nice idea to add food as part of the celebration. Sitting and having your meal with the beloved’s place set affirms that they have not been forgotten, nor have the times when talking while enjoying a good meal were treasured times together…

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And, always remember that the most precious of altars you dedicate to your ancestors is yourself. You carry all that is needed by them and yourself to honor them with every breath, step and action you take. Be mindful and grateful for those intangible, yet very palpable, gifts they have left as legacy to you. Call up the image of them often and surround that image with love, just as you may have done with a hug in physical life. Audibly say “thank you” when the seeds of inspiration or the solution to a problem seems to appear “out of thin air”. It may have been a beloved gently whispering encouragement.

All journeys lead back to the source of their origins. In this case, that source is all who came before you, just as you will become the source for those who follow..

The gorgeous image used for this post is a piece of sculpture by Italian sculptor, Antonio Corradini! If this is not otherworldly, I don’t know what is…

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Fourteen

Samhain Incense and Oils

The “smells and bells” of Samhain enhance any working and celebration. Incense is a staple of this Sabbat and can be used in a variety of ways, from serving as a veiling for ancestor communion to calling to presence the Deities you wish to witness and bless your activities. For those who are sensitive to the smoke emitted from incense, oils can be used in their place, either heated over a small tea light or in a roller version and applied directly (fragrance or carrier enhanced only. NEVER apply an essential oil directly to the skin as these are potent and allergic reactions or skin sensitivities are likely) to the skin.

Check out this helpful article to get you started:

Incense 101: How to Make and Use Your Own Incense

Some Basic Ingredients:

For Remembrance: you can use Rosemary
For Purification: you can use Sage and Salt
For Protection: you can use Marigold, Pepper, Cinnamon, Wormwood
To Honor the Earth: Patchouli and Pine.
To Honor the Ancestors: Marigold and Mums
For Wisdom: Sage
To Honor the Final Harvest and Fall: Apple and Apple leaves
For Psychic Opening: Mugwort, Bay and Bay leaves

These are listed as “parts” meaning that you should begin by determining what increment of measurement will be. If you are making a small portion for personal use, I would suggest using 1/4 tsp. = 1 part. If you are making a larger batch for group work or to store for other use; 1/2 tsp. = 1 part.

From Scott Cunningham; The Complete Book of Incense, Oils and Brews:

Sandalwood: 2 parts
Orange Peel: 1 part
Mace: 1 part
Cinnamon: 1 pinch

From unknown source:

Frankincense: 1/2 part
Myrrh: 1/4 part
Bay: 1/2 part
Vervain: 1/4 part
Wormwood: 1/4 part
Patchouli: 1/4 part
Sandalwood: 1/22 part

From Unknown source:

Dittany: 1 part
Pine: 1/2 part
Sandalwood: 1 part
Patchouli: 1/4 part
Benzoin: 1/4 part
Pine Oil: a few drops

From Unknown source:

Dittany: 1 1/2 part
Benzoin: 1/2 part
Patchouli: 1 part

This is a recipe I like to make for my personal Samhain workings

1 part dried mugwort
2 parts frankincense resin
2 parts myrrh resin
2 bay leaves crumbled
1 part orange peel

As I add each ingredient into the pestle, I offer up thanks to the sacrifice of the herb or resin and call into presence the energy that I wish to have as part of the whole. Use the mortar to press and break apart the resins and herbs, combining each one at a time. When all is complete, I breathe (very) gently across the bowl infusing it with my own breath of creation and purpose. I usually burn a small portion then and there, offering it to my patrons and then place the remainder in storage for Samhain’s use.

*I usually make a slightly larger batch and use it as a base for future ancestor or psychic work, adding what is necessary for each. Store in an airtight, clamp lid or mason jar container in a dark place. This will preserve the integrity of the herbs and resins.

