30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Twenty-Two

The Lantern of Truth
Tarot Spread

Today we stand just at the edge of our first celebration of Samhain on October 30-31st. Throughout these posts I have encouraged you to dig deeper into yourself so that you may better engage with your Ancestors, the energy surrounding as the veils have thinned and the anticipation of what will be revealed in the month’s ahead.

The Lantern of Truth Tarot spread was originally published in alignment with the coming of the Winter Solstice. I have decided to post it now, since we could all use a little direction and guidance as we embark on the journey of moving inward. There is an accompanying video that may be used if you want a “walk through”.

This may not feel very Samhain-like to some, but seeing a larger and different perspective by the work of introspection allows for continued growth. What you choose to accept of the tried and true ways of celebration and honoring, I believe, serve as the foundation of what will evolve and change as you evolve and change on your spiritual path. And, what better time than under the spell of Samhain’s depths to reach into the new and unique?

Transcript and Links

This page is the transcript of a VIDEO showing the Lantern of Truth Tarot Spread

A Little Numerology:

The Hermit- Key IX

Nine (9) is the number of endings and beginnings and initiatory experience. This is the final single digit number that relates to the individual and unique “you”. Wherever nine occurs there is opportunity for growth; but, only if you willingly leave behind what serves no purpose towards your future growth.

The Star of the Lantern-VI

Six (6) is the harmonious elevation of three expressions of being. Two co-create and the resultant product is a third. This triune nature is one of pure creation and amplified x’s 2 gives the energy of polarity. This is the blueprint for creation that is diverse and can serve as a summation of all of its parts. In the model of the 6-pointed star there is an image of 2/triangles (3 parts), one point upwards in reception to the Divine and one pointing downward; acknowledgement that Spirit  has descent into the Manifest.

Seven Card Spread

The number Seven (7) is the outcome of the harmonious six of Descent into Matter. Seven offers the paths of exploration that will  provide deeper knowledge and greater learning from what has been grown. These seven cards offer the key to knowing more of yourself.

The Hermit Key is placed in the center and is YOU!

How To:

  • Use whatever deck you are comfortable with;
  • Set out a beautiful solid color cloth to lay the spread on to;
  • REMOVE the HERMIT-Key IX from the deck and place in the center;
  • Be sure to shuffle the remaining cards very well;
  • Take the deck in your hands and breathe and center yourself;
  • Set the intention of seeking the wisdom of finding the truth of your gifts (refer back to the numerology above as the support for this);
  • Set the intention of what is revealed to be used as the tools of birthing a light within that will herald the birthing of a new light at the Winter Solstice.

Card 1: Represents the strength of your Manifest form and its fullest potential.
QBL-Malkuth- The Foundation of Earth, the alchemical Elements and the Physical Form

Card 2: Represents how you will use that strength to create what you wish to out-picture. (The Darkness of Creation’s Womb)
QBL-Binah-The Understanding of the Creatrix and the Womb of First Beginnings

Card 3: Represents the action and energy needed to seed that creation. (Higher Will to Action)
QBL-Chokmah-The Wisdom of the Cosmos and the Seed that Emanates from the Limitless All

Card 4: Represents the image and plan for that creation. (Inspired Mind)
QBL- Hod-The Glory of Mind Inspired by Pure and Abstract Plan

Card 5: Represents where your passion can be stoked to refine what you have planned. (Inspired Heart)
QBL- Netzach-The Victory of Refinement and Balance through Mastery of the Intelligent Heart

Card 6: Represents the outcome and product of The Darkness of Creation’s Womb with your Higher Will to Action and the Manifest form guided by Inspired Mind and Heart.
QBL- Kether-The Crown of Creation and the Divine Shining in Brilliance and Awareness of SELF

Link to the VIDEO

Read more about the Qabalah..
Qabalah Bootcamp-Just the Basics
Qabalistic Journeys

Other Tarot Topics..
78 Keys of Tarot

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Bonus Post

Book Review: Dark Goddess Magick: Rituals and Spells for Reclaiming Your Feminine Fire by C. Ara Campbell

Publisher: Fair Winds Press.192pages.9.14.2021

…. Deep transformation occurs when we connect to the ancient wisdom of the dark goddesses. Through her practices and rituals, we can reshape our world. By embrac­ing our darkness and dancing with our shadows, we embrace the truth of all that we are. The wisdom in these myths aids us in finding our truth….C. Ara Campbell

Dark Goddess Magick: Rituals and Spells for Reclaiming Your Feminine Fireby C. Ara Campbell is a thoughtful book that expands on the traditional Goddesses associated with darker magick and introduces the reader to a darker side of many others normally favored for their gentler and more nurturing nature. Twenty (20) Goddesses grace this book from a variety of pantheons and cultures which offers up the theme of dark and powerful energy residing throughout. These include Hecate, Kali, the Morrighan and Lilith; as well as Aradia, Spider Woman, Yemaya and Persephone. Persephone is a perfect example of thinking outside of the usual attributes of being the “victim” and in this writing she becomes the transformer and bridge between the worlds of separation, loss and love.

