A Cat’s Life

A Cat’s Life
Dear readers, I have been absent from my blog writing for about six weeks now. That is because my book, Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft has become fairly successful. Since it has been a while, I thought you all might like to know what I have been up to. The last six weeks have been a mixed bag of things much like any of us go through in life. It has actually been that way for me for the last two years really.
When one wonderful thing would happen, I would hardly have time to enjoy it when something difficult and hard would show up. The ups and downs of that and the pressure of completing my book, my initiation into the hermetic order, and passing on the Coven of the Rising Phoenix to the next generation were all part of what eventually led me to the depths of depression and ill health. During my own distress, my hubby became ill and I focused more on that than on myself. You know how it goes, we all keep up the brave face and soldier on.
During the last six weeks, I have been interviewed by many podcasts and YouTube channels. All of which I will post later on. I wrote a book review for Oberon Zell’s book, Goodbye Jesus, I’ve Gone Home To Mother, a book about folks leaving Christianity for Paganism, for the Green Egg Magazine, in which my own book is featured.
Phaedra Bonewits and I recently wrote an article together for the Witches and Pagans Magazine, in which she, my best friend, interviews me. I must say it is really good. There are some things in that article that are revealing. That article will be coming out soon as well and will get posted when it does. My friend Catt Foy, from Eugene and Queen of the Psy-Cards, wrote an amazing review of my book for the Witches and Pagans magazine too.
Last month I began writing a Q & A column for THoT, The House of Twigs. This witch school and website full of content from various writers is an amazing thing created by my pal Erika Fortner, who also owns the Queen Meb store in Portland on Broadway. Here is the link to my column there https://thehouseoftwigs.com/cats-eye-q-a/?fbclid=IwAR0SJsxnMNvv5wy5uvW4Ok_B_DlhlZ8PFg8X6v49iMZxLhrMCjOCYlvcc0E So, there is a lot to look forward to in content on the horizon.
The stuff that excites me the most is my work locally, in my state, and in my online pagan community. I will start with the Facebook group I created “Grants Pass Pagan’s” I started this group when three people from there spoke up in another group of mine, that they wanted meet-ups, so I put them together almost eight months ago.
Since then, those folks have created on their own, a monthly coffee meet-up and a monthly crafting meet-up. They all became students of mine and are doing very well in their studies and are well on their way to becoming a real coven of their own. The new priest of The Coven of The Rising Phoenix, Taz River, is scheduled to begin Paganism 101 classes with them soon as well.
Then there is Janilou Creations Metaphysical shop in Rouge River. About a month ago, I google-searched metaphysical shops in Medford and found this shop. So, one day I decide to visit, with a couple of my books in hand. I walk in and we begin to chat. Turns out she opened her shop the same month my book came out so she bought a couple of them. They were the first books she bought for her shop. During that visit, she told me she had just meditated and asked the spirits for the item or person that would help promote her shop. Which I am more than happy to do!
Now after several visits, we have an arrangement for the Coven of the Rising Phoenix to do a workshop there once a month. This will begin in June with a crystal workshop taught by me and her. I will be making an events page for this when we get all the details nailed down. I just love synchronicity!
In addition, the new Priestess of the Coven of The Rising Phoenix, Chase Doney already had a group of her own, The Moon Tribe, and she is working on bringing both groups closer together in local events as she and our new priest lead our coven too. She led a lovely blood moon ritual for us this last moon. Chase and I are planning an in-person herbal class here on my property soon.
Not that my place looks great right now, as I have had zero time and energy to do little more than mow the grass. So, it will be a real hands-on class in gardening, including what weeds to pull and which ones not to lol. A note about gardening, never mulch with straw or hay over the winter. You will end up with a garden bed full of hay come spring as I have. I will only mulch with leaves from now on!
Online last month I created a new Facebook group by the name of “Pagan Biznuss” In that group we pagan business owners, and content creators talk about the struggles we have related to our businesses. We share resources, contacts, and events, promote each other and give support. Just today in that group we were discussing how we content makers have “job” openings” for apprentices or interns in exchange for learning our trade or in exchange for magical and witchcraft classes and training.
We are discussing creating some kind of ‘Job’s Board for this, but this is still in the idea stage. I myself have such an opening for someone who knows word press websites. In today’s world of tech, there is more than one way to show your support or help the greater Pagan community grow.
Coming in June on the Summer Solstice on June 2st at 1 pm, I will be participating in the Llewelyn-con here is the link https://www.llewellyn.com/LlewellynCon2022/index.php?fbclid=IwAR2iXZTUYjqyBpP_lZZcGVm-Jv9r7WSJTcSdl7r2QNR9iqA9u3mog5mqvPs
I am going to try to be at the SunFest in June as well, which, as of this writing, is still unknown. In August I will be at the Eugene Pagan Pride and in September, the Sacramento Pagan Pride. Somewhere in all this I will eventually tend to my garden and take some deserved breaks to live, love and laugh, that is if I don’t get overrun by this infestation of ants I seem to have lol but I must say my heart overflows with seeing the greater pagan community growing so well. You guys are amazing, I love you, and Many Blessings to all!

My interview with Elhoim Leafar

I thought I would share my only live video interview to date. This interview occurred before I even received my first copy of my book. Elhoim is amazing and it was such a pleasure to visit with him. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

Blog intro- A year later

It has been almost a year since I began my blog so, I thought I would re-share it to remind myself, and to share with you, where I come from and why I do what I do.

 

Blog Introduction

Why did I start a blog? I wanted a place to write freely, and a place to reach the whole spectrum of people rather than a specific group.

