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.

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June2017: Summer and Light

Vol. 2 – Issue 2

Musings From the Mystic Path
The Month of June
Summer and Light

Last month we celebrated our one-year anniversary and now off and running into year number two! June is sun and light, heat and endless adventures just waiting to be explored with family, friends, loved ones and newly found co-travelers.

The solstice marks the passing of astronomical time and in it’s over abundance of light and day comes the time to revel in that heat and strength, absorbing it into every cell so it may be carried into the promise of shorter days and introspective nights. 

Flowers are bursting in peak bounty and for just a moment the world is alive, potent and palpable in its glory. This month’s writings reflect that joy and anticipation of time outdoors, walks and just simply settling into “being”. We have an incense recipe to keep the heat burning, directions to create a Spirit bag and more. Let the fun begin and welcome the summer light….

Just had to repeat this one!  

“I will be the gladdest thing under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.”
– Edna St. Vincent Millay –

Featured Writings

VICTORY
by MM

Show me YOUR glory.

The sun won’t shine brighter.
There’s nowhere to hide.

You could wait for subtle hints of shadow
to creep its fingers across grass,
or add depth to the freshly
and finally lush sycamore, oak, and maple.

You could sit and watch perennials reach their full height,
grateful for no longer needing to slumber in safety,
and delight in their aerial glory
instead of yours.

You were not born for this.

You do not exist simply to make way
and witness.

This is YOUR time.

Share it with the flowers
and each leaf that follows the sun.
We compliment and supplement each other,
as needed.

It is right that we each own our place.
We each need only make way in our turn.

Claim your place, now.
Keep it.

Something new must take it soon enough.

Not yet.

“In the depth of winter I finally learned
that there was in me an invincible summer.”
Albert Camus

The Morning Shower

by AB

Wake up
Wake up
Wake Up!

I want to show
You my droplets.

Light hasn’t filled
Them yet but soon
They will shine like
Sparkling diamonds.

See how I hold them
So delicately and
Gracefully.

Can’t let a single
One fall to the
Abyss below never
To enjoy the radiance
That they were destined for.

Wake up
Come on sleepy head
Come outside to take
Your morning shower…

“I know that if odour were visible,
as colour is, I’d see the summer garden
in rainbow clouds.”
Robert Bridges

SUMMER

by MH

S = Solstice sun rides high to its zenith in the sky. Time to reach upwards and connect with the Sun, experience its power.

U = Undulating rays of lights shining from our Sun, longest day and shortest night of the year.

M = Midsummer Litha’s a special time to celebrate the Sun and all it provides for our planet without it, Life would not be possible.

M = Meditate, a time of self-reflection, look at your accomplishments over the year so far, be honest, there’s probably more to do.

E = Express to others your ideas and desires; enumerate
the positive influences they have had on your life.

R = Remember to serve your community, now is the season of boundless Energy and time to take action.

 

“Oh, the summer night, Has a smile of light,
And she sits on a sapphire throne.”
Bryan Procter

Summer Solstice Incense Recipe

by MQ

Ingredients:
1.5 oz. of Frankincense
.75 oz. of Myrrh
Thin layer of cinnamon (about 1 &1/2 teaspoon )
1 to 2 cups of dried peony petals
Thin layer of sandalwood ( about 1 to 1 & 1/2 teaspoons)

Creating an incense is a magical experience, a ritual itself. I thought I would share some thoughts and questions that came up in the process.

What is the incense for? A seasonal ritual? A Sabbat? A meditation, journey or trance? A healing? An offering? What materials are available at the time?  What ingredients do you already have in your supply?  Have you chosen specific colors or scents to reflect the tone of the working?  How much do you need to make? How long does it need to last? Resins for example, burn much more slowly that dried petals and flowers. Is there pantheon or deity involved in the work? If so, what speaks to their time and culture. What plants and materials would they have had access to? How will the vibration of the ingredients you chose blend with you own? How will they change the vibration of the atmosphere, and effect change in the universe?

Onto the work; gather your ingredient, supplies,and  tools. Candles and music can set the tone of the space. Ground, center, focus your intent and begin to create magick! Many blessings.

“People don’t notice whether it’s winter
or summer when they’re happy.”
Anton Chekhov

My Path

By Celestine

My path is mine alone, it is long and winding, but ever leads me on.
At times it takes me through brilliant sunshine, at others into dense darkness.
For the most part it has been smooth, and I remain on course.
But occasionally there are obstacles in my way, some so daunting they appear insurmountable.
Yet always the trail leads on and I toil forward.

My path is mine alone, none can traverse it with me.
Yet occasionally my path may cross with yours and we shall meet.
Even better are the times that our paths intertwine and we can travel together for a while,
Frolicking in the sunshine or helping each other through the rough terrain,
Encouraging each other and picking each other up when we stumble.

My path is mine alone, you cannot walk it with me.
But at this moment our paths have merged and for a time we may journey together hand-in-hand.
And I give thanks for your companionship as we face the future together.

Focus On…

June’s Sabbat- The Summer Solstice

Zenith

by MM

Gauzy shirts and wide-brimmed hats guard the skin of the easily crisped. Our life-giver, brilliant and brutal, lengthens our time for waking and work to sustain our lives now and prepare for the darkness to come. We continue our dance, begun at the waning darkness, now reaching its greatest frenzy.

Already, harvests of early berries and young greens may be consumed. Long-slept perennials stretch, bloom, bask, and feed. Some flowers wait, knowing the fussy fruit they signal must have just the right conditions in which to ripen. Others have long-passed, their delicate, now-fertilized seeds already exposed and scattered to the wind in hope.

Colonies of the tiny, to restore their stocks and increase their number, follow their forage into any breach, some marching in lines to snag bits of early stores, clean forgotten dishes, or make off with missed crumbs. Some are thoughtlessly sacrificed down drains, trapped, eaten, poisoned, or mangled into chitin balls by searching fingers, claws, tongues, or teeth chasing a curious tickle. Some build new nests by summer paper of saliva and pulp, risking spray, crush, or consumption. Still, they march or build because many succeed, and prepare for next year’s births and return.