More Resources:

The Sacred Herbs of Samhain: Plants to Connect with the Spirits of the Dead by Ellen Evert Hopman

A Druid’s Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year by Ellen Evert Hopman

Samhain: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for Halloween (Llewellyn’s Sabbat Essentials Book 6) by Diana Rajchel

Using Oils:

Most of the ingredients in the recipes above are available as essential and/or fragrance oils. The benefits of purchasing an essential oil are that you will generally use less of it, it can be placed over a tealight for heating and you also have the raw ingredients for creating your recipes by combining the oils either in raw form for heating or with a carrier  such as almond, sesame or jojoba for body application.

Depending on the oil you select the essential oils should vary in price in accord with the rarity or value of the ingredient. For example, Frankincense and Myrrh are usually more pricey than Lemon or Bay. Be sure to get a quality essential oil that is labeled as 100% pure essential oil. I like this company’s oils, they are eco and cause conscious and are available through amazon:

Simply Earth

If you check out the Simply Earth site, they also have a download of a Cheat Sheet and 3-instructional videos for use. The sheet is very informative and offers a good base of do’s and cautions about using essential oils, their contraindications with certain medications, pregnancy, high blood pressure and more:

To view the videos and sign up for recipes and more:

Essential Oil Cheat Sheet

Fragrance oils are another way you can use an oil to enhance ritual workings and open yourself to specific energies. These are derived by combining or using a singular essential oil and placing a few drops of it/each in a carrier oil such as sesame, almond, jojoba or coconut. If you make your own you will want to use approx. 2-4 drops total of your oils and approx. 40z. of carrier. It is better to error on the side of too little essential oil than too much and cause a negative skin reaction. I wear oils in place of perfume routinely and have special ones I use only for ritual or personal practice. I make my oil 40z portion to use as a body massage oil or therapeutic for arthritis, etc… This is the company I like to purchase my small in purse roll on oils:

Kuumba Made

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Thirteen

The Full Moon of Aries and the Maiden

October 20.2021
10.57am (EDT)
Full Moon in Aries

A Full Moon cues the tension held between the Sun and Moon, each in the sign of its opposing other. This moon in particular is carrying with it a crowning of fullness in the final hours of Aries’ energy just as the Sun is readying to move into the Solar mantle of Scorpio two days from now. We have just been released (Mercury stationed Direct on Oct. 18th) from the scrutiny of a Mercury Retrograde, so communication is a bit slow going as the deftness of Mercurian energy amps up to normalcy.

Other actor’s upon this stage include the retrograde intensity of Uranus and Neptune. Here, the supporting cast assures that our intuitive and watery nature will be actively and assertively (Moon in Aries) expressed, infused with a bolt of electrified stability and manifest-like quality (Uranus in Taurus). All is called to the depths and darkness of the abyss of compassion (Neptune in Pisces). And the ensuing stationing of the Sun in Scorpio gives preview of just how deeply we are able to go. The result holds the potential for allowing yourself the grace of choosing deliberately and wisely what you will nurture and tend to in this cycle of striving towards refined and purposeful expression of Will to action (Full Moon in Aries) strengthened by a rising of enthusiastic and boundless energy without limitation (Aries).

I talked of the Goddess, Hecate’s energy during this season and today’s post is the first of three dedicated to Hecate. Traditionally, I have aligned them with the New Moon (Maiden), Full Moon (Mother) and Dark Waning Quarter Moon (Crone). This year I would like us to explore a slightly different configuration and am beginning with the vibrant energy of the Maiden expressed as a Full Moon of fiery (Aries) potential. Aries is the first sign of the Astrological Wheel and as such is the catalyst that stimulates the flow of energy from one sign to the next. This Full Moon in Aries is a perfect time to call to the beginnings of catalyzing and deepening your connection and understanding of a prominent Samhain Goddess, Hecate. SHE who stands at the crossroads, our place of choice and guided selection. SHE who reminds us of our Divine nature only when we allow the perceived limitations of scope to fall away as we surrender to her wisdom, not in fear but in the cultivation of self-awareness….

Let’s begin our introductions….

I call to you at the
Newness of the Moon.

