The Contemporary New England Witch

The Contemporary New England Witch
Ms Faith

Monday, April 30, 2018

When A Witch Loses A Familiar ~ How To Honor Them




Munchie McCann 7-04-1999  -  4-30-2018 

Dear Magickal Reader,

My sweet Munchie kitty, who I had from the earliest kitten days, for 18 and a half years, passed away just a couple of weeks ago.

I received Munchie as a tiny fluffy kitten for my birthday, at a backyard party at the end of August in 1999, from my sister Cindy. She gave her to me in a unique basket carrier unlike any I have ever seen and when she came out she was simply .  .  .  fluff.  Hahaha !! It would have been so easy name her Fluffy, or Cotton, or some such fuzzy, puffy sort of name but she had a hidden talent!

Yes, as soon as she was exposed to dry food, she never went back! And I mean never! She never ate a speck of wet cat food, people food, anything except for dry cat food and dry crunchie cat treats until the day she passed. As a matter of fact, she was named for the fact that as soon as she was around dry cat food she started to munch and crunch! Hence the name she wore proudly for the rest of her life "Munchie"

The first year of little fluffy Munchie's life was difficult as we had to have the house re-constructed and a lot of rebuilding and home improvement was done for almost a year. She was scared of the noise and we kept her as an inside cat as the out door cats in our neighborhood had never had the best life expectancy. So the poor baby developed PTSD (something we never though possible! But it is!!) and she was so scared of everything and everyone, she would never let anyone get close to her or touch her, and she spent her time sleeping behind sofas and where she could keep an eye on people, never letting anyone, even me, too close.

She would be around all of us, but she simply kept us at a distance. But we respected her wishes. It was a bit tricky, having to catch her to bring her to the vet for her shots every three years but we made it work, until surprisingly about 4 years ago. Munchie developed Diabetes!

Of course it was scary and we were very worried but with awesome veterinarian care and giving her her medication twice a day, she remained healthy and then something truly magickal happened! Munchie's PTSD faded away! She started to allow me to pick her up, she started coming up onto the bed to sleep during the day and wanting to crawl up on me to be cuddled at night! It was like having a whole different cat! We developed a bond, where in the end we had "cuddle time" twice a day, sometimes more, where I picked her up and cradled her and just rocked her and sang or hummed to her and she purred and her tail always flicked! It did not simply wave as many cats tails do, she flicked it with vigor and attitude! She did that right to the end, letting me know she was okay!!




"On the Stoop with My Diet Coke! Hahahaha  Kitties don't drink Diet Coke! Munchie always had a great sense of humor!!"


I knew her bones were getting tired with arthritis, so we put a set of steps on the side of the bed for her, and I took the time, every morning to put down all of my gear. My pocket book, my briefcase, my duffel bag with all of my books and research material, my lunch,  all I may have already picked up and on my way out the door to go to work, and I would put it all down to lean over and kiss her head and tell her I would be back soon and for her to wait for me.  My exact words were always "Make sure you are here when I come home."

Munchie had silly quirks that made her so unique. She liked to play with her fuzzy paws in her fresh water at night only, and after she had her fresh drink of water and she has stood for five or ten minutes in the water ( I always told her she was going swimming) then she would come to bed and liked to walk over me, maybe trying to keep me cool! But I never minded and she finally got comfortable enough to demand she lay on top of my chest at night for a half hour or so and she learned many words, especially "give me kisses" and she would lick my nose and rub her face against mine. She knew the words "water" and "drink", "treats" and "sleep" and I truly believe the Goddess made it possible for her and all animals to know, somehow inside the meaning of the word "love". I know Munchie knew the words "I love you", when I told her this. I have no question at all.  Scientists who study animals say that cats and dogs can understand a couple of hundred words fluently. I know this to be true with my cats. I can say a complete sentence and they will be off to do something or to go where I ask them to go.

   "Kisses on the nose"

Some nights she would be restless and would walk over my pillow, along the headboard from one side to the other until she found the side of my pillow that she found the most comfortable. During the day her favorite was to find a sunny spot for a little while and sleep in the sunshine spot.

She finally had her last day a few weeks ago, and she did as she had always promised. She waited for me to get home. She had been disoriented for a little while, and before I could get her to the vet, she had a seizure. Then I sang to her as I brought her to the vet and that seemed to bring her peace, and the wonderful vet and techs at the Bolton Vet helped her pass peacefully and with no pain. At 18 and a half years old. We were the best friends, the witch and her familiar and she knew I would always be there for her and I knew I always would be, there was never another thought, ever. 

