Viral chant

Been some light blogging of late. I have been one busy Al. New baby and trying to keep up with the regular stuff is spreading me pretty thin…. hmmmm like too little butter on toast 😛 Not even much hunting sad to say.

Here is a short practical bit. This is a Pow Wow I did. Nothing wrong with the originals, just a bit too Christian for me.

For warts and other skin ailments.

(Making the Solar Cross over the region)

By the frigid cold of the Northern Glaciers and the blistering heat of our Mothers core.

Warts, I tear thee out by thy root, I tear the out by thy root from this (wo)man, I tear the out by thy root from this (wo)man : ___Proper Name___.

Leave her/his skin whole and unblemished.

By the Maiden, Mother, and Crone, I tear thee out!

I tear thee out by the Maiden, Mother, and Crone!

By the Maiden, Mother, and Crone, you are torn away! So mote it be!

Repeat stanza with the command, “I abjure thee” , and then “I exorcise thee”

Repeat appropriately at the traditional times. Using a bean, potatoe, or red thread with the Pow Wow may enhance effecacy, but is not required.

The Case for Death

Forgive me… this has nothing to do with magical living. Or maybe it does. But basically I’m just working through it, and I’m writing it here because it is not a topic I can comfortably discuss with my family. I’m leaving comments open. Feel free to leave your input.

As some of you know, my mother is scheduled to have open heart surgery tomorrow morning, 8/10/10. Whether she actually has the surgery will depend on whether they find appropriate veins to use – it seems that they need to take one from another location to use in her heart.

My brother, whom she lives with, doesn’t feel that she has a choice about the surgery. And it is true that with a 90% blockage in one of her veins, she would be looking at a massive heart attack in the (relatively) near future. With the surgery, though, she is looking at a painful operation and an excruciating recovery period. There is no attractive choice here. But there is a choice.

At age 87, how much longer would she have to live after the recovery period? Would she be healthy for that time? If you ask the doctors, they will say “there’s no guarantee” – which of course there isn’t – and they won’t even give you odds that she’ll have a single pain-free day.

Is it so terrible to think that a sudden massive heart attack isn’t that bad a way to go? Sudden and brief and at nearly 90 years old… what more could you ask for? I’m almost sorry that she had the warning, which just seems to me to do little more that cause fear and an illusion of having an alternative. (See why I can’t talk with the family? LOL)

Nobody gets out of dying. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you think comes after. You are going to die one day. You don’t know when it’s coming, but sooner or later the fates are going to slap a death card on the table in front of you. Sometimes it will be of a nature that will let medical science push the card back in Atropos’s lap, but you can’t avoid it forever.

My biggest question here is: You’ve drawn the “quick and painless” death card. Do you want to keep it or throw it back? Let’s make a deal. You can have some more time, but you don’t know how much, or what the next card will be.

I am not saying that the Fates are vengeful bitches, because I don’t believe that metaphors really have emotions, let alone petty emotions. But…

I have seen bad deaths. Both of my fathers died within a year of each other. Lung and colon cancer, respectively. My father, who was arguably too young to die at 67, accepted his death as something that should have happened during WWII. The condition was painful, even with morphine, but mercifully he was out of pain within the month. My father-in-law was even younger – he was only 56 when he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He wanted so badly to live just one more day. He had surgery after surgery and any other treatment that the doctor thought might help. It gained him about a year. During that year, he gradually lost control of all functions, was in constant pain, and was never out of bed.

So it goes. When you toss the one card back, there’s no telling what the next one will be. Same death a year later or different death after decades. But at age 87, I think it’s safe to assume that the cards will start flying her way at an ever increasing rate. And as deaths go, how do you get better than sudden massive coronary?

In this age of medical marvels, I think it’s too easy to forget that we do have a choice. She doesn’t need to have open heart surgery. She can choose a natural death. I hope, in the hype to determine if the surgery is even an option, that the other viable option doesn’t get completely forgotten.

Active Meditation- An Exercise exercise!

My intent with this post is to offer a meditation on the elements, but more importantly to show a method to incorporate magical living into the daily grind. I expect most readers find the 24 hours we are alotted in a day are insufficient to do everything we would like and so the less pressing activities may suffer. I have little time to spent 30+ minutes in quiet meditation though the traditional quiet time is a productive method. Likewise, I truly dislike repetative aerobic activity and every minute seems to last an eternity. So why not combine the two!!!

Caution! I only recommend this technique on safe exercise equiptment where the user is not likely to fall off, trip or otherwise hurt themselves with a wandering mind. I use an eliptical.

As you begin the goal is to achieve an alpha state and become aware of your bodies rhythm. Feel the pace of your legs churning. Superimpose an awareness of your pulse as your muscles warm up. As you feel comfortable with those two cycles, add an awareness of your breathing. Pay attention to how those three interact as your body warms up.

Once the achiness and stiffness are gone, envision a flower bud-I like a lotus over the solar plexus. As your heartbeat and breathing settle down visualize the bud blooming as new ideas and connections may be given form by your meditation. By now, 5-8 minutes into your workout your mind should be in an alpha state.

