Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Twas The Night Before Yuletide

The Snow Queen by Emily Balivet

Twas the Night before Yuletide 

Twas the night before Yuletide and all through the glen,
Not a creature was stirring, not a fox, not a hen.
A mantle of snow shone brightly that night
As it lay on the ground, reflecting moonlight.
The faeries were nestled all snug in their trees,
Unmindful of flurries and a chilly north breeze.
The elves and the gnomes were down in their burrows,
Sleeping like babes in their soft earthen furrows.
When low! The earth moved with a thunderous quake,
Causing chairs to fall over and dishes to break.
The Little Folk scrambled to get on their feet
Then raced to the river where they usually meet.
“What happened?” they wondered, they questioned, they probed, 
As they shivered in night clothes, some bare-armed, some robed. 
“What caused the earth's shudder? 
What caused her to shiver?”
They all spoke at once as they stood by the river.
Then what to their wondering eyes should appear
But a shining gold light in the shape of a sphere.
It blinked and it twinkled, it winked like an eye,
Then it flew straight up and was lost in the sky.
Before they could murmur, before they could bustle,
There emerged from the crowd, with a swish and a rustle,
A stately old crone with her hand on a cane,
Resplendent in green with a flowing white mane.
As she passed by them the old crone's perfume,
Smelling of meadows and flowers abloom,
Made each of the fey folk think of the spring
When the earth wakes from slumber and the birds start to sing.
“My name is Gaia,” the old crone proclaimed
in a voice that at once was both wild and tamed,
“I've come to remind you, for you seem to forget,
that Yule is the time of re-birth, and yet…”
“I see no hearth fires, hear no music, no bells,
The air isn't filled with rich fragrant smells
Of baking and roasting, and simmering stews,
Of cider that's mulled or other hot brews.”
“There aren't any children at play in the snow,
Or houses lit up by candles’ glow.
Have you forgotten, my children, the fun
Of celebrating the rebirth of the sun?”
She looked at the fey folk, her eyes going round,
As they shuffled their feet and stared at the ground.
Then she smiled the smile that brings light to the day,
“Come, my children,” she said, “Let's play.”
They gathered the mistletoe, gathered the holly,
Threw off the drab and drew on the jolly.
They lit a big bonfire, and they danced and they sang.
They brought out the bells and clapped when they rang.
They strung lights on the trees, and bows, oh so merry,
In colors of cranberry, bayberry, cherry.
They built giant snowmen and adorned them with hats,
Then surrounded them with snow birds, and snow cats and bats.
Then just before dawn, at the end of their fest,
Before they went homeward to seek out their rest,
The fey folk they gathered ‘round their favorite oak tree
And welcomed the sun ‘neath the tree's finery.
They were just reaching home when it suddenly came,
The gold light returned like an arrow-shot flame.
It lit on the tree top where they could see from afar
The golden-like sphere turned into a star.
The old crone just smiled at the beautiful sight,
"Happy Yuletide, my children," she whispered. "Good night."

The author is unknown, however 
it may possibly have been written by C.C. Williford.

Blessings dark and deep!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Healing


I jotted this down one day, before I was going to facilitate a Reiki circle in the evening. I shared it with everyone who attended and it seems to be appropriate to share it today. Whoever needs it will find it.


When we are experiencing periods of self-doubt, insecurity, pain, fear, anxiety, depression - whatever challenge it may be - it would serve us to remember that we are releasing aspects of ourselves that were created based on what we have been exposed to in our lives, yet no longer need. All of these feelings are keys to a process of transformation. We can stay in the same place or move through the feelings, acknowledging them, releasing, forgiving, be it ourselves or someone else, then moving on, free. This is healing.

Underneath these experiences of transformation, which can be frightening and difficult sometimes, and at other times easier to work through, we benefit by remembering self-love and self-awareness is where to find relief and a more clear reflection of who we really are. When we see who we truly are through love, the pristine essence that we will find is the Wise One or Higher Self, the one who, while knowing fear, defeat, or suffering, is the one who is Light, Power, Force, and Liberation. Finding that Wise One and allowing ourselves to move through the experiences as part of a learning process, sets us free.