I wait at the crossroads
And, call out in longing
For you to ask of me what you will.

I stand clothed in the promise
Of guiding you as I light the way.

I wait and there is only the
Sound of my own longing to
Enliven and stir within you
The drive and will that sets
You upon your path.

I am cloaked in the darkness
But those who have the
Courage to call to me
See the truth of my hidden
Light that burns brightly
With the Divine spark of youth.

This post is the first of three dedicate to the Triple Goddess Hecate and her gifts expressed through the face of Maiden, Mother and Crone. Hecate is the Greek Goddess of the Underworld; Queen of Magick and daughter of the Titans Perses (God of Destruction) and Asteria (Oracular Goddess), from whom she was gifted with rulership of heaven and earth. She is most noted for her place of guide at the Crossroads carrying the flaming torches that light the way for gods and mortals. My intent is not to provide a full history of the Goddess (there is a plethora of information to be found), but rather to provide my personal experiences with her.

As a Triune Goddess, she has come to me at various points in my life, despite my not knowing or identifying her by name and she has shown me her varied faces as I have needed prodding or push in a specific direction. At this time of the year, I feel her presence more strongly and align with her transformative energies with that of the New, Full and Waning Moons throughout the season of Samhain.

My awareness of Hecate’s energy has been building within me these last few months and I suspect this is in answer to my need to reclaim some of the intensity and vibrancy that is held within her form of the Maiden. Life circumstances have placed me in a position of having to fully step into the roles of Mother and Crone and I am rebelling at the necessary structure that is being placed upon me. I find myself in the place of having to release my attachment to children who have grown into responsible and caring adults and the growing need to assume more responsibility and care for an aging parent. I long for the youthful strength and resilience I once had to support these changes. And, I long for the freedom that time brings when seen from a youthful perspective.

I have always felt vastly responsible for the people in my life and their well-being, often with the neglect of my own. When I took up the mantle of spiritual service, this responsibility widened to include all that I interacted with, feeling that I must model by example and leave a positive footprint. So, I turn to this Goddess of Magick and remaking and call out to her as the Maiden to inform and enliven my way as I sit in quiet meditation.

I hear echoed back to me her response calling me to stand at her crossroads, tell her my story of lost youth and ask of her what I will. Tonight the Moon is New in the astrological sign of Libra. Libra is Cardinal Air, the beginnings of inspired and innovative thought that aspires to achieve a state of balance through refinement. I have spent too long in trying to mentally problem solve and not allowed myself the space to feel too much. If I allow my emotions to weigh in sadness and self-indulgence will make me ineffective and weak. I feel the need for balance and I know that Hecate will not allow me to stay too long in a place of self-pity and complaints. And, so I see myself standing in the darkness of the night and feel the cold chill of wind moving around me and know this is the stirrings of my own anticipation at being in the presence and potency of her energy as Maiden.

I see Hecate’s form rising up in front of me and I make vow to heed her words as I have done so many times before. The outcomes have often been unexpected and quite different from what I had imagined the original plan had been; but this is of no concern, for in the wisdom of the Goddess she has always offered what was needed not what were my imagined wantings. Hecate stands before me and I bow in reverence. She has the appearance of youth, dressed in flowing white gowns and a deceptively gentle energy that hides the great power and trinity of her form. This is no Maiden who is ingénue in experience; rather she is the promise of providing fresh perspective and insight that will stimulate and catalyze. Hers is a raw power, ancient in time and purposeful in whatever it sets its intent upon. Before my words are uttered she knows what is held in my heart and smiles an all-knowing smile.

I stand at her crossroads and the power of her presence swirls about me. I hear the gentle whisper in my ear and a hand of force that say “run”. I feel rejuvenated and filled with this desire to run, to be free, to feel the air moving through my lungs and the joy in movement I felt as a young woman dancing, soaring, expressing. I choose one of the paths and move, breath coming in short bursts and the exhilaration of air and dust, darkness and wildness all about me. I run in release of these stressful past months and for this brief period of time Hecate, the power-filled Maiden weaves her healing magick as she moves in and through me. The binding and weariness of maturity and responsibility falls away as I move faster and faster; blood pulsing, heart pumping in pure delight.

