Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

A Re-Gathering of Crows

I’m back on deck this Lughnasadh-Eve. Finished with my Saturn Return (but not yet ready to turn that journey into a narrative), and once again Called. I Answered (how could I not?), and have been once again drafted into the service of Na Morrigna, the Three Sisters, to deliver the messages I receive on the Dark Moon.

Are you ready to join me again, Crow Folks? A new journey awaits. Do not wait too long in deciding. Put less important things aside. We need to harness our own creative powers and generate the foundations of our triumph.

We all have a role to play. We were called. We accepted. We rise together.

Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

Crow Folks: A Final Message

I’ve been told to step back from this work, the messenger role I was thrust into around Lughnasadh last year.  It’s been six months, and the balance feels right.  I’ve learned a lot, and hopefully so have you.  I’ll still be around to answer questions privately through divination, and I’m happy to pull three more cards as I did for myself, to elucidate your new roles going forward.  But my three cards spoke of a need to step back, to spend the next few months on internal work.  The timing makes sense – my first Saturn Return begins next month, as Saturn encroaches within three degrees of its position in my natal chart.  That will be my focus for now, that self-work and my ongoing relationships with Starflower, and the Eyes of Ra.

That said, I do have one last message for you all, as we move into spring:

“It is time to seek harmony amongst yourselves.  This may require stepping out on your own in order to see things more clearly, in order to reorganize your priorities so you know where you can compromise and where you cannot, where bridges can be mended, and where fires can only be extinguished.  You need to continue training, but it is time to try things on your own.  What can you accomplish by yourself?  You have grown stronger, and you need to know your new limits, and what weaknesses still require ongoing work.  In the coming months you will be tested, and when we are ready, new leaders will be chosen.”

Good luck, Crow Folks.  May the winds be kind.

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 Folks: We’ve Done Well So Far

The Dark Moon is tomorrow yet the message from the Morrigna comes to me tonight, with the first of my moon’s blood.  And the message in a nutshell is this: we’ve achieved a lot so far.  This is especially true for those of us who are in the US.  As with all of these messages, they’re most accurate for those closest to me in time, space, and association.

You have trained, you have done the work, you have achieved victory.  Much of what we have worked for has come to pass, and more will come to pass soon.  This success is earned; we have manifested our shared desires.  Revel in it for now, but do not lose sight of the longer term goals.  False confidence and arrogance can ruin these foundations before they have time to set.  There is more to build in the coming months, and those who have risen to the top must lead the others.  Gather them beneath your wings.

I get the feeling that after Imbolc we’ll be working at a slower pace for a while before it ramps up again, and that we may be rotating instead of all on call, so to speak, but as of yet that’s not been made clear to me.  I have one more of these, for the Dark Moon directly following Imbolc, on Feb 4th.  I expect it will be clearer at that point.  Until then, fly joyously.

Celtic Polytheism, Holiday Celebration, Paganism, Prayer

Prayer for the Solstice

This is a prayer I just wrote for my 3-day Solstice working for Na Morrigna. It’s a little rough, still, but it was written in a fit of inspiration a few moments ago. I may edit it later, but this is the version I used today, and will be using tomorrow and the following day.

We are the children of light

Children of darkness

And seekers of balance

Darkness beneath our wings

Wings that shelter the oppressed

Oppressors fear our darkness

Light that blazes in our eyes

Eyes that witness injustice

Injustice condemned once brought to light

Balance ripens into peace

Peace sown by justice

Justice grows into balance

A never-ending spiral

The spiral of the Sun

The Sun’s renewal never ending

Shortest day and longest night

Night the deepest darkness

Darkness once more birthing light

We are children of the light

Children of the darkness

And seekers of balance

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.

Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

A New Wave of Crows

As I have on several previous Dark Moons, I have asked for and received a message from the Morrigna, and this time I was given and answer with three instructions.  It is not as completely channeled this time as it has been on previous occasions, so the next few paragraphs are more in my own voice, with Theirs in my ear.  As such, I have left it unformatted.