Each solstice prepares for the next. Each extreme acknowledges the other’s necessity. Here, we may continue to plan and plant, but not for long. New plans must begin at the commencement of waning light–not of what may still be grown (though several of those sneak in), but of what may be done with plans already made. Each flower suggests a fruit. Perhaps fewer are spied than expected. Will we need to supplement? Must alliances form to share and exchange whatever bounty we’ve established or may unexpectedly be granted? The toes of Beltane’s air castles now gently brush and touch their foundations. By this turn, we catch hints of how solid these foundations might be.

We thankfully accept each possibility. All is full, but not crowded. No hard choices must yet be made. We ease or force into our work. We establish rhythms and systems we hope can lift us from thought. We refine skills. Our circumstances reveal unexpected talents. We put each to work to serve or broaden our bounty.

We have faith.

 

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

As we are being pulled toward the summer solstice, we may want to take time to pause for reflection at the time of the full Moon. The full Moon will move into the sign of Sagittarius, a mutable fire sign, on Friday June 9 at 9:09 am. The Sun will rise at 5:24 am and will be in Gemini, a mutable air sign, as the Moon will be setting. This opposition between the Moon and the Sun, between Fire and Air, between Sagittarius and Gemini, will be felt as a friction between desire and action, between thought and word, between feeling and expressing.

The mutable fire energy of Sagittarius loves to explore big ideas and have adventures, is excited by philosophy and spiritual matters, and seeing the big picture. Sagittarius loves to spark new ideas, new initiatives, and aim high for the greater good. The mutable air energy of Gemini craves stimulation and exchange of ideas and loves to tinker in lots of different areas with a lot of small details and this and that, and the other. Gemini is of the now, Sagittarius is of the future. This interaction occurring with the June full Moon energy and Sun in Gemini can lead to a time of insight, understanding, transformation. This could also be a time of friction, confusion, mixed communication, sudden changes in thoughts and feelings.

To help bring balance, spend time out of doors, try some new dance moves or exercises—movement can help with clarity—and be ready to reveal your inner self to the brightness of the full Moon light and the coming Summer Solstice! The energy of a full Moon is one that shines a light on your chance to increase your sense of adventure, try out new ideas, going for what you want to manifest. This is a time for growth, expansion, and increase in many areas.

After the Summer Solstice, we will be visiting the new Moon phase, which will occur on June 24 and will be in Cancer. The new Moon is opposite the full Moon, and what you put into play at the full Moon will come up for evaluation and reassessment at the time of the new Moon. As this new Moon in June will be in Cancer, this will be a time to nurture yourself and pay attention to ways to practice self-healing, especially of emotional wounds.

Here is a way to enrich yourself with the Moon’s energies this month: make a Spirit Bag to carry with you. You could attach a cord so that you could wear it as a pendant around your neck, or hang up in your home or place on your altar.

This spirit bag will combine energies of Sagittarius, the full Moon, and protection. First, gather your materials. You will need a candle, square of fabric, some herbs, gem stones, and a string to tie it closed, and a cord for hanging:

  • Candle:
    Find a white candle to represent the Moon.
  • Fabric, String, and Cording:
    Sagittarius is associated with rich purples and dark blues. Find a piece of fabric in one or more of these colors and cut it so that it is about 4 to 5 inches on each side. It can be solid colored, or patterned, just pick one that is pleasing to you. You will need some string or yarn to tie it closed. Find some that is in a matching color to your fabric. If you want to attach a carry or hanging cord, this should be as long as you want it to be. This will be tied onto the bag after you have finished it and tied it closed.
  • Herbs
    Gather a little of several dried herbs and spices:
    Cinnamon to represent Fire energy
    Sage for protection
    Borage for joy and courage
  • Gem Stones
    Moonstone or Opal are associated with the Moon and carry water energy

Preparation
If you are using a cinnamon stick, grind it down to smaller pieces, or use cinnamon powder. In a bowl, combine the borage, sage, and cinnamon.

Lay out your cloth and tie string, and cording if you are using it.
Have your moonstone or opal nearby.

Methods

Light your candle. Ground your energies, combining Earth energy with cosmic energy, letting them mingle within you. Focus on your intent: protection, clarity, understanding.

Take your string that you will be using to tie close the spirit bag. Tie three knots in it, each knot representing body/mind/spirit.

Place the moonstone or opal on the square of cloth and sprinkle a large pinch of the borage, sage, and cinnamon. Concentrate on the energies you are bringing together: fire, water, Moon, protection, clarity.

Touch each corner of the fabric in turn and think of the four elements: air, earth, fire, and water. Gather the 4 corners together and bring to a point: this is Spirit. Tie the 4 corners together with the knotted string. If you want to add a hanging cord, tie it over the knotted string, do not replace the string.

Blessing
Once you have created your spirit bag, pass it above the candle flame and let its heat and light purify it. Then hold the spirit bag to your solar plexus and send your own energy and intention for protection into it. You will be charging it with vitality so that it may help protect you.

Using the Spirt Bag
Whenever you feel the need to remember the energies of Sagittarius’s fire, the Moon’s fullness, or how to adapt to changing circumstances when the way forward is not clear, take out your spirit bag, press on it a little to release the scent of the herbs and spice, feel the moonstone or opal through the fabric, touch the 3 knots. This will help you re-connect to your intentions and focus with which you filled the spirit bag.

Releasing the Spirit Bag
After some time has passed, you might feel that the energies of the bag have dissipated. If this happens, you can re-energize it by grounding yourself, re-focus on your intents, perhaps open it up and refill it with more herbs and spice. After you do this, pass it again over a candle flame and re-energize it by holding it over your solar plexus. If possible, do this at the time of a full Moon.

If you feel it is time to let go of the spirit bag, you can easily open it up, cast the herbs and spice to the winds, discard the cloth and string by burying them or by burning in a fire, and run clear running water over the opal or moonstone to cleanse it. The gem can be re-used for another purpose, if you so desire.