There is no thought of time, or task to be completed or places that I need to be. There is only enlivened air and darkness, magick and Divinity surrounding me. I breathe deeply and my pace slows a bit. I want to savor this environment and the feeling of being suspended in the stillness of eternal time. I breathe deeper still and I am walking briskly upon an unlit path, the faint light of what appears to be a lantern ahead in the distance. I breathe even deeper and each step affirms the strength of my body and the renewed life spark flowing through me. Closer, closer still and I see that the light is that of a flaming and brightly lit torch held at the center of the crossroads by Hecate. I come once again to stand before Her, and I am reminded that she has been with me at the beginning of my earthly journey and it is into her arms I shall seek refuge at my end. I stand illuminated by the brilliance of her torch, flushed from the exertion of my energetic journey and renewed by the blessing of the Maiden’s power. I stand with lighter burden and hear the gentle whisper that “all will be well and as it should be”.

I offer up gratitude to Hecate and offer vow to her that I will seek out her wisdom at the turning of the Full Moon. I will come to her crossroads and call to Hecate, the Mother. Until then, I will remember my promise to her to find the place of balance in attending to my own needs so that I may better care for others. To seek out the newness in the places where I have been stagnant and stressful. I am reminded to call upon my past joys and successes as inspiration, as I go about the repetitive and tedious tasks that are needed and to seek the beauty in discordant as well as harmonious action.

I breathe into the space of my meditation and am no longer at the crossroads. I have come full circle back to the place of my sitting with a renewed sense of purpose. The air is fresher, my vision is clearer and I know I am not alone.

Blessed Be!

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30-Days of Samhain 2021:Day Twelve

What About These Veils?

Introductory Thoughts Specific to 2021:

Over the past several years the Veils have been thinning earlier than would normally have been. Many things have played into this shifting and in particular for 2021 and the extent of loss and continued untimely deaths from COVID have swelled the ranks of the deceased. The insidious political unrest domestically and globally and subsequent related deaths and the general morale of many has dramatically fed into loss, pain and for those so inclined, the seeking of answers from their departed beloveds. In this second year of COVID and its mutations, politics and unrest, indeed the Veils have been opening steadily for some time. I cannot speak to how others sense this transition, so I will only share what I experience.

I begin to notice the thinning as the air seems to become denser and more “etherically” charged. I tend to feel it more palpably outside because there is generally more spaciousness when you are out in the open, but that density also crowds into my personal space as well. Often I will catch the glimpse of a shape or form in my peripheral vision, and when looking in that direction nothing concrete is there. This year, that density has been at times so thick I felt unable to breathe.

My interpretation of this is one of recognizing how many souls have prematurely passed because of this pall of death that has cloaked our world for an extended period of time. The ancestors and guides have been at the ready and at times have needed to be even closer at hand, especially for those separated from loved ones as they passed into the other realms, to usher them beyond the veils.

Samhain and its counterpart, Beltane, are the time of access to the wisdom of the natural world and the Ancestors. The energy that is called forth at Beltane and communion with the nature spirits and the Fae stands as the point of inception and quickening of what will move, expand and grow in its form and scope towards the next opportunity. When it comes half wheel cycle to Samhain this energy of communication with and greater access to what lay beyond our physical realms has matured and deepened as we call to the Ancestors to offer up their wisdom. It is this wisdom that will carry us through the darkening of the months, the turning within and the introspection that holds within its womb the spark of Light that will be birthed at the Winter Solstice.

