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!

Tarot Trance, The Fool

A note about trancework. Anything that occurs in trance falls under the category of UPG-Unverifiable Personal Gnosis (knowledge) This means it is personal to you and not verifiable by other means. Each of us have our own unique events and ways of doing them. Most of mine are done while awake and sitting up, only a few are done while sleeping. So, the following is my personal gnosis.

I have been a psychic my whole life and I am used to my head being full of thought and sound. In 2018 I received a traumatic brain injury in a car accident. After the accident, my brain was completely quiet. I could not even hear my own thoughts before I said them. The irony is how hard we try to quiet our minds in meditation. But this was almost surgical and quite distressing.

Then my gal pal Phaedra Bonewits whom I had been training under, gave me a task. I was not to just meditate on each of the major arcana of the Tarot but deeply trance on each of them. This accomplished many things, and it brought back my psychism enough for me to begin my journey back to being the psychic I had been my whole life.

This tarot trance begins with the fool card. On this day I was not feeling well and was going back to bed and about to put the work off again. But last minuet I decided to grab the fool card and focus on it as I drifted off. I looked very closely at every small detail. I had to force myself to keep my focus and not let my mind wander. I looked hard at all the colors, the position things were in, the scene, and took it all in.

What I see is, the “fool” does not have a care in the world and is actually taking in the splendor. He has a look of “I have arrived and look at this splendid place” to him. There is no impending doom or fear of falling off the cliff. I reflect on how I think the label of the fool is misleading. He is not a fool at all, just a traveler. The dog has led him to this place and is also happy.

Then I fell asleep and became the fool and was on a small hill above a coastal village near the sea. As is typical of my dreams there were two of me. One the fool, the other also a fool aspect who was not as happy but seemed stronger than the original fool. Yet I am observing them both from a distance in my lucid state. Perhaps this is what Carl Jung meant when he says that dreams are aspects of the self.

As I ponder this a disagreement breaks out with some folks from the village that had arrived to see what we wanted. They were arguing about the dog, who they felt needed protecting. At the same time, an amazing sword appeared in the hands of the stronger fool aspect. It was bright silver, very strong, yet could fold when not in use.

Just then I noticed an orange color like the sun appear in the sky, which was partly obscured by the clouds. As I watched I began to see it was somewhat square and seemed to be a signal we were running out of time. In my mind, a voice said, “It’s coming let’s go!”

We shambled down the rough hillside over rocks and mud toward the village near the sea. When we reached the level ground we could see the village was spread out and primitive. As I,-the fool, took in the splendor of the village,  much like what is shown in the card, my stronger aspect had made it to the sea wall at the water’s edge. He was now involved in another dispute among the village elders there. They were rejecting him and denying him access to whatever was coming.

As I,- the fool, made my way to them, a huge fog rolled in. I remember thinking “What is this fog, I can’t see a thing!” Yet the orange square in the sky was coming closer and getting larger.

Annoyed with the fog and lack of clarity, and the confusion, the fool aspect stood tall. He lifted his chin, closed his eyes, opened his arms, and pushed out his chest towards the fog. This made the fog retreat, revealing that the orange square was a sail. The sail was so large and glorious it took my breath away, no one had seen the like and size before. The ship was just as fantastic and breathtaking. The dog became joyous and began jumping and barking like he was saying this is it! And I was excited too!

I then noticed the stronger aspect of the fool began to walk up the boat ramp with the sword in hand. He held it up, and said, “This is mine!” The elders of the village said, “The sword disagrees.” As they directed our attention to the sword, it folded up, became dim, and would not work for the stronger aspect as he struggled to try and re-open it. Once he gave up and handed it to the fool, however, it became bright and unfolded with all its strength and glory. The elders seemed to approve and allowed the fool and the dog to get on the ship. Then the cat jumped on my belly and woke me up!

Sorry folks, not all trances are complete stories. This is why I now do most of my trances sitting up in a closed room. But do not worry there are many more such fantastic tales to come, so stay tuned to see what is revealed in the next blog entry.

 

DARK MAGIC AND THE SHADOWS

For many Magical practitioners, winter is, the dark time, and full of shadows. Seasonally we have only one winter, but it has occurred to me that according to our modern calendar, winter actually comes twice a year. In January most of us are deep into winter, then it comes again at the end of the year.

Winter brings in the new year and also ends the year. In the fall we see the slow onset of winter as it darkens and blankets the area for the rest of the season. In spring we see the slow recession of its grip and see the hope of spring arrive. Winter shows us the very cycle of “Life, Death, and Rebirth”

Many of us get snow which can lift our spirits. It is cold, it is crisp, it is fresh and it changes the way everything looks, smells, and sounds.

Magically what is snow? Snow is white, the color of purification and clarity. Snow has a way of purifying the air as it pushes all the dust and pollution back into the Earth. To me, that is the air getting cleansed and charged. Because cold crisp fresh air is invigorating, and easier to breathe, everything just feels lighter in a dark season and lifts my spirits too.