It was curious, as even at the end there was no anxiety, or stress or a sense of needing to rush, if anything I took my time as I knew, and I wanted as much time with her as I could have. I am so content that I got it. 

I think the very worse, for me, is never knowing .  .  .  when that last moment .  .  .  is the last moment .  .  .  when you will see that special person .  .  .  or the last time you hear that loved voice .  .  .  or the last time you see someone's smile or feel their hug .  .  .  before they are no longer and only if you knew, .  .  .  it was the last time, for me, that would make things better, somehow. I'm glad I had that opportunity with Munchie. Both of us are at peace.

I have her ashes in a beautiful clay cauldron and her paw print and all are on my altar. I will be making a special spot for her cauldron and I will be putting photos of her up. There are many ways to remember and honor your familiar when they pass. Remember their magick was within them, so it does not have to be dissipated or eliminated in anyway.




Planting a garden spot for them, having a remembrance altar for all special souls in your life who have passed on,  making a crystal grid with their memory, perhaps with their picture as a background and silicone or glue the crystals to the grid to make them permanent and then it can be hung on the wall in the ancestor altar area.

For a cat, a center stone of cat's eye would be appropriate along with tiger's eye, surrounded by black tourmaline or morgano or morganite to connect with Bastet with the energies for which she is known for. Especially protection and love.

I have a friend who would brush her cat before she passed and would collect the fur and roll it into balls and then had those balls of fur and the cats energy after the cat passed and I like that so very much, as for me that has a better energy than the dead energy of the cremains.

Normally when a live pet is in magickal need a brown or dark green candle can be burned to bring them magickal energy to make them feel better or to get stronger after an illness or surgery, even to help them pass onto the other side with ease and little distress.

Once your familiar has passed you can burn purple or blue and white candles and I normally burn the candles, at night for a week or so. I like to imagine it helps light the way for my familiar to find her way to the other side. For cats I keep their whiskers (which have extreme magickal power, but only gather those naturally shed) in a heart shaped porcelain bisque box on my altar.

Most importantly do what feels right to you. Maybe you will create a new ritual or tradition for your fur friends when they pass? There is no wrong way to mourn their passing, but doing something is helpful and gives one a sense of closure which is so very important.

Also, in closing, do not be surprised if you have a sense of your loved familiar around, as if you sense them or can hear their collar jingling or hear them playing with a favorite toy, or even a faint meow. They are there and you can say hello. Some even feel a weight suddenly on their bed as if their pet had just jumped up. They did!  They may even send to you another to take their place, not that they do not miss you but they believe you absolutely need someone to take care of you and to look out for you and so somehow or someway you will find a fur friend come into your life.  This happens primarily when one pet passes and there are no others in the household and the owner is now alone. Soon a new fur baby will appear, as if led there by an angelic guide. Know when you are ready, then it will happen.

Most importantly, tell their story "sing their song" and they will always be remembered! I your lifetime you will have the wonderful opportunity to care for and be the magickal companion for many, many pets if you choose to. As long as you remember them, they will never be forgotten and one day you will be reunited with all of them. For we all go to the same place after we leave this earthly plane.


This was taken just before Munchie passed, on April 30, 2018. The eve of Beltane,  "Until I see you again, Sweet Munchie!! I will always love you, mom !!"


Live, Laugh and Always Love, Ms. Faith










© 2010-2018 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to receive the link to the most current weekly blog post send me an e mail with your email address. You will receive a new blog post weekly. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Some Faerie Magick and Lore for the Spring



Greetings My Spring Witchy Readers,

Well, Spring / Summer is upon us, finally!! A happy day it is also!! No more of winter's cold grasp, and we are wishing Summer stays for it's promised 6 month time period. For this time of the year faeries and Spring time / Summer time go hand in hand.

There is so much legend and lore that surround faeries, that volumes of books, whole libraries could have been written about them, and why not? They are thought to have been around before the human race came to the earth.  That is a long, magickal history, indeed.

Most countries and cultures have some sort of faerie folk in their legend and history. Whether they be gnomes, elves, trolls, sprites, nymphs, or some other sort of nature based, hidden, magickal non human creatures that supposedly live among us. Most notably is the Irish faerie that people know so well.  I personally believe from my research and studies throughout the decades that one of the reasons the Irish faerie is so well known is frankly because the Irish are such legendary story tellers! They have kept the stories and fairy tales and legends about the faeries going and fresh by repeating the stories for generations.

