Welcome to Musings From the Mystic Path…

8cEjrjqKi-1The membership of Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW  is pleased to announce a creative offering to the community of spiritual and magickal seekers. One of the directives of our coven’s work is encouraging creative expression; notably through the arts, poetry, writing and more. So, what better way to share and encourage similar creativity than a newsletter offering a glimpse at what our membership is up to.

The idea for the newsletter arose during a recent series of classes entitled Ecstatic Awakening. The 4 session class had focus on learning how to reach states of ecstasy in ritual and spiritual practice using words, music, song and movement as the catalysts. When we had the class that was specific to the written word, each participant’s assignment was to craft an original piece of writing to be shared with everyone. The writer stood front and center and gave voice to what had lovingly and carefully been committed to pen and paper. I, as well as the entirety of the class were blown away by what each had written, shared and opened us to seeing a glimpse f their passions, joy, sorrows, pain and more. It took less than 24-hours for me to formulate the concept of this newsletter as another way of keeping that ecstasy alive and allowing the readers of it to be inspired and uplifted. That was on April 12th, and so, here we are now ready to enjoy and share the beauty of our own creative outpourings.

Each month, there will be new creative offerings for you to enjoy. Reading recommendations, links to beautiful art and to more in depth studies of featured topics will be added to the mix. Since our coven offers a full schedule of open events including workshops, rituals and social gatherings, each month will have a listing of upcoming events that you may find of interest as well as an opportunity to share community with our contributors.

Our first newsletter will be available on May 4th. Be sure to select “follow” for notification as our newsletters post each month.

Posted in Uncategorized

December2018:Welcoming the Light!

Vol. 3 – Issue 8

Musings From the Mystic Path

The Month of December

As we enter the season that celebrates the return of the Light, it os easy to gorget that we also have emerged from the darkness. this month’s issue will the last of Musings for a bit of a hiatus. Our coven will be embarking on a year long journey into the realms of the shadow and with all of the work required for this, maintaining  Musings will not be consistent. With that in mind, stay tuned for a quarterly posting schedule through next year, with a few treats here and there.  So, without further ado, enjoy the month of December!

“December’s wintery breath is already clouding the pond, frosting the pane, obscuring summer’s memory” 
 – John Geddes – 

Featured Writings

Winter

by M.H.

December snow covers the frozen ground
Ponds and lakes glisten with ice as skaters glide gracefully around

Stoke the logs on the fire and watch the embers glow,
Grey clouds roll overhead and the chilly winds blow

A cardinal on a fence, ruffles its feathers and sings
May you enjoy everything this magical Winter season brings.

“Laughter is the sun that drives winter
from the human face.”

– Victor Hugo – 

 

Mocha Yule Log

Recipe from : Taste of Home 

Ingredients

  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 cup cake flour
  • 1/4 cup baking cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • FILLING:
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • FROSTING:
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/3 cup baking cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon brewed coffee, cooled
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons 2% milk

Directions

  • Place egg whites in a small bowl; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°. Line bottom of a greased 15x10x1-in. pan with parchment paper; grease paper. Sift flour, cocoa and salt together twice. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks until slightly thickened. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar, beating on high speed until thick and lemon-colored. Fold in flour mixture.
  • Add cream of tartar to egg whites; with clean beaters, beat on medium until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high after each addition until sugar is dissolved. Continue beating until soft glossy peaks form. Fold a fourth of the whites into batter, then fold in remaining whites. Transfer to prepared pan, spreading evenly.
  • Bake until top springs back when lightly touched, 12-15 minutes (do not overbake). Cool 5 minutes. Invert onto a tea towel dusted lightly with cocoa. Gently peel off paper. Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • For filling, in a bowl, dissolve coffee granules in cream; beat until it begins to thicken. Add sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Unroll cake; spread filling over cake to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up again, without towel; trim ends. Transfer to a platter, seam side down. Refrigerate, covered, until cold.
  • For frosting, beat all ingredients until smooth. Spread over cake. Using a fork, make lines in frosting to resemble tree bark. Refrigerate until serving.
Nutrition Facts

1 slice: 341 calories, 15g fat (8g saturated fat), 130mg cholesterol, 136mg sodium, 49g carbohydrate (40g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.

“As winter approaches – bringing cold weather and family drama – we crave page-turners, books made for long nights and tryptophan-induced sloth.”
– Sarah MacLean-

19-Days of Illuminated Darkness

by RCF

Join me, once again, as we count down to the Winter Solstice and 19 Days of Illuminated Darkness. What was begun as the veils of Samhain parted and the New Year turned another cycle of the Great Wheel, continues as we welcome the Winter Solstice and the burgeoning of the Solar Light!

Winter Solstice
December 21st.
5:23p.m. (EST)

The countdown begins on Monday, December 3rd as the Moon wanes 4th Qrtr. in mystical astrological sign of Scorpio. Mercury remains in the last 3 days of its retrograde and offers the opportunity to explore that darkened light in a collaborative style. All the while the Sun stands strong in its astrological mantle of fiery Sagittarius.  Access the Quick Links Page here

“He who marvels at the beauty of the world in
summer will find equal cause for
wonder and admiration in winter. ”

– John Burroughs –

All in the Perspective … of Light

By A.B.

Looking out at the world
Faces gripped in winter’s hold
Bodies move in unison
All hurrying here and there
Each one’s destination more
Important than the next.

From high above, the pattern
Below shifting shape and form
A sea of tiny dark specks
Moving to and fro- designs
Like a kaleidoscope fill the
Panoramic view and time
Stands still as each weave
Around and through neighbor’s gate.

Looking up from the great below
Towering shapes stretch heavenward
Blade of grass becomes an ancient
Tree of time immeasurable
Drop of rain stretches outward
As vast ocean spanning concrete
Connecting grassy shore to shore

Sound of hustle and bustle
Deafening in a thunderous vibration
Sky becomes a pin point of
Destiny’s desire and all
Around me the winds of movement
Carry me from place to place.

I walk out from the safety of
My view of observation
Out, once again to join
In the pace and hurry of
Destination.

I reclaim my place within the
Breadth and depth of life’s experience.
But now, I have greater understanding
And deeper roots to what surrounds.
I see now all that observes and provides
Unseen support as I look out at the
Brilliance of a world through the perspective
Of shimmering Light!

“Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?”
– Bob Marley –

Focus On…

Tesseract
The Intersection of Moon Phase, Astrology, Elemental Energy, and Magick

by Ionlanthe

Welcome to the Tesseract of December. In this month, we have a treasure trove of holidays. Hanukah. Christmas. Kwanzaa. St. Lucia Day. Bodhi Day. Yule. Solstice. New Year’s Eve. All of these holidays involve invoking light, usually by lighting candles: those who celebrate Hanukah light a candle in the menorah each night for 8 nights. On St. Lucia’s Day, girls in Sweden wear wreathes of burning candles on their heads in celebration. We string up lights on Christmas trees; these once were lighted candles set on the boughs of the tree. We light candles in a Kinara (candle holder) at Kwanzaa. We set off fireworks at midnight to start the New Year with a lighted bang! We light the Yule Log. Bodhi day is when we celebrate the day that Siddhartha Gautama sat underneath the Bodhi tree and attained enlightenment.

Wiccans celebrate Yule around the time of the winter Solstice. This is when the Oak King and the Holly King battle for supremacy. At the winter Solstice, the Oak king prevails and reigns until summer Solstice, when they battle again and the Holly King conquers his foe. Paradoxically, the day of the winter Solstice when the Oak King has won, we have the shortest period of daylight and the longest night of the year. When the night is the longest and the darkest, this is when we reach for the light. We kindle the light to remind ourselves that winter will end, the dark will turn to light, we will have warmth again. For now, it will be dark, quiet, cold.

The Solstice is a day when the Earth holds it breath. At the moment when we reach Solstice, the sun has reached in southernmost point from the Earth’s equator and it seems as if the sun is holding still. The word Solstice is comprised of Latin words Sol and Sistere. Sol means “the sun” and sistere means “to cause to stand still.” As the days progressed toward Solstice, each day had been getting shorter, the nights longer, and we were feeling the cold. We might well have wondered if the Earth would continue on its trajectory and each subsequent day would get darker and colder and all life as we know it would end. No wonder we light candles and set off fireworks: bring back the light! And the Wheel turns, each day gains a little more light and we step in the eternal dance toward the summer Solstice with its gloriously long day of beautiful sunlight.

Another way to celebrate light is to take note of the Moon. The Moon will move into its new phase on Friday, December 7 at 2:21 am. It will be in Sagittarius, signifying mutable fire energy. This month’s new Moon will be one of banked fire energy, waiting to burst forth. Sagittarius loves to keep moving, sparking new fires, exploring new areas. During the Moon’s dark phase, Sagittarius’ fiery energy will be obscured, but it will burst forth as the Moon’s illumination grows fuller every day. And on Saturday, December 22 at 12:48 pm, the Moon will move into fullness and into Cancer, which signifies cardinal water energy. At this full Moon, watery Cancer will be bathing us in moon light. Cancer energy is of nurturance, stoking the home fires, exploring the realms and depths of emotions. December’s full Moon will shine a light of what we hold dear when it comes to home, hearth, loved ones.

Winter solstice will be at 5:23 PM on Friday, December 21. The Moon is moving toward its fullness and will be in the sign of Gemini, a mutable air sign. Gemini is all about communication and curiosity; mutability is about being adaptable and thriving on change. The Solstice is when the Wheel of the Year pauses for a moment, and shifts from moving toward the dark part of the year and starts to turn toward the light. Day light will lengthen from this day until the summer Solstice, when we lose a minute or two of daylight each day. This is a good time to consider how you adapt to change. What will you be moving toward, as the Wheel moves from darkness to light, as the Moon moves from Fullness back to its dark phase? As we move from Gemini (all about reaching out to others) and toward Cancer (moving inward and basking in the comforts of home and hearth)?

One way to celebrate light in December is to light your own candle. Whether you gather with loved ones, family, friends, or stay with your own company, take a moment on a day that suits you and find a moment to light a candle. Perhaps you will light the menorah, or a Kinara, or hang lights on a tree. Whatever speaks to you, when you light this candle, just for a moment, remember why you kindled this light. Let it reflect your inner lights, the light of the Moon, the coming of the Oak King, of the balance between the dark and light: let the light illuminate the darkness; let the darkness create a contrast to enhance the glow of the candle or lights. Breathe in the moment and remember you can always count on the light to return.

“There are times when those eyes inside your brain stare back at you.”
– Charles Bukowski –

Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat

” Every Posture Is a Journey Not a Destination “

Hello All, Hopefully everyone enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday. My holiday was really laid back and lovely this year (YES!). We chose to dismiss the “obligations” of having to visit everyone. We ignored the “pressure” of keeping up with the neighbors to make sure all our holiday decor, tree, and outside lights were set up by the end of the weekend. And we absolutely stayed away from the mall and shopping visits for this year’s “must haves”. No, instead we relaxed more. We enjoyed our time at home, chilled with our dogs, watched a movie, and took naps in between appreciating the holiday leftovers. It felt wonderful and restorative and I thought, we need more of this.

All too soon, we were back to work, on our feet all day long, rushing against time. Even if your spend your work day at a desk; we all have to run around to complete errands and chores. We spend so much time on our feet, at attention, vertical, upright, ready for fight or flight. I even find myself rushing through some of my asana yoga practices, looking forward to my favorite pose or meditation afterwards. This is why, restorative yoga is one of my favorite practices, particularly the inversion poses.

Now of course, there are the well known poses; downward dog, a headstand, a handstand, and shoulder stands. However, I was thinking of something a bit less dynamic, a posture that would not frighten most people away. Viparita Karani is the Sanskrit name for the posture; but many people refer to it as Legs up the wall pose. This is everything! Even if you do not have a regular practice or have never tried yoga before, I recommend trying this posture today. There are so many benefits of inversion poses; ease mild back pain and arthritis, relieve stress and anxiety, helps with both high and low blood pressure and insomnia just to name a few. The well known poses mentioned above require more instruction, preparation, and strength. I would also recommend a teacher be present.

Viparita Karani posture is by far, the easiest and most relaxing to me. I would begin by sitting on the floor with your right side up propped up against a wall. Your right hip does not need to touch, but close by helps and adjustments can be made once you are in the position. Take a few breaths to settle and then shift your weight to your left arm on the ground as you lift your legs up and pivot so that your back is on the ground. Your feet should be resting high in the air, with the back of your legs against the wall. And then, let go, RELAX. The effects can be felt almost immediately, beginning with your blood flow.

I recommend a folded blanket or small cushion under your hips if it feels good to your body so that your hips are slightly above your heart. Feel the arch of your lower back as your bum sinks down onto your mat. You can move your arms above your head as well. I start to feel better with my legs resting upwards right away. After a bit, the weight on my legs and knees descends even more and it’s as if my entire lower body is hanging by my heels attached to the wall. My fiancee says I look like an old vampire in this inversion. But I love it! I can feel my blood going back to my heart.

I find it to be a rejuvenating position after standing and running around all day. When it becomes too much and my legs starts to tingle I bring my feet down, and place the soles of my feet together while the back of my legs are still resting against the wall. The pose becomes an inner thigh stretch and morphs into an inverted Supta Baddha Konasana and it feels glorious as well! You can also straddle your legs out straight; another inner thigh stretch. Breathe into your lower extremities, and pelvic bowl. Feel it open up, release tension and fill the opening spaces with healthy vibrant, renewed energy.

If you would like to start out even less dramatic; you can simply lie on the floor and lift your legs up onto a couch or chair with your knees bent. These positions are a lovely variation from simply coming home after a long day, sinking into a recliner and kicking your feet up. They allow you to open your torso more, elongate your spine, sink your entire trunk into the mat and let the day pour off of you. Before you know it, it will become your escape from the hectic holiday season. Blessing to you all!   Namaste…MQ

First Steps on the Seeker’s Path

by R. Fennelly

This month’s offering is entitled…The Path of Devotion. As we enter a new year, with new opportunities reinvesting time and energy in how and to whom you place your devotion lays a foundation that will out-picture in all of your endeavors… 

The Path of Devotion

“When a human reaches up to his/her Higher Mind and accesses the vibrational gifts from that realm (of his or her own higher consciousness), she or he will be filled with inspiration and courage. And this type of inspiration and courage could change the world through actions that are then taken by that individual.”
… anonymous …

What is Devotion?

A Definition of Devotion….

1. Ardent, often selfless affection and dedication, as to a person or principle.
2. Religious ardor or zeal; piety.
3. Commitment to some purpose;
4. An act of religious observance or prayer, especially when private.

If we look at the definitions above we have a sense of the complexity of this word. And, that complexity can take on many forms and nuances as we move along the Path. If we are not devoted to the work, we will not put forth the maximum amount of effort. If we only give half-heartedly, most of the effort is wasted and dissipates just as quickly as it was generated. Devotion to self, Deity, the work all serve as anchors that hold together the many spokes of the wheel around which we establish our place in magickal working.

Some Keywords that relate to Devotion are:

sacrifice            commitment
questioning      formulating
aspiration         inspiration
yearning           laying claim
expanding        contracting

Think about what each of these mean to you. Which resonate more deeply and which do you feel should not even be on this list. Periodically checking in with what the definition of a Devotional Path means can give you valuable information about where you

The Essential Elements of Devotion

If we look at devotion through the lens of the elements we see the cycle that occurs in the process. These Three elements form the Triad of Fire and Energetic Awakening (AIR/FIRE/WATER).

“This is the FIRE that ignites the Passion and YEARNING for THAT which it seeks out and willfully  INFLAMES

FIRE

The Youthful stage that is enthused and excited about new found information, Deity and practice. This is the stage that ignites the desire to learn more, do more and be the most effective we can. It is the combined energy of enthusiasm stimulating the urge or desire to move forward that allows us to become a fertile ground within which the seeds of devotion and dedication are quickened.

WATER

We evolve from the impetuous nature of Youth and move to the place of guardian, nurturer and sustainer of what we have taken as our own. Because we have given time and energy to the process we are able to claim authority over our feelings of devotion. Through our efforts at sustaining this “faith” and state of dedication we then become also the providers of that energy. Wanting to share what we feel and enable others to feel the power and glory of dedicating oneself to a path of devotion.

AIR

When we arrive at a place of “faith” and ownership of the ideals and energies we have found upon the Path we have a sense of conviction that is based upon internalization of those energies. We identify fully with what we are devoted and dedicated to. We wish knowledge for the place of service it may allow us. We wish communion with the Divine because that is our birthright and we wish for the best outcome for all, knowing that we are part of that recipe.

Incorporating Devotion into Your Practice

Setting up an Altar dedicated to a specific Deity is a beautiful way to display your dedication and devotion to that particular Deity. Acknowledging your Path and the work you have achieved on that Path as you sit in contemplative medication is an affirmation of your Devotion. Each time you spend a moment in thought about the magick that surrounds you, the marvel of your physical body and give thanks for those others who share your life generates the energetic pattern of Devotion. Just as the rose in the picture at the heading of this page shows, there are many chambers that are unfolding at any given moment. Some are hidden and others are there for all to see. But, all lead to the very center and heart of the flower. And it is by ever striving towards that center that we find the many ways that devotion forms and shapes our lives.

In Conclusion…

Each day brings growth
Each moment brings life
Each action brings creation.

Open your eyes and take in all
Of the lessons of…
Growth
Life
Creation

These are the bridges that
Connect us one and all.

 

Musings From the Mystic Path is published by Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW.

Editor: R. Fennelly, HPs, CMP, ASW
Columnists: L. B., Tesseract and India Amour, Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat
Contributors: Membership/Petitioners  of Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW

All rights reserved and maintained as intellectual property of the author. If you would like to re-publish any content herein, permission should be obtained and proper citation given to the author.

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted
Winter: Photo; FineartAmerica

For more information about the contents of the newsletter and/or our coven:

 Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW or email: hpsmysticpath@yahoo.com

Posted in December 2018

November2018: Bring It Closer

Vol. 3 – Issue 7

Musings From the Mystic Path

The Month of November

November is one of my favorite months; holding the mystery of betwixt and between. Fall and the final harvest signal a time of reflection and preparation for the wintry months ahead. As we settle in to an earlier start to the ending of the day’s activities, the potential is there to look more deeply, be more fully present and bring all of these experiences in for a closer look.

November aligns with the daily cycle of Dusk and in life cycles, the energy and wisdom of the Crone and the Sage. To kick off our featured sections this month, we have two articles from each of those perspectives. Our columns are back this month and we have a special Fall recipe of crockpot candied Yams. Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving and time with friends and family.

“Sometimes the most beautiful things are in front of our eyes, and we don’t even notice because we’re either too busy or too afraid to take a closer look.” 
 – Katja Michael – 

Featured Writings

I am Enough. I am a Crone!
by SSE

When I was initially asked to submit a piece on “Becoming the Crone”, I planned to write something completely different than what this has turned out to be. I am a Crone. This was my journey.

I believe becoming a Crone is not determined by assigned sex, or the cessation of menses. It is the culmination of life experience as Maiden and Mother, combined with the realization that you have moved closer to the end of your life cycle and your time is winding down. I read an article a year ago asking the question “where will you be in 40 years?” and for the first time my response was: “possibly not in this life cycle.” That was the day I became a Crone. This resulted in my having a major change in attitude and perception about other’s expectations of me, as well as my perception of my power, self-worth and self-sufficiency. Most importantly, was deciding I am not responsible for how others perceive and feel about me. I realized it was time to purge habits, friends, family members, and belief systems no longer serving a purpose. Drawing closer to the end of my life cycle clarified that carrying emotional baggage, toxic people and places, and striving to achieve and please others is meaningless and not worth the time and energy. It’s okay to shrug it off, say “I simply don’t care” and move on to spend time doing what does require my attention. If in the overall scheme of life, an event, person, or rule doesn’t make my life better, I don’t spend one more second on it. I’ve learned it is not necessary to explain or defend myself unless it is my choice to do so.

As a Crone I speak truth to authority, especially when authority doesn’t want to hear it. My truth is spoken clearly and without reservation. It is not about changing the minds of others but letting those who think as I do, know they are not alone. I do not have to be silent and no longer worry about being “nice”, “not hurting someone’s feelings” or having everyone “like” me if it means going against what I know to be true or right.

Maidens and Mothers often are not heard, taken seriously, or accepted for who they are and what they want from life. Others tell them what to do, how to practice, how to dress, or what they can and cannot do with their bodies. It’s exhausting and anger producing to deal with over the years, but as a Crone I know how to ride that rage to effect change as a magical worker in a mundane world. I Persist. I will be heard. If needed, I will burn it down and dance in the ashes. I am a warrior who does not have to show a sword seeking affirmation of who I am and what I am capable of doing. As a Crone I am not obliged to acquiesce to others setting limits on my power or to submit when the patriarchy dictates through rules and mores about how I “should” practice magic, and follow my path. I recognize my own power and use it as fearlessly and easily as I draw breath.

There is much to do in these days as the patriarchy cracks. There is important wisdom and skill to pass on to those who follow, that only a Crone can provide. As a Crone, I KNOW some situations can seem impossible when you do not have the life experience to tell you, hey, you can and will survive this. How do I know? I’m here. I’m thriving. My life is in a great place. My heart, mind and spirit are willing.

My wisdom comes from having allowed life experiences to teach and grow me to become a person who is a practitioner of magic and witchcraft. I am still learning and being taught, but I am selective now in whom I choose as a teacher. I’m not interested in the flavor of the month. It is very easy to see through the superficial and yes, even fake. People who charmed me when I was less experienced, do not sway me any longer. As a Crone I KNOW it is not necessary for me to follow specific “rules and regulations” regarding how I conduct myself as a witch. I know that I can and will, hex or heal and that doing either is okay. I know my limitations. I recognize my power. I am the Crone. I am enough.

“Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought
into closer connection with you.”

– Saint Augustine –

 

In the Sunset of the Year, I Call to the Dawn
by J.S.

Our culture values age and experience to a point, but the word sage  doesn’t carry the same force as Crone — see there I automatically capitalized the latter but not the subject of this reflection.

As a witch I don’t feel that old.  And the Youth-Father-Sage construct  has never felt like a pattern for personal growth, but in the weeks of trying to come up with something to say, I’ve had to admit I look at things differently than I did thirty years ago.

There was an issue facing my coven recently in an email discussion and the younger me would have jumped right in with his opinion. Instead I read and re-read the points raised- thank the gods we didn’t have email in the good ole days. I waited a while and when i shared my perspective a few of my coven sister said they like hearing my old stories.

Did I then have sage words of wisdom to impart? I don’t feel that wise, but knowing I  don’t  have all the answers is pretty smart. Looking at things differently than I used to may be the main difference when as Berthe’s song continues: “when your best days are yester- the rest’er twice as dear.”

I’d like to close with some lines from a poem, by Lisel Mueller.

Monet Refuses the Operation

Doctor, you say there are no haloes
around the streetlights in Paris
and what I see is an aberration
caused by old age, an affliction.

I tell you it has taken me all my life
to arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,
to soften and blur and finally banish
the edges you regret I don’t see,
to learn that the line I called the horizon
does not exist and sky and water,
so long apart, are the same state of being.

“The internal dialogue is what grounds people in the daily world. The world is such and such or so and so, only because we talk to ourselves about its being such and such and so and so. The passageway into the world of shamans opens up after the warrior has learned to shut off his internal dialogue.”
– Carlos Castaneda – 

CROCK POT CANDIED YAMS

by M.H.

4 large yams
1 stick of unsalted butter
2 cups of light brown sugar
¼ cup of heavy whipping cream
3 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
1 ½ tablespoons of real maple syrup
½ tablespoon of molasses
¾ tablespoon of real vanilla

Wash the yams, cut the tips off, and peel
Slice them into ½” thick circles
Place them in the crock pot
In a medium size sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat
Add the sugar and stir until it’s well blended
Add the whipping cream and stir until it’s a creamy sauce
Add the spices, syrup, molasses and real vanilla to the sauce
Pour this mixture over the yams in the crock pot
Stirring it to make sure the yams are well covered in the sauce
Cover the crock pot
Set on low heat for 6-8 hours
Stir yams occasionally while they are cooking
Serve and Enjoy!

30-Days of Samhain

by RCF

The final harvest calls, the Ancestors await and the veils between the worlds have thinned offering the gifts of healing, transformation and deeper communion with the cycles of nature.

The countdown continues towards Astrological Samhain, and all of October’s preparations, readings and actions conclude on November 7th. Enjoy…

To catch up, read the bonus posts and more :::  Quick Links visit:
30-Days of Samhain-Index

“I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
– Henry David Thoreau –

Masks

By Celestine

Your mask is slipping, were you aware?
I caught a glimpse of the darkness you used to try to hide.
The kind, compassionate facade dropped away, revealing something spiteful and cruel.

Your mask is slipping, did you realize?
I saw the hidden form that’s a blight upon your soul.
Crawling from the shadows, a selfish, arrogant demon rears its ugly head.

You mask is slipping, did you notice?
If I turn the mirror towards you would you even recognize yourself?
If you look with honest eyes can you love the person looking back at you?

If my mask were slipping, would I even know?
I turn the mirror back around, eyes closed, fearful of what I might see.
I inhale deeply, open my eyes wide, and let the mask slip away.

“Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you’re living?”
– Bob Marley –

Focus On…

Tesseract
The Intersection of Moon Phase, Astrology, Elemental Energy, and Magick

by Ionlanthe

Welcome to the Tesseract of November. At this time, we celebrate (astrological) Samhain, which is an ancient Irish Gaelic word meaning “summer’s end” and which occurs on the date halfway between the autumn equinox (when daylight and nighttime are of equal duration) and the winter solstice (when darkness lasts longer than daylight hours). In 2018, Samhain starts at sundown on Wednesday, October 31 and ends at sundown on Thursday, November 1. The Moon will be in its last quarter phase and will be in the sign of Leo, a fixed fire sign. Even though the fire of Leo will light this year’s Samhain celebration, the darkness is increasing each day and we feel colder air around us. The sun is lower in the sky and the stars are brighter at night. Many people feel drawn to having fires in their hearths or to have bonfires.