Crow Folks, those of you who have been fighting and doing the work, I know that many of you are close to burn-out.  I am on the edge of it, too.  So it’s time to rest, recuperate, recharge.  Enjoy this moment of relative peace, and do something that will please your soul.  Something creative, something that will make you feel relaxed and renewed.  We are not going to rest on our laurels, for the work is not yet done, but the compassion that burns fiercely within us must be tended, lest the flame die out.  So do your tending.  For my part, I’m participating in NaNoWriMo again this year, and I’ve also made plans to go to a Korean bathhouse with friends.  I’m going to get a massage, and try to do a few more chapters in an anxiety workbook.  Self care and shadow work aren’t always easy, but they are always necessary, so find the time and heal yourself.  That is your first instruction.

Your second instruction starts with something like a notification: a new wave of Crows is coming.  Some of us started on this path one, two, or even twenty years ago, but more will be joining us this winter.  Find them.  Reach out to others around you who are already traveling this path.  Create a net of branches, so that the new Crows will have somewhere to land.  Look for the lost ones, the solitary, the stragglers.  Welcome them into your groups; offer them friendship.  Some of them will prefer to learn on their own for a while, supported by the net.  That is fine; let them do as they will.  Others will have questions, and will want guidance.

This is your third instruction: guide them.  Share everything you know, everything you’ve learned, every experience.  Share the good and the bad, for they must choose this path with their eyes fully open, with deep knowing in their hearts.  Be as patient as you can: they are learning, they are transforming, they are beginning to sprout wings.  And in the spring, we will all fly together.

I know I still owe many of you cards.  I am getting to them, slowly but surely.  Anyone who has not asked for their next six cards, please email me.  Anyone new to the path is welcome to start with the nine card spread, adjusted for the change in time of year.  This is also a good time to remind you all that the other part of my work is healing.  I’m trained in distance energy healing methodologies, and am available to you free of charge as an “on-site medic”, so to speak, if your need for healing is related to the work you’re doing for the Morrigna (ie, if it could be a line-of-duty injury, or if it is preventing you from doing your best work).  If you’re not sure, I am more than happy to ask on your behalf.  I can do these over text chat media, as time and energy allows.

Also, some of you already got this in the newsletter, but here is the journey prompt from the class I taught at Hallowed Homecoming:

Breathe yourselves into stillness, children of earth.  Breathe deep. Breathe in relaxation… and breathe out the worries and cares of the world. Breathe until you reach that space between, the space that lets us walk between the worlds.  We will all go together. Feel as mists steam up from the ground and surround us here. Pay attention to notice the shift – we are leaving the campground, and coming into another place.  When you are ready, open your inner eyes and see the dirt road beneath your feet. On either side grow trees, and many have already begun to lose their autumn-bright leaves. Continue forward to the crossroads where I stand, and behind me, to one side of the dirt road, a table piled with offerings.  There are things to drink and eat, weapons of war, representations of your battles and efforts, and more. Find the gift you are meant to give, and bring it with you as we continue forward. [Count to 10.]  Walk farther along the dirt road, until you begin to smell roasting food, and woodsmoke, and begin to hear the crackling of a fire, and voices talking quietly.  A gap in the trees shows you a narrow track that runs uphill, towards the things you hear and smell. Follow it, and as you crest the hill, the trees thin to an open plain.  You can see the fire, now – it is a large cooking fire, and over the fire hangs a giant steaming cauldron, while food roasts on the coals at the edges. Three figures surround the cauldron, and they turn to you as you approach.  Give them the gift you have brought, and ask the question you carry in your heart. [WAIT for 5-10 minutes].  When you have finished, thank them for their time, and leave the way you came. [10 secs] Back across the plain… to the hill, [3] down the hill… to the road, [3] and along the road… back to the swirling mists… and into your body. [3] Welcome Home.

Take care of yourselves, everyone.

ancestor work, Event, fae, Paganism, Retreat/Convention, Spiritwork, Workshop

Hallowed Homecoming 2018

I meant to blog about this right away, but first I was still processing and then Samhain season really hit. It’s still hitting, and I’ll blog about that, soon, but first, here are my impressions of Hallowed Homecoming.

Generally, I liked the event! The workshops were enlightening and inspiring, the rituals small but effective. The staff was amazingly helpful, the food was delicious and filling (and they are SO GOOD with allergies!), and there was enough tea to keep my cup always filled. The parkland was beautiful, and the cabins were spacious. The only bad thing, really, was the weather.