I am almost 62 and at my age, I have few filters left so I am rather direct in my approach. I offer my insights and experiences because I think there are people who will identify and relate. People whom my experience might help, and for the people, it will simply entertain.

So, who am I and why would you want to read what I have to say? Well, I have lived a full and colorful life. Many of the things I have done may seem fantastic, shocking, or unbelievable, but they are verifiable in their own way. As you read keep in mind, that I have never been someone who feared much of anything let alone consequences or other people.

Much of my magical life is in my book Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft, and magic and witchcraft will be a big part of this blog too because it is what I live.

In my personal life, I became a sexual survivor at age four. We lived in the country and I was raised like a boy. I raised rabbits for meat, I was in 4-H, I rode horses, and we had a food garden we all participated in. I hunted and fished with my dad and helped to butcher the dear. I learned to shoot a gun safely when I was 6. It was needed out there for many reasons. I even used to go under the house with my dad when there was a need.

That was all fine and I was happy until I was 13. One day I was so bold as to tell my mom that if I had been born a boy I would never be bored because I would have a certain bit of anatomy to play with. Well, that was that! I was off to conversion therapy to make sure I knew I was a girl. It did not go well, and neither did her attempt at putting me in catholic school the following year. Then when I was 15 mom encouraged me to get married and leave the house.

Over these many years, I have run with bikers, skinned mink for a job, been a truck driver, worked in caregiving, been a waitress, a bartender, a bouncer, and worked on the carnival. In one ten-year span, I held 100 jobs, because I often worked two jobs to get by. I have been a witness to a murder, been in protective custody, struck by lightning, and survived cancer. It is all part of my colorful life and what made me who I am, which I happen to be very happy with.

In the 90s I went to college and became a dual diagnosis counselor on the streets of Portland Oregon. I say the streets because I worked in places like the detox, and methadone clinics. I also worked at the Salvation Army men’s shelter that only took people from prison and the mental hospital.

To me, this is the street level and it is where I love being. It is also the reason I quit being a counselor in an office. I never felt those running the clinics and programs really understood what it was like being on the streets. But let me tell you when you are in a fleabag hotel in Portland with your 3yr. old son, eating at the Sisters of the Road Café on Burnside while you look for work, you get it.

While I have been through some very heavy stuff, there have also been some very wonderful and magical things that are equally fantastic. All of which make for some very interesting stories. I believe that giving them away freely gives it all a positive purpose. If my writing gives solace, laughter, understanding, enlightenment, love, and acceptance to even one person then I have succeeded. I hope you join me for the journey.

Many Blessings to all!

The Quiet Ones

With so much out on the internet in the world of paganism, how do you know who is legit and who is not? Who is knowledgeable about what you seek and who is not?

Well from what I have seen there are teachers, practitioners, and authors who are all over social media and using it to its fullest. Some push too hard and like a used car salesman you can hardly open a platform without seeing them and their wares. Those are what I call the commercial public pagans. Now there is nothing wrong with making money from what one does, we all want to make a living, myself included. It is a difference of quality VS quantity. From what I see from some of the commercial public pagans is that they are mostly online rather than out in their local community, other than large events.

Dare I suggest it is the ones you do not see so much of that should be sought out? You know who they are. The ones who quietly answer a question or two in your groups and stay out of the main conversation. They are the ones that stick to their lane, meaning: they do not try to be everything to everyone or portray themselves as having all the answers. Many of them have websites, stores, blogs, or classes that focus on the local area but are not overblown and slick. They are typically the ones you see presenting at the local pagan faire whose names you are not familiar with that also vend at said faire. That tarot reading you got from some cool old lady you are not familiar with, just may have been a very prominent priestess in her time who wrote several very good books. So it pays to look up someone’s name now and then.

A good friend of mine says one way to tell quality over quantity is to see what they are trying to sell to you. And how they go about it. Ask yourself are they flashy or pushing their wares? Does what they offer sound too good to be true? or are they quietly willing to be real with you? Are they charging a large fee? or just a basic fee? Does what they offer match their credentials?

Then one has to ask how do you see or find the quiet ones? In social media, you have to look past the flash. If someone left a practical comment and you have seen their name a few times, check out their profile, and any sites or other things they may have listed, it might surprise you!

It also depends on what you are looking for. If you only want information, cool. If you are looking for someone who lives what they teach and write and has credentials to match then you might want to take a closer look into that person’s profile and background to see if they are active in their community and available.

To help find some of the quiet ones I thought I would list those I find have quality over quantity.

Phaedra Bonewits has been a practicing psychic, witch, ritualist, and ceremonial magician for thirty years and is an early co-conspirator and a former national officer of CUUPS (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans) Phaedra is also a master of the Tarot, a reading from her is quite something.

Phaedra is currently active in her local community through The Coven of The Rising Phoenix and making presentations at local Pagan events as well as the Sacramento and Eugene Pagan Prides.

Books:Real Energy: Systems, Spirits, and Substances to Heal, Change, and Grow. Phaedra also recently co-edited Goodbye Jesus I have gone Home to Mother, with Oberon Zell, a book about seekers who have left the Abrahamic faiths and turned to Paganism, and wrote the forward to Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft by Cat Gina Cole. Phaedra also has a Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/isaac.phaedra.bonewits Her books  can be found on Amazon

Oberon Zell he and others laid the groundwork for the paganism we know today. Oberon Zell is the Dumbledore of our time and a modern Renaissance man. A transpersonal psychologist, metaphysician, naturalist, theologian, shaman, author, artist, sculptor, lecturer, teacher, and ordained Priest of the Earth-Mother, Gaia. Among the many projects he has undertaken in his lifetime, Oberon is one of the founders of the Church of All Worlds, is the first publisher of Green Egg Magazine, the Headmaster of the Grey School of Wizardry, the founder and curator of the Academy of Arcana. Those who know him well consider him to be a true Wizard in the traditional sense.