Bonfires have been long associated with Samhain. In Ireland, people would extinguish their hearth fires and gather together to light large fires on sacred hill tops in honor of and to make offerings to the gods. Cattle were brought back down from the summer pastures and some livestock were culled for slaughter to supply food for the winter. According to….

“Crops and the bones of animals which had been culled were burnt in the fires as offerings. Our modern word, bonfire, comes from the words bone and fire meaning “fire of bones” and refers to this practice. Personal and symbolic items were also burned as offerings for relief from sickness or bad fortune…. The sacred fires were believed to have the power to scare away these evil spirits and people stayed close by them often wearing costumes of animal heads and skins as disguises to frighten those spirits and ensure their safety. As the great fire died it was considered good luck to take an ember and carry it home to relight their hearth fire.” (http://www.hauntedbay.com/history/bonfire.shtml)

Let us remember the warmth of fire and community and burning away what we don’t need and what no longer serves us. Samhain is holiday that involves gathering together in community, bonfires or hearth fires, feasting, and taking time to remember ancestors and reconnect to the river of blood that connects us all with our family lines.

On November 7, at 11:02 am, we will experience the new phase of the Moon. At this darkening time of the year, the Moon will be dark and in the sign of Scorpio, a fixed water sign. The energy of Scorpio can be described as “still waters run deep.” The ruling planets of Scorpio are Mars and Pluto. Mars rules anger and passion; Pluto represents subconscious forces, all that is below the surface. This sets up a tension between outward action and inward examination and this can lead to transformation and evolutionary change.

As we continue to move into the darker time of the year, we approach the full Moon on Friday November 23, 2018, which will be in Gemini, a mutable air sign. The Gemini energy revolves around being spontaneous, talking out loud to figure out what one is feeling, communicating with others. This full Moon will bring brightness and adaptability to the end of November, after the fire of Leo, connecting with others and ancestors at Samhain, and then diving deep within with Scorpio at the new Moon. November will be a time for introspection, reaching out, transforming, and then communicating what you have learned.

Intermingled with the Moon’s phases and Samhain, we come to the end of daylight savings time on Sunday, November 4. Overnight, daylight will end one hour earlier and dark will come all too soon. The Moon will be a waning crescent and will be in the sign of Libra, a cardinal air sign. Since Libra is associated with new ideas, balance, and harmony, this sudden onset of earlier darkness might be jarring and counter to Libran ideals.

November may be a month of diverse and sometimes conflicting energies. It might be useful to add a bit of scrying magick to your practice. Scrying, or looking into a blackened mirror or a dark bowl of water, can be a way to help allow images or sensations or ideas to come forward and perhaps provide a way to connect with ancestors.
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How to make, dedicate, consecrate, and then scry with a black mirror

CREATE
I have made scrying mirrors. This is a fairly easy craft project; if you don’t want to make one, they can be ordered from a pagan/wiccan shop or online. Look for black obsidian mirrors. To make a scrying mirror, first, gather materials:

• Empty picture frame with glass
• Gloss black paint that can be used on glass
• Flat black paint that can be used on wood or metal
• Foam paint brushes
• Glass cleaner
• Sandpaper
• Clean cloth

Find a picture frame with glass. Take the back off, usually done by prying up small nails that holds in the glass and any art. Remove the art (if any) and put the art in another frame. Take away the filler materials and remove the glass. Keep the backer piece that probably has a hanging or stand mechanism on it. The glass must be thoroughly cleaned on both sides with an ammonia-based spray cleaner, or a solution made of vinegar and water. Wet the glass with the cleaner and wipe it clean.

Turn the glass over and clean the other side. Wipe the glass with a dry, lint-free cloth to remove any dust. Once the mirror is cleaned, place it on a piece of cloth that you don’t mind getting paint on. Also, clean and dust the frame. If you like the color, you are done. If you want to paint the frame, it must be prepared for painting. If it is wood, sand it to remove the old finish, dust off the sanding particle, clean it, and dust it again. If it is metal, clean it and wipe it dry.

It is time to paint the glass and the frame.
The paint you select for the mirror should be glossy and compatible with painting on glass. I have used Krylon Gloss Black paint that I got from a craft store. Paint the clean glass with the gloss paint using the foam brush with steady, even strokes. Cover the glass on one side. Once the paint has dried, paint on another coat. Paint at least 3 coats of black paint on one side of the glass.

While the paint is drying on the glass, paint the frame with the flat black paint and a foam brush. I like the look of matte black against the glossy black mirror. Whatever color you choose for the frame, it should not be too busy or bright, which might distract from the work of scrying.

After the frame and glass are painted and dried, the mirror can be assembled. The painted glass will be a reflective surface so it is now a mirror. Place the frame face down on a clean cloth, place the glass in the frame with the painted surface to the back of the frame so the unpainted surface will be what you are looking at while scrying. Place the backing onto the painted side of the glass, and reinsert the holding nails to keep everything in place. I like to finish the piece by gluing a layer of black cloth on the back of the frame, if it won’t interfere with the hanging or standing mechanism.

The newly made scrying mirror is not yet ready for use. It must be dedicated for the work and consecrated.

DEDICATE
When you are ready, take a moment to ground and center yourself. Breath in the 4-fold breath protocol: Exhale to the count of 4, hold for 4, inhale for 4, hold for 4, and then repeat 2 more times. This helps bring your focus and awareness to your inner energies and sensitivities. Once you feel centered and grounded, pick up the scrying mirror and hold it up to solar plexus, then your heart, then your third eye. At each point, breath out your intention of using this mirror for scrying for the best outcome of all, to sharpen your awareness, and to develop your intuition. Having imbued the mirror with your intention, ask the mirror to help you with your intention of scrying.

CONSECRATE
Keep your mirror covered and when the next full moon phase comes, uncover the mirror and place it where the full moon beams can bathe the mirror. Let it be washed by lunar energy overnight. This will help make the mirror into a sacred tool. In the morning, cover it up again until you are ready to use it for scrying.

SCRYING
When you want to scry, prepare yourself for the ritual. You will need the mirror, a surface on which to hang it or to place it, and 2 candles and matches or a lighter. Place the candles so that the light is cast onto the mirror. Ground and center yourself and do 4-fold breathing for a cycle of 3 breaths. Think about what your intentions are with the scrying session: if you want to try communing with ancestors, take the time to remember them first. Conjure up their image in your mind, or look at photographs. Remember what it was like to be with them, if you knew them. If you are interested in contacting an ancestor you never knew, try to remember family stories. Lacking that, think of the time when your ancestor lived.

Try to picture what their lives were like. Keep in mind what you want from the contact: to express love to them, to ask a question, to tell them something, or to look for advice. Focus on your intentions and soften your gaze as you look into the mirror. For the first few sessions, allow yourself between 5 and 10 minutes. Don’t have an idea of what you should see, just allow what happens to let itself unfold. You may see images, symbols, have sudden thoughts that pop up, or a sense of someone looking over your shoulder and into your eyes that are reflected in the mirror. Let it all just flow with your guiding it. Sometimes nothing happens but you get a thought later that answers your question. It is all part of the scrying.

IN CONCLUSION
Once you have a feeling of completeness, withdraw your attention from the mirror, blow out the candles, and bring yourself back to the here-and-now. Squeeze your hands into fists and release them, curl up your toes and release. Raise your arms over your head—do whatever brings you back to your body and the present time. You have completed your scrying session.

“There are times when those eyes inside your brain stare back at you.”
– Charles Bukowski –

Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat

” Every Posture Is a Journey Not a Destination “

I recently saw a meme for October that read: “Autumn shows us how beautiful it is to let things go.”

This is a challenging concept for many. So many of us hold on. We hold onto our possessions, after all, we work hard and have purchased things we enjoy and admire, perhaps things that even bring us “happiness”. A popular movie quote from Fight Club ( yes, quoting Fight Club in a yoga blog) speaks to this truth, “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like”. We also hold onto our relationships, with family and friends, even if they are toxic because we are somehow benefiting. Perhaps these individuals guilt us into staying in the relationship, or help us with money, or we are just afraid to be alone.

We hold onto our beliefs: what we think we should look like, what kind of job we should have, how much money we should be making, what our home should look like. We hold onto our opinions, just one look at today’s political climate can attest to this. We even spend precious time creating picture perfect advertisements of our life in a virtual world for likes, envy, and the acceptance from people we may not even know!

And so the concept of Non-attachment, letting go is a guideline taught in Patanjali’s Eight fold path. In the Yoga Sutra, Aparigraha, or non-possessiveness is one of the five Yamas (or teachings on restraints). For me, this lesson expands to cover more than just Earthly belongings. Why is this important? What is wrong with holding onto things, ideas, people, and beliefs? Because things are constantly changing, all our worldly possessions, wants, and desires are temporary. The Holy Veda teaches that worldly possessions do not belong to us at all and “by clinging onto things we have, we lose the ability to be open to receive the things we need”. Aparisraha teaches us not to grasp or hoard. Being too attached to temporary things will inevitably cause loss and/or pain.

As I have mentioned in earlier posts, this restraint is difficult in our consumer driven society. But this time of year seems appropriate to let go, to release. I challenge myself to let go of possessions that I do not need and the idea my space has to look like a magazine cover. Must I have so much yard decor? Decorations for every season. So many throws and pillows? Coats I may only wear once a year. I find myself donating more and more. I’m not yet at the level of moving into a small home, but the tiny homes show is fascinating! Wouldn’t it benefit me and my partner more? Everyone would appreciate a shorter to-do list. Lower mortgage and bills, less cleaning, and so more time to be outside or read or do other leisurely activities.

I am also working on letting go of the need for acceptance. I embrace my own unique style. I continue on my spiritual path, one that is not of the masses, because it speaks to me. My journey challenges me and enlightens me and helps me be a better person. It has been difficult at times, I have lost relationships for standing up for my beliefs that are not seen as part of mainstream society. But, after contemplation, I am willing to let those relationships go vs. changing my spiritual path to appease another. I guess by by letting go, and going through changes, and pain, and disappointment I feel stronger. I feel at peace when I stand in my truth.

I find the lesson of Aparigraha most challenging in regards to relationships. For example, I have been fighting with my brother and sister-in-law for about 2 months now, believing at first, that they were wrong. As I have been mulling over the situation, I have come to realize that I need to reach out, apologize, and let my need to be right go. It is not as important for me to be right, in this case, their hurt feelings are so much more important. How many of us hold onto gruges? Why do we remain stubborn? Self-righteousness? Does it ease our pain? Fighting with my brother has not made me feel better. I am not saying there is never a time to stand your ground. I do believe in karma and I certainly see the need to take an unrelenting stand when fighting for equality, social justice, and the like. But circumstances can be perplexing, nothing is black and white.

Individual situations can be less clear. Who is involved? What happened? How long should the person who has been wronged hold onto anger, loss, or grief. After all, these are powerful energies that can turn into hatred. They can eat away at a person’s mental health and well-being. We hear many instances of forgiveness and letting go. His Holiness, the 14the Dalai Lama is quoted saying “An eye for an eye…We are all blind”. All of our ascended masters have taught the ways of forgiveness. This can be a release for anyone, not just our spiritual leaders. There are people who were able to move past being abused. Mothers who have forgiven drunk drivers whose actions lead to the death of their child. As I wrote, it is a challenging teaching.

We all know, holding on can hold you back, it can be a cocoon of sanctimony that prohibits growth. Wonderful blessings can manifest when we let go. Perhaps a better fit for romantic love interest, or a less stressful job or even something as simple as more time for walks outside that can lead to better health. Perhaps, we all need this lesson in our life, how to release, how to lose. Hopefully, we trust that it is part of our journey, an Autumn-like season, a lesson for our greatest good.  Namaste…MQ

First Steps on the Seeker’s Path

by R. Fennelly

This month’s offering is entitled…UpScale Magick…and sets forth the reminder and need for Order. Enjoy…

Upscale Magick

Let me begin by noting that this post is not what you think it will be. There is nothing elitist about it. I am not going to talk about trendy magickal finds and spells and ornate talismans to make you rich and famous. Instead I would like to explore the concepts of harmony and balance, chaos and order and the weighing of our actions and efforts against that of the truth and intelligence held within our hearts.

These ideas are the domain of the Egyptian Goddess Ma’at and it was she who made order and harmony of what would fall to discord without the upholding of her principles. The ancient rites of the dead were particularly compelling in their belief and totality of communion with their Gods and the greater Cosmos. Even in death, the individual was given challenge that would be reflective of the life they led when alive and how and if they would enter the afterlife based upon those actions. The measure of that life and the ultimate determination was based upon the weighing of the heart against the Feather of Ma’at.

In the Ancient Egyptian tradition the individual recently deceased would be brought before the Great Scales of Justice as final trial in their journey through the underworld. The weighing of the individual’s heart, as is depicted on The Papyrus of Ani in The Book of the Dead shows the God Anubis overseeing this weighing. The heart would be placed on one scale and the feather of Ma’at, was placed on the other. The goal being that the truth and all-knowingess held within this most sacred of organs would neither be of more or less weight than that of the Feather of Truth. If successfully balanced the deceased gained the resurrection of their Divine nature, being equally blessed as Osiris had been. If the heart was found to be heavier than the feather, the deceased would be eaten by the Devourer, leaving the various parts of the deceased’s soul separated and lost forever.


Image 1.: The Papyrus of Ani

The heart was considered to be the seat of intelligence informed by emotion and the measure of a good life was the use of that wisdom as guide for the emotions and actions in the living world. So, it was in the final examining of the heart and its successful measure that Ma’at as the principle of order and balance would then have been maintained in life and death. Moreover, the balancing of the scales insured Cosmic Order. And, the continuation of Deity and man co-existing in a palpable and unified way in collaborative interaction. Ma’at bound all things together in an ordered and indestructible unity: the universe, the natural world, the state, and the individual were all seen as parts of the wider order generated by Ma’at.

We ourselves have been in this time of Ma’at with the movement of the Sun into the astrological sign of Libra, The Scales of Balance, on the Autumnal Equinox of last month. Each year at this time we are called to more fully step into our place of balancing out and sorting through what has accumulated in the months preceding. We honor the order of Ma’at in the harvesting and preserving of what will sustain and maintain the orderly health of our bodies in the Winter months ahead. We are now nearing the ending of this Solar energy and in the state of current world affairs we are in need of that weighing of our own hearts to assess what contributions we are making to either side of the scales.

The call is to be ever mindful of the way in which we maintain flow and order and the way in which we cause upheaval. Of knowing when to tip the scales towards what would be construed as negative, in order to reestablish the order of a productive outcome. I have purposefully left out much information as the pursuit of harmony, truth and justifiable outcome is best engaged from our finding our own way.

Stand before the Scales, faced by the unknown of what the after-life will bring. See placed upon one end your concept of the feather of of Ma’at’ and HER principle of Order and Truth. Open your heart and allow its wisdom to fill the scale of opposition and as judge and juror of your actions ask these or other questions. The answers you give may surprise you?

Would your heart be in a place of balance if weighed on those Great scales?

How do you strive to bring order to the Chaos that surrounds you?

Do you seek the depth of truth and justice as you go about your daily affairs?

Do you maintain the balance of your Gods and own truth of Divinity?

Resources:
The Intelligence of the Heart
The Magickal Pen

In Conclusion…

Let us drink from the waters of gratitude and
Be fully present in the space of appreciation
for what surrounds us.

Open your eyes and take in all the lessons of
Both sorrow and joy and from a place of gratitude
Find the grace of mercy that flows
Eternal within your own being.

Upcoming Events-2018

Tarot Series: Part Three
The Shadow of the Fool

November 10th
5-Hr. Intensive

This intensive will explore use of the Tarot and the Keys of the Major Arcana and Court Cards as a tool for breaking through the hidden realms of awareness. No prior knowledge of the Tarot is required. “Shadow” work is the contemplative act of seeking reconciliation, understanding and knowledge of those aspects of ourselves that we are reluctant, of whatever reason, to bring into the waking consciousness and overt expression of our personality. For more information, Click Here….

The Pagan Experience Study Group
The Midnight Sun: Standing in the Shadow

Tues. Evenings – 4wks.

This series of classes heralds the start of next year’s work of awakening to the power of the Shadow within. Now we stand in the light of darkness that is the Midnight Sun; fertile and potent waters that birth what we wish to create and re-shape as the gift of ourself. For more information, Click Here… 

Musings From the Mystic Path is published monthly by Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW.

Editor: R. Fennelly, HPs, CMP, ASW
Columnists: L. B., Tesseract and India Amour, Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat
Contributors: Membership/Petitioners  of Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW

All rights reserved and maintained as intellectual property of the author. If you would like to re-publish any content herein, permission should be obtained and proper citation given to the author.

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted
Upscale Magick: Header: Sculpture of Ma’at: Origin: The Tomb of Seti I, 19th Dynasty (1300 BC). Current Location: Egyptian Museum in Florence, Italy1. The Papyrus of Ani. The British Museum

For more information about the contents of the newsletter and/or our coven:

 Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW or email: hpsmysticpath@yahoo.com

Posted in November 2018, Volume Three | 1 Comment

October2018:Time to Reflect

Vol. 3 – Issue 6

Musings From the Mystic Path

Photography by Ed Dahlin

The Month of October 

This month is a special Editor’s Edition. Our regular contributors and columnists are taking a much needed break to renew and refresh for the upcoming months. The weather has a distinct chill in the air and thoughts of settling in at home after a long day at work are on the radar. Not too far away will also be the start of the holiday season and the business of preparation and enjoying time with friends and family will consume the Winter’s bleakness. So, this is precisely the month to take it easy and lighten the load.

I’ve selected a few favorites and a few new selections for a quick read. Next month we will explore more of the Harvest and deepening the reflective heart. Enjoy!

“Ah, Lovely October, as you usher in the season that awakens my soul, your awesome beauty compels my spirit to soar like an leaf caught in an autumn breeze and
my heart to sing like a heavenly choir.” 

– Peggy Toney Horton –

Featured Writings

Reaching Out

Pointed extensions of angular
Line and scalloped edges creating
An open greenery of hands
Delicately reaching out.

Water would cascade down
Pouring from pointed tip.

Sunlight creates beams of
Light captured and focused
Through pointed tip.

Angles soft, yet precise
Create a crowd of green
Leafy fingers reaching out.

This time of the year requires cleaning and clearing both inside and out. An encore of an article from last year’s October Issue to use now….

Make Your Home a Safe Space for You and Your Loved Ones
by Flash Maeve

Feeling out of sorts in your own home? Do things go bump in the night, and no cat is pushing things off the table? Is that a creaking floor board or is it a being you didn’t invite, creeping down the hall?

Make your home your safe space. Clear it of unwanted distractions or energetic intrusions. Claim it as your own and hold your intent for it to be sacred and secure. “This is my home, this is my safe space, nothing and no being can enter it without my welcoming it into this space.”

How can you go about this you ask? It can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. This is the simple method. Use your amazing imagination to make it as fantastical as you will it to be.

  • Physically clean your home from top to bottom, or hire someone else to clean it for you.
  • Start at the top of your home, with your spirit broom and sweep all negative energy from the top of your home towards and out your front door.
  • Hold a clear image of your home as sanctuary.
  • Make a sea salt & hot water solution in a drinking glass. Draw an invoking earth pentacle with this solution on every window, mirror and door, working from the top of your home towards the front door.
  • Get a white sage smudge stick. Light it, blow it out and smudge your home from top to bottom with the cleansing scent of sage incense.

Claim your home for your own safe space and make it your sanctuary, where only those you invite in may enter. So mote it be! With Blessings, Flash Maeve

30-Days of Samhain

 offered by Robin Fennelly

The final harvest calls, the Ancestors await and the veils between the worlds have thinned offering the gifts of healing, transformation and deeper communion with the cycles of nature.

Last year I decided to explore the mysteries of Samhain using a daily format of postings and suggestions to deepen your awareness of this sacred time of the year. I am sharing this again for this year’s celebrations and will be adding some other material as we move through the 30-Days of Samhain. Let the journey begin…

The countdown ends with Astrological Samhain, so Day One begins on October 9th and Day Thirty ends on November 7th. Enjoy…

Day One begins here… Welcome and Introduction

For Quick Links visit: 30-Days of Samhain-Index

 

“There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir: We must rise and follow her, When from every hill of flame She calls, and calls each vagabond by name.” 
– William Bliss – 

 

Summer Slipped Away
By M.H.
hot-cider

Summer slipped away,
Golden leaves swirl in a crisp, autumn breeze
Painted pumpkins on the porch
Sweet hot cider with cinnamon warms the palate
Winter winds arrive, skies turn grey, darkness comes earlier
Hearth fires burn brightly,
Majestic evergreens are quietly blanketed with heavy snow
Icicles hanging, sparkling frost patterns on the window pane,
Spring rains, melting snow, crocuses peek through the soil
Fragrant flowers bloom, robins nesting in the trees,
Fresh mint ice tea with a twist of lemon cools the palate
Summer meadows filled with butterflies, darkness comes later
Fireflies twinkling nightly,
Fields of golden wheat, and grain bring bountiful harvests
Fall foliage displays a dazzling array of colors to catch the eye
Summer slipped away.

“Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.”
– George Eliot –

An October’s Night Meditation

The Horn of Plenty

Take a few deep breaths, filling your lungs on the inhalation and gently breathing out on the exhalation. Allow your body to sit comfortably on the surface on which you are sitting. You feel no tension or strain in any part of your body. Allow your breathing pattern to establish its own rhythm; the gentle rise and fall of your chest and a deepening feeling of relaxation with each exhalation.

Turn your focus now on the space behind your closed lids and create an inner screen upon which various images may be projected. This is your gateway into a meditative state of peace, calm, renewal and tranquility. A fine mist of indigo blue energy fills the screen and you are drawn to it. In your mind’s eye you see yourself approach the center of this screen and gently step through.

You emerge on the other side and find yourself at the edge of a wooded forest at dusk. The sky is ablaze and bathed in reds and oranges casting a serene glow on all it touches. The smell of autumn is in the air and the leaves of the trees are a palette of reds, browns and golds. This is the time of the harvest. The time when that which was seeded in the Spring and nurtured throughout the Summer is ready to be gathered. You walk forward on a path between the trees and each step forward produces the sound of crackling leaves echoing from tree to tree. A gentle breeze carries the scent of apples, pumpkin pie, corn pudding and bread baking. Take a moment to enjoy the aromas and sounds surrounding you.

As you continue walking you are drawn to a light ahead and see a thatched roof cottage just ahead. A curl of smoke spirals upwards from the chimney and the glow of amber colored light can be seen through the windows. You are drawn to this place and a sense of familiarity fills your being. You step up onto the porch and pumpkins, gourds and tied bales of hale adorn the entryway. The scent of fragrant wood burning in a hearth within and the front door slightly ajar beckon you to come in.

You gently push the door open and amber hues, table top baskets of apples and a crackling fireplace fill the panorama of view. Take a moment to look around. Drink in the sights, smells and sounds and make yourself at home in the cozy cottage.

As you continue with your exploration your eyes come to rest on a wicker basket that is shaped as a Horn of Plenty. It sits on a small side table and contains within small scrolls of parchment that are rolled and bound by an earthy green ribbon. You are curious about the contents contained within the Horn and what meaning they may hold for you. In keeping with the warmth and welcome you have felt from the time of stepping into this place of serenity, you reach out and take one of the scrolls from the Horn. You gently unroll it and see what has been gifted to you. You look at the words written and know intuitively that this is your promise of a full and abundant harvest that is crafted from all of the best parts of your being. This represents that which is both a gift to yourself and in turn will also become a gift you share with all you meet.

Holding your scroll tightly to your breast you move to sit in a rocking chair just in front of the fireplace. As you gaze into the flickering and dancing flames you see the many images of each of the positive actions you have taken this year. All of the successes of those seeds of new beginnings planted and the ripe lush fruit that has come to full harvest. Take a few moments to reflect on these many beautiful, positive qualities that are expressions of your higher SELF. As you linger in these thoughts, you become aware that the scroll you have been holding is slowly being absorbed into the inner flames of your hearth fires.

You have received all that is needed at this time and you once again stand looking at the beauty of the room surrounding you. Take a final look around the room and acknowledge that this is your private place to which you may return at any time. Your gaze is caught once again by the Horn of Plenty and to your surprise you see that now in place of the scrolls the Horn has become an abundant cornucopia filled with fruit, squash, corn, apples and nuts. The small table is filled to overflowing with all the bounty of the Harvest and somehow you know that this abundance reflects the many images you found within your own basket of plenty. You walk towards the door, gently push it open and step out into the forest, now lit by the brilliance of a honey gold sunset. The velvet of the night sky is minutes away and the hush and calm promise of a restful evening are just ahead.

As you stand looking out the blue veil of mist forms directly in front of you. You step through and once again return to the place of your inner screen. As you feel the calm re-entry into this space, your inner screen gently fades and your focus returns to sound of your breath and its serene rhythm. Allow yourself to slowly and gently return to the physicality of sitting in this space. To the feeling of your body in chair or on whatever surface you have been sitting upon. To the gentle rise and fall of breath and when you are ready, gently flutter your eyes open and return to this space of calm.