I do a great deal of personal energetic work infusing some of the Eastern mystical practices with those of Western Magick. When drawing on this synthesis and applying it to the energies present at Beltane and Samhain we can use each to inform the other. Beltane’s fires are those of consummate union, celebrated with the union of God and Goddess, male and female. These are the qualities of the polarities held within each of us. Parting the veils at this time is an opening to our natural and instinctual self. The connection to the basic needs and desires that are the promise of continuation of species and cycle of growth and evolution. Energetically, as we enter Samhain’s parting of the veils and its energy we are now ready to open to the experience of our mature and wizened nature and the union of what we may access of the Higher Self informed by the wisdom of our Lower Self. The union of these integral parts of our spiritual and physical states of being enables the transformative reaching out and ultimate connection to the Ancestors who have helped to form who we are.

As we enter into the Dark Half of the year, the winter months and the Sabbats that are held within that space we bring with us the expectations of this growth. We have finished harvesting what had been nurtured from the time of the previous Winter Solstice forward and we hold expectation that the ripe fruits we have carefully selected from this harvest will sustain us through this time of fallow fields, frost and cold. We approach the opening of the veils with great expectations of coming face to face with what visions and mysteries are rooted in our core state of being and align ourselves with the energies of the Dark Goddess and the wisdom of the Crone. It is Her wisdom that takes us into the realms of the Ancestors and the blessings they wish to bestow. And. although we may feel that our intent is clear and purposeful, we often do not embrace every ounce of what lay hidden, largely from fear of what we will lay claim to. Moreover, we hesitate because we are afraid of what the answers that we so dearly seek may be.

For many there is lack of clarity about who and what the Ancestors are. And, this definition will be a variety of things depending on your own beliefs. The Ancestors may be of your own lineage, meaning departed family or those whom offered guidance during their living human existence. If you expand this further and consider that we are all interconnected as spiritual beings, regardless of blood lines, the Ancestors take on the form of all of the great souls who in their incarnation offered teachings, wisdom, and were examples of illuminated and evolved humans. These are those that exemplified the adage that we are Spiritual beings having a physical experience. Most often when you begin the intention of asking for information of the Ancestors, there is greater comfort in the specificity of inquiring of a departed family member or friend. The personal connection and feeling is what makes the difference between asking for help from a Patron or Deity you work with and an Ancestor.

The truth of the matter is that the Ancestors, our guides and guardians want us to succeed. They want us to step fully into the light of who and what we truly are. The Gods and Goddesses want us to become more fully aligned with facing our truths, because then we are better able to see the reality and beauty of their truths. In all of these instances the time of Samhain and the parting of the veils is the optimal time for reaching out and drawing to ourselves the reflected and refined image of understanding that holds everything we need to know.

One of the primary precepts in working with Ancestral wisdom is that of gratitude. Whenever we step into a place of gratitude for what has been received we are aligning ourselves with our Higher Self. Offerings to the Ancestors, altars of remembrance or simply holding a cherished memory in mind strengthen that energetic connection. Opening ourselves to offering up and the act of expressing that gratitude initiates a cycle of receipt and return. It is the universal law of magnetism in action. All that we send out, positive or negative seeks the energy of that which is compatible and similar. Gratitude calls to our place of Spirit within the eternal and the wisdom of those who reside within those realms.

If we are able to stand strong in our conviction and intent to seek the wisdom of our Ancestors as the thinning between the worlds occurs, the information gained becomes the foundation upon which we stand as we begin the process of turning within and integrating what has been received. Like the Hermit of the Tarot, we become the master of our own Will, seeking our truths and finding our way using the light of the lantern of truth.

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Eleven

Full Moon is Coming! Come, Gather Near!

Full Moon is coming
Come gather near
The magick is upon us
Our Ancestors are near.

Aries rises with enthusiasm
Youthful energy and joy
The promise it holds is new gifts of
The Mysteries and awakenings to explore.

The season is filled with new opportunity
The time has finally come to reveal
The power and promise of the final harvest’s 
Energy to release, to embrace and to heal. 

Full Moon is coming
The Mother is at hand
In Her light and in Her shadow
In the legacy of Our Own Divinity
In brilliance and wonder WE now Stand.

