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My Journey with Heimdall

by angela 0 Comments

 

Many people assume that because I am ordained in a Goddess Temple, that I don’t work with Male Deity. It’s not actually true! When I began my path, I was devoted to Bastet and worked with many deities from the Egyptian pantheon. During the time of studying and ordination, I had them all walk away and Freyja took the reigns. I was devoted to only Her. This was not my choice nor was it because of my studying and ordination. Rather it had to do with things taking place in my personal life. After about 4 years of monotheism and devotion to Freyja, I am still Hers. At this point in my life, I am Hers and She permits me to work with other deities. More often than not, a deity from my Germanic roots. She has made an exception for Mother Mary. Freyja can be jealous, it’s something many pagans like to ignore. Jealous deity? WHAT? But remember, this is my relationship with deity, your mileage may vary.

So why am I telling you all of this? Because about a year and a half ago, Heimdall made his presence known to me. It’s not a typical relationship by far. This is more of a protective big brother (in partnership with Loki, but that is a post for another day) type of relationship. Heimdall, for all of what we know of Him, is much more of a gentle giant rather than a burly Viking warrior. There is a compassion there that I apparently have needed. While working with Goddesses tend to feed my need for motherly love and compassion, Heimdall provides for me something that I had not had or even knew I needed. Masculine compassion.

It’s a shame that in the Norse mythology, we are often seeing the male Gods as warriors only. They wield huge axes, swords, and hammers, and proceed to battle it out with Frost Giants or whatever trickery Loki has been up to. But Heimdall presents, to me, something that I had lacked heavily as a child and as a woman. I distinctly remember this one meditation in which He came, He pulled me into His giant lap, and He held me. He granted me safe space I needed to release some hurt and pain that men in the past have given me. I have lived a life in which it has always been just me defending me. I have never had anyone, male or female, defend me or stand up for me. When I have had moments of needing someone to hold my hand, or even hold me so that I could feel what I was feeling…..I was left alone. I had become so jaded into believing that people were so uncaring, but that there must have been something wrong with me that no one could see me as a person who had emotional needs. That I wasn’t worthy of care and compassion. That for all the love and compassion I gave in the world, I just wasn’t special enough to receive it back.

I look at Heimdall and I see hope. Hope that we change how we view men and masculinity. That we allow men to express emotions freely. See tears. See their nurturing side. Stop perpetuating man as a warrior first and lover later. Allow men to define their own masculinity, rather than impose what we have been taught for thousands of years.

I invite you to sit with your male deities, if you are connected with any, and ask them to reveal their masculine compassion. Feel it, let them shower you with it, let them nurture you. It is not the same as feminine compassion, but it’s fulfilling all the same. Having both in my life is truly a blessing!

 

Camping at Blue Ridge Beltane

by angela 2 Comments

 

From May 18th to May 21st, I was at Blue Ridge Beltane in Greenville, VA. This year I had the opportunity to teach Scrying and help my sister Priestess, Byron Ballard, with the Main Ritual. This was my second year at the festival and I came with a broken leg. Making a camping trip a bit more complicated than usual. But I am glad I went and I am still riding the high after a weekend of community.

We arrived late Thursday night and had the joy of pitching a tent at 9pm by headlights. If you have done that before, you know what I am talking about! Fortunately, it only took us 10 min to get the tent up. I went to pump the air mattress only to have the batteries in the pump die before the mattress filled. Words to the wise…..don’t buy dollar tree batteries for an air pump. Fortunately, some neighboring campers had a hand pump and we were able to finish the job.

On Friday I attempted to be as active as possible. For the most part, it was great. I was meeting people and spent the afternoon teaching. I had the pleasure of a heart to heart conversation with a person I had only known online and it was a joy to connect with in person. We ended the day with the Bel Fire rite, which is always my favorite part. By the end of it all, I was aching pretty hard.

Saturday I sat back and relaxed. I worked on a knitting project in between just a few things we chose to do. I also had permission to park my truck by the campsite and drove it to areas in which I was needed, such as the main rite. Main rite went incredibly well and you could see that so many truly enjoyed the ritual. It was a fantastic bonding experience and I was proud of the small role, as a quarter caller, that I played. We also took part in a workshop held in the Inner Sanctum. I did not participate in the Inner Sanctum last year so this was a nice change to the mix.