 

First Steps on the Seeker’s Path

Numerology:The Art and Science of Numbers – Part Four

The next few months of focus for First Steps will be the study of Numerology. This is a #10 year.. 2+1+7=10. Numerologically, this adds up to a year where the singular “1” can unite and work side by side with the Limitless all of “0”, timelessness and eternal. Enjoy…

A note about the planetary correspondences: Although you may find different attributions, those used here are those most commonly used in Numerology.

A Little Review…

The Continuum

Nothing and everything
The endless void fills all time
Until…

One moves in the silence
Stretching and reaching
Towards the other as Two
Swiftly take flight.

They mingle and join
Each claiming their own side
So Three may point the way.
Each base stretched far and wide.

Foundations are laid
By another close at hand
Who opens the Four sealed Gates.
Disruption and creative force
Issues forth as the skillfully crafted
Shield of focus reflects the Five………

Three – 3….represents:

The point of trinity or third that is created from the friction and combined effort of the two.

Within the energy of the number Three (3) is the structure of harmony and the triune nature that forms the three-sided triangle of fire, action and will. Additionally, each component offers a different perspective or dynamic to contribute to that outpour. Three faces, each in support of the other yet one in the same and emanating from the One. Each of these energies works collaboratively with one another in the creative effort of new growth. We find multiple references to the Trinity in spiritual practice. These are but a few:

Maiden, Mother Crone
Youth, Father, Sage
Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva
Father, Son,Holy Ghost

The planetary energy of the number three is Jupiter. Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System and it is this expansive quality that is necessary in seeking a third from the union of the two. Jupiter’s force is one of an over-reaching quality that extends itself far and wide with the intent of covering as much ground as possible. This is done with the intent of sorting through the multiple options presented until finding the one that will be most productive. Considering the energy of Jupiter as it lends its force to any creative endeavor there is great potential for moving beyond what was initially thought possible and creating something entirely new carried forward by the intent fueled at its place of origins.

Astrology: The House of Self- Expression/Presentation

This is the astrological house that defines what you possess and what manner of expression it takes. You have moved from the singular identification of the Self (1st House) and began the process of acquisition of items that create the outer persona of who you perceive yourself to be. Now, arriving at the Third House you have the appropriate external objects that can be the methods you use to communicate who you are. The ruling astrological sign is that of Gemini; the master communicator.

Tarot: The Empress

Tarot Key III – The Empress is the Mother of all life. She sits in quietrepose and strength in the verdant landscape of her own domain. She is the sexual energy that is ripe being both pregnant in her fertility and exquisite in the afterglow of promised union. The Empress offers the vision of what will become and will bear fruit from her union with the masculine polarity and the manifest and spiritual fruits this union will yield. She is the promise of continued life and expression of that life in all of the elemental worlds over which she reigns supreme.

Qabalah: Binah – Understanding

Binah is the Third Sphere on the Tree of Life. Within the energy of Binah we find the Mother and Divine Creatrix; who contains within herself the archetypal womb through which all life is has potential to be made manifest. It is the nature of the male to provide the seed of life, but it is the feminine principle that gives it life, provides the space for gestation and ultimately releases the manifest form into existence or being. It is that feminine principle that holds the primal form within the womb that is both void and full. The vessel that holds nothing also provides the space and potential for it to be filled.

And, the Three needed a structure of foundation and stability from which to grow and seed its harmonious wisdom.

Four – 4….represents:

Opening the point of support to a place of foundation, equanimity and force in a balanced state.

The number Four (4) represents structure and is the basis of foundation, solidity of form and function and endurance or permanence. Four indicates change (as in the four seasons), versatility (as in the four elements) and a nice solid equi-sided base upon which to build from those changes a versatile nature of enduring qualities. This is the energy that can endure as pressure is put upon it internally and externally.

The planetary energy of Uranus is the planet associated with the number Four. Prior to inclusion of the 3 outer planets, the Sun served double duty for the numbers 1 and 4. Its quality is that of pure energy and catalytic stream that pulses life into everything it encounters. This energy serves to bring to light the varied ways that structure may be created as it draws to itself magnetically (similar to the energy of the Sun) everything that will bolster a structure that will support in a stimulating way.

Astrology: The House of Family

The Fourth House is concerned with those you call family. These are your biological family as well as those who you may consider to be your family of nurturance. This is the energy of the home life and those who are supportive. The ruling astrological sign is that of Cancer. Cancer is the quintessential representation of desire for a loving and supportive home. Its natural energy is one of comfort and creation of a home that is both sanctuary and place of caring community. When we are blessed with this type of support it becomes the foundation that enables us to reach out to others from a place of understanding and love.

Tarot: The Emperor

Tarot Key IV – The Emperor sits as merciful authority and king needing nothing but his own Divine wisdom to guide his actions. This energy gives insight into the discipline required to sit as master of one’s own destiny. All actions taken are reflected back to the Emperor and his final authority determines the force and quality of what that final seed of potential will become as it is transformed by merciful action.

Qabalah: Chesed- Mercy

Chesed is the Fourth Sphere. Within its energy is the ability to see thee bigger picture and make informed judgment based upon that vision. This is the action of Mercy when it relies upon a broader perspective from which to draw its conclusions.

Everything depends upon this precarious balance of equi-lateral view that hangs on the tip of the blade that will determine its final outcome. The essence of the fourth sphere of Chesed is one of achieving a state of balance through compassion, mercy and right action.

The Four pushes and strains expanding and seeking the sweet product of change as the orderly disruption breaks through as Five………

 

Next Month:Numbers 5 and 6

In Conclusion…..

Midsummer calls to you saying
Awaken and revel in the day as
My light stretches long and bright
Before night crowds greedily in.
– RCF –

Upcoming Events – 2017

June 17
Celebration of the Summer Solstice


More Info: Click here…

Looking Ahead:

July 11 – July 25
Celestial Tides: Days of Light, Dark and Balance
3-Wks.
For more information. Click here…

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted
Photos Provided:
Zenith:Image of Mt. Rainier peaking through the clouds..E.Fennelly
Summer Solstice Incense:M.Q.