Oberon Zell currently resides in Redmond Washington where he continues to write and participates in the local community and travels to events at the age of 79. He is a real treat to get to meet in person. His recent books can be found at: https://oberonzell.com/books/ His sculptures and jewelry are available at https://oberonzell.com/

 

Aidan Kelly is an influential figure in the religion of Wicca. Having developed his own branch of the faith, the New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn, during the 1960s, he was also initiated into other traditions, including Gardnerian and Feri n subsequent decades. He has also been an important figure in the creation of the Covenant of the Goddess, an organization designed to protect the civil rights of members of the Wiccan community in the United States. He has also published academic work studying the early development of Gardnerian Wiccan liturgy, primarily through his controversial 1991 book Crafting the Art of Magic.

Later a friend asked him to write a ritual for a Witch sabbat as part of an art seminar. This ritual led to the founding in October 1967 of the New Reformed Orthodox Order of the Golden Dawn (NROOGD), which evolved into a Wiccan coven in 1969. Although humorously named after the famous Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Kelly’s coven was otherwise unrelated to that group.

The NROOGD tradition co-founded by Kelly in 1969 continues to operate in California and has covens in other states, Canada and the UK. Aidan Kelly currently lives in the Tacoma Washington area and offers classes through his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/aidan.kelly.37  His books can be found on Amazon

Hexaba Theaux  Is very active in her local community offering classes and running her store, Cajun Conjure Hoodoo Emporium, and teacher at http://www.cajunconjure.com/ Her Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/hexeba.theaux-

Karen Walters and spouse Navar Knight have created an amazing Pagan community center at their shop at https://www.facebook.com/candlelightandconjure/ in Salem Oregon where they offer many classes, events, and witchy supplies. Their shop even features life-size Anubis and Bast statues that are quite impressive.

Katrina Rasbold and spouse Eric Rasbold own the Crossroads and Conjure shop in Northern California and it is quite a sight to see. They offer many classes and events and Katrina and her crew make many of the products sold there. Katrina holds live tarot readings from the crossroads page on Facebook and has a YouTube channel and participates in many of the events in her area and much more. Katrina has written quite a few books on Witchcraft and Conjure as well as The Seven Sisters of Avalon series, she can be found at: http://katrinarasbold.com/

Their shop can be found at  https://www.facebook.com/crossroadsoccult  Her youtube is at https://www.youtube.com/c/KatrinaRasbold    Her books also be found on Amazon

Erika Fortner, owner of the Queen Meb store in Portland Oregon a very nice space that is well stocked. Many of her products are made by her and this witchy gal is the real deal. There is not much she cannot help you with. Erika offers classes in person and online at https://learn.thehouseoftwigs.com/ and her website is https://queenmeb.com/

Manora Fawn- She has a YouTube channel, Talking with Siofra where she discusses topics suggested by her followers in a very practical and down-to-earth way. She and her husband are active in their local community and often hold meet-ups and rituals on the Oregon Coast. They have been active in the Pagan community for many years and their wisdom shows.

Lupa Greenwolf, this is one busy Pagan! Her website shows how diverse her natural works are and that she has been at this for a while. Her talents include the reading of bones and bone artwork, The  Tarot of Bones, she has written quite a few books and does online classes! She can be found at: https://thegreenwolf.com/

Janice Patterson Seidel Owner of the Dancing Gypsy in Klamath Falls Oregon. https://thedancinggypsy.net/ Her shop services a wide region of rural Oregon and features handmade items, an apothecary, and any other witchy item you might need. Janice is a master of pendulum work and often holds classes on many topics at the store as well as doing rituals in her local area. She can be found on Facebook at:

https://www.facebook.com/The-Dancing-Gypsy-a-space-for-spiritual-growth-259065377835065

Rachael Patterson, this is one amazing witch! I have watched her YouTube channel and love how she can make magic from common items, even eyeglasses. Rachael lives in the UK; she has written many books on witchcraft and runs a semi-private coven in her local community. She and her blog can be found at: https://www.rachelpatterson.co.uk/    Her books can be found on Amazon and Llewellyn Worldwide. Com

Catt Foy, talk about down-to-earth real folk, this gal is that and much more. Catt Foy is a writer, artist, photographer, author, organizer of the Meraki! Spirit & Arts Fair, and spiritual consultant living in Eugene Oregon.