Snow is a combination of elements. Snow begins as water. Water is H-2-O, which gets so frozen in the atmosphere it becomes crystalized and falls to the Earth, where solids belong. These crystals bring all the purity and cleansing we know clear crystals to have to Earth with them. Later, they provide nourishing water that brings forth our spring.

Snow also gives us stillness because it seems to make everything stop. Snow dampens sound and stifles movement. This dampens the usual noise we are so used to hearing and gives us cause to listen and notice things. In this way, snow creates a liminal space. This makes it easier for those of us who can, to notice and communicate with the darkness and shadow of the season.

Most think of liminal space as crossroads, thresholds, portals, doors, walk through trees, the beach, and more. The liminal space that snow creates is not often spoken of. It is a liminal space of time. It creates something similar to what many feel when they walk into a church, where all the buzz of the world and time stops. There is only you and your soul. This is why so many do shadow work in this liminal time.

The darkness gives us space enough to let go of what is not useful, apply acceptance and awareness, put your fear aside, gather your strengths, grab your courage in spite of fears, and gain faith in our own ability and that of our divine. We do this shadow work so we can be ready to step across the threshold into a whole new year of the unknowable when spring comes.

When a magical practitioner finds a dark shadow in themselves or others and there is snow on the ground, you can place it in the snow to first freeze it and render it powerless, then to be purified by the snow, then to dissolve as the snow melts.

That kind of shadow work and dark magic is the lighter side of working “Dark Magic and Shadows. The lighter stuff is what prepares us for the real stuff to come. When we clean up our personal shadows, we are better prepared to face any other shadow that may come, not only in life but in Magic.

A Magical practitioner who faces their own shadows and has no fear of them will be able to face the more surprising darker things one encounters in Magic. On occasion, a “dark thing” will pop up in meditation, or a dream or astral travel. Even when working with deities or spirits we sometimes encounter dark stuff. Our shadow work allows us to face them and build skills to handle them. Make no mistake dark things exist in all facets of life and Magic.

It is the job of the Magical practitioner to be able to identify the dark, then decide how best to proceed. Either with protection, engagement or to provide accurate information to others.

There are many definitions of Dark Magic as there is with any type of Magic and discussions on White or Dark Magic and the ethics of it all. I am not here to debate that or give you a set answer to that. What I will and can say, is that Dark Magic exists whether you believe in it or not.

The power comes from acknowledgment. For example, there is an individual whose name I never say. I never say their name because I do not want any acknowledgment of any kind to lend power to them or to create an energetic link back to me. This is knowing darkness is there, but not acknowledging it. This is a type of magical defense, like putting up a shield. Belief is power and any power can be a spell or a protection.

This allows for us Magical practitioners to be aware and knowledgeable but not engage in anything we do not choose to. Yes, we can choose to accept what we experience or reject it, good or bad, either choice is a Magical power.

I have had plenty of occasions to walk among the dark shadows and to do dark magic. Being able to work dark magic and having it available when the need arises is a defense to the dark arts. I find it allows me to walk the light as a better protected and confident Magical practitioner.

So do not be afraid, to look into the shadows or dark magic and come to know them. Just because you look or know and are able does not mean that is where you will reside nor does it make you a dark practitioner, it makes you wise, protected, confident, and capable.

What is Witchcraft, Magic and Psychism?

What is Witchcraft?

That is a question that continues to be hotly debated on social media. There is a lot of “who gets to decide that and why?” type of questions that go along with it too. The answer also depends on culture, pantheon, and personal beliefs. So, you may be asking why bother to attempt to answer such a question?

Well, as a Leader, Elder, Author, Priestess, and practicing Witch for over 50 yrs, and because I am in about 40-50 “witch” groups on social media, I see many looking for direction and firm answers. This is my attempt to answer some of these questions in bulk.

I will begin with an analogy. If you fill a glass half full of water then pour in oil and keep pouring in oil, eventually the oil will push all the water out of the glass. All that will remain is oil.

Meaning a thing still has to have the basics that identify it as what it is, in order to still be that thing. The word Witchcraft brings some negative things to mind thanks to hundreds of years if not thousands of years of people saying it is working with the devil or evil. Witchcraft can be a big scary word but in fact, it is very simple.

Witchcraft also has basics that identify it as Witchcraft. Witchcraft is generally defined as a nature-based religion, that uses magic and psychic skills to be in tune with nature and the world.

A practitioner of the craft may invoke an element or God or Goddess or attend a ceremony or ritual that is magical or work them on their own. Witchcraft is the practice of what the practitioner believes to be supernatural skills and abilities, such as the casting of spells and the performance of Magic.

My family tradition defines Witchcraft as one that uses Magic and Psychism to work with all forces of nature, energy, spirit, and deity. In our tradition, a Witch is also an herbalist and healer that employs all wise craft.