Now the first thing to know is faeries do not really tend to look like 'Tinkerbell" from Peter Pan but they can be little and or big, some have wings, not all though, and some are beautiful and pretty and some well .  .  .  not so pretty! Some can be helpful and nice and others can be spiteful and punishing. One must be very respectful when encountering any of the "Gentry", as they are also known. They are not fond of being referred to as "The Wee Folk". 

Probably the most important to realize is faeries are a race of magickal folk who inhabited the earth long before humans, and are not animal, vegetable or mineral nor human, but are a magickal creature made up of .  .  .  we are not sure what exactly! But they are sparkly at times, can absolutely glow, as I saw one once with my own eyes and it did indeed glow a beautiful, soft white light, and it was almost dark at twilight. They can be any size and they are here to aid the earth. Read that again. Without a doubt they are here to aid the Earth. I did not say humans, but the Earth.

Soooo .  .  .  lately with the current, ahem, state of world affairs, for what they are, I have heard people exclaim and worry if the world will survive the current Presidential Administration? What with Presidential Orders being signed at lightening speed to allow unnecessary trophy hunting of endangered species, allowing dangerous hazardous to the environment practices to continue, pulling out of global accords and agreements with other world nations that all wish to come together for one thing and one thing only, to ensure the clean, healthy, sustainable future for our planet, so I do not blame these people who express such concerns.

As a Pagan, an environmentalist, a lover of this world I will state it as I see it. There simply is no room, not even the tiniest inch for discussion about possible differing points of view when it comes to the continued existence of our planet vs. very, very rich people (call them corporations if you will but they are still being propelled by people) becoming more and more rich and not giving a single damn about a moment in time the second after their death. No, there is no other side of this coin, there is no "alternative facts", there is no "insider information we are not being made aware of".

We have an "entity" because a proper word has not been invented yet for "it" in the Pacific Ocean more than double the size of Texas, made up of human created plastics, and garbage materials. Not one country in the world will lay claim to this horrible tragic mess, leaving it up to private individuals to try to clean it up. More tragic still, is that this mass of garbage is only one of 5 that inhabit the world's oceans!  If you enjoy seafood, today, the day will come in your life, unless you are late in life, where you will see the end to our consumption of the oceans seafood.

The reason I am writing about this, is there is no Republican, nor Democratic, nor Christian, nor any other group, culture or belief that has any standing in any argument when it comes to the state of our world. We need to protect Her, because there is no Plan B. We are the guardians of Her for the children and the next generation, and what the current Presidential Administration and various politicians wish to do simply out of pique because of differences of whatever, it seems things as silly as the color of one's skin? How could that be possible? But all of that nonsense aside I say these things, with one point.

We are capable of destroying our ability to inhabit this Earth, we can easily see how quickly we have come so close to doing so in a little more than 100 years of industry but when we are gone, the Earth will  survive as will the faerie folk. For they inhabit the middle Earth. The middle Earth I refer to is inside this earth, they travel there through faerie mounds and enter through caverns.

I have read theories published by some scientific sorts over the years, who, while regarded as mavericks in the scientific community, have come closer to having their theories being regarded as something to be considered.  They persist in saying that instead of dumping toxic, and nuclear wastes deep into mine shafts and caverns deep into the earth instead these chemicals need to be exposed to the elements and after a period of time exposed to the sun, wind, rain, and air that they will eventually neutralize and become as if biodegraded. I don't know if such a thing could be true, but I really like to think so.

We already have seen proof of plastics that supposedly would take hundreds of years to decompose, sitting outside in the elements after a few years start to break apart and turn to dust, plastic dust, but still break down as we had been led to believe could not happen just 20 years ago.

Scientists that study the earth and it's natural growth say that in a mere 6-10 years after the last human leaves the earth, should that ever happen that the earth would overgrow and take over and obliterate everything as if it had never been here? Wow, think of that the next time you're pulling weeds and trimming the lawn!

It is frankly stupid for any human to think we live in spite of the earth, when we live with Her and need to respect Her. When I see in the parking lot next to my store, people will drop on the ground trash, garbage from their cars, with not a single thought. It blows my mind!! To me, that is the very same as if I were to throw that garbage down in my living room.  I do find it interesting that no one ever throws garbage on my parking lot, hmmmm, maybe the fact they know a witch is in residence?

