Monday, February 23, 2009

A Witch's Primer

A Witch's Primer is a podcast of basic 'how to' for newcomers to the Craft. It is nondenominational, there is no agenda and it is an excellent podcast. (It is also put out by my personal favorite podcaster, Ariel). It is wonderful information for anyone new to the Craft, for any solitary who is figuring things out alone and for all of the rest of us who could use a refresher or just find it interesting. There is a real need for this information and I personally applaud Ariel for taking on the project.

A Witch's Primer was available on iTunes but it came to the attention of some of the religious zealots and attracted hate mail and negative comments on iTunes. Apparently there was some response from it's loyal listeners and a flame war was in the making. Since this was not the intent of the project, Ariel removed the show from iTunes, hopefully temporarily.

I really believe that this information, in this format, is essential at this point of the evolution of the Craft and I would like to ask everyone who reads this blog to help to get the word out, within our community, that this podcast is still up and running, it is just not on iTunes any more.

The show is at A Witch's Primer

Please help spread the word, and you might like to tune in and listen for yourselves. I do and I enjoy the show a lot.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Druid Animal Oracle Cards

Raven (Gaelic, 'bran')

Initiation, protection and the gift of prophecy.

The power of the raven can also bring you the very deepest form of healing, which is achieved through a process known as 'the resolution of the opposites' making it possible for you to resolve conflicts that have long lain buried in your unconscious or in your past.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

I found this fabulous information about the Raven
at Animal Totems.
Magic, Healing, Creation

If a raven totem has come into our life, magic is at play.
Raven activates the energy of magic and links it to our will and intention.

With this totem we can make great changes in our life;
the ability to take the unformed thought and make it a reality.

The Raven shows us how to go into the dark of our inner self and bring out the light of our true self; resolving inner conflicts which have long been buried.
This is the deepest power of healing we can possess.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Hibiscus Moon said...

Can you tell us more about how you do your pathworking meditation? I would love to hear more about that.

I would be glad to try.
I posted last night and this morning found the post garbled and at least half of it missing. I will rewrite it and post it again later. sorry. blogger must have had a hiccup last night.

Here is the second rendition, I hope I didn't leave anything out.

I was a solitary witch in the most 'living in a bubble' sort of way. I had only a few books, I never thought to do research or buy more books or even search the internet. I was really content with my knowledge of the goddess and everything else was secondary.

I worked off and on with meditation. When I was interested in Shinto I tried it. When I got into a little bit of Yoga I tried it. My brother taught karate as a lifestyle instead of a sport and he persuaded me to try meditation. I had so-so success with it and never really worked at it much.

A few years ago I started working on it more as a stress reducer than as a spiritual practice and found that with some practice I was able to shut up some of the mind chatter for a short time and that was a huge stress reducer.

Backing up a little bit; I lived in the southwest for many years and was very interested in the shamanic journeying that is part of the spiritual practice of many of the Pueblo Indians. But my understanding was that this work was augmented by drugs, primarily peyote, and fasting, often to the point of starvation. So while I was interested in it, I also accepted the 'scientific' explanation that it was primarily hallucinations brought on by extreme physical stress and drugs.

A few years ago when I began doing much more studying of the craft and researching of topics that interested me I did some reading on pathworking and tried it myself for quite a while. I think I had some inhibitions against it, didn't really believe that it could work, or at least that it would work for me and never had any success.

Then I discovered guided meditations and found that some worked very deeply for me and some not at all, the imagery had to be just right for me for it to work. And it had to be simple or it just became more mind chatter rather than less.

I started looking for guided meditations for pathworking and discovered that there were very few, most were too detailed and I somehow got the sense that even the narrator didn't believe this stuff.

Then I found Ariel's meditations online, including one called Working with Your Guide. Ariel's meditations can be found here and they can be downloaded at iTunes.

The Working with Your Guide meditation is guided, but you have to fill in the details yourself.
I did this meditation everyday for a few weeks and I still use it if I have trouble focusing on this.

My pathworking goes like this.
I do some breathing and relaxing exercises, like any meditation. Then I visualize myself standing at the top of a stone stairway that leads down into the ground. I concentrate on this visualization until I can feel the stones under my bare feet and I can reach out and touch the stone walls.