Conversely, a Witch can be any denomination they please. They are only limited by the beliefs they choose to practice. This means a Christian witch only practices within the confines of those beliefs and a Pagan Witch, or Buddhist Witch only practice within the confines of their belief set.

Paganism

Paganism is a big umbrella that covers a wide variety of beliefs. Just like the umbrella of Christianity covers being Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, and more. Being a Pagan does not mean one is a Witch.

Pagans love nature and this planet. Many feel at one with it and are very in tune with the cycles of the seasons. They often find joy in the small things the planet has to offer such as a bird singing or a honeybee, and it brings them joy and knowledge.

Summarily, not all Pagans are Witches, not all Wiccans are Witches, not all Witches are pagan, and not all Witches are Wiccan, but all Witches practice Magic. Practicing Magic is one of those things that identify Witchcraft as Witchcraft.

WICCA (Greek derivative for wise one)

Wicca is often defined as contemporary witchcraft and is recognized as a religion. I do not think there is one finite definition for Wicca. The definition I give here is a conglomeration of definitions. However, it is frequently characterized by the worship of deities called gods and goddesses. It contains the belief in the superiority of the mother goddess, who represents nature, emphasizes harmony with nature, and tries to appeal to this harmony.

Wicca uses ceremonies, rituals, and amulets, and more for those who are also Magical practitioners. There is a belief in life after physical death known as the life, death, and rebirth cycle. The harm none and rule of three-fold are part of their precepts. They practice reverence for the earth, the wheel of the year, planetary consciousness within their system of Magical practices. Some, but not all, of what Wicca practices are also identifiers that make Witchcraft, Witchcraft.

NEO-PAGANISM

Neo-Paganism is an eclectic modern movement that began in the ’60s that is primarily concerned with revived and reconstructed pre-christian nature religions and mystery traditions. It draws its base from a wide spectrum of people, who may or may not be Wiccan. Many Neo-Pagans are interested in the occult revival, environmentalism, mythology, spiritual awareness, and comparative religions.

Magic

So, what is Magic? Magic is the application of the will or manipulation of natural but hidden forces like energy,  the spirit of something, deity, and other spirits, the elements and more, to affect change using means not understood by science.

Magic is the ability to effect change in accordance with one’s will by invoking things outside of the five physical senses. Such changes are accomplished through ritual, spells, energy work, and more, in which cosmic powers, deities, or other non-physical beings or the forces of nature are invoked.

Magic is using one’s higher state of consciousness and will. To do this we utilize psychic skills that use the energy emanating from our body and from things outside ourselves to manipulate and interact with other energy patterns according to our will. Most of us call this manifesting. Manifesting is an identifying part of magic but not the sum total of Magic.

One identifier of magic that makes Magic, Magic is the belief that Magic is both real and possible. This involves the idea that the physical world is only part of all reality. Another is the belief that humans have more than just five senses, there are psychic senses. It is by means of these psychic capacities the realms beyond the physical are often contacted. It is believed that these psychic senses are innate in us all and can be reawakened.

Another identifier of Magic is that thoughts are a tool to be used. Thoughts are real and have power. This is a fundamental of Magic because the mind is the power of Magic. To have great strength of will and focus is most important for a person doing magic.

Magic will be powerful or feeble in proportion to the energy, willpower, and focus used by you. Magic is what we do with what we sense. Spells are Magical and used in Witchcraft, but you could not do them without being able to tap energy and vibration. Magic happens for three reasons, what you think say and do.

Think, Say, Do

Thought becomes visualization, focus, an idea, or a goal. To say is incantations, mantras, chants, spells, songs, or poetry. To do is, burning a spell and sending it off, committing a spell to any element to carry it to the cosmos or gods. Dancing, singing, putting something on an altar, lighting a candle, incense anything you do to affirm the idea or goal supports this aim.

Spells are much the same, with them you decide on a goal, they are the art of aiming. You aim at the goal with your will then you send it by using the ways described above, but it needs to be sent to be effective, sending is the do part.

Metaphysical

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of consciousness and the relationship between mind and matter.

I add this topic because magical practitioner’s use metaphysical means as tools in their Magic and Witchcraft. As you can see from the definition the metaphysical by itself is not Witchcraft or Magic.

Metaphysics includes meditation, mindfulness, and any means that help clear and build one’s consciousness. It is a practice of the mind in an effort to make one more calm, focused, and spiritual. All of these practices are tools that help one build a strong mind that can be used in Magic, Witchcraft, and Psychism.

Psychism

Many psychic skills are used in Witchcraft and Magic. Some folks have the ability to sense energy or deity and other things happening around them. They feel it and know it is there. This is often referred to as intuition. I believe it is part of the clairvoyance and clairaudient skills. To sense clearly allows you to be aware of your surroundings.