Catt’s art includes paintings, fiber arts, wearable art, upcycled and original jewelry, and photography. Her recent publications include Rune Stones and Their Interpretations, a new guide to Psycards: An Oracle of Archetypes, a fun new Psycards Archetypes Coloring Book in black and white, and with color illustrations, and the historical novel, Bartleby: A Scrivener’s Tale. She can be found at, http://www.cattfoy.com/

Beverly Kennedy is truly one of the quiet ones on social media she does not employ any hype but check out her impressive pagan resume:

“I am an Honored Member of the non-profit, Temple of Witchcraft, Salem, New Hampshire, and attended the Mystery School of the Temple of Witchcraft, with Wiccan High Priest and author, Christopher Penczak. I have been a solitary practitioner of earth-based spirituality for the last 21 years. )O( Honored Literary Membership~Le Musee de Vampires et Monstres de l’Imaginaire, Paris Honored Membership~Temple of Witchcraft, Salem New Hampshire USA Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids~ *Bard* East Essex, England, UK Honored Member Tidewater Druids Norfolk, Virginia, USA Honored Member Ar nDraiocht Fein Certified Massage Therapist, 2001 Certified Master Facilitator Intuitive and Energetic Healing, 2002 Certified Reiki Master/Teacher 2002 Ordained Non~Denominational Minister 2005 Certified Angel Card Reader; Doreen Virtue, 2015 Certified Realm Reader; Doreen Virtue, 2016. She can be found at https://www.facebook.com/BeverlyKennedyEvanstar/about

Ruth Overholser is a gentle and wise soul. She studied natural medicine and makes all her own herbal products and she is the one I turn to when I need to know anything about herbs and medicine. Her small shop is tucked in the quaint town of Cave Junction Oregon. She can be found at: https://m.facebook.com/LadyThymeHerbs/

Karen Campbell, talk about quiet grace! When you meet Karen Campbell you feel an instant calming influence, light and gentleness just emanates from her. Karen is an amazing tarot reader, teacher, reiki healer, and much more. She vends at many local events and is a treat. She can be found at https://www.facebook.com/karen.campbell.509 and her website is: http://brokenwingcounseling.com/Home/index.php

Christopher Penczak, tho well known is a quiet soul. He is a Witch, teacher, writer and healing practitioner. His practice draws upon the foundation of both modern and traditional Witchcraft blended with the wisdom of mystical traditions from across the globe as a practitioner and teacher of shamanism, tarot, Reiki healing, herbalism, astrology and Qabalah.

He is the founder of the Temple of Witchcraft tradition and system of magickal training based upon the material of his books and classes. He is an ordained minister primarily serving the New Hampshire and Massachusetts pagan and metaphysical communities through public rituals, private counsel and teaching, though he travels extensively teaching throughout the United States. He can be found at:

https://christopherpenczak.com/

Those are a few of the quiet ones that can be found if you look. They have a wealth of knowledge and skill to be enjoyed. I hope you enjoy and admire them as much as I have. Many Blessings to all!

 

My Llewellyn Journal Article, How Psychic Skills Enhance Magic and Witchcraft

POSTED UNDER PAGANISM & WITCHCRAFT

How Psychic Skills Enhance Magic and Witchcraft

I have been a psychic my whole life. When I was little, my mother and grandmother introduced me into our family tradition of Hedge Witchery and Psychism. Later when I began writing about Psychism, I found it very difficult to sit and draw it all out step by step because it was like breathing—something I just always did without much thought. But as I did so, I realized how beneficial it was to have it all laid out in front of me. Now it was identified and useable instead of mystified and indescribable. In written form, my psychism became a useable tool rather than something that just happened without explanation. Which is when I realized there are many psychics that might benefit from this, too, which is how my book, Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft, came to life.

I used to think my psychism was my witchcraft and magic, but since have learned they are very separate things. To me, witchcraft is how I live with the world and nature and use those relationships. Magic is the action I take to bring about a desired result by using learned correspondences. When I add psychism to the mix, I wholly become the working, not just a technician working the formula. It is one thing to feel energy, but you need psychic skills to manipulate it, amplify it and send it.

When I include my psychism into a magical act, I tap into energies well beyond myself. I then channel them through me and into the magic. This increases the effectiveness of whatever magical work I am doing.

To learn this type of energetic channeling using psychic skills, you can begin with a simple blade of grass. Take one blade of grass in hand. Look at the details of it. The color, the texture, the smell. Then push your senses inside of it until you can see in your mind, the vein inside the blade uses to acquire water and nutrients. Think about how it is a living being and all it does to continue to live. Focus on this to the exclusion of all else. You are succeeding when you no longer notice your body, your surroundings or anything but the blade of grass. Once you have accomplished that, sit down on the grass. Close your eyes and touch the grass around you. Then focus on becoming one with that grass. Feel it, let it talk to you. Feel its spirit: is it happy, or needing water?

Now as a witch, let’s do some magic for the grass and call some rain. Now that you have connected to the live spirit of the grass you can project the energy of its request for rain to the elements. You are now the conduit of that energy and spirit as you invoke the elements to be present. Once they are present, you charge your request with the power and energy you gathered as you ask them to respond. This gives the elements an extra connection and reason to respond to your desire, which adds the spirit and energy of the grass, making the magic more effective. This is just one example of how psychism can enhance magic and witchcraft.

The above exercise is an excellent way to begin a practice of bringing your psychism into your magical workings. If you do not have grass available, you can sit with a houseplant and create the same connection. You can connect to something from your dreams, a person, a city, the very atmosphere in the same way. There is no limit to what energies psychism can connect you. The goal is to be able to channel those energies into your workings.

The key to building your psychic skill is having a regular meditation practice. Meditation is needed for psychism because it conditions the mind and assists with divination.

Divining a thing is like having a conversation with it, much like the grass in the above exercise. We call a tarot session a “reading,” yet using the tarot is an act of divining because you “divine” or “acquire” information then “read” the information received. I simply call it reading, because I read what the spirit of the thing is putting off.

If you add the skill of reading other things, it will increase your ability to bring energetic connections into magical workings. Being able to divine and read things around you is of great benefit to everyday life as well. It gives you information others cannot tap into. The divining and reading skills tie into your intuition, but goes way beyond that. Intuition is a nudge; divining is receiving specific information.