First,I like to visualize the elements in a circle overlaid on the body, North/Earth at the head, at the left arm, East/Air, the sacral chakra is South/Fire, and the right arm West/water.  Spend a few seconds traveling that circle acknowledging the elements within your body. Bone/North, Breath/East, Body heat/South, Sweat/West. Identify the elements within your physical body.

Second, awaken and empower those elemental centers, each in turn. You may call the Watch Towers, or other elemental symbols to, “be with me through this workout. Enhance my health. Awaken my mind, and give me insight through this exercise (pun intended!).

The third time you circle the elements, address each in turn. Consider its influence in your life. Is it overwhelming you or lacking in your daily activities. Once you have taken some time to consider how each element effects your outlook and its place in your life, consider how the opposite elements interact with each other, enhance each other, complement each other.

Air and Water. The knife edge of the horizen where the sky meets the sea. Intermixed in white water down a raging river. The lungs where oxygen transpires into the blood.

Fire and Earth. Magma within the breast of our Mother. Forged iron in the Athame. Where muscle bonds with bone.

Then let your mind pass on to the adjacent elements and there interactions.

Earth and Air: Wind blowing through caves

Air and Fire: A bellows feeding a fire to ever greated temperatures

Fire and Water: The sweat frantically trying to cool your burning body ( you better be burning up by now 🙂  ).

Water and Earth: The cell and ion filled fluid called blood that permiates your body.

After exploring the elements and their interactions, and presence in your life, you may find you are lacking in one or another. Are you pulled by the events in your life instead of directing them, deficient in Earth. Do you wander through life unaware, deficient in Air. Are you lethargic, deficient in Fire. Is life stale and boring, deficient in Water.

Like wise are you overwhelmed by an Element? Do you find it hard to initiate new projects, stuck in Earth. Are you distracted by information from every side, overwhemed by Air. Are you frantic and stressed out, dominated by Fire, or emotionally labile, drowning in Water?

Acknowledge imbalaces in the Elemental Circle you have superimposed over your body.

Ask the Elements you need in your life to enter into you and enhance your body, mind and spirit.

When I get to the end of the workout, I find a benediction is a great way to finish the exercise. Along the lines of ….. “Living Earth, Be with me Supporting my Steps. Living Air, Be with me Fueling my Purpose, Living Fire, Transform Me, Living Water, Quench my Thirst!

Addendum: I find that concentrating on the bodies rhythm in the beginning of the Exercise exercise is a wonderful doorway to self hypnosis. I like to add a post hypnotic suggestion to this activity to get all the benefit I can.

Well there it is, nothing wrong with quiet meditation, but for me the active body/mind meditation is so much more powerful I heartily recommend trying it!

Oh my achin’ head!

Pensylvania dutch pow wow is only one part of my “witchy” practice, but it very much speaks to my inner shaman heart.  I must say I get great joy from my kitchen witch creations, and when I can combine it with fruitful action, well, I just feel fulfilled.

I have been plagued by headaches, and am always looking for ways to remedy them.  Having recently been learning more about the practice of hexcraft and pow wow I decided to try something new.  I found a chant to relieve pain (conveniently, I have to memorize it anyway) and started in on pulling the headache out of my head.  The first go round, I had wonderous relief… that only lasted about 30 seconds and BAM, headache is back.

Grumble grumble cuss cuss (as is my nature) OK lets embrace my closeted herbalist…  I grabbed my peppermint and lavender oil.  Whipped up a little “headache relief” and repeated the chant…..     hmm…..  interesting…  headache eased!

A tall glass of H2O later and it was like it was never there…  Mumbo jumbo…  maybe, but I believe it works.  Belief is half the battle!!

BB

Summer Fun with the Elements

What’s better on a hot summer than ice cream?  So, what a perfect way to celebrate the Summer Solstice than by making the yummy summer treat.

Here’s your basic vanilla ice cream recipe:
2 cups of milk
2 teaspoons of vanilla
6 tablespoons of sugar
Put those 3 ingredients into a Ziploc bag, close, and place that bag into a larger Ziploc bag.  Add a bunch of ice and a handful of rock salt to the outside back and close that bag as well.  Shake the bags until your ice cream is frozen.  You may want to wrap them in a towel or cloth because it gets very cold.

Now where do the elements come in?  That is for you to decide.  You may want to add in an ingredient of your choice so there are 6 ingredients.  Then you can assign each ingredient to an element and have one for the god and goddess.  After you’ve figured out which ingredient will go with which element you can charge them during ritual, chant while shaking, and enjoy a cool balancing treat for cakes and ale.

The Power of the Circle

There are times when one feels so very alone in this world, and then a personal crisis occurs, and one realizes just how supported one is.