We all vibrate, vibration is energy. People and the earth are vibrational energetic entities. To feel the vibrations around us and be able to use it, absorb it or send it, is Magic and a psychic skill combined.

Psychism itself is the ongoing study and practice of all things psychic. So, let’s look at what some of the psychic skills are.

Clairaudience

Clairaudience is the hearing of sounds, music, and voices not audible to normal hearing. It can manifest as an inner sound or inner voice that is clearly distinguishable from one’s own inner voice. The voice may be unknown but perceived as coming from a certain spiritual source, sometimes receiving important or useful information from the other side, or hearing vibrations of events past or future like an echo.

Clairvoyance

Clairvoyance is the perception of objects, events, or people seen visually in your mind’s eye. It is clear seeing. This kind of seeing may manifest in the internal or external visions or the sensing, of images. It appears to be a general ability among humans. In its highest form clairvoyance is the viewing of non-physical planes, the astral, the etheric, and spiritual worlds of which there are many.

Clairsentience

Those with Clairsentience can feel psychic stimuli in their bodies. It might be a gut reaction like getting punched, or it may be felt in other parts of the body. This type of skill is often accompanied by anxiety or is mistaken for anxiety because there is a great compulsion to respond to what is being felt and what is being felt is not always easy to determine quickly.

Precognition

Precognition is described as the prior knowledge of events. A precognitive will know that the phone is going to ring and who is on it, or that a certain event is going to take place, minutes, hours, or days before it happens. Precognition shows up often in daily life and in dreams.

Divination

Tarot, crystal ball, tea leaves, runes, or any other form of divination can act as a pump to prime your already natural ability. The archetypal characters of the Tarot get into the subconscious mind and wake it up, which in turn enhances our psychic perception. The eventual course of study and practice of Tarot will lead us into our own psychic ability.

The skills I have mentioned have been considered Magic by many, to separate the two is a splitting of hairs. The difference is that psychic skills and metaphysical skills are tools we use in Magic and Witchcraft. We use them to build a strong mind as we develop our will and focus and practice our Magic.

For example, if you want to send a thought or energy to someone, that is magical, but you use telepathy, and meditational focus, as the tool to send it.

These are all skills that we can build up with practice, it will only make our Magic stronger and open up the ability to sense things around us. You need only to pay attention to the feelings you get when it is a psychic moment and note the difference when it is not. The more you pay attention to what is either magic, witchcraft, psychism, or metaphysical, the more you will know the differences and they will become stronger tools for your use.

Book List

Many times, I have been asked to suggest books to seekers. So today I thought I would post a list for your use. Most of these books are in my library and well used by me and my students. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.

Rune Lore, by Edred Thorsson

Real Magic by Isaac Bonewits

Real Energy by Phaedra and Isaac Bonewits

The Magic Power of Witchcraft by Gavin and Yvonne Frost

The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley

Wicca A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner, by Scott Cunningham

The Art and Practice of Clairvoyance by OPHEIL

ESP Beyond Time and Distance by T.C. Lethbridge

The Third Eye by T. Lobsang Rampa

A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

Second Sight by Judith Orloff, M.D.

Dreams Your Magic Mirror by Elsie Sechrist

The Anatomy of Witchcraft by Peter Haining

Journeys Out of The Body by Robert A. Monroe

The Intuitive Way by Penny Peirce

How to do Psychic Readings Through Touch by Ted Andrews

Astral Travel by Gavin and Yvonne Frost

The Psychic Sense by Edgar Cayce

The Donning International Encyclopedic Psychic Dictionary by June G. Bletzer, Ph.D.

Grimoire For The Apprentice Wizard by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart

Circles and Ceremonies by Oberon Zell

Telepathy by Sybil Leek

Psychic Skills For Magic and Witchcraft by Cat Gina Cole ( now available for pre-order at Llewellyn.com)

 

ALL HALLOW’S EVE

All Hallow’s Eve

What makes this time of year so special to us Witches? Well, it is the one holiday we can come out of the woods so to speak, and be our witchy selves, among other things.

Over time and history, the Christians have helped make this our holiday by pandering about evil and spreading their myths about what they think we witches do on this day.

Hallows Eve began in Ireland the word Samhain pronounced Sow-win, is a Gaelic word. All that we have come to know this holiday as, and all the various ways that we celebrate it, are a mix of many traditions and myths that became blended over time.

In my family tradition of Hedge Witchery, Samhain is the time to bring in the last harvest and get ready for winter. We celebrated and remembered our ancestors through seances, Ouija boards, dumb suppers, and flying. Well, three of us did.

In my family, it was an interesting mix. Bringing in the harvest from the garden, caring for the animals, and getting ready for winter was a matter of course for us all.

The rest, was something mom and I would do only at grandma’s house, because we three witches, kept our practices separate from the rest of the family. I think my brother was a bit more tuned in to us than he let on. My dad knew of my mom’s practices but did not like having it around. Yet my father saw spirits and dreamed of ghosts, and I remember the tales of his dreams he would tell at this time of year.