No one ever likes being turned into a newt! hahaha  The faeries will help you keep your yard, your environment safe, healthy and green, just pay attention to some bits of faerie lore and information about them.

Faeries like gifts!  Let's put it right out there!!  A faerie offering is always a nice way to start. And it needn't be expensive or fancy, no no. A small pretty ceramic bowl, or a small bowl made out of stone or crystal, the mall being a key factor and pretty, a few small tumbled crystals or stones.  Or place a small bowl or plate with a strawberry or a few fresh blueberries, a little cup, like a Dixie cup if you do not have glass mini chalices, and fill with some sparkling juice.

I like to go to the dollar store and get bags of colored glass stones. They are usually sold to put into vases to hold flowers, but I throw them by the handful outside, all over the walkways, where I won't mow with the lawnmower. It doesn't matter with winter they survive the snow and are there in the spring. I always smile when I see the colorful, twinkly, sparkly glass.

Try to stay away from pesticides as they kill the bees and the spiders and all the beneficial insects we need to keep this planet alive! And please let the dandelions grow!! They are the first food for the bees in the spring. As far as human safety if you put pesticides and herbicides on your grass you need to be very aware if you allow pets and children or anyone to walk and play or to do important faerie based things. Such as looking for the faerie troupe:

If you have a garden out of doors and you go out, quietly, and sit on the ground, butt on the ground so the earth's energies can co-mingle with yours, and wait patiently .  .  .  you just may be lucky enough to see the faerie troupe parade by with the faerie king in the lead with his scepter held high! If you listen carefully you will hear the faerie music, but take care not to speak or draw any attention to yourself.

Also, it is traditional on the morning of Beltane (May Day) to go out and lay out on the grass, and take a small vial, a tiny cup or bottle and collect the tiny dew drops off of the blades of grass. If you are very quiet and careful, you might look across the grass and see other faeries doing exactly the same thing! This Beltane dew drops is very special elixir indeed and can be used for various magickal potions, especially potions designed to keep one looking youthful and vibrant.

Of course should you happen to wander about and somehow find yourself having taken the wrong path, or somehow wandered into faerie land it is very important to never eat or drink anything, no matter how thirsty or hungry you are. Even if offered by the Faerie King himself, no no! Or else you will find yourself trapped in the faerie world for a very long time, years and years.

Faeries also like to be treated with respect, a polite "how do you do?" when you happen to meet one is always appropriate. Never, ever break a promise to a faerie or oooooh (shudder) well, that is never good just trust me!

Yes, sadly, should you break a promise to a faerie, it is similar to breaking a promise to a witch! You will  bring darkness upon your life and unhappiness. So it is simply best to not make promises in the first place if you are at all worried about being able to keep your promises.

You can speak aloud to them out of doors and they will hear you. You may find some of your out door work done easier or quicker than you remember? Flowers may bloom brighter, and more birds, bees and butterflies will frequent your yard.

Putting little faerie houses is nice, and welcoming if you like the look but it is not necessary, as faeries are quite adept at finding and making perfectly lovely places to live all on their own. But they do appreciate the humans intentions.

They do like as many brightly colored flowers as possible and the nicest smelling ones also. Also faeries are the fondest of the hidden world. Mmmmm, yes indeed. You may wish to put a hidden small garden tea table with a cast iron chair or two, inside of a trimmed out evergreen bush against your house so you can see out to the street but no one can see you. Yes, it can be human sized, but the faeries will appreciate you hidden efforts!

Stones shaped like hearts, or other special shapes have meaning and special significance and anything that is special to you, will be special to the faeries as have you guessed it yet? The faeries represent a bridge of sorts. Where it leads and what it attaches you to? Well, that is up to you to determine, but the faeries are here. They will help us, if we take the time and effort to help ourselves or they will stand by and pick up the pieces after we are gone.



What can I do, you ask? Well there is a  lot that seems so much bigger than us, but it is really the small things that can make a difference.

I am switching to using stainless steel straws, and never using plastic straws again. I already use stainless steel chop sticks and have not used a disposable chop stick in several years.  I will talk to my local coffee shop about how I can use a permanent cup daily and not a disposable one, and simply one step at a time, go on from there and see how much I can reduce my carbon footprint.

We simply can't wait for our government to do so, they are too busy deflecting, making up excuses for this or that and tweeting. In the meantime our planet is dying and the faeries are waiting, will we or won't we?

What will I do?  That is what i will ask myself each day.


