Welcome to the Quickening, my love. Here, we are living expressions of radical hope, blood-and-skin reliquaries for these ivory bones of ours. Beneath this full and vibrant moon, we are calling in what is ours with our very breath, and we are the living antidote to body-spirit separation. ‘Tis the season of sensual expression and embodied Craft, and the Witch’s body becomes a soft and soulful bridge between where she is and where she yearns to be. Know your longing as holy, and let’s wed our feeling flesh to our as-yet unrealized dreams.
Blessed be those who tend these mid-Winter flames, who keep the embers alight by their sheer warrior’s will, and who will forever honor the darker days of our Craft when the miracles of warmer days remain hidden beneath the snow. The Wolf-Moon cycle follows the Long Night’s Moon cycle, rising with a howl on January 16th (New Moon is 9:17pm EST), swelling to fullness just before Imbolc on 1/31 at 8:27am EST, and darkening to sliver-thin on Valentine’s Day. Under the Wolf Moon, the Fire-Keeper archetype is dominant, and the wise feminine in us all continues to walk forward in conscious grace, leading with an ever-faithful heart and harboring an ever-lit inner altar that burns for some holy and ephemeral dream, as yet unseen and unnamed.
Santa Witch: Simple Rituals for a Family Yule
We Witches live in a land starved for magick. The unfortunate union of individualism, consumerism, and the energies of the 13th Moon- the annual, lunar void that tasks us with rest and reflection above all else- has given birth to the absolute antithesis of this yearly Witching Hour. The modern Santa Claus is capitalism’s loud-mouthed answer to this holy, fertile darkness when all of nature is bidding us to turn inward, to sink back into the primordial source of all things. Despite debatably admirable roots, today’s Santa Claus is a marketing tool embodied in a bright red, well-satiated, nocturnal gift-giver who, like many of our Wintertide traditions, has traveled ages from his solemn, Pagan origins.
Allow me to get personal for a minute. I’m a single mother of two very busy, very sensitive little girls. I run a small business as well as work a full time job and another freelance job. On top of all of that, I am called to follow this path of deep devotion and let’s face it, that takes work too. Feeling drained is a constant battle. Even though I know that the more I surrender to this (insane) flow that I find myself in, the easier it will all be. Like the salmon that swims upstream, I HAVE to keep going. The more I take time… rather, MAKE time for my practice, the better I will feel. Not unlike maintaining a regular fitness routine, exercising our mind, soul and spirit has all of the advantages.
‘Tis the season to remember the holy Dead, to honor your ancestral line in somber ritual, and to give a nod to the ephemeral nature of your soft flesh and warm blood. So soon, my love, will we sink back into the source of everything, yet again stepping through the sacred veil and entering the fertile, dark space between death and birth. So soon will we join them, these precious ones for whom we mourn. For now, let us remember these wild creatures for their compassion, their lawlessness, their innocence, and the lessons they gifted us when their hearts were still beating inside the very ribcages that now house wormy soil, have turned to soot and ash, or have otherwise surrendered to the elements.
Open your palms, look moonward, and breathe in the raw, red musk of dying leaves, smoking pine wood, and ever-cool, so potent spectral mists. Know that this is what the primal feminine smells like. Embody the long-nailed and black-mirror-eyed demoness you were taught to fear during childhood. These are the days of the Great Purge, when the Witch is tasked to dig up her cobwebbed secrets and put them on unapologetic display, to befriend the very shadows that make her bones quake, to strip off and burn every mask she has ever worn, and to do it all in front of her ancestors’ ghosts as they encircle and honor the brave-hearted and strong-willed Priestess she has become. Continue reading “Blood Moon Vows: A Witch’s Unmasking Ritual”
When I was fifteen I spent a few weeks out of the spring semester as an exchange student in Cologne, Germany. Our many guided outings took us to cathedrals and archaeological sites, as well as former palaces and fortresses. Among those destinations was a medieval open-air tower connected to one of the state behemoths. Continue reading “Before Salem: The Burning Times and a Call to all Self-Proclaimed Witches”
Set your intention, Prophetess, for these are the days of the primal feminine dark when the holy veil is so thin you can hear your grandmother’s ghost shouting for you to listen and listen closely. The waning Harvest Moon is a fertile time for ancestral communion and spirit guide work; all of nature is calling you into the shadowy mists and bidding you become the hooded wolf-woman of your dreams, begging you to resurrect the parts of the ethereal, omniscient feminine that have been objectified and oppressed. Your intuition is heightened, and you embody the Crone-Priestess archetype in your magick, your divination, and your so valuable, so sacred work. Know that your guides are not tools to be used, nor is their advice to be blindly followed without your keen discernment. Respect these wise ones who have chosen to hold you with their spectral hands while you walk this soul’s path in this body, show them that you hear them, and hone one of the deepest and most potent forms of your Craft under Autumn’s Witching Moons.
I love everything about smudging, from choosing what plant I’ll use to lighting the bundle, to experiencing the smoke medicine. Will I use the soft vanilla of Sweetgrass, or the earthiness of Palo Santo? Each wood, plant or resin burns differently, cleanses differently–even the way the smoke behaves as it hangs in the air or swirls in the space is enchanting and specific to its particular owner.
Inhale. Feel it fill you. Spirit charges every part of you. It’s intoxicating. You are a being of light. You stand between the worlds; a being of magick. Stand strong. You are whole. You are loved. Now, with your heart full and open speak words that come from your soul. Let them dance across your lips with ease, yet full of power. The air that we breathe in, the air we exhale, the air we form into speech is as much Spirit as anything else. It’s a powerful tool for it is pure element. It is all around us and within. Always. It is one of our very first experiences as we leave the womb. It carries us from this world to the next as we make our last exhale. This breath carries our soul. It is scientific fact that at the last exhale of our life, the physical body loses weight.