Grandma’s house would be full of candles lit for those who were no longer present, set in the windows so they could find their way to her. The table all through October would have an empty place setting, 24/7 so the spirits would feel welcomed anytime.

What we now call a “dumb supper” was held at midnight on the 31st. The Séance, the tarot, or the Ouija board were part of the event prior to dinner depending on what grandma felt was right, something I only got to attend a few times when I was older.

For us, it was not as ritualized as it now is. We comfortably chatted about those who were gone prior to sitting down. Once the candles were lit and the lights turned off, we sat in the dark and Grandma would speak of the dead as we ate quietly. After a bit of quiet, grandma would ask what and whom we felt, and we would compare our input.

Part of our work when done, was to express gratitude for their presence and closing of the veil. The ritualized part we participated in was the clean-up. We cleared the table, washed the dishes, blew out, and removed the candles. We washed the table and put on an everyday tablecloth all with reverence and a focus on letting go of the spirit. This work all was part of closing the veil. Then we would sit for a few and talk about everyday stuff before going home.

Nothing will match the environment at grandma’s home. I continue this tradition in my own way. I set out my ancestor altar with the family photos, light candles there, and set a plate on the bookshelf in my living room. I then invite my ancestors and let them know they are welcomed. On the 31st at midnight I sit before the altar contemplating and talking to my ancestors.  All while smoking some Mugwort then go to bed, for some good old-fashioned flying with my ancestors.

Since my blog allows comments, I would love to see your comments on how you celebrate Samhain, have a blessed day!

 

A Family Trained Hedge Witch-The Elements

A Hedge Witch and the Elements

I think many have the idea that a hedge witch is someone who lives and breathes herbs, or is simply a kitchen witch. In my family tradition, a hedge witch is someone who lives and works with the elements and psychism daily. My family tradition defines witchcraft as being able to work with all the forces of nature, those in the real world and those not in the real world.

For those that follow my blog, you will remember my entry titled Weather magic with clairvoyance in time and space. In that entry, I described how I built my relationship with the Element of Air. In this entry, I will further elaborate on that experience by stating I believe the direction and the element are separate things. The direction of East is the realm where the Element of Air lives. This precept is fundamental to how I work with the elements.

First of the elements as we walk the circle is Air.

So, what is Air? Breathing, or weather? Certainly, those are its most basic functions, however, the air has components. These components are part of air yet much more than just basic air. The components of Air are; the wind, a storm, lightning, weather, and the atmosphere, and each has a different function, action, reaction, and spirit. Each has a different feel, different energy, different smell. Each reacts differently when you speak to them or ask something of them, and some may even make requests of you in return.

Other aspects and components of Air are flight, levitation, psychism, invisibility, thought and sound, intellect, energy, intent, dreams, and my favorite, the astral planes.

The element of Air is the breath of life. When we are born the first thing, we do is gasp for breath, without it, there is no life. As without so within, meaning if the planet is not able to breathe it will not survive either.

East, the realm air lives in and is guarded by, is the place of dawn, it births a new day for us each time the sun rises, this makes it the realm of light. For me, its ritual tool is the wand. We wave it in the air and direct energy and use it to send energy and intent. Wands are typically wood, meaning trees that create oxygen and live in the sky. So this makes sense to me.

Next, as we move around the circle is Fire.

The Element of fire lives in The Direction of the South, it is the place of heat volcanos, deserts, and the sun. The Direction of South is the holder and guardian of the flame and the flame is the spark of life.

Many of us think of actual fire when we address the South and the Element of fire. Many forget the greatest fire our planet experiences, the sun. The sun is the fire that keeps this planet going. Without the sun’s heat, we, the plants, and animals could not live.

At Imbolc, the sun heats the earth just enough that the plants hidden in the earth quicken just a little. The energy of the quickening can be felt by those who are sensitive to it. The energy of the quickening is an energy of expectation, pregnancy, and re-birth. This energy is put forth by all living things, and we feel it as the hope of spring and the spark of life.

Each flame or fire transforms the things it burns to nutrient-rich soil through the ash it creates. The sun then turns into new growth. As the sun rises each day after a fire, we again see the dawn of a new day and feel its promise. This makes Flame and the sun, the actuators of rebirth. When you think of it the act of rebirth is both destruction and creation. Flame is transformative, for no one, no thing, is the same after being touched by flame. It is cleansing and purifying and like our sun it is both creator and destroyer, giver, and taker.

We humans would not be here today without either. We usually think only of what flame takes from our lands and not what it gives back. There are components of flame too, dryness, heat, intensity, stillness and sudden and fierce movement, blasts of energy and heat. All things that occur before a fire or during very hot sunny days.

In my practice, the athame is the tool for fire. The Athame is created by fire, a sword or knife are often used in an act of passion, destruction, or creation, and all are attributes of flame and the realm of the South.