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 2017, Volume Two | Leave a comment

May 2017:The Anniversary Issue!

Vol. 2 – Issue 1

Musings From the Mystic Path
The Month of May
The Anniversary Issue!

This month of May celebrates the One-Yr. Anniversary of the Musings newsletter! We hope that you, our dear readers have enjoyed the offerings crafted and hopefully some have inspired you to find your creative path. 

May brings the promise of growth and an opportunity to explore all that fertile ground within that has been seeded in the previous months and is now ready to blossom in a bursting of color, light and beauty. With this intention, our first writing is a guest posting entitled, “Everything Has Its Beginning and Its End…”. This may seem counter intuitive to an issue celebrating its first year of life; but the reminder is one of bringing awareness to what is here, present and right in front of you, before it passes on. Be sure to check out the gardening tips, Tesseract’s insight and suggestions, poems and an article about the Sabbat of Beltane (aka. May Day), and more. 

So, settle in and take a stroll through a garden of new blooms and life as we begin our second year on the Mystic Path….

“I will be the gladdest thing under the sun!
I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.”
–  Edna St. Vincent Millay – 

Featured Writings

A Guest Post by Reign

Everything Has Its Beginning and Its End…

We write in new notebooks, but run out of pages. We read books, but they run out of words. We come up with ideas, and they either live on and become something great, or they burn, its ashes floating in the wind. We write with our favorite pens, writing until we extinguish its ink. We use push pins, but as time passes, they become dull and obsolete.

The theme here is that we are constantly creating, constantly moving things, constantly changing the things and ideas we are given. But everything we create, each item we touch, each thing we see, and every breath we take, all have a beginning and an expiration, as we, and everything else in this material world does.

“Let my soul smile through my heart
and my heart smile through my eyes,
that I may scatter rich smiles
in sad hearts.”
Paramahansa Yogananda

Migration
By LB

Purple martin. Sparrow. Turkey vulture. Woodpecker.
Red-tailed hawk. Bald eagle. Canada goose.
The large, the small.
Fish eater, carrion eater, live prey capturer,
Bugs as dinner on the wing.
Occupiers of the air–
Earth-bound witness, I stare.
Spring day in April
I share a moment with the birds –
Wind in my face, my hair
Sun on my back
I look toward the North, my home now.
I have left the South.
My companions are the birds.

“Each flower is a soul opening out to nature.”  

–  Gerald De Nerval

 

Hail, the Cycles!
Hail, the Wheel of the Year!
Hail the Spring Harvest!

by M.Q.

We have made it through another dark winter of introspection, and a transitional spring of uncertainty. Have you shed the grey cocoon of the dark months? There were gifts in winter’s hibernation, some discoveries not immediately recognized. Change is not easy, but there is hope in the knowledge that valuable lessons may be learned. However, even when anticipated, juggling the scenarios of these lessons requires work and discipline to trust in the transitions and the space between.

How can we stay balanced? Are we supposed to? With spring fully present, I venture outside more often. The reconnection is therapeutic. Under a magnificent perennial, I see a small cracked bright robins egg. A bit of bittersweet. I try and remember the lesson, the continuing cycle. I can embrace the aroma of Jasmine and honeysuckle still wrapped in a sweater sipping hot tea.

The wheel continues its fertile sequence with bursts of life and blossom in all directions. I am ready to heal, to change, and so I start outside with my garden, my connection to mother Earth. She is a teacher of balance and patience and surprise. As in surprise, there is already a small harvest! In it I find another bit of knowledge. The appreciation of the cycle’s rhythm, the energy of all things and the lessons of polarities.

How fascinating in a spring season of new life and growth; I must first collect compost, created from decay. And so the spoiled, withered, refuse of the past becomes nutrient rich, fertile earth. I mix buckets upon the garden, grateful to be part of the cycle. Next is the harvest of the comfrey leaves, before the plant flowers. I carefully gather beautiful, prickly leaves. Wonderful for poison ivy and inflammation, but I decide to add this batch to the composter as a fertilizer and disease preventative. A week later, the comfrey plant is ready to bloom. Soon to follow will be the harvest of fragrant honeysuckle and then roses. There is much work to be done in the interim. It is a balance; finding the optimum combination of admiration and participation; of work and reflection.

May you continue to grow and learn from a blessed and fruitful spring harvest!
Stay tuned next month for an incense recipe using some of these early summer blooms.

“Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun.”
– Kahlil Gibran –

 

Mother Nature Lives in Suburbia
By Celestine

I sit on my back porch sipping my coffee as the sun rises over the trees. We had rain last night so the world is a vibrant green. A gentle breeze rustles the leaves and the birds greet the morning with song. Tweet-tweety-tweet and chirpity-chirp backed up by the soothing coos of the mourning doves. Knock, knock, knock! I look up to see a red-headed woodpecker tapping at an ash tree. I am in a peaceful little Eden.

A dump-truck from the nearby quarry rumbles past breaking the tranquility. As I try to recapture my sense of contentment a neighbor starts his lawnmower. Sigh. Soon more lawnmowers will join the first as the neighborhood comes to life. With a jolt I am reminded that I live in the suburbs, not a forest glen. My home looks much like the other homes on the street, and manicured lawns and well-tended gardens are de rigueur.

I draw in a deep breath and stand,knowing it’s time for me to get to work, too. I pull on my gloves as I walk to the front of the house and smile in satisfaction at my even, green lawn. Then I set about removing the various little plants that had the audacity to grow uninvited in my flowerbeds. As I dig my fingers into the dark, damp soil I see wiggly little worms hard at work tilling the soil for me and thank them. I turn over a rock disturbing little beetles who scurry away to find another dark place to hide.