“The crickets still sing in October. And lilly, she’s trying to bloom. Tho she’s resting her head on the shoulder of death, she still shines by the light of the moon.”
– Kevin Dalton – 

Spiritual Spiral
by LDB
images

Spiral: A curve that is the locus of a point that rotates about a fixed point while continuously increasing its distance from that point

Itu: that which is broken or torn apart

Center: Spiral of origin begins

An egg was burst at conception
At birth, I burst into a fragmented family
The spiral of my life rotates around a center
Which is broken or torn apart
With perspective the orbit grows smaller
As I age, I spiral out
Continuously increasing distance from that broken center
There is movement within a spiral
To my life spiral, I add perspective of ITU
Bringing parts of myself into alignment
Knowing that a broken center cannot hold
I span the hole with Spirit
I am whole. I am healed
Spiral becomes Spiritual

“when you came you cried and everybody smiled with joy;
when you go smile and let the world cry for you.”
-Rabindranath Tagore-

Calling to the Ancient

The Gift of Samhain

Samhain and its counterpart, Beltane, are the time of access to the wisdom of the natural world and the Ancestors. The energy that is called forth at Beltane and communion with the nature spirits and the Fae stands as the point of inception and quickening of what will move, expand and grow in its form and scope towards the next opportunity. When it comes half wheel cycle to Samhain this energy of communication with and greater access to what lay beyond our physical realms has matured and deepened as we call to the Ancestors to offer up their wisdom. It is this wisdom that will carry us through the darkening of the months, the turning within and the introspection that holds within its womb the spark of Light that will be birthed at the Winter Solstice.

I do a great deal of personal energetic work infusing some of the Eastern mystical practices with those of Western Magick. When drawing on this synthesis and applying it to the energies present at Beltane and Samhain we can use each to inform the other. Beltane’s fires are those of consummate union, celebrated with the union of God and Goddess, male and female. These are the qualities of the polarities held within each of us. Parting the veils at this time is an opening to our natural and instinctual self. The connection to the basic needs and desires that are the promise of continuation of species and cycle of growth and evolution. Energetically, as we enter Samhain’s parting of the veils and its energy we are now ready to open to the experience of our mature and wizened nature and the union of what we may access of the Higher Self informed by the wisdom of our Lower Self. The union of these integral parts of our spiritual and physical states of being enables the transformative reaching out and ultimate connection to the Ancestors who have helped to form who we are.

As we enter into the Dark Half of the year, the winter months and the Sabbats that are held within that space we bring with us the expectations of this growth. We have finished harvesting what had been nurtured from the time of the previous Winter Solstice forward and we hold expectation that the ripe fruits we have carefully selected from this harvest will sustain us through this time of fallow fields, frost and cold. We approach the opening of the veils with great expectations of coming face to face with what visions and mysteries are rooted in our core state of being and align ourselves with the energies of the Dark Goddess and the wisdom of the Crone. It is Her wisdom that takes us into the realms of the Ancestors and the blessings they wish to bestow. And. although we may feel that our intent is clear and purposeful, we often do not embrace every ounce of what lay hidden, largely from fear of what we will lay claim to. Moreover, we hesitate because we are afraid of what the answers that we so dearly seek may be.

For many there is lack of clarity about who and what the Ancestors are. And, this definition will be a variety of things depending on your own beliefs. The Ancestors may be of your own lineage, meaning departed family or those whom offered guidance during their living human existence. If you expand this further and consider that we are all interconnected as spiritual beings, regardless of blood lines, the Ancestors take on the form of all of the great souls who in their incarnation offered teachings, wisdom, and were examples of illuminated and evolved humans. These are those that exemplified the adage that we are Spiritual beings having a physical experience. Most often when you begin the intention of asking for information of the Ancestors, there is greater comfort in the specificity of inquiring of a departed family member or friend. The personal connection and feeling is what makes the difference between asking for help from a Patron or Deity you work with and an Ancestor.

The truth of the matter is that the Ancestors, our guides and guardians want us to succeed. They want us to step fully into the light of who and what we truly are. The Gods and Goddesses want us to become more fully aligned with facing our truths, because then we are better able to see the reality and beauty of their truths. In all of these instances the time of Samhain and the parting of the veils is the optimal time for reaching out and drawing to ourselves the reflected and refined image of understanding that holds everything we need to know.

One of the primary precepts in working with Ancestral wisdom is that of gratitude. Whenever we step into a place of gratitude for what has been received we are aligning ourselves with our Higher Self. Offerings to the Ancestors, altars of remembrance or simply holding a cherished memory in mind strengthen that energetic connection. Opening ourselves to offering up and the act of expressing that gratitude initiates a cycle of receipt and return. It is the universal law of magnetism in action. All that we send out, positive or negative seeks the energy of that which is compatible and similar. Gratitude calls to our place of Spirit within the eternal and the wisdom of those who reside within those realms.

If we are able to stand strong in our conviction and intent to seek the wisdom of our Ancestors as the thinning between the worlds occurs, the information gained becomes the foundation upon which we stand as we begin the process of turning within and integrating what has been received. Like the Hermit of the Tarot, we become the master of our own Will, seeking our truths and finding our way using the light of the lantern of truth.

Focus On…

Tesseract
The Intersection of Moon Phase, Astrology, Elemental Energy, and Magick… will be back next month


by Ionlanthe

 

Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat…. will be back next month

Namaste…MQ

” Every Posture Is a Journey Not a Destination “

 

First Steps on the Seeker’s Path…. will be back next month

by R. Fennelly

Upcoming Events-2018

Ma’at and Order in the Chaos-continuing


The Hermetic Laws in Action
September 18-October 23

This 6-week series will explore the concept of Ma’at as both the form of Goddess and as the embodiment and ideology of Order. This necessary Order maintained the balance of a universe that was by nature, borne of chaos in accord with the universal laws. For more information, Click Here….

Musings From the Mystic Path is published monthly by Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW.

Editor: R. Fennelly, HPs, CMP, ASW
Columnists: L. B., Tesseract and India Amour, Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat
Contributors: Membership/Petitioners  of Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW

All rights reserved and maintained as intellectual property of the author. If you would like to re-publish any content herein, permission should be obtained and proper citation given to the author.

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted
Photo: Reaching Out-R. Fennelly

For more information about the contents of the newsletter and/or our coven:

Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW or email: hpsmysticpath@yahoo.com

Posted in October 2018 | 1 Comment

Sept2018:Back to School-Back to Healing

Vol. 3 – Issue 5

Musings From the Mystic Path

The Month of September

September is here and so is the start up of  school, back to work and the end of summer vacations. This begins the season of holidays, business beyond belief and the next space of rest in sight being a few months away. We’ve chosen this month to offer some tools for healing. After all, feeling strong and healthy, whole and at ease will go a long way in being able to fulfill your needs as well as others’ expectations. We have our favorite columns this month and a healing pathworking you can use as a solitary or a group. Time to let the healing waters flow…

“Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.”
– Hippocrates –

Featured Writings

 

The Healing Moon of Grace: A Recorded Pathworking

by RCF

Healing begins with forgiveness of self. It begins with alignment and knowledge of the rise and fall of the great ocean of our emotional tides and the desires that the heart seeks in steadying and calming those waters. Healing arises as the great tidal wave that absorbs all in its path and becomes the gentle flow that moves from the hands that calm, soothe and holds all in their loving embrace.

Join me in a pathworking of healing and in the fullness of this auspicious Full Moon in Pisces let the healing begin….

Click on the following link: The Healing Moon of Grace

Note: Although this pathworking is being offered during this Full Moon phase, the grace of Pisces is that the energy of healing flows continually. We are always in process of finding the compassionate and healing waters that allow growth and change within our lives to occur productively. Please consider using this pathworking regularly and returning to it when you feel the most unsettled and in need of these healing waters. Blessings on your journey…Read the full article here

“The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind.” 
– Paracelsus –

A Healing Ritual for the Harvest

by Robin and members of Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW

Recently our coven had a closed healing ritual as many of us have had health, financial and other events that caused dis-ease and unsettled mind and heart. I thought that this month was a prefect time to offer a modified version of that ritual, complete with some beautiful invocations, and castings that can be performed as a solitary pursuit. Feel free to modify in whatever way holds the most resonance for you.

What you will need:

  • 4/Candles to mark the cardinal directions of East, South, West and North (I like to use the dollar store glass pillar candles. They contain the flame and wax and are a nice size to be re-used for this purpose);
  • A Chalice;
  • Purified Water;
  • An amulet or crystal if you wish to embed the energy into it for later use.

Select a space where you will not be disturbed and may easily set out candles for quarter gates and perhaps a small central altar to hold your chalice, purified water and amulet/crystal.

Take a few moments to calm and steady yourself, feeling the flow of Mother Earth’s energy and Father Sky’s co-mingling within the strength of the center-point of your being. Look around at the placement of your candles and the chalice you have selected for this healing.

Now, begin to create Sacred Space in whatever fashion you are accustomed. Within our Tradition we scribe the circle envisioning blue flame and stand before each of the quarter Gates, opening with an aligned call, lighting the candle and scribing the invoking Pentagram as completion.(Quarter Calls we used are at the bottom of this article)

If you would like to call Deity into the space to witness and aid your working, do so now. (The invocations we used are at the bottom of this article).

Once Sacred Space has been created, come to stand before your chalice and the purified water. Pour some of the water into your chalice and hold the filled cup close to your heart-center as you form the intention of what you need healing for. Allow the energy to flow through you into your chalice, the water being the gateway to healing and renewal.

Holding the Chalice, walk to the Eastern Gate and stand before the candle of light of Mind and Air. Envision the healing breath of inspiration and a mind that is in alignment with thoughts of healing and a whole state of being. Breathe into your chalice these intentions and offer thanks to the energies of the Eastern Gate for their wisdom.

Holding your Chalice, walk to the Southern Gate and stand before its candle of light of Will to Action. Envision the healing flame that burns away what no longer serves and the transmutation of action towards the Highest Good for all. Feel the heat of your manifest form generating this space of creation’s fires and allow that energy to fill your chalice with these intentions. Offer up thanks to the energies of the Southern Gate for their informed action.

Holding your Chalice, walk to the Western Gate and stand before its candle of light of Heart and Intuitive Sight. Envision the gentle waters that wash away and refine to make ready the beginning of healing that is borne of the ebb and flow of tides of change. Feel this current of serenity and renewal flowing through every part of your being and flowing out into your chalice. Feel the connection now of mind, heart and will as the rising waters of self-compassion carry you to the shores of healing. Offer up thanks to these energies of the Western Gate for their gnosis.

Holding your Chalice, walk to the Northern Gate and stand before its candle of light of Manifestation and Foundation. Envision your physical form in wholeness and strength. Envision your manifest world in wholeness and health. Envision your being in a state of power, strength and standing firmly upon foundations of informed mind, creation’s fires and inspired heart, now all as one and aligned with healing. Pour this energy into your chalice and when you are ready, slowly drink the water contained. If you have brought an amulet or crystal into the space to infuse with this energy, leave a small amount of the water to sprinkle on the object.

When your chalice has been emptied, breath into this space of container and envision the potential that now lay in what may be filled anew and stands always as the ready container for healing, wisdom and heart. Spend as much time as is needed to “feel” the waters of healing moving through each cell of your body and to connect in whatever way you wish with Deity.

When you are ready and complete, return your Chalice to its place, and begin the process of releasing Sacred Space and offering up thanks to those seen and unseen who aided in this ritual. If you are able, slowly return to the energy of your day, feeling renewed and whole. So Mote It Be!

Quarter Calls
by Celestine

Spirits of the East, I call to you to come forth as a soft breath uttering words of compassion and forgiveness. I ask you to carry to us the whispers of love and encouragement from loved ones who no longer reside on this plane but who care about us still.

Spirits of the South, I call to you to come forth and awaken the banked coals of the active and dynamic healing processes within us so we can heal the festering wounds caused by residual guilt or anger. I ask you to stoke our will and passion that we may move forward from the despair and sadness of loss and embrace life filled with joyful exuberance.

Spirits of the West, I call you to come forth as the warm, salty tears shed in grief or anger. I ask you to carry us on the gentle currents of our tears back to the comforting womb of the Mother so we can feel her ever present love and nurturing.

Spirits of the North, I call to you to come forth as the strength of our own mortal bodies that carry us through good times and bad. We call to the strength of the Mother Earth and ask you to give us support as we work to heal and become whole.

I call to the Spirit in each of us and bid you come forth and connect to the All so we can receive the messages of love and compassion that our higher selves and the Divine so desperately want us to hear.

We are now in a placed of perfect love and perfect trust. We can each proceed to work on our individual wounds knowing that we are in a safe and gentle place. So Mote it Be!

Spirits of the East, we thank you for helping us carry on the communication needed to help us heal and rejuvenate our souls. As I close these gates, I ask you to continue to amplify words of love and compassion so that they can clearly be heard by us and by others against the background noise of daily life.

Spirits of the South, we thank you for helping us reveal the fresh, undamaged parts of ourselves that can embrace life with joy and loving compassion. As I close these gates, I ask you to continue to stoke our will so that we can move forward on our life’s journey unencumbered by guilt or anger from past losses and hurts.

Spirits of the West, we thank you for the healing waters used to cleanse us of past pain and sorrows. As I close these gates, I ask you to continue to remind us that we may ride the currents of our tears back to the Mothers gentle embrace anytime we are in need of healing and nurturing.

Spirits of the North, we thank you for providing support as we started the necessary work to heal ourselves. As I close these gates, we ask that you continue to remind us of the strength of our bodies that will continue to carry us forward into the next exciting phase of our lives.

As I close this circle I return any residual healing back to the Earth so she can heal herself of current and past wounds and can continue to support and sustain life.

Go forth with love and compassion in your hearts. And be gentle with yourselves as the healing process that is on-going. Blessed be!

Invocations
by M.H.

Hail Ancient Ones!

Mighty Lord,

You are the Sun rising over the horizon, bringing new light.
You are the skilled Hunter and the Stag that runs unbridled and robustly through the dark green forests.

You are Love, Life and Death

Lady of the Moon,
You are the Mother, Maiden, and Crone, compassionate Creator of all life.
You are the cool rains that fall cleansing and nourishing our Spirits

You are Love, Life and Death

God and Goddess
You are all the stars in the Heavens above us and you are the Earth’s foundation of rocks and crystals beneath us

You who are the keepers of the Light, and the Healers
We invited you to witness this healing ritual
Join us now lending your support and strength as we seek to release our losses and heal our inner self

We Bid you, Hail and Welcome!

“The wilderness is healing, a therapy for the soul.”
-Nicholas Kristof –

Focus On…

Tesseract
The Intersection of Moon Phase, Astrology, Elemental Energy, and Magick


by Ionlanthe

We are at September’s door, thus we approach the end of summer and beginning of autumn. At the Autumnal equinox, the time when night and day occupy an equal duration within one 24-hour period, we will celebrate Mabon. This harvest festival, which will happen on Sunday September 23, 2018, is when we reap what we sowed earlier in the year. It is time to honor a moment of balance. We still have the Sun’s warmth, there are still crops in the field, we can still enjoy being out of doors. Soon, all too soon, the fields will be harvested, the amount of daylight hours will be shorter, the air will become cooler, and we will be spending more time indoors. We are at the pivot point between summer and autumn.

The Moon at Mabon will be waxing, two days out from being full, and will be in Pisces, the mutable water sign. Pisces energy is one which supports the exploration of diving into the depths of emotions in attempt to understand all that is around. At this time of balance, we can look inward and outward, in an attempt to understand what is ours to keep and what we cannot hold onto.

Two days later, when the Moon becomes full, it will be in Aries, the cardinal fire sign, which has the impulse to start something, and generate sparks of newness. What will we be starting now, when the days are shorter and nights are longer? When the warmth of summer is yielding to the cooler autumn?

We can look to the leaves of the trees. Some will have started to show their fall colors. The full richness of fall colors is due to the withdrawal of the chlorophyll. According to the web site for the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, a campus of the State University of New York….

“But in the fall, because of changes in the length of daylight and changes in temperature, the leaves stop their food-making process. The chlorophyll breaks down, the green color disappears, and the yellow to orange colors become visible and give the leaves part of their fall splendor.”

At a time when the trees stop their food-making process, and we stop planting new crops, it is time to show our true colors. As a woman ages from being a maiden to a mother to a crone, and a man ages from youth to father to sage, and so move beyond their child-bearing and child-rearing years, so, too, can we all show different facets to ourselves, other than the nurturing of others. What colors can be revealed when we remove the layer of child-care, of growing and nurturing new life, of tending to the gardens, that we have been doing all summer long? Now that the year is waning, what can we give birth to, within ourselves? What outlet can our creativity take? Let this season remind us that we can grow and create something that may live beyond us. We can birth a new idea, a new project, and new connection to Spirit. Let the mutable Pisces water energy inform the deep dive into what moves you to create, then let the Aries fire spark you into taking the next step toward creating what you want to have.

If you look around you, you will see some of the symbols of Mabon for inspiration. There will a bounty of pine cones and acorns underfoot. The pine cones and acorns are how the trees reproduce themselves. The leaves of the trees will be begin turning red, orange, brown, and gold. The light from the sun will be lower in the sky. You may see a skein of geese flying south for the winter. The Wheel of the year is turning. How will you honor the change in the seasons?

Here are some ideas:
Go out into the woods or a field with a bottle of water. Find some plants that have gone to seed and gather the seeds or seed pods. Hold the seeds in your hands. Hold them up to the sky and say, “A gift from the Earth to the Gods.” Touch the seeds to your heart chakra and say, “A gift from the Earth to me.” Sprinkle the seeds onto the earth, cover them lightly with soil, and say, “A gift from the Gods and from me to the Earth.” Pour some water from your water bottle onto the seeds you have just planted. Know that some of them will take root, and grow, and start the next generation of trees or flowers. They will create beauty, or food, or a home for birds or wild animals.

Another way to honor the season is to remember your departed loved ones. If you can, go to the place where they are buried and place some acorns and pine cones on their grave sites as a reminder of the eternal cycle.

Creation of something beautiful can be magickal. Let it flow from you, as the colors of the turning leaves flow from the withdrawing of the green of chlorophyll. Let your colors show: bring out some paints, or pencils, or crayons, and a big piece of paper. Water color would be especially appropriate for the watery Pisces Mabon. Pick up your drawing tool, set yourself in front of the paper, then let your energy run freely. All art is a creation that never existed before: make something new. When you are finished, sign it. You are a maker of art. Celebrate your creativity.

Strive for balance at this pivot point; explore inward, express outward. Enjoy the light and warmth; prepare for the coming longer dark days and coolness. Blessings of the season to

“Find a part of yourself hidden in the twilight.”
– Fennel Hudson –

Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat

” Every Posture Is a Journey Not a Destination “

Time flies by and already the kids are back to school and summers peak heat has passed. Many are anticipating the change of the upcoming harvest from berries and summer squash to apples and everything pumpkin. The fall equinox is almost upon us as well, a time of equal day and night. Naturally, thoughts and ideas of balance and harvest blessings arise.

Balance, in relationship to our own well being is a topic I feel we need to constantly address and work on. Unfortunately, there is a plethora of issues; from politics, to the environment, racism, to education etc. that we are inundated with. These hot topics are paramount, of course, many say we are at a crossroads and in full crisis mode. I do not deny, we have our hands full and there is critical work to do. However, there is a reason the instructions on an airplane guide you to put an oxygen mask on yourself first. “You can’t pour from an empty cup” is a self care expression used often.

Thankfully, many are recognizing our need for breaks and replenishment. For our own sanity: it’s necessary to step away from the barrage of negativity, the news, the social media war zone and go on a mental health hiatus. A bit of respite is imperative. Vacations are wonderful of course, but that may only be for a couple weeks a year (& don’t get me started on folks that do not take their vacation time). We need positive daily practices to counterbalance our reality. We need repetitious, loving self care.

There is a set of teachings in yoga that address the essential quest for an improved mental state. The Niyamas are suggested observances, practices to improve your inner stage of being. Santosa or contentment is one of the teachings within the Niyamas, which is a part of the yoga practice. Yoga is much more than a set of asanas, breathwork, and meditation. Part of the philosophy speaks to our mindset and lifestyle. It is challenging to constantly check your attitude, to notice when you are simply reacting to others or a temporary situation. To find contentment, we must bear witness to our thoughts and actions. It is easy to continue old habits to deal with stress, especially with our culture of instant gratification. That is the easy way out, usually not healthy, and rarely leaves us feeling better. But I have seen an increase of people on the quest for more balance and contentment.

There are more yoga studios than I ever recall seeing. I see parents taking their kids swimming and to the playground. I see families hiking at state parks or attending their children’s latest extracurricular accomplishments. There is so much beauty in our world, we must pay attention and facilitate its survival. Whether you attend music classes, garden, volunteer or read poetry.

Choosing fulfillment, and incorporating its joy in our daily choices is the practice of Santosa. Acknowledging our blessings will combat the pervasive dis-ease in our society. I know we are all capable of finding more balance, more positivity, less stress and anxiety. I, personally,look forward to taking my dogs for an evening walk. Fresh air, exercise, connecting with neighbors along the way. It is a recharge. I’m fact, my dog recently had 2 puppies, talk about a delightful blessing (even with the lack of sleep). Things have been put on hold, the hedges can be trimmed later, the car can be washed in the next rain.

For now, spending time with the pups, the cutest, innocent fluffy creatures creates such a feeling of merriment and contentment. And so may you find something in your life, in yourself, that brings bliss. Indulge in that energy, milk it up for as much time as you can as often as you can. May you recognize all the healthy blessings in your life, cultivate gratitude, and harvest Santosa…..Happy harvest blessings…..Namaste…. M.Q.

First Steps on the Seeker’s Path

The post this month is an excerpt from my book – A Weekly Reflection. I thought it was an important and timely post for this month’s work of healing. I’ve noticed the crescendo of agitation that many are experiencing and the changes that result as a product of these irritations and disruptions adds a new layer of stress and anxiety.

For me personally these past 15 months have brought so many changes that I can barely name them all. The smaller ones became the foundation from which the larger ones fed and there was many a time that I felt like I was drowning and being pulled down into waters that went so deep that there would never be hope of recovering air. That word “air” was a very subtle key and allowing myself the pause of space to just breathe before encountering the next challenge or making the next decision often brought greater clarity to the decided upon outcome. It was not always an easy outcome, but the control I exerted in “owning” it made all the difference.

And, I suppose one of the most valuable lessons I learned was the very fine balance of knowing how to get out of my way and when to stand strong and firm in what my boundaries were. I believe for most people this is a slow to be learned lesson. We want to feel powerful and in control yet some part of us also just wants to curl up and hide from the inevitabilities of our actions chosen. And, we usually call up the courage of the one when in fact the other is what would produce the better outcome and a change that is lasting and positive in its final product.

My heartfelt wish is that you receive the exact measure of change and respond in the best way to come to a place of strength and beauty in the lessons achieved by seeing the greater opportunity in every change that presents itself.

WEEK 19: Changes

Most of us resist change. Change is something to be feared. The unknown is disquieting and uncomfortable.

The very word itself brings an overwhelming desire to dig in and hold on firmly to whatever is about to change. The irony is that most times after the change has occurred and time has settled in to bring a new perspective, we feel liberated from the old ways that held us inert. The fact of the matter is that change is continually occurring both within and without our being. The cells of our physical bodies shed, regenerate and change daily; transparently and without pain or discomfort. If they did not, our quality of health and life would be impaired.

Our environment changes daily. We encounter different people in different settings hourly. Even what we consider the routine of our job, changes in the scope and intensity that we bring to the task at hand; as well as what the contents of that task are.

Moving with the flow of these changes that are unnoticed, yet prevalent, is what moves us through one day to the next with minimal (if any) discomfort or fear at what lay in wait around the bend. This attitude also allows us to become active observer of what is close at hand that could be used to stabilize and inform us more fully as we proceed. If we see the obstacle ahead we can then shift ever so slightly and avoid being caught unawares and causing damage. The challenge is bringing this level of acceptance to those obvious “changing” moments.

For this week, take note of how you respond to the subtle changes that occur daily. Formulate a plan to respond in the same way to those unexpected changes. Acknowledge each small step that you take that moves you towards this state of change and the feeling that taking control of your circumstances brings to you.

In conclusion…

Healing may not be so much about getting better, as about letting go of everything that isn’t you – all of the expectations, all of the beliefs – and becoming who you are.”    
Rachel Naomi Remen-

Upcoming Events-2018

September 18
Celebration of the Solar Year

Ritual of RA-Atum-The Autumnal Equinox

Join us as we celebrate the the light of RA as the setting Sun. Dusk falls and we emerge from the day’s activities, filled with the stories and memories of our interactions. We invoke the power of REN-the Sacred Name- and call to Isis to weave her HEKA and Osiris to welcome us into the contemplation of our inner realms. For more information. Click here…

Ma’at and Order in the Chaos

The Hermetic Laws in Action
September 18-October 23

This 6-week series will explore the concept of Ma’at as both the form of Goddess and as the embodiment and ideology of Order. This necessary Order maintained the balance of a universe that was by nature, borne of chaos in accord with the universal laws. For more information, Click Here….

Musings From the Mystic Path is published monthly by Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW.

Editor: R. Fennelly, HPs, CMP, ASW
Columnists: L. B., Tesseract and India Amour, Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat
Contributors: Membership/Petitioners  of Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW

All rights reserved and maintained as intellectual property of the author. If you would like to re-publish any content herein, permission should be obtained and proper citation given to the author.

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted
Art: The Sacrifice of the Harvest- DeepBlueRenegade on Deviant Art

For more information about the contents of the newsletter and/or our coven:

Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW or email: hpsmysticpath@yahoo.com

Posted in September 2018, Volume Three | 1 Comment

August2018:Into the Twilight

Vol. 3 – Issue 4

Musings From the Mystic Path

The Month of August

Happy August! This month is the setting for the last hurrah of Summer before school and return to work. The holiday season will shortly be upon us and before you know it, we’ll be ringing in the New Year! So, this is precisely the time to step into the twilight, cool down and explore what this special sliver of time offers as respite from sun, heat and vacation overload. 

By Definition, Twilight is…..

1 : the light from the sky between full night and sunrise or between sunset and full night produced by diffusion of sunlight through the atmosphere and its dust; also : a time of twilight. 2 a : an intermediate state that is not clearly defined.