Then I go down the stairway and come into a room or center hallway. It is constructed all of stone, the sun is shining into it and a large room and two hallways lead off of this central area.

I wait there for my spirit guide, sometimes he is waiting there for me or he is sitting in the room, which is sort of a library. If there is no one there I wait. Sometimes I go into the room and look around but I don't go any farther. If no one shows up then nothing happens. If the meditation goes well and my spirit guide shows up he leads the way. Before the meditation ends I find myself back in this center hallway and then the visualization dissolves.

The key for me has been having a specific, detailed place to start the meditation. This stairway and room is so real it is nearly like a vivid memory. Until I found this technique I had no success with pathworking. Just clearing my mind and hoping someone would show up and talk to me did not work, ever.

This is something that no one ever told me and I never found it in anything that I read about pathworking. It is worth trying for anyone who has tried pathworking with no success.

This has been a long roundabout way of telling this, but many people have told me that they have had no success with pathworking. I think it takes time to find a technique that will work for you, to let go of the inhibitions against this and to let down your guard enough to let whatever is going to happen...happen.

Monday, February 16, 2009

the spirits whisper, and I stick my fingers in my ears and say la-la-la-la-la

I have been spending some time on a regular basis with my pathworking. It has been very enlightening and several times I have been able to make decisions based on what I learn during the meditation. One thing that has been very disappointing is the lack of an animal spirit guide. The spirit guide that shows up each time has been a person.

The animal spirit that I already have a relationship with is the Trickster, as the coyote. But I have never had any sense that he is interested in being a guide or a teacher.

I have been fairly well set on finding that my spirit guide is a wolf. I greatly admire the wolf and have done a lot of research on the wolf. I have been fascinated by this animal since I was a small child. So I have done everything but conjure up a wolf for myself. I have looked and anticipated and tried my best to force this pathworking along the path that I want.

It has done me absolutely no good. No wolf. No mention of the wolf. No sign that the wolf is just around the next corner. A HUGE disappointment. It becomes harder and harder to let the pathwork unfold and not manipulate it, but manipulating it does not get me what I want either.

Then it occurs to me last night, that the animal that is always present in my pathworking, that I have consistently ignored or taken notice of only as another creature in the area, is the raven.
Perched over doorways, in trees, on bookshelves, ever present whenever the meditation is really working well.

Now don't I feel stupid. big duh. So with a great sense of apology, the next time I do a pathworking meditation, if the raven is present, I plan to talk to it. This may be interesting, in a totally groveling sort of way.

photo found here:

Monday, February 9, 2009

full moon

Tonight I celebrated the full moon with a circle, for the first time ever.
It was a lovely experience. This is a group of mature women of all ages who meet to celebrate the Goddess.

Women all over the world have done this for thousands of years. The details have changed over time, we don't really know what women did, exactly, to honor the gods and goddesses long ago, but we do know that they met, openly or in secret, to share their spiritual lives.

I thought of that tonight and was glad to be joining in the timelessness of the ritual.

I did find myself to be a little bit more of an observer than a participant. In my solitary practice my focus and concentration are undisturbed. I found that I was distracted somewhat by being in a group, a thought that had not occurred to me until it happened. I think maybe my solitary practice could use being jarred out of complacency. It was a good experience, one I plan to repeat.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

an interview...with me!

I have been interviewed by the most creative blogger, Gypsy. If you are in need of some inspiration, visit her beautiful blog at
Barefoot in the Sand. Or even if you aren't.
Here is the interview:

1) I see you a Celtic Witch on a Wiccan Path. Are you both a Wiccan and a Witch? If so, explain the difference. If not, explain why as well.

I consider myself Wiccan, but I am not initiated into a coven, so some would disagree with me. But Wicca is the spiritual path that I follow. I an also an animist and I am exploring shamanism.

I am a witch. I use witchcraft or magick, I perform spells, I know the power of the mind to make real changes. In my life the two, witch and wiccan, fit together seamlessly as they do for many, many people of various pagan paths. I think most pagans incorporate witchcraft into their spiritual beliefs. It is a great freedom that many religions deny to their followers.