Don't become too caught up in the journey to "arrive" - remember that all these experiences benefit us in some way by moving us along our path. We may not consciously know exactly what that benefit is, but we have evolved thanks to those experiences. Would we have liked to skip some of them? All of them? Sure, they aren't always pretty or nice, they are frightening. But that's what we are here for, to experience and heal. This process is for our progression - if we allow it to be. 


Winston Churchill said it best, " When you are going through hell, keep on going." In other words, keep going, you will get to the end and make it through.

Blessings dark and deep!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Invocation of the Circle

I love this circle invocation by Doreen Valiente, found in "Witchcraft, A Tradition Renewed" by Doreen and Evan John Jones. I'm always writing, rewriting, and searching out invocations, prayers, quarter calls, for my circles. I like to change it up all the time. This is a favorite.



Invocation of the Circle

By stang and cauldron, cup and knife,
By right of office that I hold,
Ye ancient powers of death and life,
Forgather to the circle's fold.

Kinship to kinship, blood to blood,
By wild night wind and starry sky,
By heathland brown and darkling wood,
To this our circle now draw nigh.

In likeness of a henge of stone,
Stand guard around this circle's rim,
While looming through the dark alone,
Stands in the east the Hele-stone dim.

I summon forth the fairy hounds,
Sharp-fanged, white-coated, red of ear,
To prowl beyond the circle's bounds,
And put intruders' hearts in fear.

Ancestral powers of this our blood,
We are your people, guard us well,
By earth and air, by fire and flood,
By magic mime and spoken spell.

Our craft's own Goddess I invoke,
And Ancient Ones of hill and mound.
With fire aflame and drifting smoke,
I dedicate this circle's bound.

By three times three,
Thus shall it be!


~Doreen Valiente, Witchcraft: a Tradition Renewed~



Monday, November 2, 2015

Is It Still A Mystery Tradition?

There will be many people who will not agree with what I have to say about this subject. Lady knows, some of my own friends, practicing witches, Pagans, and Polytheists, all for many, many years, don't all agree. We simply agree to disagree and go our own ways, down our own paths, because we are friends, and we truly respect each other's right to practice as we see fit.

Respecting others' right to practice as they choose is very important. How I choose to practice is none of anyone's business. However, if you are attending one of my rites, you will not be able to bring your children. I know many who have their children attend rites for sabbats, full moons, and other rituals. I don't attend those rituals. I don't attend large open rituals, especially with people I don't know. If you are invited to attend my rituals you will not be a man, you will be a woman who was born a woman, and you will be expected to be respectful of the Goddesses, Spirits, the Ancestors, the other women, and the way this coven practices. You will be expected to wear simple ritual clothing, not some outlandish, silly costume. You will come with the mindset that this is a mystery tradition for women, it is not open to just anyone; my coven, my choice of who belongs.

Why? Well, there are a few reasons. I see my practice, my artes of magick, communion with the Goddesses, as sacred and private. I feel, and again, this is only my opinion, my way for me, that a very large ritual generally ends up as dead space with many people who do not focus, are not respectful because they think it is a party, a freaky thing to do - not all, but many I have attended in years past. I want to know who I am practicing with and where they are coming from spiritually. I want to know that they are serious about their journey.

I also want to create a place where women are not intimidated or judged by standards that society has chosen. I want them to feel safe to open themselves to the Goddesses, to each other. I want them to find that sacred safe place.

We have sacrificed the Mystery for acceptance and popularity; with that we have lost a great deal. I do not give a rat's patootie  how others' judge what I do. It isn't open for discussion or opinions. And that is a good thing. While I share many things on this blog, there is much more that isn't shared and will never be. However, I want to give women who are searching for something more Goddess-centered, more woman-centered, a safe place for spiritual expression. I want to share a basic foundation for them to build their own practice, away from prying eyes and judgement.

