Spiritwork

A Call to Action

I want you to know that I hesitated to write this blog, Dear Reader.  I want you to know that I have been struggling with it all afternoon and have been turning it around and around in circles in my head because I was afraid of what you might think.  Afraid you might think I’m writing this for the fame, for the drama, because I’m paranoid, because I think I’m the ultimate witch.  But no.  I wouldn’t have written this at all if I hadn’t been called the fuck out by a deck of cards I used to ask Na Morrigna for clarification.  “What should I do?” I asked.  Do I really need to tell others about the working I’ve done?  Do I need to share my UPG?  It’s very, very, deeply, woo.  I had hoped the answer would be No, that They would tell me I’d done enough in bringing the situation to the attention of a few key groups and networks.  But, alas.  “You agreed to be our Priestess.” They said.  “You agreed to help organize the Warriors.” They said.  “So DO YOUR FUCKING JOB.”  I didn’t argue.  I wrote the blog. Here it is.

Today, I got a news alert from NPR.  That is not unusual.  The news alert said that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg had missed a day of arguments.  That is unusual.  Very unusual.  It has never happened before in her entire career.  I immediately had a Bad Feeling, and while I initially thought it was a bad feeling of the usual sort, it remained seared into my brain until I had a quiet moment to check in with my gods and guides and as soon as I was paying attention, they roared DO SOMETHING.  This was not a normal feeling, this was not a normal occurrence – something beyond the mundane had happened.  So, as is my usual inclination, I first sought more information.  I did not have much time just then, so my first dive into trance was shallow, only enough to touch base a little deeper with my allies.  The message they had for me was fairly clear, though: banework had been thrown, likely by a group as a concerted effort, and not only at RBG, but also at Sotomayor and several members of Congress, particularly concentrating on a few newly-elected progressive women of color.  Na Morrigna were also waiting for me, and their message was brief: Activate your Networks.

So, I began to spread the message.  I posted the news article and suggestions or requests for curse-breaking, healing, and protective magical workings, in several different places.  Practice and study groups on facebook, on my witchy tumblrs, even a few private messages.  I kept it close to home, so to speak, within circles where people already know me, and are already more or less familiar with who I am and the work I do.  Some people responded back, and one in particular launched immediately into their own investigation and working, and then discussed with me at length the messages they were receiving – many of which confirmed my own.

My own working had to wait until I had enough time to focus, which did not occur until my toddler went down for a nap. (Ah yes, the joys of stay-at-home parenthood.)  I began with almost a dozen candles to various deities and spirits, including DC land spirits, the Potomac River, my ancestors, and the ancestors of those targeted, with pleas for help and aid.  I’m a devotional polytheist, and that’s where I usually begin.  Bast and Sekhmet as Eyes of Ra.  Be Chuille and Dinand, the sorceresses of the Tuatha De Danann.  The three Morrigna.  Apollo.  Athena Columbia, Elutheria, Dike, Nike.  I pledged, I pleaded, I offered, I cried.

And then I made myself comfortable on my couch, I set up my meditation music, and crossed into the Otherworlds.  I began, as I usually do, in the Waystation, my home in the Otherworlds.  There is a shrine in that space, a sanctuary in the middle of a sanctuary, where the being I call StarFlower, the Fairy Queen to whom I am bound, does workings Over There.  She joined her powers to what I had begun, and replicated the candles I lit to increase the strength of their call.  She also created protection spell candles for those most severely affected by the baneworking, and stuck them in her eternal flame, to keep them ever-burning until such a time as they are no longer necessary.

Then, we spoke to her mother, Be Chuille, and asked what she could do.  As we have done before on a smaller scale, Be Chuille used my body – my human, incarnated body – as an anchor in time and space, to help Her move more easily to where work needed to be done.  And then move She did: bindings and banework turned to vines in Her hand and then withered, died, and became the damp detritus of the forest floor.  This fed the land spirits, who rose to Her call and ate away larger vines wrapped around buildings, and I came to understand how it had been cast.  The casters knew where the targets would be (the Supreme Court, the Capitol Building) and cast it there to wait to ensnare the targets when they came by.  But I watched Be Chuille remove vines from children, spouses, family members, and supporters as well as representatives – the traps had been set wide and imprecise.  (I wondered, then, if that was a side effect of people casting magic with prayer and intent but without the full knowledge of what they are doing.)  There were so many baneful ropes, though, and Be Chuille was more focused on removing them from those who had not been directly targeted.