The two are not synonymous, one can be Wiccan without making use of witchcraft I suppose, although I would not understand that. And one can be a witch and not follow any spiritual path or even follow a spiritual path that denies witchcraft. There are Christian Mystics who practice witchcraft. That is a convoluted and difficult path, in my opinion.

2) How has the Celtic Traditions/Beliefs influenced your path and your life?

Three of my four grandparents are of Irish descent so I have always been interested in the heritage. I have also always been fascinated by Celtic myths and legends and was frequently in trouble in my Catholic grade school for insisting that faeries and little people and banshees were just as 'real' and relevant as any characters from the Bible.

I feel very much at home with the gods and goddesses of the entire British Isles, I have incorporated Hern into my practice as easily as Brigid and Epona.

I rarely step outside of this pantheon, although I have dedicated this year to exploring the myths and getting to know White Shell Woman of the Native American deities, it is more as a visitor than a permanent part of my practice.

3) In your Borrowed Book of Charms blog, are all these your charms, spells, and poetry or have you painstakingly researched them for your practice and have you implemented any of them into your practice/path?

The Borrowed Book of Charms is kind of a mixed bag. There are a few things on there that I wrote myself. All of the spells are from my Book of Shadows or are things that I am going to put into my BOS. Right now, I use most of the material there on a regular basis, as the number of spells etc. grows that will not be true.
The artwork is very special to me, it is artwork that I would like to own. Instead of writing down names and artists on a list somewhere I decided to keep it in front of me where I can look at it.

4) How do you Connect to Your Inner Goddess?

I have kind of a weird hierarchy going on in my mind. Goddess is Gaia, Mother Earth, Mother Nature, Creator, whatever name you use. She is everywhere and everything. I connect to her thru meditation and my esbats are dedicated to her.
There are also numerous goddesses and a few gods (I think my practice is sexist) that I connect with through rituals. I do not believe in many faces of one goddess, I do believe in many deities, each an independent entity.

5) Lastly, what is your favorite time of year/Sabbat? How do you celebrate? What rituals do you implement into your practice, if any?

The most important to me is the Winter Solstice. I do not call it Yule, that has Christian/Christmas associations for me. Solstice has been very important to me since long before I considered myself pagan. It is, in both a scientific and a spiritual sense, an awesome moment. This planet stops in it's trajectory, heaves itself into a different balance and allows the seasons to change again. Every year. Nearly every religion or spiritual belief in the world, past and present, takes time out to acknowledge the importance of this event.
I have not had a set ritual to observe this day. This year I cast a circle, called the Elements and then just sat quietly, grounding and feeling the earth. I liked that a lot and I may repeat it next year.

My favorite, in the enjoyable sense, is probably Imbolc...spring is here!!!


These interviews are making the rounds on the blogs and here are the rules:
If you would like to be interviewed, just follow the steps below. I would love to interview someone else!
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me".

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions and then let me know when this is done so I can link to it.

4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5 . When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

spirits of the land

I have been trying to remember some of the things that I experienced prior to acknowledging my pagan path that influenced me. I think there is probably an accumulation of experiences that reached a critical point without me even realizing it.

One memory of a very cool experience came to me just the other day. I hadn't thought about this for many years.

When I lived in Albuquerque (it was a smaller town than it is now) I used to take the dogs for long runs along the base of Sandia Crest. There are lots of canyons cut into the base of the Crest, some big enough to have names, many smaller ones.

One day the dogs led me into one of the smaller canyons and we hiked up it for a while, then came to where it changed into a series of enormous steps reaching up and back into the mountain. A little bit of climbing, not too difficult, led to the second step which was a large shelf with trees, a small spring and a great view. I now believe that this place was an energy source, populated by some spirits of the land. At the time I just felt that it was unusually peaceful there. I would talk out loud to the mountain, to the rock formations, and I would leave feeling energized and peaceful. I thought it was a little silly, but never analyzed my feelings about this place. I went there regularly for years. The dogs liked it too, rushing to get to that lookout point, but never showing any inclination to go farther.

This was an experience with the earth that I never noticed as being a big deal, but it may be part of why I am where I am today on my path.