Each of the twenty (20) sections is dedicated to a single Goddess and is formatted in the same way for all, making this title a very user friendly book suitable for both the beginner and the more experienced practitioner. By the time you have arrived at the third or fourth Goddess, the expectations and patterning of what will be revealed of their mysteries has been established giving the journey through this reading a very cohesive and organized approached around what can often become very chaotic subject matter.

A beautiful and compelling color image graces the page that introduces each Goddess and Ms. Campbell offers a listing of the epithets by which She may be known and an invocation specific to the energy of She who is the focus. An invocation to the deity is the first offerings towards learning more. Following a brief introduction to the Goddess and Her attributes, the reader is guided through a brief visualization taking the reader on a visioning unique and distinct to the energies that may be accessed in working with that Goddess. These would be useful as stand alone contemplatives that the reader could incorporate into their personal practice and /or for ritual workings.

Ms. Campbell goes on to provide basic information about the Goddess’ energy and the needs for which that particular Goddess may be called upon. A listing of correspondences and associations that can be employed to enhance the projection of Her energy is provided and these included crystals, colors, archetypes, symbols and more. These add another layer to the building of a conscious identity of the Goddess for the reader to pursue and explore.

An additional component that Ms. Campbell has added is that of an affirmation for each of the Goddesses. This lends a very personal approach and encourages a deepening of connection to that Goddess immediately. It is a very simple and practical way of experiencing the gifts of Dark Goddess energy and allows the reader to become a co-creator in whatever outcome is desired…

…I make decisions that are in alignment with my highest good and deepest truth. I honor my own path forward. I make choices that honor my needs and desires. I am a channel for divine wisdom and magick… Hecate Affirmation

Practical application of what has been learned is provided by way of a ritual aligned with Dark, New or Full lunations. Spell work follows; these often being suitable to incorporating into the ritual aspect and I appreciate that the supplies required for these are easily obtainable and few in number. This encourages the reader to be more spontaneous in trying out what is being presented without concern over having to gather a laundry list of items and engages both those new to the path and the more adept in a personal experience of the Goddess’ energy.

All in all, each section is comprehensive yet simple and concise in what is offered as some of the many ways to access the magick of the selected Goddesses.

Would I Recommend:

Dark Goddess Magick: Rituals and Spells for Reclaiming Your Feminine Fireby C. Ara Campbell is an excellent resource for the practitioner who wishes to attune to a power that is more fierce in its nature and provocative in what it arouses in its seeker. A Glossary, Resources listing and Index at the end of the book provide the perfect “go to” for quick reference and reinforcement of the material previously presented. Additionally, the inclusion of so many Goddesses that may aid in the work of a type of magick that is truly transformative by virtue of its disruptive and re-organizing flow is in support of the concept that one size does not fit all. Traditionally, these as well as those Goddesses of a lighter nature have often been categorized under the same archetypal energy and attributes. Dark Goddess Magick: Rituals and Spells for Reclaiming Your Feminine Fire offers the resounding reply to that sentiment and demonstrates that the individuality of all beings, God-Goddess-Human or otherwise is both unique and very specific in its outcome in alignment with their deeper mysteries.

About the Author: C. Ara Campbell

C. Ara Campbell is a visionary writer, author, and founder of The Goddess Circle. She is a soul guide, cosmic channel, facilitator of The Inner Priestess Awakening Online Journey and Relationship Empowerment & Sacred Love Online Journey, and author of The Astro Forecast Publication. She is also a purveyor of rare and high vibration crystals in her popular Etsy Shop. Ara is a modern day mystic dedicated to the rising feminine, and connecting others with their gifts and healing using the natural world.

Dark Goddess Magick: Rituals and Spells for Reclaiming Your Feminine Fire on Amazon

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30-Days of Samhain 2021:Day Twenty-One

Hecate: The Sorrow of the Mother

Today’s post is the second of three aligned with the Last Quarter Moon of today, and the energy of Hecate as the Mother. I talked of the Goddess, Hecate’s energy during this season and these three posts offer a meeting at the crossroads with each of her selves and we have already met her as the Maiden at the Full Moon on October 20th. Traditionally, we would use the Full Moon as our space of calling to the Goddess in her mantle as Mother. But, this year, I would like to offer a perspective that illustrates the ability to reach out to any Deity, at ANY time in any of their forms. Today, we call to the Mother cloaked in the mantle of a waning 4th Quarter Moon…

October 28.2021
4th Quarter Moon in Astrological Leo
4:05pm (EDT)

I call to you at the darkening
Fourth Quarter of the Moon.
You who are my child
Of great promise.