Our hearts are the fire within us. Our hearts drive our passion, our desires. It drives our will to live, and each has a different spirit and energy that can be felt, noticed, watched, and interacted with. We consider something is alive when we can hear its heartbeat. Like the sun our heart warms us. It is the engine of our bodies, as the sun is the engine to our planet. Our hearts drive our energy, it gets our blood pumping like the sun does for the planet in the quickening, making fire the spark of life. Again, as without so within.

Following around the circle we are now in the West, which is water.

What do most of us think when we think of water? Drinking it, a river, the ocean, emotions?

Ever consider how we carry water with us every day? And I do not mean in a plastic bottle. Our very bodies are 2/3rds water and so is our planet, again as without so within. Water in my tradition is the great nourisher of our bodies, our planet, and our very souls.

Ever notice how sitting next to running water soothes most people? That is water soothing our souls. We are carried in water for 9 months in the womb and our planet cannot flourish without water. In short, we cannot live or come into the world without water.

Water is the birth of all living things. Our bodies die without water, this makes it the nourisher of our bodies. Water is also for cleansing and not just in the spiritual sense. We use it to clean all the time without a thought.

Water purifies and dilutes, which is what it does as we sit next to it and feel soothed. It dilutes our stress, purifies our thoughts calms our passions. Water represents the waves of our emotions, our tears, our moods, and holds our soul.

Water gives us rain, nourishing the planet. It provides fog and humidity which in its way also provides water to nourish the planet in which we live. Fog, humidity, rain, and ice are all parts of water. All with a different job to do and each has a different energy and spirit, different actions, and reactions within our atmosphere. Each of them can be worked with if one pays attention and builds a relationship with them.

The realm of the West is the place of thresholds, liminal space. Liminal space is the between spaces and places. The West and Water both, are the dark realms, not just because of the depts of the oceans but because that is where the sun sets each day. In ritual, the tool for water is the challis, the bowl, and any vessel holding the water or drink to be used.

The last element in the circle is Earth.

Earth is the mother of our bodies she is the great provider of all. Earth is both life and death in the great cycle. Without Earth there is nothing. No plants, no food, no place to live, no air, no fire, no water, no us, for she holds it all. We are born here, it is the home of our bodies and she provides our very way of life in all aspects.

She is the great womb from whence all things are born. Including the other elements. There is no breathable air or atmosphere in space, no fire or flame except the sun, and no plants or animals. All those things may exist on another planet but not so much in space itself. As a hedge witch, I see the other elements as parts of the earth, individual, but parts just the same. The Earth provides the plants, which provides oxygen, Earth holds the water, also partially made of oxygen, Earth and her natural cycles, of heat and cooling help, provide rain, ice and all-weather. She provides what fire burns. Without her gases, there is no atmosphere it is her breath and ours, as without so within.

Like any mother, she provides all that we, her children need. She allows us to live on her, to flourish, or run rampant. She has her way of telling us she has had enough to by using her elements of storms, fires, floods, drought, or famine to speak to us if we listen.

Daily she gives us hints as to what the weather will be like. She tells us what needs to be watered, or tended to, her children the plants are signaled by her to show us their needs we can see when a plant begins to droop or turn brown. Animals are signaled by her to show us their needs for food, water, or shelter. The land talks too, is it dry? does it need to be fed? tilled or raked? All signaled by her if we watch, listen to feel, and speak to her.

The Great Mother also takes all our woes, our energy our garbage, and our bodies back into her and turns it back into something full of life for she is the great regenerator of all things, the place of life and death and everything in between. Earth represents stability, home, hearth, health, and prosperity in all aspects of life and for all living things.

The realm of the North is the realm of creation and destruction, home of the gnomes, home to all things ice, all things magnetic, home to fluctuating energies, and is the gateway to the cosmos. The tool I prefer to use in ritual for North is the staff. It stabilizes us as we walk on the earth, it is born on the earth and holds and directs earth energy.

In ritual as I begin calling the elemental quarters, I draw up the sacred connections I have with each one. I draw their awesome powers within me till they vibrate then I begin my vocal call to them loaded with those vibrations. I let those vibrations channel through any tool I may have in my hand as well.

Such are the relationships, I as a hedge witch, hold with the elements. Their realms and their tools are alive and a way of being. They help me live with the forces of nature each day. They make it possible to call them on a moment’s notice if there is a need. I remain aware and mindful that each element and each realm is symbiotic to the other. For one cannot exist without the other, just like in our bodies. We and the elements have symbiotic need of each other as is represented in the saying, As above, So below. As without, So within, So the universe, So the soul.

FOLLOWING A DREAM

DO YOU LET YOUR DREAMS GUIDE YOU?

This was a question asked in a zoom group this week. My reply was a resounding yes!