In the spirit of reading a thing to divine information, let’s say you are about to go into an office for job interview. Before you walk in, you pause and touch the door handle. With eyes closed, focus on seeing or feeling the person behind the desk and open your senses to receive what the door handle is telling you. Having your eyes closed keeps your surroundings from being a distraction. I have picked up the mood and energy of the person in the room this way, which can tell you much about the person doing the interview. It can be great fun practicing this wherever you go, and then asking friends and family how accurate you are then journaling your results to use later.

Now let us apply this ability to magic. All things have a life and memories into which you can tap with divination and reading skills and then channel into the work. Imagine you are in ritual and pick up a wand; that wand has a spirit and energy. You may discover that the wand does not want to participate in the working at hand. Using divination and reading skills can lead you to a more appropriate tool to use for the job.

Divination and reading skills can also be used to read the mood and energy of those present. While divining and reading you are in an altered state of mind, similar to meditation. In this altered state you can pick up some of the needs of those present before beginning a ritual and then tailor the ritual towards those needs. After reading the room, you can then psychically reach out and tap the energy you feel is needed to calm the room and bring everyone into the same state of mind. You can then project that energy outward to those present and create a unified state of mind for everyone. Using these skills as you begin a ritual often gets called grounding and centering or creating a sacred space. But those labels fall short of what psychic skills provide, and are rather vague to the details of the skills involved in this kind of practice.

Psychic skills lend a whole new level to magic. Through remote viewingastral travel and dreamwork, you can go to other locations and do magic and healing there. While in other locations you can use reading and divining skills to know what exactly is going on and what is needed, which will tell you if you need to cast a protection or if you need to get right to work. Reading and divining skills can be used in solitary work, too. They can tell you when it is time for a ritual or spell. It begins with an intuitive nudge or thought, which is the cue to pause and scan before divining the information.

These skills have led me to many personal workings for things that I need for which I would not otherwise be aware. I have had many such workings come to me in dreams. In Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft, I call it “crossing the hedge” where I wake with magic, a ritual, or a spell that I have been directed to do by a spirit, deity, or other wise person. I always follow through on these because they never fail to be accurate. For these I hold a psychic visualization of the experience as I complete them. This creates an energetic connection between the dream world experience and the magical act that is also be used in spell work.

I like to use psychic visualization in spell work. Mental visualization is something most of us do every day—that is not the type of visualization I’m speaking of here. For psychic visualization in a spell, you visualize an encounter you had through a dream, a trance, or astral travel, with a deity, spirit, or element that relates to the spell. You then use that visualization as you call on them to lend their power and hear your desire.

This gives you a greater connection and ability to invoke them. Next, you draw all of that energy and spirit into your core and expel it through the words you use in the spell, giving the spell greater impact. At the end of the words of your spell, shift your visualization to your desired goal until you feel that you are there with that goal. When you feel fully connected, you are now holding enough energy and power to send off the spell. You send off a spell through an action, like burning the correspondences, burying them, or sending them off with water or air in some way. Because when it is all said and done, magic is what we think, say, and do.

Establishing the practice of these skills is not just work and drudgery. It is fun, exciting, expansive, and gratifying as we test out how effective we are becoming in our magic. So, happy casting and enjoy the journey!

 

 

 

FAKE RAIN AND USEFUL WEEDS

I live in Southern Oregon and we are dealing with at least three consecutive years of drought here. When we bought our place four years ago it was lush and green. Things were way overcrowded, many plants had no space to grow and thrive. So, thinking things needed to look neat, tidy, orderly, and cared for I cleared much of it away. You clear away the unwanted and put in the wanted, tend to them and make them grow, and spend a lot of time effort and money getting rid of weeds and creating growing spaces. Everyone else’s yards are that way and it is just how it is supposed to be done right? 

Today I regret that decision and work.

I see it in a whole new light now. I feel that bare ground is dead ground, because bare ground, is dry ground. Today, if weeds are growing, I feel at least there is some green and creating oxygen that is keeping some moisture in the ground. If there is a patch of weeds in a place I want to plant something else in, I will dig it up but not until then.

Weeding my garden is not something I do anymore. I see weeds as protection and life. Not just for the ground but for all the ground dwellers, insects, bees, birds, and more. Yes, even the Bermuda grass I am plagued with, it too provides shade damp and life to many things.

Today my yard and garden are very messy looking. I have folks tell me I need to clean it up all the time. I prune where and when needed for the health of the plant only, not for the aesthetic of it. For example, cutting back the dead stalks of flowers at a season’s end. I do not do this. I feel they provide shade, ground cover, food to insects, food for birds, or draw insects that are food for birds. I only cut back the old stalks when the new ones are coming in and only if they need the space or the old stalks are no longer of use as protection or shade to the new ones. Then those old stalks become mulch.

In nature, none of these things are done in the wild. What got me thinking this way was a conversation I had with a nursery owner two years ago when I was concerned about getting water to my plants. In that conversation, he said the plants need rain/water for the leaves, buds, and bark, the roots are fine. If you use lots of mulch and keep the ground covered like a forest floor and provide shade, they will be ok. Since then, I use all my leaves, grass clippings, and shredded paper as mulch and I have fake rain days.

What is fake rain? Me, out there with a hose and a spray nozzle spraying fake rain/water on my plants. I spray water over the whole surface as rain would. I do this for every plant no matter the size. I have discovered I use less water than traditional ways of watering. You can see the plants perk up right in front of you and it leaves me feeling as happy as they do!