I, alone, wait at the darkened moonlit
Crossroads as only a
Mother will do for
Her wayward child.

I stand ready to defend and to
Teach but you must reach out
In embrace of my stern ways.

I wait and there is only the
Flow of my tears that you
Have not yet found your way
Back to Me.

It is within my womb that
You were quickened
And each step you have taken
On your journey has had my
Mark of unconditional love
Upon it.

I am cloaked in the light
Of a thousand moons and
The reach of my hand
To draw you to me
Shines blood red from
All that I have birthed.

This is the second of three posts about the Triple Goddess Hecate and her gifts expressed through the face of Maiden, Mother and Crone. This year, at the time of the Full Moon I offered my experience of Her as the Maiden, bursting with the fullness of life and vibrancy. I felt my own strength renewed as I ran beside her; youthful and exuberant. That energy has carried me towards this point of the 4th Quarter Waning Moon, but a deep sorrow has filled me as my own place as a mother has changed. There is a certain joy that permeates everything when your children are younger and they hang on every word, see you as the center of all and love you unconditionally. As they grow and become more self-sufficient the role you had in their lives changes and the relationships you had become memories to be cherished as new ones take shape. The goal when they come into your life is to guide their growth into responsible, self-reliant adults; and when this occurs it is a bittersweet sorrow and joy to experience. Tonight I will seek Hecate’s wisdom and guidance as I sit in meditation and reflect on that goal successfully achieved.

Tonight the Moon is cloaked in the astrological sign of Leo. This is the flaming charismatic sign of the Great Zodiacal Wheel that carries the fierceness of the Lion and I feel the overlay of that thrust towards those beginnings that resonate through me with the same energy left by the Maiden’s hand. Leo is a Fire sign and the intensity of Hecate’s energy as Mother is that of the catalytic fires that quicken in preparation for what will be birthed. Hers is the intensity of a Mother’s love that will traverse the flames of pain and suffering to protect her child. Hers is also the fire of sorrow as the child leaves and the Mother has only memories of a time of nurturing and tending. And so, on this night when the ripe fruits of fullness have turned towards what will become the sustaining harvest and the Fires of Will flame high, I call to Hecate to ease this sorrow of the mother and help me to shine in the radiance of my own quickening.

I hear echoed back to me her response calling me to stand at her crossroads, tell her my story of sorrow and ask of her what I will. I breathe deeply settling into my meditation and see myself standing under the fullness of a moon; 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 the Great Mother. The power of her presence rushes in swirling about me. The energy of youth now tempered Her form takes shape in front of me. Strength and stability are traced in the silhouette of her Being. She is radiant in her darkness and is cloaked in a flowing gown of deep burgundy reds. Hair black as the night sky flows abundantly framing a face of stern gentleness. This is not the Mother who will see past all flaws of her creation. Nor is she the one of judgment whose expectations could never be realized. Eyes radiant and as deep and dark as the waters of creation hold the mysteries of her creative acts and the tests she will issue to all who do not recognize and claim the gifts of their Divine birthright.

She takes my hand and at once I feel small and powerful in its grasp. Palpable life giving energy flows through me. Thoughts of inspired creation flash through my mind. My heart beats clearly and strongly echoing the thunderous crashing of waves against the strong foundation of rock. She loosens her hold and I close my eyes and feel the buoyancy of fluid like waves rocking me gently in their embrace. I sense that these are the waters of my tears and the support is one of healing and renewal. I hear the sounds of children’s voices, mothers speaking words of love and encouragement. The sounds of joy in the first meeting of the newborn child and cries of pain at the loss of a child too soon. These sounds merge and weave in crescendo; crowding around me contracting and expanding as I am carried forward in this birthing rhythm. I breathe deeply and the strong hand of Hecate reaches once again for mine, pulling me from the darkness of this womb and into the enlivened illumined grey light and brilliance of darkened moonlight.

I stare into this light, seeking the familiarity of Hecate’s gaze and its brilliance flickers revealing that it is the flaming light from the Mother’s Torch. It is her light that is drawn up into the luminous moon and becomes the downpour that bathes all in its glow. Hecate holds the mystery of its brightness and it is her light that illuminates the journey of all of her children. She stands at the crossroads and with the patience of a mother waits for her lessons to be heeded and her children to claim the power of their true Mother.

