Webs of Woven Words, Threads, Stitches and Enchantments

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

A Happy Thanksgiving to all.
I am grateful for the friends I have here,
those who read my ramblings, and all the other
good things in my life.

I hope you are also having a lovely holiday
filled with as much love and goodness as mine.

And now we continue our journey into the darkness of the year,
awaiting the return of the light, and welcoming the respite that
Winter brings, as well as its blessings of thoughtful contemplation.

Blessings dark and deep!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Remembering Olivia Robertson

The Fellowship of Isis posted this today on their Facebook page. I will be joining with many others in remembering and honoring this legendary Elder of the Craft tomorrow by lighting a candle. Join us.

From the Fellowship of Isis Facebook page:

Blessings to all Aset Shemsu. Please join us in lighting a candle to remember and honor Olivia Robertson, on the first anniversary of her passing.

"My own dedication came from sudden awareness of identity with the White Light of Isis, a shining silver-white feminine figure with wide shining lightning flashes extending from either side of her head – that encompassed the stars. So I learnt that wi
thout Truth, Love becomes dissipated. I have always received inspiration from Those outside myself. I received the teaching: 'Approach Truth with courage: Love with humility.' Divine reality pervades every being. I learnt to honour the truth in all faiths and philosophies. To accept Deity in each creature and atom. I felt the love within all born of The Great Mother of All." (Olivia Robertson, "The Call of Isis")

The Life and Work of Olivia Robertson:


As priestesses and witches, this is part of what we do, remembering and honoring the Blessed Dead. Olivia can be included on my Ancestor shrine because of all she taught, worked for, and shared about the arts of Witchcraft, Wicca, magick, the priestess/priest path. Her influence was felt by many of us, whether we are part of the Fellowship of Isis or not.

Blessed be your journey, Olivia.

Blessings dark and deep!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Day to Honor the Manes (Blessed Dead), Nov. 8th

I am still honoring the season of Hallowstide and always celebrate this Roman holiday. It is the "Day to Honor the Manes" (Blessed Dead). This year it falls on Saturday, November 8th.

One of three days, August 24, October 5 and November 8, when the Mundus, an area, generally in a city, which was considered to be a portal or access point to the Otherworlds, both upper and under, was opened to make offerings of the Fruits of the Harvest to the Blessed Dead, the Manes, in Rome and a number of other Roman cities.

To participate in the traditional manner, place your offerings of seasonal fruits in a sacred place you consider to be a portal to the Otherworlds - hedge, gateway, lake, or even cemetery; then offer prayers to your dead ancestors. Light a candle for them at your altar or ancestor shrine and, again, make appropriate prayers or just speak to them.

Sound familiar? Yes, it is very like Hallows or Samhain. There are three Roman festival days which one could align to the three harvest festivals that modern Pagans and Polytheists honor - August 24th would be most closely related to Lammas, October 5th to the Autumn Equinox, and November 8th to Hallows/Samhain. Of course, our Ancestors should be remembered throughout the year, at least weekly, but these "Days to Honor the Manes" have become an important part of my Ancestor veneration practice.

In the work that I do, I encounter many people who feel they are cursed or crossed, or have, in general, very bad luck. Ninety five to ninety nine per cent feel someone is "hexing" them. While this may be true in some cases, many times that feeling of things not being right can be attributed to your lack of honoring your Ancestors. As Laura Patsouris states in her book, Weaving Memory, A Guide to Honoring the Ancestors, (click on my Amazon Affiliates widget to the right of this post),

"Many of us have noticed that the dead, in general, are becoming increasingly restless and upset about the lack of honor given to them... There is no better protection from random angry dead people than having your Ancestral house strong and in order. This is because, when your ties to your ancestors are strong and well-nourished, they will protect you from the angry dead..."

Your practice and link to your Ancestors, be they of blood, breed, or friendship, is an important spiritual practice, especially for those of us who are called to work with the dead. You do not want to begin working with the dead until, again in the words of Laura, your Ancestral house is in order.

Many people who practice Ancestor veneration find that their Ancestors are just waiting to be called, because they love you. They want to assist you, they are strong protection. Yes, there are family issues and Ancestors you will not want to include, that's fine, you choose which Ancestors to honor, it is up to you.

Blessings dark and deep!

PS: You may notice a new widget on the side of my blog for Amazon. I am now an Amazon Affiliate. Please click directly from it when buying, it assists me in keeping the blog, Facebook page, and my soon to be Etsy page running. I thank you! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Secrecy, Sacredness, and Oaths

I had an interesting experience the other day. I am a Reiki Master/Teacher of both Traditional Usui and Karuna Reiki. I began my journey with Reiki about 10 years ago; it is a daily practice and permeates every part of my life, every day. I don't know where I would be had I not discovered it.

There are a number of things about Reiki that can vary from tradition to tradition, but one of the most important is that the Reiki symbols are sacred and therefore to be kept secret. When I received the first three symbols, I understood that I took an oath to keep them secret. There is no reason to plaster the symbols everywhere, wear them on jewelry, or put them out for all to see because without the attunements, they do nothing. Now, I have been a practicing witch for over forty years,  and I take oaths very seriously, in any tradition, spiritual path, and in one's personal life, so this keeping these sacred symbols secret is a serious matter .

So, I met someone who did her Reiki training with Diane Stein. Being heavily influenced by Dianic Feminist witchcraft, Diane is considered to be one of the grandmothers of the Dianic Feminist tradition. My problem with Stein, and why I don't recommend many of her books, is because she published a book with the symbols. Her "followers" feel, as did this woman I encountered, that the symbols are sacred, but not to be kept secret, they are for everyone. This woman's attitude about Dr. Usui was rather sneering and I had to ask her how she could feel that way and practice Reiki. There were a few other things; she attunes people for free, which is certainly her choice and I have no real issue with this. I personally think that the fees many charge for Reiki training are too high. I later spoke to someone who was attuned by this woman and was told that she and her partner received no training whatsoever, they were just told to read Stein's book to page 26. They knew nothing and felt the attunements were rather worthless. They plan to study with what they refer to as a real teacher.

Now, anyone can do whatever they choose, each of us has our own path to tread. That being said, we all need to be aware that there are teachers and there are people who call themselves teachers. If you receive Reiki attunements but no instructions you loose a very important part of Reiki. If you feel that the majority of the Reiki community and the tradition is wrong when they agree that the symbols are to be kept secret, I would hesitate to teach you any form metaphysics or occult tradition. I would question your integrity and sincerity in keeping any oaths. 

I realize there are people who will disagree with this and you are certainly free to do so, but keeping oaths and secrets, in occult and metaphysical traditions is a serious matter. These mysteries are not for everyone.

Blessings dark and deep!