Pluck! Pluck! The sun bakes down on me as I pull up the unwelcome intruders. I wipe my forehead, soil mixes with sweat leaving a muddy streak. I begin to realize that the weeds are stronger than I am; I can yank them from the earth for hours but they have already dug their roots deep and sent their seeds on the winds. They will return, to my garden one day, or perhaps to my neighbor’s yard.

Several hours and four yards of mulch later I am done for the day. I survey the flowerbeds and the yard and conclude that my work will pass muster and we won’t be the disgrace of the neighborhood. I wash off the dirt and once more retire to the back porch.

The sun has shifted and brilliant light bakes the yard. The birds have quieted, only a few still singing this hot afternoon. A hawk soars lazily, high on the thermals, too far away for me to hear his screech. Some bees are buzzing around, adding a lazy drone to the background. I reach for my glass of iced tea and take a deep gulp, savoring it’s minty coolness. I close my eyes, content to listen to the sounds of the neighborhood.

I hear children playing in the yard next door, laughing and shouting to each other as they chase each other in a game to which only they know the rules. The familiar melodies of a classic rock station drift in from another home, entertaining a young man as he works on his car. I hear a lawnmower from up the road, no doubt being pushed by a sweaty person regretting their late start on their chores.

A few cars go up and down the street and another dump-truck rumbles out of the quarry. As I doze in the hot sun the sounds of humanity blend with the songs of nature and I realize that together they represent my neighborhood. It dawns on me that we are not separate from the natural world but a part of it and I should not consider our sounds an intrusion. The symphony of human sounds may come from machinery and electronics as well as our voices but they are part of our human song. As this human opus blends with the grand works of nature I feel connected to life force of the neighborhood and I am filled with a sense of harmony and peace.

So today I hung out with my neighbor, Mother Nature, and got to know her a little better. She likes our neighborhood and its inhabitants, whether beast, bug, bird, plant or human. She’s pretty groovy and I’m sure glad she chose our suburban street to make her home!

“Give me odorous at sunrise a garden
of beautiful flowers where I can
walk undisturbed.”
– Walt Whitman –

Foundation
by MM

We dance.
We love.

We gather rosebuds
and inspire the blooms most beautiful.

Our joy
over bodies long-forgotten,
dependent on them for our composure,
our agency,
our resilience.

Supine, mangled, heaped, digested,
leveled by will,
we touch the sky
on their backs and bellies and legs,
their branches,
their leaves and fruit,
though memory of their form’s utility
now devoured by time.

They knew joy.

We are because they danced.
We are because they loved.

“Water, stories, the body,all the things we do,
are mediums that hid and show what’s hidden.”
– Rumi –

The Flame of Creation
A Beltane Poem
by RCF

Flames rise and fall and
Two merge seeming inseparable
As flesh moves against
Flesh in abandon and trust.

Flames consume the desire
That is fed and burn hotter
In passion’s final outpour.

Flames move now as one
Singular fusion of life
Burning strong and full
Sated from breath that
Expands and contracts
As longing is fulfilled.

The Flame scatters as seeds
Of quickened potential
Fill the ripened womb of
Creation’s sacred vessel.

The time will be soon
And the first cries of
New Life will pierce
The silence as the
Flames of creation
Rise in acknowledgement
Of their completed work.

 Focus On…

May’s Sabbat

Bealtaine, the Fae, and the Importance of Not Being Ernest.
An Opinion Piece
by J.M.

The Wheel of the year has come around once again to Bealtaine, Irish Festival of Fertility, where the Bealtaine Fires burn late into the night, allowing people to engage in various activities with wild abandon. People dance, people sing, and people enjoy each other’s company. Many tales are told. This is about engaging in creativity in all its forms … especially the most obvious.

It is also one of the times of the year that the Veil Between the Worlds thins, and the High Sidhe from the Seelie and the Unseelie Courts are known to go riding. Depending on culture, another time could be Samhain (from Irish tales) or could be Yule (from Scandinavian tales). Fae from all levels of their society, from dimmunitive faeries to trooping faeires, from murucha to selkie,from each-uisce to puca to fear darrig, from grugach to leprechauns particularly enjoy this time of year. And the nice thing is that the Unseelie Court faeries tend to be less cruel as well. Generally unless you actually go and party with them, the worst you can expect is some sort of prank at your expense. And generally, the more serious you are, the more likely you are to be the brunt of their humor. Fae are wild, and don’t take kindly to uptight ordered folk. The fae try to help them.

As we engage in magick, I think there is much that we could learn from them. Often will-workers focus so intently on their magick to create their desired effect (intent through will, applied through spiritual constructs, to achieve manifestation) that they miss that there is more to this than will. Application of will achieved through spiritual growth is often eased by achieving balance first. It is why we ground before ritual.

I know that many take themselves very seriously, and I certainly have been one of those people. I engage in humor to help achieve my balance, to remind myself that life is not that serious, and I am not *that* important. To let go of the expected result in magick, and let the magick flow through me. Intent … not expectations.

I have been in circles where a joke has been gently made and timed well, and another person will strongly remind others that “this is sacred space”. Yes, I would have to agree. And humor, done correctly, is a sacred act. Humor is one of the human race’s defining traits. It helps balance the overly serious, and it helps bind together groups of people in a shared experience of joy.

Humor, by its nature, forces you to look at the unexpected, since it through the unexpected that the punchline touches your heart. And like song, dance, good sex, or other ecstatic practices, comedy can add to the synergy of a group, greasing the wheels so that the group works better together. And that’s what the ernest will-worker misses. Magick isn’t just intent. Magick is (among other things) the power of synergy, where your intent and my intent weave together in a way that is greater than our sums. We link. We play. We create.

So please, consider that the next time someone jokes in a meeting, or during the grounding of a ritual. Is that humor actually taking things out of balance, or is it bringing the group together? Will it help in the act of creation? Given its power, it often will. If so, don’t block it in a knee-jerk fashion. It’s there for a reason. Even if that reason is as simple as to have a fabulous Bealtaine.