This last definition is the one I want you to hold on to as you read through this month’s written treasures. This intermediate state is one of not having to commit to anything and having the freedom to “make it up as you go along”. Sounds pretty good to me, given the regimented nature of most people’s lives. The sweet transition from sleep to beginning your day and/or ending you day into sleep offers the potential for anything to be imagined and created.  We start that process with one of our featured writings and a musing about the evolutionary nature of Deity expressed and molded by technology. “Journeys On the Yogi’s Magick Mat” explores the metaphor of sky and mind, and “First Steps on the Seeker’s Path” returns with the call to community and a return to humanity. So, curl up in your favorite spot, take a few deep breaths and settle in to the betwixt and between as twilight brings you serenity…

 

“Twilight fell: The sky turned to a light, dusky purple littered with tiny silver stars.”
– J. K. Rowling –

Featured Writings

Musing on Techie Gods

by Celestine

I’ve been thinking a lot the past few months about how the gods* may evolve. It seems like many of the ancient gods and goddesses, many of whom have been all but forgotten by humanity, are making themselves known today. Additionally, many of those who did not fade into obscurity have become more vocal. Some say the Morrigan has become loud and insistent! And some are simply showing us a different side of themselves. (Anyone remember Brighid the Warrior who made her VERY powerful appearance during one if Robin’s classes a few years ago? She was not the gentle healer!)

When we consider that many of the ancients were associated with more primitive or agrarian societies I can’t help wonder why they would want to come back to this world and how they could be relevant to modern humans. I suspect that many of them have been quietly watching until they were needed or until there were receptive humans seeking them. I also believe that many of them have been evolving during their time of silence. I am not the same person I was 20 years, or even two years ago. It strikes me that so, too, might the gods change. Could they have evolved to use technology?

Even though the gods can’t use our technology the way we can, I don’t think it means they can’t use it in their own way. They may inspire us to use modern means of communication to get their message out in the form of blogs, writings, etc. and I’m sure all of these please Toth!. And the gods have always inspired artists and musicians, maybe they also inspire modern engineers and scientists leading to the discovery of life-changing inventions!

Perhaps they can communicate with us directly using the airways and electrical currents. Have you ever started a Google search and discovered something awe-inspiring? Perhaps that search was not as random as you thought! Did you hear a song on the radio that gave you an answer to a problem you’ve been pondering? Maybe somebody was talking to you! Whether they use us as tools to interact with technology or send their message to us via Wi-Fi I think they are definitely savvy to technology!

Much like the way us older folks had to learn about technology to help us relate to the younger generation, I suspect many of the gods have adapted so they can stay relevant to us “kids”. A god who keeps our cow’s milk production flowing will not find much of an audience in modern society. However, if that same god can help keep the electricity flowing to our refrigerators he or she will win our praise! While I wholeheartedly believe it is important to listen for the voices of the gods in the sounds of nature perhaps we may also hear them in the whirl of the washing machine or the voice emanating from the television.

So there you have it, the result of my weird, rambling thoughts this weekend. Here is the article that triggered my urge to assemble my thoughts into this communication: Millennial Witch: Working With Technology (& The Gods to Call for Help With It)

“Evenings and mornings represent “the gates” to your inner universe. Taking care of how you enter and exit these “gates” is your primary responsibility; do not give away this power. Once you master it, life will never be the same again.” 
– Stan Jacobs –

Resting At Dusk: A Recorded Pathworking

by Robin

This is a live recording of the pathworking used for Session Five of the Solar Magick series. Following the journey of the Egyptian Solar Barque, we descend into the West with Atum-RA guiding the way. This is the time of sacrifice and preparing to cross the threshold of life and death entering the Du’at. We can use this energy now, as we settle into the calm of what will flow into a season of harvesting and the retreat into the warmth and security of our homes as winter settles in. Click on the following link: Solar Magick: Resting at Dusk

Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer the goal.” 
– Elbert Hubbard

Lammas: The Sacrifice of the Harvest

by T.S.

The blade is sharp
Scythe swings in
Flashing arc as
Sheaf of wheat
And apples fall
The Harvest now begun.

Gather the grain
Leave what you must
Fill carefully woven baskets
With the overflowing bounty.

Roll and knead
Loaves of bread
Baked in ovens
Hot from wood and sun.

Breadman filled with
Herb and savory
His great sacrifice
Pulled apart by
Hunger’s needy call.

Consume the energy
Swallow the light
Feel the great
Blessing of living grain’s
Sustaining of all life.

No time to linger
Fields are awaiting
The reaping and
The gathering.

Grain man’s sacrifice
Willingly offered
As humanity peacefully
Slumbers sated on sacred
Harvest with warm bellies full.

Another turn of the Great Wheel and the first harvest is upon us. This Sabbat is known as Lammas or Lughnassadh depending on where and how it is celebrated. Lammas is derived from the words “loaf mass” and refers to the harvesting of the grains, preparation and baking of bread in celebration of the gifts of the season. The God may take the form of the Green Man, the Harvest King or Grain Father. Lughnassadh gives honor to the Celtic Solar God, Lugh and his cycle of waxing and waning energy. It is his willing sacrifice that ensures that this and the subsequent harvests will be prolific in their bounty. Regardless of what title is given to this Sabbat the themes of gathering what has come to peak, the sacrificing of what must be offered for continued survival and the carrying forward of what has been purposefully selected are prevalent.

As we continue through the cycle of the Wheel, two more harvests will occur in the process of breaking down what has been planted and subsequently allowed to grow. The second occurs at the Autumnal Equinox (sometimes called Mabon) and the third and final at Samhain. Looking at this triune cycle we see the energy of excess, balance and last vestiges giving way to decay and the composting for new growth. The first harvest offers the abundance of overflow for selection and the need to thin out what could soon overcrowd. The second, a weighing and balancing of what is coming into readiness and the third a final clearing away and gathering of anything that had been overlooked and remains. This harvest is also marked by death and the necessary slaying of the healthiest livestock for the meat to be kept for the long winter months ahead.

The time of the Lammas harvest marks the end of the growing season and if successful, is blessed by overflowing baskets of summer vegetables and fruit; setting into motion what will hopefully be the standard for the remaining gatherings. Grains are in abundance and at their peak, the sheaves of golds and browns awaiting the scythe of reaping. The tempting aromas of freshly baked bread and fruit pies call us in from field and orchard. And, as we gather this abundance to ourselves and our loved ones, the great sacrifice of all that is left behind or cut too early is transparent to us.

This cutting down of what is ready for the taking offers us the opportunity to clear the way for those things that will be newly planted after the frost of winter holds their seeds in slumber. This time of the harvest allows us to feast on what will nourish and sustain us in the darkened months ahead. This harvest offers us choice to carefully select only those products that have reached the peak fullness of their energy as we cut away what stands in our path. However, none of this can be achieved without the necessary sacrifice of what no longer serves and will decay and wither if left to stand. And, it is this point of sacrifice that is celebrated and honored in the Great Wheel of our own cycle.

In the cycle of the God and Goddess Lammas also represents the union of the sun and earth in their forms as the Sun God Lugh and the Mother Grain Goddess. It is the sun that has enlivened the earth and brought the fullness of their union to be harvested. And, now that his solar energy is waning, the God must also serve as the willing sacrifice transformed as the sheaf of wheat to be cut down and offered by the Harvest Mother so none will go hungry. This aspect of sacrifice is honored in the gathering of oats, wheat and barley. The baking of the traditional Bread Man from the dough of the newly cut wheat is a way of consuming the energy of the harvest, gifted by the living spirit of the God now transformed into the harvested grain. The cycle of death and renewal is acknowledged by the seeds that remain from what was harvested and will be used to plant anew in the Spring. And, we become the living essence of sun and earth, God and Goddess.

We can also think of this ending of the growing cycle and the waning of the sun as we set to the task of harvesting what has waxed in form as the necessary place of neutrality and pause before action is begun again. Within this space of neutrality is held the intention of sorting, picking and gathering of what is sustainable and what is not. It often also means allowing the course of this process to move in an organic and supportive way. In other words, not resisting what is part of the natural cycle of our own planting and reaping.

This time of the year is an invitation to harvest what you have planted in your work and your life, both spiritually and mundanely. It is the time to stand fearlessly and with great care scrupulously cut away what no longer serves and will not sustain you through the time of turning within and the continued waning of the year. The tricky thing about sacrifice is that for most people the idea of sacrifice usually pertains to something that they willingly give up. There is the implied choice in the matter and although sacrifice can be disruptive and emotionally charged deep down there was still the ability to choose what the sacrifice would be. The sacrifice I am referring to implies neither choice nor selection. But definitely requires faith that all will be resolved in a productive manner if you are willing to surrender to what must be. Sacrifice in its refined form is the release of something that you ultimately want to cling to, whether negative or positive in its form despite the negative impact that you THINK it will leave.

The courage that is needed is one that will allow the sacrifice of what you are least expecting to be removed so that your inner fields may be readied for new growth. And, the further requirement is that of offering up gratitude both for what has filled you and for what has been taken away. The energy of gratitude is one that is magnetic in receipt and release. It attracts those things to you for which you are able to show more gratitude. This in its own way is sacrificial in nature as well. It requires that you see the gift in what is experienced in your life (even when it does not appear to be a gift) and offer up your own energy in acknowledgement.

So, as you celebrate this turning of the Wheel in whatever way is in keeping with your path and as you eat heartily of what the season brings, give pause to remember what remains in the fields that will serve as compost for Spring’s planting. For without its sacrifice the harvest would not yield such sweet gifts at the next turning.

Focus On…

Tesseract
The Intersection of Moon Phase, Astrology, Elemental Energy, and Magick


by Ionlanthe

August. A month usually associated with long summer evenings, hot days, splashing at the beach, water ice, bare feet. We will have all this, and more. This month begins and ends with the Moon in it waning gibbous phase in Aries, a cardinal fire sign, with the Moon moving into the fixed earth sign of Taurus on the very last day of August. In between, there will be a partial solar eclipse on August 11, while the new Moon will be in Leo, a fixed fire sign. Even though we won’t be able to see the solar eclipse, which will be visible on the north of North America, in Greenland, in Northern Europe and north-eastern Asia, it will still affect us. The glorious summer sun light will be obscured, even though for a short time. This waning of the Moon’s light at the beginning and end of August, along with the solar eclipse, reminds us that the Wheel of the Year is turning, that the summer will soon move into fall, and we will have less sunlight each day. The fiery energies of Aires and Leo will be waning or eclipsed with the Moon’s phases. The Moon will move into Taurus on the last day, and so the Wheel turns, everlasting.

Time moves differently for me in August. I spend days at the beach, and I have no idea what time it is. I spend time at the library where I work, and the clock’s hands seemingly never move. I know exactly, to the minute, what time it is. I plant herbs or seeds or bulbs in the spring, or last fall, and in August, birds are eating from the seeds being offered by huge sunflowers, I am picking tomatoes, pickling cucumbers, picking arms-full of lavender. Just a little while ago, my little garden patch was covered in snow. Now it is covered by green growing stuff, not all of which I planted.

And the fireflies are gone. They emerged with the warmth in June, lived their lives looking for mates, and then laid their eggs and are done by August. They only live for two months. Their effervescent light has dimmed. As the great artist Paul Cezanne says, “Right now a moment of time is fleeting by! Capture its reality… become the moment.” All we have is this moment, now, this one, only this one. And it is gone.

The element associated with Aries is fire. Fire can burn so brightly, it can destroy: think of the sun. Or it can burn down to the embers after a bonfire: the afterglow of the fire that had burned so brightly so recently. We can re-kindle the fire from the embers, or we can let it die down. Fire has its own life: a beginning, a fullness, and a waning. Aires is a cardinal fire sign, indicating new beginnings, starting something new, igniting the flame. Fire is never static; it is always moving.

Lammas or Lughnasadh is cross-quarter day festival that Wiccans celebrate at the beginning of August. It is the day that falls between the summer solstice and fall equinox. In 2018, Lammas will occur on August 7, when the Moon will be moving toward its dark phase and will be in Gemini, a mutable air sign. Lammas will be influenced by Gemini’s energies of quick thinking, adaptability, changing with the times.

Lammas is a harvest festival, in which the first reaping of the grains has begun and the wheat is baked into loaves of bread (or loaf mass, or Lammas). In other words, the manifestation of plenty from the earth is subjected to the heat of fire (in the oven or hearth) and is thus transformed into life-sustaining bread. We need the light and heat of fire to live, yet this is starting to wane in the summer month of August. Time, light, heat: all are fleeting. What can you do to hold onto the memory of August’s gifts? Remember Gemini’s mutability: can we adapt to differing circumstances? Can we learn to thrive as times change?

One way to remember the time, sun, light, and heat of August is to enact a ritual. In this ritual, we will reach back to the time when we were welcoming summer: Beltane, and then reach forward to time when we will be welcoming darkness: Samhain. At Beltane, we lit a candle to our own inner God/Goddess and re-ignited passion for/within ourselves and brought our light to the world. At the time of Samhain in 2017, we lit a candle and looked for a rhythm in its flame and I suggested that the fire could speak in sound, rhythm, and patterns and that you could let the rhythm of the fires dance within you. This fleeting time in August would be a good time to go outside. Let the light of the Moon and the Sun be your candle flames this time.

First, gather your materials.

  • Bread, or cookie, or cracker: something that contains wheat.
  • Water: clear, fresh, cool: just enough to take a sip or two.

Next, focus on the process.

  • Go outside.
  • Find a field where wild greenery is growing. Pick a single stalk of grass, with a seed head, if possible. Or a clover. Or an unknown green being, small and unassuming. Thank it for giving its life to your working. Pluck it and carry it with you while you work.
  • Find a space where you can see the sunlight or moonlight. Make yourself comfortable and allow time to flow without pressure.
  • Listen: can you heard birds singing? Cicadas chirping? Lawn sprinklers running? Children playing? Or, silence? Tune in.
  • Smell: can you smell grass that had been mowed recently? Bar-b-que cooking in the neighborhood?
  • Taste: can you remember cold ice-cream on your tongue? Or slurping cold watermelon when you were a kid and had been playing outdoors all day on a long-gone summer?
  • Touch: can you feel the sun warming your skin? Or the feel of the bench you are sitting on? Or the feel of sand-grass-ground-tarmac? What can you touch with your finger-tips? With your toe-tips? Take note. Try to remember.
  • Sight: Look around. See sunlight or moonlight that has reached you from untold thousands of miles away and can still illuminate our tiny little planet in the cosmos. This light has passed through darkness to reach this planet, and this spot on the earth. Remember this miracle.

As you anchor yourself into a particular time and place through your senses, it is time to un-tether and reach out to the infinity of time-no-time. Take up your blade of grass that has also reached out to the sunlight so that it may live. It requires photosynthesis to thrive; it breathes in our exhaled carbon dioxide and breathes our oxygen, so that we may live. We are an integral and intricate part of the web of life. Look at the grass, touch it, smell it, listen as you rub your fingers on it, and if it is safe to do so, touch it to your tongue and taste it.

Lay the grass on the ground. Pour a drop of water on it. Let it begins its decomposition and its return to the earth so that the cycle will continue.

Take your container of water. Hold it up to the sunlight or moon light. Look at the light through the water, let it be permeated. Then drink the water, knowing you are drinking in the infinite light that has traveled thousands of miles through darkness to reach you.

Take up your piece of bread. Remember that this is made of grain, that had recently been green and growing. Now it has been harvested, threshed, ground, mixed, and then subjected to flame so that it became nourishing bread. Eat some of the bread and leave some of the bread on the ground so that small creatures may share in the bounty of the earth, and let it begins its decomposition.

At this time of between-times, ending of summer and beginning of fall, the cross-quarter between the equinox and solstice, remember that you are at a cross-road. The light will be waning, the heat will be lessening. The Wheel will turn. Remember Beltane. Look forward to Samhain. Who were you then: Who will you will become? As the great Beatle Paul McCartney, said: “Let it Be.”

“Find a part of yourself hidden in the twilight.”
– Fennel Hudson –

Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat

” Every Posture Is a Journey Not a Destination “

Gazing up to the floating clouds across the sky, a well known summer amusement while lounging in a hammock in your own back yard or at the beach. How many generations have been settling in among fields of flora and looking up to wonderment. So many conversations have revolved around the clouds, their color and shapes against the atmosphere. It is a convivial pastime that stirs up the imagination. Where some may see a face, others see a country or accessory or instrument. There is such a range of possible perceptions, yet our mind tends to automatically search for familiarity. We play along, reach out, interpret, and look for meanings in random patterns. Imagery is used all the time, Psychologists and doctors would say this could be classified as apophenia or pareidolia. Mystics, magicians, shamans, healers and the like utilize this method for divination work. Yogi’s (myself included) use it on our yoga mats.

Many have heard the comparison, “Our minds are like the sky, our thoughts like the weather (or clouds)”. It is a lovely proverb for those with running “monkey mind”. Like so many, the constant barrage of thoughts is quite irritating, especially when I am settling into a meditation or yoga practice. Imagery, similies, metaphors are wonderful tools that can appeal to our senses and can focus the mind. Hearing the name or description of a posture, tends to pull my attention away from work, the list of chores, and when my friend is going to call. It steers my thoughts.

As much as I appreciate learning Sanskrit, English is of course, initially easier to visualize. Many postures already have a commonly used and recognized modern name such as the mountain pose, downward facing dog, or corpse pose. This imagery can do more than help shift my body into the posture. It can direct my journey.

So in mountain pose, with my arms down at my sides, I will think of the word, mountain. What it is? A protruding piece of mother earth. Elevated land, standing tall, regal, proud. How does my body reflect this posture? My outstretched arms extending down, like a cascading range. What is the weather or energy surrounding my mountain? What energy is attached to me that I have brought to my practice? What shall I let drain down my sides. Will my work day roll off from my tense shoulder peaks? Am I standing tall, erect beneath my own transpersonal chakra, connected to my divine peak.

I no longer berate myself if I hear a posture and my mind continues on thinking about it. The names are inroads and I find running with the imagery can lead to my own wonderful experiences and insights.

I was never really crazy about bridge pose. It is not hard for me, I can appreciate the posture as a counter stretch to other work, but it is not my favorite. Recent experiences have changed my opinion. Now, when I hear the word bridge, a journey begins. A bridge is a link, it spans and connects things. New correspondences come to mind. I can use this posture as a reminder to connect the various parts of myself, my lower, middle, and upper self. Bridge pose can be my reminder to take what I learn while in meditation off the mat, connecting my spiritual path with all endeavors. What else should I bridge? What parts of my life can benefit from the contemplative, receptive stage I move into while doing yoga?

There is a posture while seated on the floor, feet on the floor in front of you, legs bent, knees up, and hands on the floor in back of you offering support. The asana involves moving and lowering your knees to the left and then to the right, back and forth. You often hear, like windshield wipers. Perfect simile! This moving asana is usually done after harder work and postures, perhaps involving the legs, core or back. And so a gentle, moving stretch can shake off any residual back or leg discomfort; just as windshield wipers disperse unwanted rain. Next thing you know, your channels are clear again, you have open, blue skies.

Finding my own connections is part of my journey and path, but I have found it so helpful when a yoga instructor uses imagery. There is a great instructor that I only get to see once a year at a retreat. Towards the beginning of class, as we are slowly moving and loosening the body, she will say to listen to what your body needs. “Move in a way that feels like chocolate ” and just like looking up at the clouds, it resonates and speaks to everyone.…..Namaste…. M.Q.

First Steps on the Seeker’s Path

This month’s post reflects the need I feel to offer up reminder about our place in the greater whole of humanity. Domestically and globally, division is reeking havoc and where we should be mindful of our humanity and collective community, attention is drawn to our over magnified differences. I hope this offering will settle into your core for further thought…. 

Flowing Into Community

Strip away the masks
Strip away the illusions
Strip away the isolation
Strip away the desperation.

Strip away the bright joys
And the sorrow filled
Victories of darkened soul.

Break me down in surrender
Strip away the flesh
And render me further
Still to hollow bone.

I will still have
What connects me to
The conscious whole.

I will always have the
Refined and informed self
I have tested and diligently
Trained on the embattled
Fields of community
And interwoven paths.

Despite all that may
Be taken away I will
Always have the sweet
Memory of my humanity.

How do you define “humanity”? What is your contribution to the collective space of humanity? How does your spiritual path support this definition and contributions?

For me the word “humanity” means many things. It is the collective species of humans of which I am a part. And, it is the action of expressing those human qualities in a way that is in alignment with all parts of myself. This second definition is the one that I most often get hung up on. Finding my humanity in my emotional self means being able to understand how my responses form the base from which I interact (or react to) with others. Finding my humanity in my actions means accepting the consequences for those actions and than relying on informed decision before proceeding. Finding my humanity in my thoughts requires that I am open and aware of the balance between rationale and logic and creative inspiration. Finding my humanity as I manifest, possess, and leave my physical “human” imprint in the world demands that I honor and respect my physical form, world and state of being as the tool I have been in the lifetime. And, looking at the connectivity of these definitions cycles back to the first definition of the collective species of humans.

This is the greater responsibility of exploring the defining properties of your own humanity. Now, for me this, thins brings to mind another thought. I see this process of definition intimately connected to the simple (yes, I did use that word in association with the next statement) pursuit of defining your life’s purpose. This is where it gets a bit tricky; although if we were able to continually be in alignment with our higher selves – ALL of this would be a moot point. I like to think of the seeking and self-inquiry that I engage in in revealing my intention (life’s purpose) in this lifetime is one of contributing to humanity by virtue of my place within it.

The more I learn of myself, the more I can identify and resonate with in others. Everyday that I acknowledge my physical self and the gifts of being able to express myself through all of my elements and parts is a deposit into the bank of humanity. And, to the last question about how my spiritual path supports this. Because I have chosen a path that seeks community and common experience and does its work, even as a solitary practitioner, with the intention and realization that we are interconnected to all life, humanity by default is part of the work of that path. We seek to individualized and yet to also remain cognizant of our place in the collective whole. Our strivings are those of living our spiritual truths 24/7-365 days a year, making those achievements gained the pearls of wisdom that reveal the true nature of our spiritual self. Humanity flexes its muscles and stretches reaching towards the limits with each act of kindness. And, although many would not agree, I think humanity learns the boundaries of overstep and force in each act of injustice. As humans this is how we learn and grow and although unpleasant in some instances, many times these actions that show humanity at its less than desirable, gives rise to something productive and uplifting from the depths of adversity.

So, I will hold myself accountable each day for how I chose to express my humanity and offer up gratitude for the experience of being human.
(Excerpted from: The Light of SELF. Available here..)

In conclusion…

“The redness had seeped from the day and night was arranging herself around us. Cooling things down, staining and dyeing the evening purple and blue black.”
– Sue Monk Kidd –

Musings From the Mystic Path is published monthly by Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW.

Editor: R. Fennelly, HPs, CMP, ASW
Columnists: L. B., Tesseract and India Amour, Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat
Contributors: Membership/Petitioners  of Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW

All rights reserved and maintained as intellectual property of the author. If you would like to re-publish any content herein, permission should be obtained and proper citation given to the author.

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted
Art: The Sacrifice of the Harvest- DeepBlueRenegade on Deviant Art

For more information about the contents of the newsletter and/or our coven:

Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW or email: hpsmysticpath@yahoo.com

Posted in August 2018 | Tagged | 1 Comment

July2018:Let’s Explore!

Vol. 3 – Issue 3

Musings From the Mystic Path
The Month of July

Welcome to July, vacation time and eagerness to explore.  This issue is a light reading little gift inspiring you to get outdoors and breathe in the strength and beauty of this July weather. Tessearact honors silence and a call to the Hero’s Journey and Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat takes you step by step through the practice of Sun Salutations.

I’ve decided to take a another break this month with the Seeker’s on the Path column, with unexpected projects looming large and attempts to just simply “be”.  Put on the sunscreen, find your favorite outdoor spot and drink in all of the pleasures of July.

” No matter what people tell you, words and ideas
can change change the world!”
– Robin Williams –

Featured Writings

Dancing Lights

by Celestine

Gentle warmth surrounds me as darkness claims the day.
A contented hush falls o’er the land – that’s when they come out to play!

Twinkling, twirling, sparkling, swirling, a vision, oh so bold!
Playful, joyous, exuberant and glorious, wondrous to behold!

The Fireflies are speaking, lighting up the inky night,
Darting here, floating there, in graceful, intricate flight.

Night begins to deepen as La Luna lights the sky.
Gentle moonbeams beckon, dancing lights begin to rise.

Twinkling in the heavens, sparkling down below,
Lightening bugs or distant stars, who am I to know?

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m Possible!”
– Audrey Hepburn –

Office Magick

by Robin

I work in an office setting and over the years I have tried to be creative in the ways I could enhance my learning, practice my craft and offer devotion while at work. Since setting up an overtly Wiccan altar on my desk is not an option, I‘ve devised discreet ways in which I could have the important components of my belief system visible yet indiscernible to any who are not on the same wave length.

I spend most of my day on the computer and at one point for many years my boss and I shared the same office space. She did not particularly care for music of any kind and I have music running through my veins. Additionally, there would often be (distracting) meetings and phone calls that I had no choice in listening to. My solution was a set of headphones and an arsenal of CD’s. Now these weren’t just any CD’s, but rather were a variety of pagan music artists, active meditations and pathworkings or instructional audio. Having had five children under five, I consider myself an adept at the art of multitasking and selective listening. This fulfilled my wanting to experience sound (vibration) that would be spiritually supportive and believe it or not, also is great practice for partitioned focus- something good magickal practice often requires.

My eldest daughter is an artist of spiritual and mystical paintings. So whenever I was able I had either a small picture or photo of her work on my desk. Notecards and greeting cards from a new age and wiccan store filled in at creating small pockets of visual focus on my desk. She gave a me a painting of an Egyptian Priestess (she had a vision that it had been me in a previous lifetime) for my birthday and it graces my wall as reminder of the pantheon I frequently work with.