Dinand arrived, then, speaking to the spirit I know as the Lady of the Potomac River, a land spirit I consider to be a local goddess. They discussed the need for a storm, for precipitation to help wash the leftover energy away, and to dissolve any that remained after being removed.  When I was back to myself later, I shared that with a fellow practitioner who has a close relationship with Gwyn Ap Nudd and His Wild Hunt, especially as they relate to storms, and they agreed to talk to Him.  I was told that Gwyn agreed there was a need for a cleansing storm, and He reiterated a need for human practitioners to do work alongside His own, to tip the balance.

StarFlower collected me again then, and she began working more deeply on RBG, Sotomayor, Deb Haaland, Sharice Davids, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Kyrsten Sinema, and perhaps others.  I assisted as she disentangled banework from blessing, and drew the banework out, allowing the blessings to move closer to their skin.  She snipped the fine threads of banework – my brain supplied the visualization of a scissors – working methodically until she had removed as much as she could easily find.  I got the sense that time was distorted – as long as human practitioners do their work in the next few days, we will all be working side-by-side, at the same “time” and in the same “place”.  As she worked she began to shine more and more brightly, until she finished and then blossomed into the star that is the reason for the use-name I know her by.  What stars do is their own business, but it seemed she was still working on cleansing, just on a grander scale.  Dispelling the Glamours Gwendolyn Reece discusses, perhaps.  Things distorted beyond my ability to easily recount what I witnessed before she returned to her more normal size and shape.

After that I was handed over to Na Morrigna, as has lately been my position, and They transformed me into one corvid in a flock, swirling in the air, towards I knew not what, at first.  When we arrived, however, it became more clear.  I saw something that had a humanoid shape and glowed uncannily, and yet seemed not to be a natural being – it felt more like clockwork, like an android, like a computer program.  I can only imagine it to have been something like an egregore, yet those are somewhat outside my realm of expertise.  Whatever it was, however, it is no more.  Na Morrigna gave a battle cry, and we all descended upon it.  Corvids, carrion birds, and birds of prey clawed and pecked, while wolves and other four-legged creatures tore with claws and teeth, and the thing was destroyed.  Many of the spirit-creatures then ate of the flesh of the thing, which fell into the shape of a horse once mortally wounded.  Once they had their fill, the remaining flesh melted into slimy water, now fertility for the soil.  I returned to the Waystation, and then I returned to myself, on my couch, my head reeling.

Food became necessary, but was not nearly enough to ground me.  My toddler awoke and that helped to focus me some, and when my husband returned home, he assisted more, but I still felt the pull of unfinished business… until I sat down, riffled my cards, and asked the Morrigna if I had done enough, if I really needed to do more.

And the answer to that, of course, is at the top of this post.

Consider this your call to action.  Do what you can, be it curse-breaking, healing, protection, storm-calling, or simply lighting a candle and praying for divine assistance.  If you have a favorite deity of justice or healing, go to them.  If not, ask assistance of the one in your favorite pantheon, or turn to someone I mentioned above.  Do what you can, and do it now.

Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

Crow Folk: Solstice Work

The Dark Moon was yesterday, so here’s your next message from the Morrigan:

You’re losing focus. Do I bore you? The work has not yet come to its pinnacle. Get out of your own way, and RISE! See things the way they truly are, and work to expose that which will perish once brought to light. Harness the light of the coming Bright Moon to dispel illusion and glamour. We’ll shift the world again.

This begins a little harsh, perhaps, but I invite those who immediately react with the thought that it’s not aimed at them, of course not, to sit with it for a moment, and reflect. I haven’t completely lost focus, no. But I was beginning to lose it: under my ill health, under my holiday plans. Make time. Make space. And jettison your excuses, your insecurities, and your feelings of helplessness.

The next full moon is Dec 22nd, so I recommend incorporating these suggestions into your Solstice work. I think I may create a ritual to do over the course of three days, Dec 20-22nd. Probably no more than a half hour each day, but I want it to build and then set to rise, like a loaf of bread.

Event, Ritual, Workshop

Sacred Space 2017 – Days 3 & 4

See Days 1 & 2 Here!