I have been an active lucid dreamer since I can remember. My dreams are everything to me. They guide my life, solve my problems, teach me magic and take me to wonderous places. My world is not complete unless I have my dreams, they are such a huge part of me and my magical practice. In my book Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft, which will be released February 2022, I wrote an entire chapter devoted to dreams where you will see how and why they are so important to me.

Dreams are the cornerstone of spirituality; they are its creation and continuation. Many of our magical practices that have been recorded over time were inspired by dreams.

I am in quite a few Pagan groups on Facebook and one of the most common questions asked is to have someone interpret their dream. Reading and learning from others is very beneficial and will teach you a lot. Such activities will give you the language of dreams and teach you the basic concepts.

However, in the end, only you know the real meaning of your dreams. The symbols in the dream are the symbols your mind and spirit relate to. While it is beneficial to discuss them with others who may be able to provide some clues and insight, your dreams are about how they made you feel, what they made you think, and the best way to interpret their meaning is by meditating on them or writing about them.

Being used to spiritual dreams, I was merely curious one morning two years ago, as I woke with a lingering dream. In the dream, I was instructed to make a body oil to anoint myself and to use it on January 20th with the chant I was taught in the dream. The why came when I turned on the computer to discover there was going to be a major planet alignment on that day. Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury began their alignment and visibility in December and their zenith was on January 20th their movement of descent, continued on through February. During that time there had also been a four-inch shift in the Ocean floor off the coast of Oregon and the full moon was on the next day on the 21st of January.

To a witch like me, that is a lot of cosmic movement and energies. I know such movements and energies affect us even if it is subtle. I had been feeling this energy build for weeks and wondering about its cause. The morning after this dream the energy was such a good feeling energy it inspired me to raise my arms, open myself and take it in. I used this energy in all my works the rest of the day.

As a Witch, I desire to discover the properties and characteristics of such forces so I can connect with them for magical uses. To me, the main definition of witchcraft is working with the forces of nature. So, I went pouring over my book of shadows and other books to reveal the magic within this energy. By the time I was done reading I had the correspondences of each of the planets, their Deity, the Deities characteristics, and the corresponding Tarot card meaning and number for each.

This information tells me more about the specifics of the natural force. This knowledge educates me more on what I am about to do and why as I connect it all together. All this research and gathering increases my focus and the results of my magic. Then I take all the information and infuse it into my incantation and potion. It rather reminds me of Cerridwen’s year-long potion.

You say that is a lot of work for an oil you dreamed of. True. However, the research into things, what they are, what they symbolize; deepens our understanding, our knowledge and reconnects us to the natural world in a very tangible way. This work allows the energies within us to align with the energy of the cosmos, rebuilding the mystery, the awe, the power, the sacredness within us. To me, this kind of work is the craft part of witchcraft, among other things.

Now, do I do this kind of research and correspondence work for all the dreams I follow? No. Do I do such correspondence research for each bit of magic I do? No. There is a time and place for all things. Some days I might simply commune with a blade of grass as I reflect on a dream. Others I may only journal and meditate on and leave for another day. Tapping my intuition, exploring how the dream made me feel, and letting certain elements of the dream guide what I will do, has worked very well for me, and provided many wondrous things I never would have thought of on my own.

 

 

Weather magic with clairvoyance in time and space

In last week’s entry, I mentioned I would publish an article on weather magic with an example on clairvoyance in time and space in the Autumn edition of the Green Egg Magazine. Due to space that article will now appear here this week. I hope you enjoy it!

With climate change and the massive fires raging it is no surprise Weather magic is the topic of conversation. The main concern being how to bring rain without lightning.

My grandmother began teaching me the elements for agricultural reasons. “Witches have been called on for weather for a long time,” she would say.

It is actually easy for many to “call rain, but to do so without lightning or flooding is not so easy. 

There are two things I see missing from most weather magic events, practitioners failing to give respect to the elements for responding and then forgetting to send them happily back to their realm. Not doing the latter is usually when we get flooding.

 To prevent flooding or lightning, it is important to have knowledge of, and a relationship with, the atmosphere. Yes, the atmosphere. It is the natural force that holds all our weather, it is the guardian and keeper of all weather here on Earth.

A practitioner of weather magic, if skilled, will have a relationship with the spirit of the atmosphere. They will be able to sense its subtle ways of responding in order to determine what is allowed and what is not. In weather magic, you can ask and direct weather patterns but there is no controlling how much weather you get when you do call it. No matter how many people are doing the work, Mother Nature alone makes that decision.

The biggest danger in weather magic is working it without a care for the long-range effects. Doing weather magic goes way beyond just asking for rain. Air temperature, the electricity in the air, air currents, barometric pressure, the weather front that is coming in behind the weather front we want to move and more, all play a part. You need a relationship and experience with all of those things to be successful.

A practitioner needs to know that there is no stopping some forms of weather like lightning, mudslides, fire, or flood. They are always eager to come out and play at a moment’s notice and will do as they please when loose. This is why it is very important that the practitioner is aware of what rain, wind, flood, fire, mudslide, and lightning are and have great respect for them like you would a wild animal.