A small book of Rumi’s poems is my daily morning read before I start work. It is small in size, large in inspiration and fits nicely in my desk drawer. Some years I have purchased “quote bank” desk calendars or something similar that I used as a quick meditation tool each morning to start my day and keep track of appointments and meetings.

I weave a bit of color magick into my day in the selection of the color of the clothes I am wearing or in the colors of the highlighters, pens or folders I use in my work. In honor of the elements, I have elemental related items placed on my desk or window in their appropriate corners. A feather (found on a lunchtime walk) sits in the East- a small Lava Lamp sits in the South- a Desk Fountain sits in the West and a small pine cone (another lunch walk find) sits in the North.
       

To celebrate the seasons and the Sabbats, a small vase of flowers, pine cones picked up from a walk, seashells or dollar store snowmen sit on my desk tucked into the corner, but in eyesight. I use oils as my perfume of choice and the small roll on vials of Egyptian Musk, Dragon’s Blood, Frankincense, Nag Champa or Tunisian Myrrh fit in my desk drawer and offer brief excursions into the feelings of this ritual or that working as needed, in addition to their calming, purifying and balancing attributes.

Lunchtime offers opportunity to walk and get outdoors to commune with the Sun and nature. A 15 min. walk can rejuvenate and cleanse the buildup from closed off indoor spaces nicely and can become a meditation to center your breathing and your connection to earth and sky. I also find souvenirs along the way to bring back into my office space; remember the pine cones and feather on my desk! I usually use my lunch time to write, read or prep for workshops or ritual and doing so outside when weather permits enhancing the creative flow.

For several years, I was fortunate enough to offer a weekly lunchtime meditation for some co-workers and myself. Everyone looked forward to it and I enjoyed the feeling of service, connection and the creative aspects of setting up visually beautiful settings to begin each meditation. You would be surprised at how many people might be on board with setting some time aside for this practice.

There have been special occasions when I was doing a specific working and I would bring in a small crystal to anchor the energy or a sigil drawn on a small index card discreetly placed under folders or my keyboard. These largely went unnoticed or simply received the comment of “how beautiful”.

I think part of what makes our path so rich in diversity and style is the freedom to be creative. The sensibilities and responsiveness to be able to problem solve and work magick that is effective but can still remain within the confines of where you are able to perform it and what you have to work with. The beauty is held in the ability to empower ordinary objects with the vision and responsiveness of the finest magickal tool. I think these are some of the things that make the pagan path flexible, sustainable and something that can truly be as interwoven into the 24/7 365 days mantra. Here’s to the creativity of the God and Goddess that courses through all of us!

“Motivation comes from working
on things we care about.”
– Sheryl Sandberg –

 

Hold My Hand

by T.S.

Reach down and hold on
I have strength enough for us all.

Weave your fingery roots through mine
And I promise that we’ll be able
To hold our ground.

Dig a little deeper into the soil
And that will anchor and brace us.

Reach out and grab on
We will hold tight in any storm.

After all, that is what a community does for its own!

“Motivation comes from working
on things we care about.”
– Sheryl Sandberg –

The Solar Connection

by A.B.

We feel the power of the sun’s energy upon us both daily and throughout the year. If we consider not only the physical considerations of the Sun as the central planet of our solar system, but also look from a magickal and metaphysical perspective the attributes that we associate with solar energy are all pervasive in our daily experience.

The Sun is connected to the chakra (energetic center) which is located centrally within our body, the solar plexus. It is from this point that we generate and release energy. It is from this central location that when we are engaged in spiritual practice that we feel the beginning stirrings of the rise of that energy. This is the place of energetic awakening and return.

You could think of the solar plexus as being the sustainer (of aroused energy), the life and light bearer (energy produces light and a new state of being) and that which warms (energy produces heat) and promotes growth (energy moves us from one state of being to an expanded and enhanced state of awareness). Spend some time this month out in the sunlight, and be sure to use SUNSCREEN! Visualize the sun enlivening the spark of sun within you.

“Spread LOVE everywhere you go!”
–  Mother Teresa –

Focus On…

Tesseract
The Intersection of Moon Phase, Astrology, Elemental Energy, and Magick


by Ionlanthe

Here we are, reveling in the glorious summer month of July. Even as we are drenched with sunlight, I want to remember the darkness that is also present. We will meet the dark time of the Moon on July 12 and the Moon will be in her full illumination on July 27. Even if we won’t be able to see them, there will be two eclipses in this month. There will a partial solar eclipse in July 13 that will be visible in the southern part of Australia and in Antarctica. And there will be a total lunar eclipse on July 27; this will be visible to viewers in Europe, Africa, Asia, and western Australia.

We just recently celebrated our Summer Solstice, when we enjoy the most amount of daylight hours. In the southern hemisphere, they are enjoying their Winter Solstice season. They have more hours of darkness than daylight each day, right now. While we are in light, they are in darkness; while the Moon is full, it will be in shadowy eclipse there. While the sun rides in the sky, there will be a shadow on its face, at least for a moment.

We cannot exist only in the light; we cannot exist only in the dark. We need both; sometimes we live more in light, and sometimes more in darkness. There are lessons to be learned in both areas: diving deep and resurfacing, again and again, are ways we can have personal rebirths.

I have been thinking of silence. Silence has many meanings; the two that I am thinking of are first, literally quiet surroundings: with no voices, music, traffic, bird song, machinery, all the indicators of living in a modern, bustling city. This is hard to find, maybe even impossible. And, secondly, personal silence. What does it mean when I am silent? Is this chosen, or imposed? Am I being quiet for self-protection, or because I don’t have someone I want to talk to, as this moment? Mindfulness meditation is helping me tune into awareness of my own inner (incessant) chatter. What would personal silence mean? Is it an inner stillness, or is it an avoidance of revelation? I found this quote that gave me thought:

“Silence is a power because it keeps what’s tender, what’s vulnerable, away from scrutiny, criticism, dismissal, interruption, and exile…Silence is a power, yes, but when does silence turn upon its keeper and become the captor? When does it inhibit the natural impulse to speak, the urge to sing, the longing to contribute? …When does silence stop us from fulfilling our purpose, or making connections with others?”
Toko-pa Turner, from “Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home”

At this time of fullness, and contraction, light and dark, noise and silence, let us strive to find an inner balance with all of these influences. At the time of the new Moon, it will be in Cancer, a cardinal water sign. This is a combination that strongly emphasizes starting on an emotional journey, stepping out on a new path of discovery of your Self. Go inward, plumb the depths, swim deeper than you thought you could into your inner landscape: find what has been hidden or silent. Do you want to reveal this self to others? To yourself? Speak up, or keep silent.

It is up to you. Discover what there is to find, and then decide what to bring up to the light. It is in your power. And it is the ultimate Hero’s Journey of exploration, challenge, and transformation. A magickal working that may aid this hero’s journey is one that involves a seashell, a candle, a clear glass of water, and a bell. First, assemble your ritual materials:

  • Small seashell
  • Yellow Candle
  • Water in a clear glass
  • A bell, or a singing bowl, or a wind chime made of metal

Place these materials on a table with a lighter near the candle, which is at the back of the table. The water is in front of the candle, and the shell is on the left side of the candle and the bell is on the right side, as you face the candle.

The seashell is made by a creature of the sea from elements drawn from their own bodies; shells serve as their protection. What you hold when you hold a seashell in your hand is the former home of a living creature. Seashells represent earth and water.
The yellow candle stands for sunlight; it represents fire and air. Water in a clear glass represents Cancer’s watery influence. And, A bell, or a singing bowl, or a metal wind chime represents the yin/yang of sound/silence; it represents earth, since metal is drawn up from the earth, and air, because sound travels through air.

Then, perform the ritual….

Begin with grounding and centering. Notice your breath: bring it to your awareness. Slow down your breath; take a moment of peace. When you are ready, take a seat before your assembled materials. Light the candle. Sit in silence and watch the candle flame. Think of warmth, fire, sunlight, moon light, long summer days, heat, rising. After a few moments, pick up the shell. Think of how the shell came up from the sea, where it had held a sea creature within it. The sea creature created the shell; the shell protected the sea creature. Now it remains as a thing of beauty, with gradation of colors, perhaps stripes and various textures. Think of the coldness of the sea, the hidden depths, the eternal swelling of the tides, going deep. Would it be silent, if you were to dive into the ocean’s depths? Once the shell held a life; now it is a thing apart.

When you are ready, put down the shell. Pick up the glass of water. Look at the water in the glass, then through the water. Look at the candle flame through the prism of the water: has the flame changed when you look at it differently? Have you changed, by diving into the water? Drink the water, slowly. Think of how our home planet Earth is primarily composed of water. Think of your own body; it, too, is comprised primarily of water. What energies are moved through your body as you drink the water?

When you are finished, put down the glass. Pick up bell (or chime or singing bowl). Take a moment to notice what sounds are around you. Are you inside a building? Are there other people in this building? Can you hear them? Or, are you outside? Do you hear bird song, or traffic? What ever you can hear, acknowledge the sounds, then let them go. Activate the sound of your bell. Let it ring out. Disrupt the silence or the surrounding sounds with your own sound. Let the sound reverberate outward and onward, out into the cosmos. Let your sound ring out. Listen. Keep on listening until the sound you have made has faded away and you cannot hear it any longer. Put down the bell.

Give yourself a moment of recognition of your journey. You have traveled deep into the ocean, out into space. You have opened to the light and gone into the dark. You have embraced silence, and you have rung out your song. Blow out the candle. Your journey is complete. ….So Mote It Be!

“Each person must live their life
as a model for others”
– Rosa Parks –

Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat

” Every Posture Is a Journey Not a Destination “

Summer! A sunny, leisurely time marked by a whimsical onslaught of sensations.
Delightful sounds of awe and merriment, the birds morning calls, children’s laughter, music from an ice cream truck, a thunderstorm, the evening symphony of cicadas or lullaby of crickets.

The aromas of fragrant wisteria and jasmine. The garden landscapes of bright wild flowers, hibiscus and crepe myrtles or mid day sunbeams filtering down through a cool forest canopy. Summer also has an ongoing feast for your palate.From carnival food at summertime festivals to clam bakes and cookouts to crisp garden veggies.

These warm months are a time of flourishing activity. Despite all the engagements and errands and chores; summertime conversely ushers in many moments of quiet respite. From the lull of the ocean to a swinging hammock, it is the season of siestas. Daytime naps quickly recharge us. For another boost, try exploring a few rounds of yoga known as the Sun Salutations.

As the name suggests, these are a set of postures that began as prayers to the sun. How apropos! Each salutation consists of 12 poses designed to warm up all parts of your body, just like the sun on a warm day.

To View a Video: Click Here…Traditional Sun Salutation (Brooklyn Yoga School)

How To:

Begin by standing tall, at the top of your mat with your feet hip distance apart, weight evenly distributed. Find your center and your intention.

Inhale and lift your outstretched arms up sideways, through the air. Imagine gathering all the Suns brilliance into your being. Once your hands meet above your head, pull them down along with the summertime heat and light into a prayer mudras at your heart center. Arrive into your body and once again, reaffirm your intention.

Next is a forward fold, diving down into your practice. You may need to bend the knees, remember to listen and honor your own body. Exhale as you bow down to the sun, to your mat and yourself. Release any face and neck tension.

Inhale, lift and send your right foot back so that you are in a lunge. Gentle fingertips on the ground, lifting your upper body, your heart forward and open, your sides long, legs strong. This can be a challenging position; however try not to shy away. Use your breathe to fill in any tight spaces that need a stretch. Accept the challenge and feel the heat starting to build.

Next, with your hands on your mat, beneath your shoulders; Inhale your left foot back to meet your right so that your body is in a plank position. Your spine and torso straight, strong core, your body mirroring your mat. You are now a reflection of your practice. Adept? Agile? Now, feel this throughout your length.

Exhale and lower your knees, chest, and chin to the mat, the 8 point salute or Ashtanga Namaskara. This position builds strength as you prepare for cobra pose. Remember the power of your breathe. Integrate balance and movement with your breathe for a seamless dance.

Continue on into cobra pose, sliding your torso forward and up. Elbows bent to start and toes tucked under, eventually with powerful legs as energetic conduits, your hips will be able to remain off the ground. Remember the fluidity of your spine. Pull the heart through so that it faces upwards in an open receptive position.

Exhale, roll your toes over and lift your hips into downward dog. This position can be a place of respite! Take 5 cycles of breathe. With strong core and legs, push against the earth with your arms. Weight equally distributed. Back to intention, appreciation, reflection, receptivity as you cloak your mat. You are the creator and such is your practice.

On your next inhale, lift your right foot forward back into a lunge. I am always so very aware of my lower chakras in this position. With my hips stretching open, I take the effort to release any stagnant energy that has accumulated at those lower center points.

Exhale and bring your left foot forward to meet your right at the top of your mat and bend over into another forward fold. Perhaps now, with the body warmed, your knees will be more straight, allowing your upper torso more length. Send your breathe into the back of your ribs. Feel energy continue to rise up through the arches in the feet. With powerful grace, rise up into standing.

Continue on into a slight back bend with a forward pelvis and opened chest. Your arms have followed your breathe and circled upwards as well. What a fantastic counter stretch!

Exhale and release back into mountain pose. Your arms at your heart center in prayer position and you are now full of powerful radiant heat. Continue to do another set, this time, lunging back with the left leg.

Sun salutations can also be done as a warmup for a longer practice on your mat. But, even if you only do a couple rounds, what a way to honor your own divine, radiant light! …..Namaste…. M.Q.

First Steps on the Seeker’s Path

I’m taking this month off to renew and refine what is needed for the next half of the year.  Go outside in the brilliant light, greet the Sun. Sit in the shade and feel the quiet rest that rejuvenates. Walk a path of green and fill each step as a meditation in greeting the Earth Mother. Savor the sweetness of family, friends and time that languishes in the enveloping warm embrace of Summer’s bounty.

In conclusion…

“We must be willing to let go of the
life we planned so as to have the
life that is waiting for us.”
– Joseph Campbell –

Upcoming Events – 2018

July 29th
Celebration of the First Harvest

The Harvest of Sacrifice

Join Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW and Weavers of the Moon Fire, ASW in a special celebration of the First Harvest of Lammas. We will call to Lugh and to the Dark Mother, Hecate as we offer up our sacrifice of the harvest so that we may be strengthened as the light wanes and the winter approaches. For more information. Click here…

Musings From the Mystic Path is published monthly by Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW.

Editor: R. Fennelly, HPs, CMP, ASW
Columnists: L. B., Tesseract and India Amour, Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat
Contributors: Membership/Petitioners  of Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW

All rights reserved and maintained as intellectual property of the author. If you would like to re-publish any content herein, permission should be obtained and proper citation given to the author.

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted
Office Magick: ‘The Priestess” by Caitlin Fennelly
Photos: Hold My Hand/Office Magick-R.Fennelly

For more information about the contents of the newsletter and/or our coven:

Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW or email: hpsmysticpath@yahoo.com

Posted in July 2018, Volume Three

June2018-Let the Sun Shine!

Vol. 3 – Issue 2

Musings From the Mystic Path

The Month of June

Welcome to June and longer days of sunlight, heat and outdoor adventures. We weathered a particularly intense Winter and Spring was a long time coming. But, now, there is no doubt that Summer Sun is shining down enlivening and quickening our spirits and bodies.

Our issue for this month is reflective of that enlivening and focused light. In the Featured Writings section an article about polarities will give you pause to consider all that interacts within and around us in tandem and opposition with one another. Tesseract offers guidelines for creating a Prosperity bottle and Journey’s on the Yogi’s Magick Mat speaks to the practice of fiery Kundalini Yoga.

I’ve decided to take a break this month with the Seeker’s on the Path column and spend some time outside renewing and just breathing from an overly packed schedule. So, take us on the go and get yourself outside and connect with sunny nature. Happy June!

“June has never looked more beautiful than she does now, unadorned and honest, vulnerable yet invincible.” 
– Marie Lu –

Featured Writings

Graceful Beauty

by Celestine

Gently, you approach, strolling quietly through the trees.

Slender legs carefully carry you around obstacles in your path.

You pause and listen, ears twitching as you search for danger.

The wind carries only the familiar sounds of the forest to you;
Comforted you continue to amble down the path.

Lush green leaves catch you eye and you stop to taste them.

A patch of soft grass beckons, blades fluttering gently in the breeze, and you stop to rest.

Eyes closed you turn your face to the sun, basking peacefully in the gentle heat.

You are blissfully unaware of the voyeur admiring you through the window; contentedly sharing this moment of sublime peace with you.

A branch cracks loudly, startling us both out of our revery.

In a flash you are up and running, agilely leaping over logs and rocks as you bound back up the trail, heading deeper into the woods.

Soon you are hidden from my sight, your graceful beauty but a memory in my mind.

“Be well my friend,” I quietly call to you. “May you always feel safe in this land we share. Be well and come back again!”

“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the fragrant grassy hillside.” 
– Maud Lovelace –

Polarities

by L.B.

I have been thinking about polarities lately. I came across something that asserted that it is better to give than receive and I found that I had a visceral reaction: no, it is not better! So I spend some time thinking on this topic and here are some of my thoughts on giving/receiving and other polarities this brings to my mind.

Give/Receive
It is better to give than receive, or so it says in the Christian Bible (Acts 20:35). According to this approach, we ought to give (of ourselves, or our time, or some material goods) so that we would be blessed. In other words, earning our Brownie points and so that we may ultimately end up in Heaven. That is why we do good, isn’t it, for the final outcome?

I question this premise. To me, the idea that it is better to give than receive negates both the giver (as if the gift were given only to earn blessings), and the receiver (who is there only to make the giver feel good about himself). This is an unequal power dynamic in this scenario, as if the receiver were an empty and passive vessel awaiting the gifts the giver feels like giving, to the larger benefit of the giver: after all, an eternal reward outweighs the momentary delight of the present being given, right?

Active/Passive
Some use these attributes as equivalent: passive, receptive, accepting: Female
And these: active, offering, giving: Male
It is the act of offering and giving that is bestows blessings in this ancient saying. I say that the act of receiving is also a source of blessings. To be passive and receptive is to be open, accepting, and willing to take what is offered: this is trust and to me, this is of at least an equal value to giving.

Light/Dark
Sweat lodge: Dark; interior / Full moon healing ritual: light, exposed.

I have experienced sweat lodges in three different locations. My first sweat lodge was at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival in a small town in western Michigan. It was held by a Native American woman; it was, as far as I know, a traditional Native sweat lodge. It was some 25 years ago. What I remember was that the fire was lit, the stones were heated, we chanted, then the hot stones were brought into the lodge and then we entered with the water pourer. After we all entered, the fire tender came in with us. And we stayed in the lodge until we (and the ceremony) was finished. One could say what one wanted to, when one wanted to. It was crowded and hot and revealing and dark and sweaty and dirty. And I was hooked. I loved every minute of it. I loved being stripped raw of clothing, inhibitions, uncertainty, the idea that my precious wounds and worries were mine alone. I felt a commonality with those who endured the lodge with me: we were willing to work hard to let go of pain. I emerged, changed, tired, relieved, and ready to accept that I, too, have courage.

The next sweat lodge I attended was some 20 years later. It was at Seelie Court and it was run by water pourers and fire tenders who had been trained in traditional sweat lodge protocol and adapted with Wiccan protocols developed by people within the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel. These sweats are not officially part of the ASW. I have been attending Sweat Lodge at Seelie Court for about 8 years, either sweating inside the lodge during the ceremony, or helping the fire tenders and water pourers with various tasks, such as fetching kindling, fire wood, water, washing towels, whatever needed to be done to assist.

I have also participated in sweat lodge at Free Spirit Gathering, and free-wheeling gathering of people walking all kinds of paths, such as wiccans, heathens, druids, pagans, vodouisants, santeras, polytheists, monotheists, pantheists, atheists, etc., according to their web site. This sweat lodge took place on a hot day in June. The Seelie Court sweat lodges are typically held during the winter months. It was more of a physical challenge than I liked: it was not possible to cool off adequately after the sweat.

The interior of sweat lodges is dark; at the ones held at Seelie Court, attempts are made so that not a crack in the covering lets in outside light. The only light is from the glow of the hot stones centered in the fire pit. It is the light within the dark. It is not physically possible to see the other participants who are sharing that day’s sweat lodge with you. Before we enter the Lodge, we had seen the fire being laid, built up, ignited, and tended. We had blessed the stones and put then into the fire to heat up. We had seen the fire blaze up, but we enter into the darkness when we enter the sweat lodge.

It is in darkness that we chant to the elements, hear the words of the water pourer, and then begin the rounds of sharing, each of which is blessed by an element: air, fire, water, earth, spirit. We ask for help in turn for letting go of what no longer serves us, and how to gain that which we need in the next step in our individual journeys. We pass the talking stone between us; when one holds the stone, that person speaks and the others are silent. When one is finished speaking, they pass the talking stone to the next person in the circle. Sometimes it is hard to find the hand of the next person: you have to reach out and find them in the darkness. Someone it there, reaching out to you, and the connection is made. The stone is passed and then the next person speaks.

After each round at the Seelie Court sweats, the blanket that covers the entrance is lifted so that fresh air can come in, the water gourd is refilled, and more hot stones can be brought in to refill the center stone pit. And we can see light for a few moments. Then the blanket is pulled down and the entrance is closed, and we are together in the dark.

The sweat lodge experience is for me, one of going inward. Diving deep into myself: no one can see me cry or look anxious. It is possible to forget who is in lodge with me since all I have to identify them is the sound of their voice and their spiritual energy, which is being transformed moment by moment by participating in the Sweat Lodge. Sometimes I forget where I am in terms of place and time: I am in the dark, surrendering to trust, the elements, the ancient ones: the stones who give their lives in service to the sweat lodge; the water pourer, the fire tenders, and Spirit. All I have to do is be present in the moment, open myself up, and let in, accept, receive the healing. This vulnerability brings me to power. My Self, all of my selves, are stepping into personal power through this stripping down into rawness. This passivity, receptivity, openness, are my power. I am reborn, each time I enter and emerge from the Sweat Lodge, the cauldron of rebirth.

I attended my first full moon healing ritual in March 2018. This ritual was presented by Grail of the Birch Moon, a coven within the ASW. This ritual was held on the night when a full moon rose in the sky. The altars were decorated with cloths recognizing the elements and candles were lit. A cauldron rested on the center altar. It contained darkness within the light of the ritual. The intent was to help each of us to lift ourselves and each other to the moon’s healing light. I witnessed some people go before me, to expose their desire for healing, to be willing to be assisted in that healing, to be lifted to the light of the full Moon in her glory.

When it was my turn, I gathered up my courage, and stated that I wanted healing with being able to move from being a victim to being present, and not even being a survivor, but to be able to be here, now, and be myself fully. I exposed a vulnerability in that I admitted that I was a survivor of some trauma, that I felt trapped in that past identity, and that I wanted to move forward into a state of Being, simply Being, and I asked for help. The community that was gathered together chanted, sent healing energy to me, and lifted me up to the full Moon’s light. I felt transformed: later that week, I signed up to return to my college campus for my 40-year reunion, the first I will have attended, since I avoided the campus since I experienced an assault there when I was there as an undergraduate student. As a sister in my Coven reminded me, I stepped into my power by doing this.

For me, being receptive and open brought me to a place of personal empowerment. It was good, too, to be giving in participating in sharing energy with the others who were asking for healing. And it has been good for me to go inward, into the darkness of the Sweat Lodge, and outward, into the light of the Moon. Active, passive. Giving, receiving. Light, darkness. Polarities are not opposites, they are points on a balance beam that pivots on a fulcrum. Each is necessary to the other, neither can exist without the other. It is not better to give than to receive: it is better to bring both into one’s life. This is a power dynamic, and a powerful one. So mote it be.

“At midnight, in the month of June, I stand
beneath the mystic moon.”
– Edgar Allen Poe –

Summer’s Kiss

by A.B.

The heat blazes down like
Lava finding its course from
Molten mouth that gapes wide
Open in a fiery yawn.

Sweat forms like a strand of pearls
Around my neck and forehead
I feel alive and powerful
I am pulsing with life that is
Both hot and sweet in its embrace.

I surrender to the flow of warmth
As strength and vitality move through me
Etching out their course in wet furrow
Of brow and shoulder blade.

The sun hangs overhead in full glory
No eyes may see its blinding beauty
We turn away and close lids that are
Still not able to veil its mysteries.

The heat blazes all around and
All of the world rejoices in Summer’s kiss.

“Keep your face to the sun and you will
never see the shadows.”

– Helen Keller –

The Mantle of Breath

by Starfire

How can I keep me and mine safe? How can I call forth a protection for myself or my loved ones? What do I hold dear and true? I ponder and think on that and think hard on how I want these dear ones to be safe in this world. Keep myself grounded, centered and when I find myself out of kilter. I begin to breathe, slowly, deeply and remember, it all begins with the breath.

My many teachers keep bringing me back to this truth. It all begins with the breath. That is how I center, how I bring earth and celestial energy into myself, allowing it to mix together, and ground me in the here and now. Breath is what keeps supplying oxygen, so I continue to live.

Breath is how life begins and losing life, how it ends. Breath is what kindles the embers back into a flame, when more fuel is added to the fires. Breath is what sustains, when it is necessary to exhale sharply, and bite back a stinging retort. Breath is what is blown into a soap bubble to bring joy to a child’s face, no matter what age that child is. Breath simply is….

I breathe, ground and center and I begin to send out layers of shields, to wrap around myself, allowing positive energy to penetrate them and repelling the negative energy. Be aware, breathe and listen to the symphony that is life, listen to the inhalations and the exhalations of the universe. Breathe.