Sunday morning rolled around quick and we were leaving before noon so that we weren’t getting home too late. There were kitties to feed and love on so that we could go back to work as usual on Monday.

My campmates, aside from Sweetie (not shown) are my own “personal” tribe of women that I feel close and connected to in major ways. Some of them I see regularly, one I only see about once a year. It’s always a fantastic time when it comes to hanging out in the woods with your near and dears and reveling in our spirituality.

We will definitely be going back next year. We are already bouncing around ideas on what sorts of things will be offered. Sweetie and I are already looking at bigger tents. I have a small “4 person” tent. Which means that it’s crowded for two people! A nice 10 person tent will be a great help to us. And we may have to upgrade the air mattress to a thicker one so that our “old” bones don’t struggle with getting up.

 

Wicca: Practical Magic – Book Review

 

My dear friend, Patti Wigington, has a new book out and it’s one that I highly recommend. I was given a copy to review and all of my comments are of my own opinion. I wasn’t even asked to review it on the blog, just for Amazon. But I wanted to include it here as well because I knew it was going to be well worth your time to check it out.

Wicca: Practical Magic is another Wicca 101 book that is out on eBook and will soon be released in paperback form. I have often been accused of being a bit harsh about the saturation of 101 style books in the past. It’s true, I wish more books were published that go deeper into spiritual practices, rather than focusing on the beginning of a path. However. Patti has been writing informational articles about the practice for years on About.com and she brings this book to life with accurate history and exceptional information. This is not just another 101 book that is recycling information someone has read on a blog or another book. This is a clear cut reference book that can be used for ages.

I was most impressed with her pages devoted to herbs and crystals. Not only does she explain herbal and crystal magic, she offers up information about specific herbs and crystals. While some other 101 books may include this sort of information, they often offer up the same stuff repeatedly. Patti offers information on a wide variety of herbs and crystals, some I have only found in specific reference books devoted to herbs or crystals. The fact that she makes a point to offer up some fresh information is fantastic and separates herself from the others.

Speaking of fresh information, seeing recipes for various oils, rituals, and spellwork is absolutely fantastic. There is nothing worse than reading about what to do and why we do it and we are left still wondering how to do it. The meditations are a fantastic addition as well. I never found anything on meditations when I began my journey 16 years ago and had to figure it out on my own and through talking with others. It’s a blessing to have so much information available to the masses!

I also think this is a great resource for family members of someone interested in becoming Wiccan. It’s hard to watch a family member shift spiritually when you have no knowledge about what it is they are getting into. And as is the case with Wicca, often folks are misinformed about what it is. This book clearly offers up what it is Wiccans do and why they do it. It becomes a valuable book when it’s written in such a way that it can educate anyone open to understanding.

As I stated before, the book is currently available as an eBook on Amazon. The release date for the paperback is approximately June 6, 2017. Both are affordable options and I encourage you to add this to your library!

The Magic of Manifestation

by angela 2 Comments

 

Manifestation is one of the most powerful tools that a witch can master. While I can’t say I have truly “mastered” the art of manifestation, I certainly do it well. For day to day manifestations (I want to get extra work booked, I need to figure out child care on the fly, etc), I don’t worry about much more than sitting in a meditative state and sending my wish out to the universe. I do have a money candle that I use often to ensure that I am taken care of financially. For long-term manifestations, I will utilize the power of the moon phase. For transition in a long term project or desire, I use the full moon. If I am about to engage in something brand new, I use the new moon. By “using the moon” I mean I conduct my own ritual that is designed to honor my Divinities and petition for their assistance.

One of the reasons why I think my manifestation skills have served me well is because I have not forgotten the most important rule. Thou Shalt Do Thy Work & Work Hard For What Thine Wants. Without actually doing the mundane and dirty work, I won’t manifest my desires. If I want to add a new client to my workload, I do my manifestation work and then I set about to actually get that client. If I need to bulk up some money in the bank, I will light my money candle, think about the bills I need to pay for, and then I go find the work to achieve the money.

Manifestation is not about working magic to achieve something out of nothing. If you come to magic thinking you can light a candle, sit back, wait, and that bank account will magically grow……..you don’t understand magic at all. The way I think of manifestation is really just a small push. A little nudge to keep things moving along. And my working hard not only helps me achieve my goals, it shows the Universe and the Divines that I am serious about my wants.

