Saturday, June 11, 2011

Looking for Community?

I am now an active member in Sacred Paths DSM.  We have been holding Sabbat celebrations and informal potluck dinners for over a year in the Des Moines area.  I am also attending WiccaCon at the First Unitarian Church on May 12th,  2012 with my spiritual partner and fiance, Aletheas Moonsilver.  Together, we will be presenting a workshop on Creating Sacred Space.  I've suspended activities with The South Central Iowa Pagan Association that I started a couple of years ago.  It may yet be revived at another time, in another location, so drop a comment if you want to find out more about how to join in on Pagan/Wiccan community events in central Iowa.   Look me up on Facebook!  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Witch's Cauldron

In my personal view, the most important tool for transformation (both physical and spiritual) would have to be the Cauldron. Physically, the cauldron is a vessel that holds the ingredients of your potions, stews and other concoctions with a purpose of healing, nourishing or transforming. I've used my cauldron to hold candles, mash up herbs, and divination through scrying. The cauldron represents all the elements to me: metallic earth, heated by fire, cooled by air and tempered by water. But what about a cauldron for personal transformation?

Many times, I've been transformed mentally and spiritually by the events in my life, but what things have I done purposefully to transform myself with an outcome already predetermined? I've gone about life letting things happen and reacting to them, and I wondered what would happen if I actually set out to determine the steps and the method and the desired outcome, magically through visualization, meditation, ritual and writing. So, that is what I have set out to accomplish. I want to be a better me, all throughout my life. I want to live my life purposefully, and to shed the veils I hide behind.

I have had many 'chapters' in my life, all pretty much defined by relationships I have had in the past, my religious beliefs at the time, and the choices I made to survive and get along without causing too much turmoil for others. From a very early age, this was my conditioning. I learned not to discuss things that were personally damaging to me, and to bury it deep and try to forget. I adopted another "me", the one I presented to the world as the functioning, regular person. All the while I was a confused and lost soul, unsure of who to please and what to ask for myself. Being able to leave my former religion behind and start thinking for myself was the pivotal moment in my life. Ever since then, I have evolved into someone who is slowly learning to ask for what I need, not settle for what I can get. This has caused some strife and turmoil for others in my life, but I had to make a choice, live for others or live for me.

Recently, I was labeled a liar, a charlatan, and a phony. I had ended a relationship because I made a choice to do the least harm, even though I knew I would be causing some turmoil and tension by doing so. Ultimately it came down to being honest with myself and my own needs, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. I just couldn't continue on, so I stopped. For this reason, I have been vilified by people I once held in high regard, and I have a desperate desire to defend myself to anyone who would listen. The thing is, no one has come to me to ask me any single question about what truly happened. So, I have to put myself through a reality check time and time again. This is my cauldron.

I conjure up all of the worst possibilities, all of the things that could have been said, or supposed, or outright imagined. Then I have to realistically and logically work through them all, determining the "what if's" of each scenario, until I can settle on just a couple of possible outcomes. In the end, it matters not what has been said, or imagined. It does not matter what one believes about my intentions, or my actions. The only thing that is real is that I know what my own thoughts and opinions are, I know what my own reasons were, and I do not have to justify them to anyone who believes I was a liar from the start. Nothing I say will have any effect on a stalwart opinion that draws me in the black ink of deceit. So, it is likely better to not say anything at all.

My problem is that I can't pretend as if everything is fine, it's all been worked out, and there is no reason for tension. I know it will be there, as long as others wish to carry it around with them, and not work through their own "cauldron". So, I have to wait it out and let the real me show through it all, not run and hide, not put on a front. Eventually, truth wins out, and my real nature will be evidence enough.

It's a difficult task. The cauldron bubbles and boils over at times. The process starts over again. But each time, it gets shorter, easier to deal with. And I have more opportunities to see myself as others see me, and more chances to change my perceptions of others as well.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Magic of Charms and Symbols

Magical charms can bring powerful, positive vibrations into your life. Most of us use charms without realizing their power. We "knock on wood" for luck, exchange wedding rings and wear the colors of our favorite team while watching a game. These actions originate from a time when everyone believed that the energy of the universe could be channeled into objects and symbols. This is known as "sympathetic magic"-- the idea that carrying a reminder of something imbues its owner with the powers of the original.

Charms are still effective tools today when used with awareness and clear intent. For example, a horseshoe hung with the points facing upward brings you luck as it symbolizes a new Moon; wearing the same clothes as a celebrity allows you to feel as successful as them.

How your magic charms work

Chose a charm that bestows the protection or powers you require.

Symbols, letters and numbers

These ancient symbols tap into a current of magic that has benefited humanity since antiquity. Harness it with runic pendants, Celtic tattoos and ankh earrings.

Lucky objects

Finding a lucky penny and cherishing it attracts wealth; a letter from a friend carried in your pocket becomes a popularity charm.

Plants and crystals

Carrying or wearing plants and crystals brings us into direct contact with the magical energies of nature.


A symbol of something can contain the qualities of the orginal. A lion can bestow courage; a bear, protection; and a dog, loyalty.

Divine help

Religious images as jewelry carry protection and healing from the spiritual source.

Placing your Charms

There are many different charms you can choose and many ways you can use them. Use this checklist below to give you some ideas.

Herbs and Flowers

Herbs and flowers are known to have healing qualities,which means they make very useful charms.

*Lavender is great for averting worry, and rosemary is protective.

*Coriander makes a romantic love charm.

Hang bunches of herbs in the home, or make an amulet by sewing a small pouch and filling it with an appropriate mixture of leaves and flowers.

Charms in the Home

Where better to experience the beneficial effects of magical charms than at home? Charms can protect our possessions and family, help us sleep, attract prosperity, boost health and create a calm atmosphere.

*Place a statue of Buddha by the main entrance and touch it daily for luck.

*Hang a dream catcher above your bed to allay nightmares.

*Place a cross of elder twigs on your front door to deter unwelcome guests.

Food Charms

When we eat symbolic or charmed foods we literally ingest their power.

*The Yule Feast affirms the prosperity of the year ahead with the currants in mince pies and yule pudding representing money.

*Sharing oysters with your partner gets you both in the mood for love.


You can also give charms as presents-- passing on luck.

* A silver cup for a baby at Wiccanning is a symbol of health and happiness.

*A horseshoe charm at a wedding increases the fertility of the union.

*The key that adorns 18th and 21st birthday cards unlocks the secrets of adult life.


Worn next to the skin, the power of the charm affects the wearer all day.

*Jewelry enables a combination of magical elements to work together: metals, precious stones and symbols should be carefully selected to suit your purpose.

*Always charge your charm before wearing it.

*Leave silver jewelry outside on the night of a full Moon in order to refresh its energy. Gold charms, in contrast, need sunlight to activate them and should be left out in daylight.

Follow me to my new blog at The Cauldron and Crucible.