Samhain – The unveiling

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After meeting the Horned God at the gate – she reluctantly walks forward.

The underworld can be daunting. Seldom has she felt herself so stripped, so alone. She is lost in the deep. She walks on, turning and twisting through caverns and tunnels, further into darkness. Reflecting over the cost and reward of sacrifice: the sacred mystery of the God at this time.

And she has been here before. The recognition ignites the familiar flame of strength within her.  She dares to go deeper;  Knowing  that the journey will lead her back to Herself.

*******

They say that the veil between the worlds is at it’s thinnest at Samhain.  It is a poignant time for many witches. We remember those who have moved on from this world, in love and grief. We also revere the unknown ancestors that live on within us. In our marrow. In our blood.

As  the light diminishes and the darkness deepens, Samhain is perhaps the time we most connect with our own inner fears and demons;  our weaknesses, our shadow. Emotional pain is common for those of us that live in tune with the tides. As trees are stripped of leaves to reveal their strong essence; we too can feel that starkness and chill of bones laid bear. The Horned One unveils what must be revealed. And what must die to make way for rebirth.

At Samhain we access the deep abyss: the void. Journeying in the below – the Underworld – we also gaze up to the eternal dark skies of Nut; the heavenly Goddess of planets and galaxies- the eternal silence before the formation of the Universe and life Itself. Humbled, we stare at expansion – our tiny-ness reflected in the glinting of stars. They are miniscule lights that mirror the burning hope within, illuminating  what is hidden. And so we connect – realising that we are microcosms of the macrocosm around us. We experience a primal knowledge that spans time and space and cannot be explained through language alone.

As above, so below.

Now is the time that we learn to tread in the deep caverns of our soul. The quest is ardorous – and sometimes we loose the strength to move forward – perculating in darkness.

But it is here we encounter the Dark Lord. He has much to teach us – and as we chase him through the canal or rebirth he shows us how to reign. We learn to battle our fears so that we gain power over them. We taste our mortality and we fear it not.

We face ourselves through daring to face him. In those eyes are both love and deep chaos. In this turning of the wheel he is wild and will not be tamed.  He is both Hunter and Hunted; Sacrifice and Strength. As the cold touches our bones the Lord can be felt, his presence palapable in the Halloween air.

As always, she is also present. We sense that we are deep within the mother/crone: womb and tomb.  The darkness nurtures our inner light.

In nature, it’s getting cold. Our misty breath reminds us of our own life force; and that the gods at this time offer at the same time; the poisoned apple and the kiss of life. And as the fairy stories fortell, we will slowly awake from hibernation and can experience the mystery that is carved into stone at Delphi.

Know Thyself.

Blessings for the Samhain season. May you find solace in the stars.

Autumn Equinox – The Descent

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She quivers in apprehension. On a silken thread she spins: Cast around by the winds of chance, knowing that her destiny awaits. The cleansing spring rains, and the warming suns caresses are but a distant memory. She hears her destiny calling.

Above is the sacred tree from which she has grown and developed – her rooted foundation. Below is nothing. The abyss. The unknown. The deep dark pool into which she knows she must decend.

She looks around for answers. There are none. The fates weave their spell.

She breaths in and rests in that space. On the cusp. Hanging in balance. From way up high she looks down and relalises  that she no longer has a choice.

And so, in Perfect Trust; she releases all control. She lets go.

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I could talk about the beauty of the season, the over-ripened succulent fruit. Cool misty mornings. The bright blazing leaves that will soon be a delight for the senses. But that is not what She speaks to me of now.

Underneath the usual business and activity of late summer, I start to hear Her. In rustling leaves, in sudden downpours, she makes her presence known. She calls. And she whispers words of surrender.

Years of following the path of a Witch has taught me that the autumn equinox this is not only the time for the final harvest. It is also the time when hard decisions need to be made. Death lifts her sickle and reaps, cleansing the path towards eventual renewal. As the equinox approaches, out souls begin to vend inwards.We prepare for decent.