This past weekend, I had a small personal crisis occur. As often happens, my attempts at working toward a solution were clouded by emotion, anxiety and concern for the “mundane” solution. However, I had my mobile phone with me and was able to post to my social networks. Within an hour or so, people were assisting in many simple ways. And as I felt the efforts of my covenors “click in”, my anxiety reduced, the path became clearer, and in time, the crisis resolved. (Incidentally, it resolved within minutes of speaking to one coven member, which makes me wonder if I should not have made a voice call to the circle earlier!)

A coven is a family. Like a family, we celebrate and play together, we argue and make up, we love each other even when we don’t really like each other, and when the shit hits the fan….we work together and protect one another. The power of the coven is more than the sum of its parts. This is the power of the circle!

The Power of Nonsense

Silver’s blog the other day got me to thinking. In case anyone missed it or wants the Reader’s Digest version, it’s a Pow-Wow ‘spell’ for dealing with something that is making you feel overwhelmed or unduly stressed, even to the point where you feel paralyzed. (I love it, btw, and we’ve already gone on a creek hike to find rocks.) Say, for the sake of example, that your problem is some weeds.  Then you:

Take two rocks. Any two rocks. Bang them rhythmically together.

Chant:
The weeds and the dragon flew over the wagon.
The weeds abated and the dragon skee-ated.

Chant a total of 27 times. You should be laughing at the ridiculousness of it all. Then later, before you go to bed, say ‘Lolly lolly chicken dirt, by tomorrow it won’t hurt.’.

The problem may still be there, but you won’t feel overwhelmed by it so much. You’ll be able to take mundane steps to solve it.

According to Silver, that ‘spell’ works by resetting your personal field. Which I guess is just a mystical way of saying that you can’t be intimidated by something you’ve laughed at. And yes, I know that you’re not laughing at the object of the problem, but you really can’t help but associate it with the laughter.

In a way, it’s related to the old standby of how to deal with a person who intimidates you. That is, picture him on the toilet. Ridiculous? Maybe, but effective for all that.

Nonsense can be good for more than that, though. Laughing about something together bonds us; it forms a group mind. The coven that laughs together… ok, nothing rhymes with ‘laughs’ – but Remember Badger Badger Badger…? It heals rifts between people. It’s awfully hard to stay mad at someone who you are laughing with… even if the laughter has nothing whatsoever to do with what you are fighting about.

Aside from interpersonal relations, laughter is the quickest and surest way to break a hex. The energy that laughter generates renders the hex zap harmless.

So long as it’s a good positive expression of lunacy, and not a derisive statement, laughter has more positive uses than anything else I can think of right now. (Hm… lunacy = of the moon = of the goddess = magick. Just a thought) Laughing negates the power of negative psychic energy. It puts us in a positive field which will attract more positive energy. It gives us something to share. It makes us feel friendly. It relieves stress. Where’s the down side here? Let’s all go do some You-Tube therapy!

Cookie

I often post to forums of various types when I have something to share, and find them endlessly helpful when it comes to debugging some bit of code (day job!) But it’s a rare thing for me to become involved in a forum about magic, especially on spell-slingin’, “wicca is what you want” type sites.

Our national clan head recently relaunched her website with the help of some of our magical cousins, so I thought I’d check it out. And I got drawn into the conversation and posted a couple of items there. I thought I’d share them here for discussion as well.

In a thread on cookie magic:

I saw this thread and had a pipe up. My husband swears I nabbed him with my “Damn Magic Cookies”.

The situation: I had recently begun a new job where I had been told I would find someone who would be very special to me for a very long time, if not for a lifetime or more. About 2 months in, I can see that there is definitely potential for this with SEVERAL individuals, but the place is also a bit of a meat market, so I want to sort out the “real feelings” people from the “just wanna getsum” folks.

I baked two batches of sugar cookies, using appropriate* herbs (in small amounts), colored frostings and cut-out symbolism and imbuing them with the following intents: 1) Intensify *existing* feelings and 2) create a great desire to communicate emotions. I put the tin of cookies out in the break room the next day. Most people took 2-3 and it was certainly an interesting day at work! A great deal of “clearing the air” got done that day.

One young man, however, ate nearly two dozen of the bite-sized cookies. Then he asked me to lunch. And spilled his handbag.

It’s eleven years later and we’ve been together pretty much ever since.

Notes of caution with this one:
1) I did a dangerous thing, leaving them cookies out in public. I think I was prepared to take any blowback. This is part of being a witch: you break it you bought it. Go fix it.
2) The feelings had to already be there. My intent was simply to figure out who was for real and who was pure hormones. Another thing you learn about magic pretty quickly: *intent* is not the same as *how it will play out*. The Universe takes the path of least resistance, and that path is often ineffable.
3) This was NOT a love spell. It intensifies ANY feelings and creates communication about them. This can be a very good thing. It can also lead to hurt feelings, breakups, job losses, etc. Fortunately only my husband has enough of a sweet tooth that he got the mega dose.

You could use a formula like this for almost any intent. See “Like Water for Chocolate”…beautiful book/film and very instructive on magical cookery.

*Do the research and search yourself. Often the appropriate item is what *feels* right. Don’t be a lazy witch.