Live, Laugh and Always Love, Blessings, Ms. Faith









© 2010-2018 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to receive the link to the most current weekly blog post send me an e mail with your email address. You will receive a new blog post weekly. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Some Folk Traditions of Beltane!

 

Beltane Blessings All,


I have not written in quite a while about the Sabbat of Beltane, and this time I will delve into some of the little known lore and legend and folk magicks and traditions that many people no longer remember or practice around Beltane. This ancient holiday is also known as May Day and Lady's Day. There are many spring rituals held in many cultures at this time of the year. Some are religious, as when Easter falls late in the calendar and some are just a recognition of winter's end.

After a long, cold, six month dark half of the year we are now ready to welcome in the Summer months, to bring in the abundance, the prosperity, the fertility of creation, action, movement, as well as bringing in strength and optimum health on all planes, emotional, spiritual, energetically as well as physically.

Many people  find themselves restless this time of year, it is an inner need to move. We are naturally 'in sync' with the earth's energies and you can research bio rhythms to learn more but be prepared to fall down a rabbit hole for a bit, but it is enough to know, we are in tune with the earth's energy. The energy of the earth, the rocks, the oceans, the sky. This is why when the moon pulls hard on the oceans of the earth, and actually all of the moisture on earth, including every adult humans body's approximately 60% water content is affected in some curious ways. We feel the energy of the earth and we incorporate this energy in our rituals and our worship.

The one very important thing about Pagans is we embrace the fact that we are one with the Mother Earth, that we are part of the wonderful, colorful tapestry woven of the elements, and whereas all of our Sabbats and rituals recognize the elements,  one such as Beltane truly celebrates the elements we come from!

Maypole:  The May Pole is a very significant part of this early spring, first day of summer celebration. In very ancient times the first May poles were in fact living trees with ribbons or threads, strings, or strips of cloth wrapped around.

At one time, in very ancient pagan times, in Celtic Western Europe it was a folk magickal custom to take scraps of fabric, write upon them wishes or prayers for the Goddess to answer. Many would ask for healing, or for a safe child birth, or for a loved one to come back safely from a war, a serious wish, nothing frivolous. Then the cloth scrap would be tied to the branch of a tree or bush, overhanging a stream or small creek.

The idea of this, is when the piece of fabric, which would have been old, used and worn to begin with, and of course a natural material which would easily and quickly biodegrade, no synthetics back then! ,  when it had broken down and worn away, the prayer would be answered.

I am not saying that this is the origin of the Maypole but I do see similarities, as both were used on living trees in the most ancient of times, the ribbons of the Maypole did symbolize wishes and were to bring in magickal benefits to the people who danced around the pole, and the village it graced in the center of the village square. And today there are still cultures and religions that take ribbons and do write blessings and prayers on the actual ribbons to be used in ceremony in various ways.

Today it is remembered that the original colors of the Maypole ribbons were alternating red and white. One color goes in one direction and the other color goes in the other direction. Many today have all sorts of pretty colors. Our Maypole, we use many colors, except for black. That is for the dark half of the year.




It is important to point out that the Celts originated in Eastern Europe near Russia and slowly migrated west until they ended in Great Britain in Eastern Europe simply because they couldn't go any further and they were not a seafaring race. In ancient Celtic Europe in many villages and towns where they celebrated Beltane, which comes from the Gaelic bealltainn, 15th century, meaning "bright fire" or "blazing fire" villagers would erect a  great Maypole, many feet tall, and several feet thick.  Beltane would start on the eve of May 1st, on April 30th and it would last that first evening, all the next day and through the next evening.

At many Sabbat, white steer, or bulls would be driven through smoky flaming bon fires to 'purify' the animals, which today scientists say actually did sanitize the animals ridding them of vermin, pests and disease on their hides before slaughter, making them safer to consume.

The villagers would eat the meat, and many times it would be the only meat consumed except for another 3 times that year during the greater Sabbats.

The Maypole would stay erected and adorned with ribbons until Samhain, when ribbons would be removed and replaced with black, silver or grey and purple ribbons to honor the crone. At the beginning on August, before the first harvest someone would climb a ladder and nail a glove used in the field at the top of the pole. To honor the first harvest and the work it took t get to this place. The glove stays there until the pole comes down.

At Yule, the Maypole comes down and is decorated with greenery and placed in a large fire pit, many times just and end and it is fed into the fire as it burns and this is the famed Yule log. Everyone from the village would come and take a piece of the log to bring home to kindle their home fries from the magickal town fire which kept everyone connected together to one another.