The Equinoxes speak to us of balance. We pause in that liminal space. The space between the in-breath and the out-breath. The space in which we feel the push and pull of opposites: light and dark, love and hate, within and without, the chalice and the blade. The equinox is that eternal moment when we hold our breath before climax. Where as the  spring equinox teaches me the lesson of Mastery: The autumn equinox always brings with it some lesson about Release – about leaving something behind – and its is often this lesson that is the hardest one of all.

We do not know what will emerge in the darkness. We stand on the brink of a dark pool into which we will dive, willingly or unwillingly embracing our shadows as we fall into the laborous journey towards rebirth. The Lord of the underworld leads the way, and we have no choice but to follow: making sacrifices along the way and hoping that we will come safely through the other side.

As witches, we only need look to the myths to explain to us what is happening in our lives now. Stories offer us powerful touchstones of understanding. As Ishtar, we shed our veils, one by one, like the skins of a snake – our increasing nakedness and vulnerability illuminating our core, bringing us back to who we are. As Persephone, we experience the we are, against our will, thrown into the awaiting arms of darkness; there to learn rule our fears. As Demeter we emote, feeling the deepness of rage and the darkness of mourning and loss; only then can we learn depth of true love and joy. In the dark half of the year we experience the ultimate rite of purification.

The time of the Autumn equinox marks the beginning of the tide of Water for many witches. The world of dreams, deepness, succulence, flow, and stark emotion. For me, the beginning of this season always comes as a relief. There is no sense in struggle. Through embracing and welcoming this unknown season; through truly relinquishing control, I will learn to Rest. To Meditate. To go Deeper into myself. To Listen.

In the womb of the mother we learn deep trust, as well as an inner strength that is unshakable. Though we may be feel alone; it is only through surrender that we will experience the ultimate initiation.

I wish you a blessed Autumn equinox.

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The Poppy: Strength and Sacrifice for Lammas

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I wasn’t intending on writing this evening.

But as I sat and watched the poppies that I planted in the spring, daintily dancing in the evening breeze, I gained some insights. The sort of insight that pull together random experiences and snippets of conversation into something that gives meaning.I am watching them now, dressed in bright scarlet petals, redder than red, teasingly bending and swaying on wafts of air. There is something supremely innocent and fluttery about them, something intangible, fairy-like.

In contrast there is also something slightly sinister about them. They remind me of blood. Under their dainty skirts, there is deep blackness. Their long slender stems and silken petals look oh-so-fragile and yet even the characteristically strong local winds can’t beat them. They speak to me of Sex. Og Strength and Success. Of War and Warriorship. Of Sacrifice and Renewal.

All of which are themes closely related to the Witch’s celebration of Lammas or Lughnasadh.As they are often associated with this Sabbat I also have them on my altar.

As I look in my Book of Mirrors from last year, I see that at Lammas 2013 I was all about the sacrifice; the moving forward; the leadership and the warriorship. I couldn’t wait for the autumnal season to begin.  This year I felt resistance. I wasn’t ready to address sacrifice, not just yet, wanting rather to put it offi for the next Sabbat of Mabon.

Why? Because I didn’t feel ready. I haven’t accomplished nearly enough of all the things I set out to do this year. I felt cheated… by not having enough time, not enough resources, not having done enough… here we are at Lammas and what has happened to the hope and dreams and seeds set in early spring?

Well. They are the types of seeds that need more than half a year to take root and form. They are not poppy seeds, but perhaps they are fruit trees…. trees that need long incubation, slow growth, tender loving care and temperate patience before they bear fruit. And that fruit… that which feeds us gives us sustenance, and help us grow, is perhaps the most rewarding and delicious of all. But it doesn’t come without a price.

For me the price is impatience. For me the price is that knowing that I just don’t have the time to do all that I want to do. For me the price is in the waiting. And the knowledge that some dreams will have to be sacrificed… to be reborn again…. because there are more prominent things that need my time, attention and space right now. Like my young family. Like my home. Like my relationships. All things that I hold dearest to my heart, that represent love and sustainence and abundance in my life.