 

Workshop: Glamour, by Gwendolyn Reece

Gwendolyn Reece is Hellenic Revivalist priestess of Athena and Apollon and a member of the Wiccan Assembly of the Sacred Wheel who lives in DC, where she has founded a temple to her patrons, called Theophania.  She has always been politically involved, but recent events have kicked her up a notch, and she believes that humanity, as a group and oversoul, is on the cusp of an initiatory challenge.  In order to succeed, she believes we need to clear out what is preventing our spiritual evolution, and one of the largest obstacles is what she refers to as glamour, inspired in no small part by the book Glamour, a World Problem, by Alice Bailey.  This echoes thoughts about the change from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius, and Gwendolyn emphasized that we really need to look at trends in terms of 200 years, not 20 years, in order to really see the patterns she’s talking about.  Part of the initiatory challenge, she said, comes from several different crises: crises of government are obvious (remember, modern democracy is only a little over 200 years old!), but she is especially concerned with the crisis of climate change.  She believes that most of these crises and movements toward spiritual evolution can be boiled down into a move towards the self governance of adulthood.  Previously, most forms of government revolved around the idea of sacred kingship.  Now, most world governments give at least lip service to democratic elections.  But a lot of glamour needs to be dispelled if we are going to succeed at this initiatory challenge.

Gwendolyn defines “glamour” as: a delusion that occurs at the level of consciousness in which cognition is mixed with emotion.  She adds that most humans are functioning at that level most of the time.  Academics and occultists frequently work at higher levels but tend to return there; some people may spend time below there but tend to return there when they are more clear-headed.  She spent a while explaining the different planes/vibrations and how, for the most part, humans are aware of only the center, but if we shift our perceptions (via trance, etc), we can access different parts.  It is the work of the occultist to go higher, and in doing so, we can get above the cloud of glamour in order to see it more clearly – and hopefully dispel it.  She emphasized the need to start with the glamours we are carrying, ourselves, and then working up to small groups and larger groups that we are a part of, potentially all the way up to the human oversoul (though that’s probably best done in a group effort, she says).

She gave one pretty detailed functional example that I’ll share here: Cynicism.  This one raises three very important glamour red flags: 1) it is a cognitive pattern that evokes an emotive pattern that allows them to feel superior, 2) it is a cognitive pattern that deprives them of power while giving them the illusion of power, and 3) it functions as a self-reinforcing loop.  Cynicism has become a marker for intelligence, which then allows those who are cynical to feel superior to those who are not, because they’re smarter and not hiding from “harsh truths”.  Cynicism removes swathes of intelligent people from being invested in their communities because “there’s no point”, and they feel self-righteous and correct when things then fail – but their refusal to engage is actually one of the causes of failure.  As Gwendolyn says, if she was Sauron, contemplating how to enslave Humanity with a really good spell, she couldn’t do better than that!

To dispel glamours in yourself, Gwendolyn says the best thing you can do is to strengthen your intuition and practice mindfulness.  At a higher level, she recommends rising through the planes above the cloud of glamour, and contemplating it until you truly understand it in a mystical way – what is the core of the glamour itself?  And once you know, find the light within you or ask for assistance from a being of light (like Apollon), target the center of it, and blow it away as best you can.  This will require repetition.  And the larger the group that you’re trying to remove the glamour from, the larger a group of practitioners you’re likely to need to make a dent.  She emphasizes, however, that dispelling from above is a lot more effective than dispelling from the same level, and you probably only need about 20% to hit a real tipping point where it will steadily get clearer and clearer.

 

Ritual: Tea with Your Dweller, by Holli Shan

This was a guided meditation to help with shadow work, where we were guided to have a talk with our Dweller on the Threshold, our shadow self.  We discussed the concept first, and then did two short pathworkings, which I found immensely useful.  There was actual tea provided, a warm and calming blend made by Tintalle Foxwood (but alas I failed to write down the ingredients).

The guidance was more or less as follows: Take our cup of tea, take a large sip and hold it in our mouths, really tasting it.  Then, focus on breathing for four breaths as we sink into trance.  Holli led us down a spiral staircase, and into a room in a palace deep in the ground where there was a small table, with a single candle, and a single cup of tea.  We were to sit down at the table, and then call to our Dweller, who would take the chair opposite us.  Then, we shared the tea – three sips each, back and forth and back and forth.  Once the tea was gone, we were told to ask our Dweller what they had for us, be it message or object.  Many of us were given gem-like objects (which Holli had previously said was how she often pictured the exchange) which we were then told to identify, and release, destroy, or re-integrate according to what it was that we had been given.