One of the hardest parts about manifestation is whether or not I really want what I think I want. There have been times in which I thought I wanted something, worked for it, added a little manifestation to the mix, and got it. Only to find out later that it was not a good fit for me. Was that “bad” magic? Nope. It may not even have been a mistake. The outcome may have very well suited me at that time until I moved on to a bigger and better thing. And what happens if you aren’t sure what you want? If you truly aren’t sure if you want it or not, you probably won’t put forth a true effort to achieve it and you won’t see it manifest. Our actions often reveal what we truly desire rather than our words.

Manifestation magic is the one practice all witches really should adopt. When done properly, without expectations of grandeur for nothing, we can usually succeed in reaching our goals and desires. May 25th is the next new moon and a supermoon for those who think it adds an extra kick. What will you try and manifest?

In The Beginning, There Was Cloud Scrying

 

I am often asked how I got into scrying. After all, it’s not every day that someone just picks up a crystal ball and can use it effectively. However, I was an accidental scryer in childhood!

My most favorite thing to do as a child was to look up at the clouds. I would lay down on the ground, throw some sunglasses on (I later learned to avoid the noon-day sun!), and look for shapes in the clouds. I had a younger sister that I would often do this little chore with. I saw all sorts of images and we would try to come up with “mystical meanings”. I never really understood it but I always wanted to be a magical sort of person. What I didn’t know was that I was well on my way to the world that would allow me to work my natural magic.

I knew I was on to something though when I started noticing a specific object in a tree that was across the street. Every time I looked out the window at night when I laid in my bed, I saw a witch on her broom in the tree. At the time it scared me. I was scared of the Wicked Witch of the West. I had no idea that witches were not as Hollywood portrayed them. So for years, I would try to avoid looking at this tree at night. Who knew it was a message to me about my future?

I also had a tendency to know things. I learned quickly that I could not discuss this “superpower” because it bothered other people. I could walk into a room and know what argument took place. Not that an argument took place, that’s easy for anyone to pick up on. But I knew details. I also was able to get myself out of trouble long before it happened. Not to say that I was never in trouble, but when I listened I avoided some serious stuff.

By the time I hit my teenage years, I had squashed the ability so much, it was as if it didn’t exist. My home environment and society around me said that I was not normal and I had to be normal. It wasn’t until my mid-twenties when I would come back to my natural tendency. It wasn’t easy either. Opening that part of me leaves me incredibly vulnerable and I had been taught that vulnerable was bad. I had to change my thinking and allow myself to feel and be in the moment that would allow me to connect once again.

I am glad that I came back to it. It has freed me and allowed me to feel more comfortable in my skin. Some readings get heavy and hurt but the ability to connect with another human being on that level is nothing short of a blessing. Others may feel like I help them but I really feel like my clients help me.

Importance of Grounding

As pagans, we often talk about grounding in all our practices. Some people do it and understand why they are doing it. Others do it because we think we are supposed to. And others don’t do it at all because they aren’t sure how to do it. No matter where you are, grounding is so important and should not be done without really educating ourselves on how to do it and why they are doing it.

Everyday Use

Believe it or not, grounding helps us get through our day. When we ground ourselves, we can take everything that the Universe throws at us. It doesn’t matter if we are in the throes of major happy excitement or if we are blindsided with pain and suffering, we take it and can feel somewhat stable while embracing a roller coaster of emotion.

For the empath, grounding becomes a partial protection aspect. While grounding does not block us from feeling emotion or picking up on energy, it does keep us from reeling from it. When an empath grounds prior to a protective bubble, it keeps them feeling as human as possible while also allowing them to reinforce their protective barrier.

 

During Spiritual Practice

Whether we are meditating, praying, working a spell, in ritual, doing trance work, or practicing divination…. grounding is required so that we can freely embrace the energies around us and use them for whatever deed we are working on. If we are not grounded, we cannot focus our energies nearly as well. Our energy is all over the place, we are all over the place, and it can bar us from truly connecting with Ancestors or Divinity. And when our Ancestors, or Divines, want to communicate with us, They get frustrated when we are all over the place.

 

Practice Makes Perfect

Grounding takes practice. Some people are quicker than others. Some people who are on medications may see a difference in how they are able to ground, including how slowly or quickly they are able to get grounded. Please, do not stop any medications without seeing your doctor first. Simply change your technique and try again. In some cases, you may find medication helps you ground faster. Nothing wrong with that, just be sure you aren’t using anything that is currently illegal.