This year, Lammas has felt more like Lament! Lamenting feelings of frustration. A feeling of lack of time and progress and energy available to us to focus on my career… my spirituality… to go deeper, perhaps be more authentic and true to certain parts of my soul. I appreciated the beauty of what I have, but I mourned things that I felt were missing in my life.  Actually, my poverty/lack of abundance mentality was off the charts… given that this is the time to be celebrating abundance more than ever!

Some seeds need slow growth, and can be left to develop for a while. Some plants need constant attention and care, or they will go to seed or be over-ripe before we have had a chance to even recognise and enjoy the real fruits of our labour.

Just as I am enjoying the beauty of the poppy that I have nurtured into being. Without my efforts, minor as they might have been, she would not have existed as a bright red flower today. The poppy bends and dances with the winds instead of resisting them and being uprooted. She stands tall and playfully impertinent, shining in  riot of colour; for a short season only, but oh! how brightly she shines. Her life is short, she finds time to set hundreds of seeds, never knowing if her efforts will be rewarded or not. As I write, she is still frivolously dancing, still teasing me.  She knows that really, there is plenty of time. She knows that she will be back.

As will I.

I wish you, dear reader, a wonderous abundance for the season. Don’t forget to acknowledge it!:)

 

And do feel free to write reflections on Lammas in the comments below.

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6 ways to get unstuck – (Ostara)

You dream. You want. You find your inner flame and you drip with desire. Your true self is presented in the mirror and you stand at the magickal crossroads. The moon, full and voluptuous and luminescent shines brightly, showing the way. You are on the verge of finding the treasure, holding the Holy Grail, your cup filled. The path that calls you is just a step away.

You see it and you hear it and you can almost taste it poignancy, it’s ripeness now. You place your hand on your heart and you say to yourself; this is it. It’s my turn now.

That thought pulses through your veins and you know that you are on the brink of finding your core….

And then, right before you reach the cusp…. you get stuck.

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The feeling sinks on you without warning, sucking you dry. Inertia. It happens to many of us. And the results can be devastating. It knocks you for six, you think too much, the fear sets in; you start telling yourself to be realistic; that there is no way, nooooo waaay, that you can do what your heart is telling you to do.

And yet… being Stuck is part of the process. It’s part of the cycle. being stuck allows for important down-time. Time to hone in. Time to know. Time to be silent.

I am very much a fire person. My sun sign is Fire, my moon is in Water.

I have a bit of a natural tendency to ignite quickly, burn hotly and brightly with enthusiasm, get very emotive and passionate and then burn out all my resources all in a short space of time. My exterior can appear calm as a still pool, guarded even. I have learnt to set up strong boundaries. But what is happening internally might be something else completely.

What happens when I burn too quickly? I get stuck. Inertia sets in. I burn up my fuel and my fire goes out. Washed ut by too much emotion. Blown out by too many airy ideas. And then all that is left is Earth. Immoveablilty. Oh how I i dislike that phase!

But the point is…. it really is just a phase. It is a useful phase. An absolutely necessary phase. I am learning to fall in love with it. Being stuck means essential down time. The ability to see what is right in front of my eyes. Grace. It is time to hone it. Time to collect resources. Time to know, Time to be silent, Time to see what is most important.

As Witches, wise folk, priests and priestesses, druids, shamans and magical workers, many of you will be familiar with what is often referred to the Witches Pyramid, or the Four Powers.

To know

To Will

To Dare

To be Silent.

These are the powers that help us germinate, grow, flower and bear fruit. They are the powers of air, water, fire and earth. When they are in balance, when they are all present, we are in touch with our spirit. We are in the flow. Everything just works out beautifully.

But before we get there, we need to move through the spiral of each.

For me,  being Stuck is earth. Being Stuck is rooting. Inertia is the power of silence, the stopping up, the deep dark succulent soil. The part where the other three…. will, daring, knowing…..are given space to emerge and grow. To percolate. To move forward you need to Will enough. You need to Know enough. You need to Dare enough. And there needs to be a space for that growth to happen. In is in the Silent phase that this can occur. The stuck phase. The inertia phase.