Some people were given childhood memories that they had to reintegrate after releasing negative emotions.  Some were given more overt messages, like “You need to make time for self care so you can love yourself again”.  I was given two objects in the first pathworking that I could not identify, but the first one I knew I needed to release, and the second one needed to be cleansed and then re-integrated.  In the second pathworking, I was given more information to better understand what the two things had been, and was given an additional two gems.  It was very healing, and reminded me somewhat of soul retrieval.  I will definitely do it again on my own.

 

Workshop: Magick for the Good of the Polis, by Gwendolyn Reece

This was Gwendolyn’s second and more overtly political worskshop.  She said that before she does any large workings aimed at a group (because that is what a polis is – a body of which an individual human is a part), she starts with an ethical reasoning process, borrowed from academia.  This is a six-part process of ethics questions:

  • Self-Assessment: Is it really about service? What is it feeding in me?  Am I doing this for myself?
  • Self-Assessment: Do I know enough about the topic to properly identify the risks?
  • Risk/Benefit Calculation: What is the probability of harm? What is the magnitude of the possible harm?  What is the probability of benefit? Magnitude of possible benefit?
  • Comprehensive Identification of Risks: What is the risk to the individual practitioner? To the community of practitioners? To the community targeted? To any institutions? What is the risk of attracting unwanted spirit attention? Etc, etc.
  • Risk Mitigation: How can you mitigate the above risks?  How many of them can you mitigate at once?
  • Consult Others: Ask your fellow practioners for advice, and also consult your personal guides and guardians, deities, etc.

She did say that in the case of enviromental collapse, the risk/benefit calculation gives her more leeway than on most things, because the risk of not doing anything is total disaster.

Gwendolyn discussed various types of Ancient Hellenic practices, starting with the religion of the polis, then personal and household devotions, the Mysteries, and lastly the different types of magic: Magika, Goetia, and Pharmakon.  She said generally, magic on behalf of the polis was attempted after the following steps were taken: 1) recognize the miasma of the polis (miasma, in her definition, is what occurs when humans are out of right relationship with the gods and with each other, ie, when social contracts have been broken), 2) look for the causes of miasma (this was often done by consulting oracles or taking omens, etc), 3) appease or remove the causes of miasma and bind what cannot be removed (this is usually the majority of the magical workings), and then 4) strengthen the beneficial (by making sacrifices to the patron of the polis, for example).  It’s a decent pathway for modern practitioners to follow before doing workings, as well.  She then discussed various kinds of magic, including Apompe, Katadesmoi, Judicial spells, and Baityloi, before discussing a couple of workings she’s done recently.

 

Ritual: The Healing Labyrinth, by Irene Glasse

This was a labyrinth walk, on a labyrinth Irene brought with her rolled up on a huge sheet.  Irene is a yoga teacher and a trained labyrinth facilitator.  Her spiritual home is Frederick Unitarian Universalist Church, which has a large labyrinth in its courtyard.  Labyrinth walking is a somewhat unique form of mediation, because of the movement required.  She also said that everything on a labyrinth walk is an allegory, so make note of times you get lost, get distracted, or stumble.  It is also a very personal journey that sometimes must take place with others around, giving it a sense of community not unlike a meditative yoga class.

On our first walk, she wanted us to focus on what was stuck in our lives on our way in, what our blockages were, and what we must release.  On the way out, we were to focus on what needed to be received, what needed to come in to fill the space instead.  Before the second walk, she placed rattles and bells at various points around the labyrinth.
on that second walk, we were to stop at each station on the way in and pick up a rattle.  Then, through the sound of the rattle and the sound of our own voice, we were supposed to name a blockage and release it.  On the way out, our blockages cleared, we were to use the bells, and with their sound and our voice, welcome in those things we needed to receive.  As more and more people entered the labyrinth, it became a symphony of sound, and while it might sound cacophonous, it instead was a very healing sound overall, and many of us found that the things we were struggling with were also things others needed to release.

 

Closing Ritual

Like the Opening Ritual, this one is scripted almost the same every year, and yet it feels important to go, to get that closure.  The patrons are thanked and released, the egregore is put back to sleep as a chrysalis, and the wards are dropped as we return to the mundane world, with a parting gift.  The gift this year was a blessed Constitution, and since I already had one from a friend who attended one of Gwendolyn’s Theophania Temple rituals, Glasreo and I passed ours on to vendor friends who hadn’t been able to attend.

As always, after four days at Sacred Space, it was a little bit difficult to move fully back into our mundane lives!