Bright Blessings
Lá Bealtaine sona duit
Lá Bealtaine sona daoibh

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

by Iolanthe

Welcome to May, the month of flowers blooming, spring warmth, moving toward summer. Winter is definitely over and we will be seeing more and more sunlight every day until summer solstice arrives. As we are enjoying the fullness of spring, the Moon will be in its first quarter phase on Wednesday, May 3 at 2:47 am. It will be in the sign of Leo, a fixed fire sign.

The first quarter Moon phase is a time to set intentions, a time of regeneration, when the seeds planted at the new Moon are starting to sprout. The sign of Leo is one of expression of energy. The fire energy associated with Leo is one of contained intensity, which makes it shine all the brighter. Think of the laser burning brightly. Leo is ruled by the Sun.

This focused beam of energy during the time of the Moon’s expanding phase points to what will be burning brightly as the Moon’s light grows in illumination, culminating in the full Moon in Scorpio, a fixed water sign, on May 10.

The week from the first quarter phase until the full Moon phase would be a good time to think about what inner fires you are banking, what passion do you want to release, what are you holding onto so tightly that its light is not shining as fully as it might?

Scientists have determined that the Earth’s innermost core is a solid ball of a nickel-iron alloy and is surrounded by liquid, molten outer core, which is also composed of iron and nickel. The Moon’s core is also solid and iron-rich with a liquid molten outer core of iron. From looking at the moon, it might not seem to us that it has a liquid outer core that is approximately 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. It is hidden from view.

Is there some inner passion you have, a dream or kernel of an idea that needs warmth and water to develop? Is there a core that is solid—like the iron of the Earth’s and Moon’s centers—that is liquid in its heat so that it can move and change and adapt? The fire of Leo heats up the waters of Scorpio, releasing what had been growing. Both are fixed signs, and can be counted on to be intent and focused on desired outcomes. What is your desired outcome? What are you heating up? What will be released, if you choose to do so?

To help with imaging this inner growth, here is one way to do a magickal working.

SEEDINGS
To represent growth, lunar energy, solar energy, the fire of Leo, and the water of Scorpio, you can infuse your intent into sunflower seeds and moonflower seeds, prepare them for planting, and then plant the seeds into the earth. They will grow and bloom this summer. Sunflowers, when in full bloom, always face the sun so they move through the day as the sun rises and sets. Moonflowers (Ipomoea alba) are white flower that bloom on spreading vines; they open in the early evening and close before noon the next day.

Gather Materials:

  • Sunflower Seeds to represent Leo’s fire and sun energy;
  • Moonflower seeds to represent lunar energy;
  • Clear glass bowl to let light shine through;
  • Water to represent Scorpio’s water energy;
  • Piece of hematite to represent iron at the core of the Earth and the Moon.

Prepare for your working:

  • Place your hematite (in your clear glass bowl;
  • Fill the bowl with water;
  • Place your moonflower seeds into the water in the bowl;
  • Leave the bowl in a window that receives moonlight and sunlight for at least 24 hours, up to 48 hours;
  • Place a trellis in the garden to hold the moonflower vines;
  • Prepare a patch of garden for the sunflowers.

To begin your working, take time to ground yourself and then center your thoughts on your intent. Have your seeds, bowl of water, and hematite with you. What is it you want to bring forth from the kernel within yourself? With that intention in mind, focus on your seeds. Hold them in your hand, feel their hard covering, think on the mystery and wonder they hold. Hold them up to the sun, bring them to your heart chakra, breath on them with your intent, thank them for their gifts. Then plant your seeds in your prepared ground. Scribe an invoking fire pentacle over the sunflower seeds and an invoking water pentacle over the moonflower seeds, and pour out the water from their soaking bowl for their first watering. Keep the hematite with you in your house as a reminder that which is inside touches that which is outside.

The seeds will sprout and grow all summer. As a bonus, the birds will love to eat the sunflower seeds directly from the full sunflower heads at the end of the summer. And you can gather some seeds from your sunflowers and moonflowers in the fall, dry them and store them over the winter, and save them for planting next spring.

First Steps on the Seeker’s Path

Numerology:The Art and Science of Numbers – Part Four

The next few months of focus for First Steps will be the study of Numerology. This is a #10 year.. 2+1+7=10. Numerologically, this adds up to a year where the singular “1” can unite and work side by side with the Limitless all of “0”, timelessness and eternal. Enjoy…

A note about the planetary correspondences: Although you may find different attributions, those used here are those most commonly used in Numerology.

A Little Review…

….Zero is the limitless all, the Divine, God and Goddess and every other Being of creation. Having a “O” as part of the number, such as 10, 20 , 30, etc… gives opportunity for that number’s energy to stand as co-creator with the source of all. We’ll learn next month about the nature of the number “1” but as a little preview:

1 is the number of the singular self; the individual “I” that is who we are as we come into this world and begin the journey of reaching out beyond the confines of the singular state of being. So, the number “10”  could hold the energy of the singular self, or “I” standing in the light and collaborative partnership of the source of all – “O”. 10 (Ten) elevates us to recognize the higher nature of our self-hood and standing beside the creator, itself, we are at one with the cosmic cycles….

One – 1….represents:

The singular “I”, the individual, the line of continuum, energy held and gathered back to itself

The number One (1) is the first product of what was a void of potential (O/zero). It is the singular point and the individual place of new beginnings and energetic growth. From the place of the One is the straight path from which at any point of that path divergence, split and detour can be taken. I think of one as being the singular “I”. This singular “I” is man/woman in his prime form and depending on the spiritual evolutionary state of that man/woman it is either Higher, Lower or combined Selves. This is the state of awareness of your own ‘beingness’ before embellishment or enhancement, relationship or possession, outward identifiers or things that would define you as something more than the prime nature of yourself. Additionally, because the number “one” is the starting place it is also the energy of action and taking steps towards the product of that action.