This is the hardest and most frustrating phase for my impatient, action-orientated ego. I am sure you often experience this frustration too. In order to master something, to manifest something, just as in the Charriot card in the tarot, you need all the horses to be going in the same direction. We need balance. And this is really a central teaching on the spirtual path that calls us. Balance of the elements. Balance of the turning wheel. The balance of the spiral… we’ve been here before but we are constantly evolving.

Here are  6 ways to move through the process of Inertia and get to the point where we can move forward:

1. Stop and Surrender

Stop. Yes. Just stop. Stop all the actions you are doing everyday. Allow yourself to Stop working towards your goals. (It’s just for a little while, it’s ok!). Stop wasting energy on berating thoughts of everything you haven’t yet achieved. Stop everything for a while. Surrender your ego, surrender your energy. Surrendering is a great teacher. it teaches us Wisdom. Compassion. Humility. all essential qualities of the Wise. Allow yourself to be in Inertia. Allow yourself to be in Stuck.

What happens if you don’t? Burnout. Depression. More inertia. The type of inertia that is out of balance and becomes less of a phase and more of a way of life.

2. Decide

Make the decision to Stop in an active and conscious way. You are not beaten. You are by no means giving up! It’s not that you cannot take action or are afraid to make a move. You are is this position because you need to be. Inertia has a purpose. Stop and offer your stuck-i-ness to the gods. Be grateful. Give thanks.

3. Rest

It may seem paradoxical but without this inertia you cannot move forward. Give yourself, your Soul, permission to Rest. To hibernate. Sleep. Do things that you like but do not demand too much reflection or energy.None useful, none productive activities. Allow yourself that, without guilt, without worry. Try to have a focus on the mundane world for a while.

4. Earthing

The power of silence is associated with the power of earth. The power of grounding. True grounding comes not from energy work, but from a connection with the every day. Find out what is going on outside you and outside your inertia. Have lunch with a none-magickal friend. I am so grateful for my none-magickal friends, they keep me balanced.Make a nurturing soup. Play with your children. Make love. Cook, shop, exercise, dance, garden, see what is happening around you outside of your soul work. Reconnect with the magick that is in the mundane, 

5. Silence

Turn everything off for a day. Or a weekend. No internet. No Tv. Phone calls only with dearest friends and family permitted. Sometimes our inertia has come about from bombardment. Everything fighting to get our attention and our energy. Often there it is too much air…to much knowledge… too much communication…..too many ideas and inspirations that is at the root cause of our inertia. We can’t move for winds blowing against us from all directions. Find sources of air that do not serve you right now. Turn them off, on by one. (It’s ok. It’s just for a little while.)

6. Consciously moving forward

Finally, when you have tried some of the about you may feel ready to get unstuck and move on. Then, and only then, find a quiet place, get a piece of journal and let your inertia be your spirit guide. Journey with it. Meditate on it. What has it taught you? How has it fed you? How has it served you and what does it want from you. What does it need? Where did it come from? Form a relationship with Inertia and ask it how you can now move forward, little by little.

Evolution

With much love,

Bridget x

PS. Did you enjoy this post?  Which part of this post really spoke to you? You are not alone…. connect with me and others in the comments below 🙂

Is there anything in this post you want to read more about?

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Tarot, Soul searching and Overcoming Fear

The perfect Saturday evening….

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With Soul-searching, tarot and red wine. Magical.

 

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I have been a little quiet here but there is a lot going on under the surface. I am deciding about the directions I would like the blog to take. What I really want is for this to be a place about bringing magick and enchantment into the everyday. Really living the path… a path of magick and enchantment, adoration and respect for the lives we live and the world we are in.

Possibly the most challenging barrier to living a life of magick is what hsppens when we feel fear. Fear creeps in when we least expect it, lurking in the shadows or growing in darker periods of self doubt and insecurity. Fear is not all bad, in fact it serves us, it is one of our most precious tools. But when out of balance fear limits, imprisons and erodes. Fear stops us from taking the actions required to living a life we love. Fear gets in the way, and sometimes erodes, our ability to live our true nature. It prevents us from living our Soul purpose, or even our ability to get in touch with what that might be.