So now I am on yr. two of trying to bring back or grow as much shade, leaves, and groundcover in a natural way as I can in my messy ecosystem. It seems to be the only way to keep my corner of this green planet green in this changing climate. So, a messy yard, fake rain, and useful weeds it is until that changes.

 

A LITTLE HERBALISM FOR YOUR DAY- Plant Identification and Majorum

 

Plant identification and Majorum

When I began learning herbs from someone other than my grandmother I was taken back at how little information was being given and in my brazen style decided I could do better. So I asked if I could teach a class or two and was given permission. Little did I realize the amount of work and research that really went into knowing more about herbs!

As I proceeded I realized herbalism had its own language. In an earlier blog post, I wrote an herbal glossary that focused on types of concoctions and the actions of the herb. Today I include the language of plant Identification. It is very important to know you have the correct herb as there are many look-alikes out there that can harm rather than heal.

At the end of the glossary I show the type of research I do on all my herbs while discussing Majorum, but first the glossary. Sources are available on request.

PLANT IDENTIFICATION GLOSSARY

AXIS: The axis is the plant stem; more generally the line of growth of a stem or any of its branching parts that carry flowers, other branches, or leaves.

AXIL: This is the upper angle between a bract or leaf and the stem on which it grows, or an axillary flower or bud.

ACHENE: A small dry, nut-like, one-seeded fruit that does not split open when ripe to release the seed, It can be winged, such as a maple seed, or caraway seed.

ASCENDING: This simply means curving upwards.

BASAL: These are the leaves growing at the base of a stem.

BIPINNATE: A leaf that is twice pinnate i.e., a pinnately divided leaf whose leaflets are themselves pinnately divided. (See Pinnate description below)

BRACT:  A small leaf or scale-like structure from the axil of where a flower often begins.

COMPOUND LEAF: This is a leaf divided into two or more leaflets or a leaf or flower cluster with a branched main axis.

DECIDUOUS: These are plants with shedding leaves at the end of the growing season.

DIVIDED: A place in the plant where they separate towards the mid-rib or base.

ELLIPTICAL:  Leaves that are oval but slightly pointed at each end.

FEATHERY: Leaves that are cut into many fine segments along the edge that look “Feathery”

FURROWED: Leaves with longitudinal (long) channels or grooves that run toward the base of the leaf.

GLOBOSE: This term is usually applied to a fruit or a seed that is round like a sphere

LATERAL: This term means something that is situated at the side of the leaf. “It is lateral to the object being viewed”

LEAF AXIL: Is the part between the leaf and the stem

LEAFLET: This is a subdivision of a compound leaf where you find several small leaves in a group.

LINEAR: Leaves that are long and narrow, almost parallel-sided.

LINEAR- LANCEOLATE: These are leaves that are long and narrow but tapering to a point at the tip

LOBED: Leaves that are divided toward the mid-rib but not into separate leaflets, each division is rounded at the apex, like an oak leaf.

LATEX: This is a milky fluid produced by several kinds of plants such as poppy, milkweed, rubber plant, and many more.

MARGIN:  The outside edge of a leaf or seed.

MID-RIB: Is the center vein of a leaf, usually thickened and obvious.

NODE: This is a point on a stem in which one or more leaves grow or have grown; the part of the stem between the nodes is called an internode.

OBOVATE: This describes a leaf that is oval, with the end farthest from the stalk being wider than the end attached to the stem that is somewhat egg-shaped, also called OVATE.

OPPOSITE: Leaves that grow in pairs at the same level on opposite sides of the stem.

PALMATE: This describes a leaf that has the shape of a hand. The leaf will have a center like our palm with three or more leaves extending from it as our fingers do on our hand. The Virginia Creeper vine is one of these types of leaves.

PETIOLE: Is the stalk of the leaf, not the whole plant.

PINNATE: A leaf that has the structure of a feather in that similar parts occur on opposite sides of an axis. A pinnate leaf is divided into numerous leaflets that grow along either side of the leaf stalk and have their own center stalk, which is called a petiole.

RAY FLOWER: These are flowers that edge a central disc, such as sunflowers daisies and many more.

RHIZOME: This is a creeping, usually horizontal underground storage stem, which sends up leafy shoots each season, like ferns, and water hemlock.

SESSILE: These are stalkless flowers or leaves. They have no petiole or stem of their own but grow right from the main stalk much like Chickory does.

SIMPLE: Leaves that are not divided into leaflets of stems but are unbranched in any way.

SPREADING: These leaves stand out horizontally or at a wide angle from the stem.

SHEATH; The sheath is the lower part of the leaf that wraps around the stem or stalk, near the base that is separate from the main part.

TERMINAL: This is the end of a stalk or stem or branch that limits more growth.

UMBEL: Is a bract of flowers that are umbrella-shaped in which all the flowers or the secondary umbels in a compound umbel are borne on smaller stalks that spread out and are equal in length. They arise from a common stem, like on water hemlock and wild carrot.

VEIN: This is the passageway for water and nutrients to and from a leaf; also the mechanical support system you see them when you look very closely at a leaf.

So now that we know more about how to identify a plant let’s talk about one of my favorites, Marjoram! I have fond memories of this herb as it was one of the first teas my mom introduced to me. I knew when mom brought out the Marjoram it was time to sit and quietly talk.

How the following is laid out also shows the type of research I do on all of my herbs. The reason I do this is because I was taught herbs are medicine. Many of the terminology used here can be found in my blog article Herbal Glossary.