To successfully hold lightning back when asking for rain in a one event ritual would require the practitioner to raise their consciousness into the atmosphere and manipulate the air and electricity. That is quite a feat of magic that very few can accomplish in one event.

However, if a practitioner has knowledge of how weather works and what weather conditions are needed to bring rain without lightning,  it is possible to get rain without lightning with a bit of time and effort.

For example, I recently coordinated a weather working with several groups in three states. Our group began a week before the others. We did a working to raise the dew point and humidity. Boy, did we get a response, it was like breathing through wet cotton all week. This helped to bring about more suitable weather conditions for rain without lightning and assisted in putting out some major fires in our area.

The following week each group was set to a particular task to be done all at the same time and day. Those in Northern Idaho called the cool weather fronts downward. Those in Western Washington were tasked with speaking to water and asked it to join the cool fronts moving in while they focused on a gentle spring rain. A group in middle Washington spoke to Pan, guardian of the forests, to lend his power to the working for the protection of his beloved Forests. Those in Eastern Washington spoke to fire and asked it to move over to let water come play for a while. We in Western Oregon raised a cone of power and sent it to the atmosphere to amplify the workings as we created a protective bubble of gentle rain over all the areas in the working.

We also put out a public notice for all weather workers who wished to participate. Their job was a chant to hold energy for our working as they focused on a gentle spring rain. And it worked! Cooler weather and rain came, in some areas it came in mid ritual. The rain did not stay for long but the cooler weather has. We asked for and focused on a gentle spring rain because that type of rain is cooler and usually comes without lightning.

So how does one build such a relationship with the elements? The following is an entry from my personal journal of how I built a relationship with an element using clairvoyance in time and space, or as I called it in my last blog entry, bilocation.

How I create a relationship with an element is by going to that element’s realm and learning from the entities there. For the water realm I drew from my Hermetic practices and began in meditation by focusing on the angel Gabriel. In that practice, he is the guardian of the West and more.

I have been hesitant to visit Gabriel’s realm because of my emotions. so it has been many months since I have sat before my altar with such an undertaking. Consequently, it took a while for me to clean my altar, set it for water and get back in touch with its vibrations before I began my meditation. part of this was sitting back, drinking coffee and contemplating the work at hand.

Once I got in tune with the altar and the working I light my candles and reflect more on Gabriel and water. My daily consciousness dropped faster than I suspected and I moved right into the meditative state and I suddenly see myself in the Star Card f the Rider Waite Deck of the Tarot. There is a blue sky of stars and sun behind me. I lay naked at the waters edge, legs open wide. Water is pouring out from between my legs and filling the pond.

Creatures of all kinds are coming to drink and I hear a voice say “Water is life for all. Water is a sacred feminine embryonic thing for all, animals, plants, people, rocks, and even air.”

With that, I travel deeper into trance as I am transported to a realm just above the horizon line of the sea. Once there I begin to look for Gabriel. A voice tells me Gabriel is feminine. I accept this, yet never get a glimpse of Gabriel. Instead, I see a dark-skinned arm and hand that reaches out and takes a pinch of a cloud. The hand then rubs it between its fingers until all that remains are water droplets. I am aware this is Gabriel who then says “All things are water even the sky” She goes on to say all things live in a bubble of water and air but it is so large that it seems infinite to you. As she speaks I clairvoyantly see many lands and realms. Gabriel says” The realm of water is the gateway to all liquid realms and worlds and they are vast.”

Gabriel’s tone is droll and slightly annoyed when she tells me”You do not get rain when you ask for it because most of you leave out the element of air, it is H20 after all. You cannot get water without air.”

Then with a flick of a finger, we move across the sky. Past the sunset, past the stars, and into the darkness. I have some trepidation being in this dark with Gabriel. She senses that and says “Water and air are combined in all things, wood, rock, fabric, space, and dark matter. Water is life everywhere, your atmosphere,, your bubble, of water and air, and spark,( a hint at the element of fire) the energy that makes it happen, the earth is the receiver.” Gabriel goes on as I wait in the darkness with her. ” Water is creator, and destroyer, the shaper, and transportation, not transformation! Water transports itself and things along.”

I begin to wonder what role emotions have here when she responds by saying “it is not the refective part of water nor the mirror image that that shows you yourself, it is the darkness. You find your truth in the depths of darkness that the realm of water holds.”

I was a bit nervous at her intensity when she lightly said, For rain invoke us together for the twins that we are. (meaning air and water) Then I was released from the working.

Because of such workings, I now have a greater understanding of the element of water. I know more about what it means, its depths, how it works, and its purpose. Such a connection with this element makes it easier to get a response to my weather magic requests and for me to listen to it when it speaks to me.

Such is the way of the elements and clairvoyance in time and space.