It was cold. Cold and wet, and the cabins didn’t keep out the chill – they barely kept out the drafts. I had a brand new coleman sleeping bag rated to 0°F, and that combined with wearing three layers and a hat to bed made me barely warm enough. The rest of the time, I was fighting numbness in my hands and feet, even with thermal layers beneath my clothes, my good new boots, and gloves. Part of that, of course, is due to my chronic illness: I have poor circulation and difficulty with temperature regulation. The tea helped, and the fire in the main hall helped even more, but with wet firewood making fires in workshop cabins a struggle, I often found myself too cold to be fully immersed.

Our first day opened with registration and unpacking, and then I opted to skip the first workshop (on crafting ancestor altarpieces) in favor of walking the land, as I did at Witches’ Sabbat this past May. I started with my traditional self-introduction with tobacco in the Anishinaabe language, and after that I went wandering in search of the local Courtly Fae.

I was guided down a trail, under a fallen tree, down a fork to the left, across a field, down a hill, counter-clockwise around a holly bush, over another fallen tree, and to a decaying stump covered in bright green moss. Like the small hill in Ontario, this natural landmark was an anchor to a Faery Court, and when I gave an offering (of a delightful elderflower and lemon soda), I perceived a beautiful hall, and in a throne on a dais, a young and exquisitely beautiful Queen. She hadn’t been expecting my visit, but was pleased enough to meet me and accept the offering. I called her Wood Violet, because the flowers were a repeating feature in the decoration of the room and her wardrobe, and her eyes were the same purple. Scott accompanied me on the physical journey, but did not join me in the Hollow Hill.

Byron Ballard was the keynote speaker for the weekend, and that evening we attended her first workshop: Practical Ancestor Work. She began with a line from Mary Oliver’s poem “Wild Geese”, which is also a favorite of mine. (If you don’t know it, I highly recommend reading it.) My notes are sporadic, because Byron was teaching to a mixed-level group, and I was already familiar with much of her material. I did not know, however, that there is a version of the Wild Hunt in Yorkshire called the Gabble Ratchet that is associated with migrating geese, and is said to collect the souls of the recently departed. Byron also emphasized that there are several different types of ancestors: 1) blood family ancestors, both recent and ancient, 2) adoptive family ancestors, including friends who have passed, 3) the Beloved Dead, who are people from history that you feel a special kinship with, and 4) the Mighty Dead, who are the cultural heros of groups one belongs to, be they ethnic cultures, religious cultures, trades or crafts, or subcultures. A lot of time, people seem to shy away from Ancestor Work because their most recent ancestors were abusive or intolerant of other faiths, but there’s a wide world of the Dead out there, and no rule that says you have to start with the grandmother who hated you. (Although Bryon did also say that sometimes, those toxic relatives get a better perspective once they cross over, and they realize what they’ve done and feel obligated to make things better. Not always, but you might try contacting them and seeing if they’ll help you out occasionally, if speaking to them isn’t likely to trigger too strong of a negative reaction.)

The Opening Ritual was mostly to introduce the Guardians for the weekend, and to establish sacred space. My friend Kate joined them this year, and I felt that we were in safe hands for the work we would do the rest of the weekend.

Kate also led the first workshop I attended on the second day, on Hedgewitchery. Despite some technical difficulties with the fire in the craft cabin (damp wood), she led a pretty lively discussion of traditional witchcraft, her family’s German-American folk magic, and her approaches to hedgecrossing. The last part of the workshop was a guided meditation to speak to an element, and I had a very insightful conversation with the goddess Dinand while standing in a river. I was very glad to finally attend this workshop, since I missed it the last time Kate taught it!