MARJORUM;

CONTAINS: vitamins A,B-12,C AND K, thiamine, riboflavin, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, sodium, zinc, silicon, phytonutrients, beta-carotene, lutein, and flavonoids.

ACTIONS; Tonic, carminative, diaphoretic, calmative, anodyne, stomachic, antidote, antispasmodic, anti-fungal, antioxidant, aperitif, diuretic, antibacterial, anti-viral, optic tonic, aromatic, expectorant, emmenagogue, and hypertensive.

USES; asthma, violent cough, spasms, cramps, measles, dropsy, respiratory issues of all kinds, digestive problems, nervous headache, colic, gas, gargle, allergies, colds, nervous disorders, rheumatism, toothache, prevents neural damage in the brain, food poisoning or staph infection

I have used Marjoram as a calmative and tonic. Any time I am over-stressed and worn out, or wrung out during or after a cold or flu or other illness. I find it has restorative qualities and feels very relaxing to the system and I love the earthy aroma!

You can infuse oil to use on sprains or joint pain, by putting the fresh herb in olive oil and let stand in the sun for 2-3 weeks. Another way to do this is to get one of those small warming crock pots for sauces. They heat to 140. Put ingredients in and let warm overnight or two days to get the same effect. This oil can be used for earache and toothache and massage for varicose veins and gout.

The planet of Marjoram is Mercury, and it is used for communication, thinking logic, writing, motivation, and wisdom. This is a good tea to serve at a study group or business meeting.

Its tarot card is the Magician because it has all the tools it needs to do the job. It brings temperance that promotes growth and changes that make one humble. Excellent before meditation. Marjoram’s Goddess is Aphrodite who is the symbol of happiness, love, joy, and serenity. This herb is one of my staples. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. Many Blessings!

 

 

 

 

Being of Service and Promotion

Being of Service

In my family tradition I was taught from a young age about being of service. Not just being of service to the spirits of the other side as a witch, but helping people in whatever way possible. Those closest to me know I live this daily.

I often wondered why I experienced some of the things I have in my life. I could not understand why these things were put on me. Often, they were heavy, confusing, and very hard and made no sense.

On a day when I was struggling and feeling like I was at the bottom of life, my mom said, “You experience these things so you can give your knowledge and strength of how you got through them to others.” In that perspective it suddenly all made sense and I was able to carry on.

This does not make me an expert in anything. Nor does it elevate me above anyone else. That is not who I am. I am a simple country witch, a real person that has led a colorful life and had some experiences that when shared, might help others through their journey. And that is the sole reason I wrote my book Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft.

I have had the opportunity to elevate myself in this world and walked away each time because being a real and approachable person available to others was more important. Which makes self-promotion against my character. But how does one be of service to others unless they know you are there?

Promotion

In today’s world of social media, I cannot reach folks that might have a need without some self-promotion. I, like many, despise the slick used car salesperson tactics or flooding of social media I have seen others use. So, I quietly sit in many Pagan groups on social media. I carefully select those I respond to and share my blog once in a while. To date that has been my form of self-promotion. On the flipside of promotion, one must enjoy and share their joys with their community to fully live that joy. That is my goal here today.

In writing psychic Skills For Magic And Witchcraft, the main goal was to write about psychism in a common-sense, and practical, step by step easy to understand way. To tear off the band-aid of the common mystical language that only serves to further confuse or cloud psychism for many.

My second goal was to de-mystify many of the preconceived ideas our society has taught us about psychics and let all psychics know they no longer have to feel odd or confused. There is a name for what they experience, there are tools to use, it is real, and they are not alone.

My book, Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft takes the seeker on the complete journey. In the later chapters, I use real-life experiences to demonstrate how psychic occurrences can appear in daily life. I couple those experiences with additional advanced tools and skills the seeker can use to deal with their own experiences in their own way.

My book is my way of being there for the many psychics that have no one to talk to or feel lost in their experiences. The book is not only what I live daily and what I teach, but it is the book I wish I had growing up as a psychic. It is my greatest desire that it brings all psychics, confidence, guidance, and peace of mind, no matter where they are in the journey.

Today I celebrate my work and let myself feel the joy I wish to share with you the seeker. Psychic Skills For Magic And Witchcraft, published by Llewellyn Worldwide will be coming out in February 2022.

I am excited to see this work come full circle. I can hardly believe it is available for pre-order at Llewellyn Worldwide, on Amazon, and Barnes and noble.

I am also honored to have written an article for the Llewellyn Journal, to be published in January. I even get to be a guest on Spirit Talk, a show in Australia! Never in my wildest dreams did I think this would be so. It is almost surreal like I am walking in a dream or in someone else’s life. the joy of it is almost overwhelming. So, witches, follow your dreams and fly!

Below you will see some of the endorsements for my book. I am so honored that these folks thought so highly of my work. I am humbled by their praise. I hope you enjoy the book as much as they have. Many Blessings to all!