 

How to Ground

Grounding techniques can vary greatly. I am an Earth sign and I am heavily drawn to anything Earthy. My most favorite way to ground is by growing tiny roots from my feet that extend into the ground. I like to include little hooks that grab the soil and hold me in place.

For intense grounding, I also like to sit naked on the ground (indian style) and use my root chakra. I imagine that there is a red rosebud at the root chakra and spin it clockwise until it blooms. I then visualize a red beam that extends out of the bud and down into the soil that I am sitting upon. Many a times I have used this technique and felt like it was impossible for me to be moved.

Other variations can include:

  • Hold your palms up and utilize the chakra in your hands to extend into the air above or the earth below
  • Open the crown chakra into the skies above.
  • Use a combination of any of these and my examples

 

Monkey Mind

I, personally, struggle with Monkey Mind. If you haven’t heard of this, it’s when your mind runs wild whenever you need it to calm down and relax. Inevitably when I try to meditate, my brain wants to think about things that happened earlier into the day and then skip to something that happened 10 years ago. Quieting the mind for grounding, and other works, can be hard but you must practice it!

 

Grounding is truly a fantastic practice to engage in. Don’t make it just a word in your vocabulary, give it plenty of practice and you will see an improvement to your day, spell, meditation, or ritual you engage in.

 

The Various Forms of Divination

Divination, that part of practice that it seems all pagans seek out. Tarot is naturally the most popular divination tool to date. During my own journey with divination, I quickly became frustrated with Tarot and have never really done it well. I can pull a card or two and interpret them but beyond that and I get a headache. So I spend my time collecting decks because I love the art work.

There are of course other forms of divination. If you have spent any time with me in real life, or have spent 5 minutes on this site, then you know I am a scryer. It’s an intuitive form of divination in which I use a mirror or a crystal ball to channel the energy and act as a seer.

I currently know someone who does readings using bones and connects with the ancestors. Yet another friend performs divination with coffee grounds, and you have to drink the coffee first! There are truly many ways to divine and connect in our own ways.

Other methods to consider include:

  • cloud scrying
  • water scrying
  • dowsing
  • pendulum
  • astrology
  • numerology
  • bibliomancy
  • palmistry
  • observing patterns in melted wax
  • looking for patterns in a fire
  • feng shui
  • I Ching
  • dream interpretations
  • ouija boards

The key to figuring out which thing to try is to go with your gut. If there is something that really pulls to you (a deck of cards, a specific pendulum, etc) go with it. Learn all you can about the history of that specific form of divination and try it. See if it resonates deep within you. If it doesn’t, then you learned a little something new and you can move on to something else. But if you do, well you just opened up a whole new world for yourself!

Freyja & Scrying

 

When I became devoted to Freyja, I was shocked at just how much I was already devoted to Her and why exactly she wanted me. Freyja is a Goddess of Magic and of Fortune Telling. She watches over Seidrkona (Her women who are of a shamanic path) and fortune telling is one aspect of Seidr that’s important.

It is also said that She taught Odin magic. As scrying made it’s way around the world, it was often associated with Wouten which is proto-Germanic for Odin. By the time the legends of scrying came to include Odin, it was in the image of a crystal ball.

While I cannot locate any documentation that Seidrkona used crystal balls, it appears that they were more into trance work that involved intuitive readings, it is still a nice idea that She would approve of the tool that I am most drawn to!

The Cup of Jamshid

 

The Cup of Jamshid is one of the oldest stories about scrying you can find. It comes out of Ancient Persia, which is now Iran. Inside the cup with this magical elixir that could give anyone eternal life if they sipped from it. Something like the Fountain of Youth. However, I have yet to find stories in which anyone drank from this cup. I am assuming there is something out there, perhaps lost since it’s always associated with the cup. What I love is that when the ruler of Persia looked into the cup, he could see all across the land and into the heavens. He could see everything and know everything. But it wasn’t to be used lightly or for ill-will. It could only be used if it benefited all of the cupholders people.

The cup eventually changed into a crystal ball, most notably in The Heroic Legend of Aslan. More often than not, people don’t comprehend what I do unless I tell them I use a crystal ball. It’s the most common image that a person can relate to. However, when I teach scrying, I teach about all the different methods and I teach the mirror as the introductory into scrying. Rather than a crystal ball!