Byron’s workshop on Saturday was one I believe I’d seen before, called the Spirit-Haunted Landscape, but the stories and the way she teaches change every time, so I was happy to listen again.  She talked a bit about human spirits and different kinds of ghosts, and then of land spirits – both the large spirits of place, and the smaller more fae beings associated with plant growth.  The last group she talked about are what I would consider the Gentry, the more powerful among the fae, like Wood Violet, the White Lady, and my own Queen, Starflower.  Her words were as much warning as instruction: do not do the work if you are not called to it, she said, because you will be happier and have a simpler life without Them.  But she believes that, for those of us who are called, we need to heed it, we need to brave the danger, because They can help us heal the world, and we need all the help They can give, even if it means that some of us lose parts of ourselves.  I found myself nodding along with much of what she said, and I wasn’t the only one – at the end, she asked a few of us whom she either already knew or could tell worked with the Gentry and she asked us to share a nugget of wisdom.  Strangely (or perhaps not so strangely, considering the subject matter), I can no longer remember what I said.

After that was my own workshop, an intermediate-level introduction to the three Morrigna, specifically the Daughters of Ernmas. There were about a dozen attendees, and I think it was pretty well received, even though I came dangerously close to info-dumping during my section on the Morrigna’s appearances in lore.  I’ll be sharing the journey prompt in my next Dark Moon Crow Calls blog.

Following my workshop it was dinner time, and then after dinner we were all turned out of the main hall long enough for the staff to set up for the main ritual.  We gathered outside for the main ritual and processed in, finding seats in near-darkness and near-silence.  After what I recognized as a fairly standard Wiccan ritual opening led by Rev. Tristan and Byron Ballard, we were led in a call-response honoring ancestors who had many different types of deaths.  Then a yarn rope that had been woven during an earlier workshop was stretched into a circle around the room, with each participant holding onto it in their non-dominant hand.  We were instructed to give a single word answer to describe wisdom we’d received from our ancestors, and then take the scissors from the ritual leaders and cut a piece of the rope.  My word was “peacemaking”.

On Sunday, Byron opened her workshop by explaining that she’d gone off site last night and had been in contact with the wider world, and expected that most of us had not, as that area of the parkland is a cell signal dead zone.  She painted the Pittsburg tragedy in broad brush strokes, and said some strong words about banding together and fighting bigotry and the importance of interfaith work, before giving us all a moment to process.  I had already begun to feel that we shouldn’t stay all the way to the end of the day, because the cold and damp was beginning to get to me, but after the news I just wanted to get home to my baby.  My baby, who at eight days old, was given a taste of sacramental wine while a rabbi spoke prayers in Hebrew over him.  My little family may be pagan, but we’re Jewish, too.  We still observe some of the traditions of our ancestors, even if our religious views differ.

Once most of us had regained our composure, she began her workshop proper, on the topic of Peasant Magic.  She shared a paraphrasing from Jason Miller, who split magic into two broad categories: temple magic, and field magic.  Peasant magic and folk magic, she explained, was field magic, where you do the work that needs to be done with whatever tools and materials you can scrounge up, be that a bit of lint from your pocket and your own saliva, or an herb you grow in your yard and your good wooden spoon.  She talked a bit more about community, too, about being our own first responders and not relying on bureaucracy when its ways will take too long.  Boom the creek yourselves to stop an oil spill from making it to the river.  Set up networks, where you know who to turn to for each crisis, be it one of waterways, immigrants in crisis, or a house fire.  No one can devote time to every worthy cause, she reminded us, to it’s best to pick 3, and devote as much time and effort as you can to those three, and trust that your neighbors will cover the rest.  You can support them in solidarity when they need your help, and they will support you back, even if it’s something as simple as buying a box of candles for a vigil.  Mundane actions and magical workings work best in unison, she said – one without the other isn’t as effective.  But if you try a spell and it doesn’t work, and then you try it more carefully and harder and it doesn’t work, and then one more time while pulling out all the stops and invoking all your gods and it still doesn’t work, you need to stop.  She calls it “1,2,3, Brick Wall”.  After the third time, you’re being told that the work is not for you to do, and your need to accept that.  She told a poignant story about the fires near her home a few years ago, to illustrate the point, and ended with the wisdom that what seems like a disaster may contain within it new growth; some seeds are only opened by fire.  That resonated with me, especially considering the messages I’ve been getting from the Morrigna and the Eyes of Ra lately.