 

“Peacefully
 The quiet stars came out, one after one;
The holy twilight fell upon the sea,
The summer day was done.” 
–  Celia Thaxter –

Focus On…

Tesseract
The Intersection of Moon Phase, Astrology, Elemental Energy, and Magick

by Ionlanthe

And so we arrive at June. Welcome to warmth, sunshine, blooming flowers, moist air. Open windows, more free time. Squishy mud underfoot after a spring rain. Frogs courting, loudly, in puddles. Time to celebrate the Solstice, the day that marks the beginning of summer. Summer Solstice is one of the quarter days of the Wheel of the Year: Spring and Fall Equinoxes are when day light and night time are of equal length, and the Summer and Winter Solstices are the longest and shortest days in terms of the amount of time the shining sun is visible to us.
At 6:07 am on June 21 2018, the summer solstice begins. We will have 15 hours and 35 seconds of daylight. After this one day, the amount of daylight decreases incrementally until we arrive at the Winter Solstice, during which we will have just over 9 hours of daylight. And so the wheel turns, never ending….
This year, the summer solstice will arrive while the Moon is one day past its first quarter phase; it will be waxing gibbous and in the cardinal air sign of Libra. This expanding Moon light reflects the expanding sun light with the influence of Libra’s love of shining light on new ideas, new possibilities, the potentialities of something coming through that is new and good and harmonious and for the betterment of all.
Be open to possibilities – go outside and smell the glorious growth all around. In June, it is a wonderful time to smell the roses. They are blooming now and scenting the air with their fragrance. This brings to my mind the poem by Robert Herrick; here are a couple of stanzas:

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Robert Herrick, 1591 – 1674
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.

This is a time of plenty. To partake in the bounty, this is a good time to create a Prosperity Bottle. Capture the essence of this time so that you can tap into it as the need arises. Here is one way to start a prosperity bottle.
Gather your supplies
Bottle or jar that is clean and empty
Small candle that will fit into the bottle, gold or yellow or green
Piece of cinnamon stick
Rose petals
Money: two pennies, one nickel, one dime, one quarter, and one dollar bill
Piece of paper
Small length of green string
White candle

Reasoning
I am using an empty whisky bottle that was given to me (full!) as a gift from a very generous friend. It must have a lid or a cap or some way to keep it closed. You will be filling the container with various objects that attracts wealth, prosperity, good luck, and that will light the way for the best outcome for all.
The small candle will light the way to prosperity.
Cinnamon is an earthy spice that evokes the abundance of our manifest realm.
Rose petals remind us of the vast beauty of summer.
Money is there since like attracts like. Also, in terms of numerology, this collection of coins adds up to the number 6, a good number for abundance.
Pennies = 2
Nickel = 5
Quarter = 25
Dollar = 1
2 + 5 + 25 + 1 = 33, then 3 +3 = 6
The piece of paper is there for you to write your intentions on, roll into a scroll, and tie with green string.
The white candle will be used to seal the lid of the prosperity bottle after you have filled it with the magickal items and your intentions.

Method
It is effective to begin a spell to bring abundance to yourself during the time of the Moon phase when its light is expanding. At the summer solstice, the waxing gibbous Moon, along with the full day of sun light, will shine on your bright intentions.
Gather your supplies together so that you can begin your prosperity bottle on the night of the summer solstice. To begin, light the white candle and sit quietly in a space where you won’t be disturbed. Think within yourself why you want to attract prosperity to yourself. To enrich yourself? To give to others? To be able to support someone else? To help you on a way to create something new or beautiful? To move away from dependence on someone else? Be clear in your intentions. If can, clarify your intentions to just a few words or a symbol. Write that symbol or few words on the piece of paper. Roll the paper into a scroll and tie it with the green string. Drop it into the empty bottle.

Next, keeping in mind your intention, gather together the rose petals and drop them into the bottle, visualizing the abundance of a beautiful summer day. Drop in the cinnamon stick, and remember that all we have, comes from the earth. Drop in the unlit small candle and remember the feeling of the sun’s warmth bringing light and growth and abundance.

Here we come to the step that involves money. We have to give out what we want to receive. You must be willing to part with this money so that you can open the door to more money coming into your life. One by one, drop in the coins and then the paper bill. One penny, next penny, then the nickel, the dime, the quarter, and then top it off with the dollar bill. It must be in this order: from small denomination, to larger, larger, and larger, until we reach the paper step. Money builds on money; money creates money.

Once your prosperity bottle is filled, then you twist on its cap. Take up the white candle that has been burning all this time. Pour some of the melted wax onto the cap of the prosperity bottle. Let the wax drip down over the lid, sealing it shut. When you feel complete, blow out the candle. Sit in the dark for a moment, and feel the changes coming to you. Prosperity is on its way to you.

The prosperity bottle will keep working as long as you keep refilling it with your energies and intentions. When you think of it, pick it up, shake it, remind yourself of why you need more money right now, and send energy through it. Especially at the time of the waxing gibbous Moon, take time to pick up your bottle and remind yourself and it what good you will do with the extra money coming your way.

So mote it be.

“No price is set on the lavish summer;
 June may be had by the poorest comer.”
– James Russell Lowell –

Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat

” Every Posture Is a Journey Not a Destination “

The daffodils and forcynthia blooms have passed. The days are certainly warmer here in the northern hemisphere. Soon we will transition from the peonies to the hibiscuses. Spring’ s infant birds are almost through their parents’ flying lessons as we approach summer. And this can be a fantastic time to try a kundalini yoga class, wherein you can tap into the full powers of life and creativity that are fast approaching. It is an fiery experience designed to awaken you!

There are many benefits to utilizing this practice at this time of year with rising heat, energy, and potential. Many of us have fine tuned and focused the work of the winter season. We have gone through a spring cleaning or detox. Now, with fierce, vibrant energy we can open to our own light; meet and be with our true self. This yoga practice can facilitate Purusha, a connection to our true internal, never changing self.

Kundalini yoga is a blending of different types of yoga includes breath work, chanting, meditation, and physical practice. The method has morphed over time; but was first introduced into the western world by Yogi Bhajan. He was born Harbhajan Singh Khalsa in India. Being in a wealthy family allowed him the privilege of studying and mastering yoga at a very early age. Thankfully, he followed his calling and eventually moved to Canada and the US, to teach the spiritual practice and discipline of yoga.

Kundalini is a Sanskrit word, one of its meanings being circular. Kundalini yoga is a practice that not only raises body awareness; it also stimulates very dormant, powerful energy within the body. It usually begins with a “tuning in” using chanting. Then by focusing breath work and employing physical movements; channels and pathways are opened. The work detoxifies organs and releases stagnation in their systems, as well as in the mind and energetic fields. All this to prepare oneself to handle the eventual release and outpouring of energy that sits coiled at the base of the spine. Kundal is “a spiritual energy or life force living at the base of the spine”. It is an ecstatic practice to increase consciousness. It is a journey back to your divinity. It can be mind blowing to experience and truly indescribable.

I do find this practice to be a challenge. You sweat, you move, you chant, you focus. But somewhere in your surrender, comes the reward! It can be subtle shifts towards a healthier version of yourself or an eruption of raw, powerful sensations that will take you to your knees if you are not already there. Kundalini yoga, with its vast array of teachings, will circle you back to your own brilliant divine, radiant center. You won’t need sunscreen, but you will definitely feel the heat! …..Namaste…. M.Q.

First Steps on the Seeker’s Path

I’m taking this month off to renew and refine what is needed for the next half of the year.  Go outside in the brilliant light, greet the Sun. Sit in the shade and feel the quiet rest that rejuvenates. Walk a path of green and fill each step as a meditation in greeting the Earth Mother. Savor the sweetness of family, friends and time that languishes in the enveloping warm embrace of Summer’s bounty.

In conclusion…

“Mine is the Month of Roses; yes, and mine
The Month of Marriages! All pleasant sights
And scents, the fragrance of the blossoming vine,
The foliage of the valleys and the heights.
Mine are the longest days, the loveliest nights;
The mower’s scythe makes music to my ear;
I am the mother of all dear delights;
I am the fairest daughter of the year.”
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow –

Upcoming Events – 2018

Temple of the Sun Series: Part Three

Illuminated Ritual: Creating the Sacred
3-wks.on Tuesday Evenings
For more information. Click here…

June 16th
Celebration of the Summer Solstice: A Ritual for Amun-RA

Celebrate the longest day of the year as we stand at the Gates of the Temple of Amun-RA and receive the blessings of the luminaries.  For more information. Click here…

Musings From the Mystic Path is published monthly by Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW.

Editor: R. Fennelly, HPs, CMP, ASW
Columnists: L. B., Tesseract and India Amour, Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat
Contributors: Membership/Petitioners  of Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW

All rights reserved and maintained as intellectual property of the author. If you would like to re-publish any content herein, permission should be obtained and proper citation given to the author.

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted

For more information about the contents of the newsletter and/or our coven:

Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW or email: hpsmysticpath@yahoo.com

Posted in June 2018, Volume Three | 1 Comment

May2018-Fertile Ground for YR. 3

Vol. 3 – Issue 1

Musings From the Mystic Path

The Month of May
The 2nd. Anniversary Issue

Ah, the lusty month of May! Spring has taken hold. Seedlings are bursting upward. Thoughts turn to the great outdoors and spending more time with loved ones as the daylight blossoms with fertility and promise.

This is our Second Anniversary issue! Hard to believe that we have been sharing our writing with you, our dear readers for 2 years. We began this creative adventure using the fertile energy of May to quicken what we desired as a presence within our community and opportunity to gift the beauty of our paths, experiences and unique perspectives. Hopefully, we have done that and that you all have found some rest and inspiration in each month’s offerings. Onward into Year Three and more surprises….

The month of May is the pleasant time; its face is beautiful;
the blackbird sings his full song, the living wood is his holding,
the cuckoos are singing and ever singing; there is a welcome before
the brightness of the summer.

– Lady Gregory –

Featured Writings

Spring Is Finally Here!

by M.H.

Spring is in full bloom on the east coast of the United States. Time to celebrate Beltane, a holiday that lets us reflect and connect with the Spirits of Nature. The temperatures are warming and we are beginning to come outside to spend quality time. At Beltane we typically think of fertility for our gardens to produce a bountiful harvest in the Fall. But actually it’s a perfect time for renewing our spirits, appreciating the Earth and the importance of the cycle of life.

Take a walk outside and feel the damp black soil under foot, feel the connection with the Earth’s energy rising from its mantle below and traveling upwards. Let it flow through your body and out of the crown charka spilling out and back down to the Earth. After the cold winter the Spirits of Nature are reawakening too.

Find a place for quiet mediation, with the trees, flowers, waters, mountains, whatever is near your residence. Pick an object to focuson, a rock, flower, tree or water source. Allow your senses to awaken and explore the object’s surface, texture, and temperature. Feel yourself actually inside the object, take note of the flow of energy as it moves through you. As you end the mediation be sure to offer up thanks to the object for sharing this experience.

Enjoy this time of year, fully experience all the colors, smells, and sounds around us and show respect and honor for the Earth and all she gives to us. Remember to breathe and feel the flow of the universal energy around us each and every day.

“Do not go where the path may lead,
go instead where there is no path
and leave a trail.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson –

Polarities

by L.B.

I have been thinking about polarities lately. I came across something that asserted that it is better to give than receive and I found that I had a visceral reaction: no, it is not better! So I spend some time thinking on this topic and here are some of my thoughts on giving/receiving and other polarities this brings to my mind.

Give/Receive
It is better to give than receive, or so it says in the Christian Bible (Acts 20:35). According to this approach, we ought to give (of ourselves, or our time, or some material goods) so that we would be blessed. In other words, earning our Brownie points and so that we may ultimately end up in Heaven. That is why we do good, isn’t it, for the final outcome?

I question this premise. To me, the idea that it is better to give than receive negates both the giver (as if the gift were given only to earn blessings), and the receiver (who is there only to make the giver feel good about himself). This is an unequal power dynamic in this scenario, as if the receiver were an empty and passive vessel awaiting the gifts the giver feels like giving, to the larger benefit of the giver: after all, an eternal reward outweighs the momentary delight of the present being given, right?

Active/Passive
Some use these attributes as equivalent: passive, receptive, accepting: Female
And these: active, offering, giving: Male
It is the act of offering and giving that is bestows blessings in this ancient saying. I say that the act of receiving is also a source of blessings. To be passive and receptive is to be open, accepting, and willing to take what is offered: this is trust and to me, this is of at least an equal value to giving.

Light/Dark
Sweat lodge: Dark; interior / Full moon healing ritual: light, exposed.

I have experienced sweat lodges in three different locations. My first sweat lodge was at the Michigan Womyn’s Music Festival in a small town in western Michigan. It was held by a Native American woman; it was, as far as I know, a traditional Native sweat lodge. It was some 25 years ago. What I remember was that the fire was lit, the stones were heated, we chanted, then the hot stones were brought into the lodge and then we entered with the water pourer. After we all entered, the fire tender came in with us. And we stayed in the lodge until we (and the ceremony) was finished. One could say what one wanted to, when one wanted to. It was crowded and hot and revealing and dark and sweaty and dirty. And I was hooked. I loved every minute of it. I loved being stripped raw of clothing, inhibitions, uncertainty, the idea that my precious wounds and worries were mine alone. I felt a commonality with those who endured the lodge with me: we were willing to work hard to let go of pain. I emerged, changed, tired, relieved, and ready to accept that I, too, have courage.

The next sweat lodge I attended was some 20 years later. It was at Seelie Court and it was run by water pourers and fire tenders who had been trained in traditional sweat lodge protocol and adapted with Wiccan protocols developed by people within the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel. These sweats are not officially part of the ASW. I have been attending Sweat Lodge at Seelie Court for about 8 years, either sweating inside the lodge during the ceremony, or helping the fire tenders and water pourers with various tasks, such as fetching kindling, fire wood, water, washing towels, whatever needed to be done to assist.

I have also participated in sweat lodge at Free Spirit Gathering, and free-wheeling gathering of people walking all kinds of paths, such as wiccans, heathens, druids, pagans, vodouisants, santeras, polytheists, monotheists, pantheists, atheists, etc., according to their web site. This sweat lodge took place on a hot day in June. The Seelie Court sweat lodges are typically held during the winter months. It was more of a physical challenge than I liked: it was not possible to cool off adequately after the sweat.

The interior of sweat lodges is dark; at the ones held at Seelie Court, attempts are made so that not a crack in the covering lets in outside light. The only light is from the glow of the hot stones centered in the fire pit. It is the light within the dark. It is not physically possible to see the other participants who are sharing that day’s sweat lodge with you. Before we enter the Lodge, we had seen the fire being laid, built up, ignited, and tended. We had blessed the stones and put then into the fire to heat up. We had seen the fire blaze up, but we enter into the darkness when we enter the sweat lodge.

It is in darkness that we chant to the elements, hear the words of the water pourer, and then begin the rounds of sharing, each of which is blessed by an element: air, fire, water, earth, spirit. We ask for help in turn for letting go of what no longer serves us, and how to gain that which we need in the next step in our individual journeys. We pass the talking stone between us; when one holds the stone, that person speaks and the others are silent. When one is finished speaking, they pass the talking stone to the next person in the circle. Sometimes it is hard to find the hand of the next person: you have to reach out and find them in the darkness. Someone it there, reaching out to you, and the connection is made. The stone is passed and then the next person speaks.

After each round at the Seelie Court sweats, the blanket that covers the entrance is lifted so that fresh air can come in, the water gourd is refilled, and more hot stones can be brought in to refill the center stone pit. And we can see light for a few moments. Then the blanket is pulled down and the entrance is closed, and we are together in the dark.

The sweat lodge experience is for me, one of going inward. Diving deep into myself: no one can see me cry or look anxious. It is possible to forget who is in lodge with me since all I have to identify them is the sound of their voice and their spiritual energy, which is being transformed moment by moment by participating in the Sweat Lodge. Sometimes I forget where I am in terms of place and time: I am in the dark, surrendering to trust, the elements, the ancient ones: the stones who give their lives in service to the sweat lodge; the water pourer, the fire tenders, and Spirit. All I have to do is be present in the moment, open myself up, and let in, accept, receive the healing. This vulnerability brings me to power. My Self, all of my selves, are stepping into personal power through this stripping down into rawness. This passivity, receptivity, openness, are my power. I am reborn, each time I enter and emerge from the Sweat Lodge, the cauldron of rebirth.

I attended my first full moon healing ritual in March 2018. This ritual was presented by Grail of the Birch Moon, a coven within the ASW. This ritual was held on the night when a full moon rose in the sky. The altars were decorated with cloths recognizing the elements and candles were lit. A cauldron rested on the center altar. It contained darkness within the light of the ritual. The intent was to help each of us to lift ourselves and each other to the moon’s healing light. I witnessed some people go before me, to expose their desire for healing, to be willing to be assisted in that healing, to be lifted to the light of the full Moon in her glory.

When it was my turn, I gathered up my courage, and stated that I wanted healing with being able to move from being a victim to being present, and not even being a survivor, but to be able to be here, now, and be myself fully. I exposed a vulnerability in that I admitted that I was a survivor of some trauma, that I felt trapped in that past identity, and that I wanted to move forward into a state of Being, simply Being, and I asked for help. The community that was gathered together chanted, sent healing energy to me, and lifted me up to the full Moon’s light. I felt transformed: later that week, I signed up to return to my college campus for my 40-year reunion, the first I will have attended, since I avoided the campus since I experienced an assault there when I was there as an undergraduate student. As a sister in my Coven reminded me, I stepped into my power by doing this.

For me, being receptive and open brought me to a place of personal empowerment. It was good, too, to be giving in participating in sharing energy with the others who were asking for healing. And it has been good for me to go inward, into the darkness of the Sweat Lodge, and outward, into the light of the Moon. Active, passive. Giving, receiving. Light, darkness. Polarities are not opposites, they are points on a balance beam that pivots on a fulcrum. Each is necessary to the other, neither can exist without the other. It is not better to give than to receive: it is better to bring both into one’s life. This is a power dynamic, and a powerful one. So mote it be.

“The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe –

An Invitation to the Divine

by RCF

Come walk with me and
Share my grand adventure
Our steps will mark the way
For those who wish to follow.

Come sit with me and quench
Your thirst with the beauty of
What surrounds us.

Come dance with me on the
Shores of crystal blue waters
The sun looking down in
Benevolence as we embrace
Beneath the warming rays.

Come lay beside me as
Time and dreamscape
Claim their hold.

Come sleep with me and
Let Divine ecstasy unfold
Dream in the knowledge of me.

Come lay beside me and tell
Me of your dreams that
Stretched long into the night.
Come walk with me as we
Talk of what was revealed.

The land gives way and
Miles of space lay ahead
Beckoning new turns with
Each new dreamtime path.

Come explore with me the
Truth of your journey and
The gift of mystery in this life.

Come walk with me and
Share my grand adventure
Our Light will mark the way
For those who wish to follow.

Lost and Forgotten

by Celestine

An inspiration from a class experiential in February 2018….

You come to me in my dreams, mysterious and silent.

Newly born from the stars, yet with ancient origins.

With pride you stand before me, in all your splendor.

“See me!”, you command. Yet no words do you utter.

It would do no good to address me directly, for the language you spoke has fallen into obscurity.
Words would be wasted breath.

Yet I hear you.

You tell me stories of a different time, when rulers bowed down before you and common folk asked for you blessings! When odes to your benevolence were written and monuments were built for your glory! When your followers sang your praises and your foes trembled in fear!

No more.

In this age you are all but forgotten, a footnote in history. Faded into obscurity.

And yet…

And yet a spark of you remains, twinkling in the inky blackness of nothing. Waiting for the breath of a living mortal to flame you back into existence. Waiting to return to your former glory, even if only in the heart of one who is devoted!

You wait in the darkness, searching for the soul that will remember you from lives past. Seeking the twinkle of recognition of your divinity. Looking for your disciple come again.

Perhaps I am the one.

Perhaps.

You come to me in my dreams and I answer, “I will remember! And I will honor you!”

The spark grows brighter and you light my way, even as I light yours.

“Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead.
Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow.
Just walk beside me and be my friend.”
–  Albert Camus –

Focus On…

Tesseract
The Intersection of Moon Phase, Astrology, Elemental Energy, and Magick


by Ionlanthe

Welcome to May. This month we will take a look at Beltane and how it relates to the Moon this month. Beltane is a cross-quarter celebration in that occurs at the mid-point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice. This year, Beltane falls on May 5.

The Earth and Moon are in constant communication. Since humanity has been able to bring back samples of the Moon’s surface, we know that the Earth and Moon share a geological make-up. The Moon is comprised of elements that are the same as those in the Earth’s crust. They dance together through the cosmos. The gravity of the Earth keeps the Moon in orbit; the gravity of the Moon causes high and low tides in the Earth’s oceans. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s SciJinks, the moon’s gravitational pull generates something called the tidal force. The tidal force causes Earth—and its water—to bulge out on the side closest to the moon and the side farthest from the moon. These bulges of water are high tides. As the Earth rotates, the bulges move around it, one always facing the moon, the other directly opposite.

This dance and communication is particularly resonant with this year’s Beltane, during which the Moon will be about 75% illuminated. If you are able to, go outside on this Beltane night, and look for the Moon. Perhaps shining on the ocean, or another body of water? Bring with you someone you love, or commune with nature, or with yourself. Beltane is a time to celebrate sexual union, fertility, dancing around the May Pole, jumping the Beltane fire to signify passion; it is a time when the Goddess takes a God as her lover and through which all life will be renewed. According to the poet Edward Lear, the owl and the pussycat understood this:

They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
They danced by the light of the moon,
The moon,
The moon,
They danced by the light of the moon.
The Owl and the Pussycat

Take advantage of this Moon-lit Beltane since it will then begin to be waning towards its new Moon phase on May 16. At Beltane, the Moon will be in Capricorn, which is a cardinal earth sign and known to be cautious, pragmatic, and grounded with ambitions in starting new initiatives with a lot of planning. Let this push-pull between Beltane’s fiery passions and Capricorn’s sensible style be like the pull of the Moon’s gravity on the Earth’s tides: let yourself be pulled up and out and spring toward the burgeoning life force surrounding us all right now yet remain bounded to gravity so that you don’t get pulled off course.

Another way to celebrate the Moon’s light during Beltane is to bring it down to earth by lighting a candle:

Find a candle that is red for passion. Set up a table with your candle, a mirror, some flowers. Be your own God/Goddess and re-ignite passion for/within yourself. Gaze into your own eyes in the mirror and be open to what ever messages come to you. Put down the mirror, strike a match, and light the candle. Your own energy brings light to your world through the symbol of your lit candle. Take up the flower and remember that it came from a seed or a bulb, gestated in the earth for a time, then emerged with the sun’s warmth and spring rains to bloom in its season. Let this be a season for blooming for you and for all you love. Blow out the candle, place the flower in water, and go out and enjoy this beautiful Beltane celebration.

“Do something wonderful.
People may imitate it.”
– Albert Schweitzer –

Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat

” Every Posture Is a Journey Not a Destination “

Yoga has many fundamental principles, poses and parts. One of significance are the mudras or hand gestures. Mudras are quite popular and used to channel your body’s elements and energy flow. The Sankalpa mudra is one of my favorites! The etymology of Sankalpa comes from 2 Sanskrit words, SAN and KALPA; the first, denoting a connection with truth and the latter, a vow (or intention). However, Kalpa is deeper than a promise or pledge. Sankalpa represents your heart’s yearning and its highest intent; its a resolution of your soul.

Of course, there are many philosophies that touch upon the power of intent; thousands of blogs, videos, and correspondences expressing the importance of plans, thoughts, prayers, and intentions. I feel perhaps equally important is where our intentions come from and how they resonate. I admit it is a hard part of my journey; deciphering what is my own truth vs. learned behavior and beliefs.

Outside influences seems to permeate everything. Are our intentions just other people’s ideas? Do we want something because of advertising or the media? Are our desires based on pleasing our parents or teachers? Are we following society’s expectations instead of seeking our true nature?

A yoga practice can help you delve into these queries. A practice that includes meditation can expose your beliefs and patterns, and help you tune into your psyche. After your practice, once in a relaxed state; you can then listen in for an intention. Decide on a statement that reverberates with your highest self. Use it as a mantra, an affirmation to incorporate within the Sankalpa Mudra. You may already have an intention that has come to you organically. Try to keep is short and align it with the highest universal good.


To get into a position to begin working with the Mudra, start with a comfortable seat with an open, straight posture. Both hands can be at your sides, palms facing up, with elbows bent. Consciously bring the left hand across your chest so that your intention aligns with your heart before placing your hand on your right thigh with your palm up. Turn the palm of your right hand down so that it hovers over the left and clasps over your declaration, sealing in your sacred vow. You may then start to chant the Sankalpa affirmation. You can speak it aloud and envision it’s positive energy. It should be something you feel, that uplifted and radiates.

I love how simply this mudra is and it can be done anywhere. Once established, your yoga practice can also begin with this mudra. It can be utilized at any time you need to refocus and check back in with your true nature’s resolve….NAMASTE…M.Q.

First Steps on the Seeker’s Path

This month’s article is Part Four of a series of posts about the practice of meditation and contemplative integration at all levels of being. Last month I discussed the use of meditation through the seasons. This month, I’ve been called to share a special meditation for you to use in connecting with Deity. 

Part Four: Magickal Meditation
A Simple Meditation with Deity

Excerpted from A Year and a Day on the Wiccan Path

This month’s focus is on simply opening to connect with Deity. If you have a specific Deity you wish to connect with or already have connection to, focus your intent on simply “being” with this Divine energy. For this meditation we will not be asking for guidance or any specific request. The intent is to sit quietly and open to whatever Deity wishes to present us with.