Advance praise for Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft: Developing Your Spirit, Intuition, and Clairvoyance, published by Llewellyn Worldwide in February 2022:

“If you want to develop your intuition and related mental acuities, this is a fabulous resource! Each chapter provides a variety of tools, both material and otherwise, that allow you to open your mind and increase your focus. Even if you’ve never done any sort of psychic practice, this book will offer you the framework you need to get started and get better, without being overly dogmatic or prescriptive.” —Lupa, creator of The Tarot of Bones deck and book 

“I’ve read a lot of books on psychism, but this one is unique; not merely theoretical, but actual tried-and-true practical exercises, definitions, explanations, and most enlightening—personal excerpts from Cat’s own journals from a lifetime of both learning and teaching the psychic arts. Cat’s descriptions of her childhood lessons and exercises remind me so much of my own lonely journey as a ‘magikid.’ Fortunately, while I had to invent my own experiments in telepathy, hypnosis, psychokinesis, etc., Cat had her witchy mother and grandmother to teach her. And in this book she organizes the solid lessons she learned and teaches into an easy-to-understand three-level course of study for beginning students to intermediate practitioners. This course presents a foundational curriculum of psychic skills for daily living and all forms of spiritual practices. I recommend it highly!” — Oberon Zell, Headmaster of the Grey School of Wizardry, author of Grimoire for the Apprentice Wizard.

“Crone wisdom resonates throughout the pages of this vital book that is certain to become a modern classic. Bringing together a lifetime of clinical and priestess training, Cat Gina Cole has written the consummate book for developing and growing psychic awareness and sensitivity.” — Katrina Rasbold, Author of Uncrossing: Identify, Cleanse, and Heal from Hexes, Curses, and Psychic Attack and Crossroads of Conjure: The Roots and Practices of Granny Magic, Hoodoo, Brujería, and Curanderismo.

 

Yule a time of light and darkness

 

“There is no light without the darkness to compare it to.” An appropriate and popular saying at Yule time. On this solstice many celebrate the return of the light as the days begin to get longer. Others celebrate the dark time and all that dwells there. Some take this time to dive into their personal shadows and darkness.

How ever you acknowledge the darkness this season, there is another darkness that must be dealt with, the darkness we feel from the entire nation. We are all oversaturated with trauma, crisis, and sensationalism in one form or another. As Witches it is our practice to work with the forces around us and that includes this one. As magical practitioners and sensitives it has slowly had its effect on us.

Now that we have acknowledged this dark force, let us as Witches, Magical practitioners, and sensitives, use this Yule and celebration of the return of the light to roll back this dark force on our nation and our personal lives.

This Yule let us gather in energy or in-person and focus on the return of the light to people’s hearts. Cast your laughter and joy loudly from your throats. Cast your music, your dancing, your drumming, your candlelight and let it shine brightly across our communities. Cast the joy until it ripples across the land and touches everyone it can.

My Yule blessing for you all is this: May you feel the ripples of joy and light. May you pass it on. May the New Year have no choice but to be joyful for everyone!

By our will, so mote it be!

Herbal Information Sources

Today I thought I would write about herbalism. And I realize there is so much information out there that you might like to know what sources I use and my process for researching them.

I have several rules of practice when looking for information on herbs. First, I google medicinal uses for….(insert herb here) I look at no less than 15 sites if the herb is new to me. Then I look for what the herb contains, not just its uses. When I begin to see the same information being repeated, that is the information I then write down. After that, I go to my books, and for a new herb, I use no less than eight. Then when that information matches up with what I found online, I enter the matching information into my herbal journal confident in what I have found.

Why do I do all of this? Because herbs are medicine and chemicals just like a prescription.

My number one rule is “Do your own research”, even if a trusted friend gives you good information. Two herbs are responsible for this rule, Kava and the mint family of which there are 7000 species. Kava is listed as harmless and non-toxic, yet if someone has liver issues it can cause them harm. In the mint family of 7000, if someone is allergic to one of them, they are likely to be allergic to all of them. Almost every herb has some indication like this and it takes deep research to find it at times.

I also look at what an herb contains and I find words like saponins, flavonoids, or rutin. I look them up too so I know what they are and how they interact with the body. I look at the actions and find words like depurative, vulnerary, and diuretic, and look them up too. All for the sake of safety and being confident of what I am using.

This resulted in my creation of an herbal glossary I keep for my own use and teach my students. You will find that glossary on my blog at https://catginacole.com/a-little-herbalism-for-your-day/ It is an excellent example of the types of words to look for. I also created the glossary because I discovered herbalism has its own language and the glossary became the key to understanding it.

I do have several friends I have come to trust over time to converse with about herbs, they are: Kathleen Crochet Stursa- Herbalist, simpler, and Gardner extraordinaire, Ruth Overholser-Owner of Lady Thyme Herbs in Cave Junction Oregon, Janice Patterson Sidel-Owner of the Dancing Gypsy in Klamath Falls Oregon, Erika Fortner- Owner of Queen Meb in Portland, Katrina Rasbold- Owner of Crossroads Metaphysical Store in Shingle Springs Ca. These ladies really know their stuff and if the research fails, I can always count on them.

There are two links I use the most, they are Web MD and VeryWellHealth.com I also watch Suzan Weed on YouTube and a few others on occasion. I look at many other links as well but these are the most used.

There is nothing like finding a good herb book with special nuggets of information. When you buy one, check the glossary, index, and bibliography. This will tell you exactly how good the book really is. Here is the list of my current herbal books.

Practical Herbalism by Frtichey

The Good Herb by Judith Benn Hurley

Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs

The Consumers Guide to Herbalism by Steven Kirch

Magic and Medicine of Herbs by Readers Digest

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs by  Sarah Bunny-Barnes and Noble

Magic with Incense and Powders by Ana Riva

Medicinal Plants of The Pacific Northwest by Moore

Petersons Guide to Medicinal Plants & Herbs

Todays Herbal Health by Tenny

The Herbalist by Joseph E Meyer

I also have assorted books on aromatherapy and oils and am always looking for more! Feel free to share your favorites with me by leaving a comment and happy herbing!