Flowers:

Flowers are also a very big part of the Beltane celebration. Fresh flowers calling out clear and loud summer is here and winter has left us. Flowers are an attachment of the faerie association of Beltane season. For this, more so than any other Sabbat is truly the faerie Sabbat. I was as young as three and out in the yard picking tiny dandelions, violets and whatever I could find blossoming in the grass for a basket to place on the doorstep and then ring the bell or knock on the door and run and hide so my mother would come and find the gift from the 'faeries' on May Day!

 Flowered Circlets:

You can get garlands of artificial flowers and strands of flowers with pipe cleaners, which are prettier and softer to tie them with and ribbons to drape down the back and wear them as a crown for the festivities and the ritual. Even the Maypole can be adorned with circlets of flowers.


This is always done on May Day, no matter what day of the week it falls on, and it does not matter if it is early in the day or later in the evening, it is still appropriate.

Dew:

Another thing that can be done on Beltane morning is to go out, first thing, preferably when the sun is rising, and lay a towel out of the grass and then take a tiny vial and place it close to dew laden blades of clean grass and with a finger tip, gently tap each drop into the vial. With each one you can say a quiet thank you.  When you have a good amount of dew collected, cap tightly. This can be used for love potions and ointments to keep your skin looking youthful and refreshed.




May Wine:

One of the more popular drinks at a Beltane Sabbat is May wine and it is not made from wine necessarily, it can be made from sparkling juice. The key is to put a small sprig of sweet woodruff in each cup and a slice or two of strawberry, fresh strawberry. Strawberry is a very big item for this Sabbat. If you use sparkling grape juice that you can buy at your food market, it is good for young people and anyone who chooses to abstain from alcohol. I prefer the sparkling juice as it is lighter and more refreshing and this way I can stay up and focused for all the festivities. Much more fun!


The Great Rite or The Great Marriage:

Beltane is also the Sabbat where the Goddess and God are reputed to 'get married' to use a euphemism for more delicate sensibilities and their union is one that is believed necessary to fertilize the earth so that all can blossom and flourish and grow and become stronger so that in six weeks, come the Summer Solstice, Litha, the first harvest, which is the harvest of medicinal and magickal herbs, all of those plants are considered at their peek of magickal strength.

The night of the 29th is a full moon, which falling right before Beltane, 2 days before, allows for one to sweep clean the darkness and to clear out any last vestiges of winter scraps. Light a candle, a new, brand new candle. A color which brings you happiness. Any color you like. A pink, or red, or yellow, or green, or blue or purple any color that brings joy and happiness and excitement and reminds you of summer!

Light the candles, play happy music, fill up your kitchen with fresh fruit, feasting on fresh baked breads, spring chicken, spring herbs, pasta primavera with light cheeses and green salads, fruit salads, cheeses and crackers, flavored waters and sparkling juices are all good feast choices.

Any dessert choices keep light and fruit based, such as fruit pies, fruit sherbets, lemon puddings, even resurrecting fruit Jell-O parfaits with whipped cream is fun, pretty, festive and light. That's the whole idea. To dance the May pole, skip hop scotch, visit, socialize, walk the gardens and enjoy the outdoors you don't want to be weighed down with heavy carbs.

Bon Fire:

I will finish up this discussion with the concept of the Beltane fires. In ancient times it was reputed that fires all along the tribes and villages would be extinguished and everyone would be forced to trust in that the next morning the Beltane fires would be kindled and a new fire would be started in your homes hearth from the bigger fires with flaming brands taken from the main Beltane fires.  At a time when one did not have matches or lighters and fires were started with supplies a bit more tricky to use one needed to trust that there was going to be a fire that next morning. For to have lost the fire,would mean an end to your civilization. No warm or cooked food, which would mean an increase in disease and illness, no warmth, no safety where fire could keep away dangerous predators. Now of course, one needs to consider the time frame I may be writing about.

I tend to write often about a time when the ancient Celts lived in small stockade fence surrounded enclosure with a round house, maybe just one or two. Their entire community may have been made up of 5 to 20 of these enclosures. This would consist of their tribe and other Celtic tribes would dot the landscape all over Europe as they migrated West.

However you choose to celebrate, even if just choosing to BBQ out on the grill, sit back, relax, enjoy and know it is the beginning of Summer and the warmth and light half of the year is upon us. Blessings and peace!!