For some reason, at this Hallowstide season, I felt the need to share this.

Blessings dark and deep! 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hallows Everyday 31



Hallows Blessings
to you and yours.
May your Ancestors watch over you always.
May the Goddesses guide and protect you.
May you find the Mysteries you seek.

Abundant and most holy blessings
dark and deep!


Friday, October 30, 2015

Hallows Everyday 30



 Witches' Night Before Halloween


'Twas the night before Halloween and all through the cottages,
The witches were stirring their brews and their pottages.
Their cupboards were bursting with hop-toads and newts,
And they'd shined up their pointy-toed, fancy-dress boots.
The witchlings lay snoring, quite snug in their beds,
With visions of moist, creeping things in their heads.
"Nice night," whispered Mad-Maud to Potbelly-Pat
As she snuffed out the torches and ticked in the cat.
But at the first stroke of midnight, when folks lay asleep,
The whole gang of witches on tiptoes did creep
Out past the cornfields and 'neath the trolls' bridge,
To the crossroads that lay beyond Cemetery Ridge.
"It's time to begin," hissed Elise-With-One-Eye
As the moon reached its peak in the October sky.
On the stump of a tree, with a thump and a creak,
Big-Bree drummed a beat as the witches all shrieked:
"Come goblins! Come ghosties! Come skeleton bones!
Do you really expect us to do this alone?"
They stomped on the ground! They bellowed! (They wheezed.)
They tangoed! And salsa-ed! (On arthritic knees.)
Louder and wilder with each passing verse
They chanted in voices from tuneless to worse.
'Till BANG! the old charnel house doors cracked and broke,
And out flew their pals with a big blast of smoke!
A few drooling ghouls from down underneath,
With cleanly picked bones and half-rotted teeth;
A pale, dark-eyed viscount quite long in the tooth;
Two squadrons of zombies, unkempt and uncouth;
Dark, furry, four-footed, hard-to-see things
That vanish unseen midst a flutter of wings;
Redheaded banshees with ear-splitting wails;
And a rheumy-eyed ghost dressed in neatly pressed tails.
With one boney finger, Maud tested the breeze,
Grabbed hold of her broom and ascended with ease.
"To town!" she commanded. "There's much to be done.
Pack your newts and your spiders. Let's go have some fun!"
They dangled black bats from the City Hall eaves
And festooned each doorway with poisonous leaves.
Cobwebs were stretched from church spire to town square,
And green slime was dribbled down every porch stair.
On each hollow pumpkin they scratched a mad grin,
Set the kitty-cats yowling, and stoked up the wind.
"So much haunting to get done in so little time,"
Mourned a vain, headless countess, a bit past her prime.
"Not to mention the rusty old gates we back-ordered
Are stuck in a truck at the Canadian border."
"Not like the old days," whined Rotten-Tooth-Ruth,
"Is this the example we set for our youth?"
More shadows! More cobwebs!
More monsters! More slime!
More dank, moldy cellars!
More grave dust! More grime!
And when they had finished, thick fog hugged the ground,
So they snapped a few photos, and flew out of town.
"To the hovels! Let's go! Time to wake up the spawn!"
Cried the witches while hobbling back home 'cross the lawn.
They banged pots together, poked the witchlings with sticks,
Till the kiddies woke up and threw terrible fits.
"It's Halloween, you gremlins!" crooned Bubonic-Sue,
"Time to show all the humans what witches can do!"
At that, the wee witchlings leapt straight from their beds,
Tied pointy black caps to their misshapen heads,
Laced up their brat boots, grabbed onto their brooms,
And rode single-file toward the just-risen moon.
"Stay warm! Make good choices!" yelled the parental group,
As the young witches circled above with a whoop,
Shouting loud as they could on this night of all nights:
"Happy Halloween to all and to all a good fright!"

Lesley Bannatyne