Let’s begin:
Select a space where you will not be disturbed and is as quiet as possible. Sit comfortably and begin to take notice of your breathing. Listen deeply to the sounds as you inhale and exhale and even the rustle of clothing as belly and chest expand. Take note of the sensation of the air filling your lungs and the sense of fullness than emptying that occurs as you inhale and exhale. Now, take notice of the smells that come into your nose as you breath a little deeper still, and the release of that aroma as you exhale it back out. Continue this pattern of sensorial awareness for several minutes.

Now, allow your breathing to be secondary in focus and shift your awareness to the space between your brows, the seat of your inner screen. Draw all of your attention into this space and envision a small point of white light at the center of your awareness. As you gently breathe and bring more attention to this space of visioning, the point expands and soon there is nothing but a brilliance of white light filling this inner space. Take a deep breath in and as you exhale see your physical form stepping into and through this brilliance of light and find yourself standing on a mossy rock surround partially surrounded by water. You look out at the glory of a beautiful sunset and lower yourself to a sitting position on the edge of the large stone. You breathe deeply and as you exhale you feel an opening of your perception and a peace and calmness that is profound in its presence.

As you sit in the stillness of this landscape you offer up the invitation to commune with the Divine. You offer up the willingness to listen deeply to what may be given and to allow yourself to simply be held in the space of Deity’s presence. You breathe deeply and as you exhale you allow your mind to be still of thoughts, your heart to be welcoming and sit “waiting”.

As you quietly sit, allow yourself to sink as deeply as you wish into this cradling of stillness, unhurried and patient for response. When you feel complete, offer up gratitude for the experience that you had (even if you feel “nothing happened”). Offer up gratitude to yourself for being able to reach this space of stillness and presence.

You gently rise to a standing position and see that the sun has set and moonlight shimmers on dark moving waters. Take a moment to take this image into your being and the beauty of the quiet. As you continue to look out across the waters and breathe into this experience the landscape gently fades and you find that your awareness has returned to being that of the observer; your focus on your inner screen. Breathe deeply into this awareness and shift in perception and the comfort this space provides.

Gently allow your awareness to return to that of filling the space of your entire being and the physicality of your body and breath. Turn your focus back to the rhythm of your breath and the gentle rise and fall of your chest and expansion and contraction of your belly. Breathe fully and deeply allowing this energy to reawaken all of the physical sensations of being fully present in the space in which you began this meditation. And, when you are ready, gently open your eyes, returning to the here and now.

Note: Do not be discouraged if you feel that Deity did not respond. ONE of the goals of this practice is communing with deity, but an equally important goal is that of preparing the way so that you are fully present and listening to the message. Communing takes many forms and it is not always the clear-cut epiphany moment that occurs.

We are constantly in communication with the Divine, but rarely are still enough nor open enough to receive what is being communicated. Engaging a stranger in a reciprocal smile is communing with the Divine. Having the perfect parking space open and available after a trying commute is communing with the Divine. Having a pleasant day at work and the opportunity to relax when you get home is communing with the Divine.

Bring this level of awareness into your contemplative practice with full intent and after not such a long time, you will recognize Deity in all of his/her forms as you sit in the silence of their wisdom. More importantly, this level of awareness will spill over into your everyday experiences making magick of the mundane.

Real-Life Experience:

Check out my Summer Weekend in the Parks post on The Enchanted Gate Blog. Surrounded by all that beauty, I could feel the blessings of the Divine as my husband and I became the Divine Couple…
Summer Weekend in the Parks

Next Month: Sensorial Meditation:Engaging the Senses

In conclusion…

  “In the marvellous month of May when all the buds were bursting, then in my heart did love arise. In the marvellous month of May when all the birds were singing, then did I reveal to her my yearning and longing.”  
– Heinrich Heine –

Upcoming Events – 2018

Continuing through May 15
Temple of the Sun Series: Part Two

Egyptian Alchemy: Opening the Way
8-wks.on Tuesday Evenings
For more information. Click here…

May 5th
Celebration of Beltane with Archers of the Sacred Flames,ASW and Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW

Celebrate the union of God and Goddess, jump the balefires and dance the Maypole of Divine creation. For more information. Click here…

Musings From the Mystic Path is published monthly by Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW.

Editor: R. Fennelly, HPs, CMP, ASW
Columnists: L. B., Tesseract and India Amour, Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat
Contributors: Membership/Petitioners  of Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW

All rights reserved and maintained as intellectual property of the author. If you would like to re-publish any content herein, permission should be obtained and proper citation given to the author.

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted

For more information about the contents of the newsletter and/or our coven:

Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW or email: hpsmysticpath@yahoo.com

Posted in Anniversary Issue, May 2018, Volume Three | 1 Comment

April2018-The Spring Issue

Vol. 2 – Issue 12

Musings From the Mystic Path

The Month of April
The Spring Issue

April is Here, and Spring Has Arrived! Winter has held on a little longer than usual this year and everyone is ready for Spring’s gentler weather. This issue reminds you of the bounty and beauty that April gifts.

“Tesseract” continues with its focus on the Great Wheel of the year and astrology of the month. Our newest column, “Journey’s on the Yogi’s Magick Mat” offers suggestions for settling into the practice of Yoga and “First Steps” begins its seasonal offerings with a guided meditation into preparing your garden for seeding. 

So, what seeds are you going to plant in your garden of plenty….

“And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”
–  Percy Bysshe Shelley –

Featured Writings

Shadows of Light and Dark

by Robin

Quickly, look at what is in front of you
The shadows are woven between the Light
What you think you clearly saw
Was just a fleeting glimpse of
The labyrinth that time has crafted.

The shadows are moving quickly
And the light of day is waning
Soon you will only see what faintly
Glimmers behind the veil of darkness
And what it hides from plain sight.

Look again more deeply and with full attention
You will see that Light and Shadow are one in the same
Each dependent on the other to clearly highlight what
Mysteries of the natural world lay in between.

“The April rain, the April rain,
Comes slanting down in fitful showers,
Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
And banks are fledged with nestling flowers;
And in grey shawl and woodland bowers
The cuckoo through the April rain
Calls once again.”
–  Mathilde Blind –

 

All Types of Seeds

by A.B.

Do you know where the seeds are?
Do you know where the spade and trowel are?
Do you have any fertile soil?
Where is the sunniest space?
Where is the shadiest space?

Do you know what you want to plant?
Do you know what tools are best?
Do you tend to the land properly?
Does the light shine brightly?
Is there a place of shadow to rest?

Do you know what you desire to create?
Do you know your weaknesses and strengths?
Do you honor your Temple of Self?
Will you step in your mantle of glory?
Will you call your shadow to provide the space of quickening?

In Honor of Earth Day 2018
Sunday, April 22.2018

Gaia’s Mantle

Artwork: Geraldine Arata

Starlight and brilliance of
Sun’s solar flare
White and golden red
Woven tapestry of
Jet black Cosmos.

Green and brown
Of fertile land
Blue of sun kissed
Watery basin
Rainbow of color
Spread across
Pattern of cloth
Textured and etched
In crystal and stone.

Blackness of heat
Striation of rock’s core
Gentle bud pushes upward
Stretching towards sun’s
Radiant blessing as
Gaia sheds her skin
And dons Spring’s
Celestial mantle.

“I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds, and bowers:
Of April, May, or June, and July flowers.
I sing of Maypoles, Hock-carts, wassails, wakes,
Of bridegrooms, brides, and of the bridal cakes.”
–  Robert Herrick – 

Focus On

Tesseract
The Intersection of Moon Phase, Astrology, Elemental Energy, and Magick


by Ionlanthe

Welcome to April and the turning of the Wheel of the Year towards Spring. Today, we are exploring the meanings of several words that may seem interchangeable, but really are not. These words are: Esbat, Sabbat or Sabbath, Holiday, and Holy Day. To start, the word Esbat refers to a coven meeting at a time other than one of the Sabbats. Sabbat or Sabbath refers to the seasonal festivals on the Wheel of the Year. A Holiday is a day of festivity or recreation, and a Holy Day is a day on which a religious observance is held.

Many people on the Wiccan path celebrate the Sabbats with a religious observation, ritual, or feast. There are eight Sabbat marking passing of the seasons during the turning of the Wheel of the Year. These Sabbats include the winter and summer solstices, the spring and fall equinoxes, and the halfway points between these high points. Winter Solstice occurs near December 21, Imbolc is near February 1, Spring Equinox is near March 21, Beltane is near May 1, and Summer Solstice is near June 21. When the Wheel of the Year approaches Fall, we have Lammas near August 1, Fall Equinox near September 21, and Samhain near November 1. We then turn again to the Winter Solstice in December. Since these Sabbats are based on a lunar or astrological calendar, they don’t always match exactly with the monthly Gregorian calendar, the most widely used standard calendar seen on every one’s wall with pretty pictures and more or less evenly spaced months.


While April does not have a specific Sabbath within its days, we will see the Moon in its full phase on the 30th day of April. It will be in Scorpio, a fixed water sign. This is a fascinating combination: the fullness of the Moon illuminates hidden depths; Scorpio thrives on hidden depths. Scorpio energy is one that seeks out, searches, explores fearlessly whatever darkness or mystery surrounds them. If Scorpio sees a shadow or a darkness or something unknown, the thrust is to explore what is there, not run away. Scorpio dives deep into the still water. This full Moon will be revelatory and an instigator for walking through fear and finding out what courage really means: being afraid, and doing what you need to do, anyway, despite the fear.

At the opposite end of April and Scorpio’s sleuthing by the light of the Moon, we have April Fool’s Holiday on April 1. The Moon will be waning from its full phase that had occurred on the last day of March, and it will be in Libra, a cardinal air sign. Libra is all about balance and beauty and serenity and people getting along with each other. Compromise is their middle name: just to keep the peace. April Fool’s Day is often a day when people play practical jokes on each other, just to get a laugh. After being cooped up all winter, it may be a way of getting the kinks out and indulging in a little spring fever! In any case, this Moon phase is waning, and moving toward the more introspective time. So, to keep in touch with Libra’s balance, and with some of March’s full Moon energy still with us, remember to keep in touch with light and laughter and friends!

In between these highlighted days, we have the dark of the Moon on April 16, in Aries, a cardinal fire sign. Aries just loves starting something; and to have this energy during the dark phase of the Moon can create a feeling of tension. This dynamic is one of push-pull: wanting to push feelings inward, yearning to pull yourself outward and get busy. Which one is the most helpful right now? Both energies are working now, but not in balance. This is a time to think-act-think again.

A tool that might be helpful with all these waves of energies that seem to come from all directions is Tarot deck. This tool of divination may help you with finding clear messages to help illuminate your next step. To relate the Tarot to the Wheel of the Year, you might try this spread. For the first card, pick a Sabbat that falls nearest your birthday. In my case, my birthday is May 4, so I would pick Beltane. Pick a card from your Tarot deck, place it on you table. This card will represent you in the spread. Next, pick a card to represent the next Sabbath—Summer Solstice, then Lammas, and so on until you have 8 cards and lay them out in a clock-wise circle, with your signifier card at the top of the circle.

As you lay out each card, think of how it relates to the meaning of the Sabbath is covers. How does the holiday/holy day that represents you feel that it fits with your image of yourself?

Here are words I associate with each Sabbath; use your own words that you have developed for each of the Sabbats, if you like:

Beltane: bounty
Summer solstice: full light
Lammas: harvest
Fall Equinox: balance
Samhain: death
Winter Solstice: battle between light and dark
Imbolc: conception
Spring Equinox: balance

How do the Tarot cards reveal their messages to on each of these topics? If you like, you could repeat this spread on each of the Sabbats, or on the Equinoxes, or on the next full Moon phase, to see if your messages look different when viewed in a different light, or during a different holy day.

Like the little stream
Making its way through the mossy crevices
I, too, quietly turn clear and transparent
– Ryokan –

 

Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat
” Every Posture Is a Journey Not a Destination “

If you read or glanced at my column last month; you are familiar with my initial impression of taking a hot yoga class. It was quite an experience; very eye opening. My journal entry collaborated almost every stereotype of any yoga sceptic. Nevertheless, I was hooked. Truth be told, the after effects in the following days were ones of gratitude, accomplishment, purification, and feeling healthy. The class I had taken was a stationary sequence. It went through a variety of the most common postures of a yoga practice. It was all so new, and so rewarding.

There are so many poses I didn’t even attempt, at first. Eventually, I would try the modified versions to learn what does and does not serve my body.

Yoga teaches you to listen and honor your body and really take the time to FEEL. Sometimes it can be a lovely stretch, sometimes perhaps discomfort. You may have thoughts of concentration in a balance posture. By moving and contorting your body into new postures you test your limits; find your strengths and those sweet spots that create shifts and maybe even tremors, i e: changes.

Yoga is a practice when you can take the time to settle in, to just be and observe.
At the start of most practices; an instructor will ask you to focus on an intention. What is it you wish to change, to become? Or are you offering up your practice to a greater spiritual being or deity? Perhaps you wish for the good health and well being of a friend or our planet. Yoga gives us the chance to deliberately create. Before even settling into a posture; just breathing consciously can change our anatomy. Focused breath work can reduce stress, help us gain clarity, aid in digestion, and improve sleep.

There is a variety of occurrences during the creative process of a yoga practice; but what a gift to see what arises! Creativity gives us a different perspective on life so when we move or do things differently, we are granted with a shift in our perception. Trying new things in life is crucial. Attempts can lead to a new passion, an invigorating new endeavor, something that sparks magick inside and enlivens your soul. My practice is a journey towards myself. My mat, a tool, a portal back to my spirit; a mirror that reflects new discoveries about me to me!

I encourage you to try a new yoga class in this season of new growth and potential. There are many free online classes. You could visit a studio that offers a full hatha class in a heated room or start at home with a chair yoga sequences for a beginner or someone with limited mobility. You can even begin with a simple am practice while still in bed to transition you into your day gently, mindfully. May your heart, mind, spirit, and body bloom this spring season! ….. NAMASTE…MQ


First Steps on the Seeker’s Path

This month’s article is Part Three of a series of posts about the practice of meditation and contemplative integration at all levels of being. Last month I discussed the need for balance in all of our endeavors and the opening that will result in spending time in a contemplative way…..

Part Three: Magickal Meditation
Meditative Practice for the Seasons

This month we’ll begin a series of meditations that align with the seasons. April blossoms into Spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the theme is one of planting and preparing for what we hope will become the beautiful garden of Summer and, the eventual harvest of bounty in the Fall. As spiritual workers, the seasons play an important role in our growth as each marks a different way of “being” in the world.

Last month we explored the alchemical elements and the resonance we hold with everything in the Cosmos as the embodiment of these elements. We can also apply these elements to the seasons and their similar constructs:

Air – East – Dawn aligns with Spring’s new beginnings;
Fire – South – Noon aligns with Summer’s heat and catalytic potency;
Water – West – Dusk aligns with Fall’s bountiful harvest as we contemplate upon and harvest the gifts of day’s activities; and,
Earth – North – Midnight aligns with Winter as the darkness settles in, and we turn within metaphorically and literally to reflect on the light held within awaiting Spring’s new light.

Please review the basics from last month’s post for more information…

The cyclical nature of everything plays into these intentions as we give consideration to what flows into the season of note and how that particular season reaches towards its next expression:

Winter’s cold hibernation flows into Spring’s quickening of what has been seeded that blossoms into the full bloom of Summer’s heat-filled potential awaiting the cutting down and harvesting of Fall’s bounty that becomes the sustenance and the compost of Winter’s cold hibernating womb of next Spring’s potential…..

We begin our exploration with Spring and the promise of newly budding life. We have emerged from the hold of Winter and its cold and darkness prepared the way for identifying what we would plant anew in Spring’s fertility. This is the season for gardening and using those intentions, seeding the gardens of what we wish to bring as new life into our daily and spiritual experiences.

As the days lengthen in sunlight and what was frigid ground begins to warm and yield underfoot, our inner landscape that has awaited the warming from the chill is ready to yield and become the fertile loamy soil of our planted intentions. Elementally, Spring is often equated with Air and cyclically with Dawn. The newly rising Sun of Dawn’s gentle light stirs the winds of hope, intention and possibilities for what that new day will bring. Seasonally, Spring holds this dawning light and the breath of new thought, idea and inspiration flows through the fertile soil of a manifest form that is ready to create its own beautiful bouquet of Summer’s flowering.

Meditation on the Season of Spring
The guided meditation below can be used at any time, but it is most aligned with the energies of Spring’s cycle of planting. You may envision the seeding as simply growing a literal meditative garden of beautiful flowers/herbs that you may use as a visionary tool for relaxation. Or, you may also use this metaphorically as the seeding of a desire for change or attraction of what you need. A modification of this was used to attract a new job and another modification to bring about healing of emotions that had crowded out the possibility of forgiveness. Enjoy….

  • You will need:
    White candle
    Quiet place where you will not be disturbed

…..Sit in a comfortable position with a white candle lit in front of you a few feet away. As you stare at the flame of the candle allow your gaze to soften and turn your focus and attention to your breath. Allow the rhythm of your breath to become slowed and easy of pace and your state of consciousness to move with the rise and fall of your chest and the filling and release of the lungs. Continue in this manner for several breaths; allowing each to become softer, smoother and slower. As you continue to gaze at the candle flame allow you eyes to gently close and retain the image of the flame within the center of your higher consciousness. As the flame expands and becomes brighter and luminescent of white light see your physical image standing directly in front of this veil of white light. Give as much detail, shape and form to that image as you can. And, when you feel ready step through this white flame of purification.

As you emerge through it’s dense veil, you find yourself standing at the outer gate of what appears to be a garden. The wrought iron of the gate is slightly rusted with weathering and is embraced on either side by a brick wall that seems to extend infinitely on either side. As you look upwards the tops of scantily budded branches reach upwards towards a clear blue sky. This is the promise of lush greenery just a few months away as it is now Spring and time to prepare the ground for new planting for the growth that will take hold in the months ahead. You move towards the Gate and barely reach forward with your hand as the Gate gently swings open, allowing you entrance. This Gate has no need for lock or key for you are the only one who has the power and energy to open its gate. Your thoughts, your intent, your will are gatekeeper, gardener and master designer of all that is contained within this sacred space. You breathe in deeply and as you move forward with a gentle exhale, the Gate closes behind you and the warm Spring air embraces you; each footfall provides the crackle underfoot of stone and dirt. Breathe in deeply, taking in the aroma of fertility and awaiting growth and look around, drinking in the sights, sounds and smells of this place.

(Brief Pause)….

As you continue along the Path you can feel the energy of new growth underfoot and surrounding you but that is not your focus this time. Your eyes come to rest on a dark patch of earth a few feet ahead of you and instinctively you know that this is your sacred space of planting and calling forth the quickening of Spring. This ground will need tilling and clearing so that it may be a place of nurturing for what you will be planting soon. You kneel in the center of this ground covered with dried and dead weed, root and thorn that are no longer of use or conducive to new planting. Settle in sitting centrally and take a moment to ground, center and focus your will and intent on clearing and purifying this space. Allow the visions of this space as Spring deepens, shoots of seedlings sprouting up and the anticipation of Summer’s light empowering and strengthening your work.

Now you are ready to begin and as you reach out to pull out the first patch of weed and overgrowth, feel the release of this action. You sense the sigh of the earth as you continue in this manner to un-tether and uncoil dead root; your fingers probing into soil, your mind agile and filled with excitement about the work ahead. You move around the perimeter of this space and remove and untangle all unnecessary growth; carefully and completely removing all of it and fertile ground is revealed beneath.

(Long Pause)….

When you have removed the last bit of overgrowth take a moment to look around and acknowledge the strength and transformative power of the task you have just finished. You can feel the gratitude of the earth below and the un-constricted flow of the fertile energy of this space. The piles of weed and tangled root you pulled from the ground encircle the space and as you have expected, slowly they begin to be drawn down into the surrounding earth. All consumed and absorbed by the Great Mother to be transformed and renewed within her womb.

It is now time to complete the last stage of this process of clearing away and preparing for Spring’s bounty. You rise to a standing position and hear the gentle sounds of the music of the winds playing through the branches of the trees. The music is sweet and gentle and you begin to move rhythmically around the newly cleared earth. Your feet move lightly here and fro; moving the soil around, aerating, mixing and blending. Continue dancing, feeling the soft, pliable earth below, blending energy and breath. Your heart is light and the feeling of freedom moves throughout your being.

(Long Pause)….

You will know when the ground is just right and the foundation lain. And, when this moment arrives you slow your movement, catch your breath and close your eyes with arms outstretched at your sides in thanks for the energy provided and foundation laid. You open your eyes and look down and see a basket filled with seeds just at your feet. They are ripe with energy and you reach down, feeling the strands of energy reaching upwards. You scoop up a handful and kneeling in the dirt, begin placing the seeds into the ground. You breathe into each interval of space of planting and a joy from deep within wells up inside of you. You feel the call of Spring and you are co-creator of her efforts in greening the earth. Before long, the entire basket of seeds is emptied and your work is complete; and it is time to leave this place.

The earth will settle into just the right form and space. The energy of new growth will continue to build and the sun will provide nourishment and strength and the moon’s tides will provide the opportunity for rest and renewal. You move out of the space you have prepared and step once again onto the Path and you are filled with joy and anticipation of what potential and opportunity awaits you on your next visit. You continue along the stone Path and see the Gate just ahead. You turn and take one last look at your surroundings. You will return to this space as often as you wish and as it becomes receptive to your tender care new colors, smells and sights will fill this space of Spring’s quickening.

As you approach the Gate it gently swings open and you step through. The gentle clang of metal closing echoes in your ear as it shuts and you turn again to face the front of the Gate and wall and take a moment to give thanks for this space and what is contained within. You turn away feeling the presence of the white veiling of light. Its energy and density are palpable and as you breathe deeply, the colors of Spring flash through the light.

You step through and emerge once again as observer. Allow your focus to move gently from this center of consciousness and return to your physical being. Each breath bringing greater awareness of the rhythm of your breath, the rise and fall of your chest and the physicality of your being sitting comfortably in the space in which you began this meditation.

Blessings of Spring…

Next Month: Sensorial Meditation:Engaging the Senses

In conclusion…

“There is no glory in star or blossom til looked upon by
a loving eye; There is no fragrance in April breezes til
breathed with joy as they wander by.”
– William C. Bryant –

Upcoming Events – 2018

April 3rd
Temple of the Sun Series: Part Two


Egyptian Alchemy: Opening the Way
8-wks.on Tuesday Evenings
For more information. Click here…

April 7th
ASW Spring Magick and Ritual for the Stag God, Cernnunos


A Day-long Event of workshops, ritual and community
For more information. Click here…

Musings From the Mystic Path is published monthly by Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW.

Editor: R. Fennelly, HPs, CMP, ASW
Columnists: L. B., Tesseract and India Amour, Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat
Contributors: Membership/Petitioners  of Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW

All rights reserved and maintained as intellectual property of the author. If you would like to re-publish any content herein, permission should be obtained and proper citation given to the author.

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted
Shadows: Photo-R. Fennelly
Gaia: Original Artwork used by Permission – Geraldine Arata

For more information about the contents of the newsletter and/or our coven:

Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW or email:hpsmysticpath@yahoo.com

Posted in April 2018, Volume Two | Tagged | 2 Comments

March2018:Spring into New Beginnings!

Vol. 2 – Issue 11

Musings From the Mystic Path

The Month of March
Spring Into New Beginnings!

Happy Spring! Happy month of March and the promise that it brings!

This month’s issue is bursting with new beginnings and the joy of anticipation as the weather warms and thee beauty of nature beckons us to linger longer in Her domain. We welcome a new column this month entitled “Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat“. You can look forward to articles about the practice of Yoga, the experience of our columnist in real terms and glimpses into her journal as she moved through years of cultivating a renewing and personal practice.

Tesseract” speaks to the astrology of the month and in keeping with use of the energy of the Wheel of the Year, weaves information about the Sabbat of the Vernal Equinox/Ostara into its working. Another perspective of the Vernal Equinox and “Seekers on the Path” continues the exploration of Meditation in Part Two of this series with focus on meditations for the elements of self.

So, head out of doors, find a grassy comfortable spot and enjoy this month’s offerings….

“Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems.”
-Rainer Maria Rilke-

Featured Writings

A Bird Sings

By Celestine

A bird sings.
Just as the alarm blares out, startling me out of a deep slumber.
I stumble into the darkness, fumbling for the light switch.
Like an automaton, I complete my morning ablutions.
Still half asleep, I trudge into the cold darkness and my day begins.

A bird sings.
The notes dancing on sunbeams, gently calling me to waken.
I bounce out of bed into the soft, golden rays of dawn.
I hum a little tune as I prepare to greet the day ahead.
Smiling contentedly, I skip out the door and my day begins.

A bird sings.
It sings of the end of darkness.
It sings of the imminent arrival of spring.
A bird sings, I just need to choose to listen.
A bird sings and my heart is full of joy!

“I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose
I would always greet it in a garden.”
-Ruth Stout-

March Marches In

By L.K.

It seems like 2018 just started and yet here we are at the beginning of third month already! Frequently known to come “in like a lion, and out like a lamb” March is often a month of turbulent weather and fluctuating temperatures. March tends to bring mixed emotions for people. Some are sorry to see the crisp, cold snowy days of winter come to an end. No more will our yards be graced with a soft blanket of pristine, white snow.

Jack Frost will retire, leaving our windshields undecorated with his lacy designs. March marks the end of skiing, sledding, and snowball fights. Yes, some will be saddened to leave winter’s cold embrace. For others, March heralds the approach of Spring and they celebrate the end of long, dark days and excitedly anticipate the warmer days soon to come. Even though we may continue to ensure cold, snowy days we know those days are numbered when March arrives! We begin to make plans for the summer, booking flights and renting beach houses. For those with a green thumb, March may involve garden planning and even starting seedlings indoors.