Live, Laugh and Always Love, Ms. Faith


© 2010-2018 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to receive the link to the most current weekly blog post send me an e mail with your email address. You will receive a new blog post weekly. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Back To Basics: Start Practicing Already!!




Greetings My Witchy Reader,

This is another Back to Basics discussion and tonight I am going over some of the basic first questions often asked of me by those just starting off on the path of the magickal.  Everyone needs to start somewhere and firstly there are no silly questions.

If you are interested in practicing the first thing you can do is set up a small altar. Go to the search box to the right of my blog and if you put in set up an altar you should get a few discussions where I go over some basic list of supplies and tools for setting up an altar and the basic format of conducting your own circle casting. Worry about doing it correctly, or making a mistake will only slow you down, simply start. My first circle casting was by myself in a garage without an altar or really any supplies just a circle cast and the Goddess and myself. It will always be the very best one also.

As you start to learn, of course learn the basics, the fundamentals and remember them and apply these principles to what you continue to learn. For instance a customer came in who has been studying Reiki and was putting together crystal grids for family members. She knew about the energy of Reiki and how it works, how it comes from the Divine and it goes through the body and is directed outwards and it is increased and made more powerful as it is sent to the person it is meant for.

She was disappointed at first because she was looking for a big crystal to put in the center of the grid, much bigger than she could find. I reminded her that a medium sized stone would be just as effective as it is herself that is the main tool that takes the energy in and magnifies it and then puts it into the crystal combines it with the crystal and then creates the energy "partnership" that the grid becomes. She already knew what the energy via Reiki could do, but she had forgotten and was putting all of the 'power' into the big crystal she was looking for, when it was in her, much more so than the size of the stone, and she did remember when she recalled the principles she was taught.

Next, "an it harm none" is a basic fundamental principle, so no it is not okay just because he really, really ticked you off and is a jerk, and really deserves it and just for today I am sooo not going to believe in Karma, so where is my black candles .  .  .  .   um, yeah, no.  It is never okay to harm someone unless it is in "Thy self defense it be, ever mind the rule of three".  We do have fewer rules than probably any other religion or spiritual practice, but the ones we do follow are not our rules, human rules they are Universal principles and like gravity, they do apply. Ssssshhhh, to everyone, just don't tell anyone, because that would really ruin a lot of people's day!!

Be VERY careful of the Internet, and even published authors, make sure the information makes sense to you. Nowadays absolutely anyone can put anything on a website, and yes! That includes me!! So, read, be discerning and make sure the information resonates with you and makes sense, and if it does, great! Also books, if the author has some credible history and you enjoy their writing and again if the information makes sense to you and of course if like, the Internet sites, if the information can be verified if it is historical, unless it is the authors own material, then you should be good to go.

One of the most difficult and challenging aspects for new witchlings to the path is finding out that there are several ways to do .  .  . everything! You can cast a circle different ways, set up an altar numerous ways, and conducting a ritual .  .  .well I have never seen two High Priestess' do it the same. We each have our own method, our own ways. All of them have the same basic components pretty much, but we all have our own unique flavor of doing things. So it can be a bit confusing for those who tend to have a black and white way of thinking, which means it must be done this way or that way, when you really need to be able to bend and flow, for that is the nature of the magickal world, to bend and flow.

For example many choose to use a version of casting a circle which starts in the East, whereas my circle and many who follow a Celtic/Druidic basis start our circles in the North. Is one better than the other, no, does it matter, absolutely not. Now to graduate from my course of study one must know the version we do in my school, but then you can do as you feel works best for you.

That's another really important lesson. If you come across a teacher, or mentor, Priestess or Priest of the Craft that insists you do something a certain way, it is very important that you respect them for their time and knowledge but they should be able to answer your questions as to why. I had one student who insisted on mispronouncing the name of a Sabbat and it was not a choice that some may call in say in Great Britain as opposed to the U.S. No, she was mispronouncing it badly and when I corrected her time and again she finally, in exasperation threw up her hands and said "Well, that's the way I say it". I corrected her and said, "no. If you are going to graduate from my program, there are somethings you can choose to do with your own flavor, so to speak, but mispronouncing something as significant as the proper name of a Sabbat so badly as she was, was uneducated and not working on learning it properly was lazy and not acceptable for anyone who wished to go further in my class.