The planetary energy of the Sun is attributed to the number One. The Sun is the central and prominent cosmic body of our universe. It is life giver by virtue of its heat and the place of quickening or beginning for much of life on our planet. It is the electromagnetic force that if we venture too close we are blinded by the blinding light and heat that pervades. This is similarly the same principle of our own Divine state of being. In truth we are as bold and enblazened as the Sun itself, but as humans in physical form we fail to realize the brilliance of our inner state.

The goal is one of actualizing the self and ego to shine as brightly as the Sun in human form and draw to itself the boons of all that surrounds.

In looking at the shape and form of the number l, it is not difficult to visualize the concept of a singular point reaching downwards towards extension as the other point of origin reaches upwards towards expansion. Each point of origin blends seamlessly into a single line of continuous movement of return and release that holds within its structure the potential for movement in any direction and creation of something new. In the sphere of Kether it is exactly this nature that creates the continuum of ITSELF, expressed through the division of ITSELF.

Astrology: The House of Self (The Ascendant)- Personality and Ego

This is the astrological house that provides the energy that is the core of who you are and how you relate to the world. Our rising sign (always in the First House) is the true you; stripped naked and in all your glory and vulnerability. Its ruling sign is Aries which is the fire of new beginnings and the catalyst that offers enthusiastic curiosity to all of its endeavors. Aries is the one that desires attention and as the start of the Zodiacal Wheel brings the youth of invincible action to all it touches.

Tarot: The Magician

Tarot Key I – The Magician is the conduit of wielding the flow of universal energy from the ephemeral realms of the Divine and the manifest foundations of the Physical world. We see within the Magician the ability and knowledge to effectively create drawing from the universal laws that govern the magickal and the mundane. There is composure and assuredness in this power, yet the realization that he as well is subject to the transformative energies he is choosing to be vessel for. This is a state of control that has been finely honed and exacted with just the precise amount of force and form to produce the product of power and magick.

The Magician is the interface that we hold within that contains all that is needed to produce new life and new form of Being. But, its energy may only be accessed when the all of the tools (parts of self) are acquired and mastered.

Qabalah: Kether – Crown

Kether stands as the First Sphere on the Tree of Life. Within the energy of the number 1 is not only the place of singularity, but also a foundation from which the potential to replicate and create in its own diffuse image is contained. It is the beginning and also the point of completion and there is choice to be made regarding that status. It may stay inert and alone or may choose to seek out, diversify and through the ending of its singular nature move towards polarity and duality.

It is from the springboard of the number ONE that TWO and the inherent energy of relationship and comparison is formed.

Two – 2….represents:

Collaborative effort- moving beyond the “I” to “we”- duality and polarity that results

The number Two (2)  is the keynote of collaborative effort that feeds polarity and divisiveness. We have moved from a place of the singular “I” to a yearning and urge to interact, divide and expand in the creation of another that is similar, yet different. In this dance of relationship, the opportunity to develop kindness, concern, harmony and balance is fostered. There is now something more than just beginnings and the urge towards action. There is now something to be acted upon and with. Under the influence of the number Two there is a push towards release from indecisiveness and the consideration of the influence and affect to be had by not making a choice.

The planetary energy of the Moon is attributed to the number Two. The Moon presents its energies in a manner of ebb and flow. The emotions (Lunar), if in collaboration with the strength of clarity of thought (The Sun), are powerful points from which all manner of manifestation and creativity are brought forth. The coolness and dark cover of night Moon offers counterpoint and contrast to the heat and light of the Sun.

Astrology: The House of Possessions/Finances

This is the astrological house that provides your place of manifest anchor and stability based on what you have secured for yourself of worldly goods. These things acquired create the building blocks that will become the space of home as they shore up towards the Fourth house of family. This energy is expressed through its ruling astrological Sign of Taurus. Taurus is the protector and procreator that holds its earthy energy as home base to be filled with all that a physical life positively provides.

Tarot: The High Priestess

Tarot Key II -The High Priestess sits in the Temple of the Moon and takes on the triune form of catalytic energy and transformation. She sits in the space of action as the Middle Pillar incarnate as synthesized balance of male and female, force and form. Her knowledge of the mysteries is honed in the waters of deep intuitive knowledge and her persona is that of the cycle of the moon.

The High Priestess serves as reminder of the need for spiritual devotion and discipline as guardian of the great mysteries of life itself. In her feminine form she represents the power to sustain newly quickened life and stands as the ultimate gate of passage towards return to the source of creation.

Qabalah: Chokmah – Wisdom

Chokmah is the Second Sphere on the Tree of Life. Within the energy of Chokmah lies the desire for co-creative effort. This is movement from a singular place to one of experiencing the energy of another. It can also be thought of in terms of sacrificing parts of oneself to make another and making space and container to hold that other thing while retaining that part which created it. It is awareness that there is something beyond yourself and the yearning and striving for creating another to act and be acted upon.

Two merge to become one and from that sacred union of contraction and expansion the Three of creative form is birthed.

Next Month:Numbers 3 and 4

In Conclusion…..

We wind our way through paths unseen
Always wandering betwixt and between
Until we find a meadow of beauteous sight
And there we stay and welcome the night.
– RCF –

Upcoming Events – 2017

Continuing:    April 4 – May 2
Under the Veil of Night: Lunar Magick

5-wk. Session
More Info: Click here…

May 6
The Veils of Beltane-A Ritual of Creation

Celebration with Grail of the Birch Moon and Coven of the Mystic Path
More Info: Click Here..

May 23 – June 14
Destiny’s Mirror: Practical Divination

4-Wk. Session
More Info: Click Here..

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted
Photos Provided:
EverythingJeanne Rose Photography
Hail the Cycles:M.Q.

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 2017, Volume Two

April2017: Earth, My Home!

Vol. 1 – Issue 12

Musings From the Mystic Path
The Month of April
Earth, My Home!

This month of April, the focus is on Earth and all the joys that this planet brings as we leave behind the last hold of March’s wintery grasp and await the flowering and fertility of May’s bouquets.

This 4th month can become a foundation(or square – the number 4) from which we move forward in the year with renewed hope, aspiration and vigor. March brought the vision of balance during the Equinox and now we have choice as to where we will place the heavier of our intentions as the scales of opportunity and action move in accord with our will. 