I am working on a project that examines both fear and inner strength… bringing to light some of the magikal tools that can be used to gain strength and mastery over fears that are destructive and do not in any way serve me. I am wondering if this is a theme that might be interesting to you, my dear reader?

Are you interested in tarot? Would you like a post on the interperating flow, journey and movement in tarot through understanding movement generated by the number/pip cards?

I would love to read your comments and on any of the above subjects. What other themes are you interested in reading about?

I really appreciate you taking valuable time to read this, and would love to hear from you:)

And if you like reading these posts and want updates, and other additional material, I would love it if you would Like Path of the Priestess on facebook.

Have a beautiful, blessed, weekend!

Love Bridget xx

Temple days: yoga, detox smoothie and more!

My body is my Temple

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Today was a Temple Day. Temple days are days where I do extra good things for my body and health, and perhaps combine it with some spiritual or circle work.

So today, I made myself a delicious green detox smoothie (recipe to follow) had healthy (store bought!) sushi for lunch, and did some Yoga using the following elegent app: Yoga Studio

It’s been a while since I’ve done Yoga, and I realised how out of balance I was with the element Earth! However I set my intention: dedicating my practice and the energy raised to something I am working towards in the magikal realm, and centred myself. I felt wonderful afterwards!

Finally, later today, I did a beautiful house blessing for the whole of my home, calling to Bridget in her aspect of Goddess of the hearth. And I have treated myself and my alter to beautiful potted bulbs, as an offering to Bridget, which will be in flower soon. And the palest of pastel pink roses: the colour makes me think of pink tinged skies at dawn, and somehow remind me of the season of air we are now embarking on.

Here is promised recipe:

Green Goddess Detox Smoothie

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2 Cups Pineapple juice
Half teaspoon grated fresh ginger
Handful spinach leaves
Juice of half a lime
Half peeled cucumber (optional)

Add everything to blender and blend until smooth. Serve chilled or over ice. Delicious and refreshing!

What do you do if you want to treat your body to something good, or make your soul sing?

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Emerging

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She is approaching and her presence is palpable.

I can almost feel the surge of energy, enhanced by the growing moon.

Now is the time for new oaths, new bonds, new promises. Emerging, rising, growing in strength, From the hearth ashes to the flame. The breath of new life, the Ace of Swords, Bridget sings, tantalisingly, teasing at my hair and clothing her laughter echoing in the cleansing winds.

Cleansing, purificaton. Imbolc is known to be a fire festival…a festival of light. Another side to Imbolc is the purification that occurs at this time. Darkness and coldness feel like death….and the distractions and merry making of yule are long gone. There is nothing like january to send you on a tranformational but ultimately healing journey.

Many talk about spring cleaning, without realising that the concept is in our blood, our inheritance. This time has always been a time of purifying rites, of making ready for the hard work ahead that will lead to abundance and joy. The Romans celebrated Juno Februa – a cleansing, post-winter version ofte Goddess Juno. The dreaming time is over and we are called to action. I talked in my last post about january, the new year in the gregorian calender, being too early for lasting results. In the middle of winter when the days are still short. Nights are long, winter is at it’s coldest, resources (energeticaly speaking, financially speaking and perhaps even spiritually speaking) are low. But it is interesting, isn’t it, when you look at the most common resolutions people have…. they often involve some type of purification. Loosing excess weight for example. Simplifying finances, reducing spending and excess. Having more organised paperwork, or a tidier home. It facinates me as I follow the year that mainstream society is often following a simlar path to my priestess path. On the other hand this is not surprising: Nature, the turning of the seasons the tides of ebb and flow is can be felt in all of us. Its who we are and we cannot help but respond to her call.

What do you wish to respond to week?

How will you utilise the growing light?

Is change afoot?

I’d love to hear about it!

 

Love,

Bridget x