Because as unique as various concepts can be there are basic fundamental principles that are the same throughout. For instance, the West always governs water, and water always governs the emotions. The North governs the earth and East governs air, the South governs fire.  One may start the casting of the circle in the East or in the North but the elements of each direction is always the same regardless. The same as the name of the Sabbats, these are cultural names that have been pronounced a certain way for centuries, and except for slight variations due to accent, they are still pronounced the same.

We are the Craft of the Wise for a reason. For those wondering, no, she did not complete the course. It was a strong indicator that she simply was not a serious student if she could not be bothered to learn a simple word, even if it were unfamiliar. I have also run into a few individuals who have had issues with spelling and are not good spellers, but that is a big part of what we do. We write by hand in our Book of Shadows, we need to write out spells and petitions and the idea that the Goddess or God knows what I am thinking is taking a pretty big risk.

Take an example, if one asks for love in a spell or petition but a poor writer writes leave instead of love. Or momy rather than money and your mom unexpectedly comes to visit rather than getting that raise you really needed!! Don't expect the Universe, God/Goddess to know your intentions and overlook your poor writing, if that were the case why write it down in the first place? We write it down because it sets the spell and has more power and effect than simply our thoughts. So yes, the written word is very important in our spells. Taking the care to learn correct spelling and taking care to spell carefully and properly also shows seriousness and dedication to your craft.

An attitude of "Well, I have always been a bad speller" as if that were some kind of acceptable excuse simply demonstrates much more to me as a teacher of exactly how far that student will go. It also is a strong indicator of how poorly that persons spells will manifest, because what we put out is what comes back, and a poor effort manifests poor results.  Now, be assured, that is not my 'personal opinion' it is what will be the end result. I have seen it many times, as I have seen the student who puts in the effort, the dedication, the hard work, the focus and who does not allow petty nonsense to sway them away from their dedicated magickal path, they end up becoming some of the most wonderful, most magickal, powerful third degree Priestesses I have ever known, or Priests as the case may be.

Initially it may be a few hours a day or a week that you can spend reading, researching, learning and bringing in the magickal bits and pieces that will accent your life, adding the magickal to it. But before long, if you wish to, you can adopt an entire new life, for it is a lifestyle where you will find you no longer 'practice' witchcraft or magick, but you are a witch. It sounds like a fine line of semantics but it can feel like a chasm for those of us who truly find ourselves living the life.

This is the most important part of this discussion. You are exactly where you are supposed to be right here and right now. You are not behind, and you are not in a race, not with anyone else. You will get there in the right time and please don't rush it, take the time and please if I can advise you anything, enjoy the moments of learning for myself now, when I can find myself in a place where I am a student, it is the best ever!!

I find it so rewarding to teach and I am always learning from everyone I encounter in my life, and that is one of the most important lessons I can pass along. If you are in a rush to "get there", to be a high Priestess or Priest, to run a coven, to even teach then you are racing ahead. Be content to learn as much as possible and all of that will come when it is supposed to. Never find yourself done with learning or you may find your magick stymied. The farther along I find myself the more I find myself researching, delving deeper and deeper as each topic opens into a new rabbit hole that takes me to all sorts of places and cultures, ancients times in history and ancient beliefs of magickal people from the past.

Think for a moment about ancient people's. I like to think they did not wait and wait and read and study and wait until they felt they were ready to start practicing their spiritual practice. Yes, many may have abided by hierarchy and may have needed to wait as they achieved rank for their practice to advance but they were practicing for many cultures at the earliest ages, in some form. 

Even if you do not know what you are doing, DO SOMETHING!  And write it down! Have a notebook, write Book of Shadows on the cover, or on the inside and write down a simple ceremony. Light some candles, place a few stones or crystals around, place some flowers, anoint yourself with some essential oil and play some beautiful music that touches your soul. Then .  .  .  DO! Sing, dance, sway, raise your arms, feel the energy, talk out loud to your Goddess or God and ask for blessings, say prayers and give thanks.

DO what feels right for you. And KNOW what you are doing is Divine and Scared. Far more Sacred than what may be written down and told to you, that which you may not understand or know, that which may confuse you or not make sense or resonate with you.

Then realize you have stepped upon the magickal path and you will never step off unless you knowingly, willingly step off. There is no other way to leave.



Live, Laugh and Always Love,   Blessings, Ms. Faith



  


2010-2018 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited. 

 If you know someone who would like my work, please send them this link. If you or they would like to receive the link to the most current weekly blog post send me an e mail with your email address. You will receive a new blog post weekly. If you ever wish to unsubscribe to this blog, please contact me and you will be immediately removed from our list.