After the workshop we packed up to leave, and did not stay for the closing ritual.  We said our goodbyes, and exchanged contact information with a few new friends.  Some people asked if we’d come again, and I wanted to say yes, but I could already feel how much strength the weather had sapped from me, and the insight of the chronically ill told me I’d be spending days recovering.  So I don’t know.  I enjoyed the event.  I’d love to see the space again; I’d like to return in the spring to see Wood Violet in her time of power.  But I’m not sure if three days of damp and cold was wise.  I may need to look into staying somewhere off site, somewhere warm and dry, but then the expense may be more than our budget can stretch to cover.  We shall see.

Celtic Polytheism, Paganism

Crow Folk: Be Daring

The Dark Moon was a few days ago, and once again I spoke to Na Morrigna.  The sense of urgency is building as we get closer to Samhain, and I must once again remind you that if you are planning a celebration for the holiday, do not forget Them.  Do something small if you must, but do SOMETHING.  For those of you who requested I do the 9 card Morrigan Spread I shared here, or those who did it for themselves, make sure you are following through and completing the tasks in those last three cards.  After Samhain I will be following up with six more cards, three to cover the time period to Yule on Dec 21st, and three for the period from then to Imbolc on Feb 2nd.

The message this Dark Moon is as follows:

The way forward will take both strength and courage: you must rise to the occasion and do what you think you cannot.  Draw on your convictions, and use them to act with resolve.  The race will be long, but you will persevere – and perseverance brings triumph.  The Morrigna are the High Queens of your striving.  They guide your every move, and if you trust in Them you will achieve more than you dream is possible.  The way will not be easy, but the result will be worth the battle.  You must re-balance this world, re-balance the connection between the Mundane World and the Otherworlds.  There is a plan larger than you can individually conceive, larger than you can individually affect, but change starts within each of you.  Find your role and play your part.  Change yourself to change the world.

I personally like to celebrate the Fire Festivals as three-day affairs, and my dates for Samhain this year are sundown on Oct 31 through sundown on Nov 3, though the ritual we are planning will be just after sundown on the 3rd.  Any time in there would be appropriate to add your magic or ritual to the Work of the Morrigna.  The moon will be waning, the New Year beginning, and it’s a perfect time to do magic that sweeps out the old and brings in the new.

And please – if you are in the US, don’t forget to vote the following week.  It’s on the 6th, the day before the Dark Moon.  I think that bodes well for the turning of the political tide.

 

If you are interested in receiving the Crow Calls newsletter, please submit your email address here, and type “Morrigan” into the interests box.

Celtic Polytheism

Crow Folk: Stand Your Ground

The dark moon was a few days ago, and I have another update to pass along from Na Morrigna, to my little patch of pagan blogosphere.  This time the message itself is very short and very specific:

The Wild Hunt is riding; stand your ground.  That which runs away is prey.

Although in previous years I haven’t noticed the Hunt riding in this area until about mid-September,* this year I first noticed them on the days surrounding Lughnasadh, and though the intensity was fairly light and the activity wasn’t consistent.  In the past few days, however, especially with the storms rolling through and the rain we’ve been having, I’ve felt the power of the Hunt much more strongly, similar to the strength I normally feel around the equinox.  So yes, they are riding.  They are here.  So take your usual precautions, whatever those may be: ward your homes, shield yourselves, leave out appeasements that you may be passed by.  But if you encounter them directly, do not stare and Do Not Run.  You do not want the Wild Hunt to consider you prey.  Morgan Daimler has a good blog about the Slua Sí, which includes a few suggested charms to keep yourself safe.  This is all included in the top level of the message and warning.

Beneath that, there’s another level of meaning, where the Hunt becomes a metaphor for the destructive change in our lives.  Such destruction can be cleansing, but we need to know where to make our stand so that we can build up again from the ashes, stronger than we were before.  We need to decide where our boundaries lie, and then we need to defend them.  What is acceptable, and what can not be tolerated?  How far can you bend before you lose yourself?  If you have something worth keeping, “you better hang on, tooth and nail,” as the song goes, for “the wolf is always at the door.”**

Keep hanging on, Crow Folk.  And brace yourselves.  Things will get harder before they get easier.

 

 

*Having only lived here since 2012 I can’t comment on when they “normally” ride, as “normal” seems to have gone out the window around then.

** “New York Minute”, by The Eagles.