The torch of moonlight rains down all about me and I feel the Mother’s mantle enfold my form, lifting my sorrow and opening me to a new way of mothering. I gratefully accept this power of knowing that I am both the place of offering as the mother and receiving as the child a love that holds the gift of creation itself. I am reminded that the Great Mother has been with me at the beginning of my earthly journey and it is into her arms I shall seek refuge and rebirth at my end. I stand in strength and at peace knowing that the sorrow of the mother is in the neglect of the child within that yearns for the Great Mother’s embrace and hear the gentle words, “you are loved”. I offer up gratitude to Hecate and offer vow to her that I will nurture and tend the child that I am; bringing it to its fullest potential in unconditional love. I tell the Goddess that I will seek out her wisdom at the turning of the New Moon. I will come to the crossroads and call to Hecate, the Crone.

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. She will wait for me with the patience of the Mother.

Hecate and HER Crossroads:

The Longing of the Maiden

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Twenty

A Visual Pathworking of meeting Hecate at Her crossroads and choosing your path of transformation. Enjoy!

As we prepare for All Hallow’s Eve, the energies are denser and their is an excitement filling the air. This is a pathworking I created many, many years ago and has become a favorite request.

One of the gifts of standing at the Crossroads is the wonder of how malleable Hecate is. SHE is not simply the anthropomorphic vision we hold of HER. She is all Goddesses. SHE is any Deity that calls to you and in your unabashed reply graces you with HER blessings and gifts.

We will also revisit this Pathworking as we come nearer to the date of Astrological Samhain. Click here to access on my YouTube channel-Journey to the Inner Chamber: A Meeting at the Crossroads

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30-Days of Samhain 2021: Day Nineteen

The Altars of Samhain

” As above ~ So below”
The microcosm within the macrocosm

Altars add a beautiful layer of intention in whatever way they are used. Altars can be set-up as spaces of devotion to ancestors, Deity, events, etc. The reasons are limitless and they don’t need to be the point of focus for sacred work. Trophies placed just so on a mantle; plates or other curio collections in that special cupboard; pictures of family on a wall. These are all arranged with the same passion of intention that any altar constructed for spiritual work holds.

Samhain is especially a time when ideas and power in selection of altar items is at an all time high. We create beautiful and mysterious altars to evoke the mood for our celebration and in many cases the altar becomes a dining table as our departed beloveds are set a place at the table to join us as we feast in their honor. Today, I am offering some suggestions and lots of pictures for inspiration as you begin to build the image of what your altar will be for Samhain.

(in general).. An Altar Checklist

These are some of the items you may wish to place on your altar:

• Ritual Tools – each representing one of the four elements and placed on the altar in the quadrant which it corresponds to.
• Candles representing the Light within and or to represent the spark of Divinity that is being called as God or Goddess.
• Seasonal items such as pumpkins for Samhain, holly leaves for Yule, spring flowers for Ostara, etc.
• Your Book of Shadows/journal and writing tool.
• Any thing you feel called to place on your altar that will enhance the visual experience of the ritual.

Ritual altars are just one form of creating these pockets of sacred space. Altars can be created for a variety of purposes; devotional, personal workings, meditation and more. There is no right or wrong way to create your sacred space. The important thing is to be creative and to place on your altar what truly and deeply calls to you. This is how the greater connection is made to the inner workings of the ritual and the Divine.

Consider this a photo album of reference for creating your own beautiful space of the Sacred. Enjoy!

Portable Samhain Altar
This was an example given from a workshop about creating portable altars that are discreet and can be arranged in any setting.

Scrying Altars

Tarot Scrying Altar
Rune and Crystal Ball Scrying Altar
Mirror Scrying Altar
Multi Tool Scrying Altar
Celestial Moon Scrying Altar

Samhain Altars: An Audience with Cerridwen
Coven of the Mystic Path, Annual Samhain Celebration

Central Altar: World of the Living
Cerridwen’s Altar 1
Altar of the Raven
Altar of the Moon
Altar of Fire
Altar of Earth

The Silent Feast of the Ancestors
An Alternate Celebration of Samhain

Cauldron of Threshold to Welcome the Ancestors
An Ancestor Chair
An Ancestor Chair
Lighting the Way
Altar of the Dead
Feast Table 1 Food was eaten in silence and reverence
Feast Table 2

The Shadow of the Ancestors Ritual

Shadow of the Ancestors Temple of Meeting
Temple of the Ancestors Central Altar

For Examples of Other Altars:

Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW FB page
I set up altars for my workshops, as well as the altars we’ve created for Sabbats and more. Look through the photo albums

Sacred Altars
More info and pics of Seasonal Altars

An Audio and Visual of a workshop presented at Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day:
Magick on the Go!
Scroll to mid-page to access audio download of workshop and pics

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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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