Mother Moon waxes Full on Wednesday, October 20th in the astrological sign of fiery and catalyzing Aries. In these few days surrounding on either side, those that precede offer opportunity to gather to ourselves the tools and energy wishing to be birthed into fullness and those following allow for the integration and synthesizing of the Full Moon’s potency. And, we are in the midst of Samhain’s season and tides, which provide another layer of insight and mystery to reveal in this brilliance of moon light.

There are many “hows” and ways in which to mark this Esbat and as we know, intention is everything when reaching out in extension towards the mysteries and gifts and of cosmic energy. Ritual is one way as is contemplative pause. Pathworking and visualization provide a certain ambience and keys as they were. I would also suggest action as a source of celebration. Pure and simple “action”!

Astrological Aries is the first of the twelve signs of the great Zodiacal Wheel and as such is often equated as the child of the zodiac. Youthful and unabashed excitement, boundless energy and a perspective that is the beauty of a child-Limitlesness! Freedom, no limitation, nothing unattainable and magick all around. These are the inherent staples of most children.

So, what if we actively sought out more knowledge of our ancestral lineage? What if we actively moved through a natural setting, fully awakening to the beings and “life” that inhabits those spaces? What if we danced with joy in the space of welcome we have created to honor our beloved departed? What if we embrace this Full Moon , seeing the eyes and wonder of a child in seeing the first moonbeams creating a trail of stardust into the unknown? What if___________________________ (you fill in the blanks)?

Not to worry, on Wednesday, I will offer a small ritual celebration that may be used in a more (or less) traditional way of honoring the Full Moon. But, for today, let’s just bask in the build up, gather to ourselves the joy of anticipation and actively and unabashedly  move through our day!

Read more about Astrological Aries:

Aries Full Moon: Let’s Play

Birthrite: The Sun in Aries

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Ten

The Witch’s Year Tarot Spread

Today’s post is an excerpt from one I crafted on my blog at Pagan Square. I’ve routinely been asked to repeat it, so here we go. Enjoy….

The season is upon us and the Witch’s New Year is soon at hand. I have gotten in the habit of doing a Tarot Reading at Samhain, aligned with the Sabbats throughout that upcoming year as well as one at the start of the calendar year, aligned astrologically (sharing that nearer to Yule). 

The intention and flavor of many of the celebrations surrounding the Sabbats is one of a continued theme or thread of connection of one to the other creating a whole that can be used for magick, growth and deeper insights. Regardless of the theme you follow, that of the god and goddess, the cycles of the seasons, the flow of solar energy, or other-this tarot spread can be modified to align with those intentions. 

This spread uses 10 cards- 8 for each of the Sabbats and one for you standing in the Light of your self and another as the polarized opposite of you as Shadow. These two cards indicate the strength and power you wield in both parts of your nature as light and shadow and can be used to infuse in whatever dynamic and dose you choose as the energy of the cards relating to each of the Sabbats is revealed.  Read more and find the spread here:

Womb of Light: The Witch’s Year Tarot Spread

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Nine

Divination: A Comprehensive Resource for Tarot

Today is Day Nine of our Samhain countdown and I want to call your attention to the number “9” and the topic I have chosen for today and tomorrow’s post. The numerology of nine is one of endings and beginnings-death and rebirth. This is the space of crossing into the liminal nature of existence and in many ways the re-opening of our subtle senses and awareness.

Divination or the action of seeking information from the subtle realms, higher SELF, ancestors or other sources is a common practice at Samhain. The tools of choice are varied and highly personal in selection and may include Tarot Keys, Runes, Bones, Water, Fire, and more. This time of the year is particularly potent as the veils have thinned. Access to the Ancestors is more readily available and there is a palpable sense of depth, energy and “more than” in the air.