In the Northern Hemisphere March 20th marks the Spring (or Vernal) Equinox. This is the day when daylight and darkness are of almost equal length at most places in the Earth. Astronomically it is the point of time when the Sun crosses the Earth’s celestial equator. Or in simpler terms, the moment when the center of the visible sun is directly over the equator. At that time the Earth’s tilted axis is actually nearly perpendicular to the Sun. (It is interesting to note that Equinoxes occur in any planet with a tilted rotational axis). After the March Equinox the northern hemisphere of the Earth begins to tilt towards the sun causing days to lengthen and temperatures to rise. Since it marks the start of longer daylight hours people in the northern hemisphere historically considered the Vernal Equinox a day the celebrate. For modern society, however, a brief disruption of communication can occur as geostationary communications satellites are momentarily positioned directly between the Earth and the Sun and subject to overload from the Sun. Thankfully this sun outage is usually of short duration.

From an astrological perspective, March 20th is also the First Point of Aries. Around 130 BCE, the Sun entered the western edge of the constellation Aries on the Vernal Equinox causing Hipparchus to name it the First Point of Aries. Throughout the year the Sun passes through all of the zodiac constellations, beginning with the First Point of Aries. Thus, the Zodiac calendar begins with the Sun sign of Aries on March 21st. Due to orbital wobbling (or precession) the sun no longer appears to enter the constellation Aries on March 20th, it transitioned into Pisces in approximately 68 BCE and has remained there since. In 2597 AD the Vernal Equinox will transition into Aquarius. The First Point of Aries continues to be used by astronomers to calculate the location of celestial bodies in the celestial sphere. (If you are interested in the math please refer to a reputable astronomy source as it is beyond the scope of this article and outside of the mathematical skills of this writer!)

Historically, many cultures had celebrations on or near the Spring Equinox. The Babylonian’s had the holiday Akitu, celebrating the marriage of the Earth Goddess Ishtar to the Sky God Marduk. In Persia the festival of No Ruz, a celebration of hope and renewal, fell on the spring equinox. The ancient Mayans celebrate the return of the Sun Serpent on the day of the Equinox. Ancient Romans celebrated the resurrection of Attis by Cybele. Many older civilizations recognized the Spring Equinox as a time to honor the return of the sun and celebrate the burgeoning life springing from the earth. In agriculturally centered societies understanding seasonal changes was key to survival and longer, warmer days were certainly something to celebrate!

The Vernal Equinox is also important in relation to many modern religious celebrations. The Jewish holiday of Passover usually occurs on the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox. For most Christian s Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after (or on) the Spring Equinox.

Ostara, a celebration of Spring and fertility, is one of the eight Sabbats celebrated by many Neo-Pagans. The history of Ostara is much more recent than many of the Neo-Pagan celebrations, such as Yule and Samhain. The original Wheel of the Year, as described by Gerald Gardner, only included six Sabbats, the summer and winter solstices along with four Celtic fire festivals. The spring and fall equinoxes were later added to the wheel and the name “Ostara” came into use in the late 1960’s. Many believe Ostara is named after Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess associated with the dawn although springtime celebrations pre-date the first appearance of this goddess.

Eggs and rabbits are symbols claimed by both Christian and Neo-Pagans and while some may argue over who appropriated these symbols from whom, their use as symbols of fertility likely precede modern practice of either faith. Indeed, many holidays this time if year involve celebrating with food and decorating with flowers and the gentle yet vibrant colors of spring and often include a celebration of life and fertility.

And if the Vernal Equinox, start of the zodiacal year, change of seasons, and various religious holidays are not enough, March also gives us St. Patrick’s Day! March 17th is considered the traditional day to celebrate death of St. Patrick, patron saint of Ireland. For many Christians, in addition to attending church services, it is an official feast day when Lenten dietary restrictions are lifted. In the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland tibia a public holiday. And for many people it is simply a day to shake off the last dregs of winter with a merry celebration with family and friends. As the saying goes, we’re all Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, so grab your green garb and celebrate, for Mother Earth will be wearing her finest greenery soon!

“The force of Spring is mysterious, fecund and
powerful beyond measure.”
-Michael Garofalo-

Serpent’s Rod
by R.F.

She coils silently and skillfully around
Encircling and spiraling upwards
Branch and fiber, vine and trunk strongly
Held in Her embrace knowing that
No limb will offer obstacle.

Reaching ever upwards
The serpent moves with fluid grace
Around her stable rod
As man marvels at the symmetry
And grace of Her willful Ascent.

“Spring is the time of plans and projects”
– Leo Tolstoy –

Wonders of Water

by M.H.

While riding the train to work daily, I saw the advertisements for The Philadelphia Flower Show. This year’s theme is “Wonders of Water”. As we enter the month of March, I began to think about its relationship with the element of water. March is the month when the waters begin to flow. The snow and ice of winter melt away to reveal the new abundance of plant and animal life. In the Spring our creative thoughts turn to new beginnings and we are energized to tackle new projects and spend time outdoors.

Our bodies are composed mostly of water and like rivers rising after the Spring rains our emotions are influenced by water. Water is always moving, changing influenced by the Moon the tides ebb and flow. At times our emotions experience the calmness of a still lake and other times we are riding the turbulent ocean waves. Even the tears we shed in times of despair are our bodies way of releasing the sorrow and pain.

We can use water magic in our everyday life. For instance, draw a warm bath and fill it with your favorite scented herbs, flower petals or bath oils. As you soak in the water imagine your stress and worries being carried away by the water. Allow the healing effect of water to relax you and draw peace into your life. Water can be used in a method of divination called Scrying. Take a simple dark colored bowl, add water and a drop of soap. Sit quietly, soften your gaze as you look deeply in the water. Practicing this skill of psychic visualization, you never know what might be revealed.

So as the month of March brings us new beginnings in all aspects of our lives expect to feel the influence of water. Let its healing properties carry away the negativity and bring peace into your life. Allow the clarity of vision and psychic awareness to prepare you to meet the ever changing situations in our daily lives. Take the time to truly experience the wonders of water.

“An optimist is the human personification of spring.”
-Susan J. Bissonette-

Focus On

Tesseract
The Intersection of Moon Phase, Astrology, Elemental Energy, and Magick


by Ionlanthe

Welcome to March. There are several significant dates that we will consider with our discussion of March. First, there will be a full Moon on Friday March 2 and it will be in Virgo, a mutable earth sign. Then, the new Moon will occur on Saturday March 17 and will be moving from Pisces (a mutable water sign) and into Aries (a cardinal fire sign). That day of perfect balance, when day and night are of equal length, will happen at the Spring Equinox on Tuesday March 20. And for a bonus, there will be a second full Moon on Saturday March 31 and it will be in Libra, a cardinal air sign.

As we can see from these portents, we will be learning on the universe a way to find a sense of balance. We will have the brightness of the two full Moons in earth and air, in mutable and cardinal signs. The new Moon will be watery and mutable. And in between, we will have the Equinox.

Virgo represents striving toward perfection, working for tangible results, and making necessary changes to continue toward the desired outcome. The first full Moon in March will shine a light on your goals, plans, expectations, and how to get onto achieving your goals.

The second full Moon will be in Libra, which represents ideas, thoughts, new beginnings, starting on a new path.

In between, the new Moon will be moving from Pisces into Aries, into cardinal fire and away from mutable water. The time of the new Moon is one of introspection, self-examination, moving into one’s own inner landscape. This is perfectly suited to Pisces’s emotional undercurrents and diving deep. However, Aries is all about action, moving forward, starting something. The Moon’s lessons for this month are about shining a light on a plan of action, going within to evaluate and weigh and consider, then starting again with energy and with new ideas and insights.

While we are being enriched with the Moon’s gifts, we are also met with the balance of the Equinox: one of the two days in a calendar year in which we have equal amounts of daylight and nighttime. This is time when life springs forth, literally in the new green growth, young birds are hatching, lambs frolicking in the fields, and the air is softer and no long holds winter’s icy chill. The ground is softening and will be ready for sowing of seeds. Each day, the amount of time the sun shines will increase, until the time of the autumn equinox.

This is a time to open your windows, let in the fresh air, sweep away dust that had been hiding in the corner. Let the light shine in on you and all you hold dear. Behold what is illuminated. Let go of what is unneeded. Step outside of your house, of your routines, out of your tightly wound self. See what is around you. Open up to possibilities. The Moon and sun and universe welcome you.

In the words of Max Ehrmann’s “Desiderata” remember this: “You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”

To celebrate the balance of light and dark in March, you could craft a witch’s besom to sweep out the old to make room for the new. A besom is a traditional Witch’s broom, typically made of a staff of oak or ash with a bundle of birch twigs and binding made from cording or twines. It is used to symbolically sweep out an area to remove negative energy. If you don’t care to craft a besom, you can buy one or just use a standard broom. For the sake of spiritual use, it is better to dedicate a specific broom for this purpose. So, keep your kitchen broom for sweeping out the kitchen, and keep your spiritual broom for sweeping out negative energies!

A magickal cleansing is typically carried out by sweeping out the energies of your space (room, house, ceremonial meeting place, work space) from the top to the bottom and from the back to the front. Sweep out toward open windows and toward open doors. Your besom does not need to touch the floor; this is a spiritual sweeping, not a physical sweeping. You may want to do a spring cleaning first, then pull out your besom for the magickal cleaning.

Enjoy the light and the coming warmth.

“Sit quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.”
-Zen Wisdom-

Welcome to our New Columnist!

Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat
” Every Posture Is a Journey Not a Destination “

As I was looking through my journals about my experience in beginning a Yoga practice, I found this piece over the weekend. Allow me to apologize at the start any comments that were mean and ignorant. Body criticism and judgment is a big thing for many new to the practice and overcoming that to simply center on yourself is part of the practice.

JOURNAL ENTRY 1.

I thought I was prepared. I’ve been investigating for some time; learned the basics, after all, I’ve got a yoga DVD at home that I do at least once a month. After deciding on a studio (contacts have been great) and reading the frequently asked questions and answers; I’m set. Easy from there right? OMG. OMFG. WTF.

Lesson one: No drinking! Yoga is breathing, flexibility, and a releasing of toxins. (the key here: DO NOT HAVE TOXINS)

Lesson two: You cannot eat big meals before class. My suggestion: start this on Tuesday night (seriously). Eat healthy; sensible portions (this is key). Honestly I made a typical crazy Sunday meal (overboard, the kind you need a nap afterwards). Matt was happy, I was happy no drinking involved, good times right? Um, our system was still digesting this meal today. ALL DAY!
Thank god my coffee kicked in before class.

Lesson 3: Wear the right clothing. No jewelry, you’ll be patting you’re face so be careful with the make-up, wear light, breathable fabrics (not big or hanging). I prefer dark colors (sweat shows immediately in light grey, etc.). UM and NO perfume or smelling lotions (in fact; limit lotion the day of: see later reference).

Lesson 4: Know you’re limits.
Class was very enlightening and very fun. But I thankfully heeded earlier warnings.

THE EXPERIENCE:
So I had a productive day off; lots of water; ate veggies around 2:30. Showered. toenails painted (I know, vanity). Additional sports bra, unscented lotion (vanity prevents ashy elbows, feet, or exposed skin period). Packed the mat, 2 towels, ready to go. Matt came home (I had spoken to him around noon and warned him to avoid a heavy lunchtime meal). Yoga was a surprise; he loves me right?

We go first to Walmart (he needs a mat), then on our way. He’s really not looking forward to this; but goes along for the experience. We arrive early (YEAH); just as instructed. Spoke with the women; who were both pleasant and helpful as we mentioned this was our first class, then we signed in. Realized there is a WAIVER to complete prior before class (why does a stretching class need a waiver?).

Any-hoo, Cute spot! We’re apprehensive; but feeling the Zen. Cubbies for shoes (thank god for earlier pedicure) and jackets and cell phones and keys. Decided we would only need one towel. Jen had cautioned about sweating during class; but it’s just stretching, we won’t sweat that much, occasional patting, less bulk; we could share. People are coming and going. There are dressing rooms and bathrooms (one for guys and girls, ONE); but no worries. Then down the hall; she opens the door for us and it hits me immediately. HEAT. Like summertime, sauna, down south, stifling heat. Beautiful space though, mirrored wall, some fans above and soft lighting. OK, won’t be that bad. The heat allows your muscles to really oxygenate and although mirrors are intimidating; one must think of them as educational. They allow you to critique your posture sequence. I mean, they have fans; how bad could it be? Open mind, new experience-Jen’s idea is great!

She escorts Matt and me to the middle of the room (um, keep open mind, no need for the back of the class mentality); besides, she explains that when the class turns we will always have someone to follow. Nice mix of people; 20’s to upper 50’s. some diversity going on, all body types (YEAH), (Matt is comfortable that it was about 30% men.) So we relax as she begins with standing postures.

Breathing, stretching arms, good thoughts, balance. We can do this; but wow, it really is hot in here. Then comes the balancing. (holding a knee up, holding the leg back, standing on one while holding arms in extensively involved positions). Arms out, one leg up-now lets progress to tippy toe (am I a ballerina? Matt is watching the fans and making sure not to hit the lady behind him). So then we must cross our arms under each other-she comes over to try and help; but then says-just go as far as you can-realizing my boobs are preventing this. Damn that extra sports bra. I can’t even hook my arms together, but one learns. All about adjustment. I simply hold my elbows higher to sink lower into the squatting on one tippy toe foot position. Others are seriously sweating, not just me. Thank god. I can get through this. Breathe. Concentrate.

Next we go into warrior poses. Yes, familiar again. legs apart. inner thigh stretch. balance. (note to self, less lotion on the feet would prevent slipping across my mat). But thankfully I prepared with a light meal earlier; definitely enough strength to get me through; but it really is hot in here. I’m really sweating (Jen was right). I see the shimmer on my arms already too (maybe the lotion wasn’t the best idea). Looking around; others are sweating so I’m good; back to concentration, right. Wrong! We’re all hot, and it’s only 15 minutes in. Then, the dude in front of me decides to take his shirt off. Shirt off. As in naked yoga?
Um, ok, fine if you’re Matthew McConaughey; but this guy is Chewbacca! wtf. Really? And why are you right in front of me? How’s anyone supposed to concentrate now? Where am I supposed to look? He’s slipped over and now blocking the mirror completely with sweaty back hair.

So we move to the floor and Jillian starts with the music. Cool, brings in the tantric feel. I decide to place the towel on my mat and my boyfriend doesn’t seem to mind as he’s just concentrating on the breathing. Another 15 minutes goes by and there are puddles dripping on the floor around Chewbacca. Remain open. Must Concentrate. I can do this. Stretch. But as I’m on the floor, staring at ceiling, I realize those are heat lamps! It’s feeling like Cambodia because we are under rotisserie cooking lamps! Ok, breathe into the posture. I can do this. Matt is now cursing me and his mat is too short, the woman behind him keeps bumping him. Forget drinks or other toxins; He’s sweating last night’s meal out of his system! The instructor reminds us that anything we ingest that is not organic and healthy has toxins. I just focus. Breathe into the positions. We can do this.

Somewhere after 45 minutes; I start to get dizzy. We’re now attempting a seating position on our knees while leaning back to place our heads to the floor. Jillian comes to help my boyfriend out by placing a blue cushion block under his ass. He looks very uncomfortable; as am I. In fact, I’m really feeling weird. No biggie; I’ll just concentrate on her music. Um NO. I’m actually getting nauseous. Vomit is creeping up quickly; then, I have a full on heat flash. Thankfully, I’m already on the ground because I can’t move. I see the top of the door behind my head and know there is fresh air and a toilet beyond; but I can’t move. Ok, breathe. Oh, God; please don’t let me pass out cold and these people will need to call an ambulance. It was like being sick drunk without the liquor. If this bitch doesn’t crank these fans up. Matt can’t see me as he’s moving between the blue block and a downward dog position. Why did I sign that waiver? There is no stopping this spinning, dizzy, ears ringing, nauseating cycle. Must remain calm, breathe. Just lie here (as if I could move).

I think I missed a good 4 minutes of postures before I felt my body becoming normal again. Jillian had come up to check on me; but I could not talk; so she just told me to lie there and breathe (Might have been possible if there was any air here in hell). Thankfully everyone else was still on the ground as I came back into consciousness.
We switch from our backs to lying face down (now Matt’s pissed about the towel). His face is on the floor for the leg and arm lifts move. So we’re on our stomachs, stretching our limbs off the ground when Jillian proceeds to play the Superman theme song. SUPERMAN!!!! Ok, it was funny; however I was still concerned with staying in reality due to all my toxins releasing in this sweatshop. (when I write toxins, I now mean food, of any food in your system).

We’re finally winding down. We’re soaked. Matt has accepted that he is too tall to properly stretch without wacking the lady behind us. Then ….we hear it. . . the instructor starts speaking in Sanskrit for the ending sequences. SANSKRIT. really?

I’m not talking Latin or Hebrew. SANSKRIT!!!! I didn’t even know that was an audible language. Everyone starts this breathing sequence. We just look at each other; I see no love in his eyes. Chewie, in front of me, has created an entire sweat moat that has spread off his mat all around him. We’ve finished off 2 huge water containers. The instructor is spreading her “namaste” “good thoughts” love and we just want to go home.

By the time we get up; we’re the last in the room. Out of 20 some people! We make our way out the door into a greeting of arctic air! I can’t even think of a description for that wake-up call. I’m changing into my street clothes. Matt refuses to speak to me. The receptionist proceeds to tell us about the $130.00 dollar beginner package with unlimited yoga sessions in between! LOL

. . . So we finally reach the outside fresh air and our lungs proceed to freeze. I crank the heat in the car and take us to grab a bit at the health food store. (Why waste all that energy on pizza). Matt asks if I’m trying to kill him and if I’ve recently taken out a new insurance policy. We make it home, I’m getting things in order and he’s using all the hot water in existence. We both have migraines that require STRONG medications. Not sure about being able to move tomorrow. I get up and he’s in bed. No hot water left. I finally get into bed only to toss and turn until about 12 am. It’s freezing. I believe my core temperature has been irrevocably damaged and I have to throw on thermals under my pj’s! Thermals! I toss and turn until one, my knees are in a permanent 90-degree angle to try and alleviate the back pain. At 2:30a.m. I give up on sleep. Sunlight comes, but we both can’t move. Thank god for coffee.

FYI; Matt has forgiven me, but has never returned to the studio for another class. He chooses to practice at home. This experience is where my journey began, and so it makes sense for me to share it at the beginning of my series. Perhaps my story has entertained, or maybe you can relate. New beginnings are uncomfortable, scary, sometimes painful and awkward. This is just one step in my journey of self improvement via the yogic tradition. I love this practice and wholeheartedly recommend it; (it has gotten easier to an extent). Just use common sense, listen to your body, stay open and trust. I am so very happy I continued on this path; many, many lessons have been learned and I do not know where I would be today without my practice. Thank you for reading and of course,

NAMASTE…MQ


First Steps on the Seeker’s Path

This month’s article is Part Two of a series of posts about the practice of meditation and contemplative integration at all levels of being. Last month I discussed the need for balance in all o our endeavors and the opening that will result in spending time in a contemplative way…..

Part Two: Magickal Meditation
Meditation for the Elements of Self

This month provides a set of meditations that may be used to awaken the elemental nature of your being. We are creatures of Earth and the cosmos and as such, we hold within our bodies the basic alchemical correspondences that resonate with everything of creation. This components are often simplified and assigned the characteristics of Earth – Air – Fire and Water, each holding its own symbology and understanding based primarily on what we know of the physical world.

Even if we are unable to take time to sit in a contemplative manner, we are always able to connect to these elements that surround and are within us. These are the basics of the Four Elements:

AIR is associated with the cardinal direction of the East-the place of the rising sun or dawn. Air is also associated with mind and intellect, the place that gives rise to the birth of ideas. When we connect with the element of air we are moving through the realms of the mind and just as the breeze carries seeds from location to location that eventually become tree or plant, the seeds of bright ideas and inspiration are carried within the air-like movement of the mind.

FIRE, unlike the other elements cannot exist in physical form without consuming and destroying something else, thus causing transformation of that thing. It is out of that destruction that the potential for the most growth often occurs. This action is that of the legendary Phoenix rising from the flames of ash. At a purely mundane and physical level Fire is associated with heat. The warmth of the Sun and the heat of the wood stove that keeps us warm in wintry weather. When we take it to the mental level, Fire becomes the passion that excites and ignites. It is the catalyst that creates movement and it is the creative spark that leads to new invention or manifest creation.

WATER is associated with the cardinal direction of the West, the place of the setting sun or dusk. It is both the place of endings and also the anticipation of the rising of the lunar energies as night falls. It is closely connected to the similar energies of the Moon and its impulse of ebb and flow, waxing and waning as it moves through its cycles of change. It is the emotional outpour and connection to the intent of mind and action of will that creates successful endeavors, all being held within the foundation of the element of earth.

EARTH is associated with the cardinal direction of North, the place of midnight, when the sun’s light has moved beyond the horizon of sight and appears to be held in the darkness of night before sunrise. Earth is also associated with all things of the physical realm. Humanity, flora, fauna, crystal and more are all contained within earth. Earth is the place of manifestation, concrete and tangible outcome. Earth holds within its bound the potential for creation, evolution and sustaining of what has been created. Earth is the energy of the magnet that attracts to itself what it sends forth. Because earth defines the manifest world and all that is contained within, it draws to itself the power of manifestation itself.

And, the Fifth (5th) element is that of Spirit. When we engage our higher nature in work that stimulates and refines the consciousness, Spirit rises and we are at-one-ment with the the energies of the Universe.

Spirit stands apart from the four physical elements. Air, Fire, Water and Earth form the foundation upon which manifest and un-manifest work is done. Spirit has no specific correspondences, easily defined boundaries or categorization as it is the flexible container that expands, contracts, opens and closes in response to everything that surrounds and contains it. Spirit manifests in everything and is everywhere. To say that everything contains Spirit is to try to articulate something that cannot be limited by words, analogies or truisms.

As we move deeper into this series, we’ll dip a little deeper into the elements and their use at the levels of spiritual practice. For now, use the information above as starting points, spend some time with the meditations below and remain open to what reveals itself to you in understanding this sacred aspect of who we are as manifest beings:

Meditation on the Elements
Source: The Elemental Year by Robin Fennelly

Begin each of these meditations in the same way:

Turn your focus and attention to your breath. Allow your state of consciousness to move with the rise and fall of your chest and the filling and release of the lungs. Continue in this manner for several breaths; allowing each to become softer, smoother and slower.

AIR
As you sit quietly in a relaxed state imagine yourself as a leaf being carried by a gentle breeze. You feel the weightlessness of your being and the gentle cradle of a pocket of air that lifts you above the ground. You move slowly and then a gust and burst of sir moves you more quickly as you float gently. The sensation is one of movement and buoyancy; currents of air weaving in and out as they carry you along. You relax even more deeply and enjoy this sense of freedom and lightness. Your breath moves in rhythm with the air that flows around you. Continue in this imagined state for as long as you wish, knowing that return of attention to your breath will bring you back to the space of physical being.

FIRE
You find yourself sitting in front of a crackling fireplace. The wood is aromatic and the sputters of the flames creates it own background music. The flames rise and fall, dancing and weaving around the logs. Blues at the hottest point of burning and reds and oranges ablaze like the colors of a beautiful sunset. You are mesmerized by the movement of the flames and the many shapes and images that seem to be contained within. You note the transformation of solid piece of wood, to aromatic flame and then to ash; and think of the transformative powers of action and change. Continue to sit looking at the flames and the wisdom of change they offer.

WATER
It is sunset and you are on a beach standing at the edge of the vast ocean. The dusky blue of the sky and the deep blue of the waters in front of you form a tapestry of soothing color. The white peaked waves, foamy and rising and falling as if in syncopation hold your gaze. These are the tides that ebb and flow within you as well. The resonance of your being and the energy and rise and swell of the waters stirs the emotions you hold within. The sheer beauty of the sun setting below the horizon of water’s edge and the anticipation of the rising of the moon bring a yearning and peace that cannot be articulated. Enjoy the beauty of this scene. The smell of the salty air and the rising of the moon reflected on waters of life.

EARTH
You find yourself standing at the base of a giant Sequoia; looking up at a canopy of leaves and network of branches that stretches far into the sky. You can feel the palpable energy of this space and smell the loamy earth, ripe with life. You lean gently against the massive base of the tree and immediately feel the energetic connection between yourself and this grand giant. You can also feel and sense the many sights and years of change this tree has taken in. The connection of sinewy roots interweaving and dipping deep into the belly of the great mother earth- Gaia. Stand in this way for some time. Drink in the connection and energy pulsing through you and the tree. This is earth. This is your home. And you are steward of its care.

And end each of the meditations with:

Move your focus back to your breath. With each breath bring your awareness back to the rhythm of your breath and the rise and fall of your chest. Become aware of the physicality of where you are sitting or lying and your body pressed against cushion, chair or floor. And, when you are ready, gently flutter your eyes open.

Next Month: Meditative Practice for the Seasons

In conclusion…

“And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.”

-Percy Bysshe Shelley-

Upcoming Events – 2018

March 24th
Celebration of the Solar Year: Ritual of Khepra-RA


The Spring Equinox is at hand and Dawn’s rising offers new beginnings.
For more information. Click here…

March 27th
Temple of the Sun Series: Part Two


Egyptian Alchemy: Opening the Way
8-wks.on Tuesday Evenings
For more information. Click here…

Musings From the Mystic Path is published monthly by Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW.

Editor: R. Fennelly, HPs, CMP, ASW
Columnists: L. B., Tesseract and India Amour, Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat
Contributors: Membership/Petitioners  of Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW

All rights reserved and maintained as intellectual property of the author. If you would like to re-publish any content herein, permission should be obtained and proper citation given to the author.

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted

For more information about the contents of the newsletter and/or our coven:

Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW or email:hpsmysticpath@yahoo.com

Posted in March 2018, Volume Two | 1 Comment