Today’s post makes use of the art of Tarot and the following book review is an offering of a reading tool to inform your practice. Tomorrow’s post will be a Tarot Spread I created to explore as we move closer to Samhain…. Enjoy

Tarot Deciphered: Decoding Esoteric Symbolism in Modern Tarot by T. Susan Chang and M.M. Meleen

Tarot Deciphered is an in-depth voyage into the esoteric roots that underlie the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot, the Thoth Tarot, and the myriad of decks that share their symbology. This card-by-card analysis reveals detailed insights drawn from the multi-layered traditions of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, the magical order that most strongly influenced modern tarot.… From the Publisher

Tarot Deciphered: Decoding Esoteric Symbolism in Modern Tarot by T. Susan Chang and M.M. Meleen is a massively informative text containing every correspondence and point of reference you would most likely find of use and then the authors treat the reader to even more. In this case the use of the word “massive” is a nod to the 672 pages that serve as the distributors of a wealth of research, cross connection and interpretation beyond the ordinary standards.

Each card is defined through the esoteric disciplines of Astrology/Element, Mythology/Alchemy, Hermetic Qabalah, Rider-Waite Smith Symbolism and Thoth Symbolism. The Related Cards within the tarot keys and Advanced Concepts for Further Exploration complete the chapter. Being a teacher of Hermetic Qabalah and reader that prefers the imagery of the Thoth Tarot deck, I especially appreciated the incorporation of these tools ion a one-stop source vs. reliance of individual texts and meanings to draw greater conclusion from.

The Introduction gives the reader ample information about the inclusion of the Thoth Tarot deck as a point of reference for each of the cards. This is not a deck traditionally used other than those aligned with Aleister Crowley’s teachings and the understanding of multi-layered systems of Qabalah and ceremonial magick. Another interesting discussion is the influence of the Golden Dawn on the cards of the Major Arcana.

The offerings at the beginning of each of the Tarot Key’s chapters include the Card Number, Element, Hebrew Letter, Hebrew Letter Meaning, Path (of the Qabalistic Tree) Color Scale in the Four Worlds and other Themes and Keywords. This provides a nice quick look for easy reference and sets the tone for the more in depth discussions by topic within the chapter itself.

The approach of synthesis taken by T. Susan Chang and M.M. Meleen in Tarot Deciphered: Decoding Esoteric Symbolism in Modern Tarot ensures that the reader will come away with a better understanding of the multiple disciplines that compromise a diverse and well-rounded practice.

Would I Recommend:

Tarot Deciphered: Decoding Esoteric Symbolism in Modern Tarot by T. Susan Chang and M.M. Meleen is an absolute must for anyone seriously interested in Tarot studies and exploring the common threads found in all of the esoteric disciplines. On the scale of cost for most books these days, this title is a bit pricey, but the compendium of resources gathered in one reference will more than validate the cost.

Tarot Deciphered: Decoding Esoteric Symbolism in Modern Tarot by T. Susan Chang and M.M. Meleen is a well written and user friendly book from cover to cover. This book is definitely one that I will be adding to my library. And, be returning to frequently to explore new perspectives and fresh interpretations.

About the Authors:

T. Susan Chang (Springfield, MA) is the author of Tarot Correspondences and the co-host and producer of the Fortune’s Wheelhouse tarot podcast. She reads tarot weekly at the Inspirit Crystals shop and offers an ongoing online tarot course called Living Tarot.

M. M. Meleen (Worcester, MA) is the illustrator/creator of the Tabula Mundi Tarot, the Rosetta Tarot, and the Pharos Tarot, as well as the author of Book M: Liber Mundi, The Book of Seshet, and Spectrum Fari: The Keys of Pharos. She is the co-host and cocreator of the Fortune’s Wheelhouse tarot podcast.

Check back for tomorrow’s post:

The Witch’s Year Tarot Spread

More About the Numerology and Number “9”:

0-9: The Esoteric Meaning of Numbers

Numerology: The Art and Science of Numbers-Part One

More About Tarot: 78 Keys of Tarot

My Youtube Channel- The Inner Chamber – 10-Minute Tarot

Read More About Divination here: Year and A Day on the Wiccan Path

Lesson Ten: Divination and Spell Work

Access the online course: A Year and A Day on the Wiccan Path

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