Our offerings speak to home and those things that inspire, guard and nurture not only our soul, but our Spirits as well. Enjoy this time of gathering to yourself everything that means home and stands as the anchor for you to plan and prepare for what has already taken root and just needs a bit more sun to blossom…

April is a promise that May is bound to keep.” 
-Hal Borland –

Featured Writings

Lucy
by P.W.

She sits on the windowsill, crouched, tail twitching, chattering at the blackbirds sitting on the branches of the oak tree in the back yard. She chatters back at them, warning them, if they come near, she will pounce. What is a guardian?

She patrols the basement in the end of summer, keeping a lookout for crickets attempting to break in and intrude on her space. If they try to enter, they are attacked and eaten, a quick ending and the start of the return on another trip on the great wheel which is life. What is a guardian?

A loud knock on the door, when the repairman is scheduled to arrive, she growls and runs and hides in the basement. What is a guardian?

She waits up until we return home from work or an adventure with CMP. She greets us, then runs upstairs and curls up to sleep. She patrols the house during the day and keeps us safe, when we are home on the weekend. Ever watchful…Quick to protect…

Lucy is a guardian of our home. She weighs only 12 pounds, a beautiful gray and white short hair cat. She has a sense of her boundaries, what belongs within and what does not. She projects a spirit much larger than her size. Do not underestimate her. It will be at your peril, for Lucy is a guardian. Are you?

“The most common way people give up
their power is in thinking
they don’t have any.”
– Alice Walker –

Amaryllis Bloom 2017
Photo: J.M.

Moonlight Gazing
by InY.

On a warm night that boasts a full moon, find a good spot where you can simply sit and look upwards at the beauty of the moon’s fullness. Quiet your breath and allow the silvery rays to wash over you, calming and taking you to a place of serenity. Soften your gaze and allow the full splendor of the moon to fill your vision. Breathe in Her radiance and breathe out your appreciation for the light and comfort offered. Sit in this manner for as long as you wish. Simply drinking in the beauty and grace of moonlight’s gaze. Allow it to renew and fill you with its light and peace.

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”
– George Orwell –

Unfurl
by M.Q.

Have I been so contracted? Stagnant?
In the lonely liquid darkness, in my samskaras?

But this discomfort.
Regrets arise, scary points of anxiety
Form a tense and painful blanket
And my stomach lurches
My heart aches.

Remember to breathe, to be. This is the journey.

Survive, recognize the perusa, and surrender.
Surrender.connect. ground.

The warm light is returning held
In summer’s fire Prana.

Oh how desperate I am to drink it in
To allow it to sink into my roots and make me strong.

To make me able to extend, embrace, reach. unfurl..

 

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 –

 

Winter’s Fog in an Early Spring Day
A very short story by J.M.

I walk outside to a world changed. Warm weather with piles of snow and a perfect dew point, and all is hidden. Sight is hazy and sound is dampened. Perfectly liminal!

As I walk, houses dodge in and out of view, like children playing ghost in the graveyard,
and I slow down to appreciate the image. Take a deep breath, and breathe in peaceful quietus. Smile, and another breath, interrupted by a painful crack. Thunder? At this time of year? Can’t see anything to confirm, just mist and grey and house corners jutting.

So I step up my steps, as all do that are stalked by the unseen.There’s nothing there, I hope. A quick flash dashes that hope.How far away? Count the seconds until the thunder sounds. Why do nearby storms always come at you? Thunder crack in my bones making me jump. Okay. VERY close!

I scramble/run/skate to the train station as the grey world gets darker. The first huge drop smacks my nose, of all things! (Really!? I’m ALREDY awake),and I slip under the station roof just in time to dodge the wall of water dropping from the sky.

The rest of the day is one damp, miserable, soggy-wool-smell day. But I hold onto that morning’s misty centering moment, like a jacket against the biting cold,and judge the day to be ultimately a good one. A requirement in these alternative times.

Look Up!
by R.F.

It’s right above you
Don’t take my word for it
Tilt your head and look up.

I told you it was beautiful
But only you can judge for yourself
Tilt your head and look up.

It only lasts for a few minutes
And then darkness crowds in
And evening’s rest is close at hand.

Revel in the sunset’s beauty
Sky of blues and golden amber
Graceful limbs in shadow
Tilt your head and look up.

“The world is its own magic.”
– Shunryu Suzuki –

Focus On…

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

by Iolanthe

For this Tesseract, we will look at the energy of the third quarter Moon as it moves into Aquarius, learn more about what phase the Moon was in at our birth, and how we can use our Moon’s birth phase to help us with Magic.
April is with us. Finally, Winter is giving way to Spring, and we have fresh air to breathe. We can go outdoors and look up into the night sky without shivering. On Wednesday April 19, 2017, the Moon will be at its last quarter phase at 5:56 am. The time of the last quarter Moon phase is one of going inward, delving deeper into one’s own consciousness. It is a time to sort out where we are and reviewing what we need to keep or remove as we move along our path toward awareness.

About an hour later, at 6:51 am, the Moon will move from Capricorn into Aquarius. Capricorn is a cardinal earth sign, one of steadfastness, building structures and foundations, liking rules and boundaries. Aquarius is a fixed air sign, one of creating new pathways and new ways of seeing things, change for change’s sake, and commitment to new ideas. This movement from Capricorn represents a shift from an emphasis on the material plane to a focus on the mental realms.

The combination of the last quarter phase of the Moon occurring at almost the same time as the Moon moves between Capricorn and Aquarius is a good time to examine yourself in relation to your home, your private domain, your earthly possessions, and then to look outward and see yourself in the social realm, the larger community with all its interactions and exchange of ideas. What is too solid in your life? What is holding you back? What new ideas can you explore? What old habits and patterns of behavior is it time to release? This is a time of readjustment from what has been to what will be coming.

The Moon in all its phases reminds us that change is inevitable, as are constancy. The Moon changes her face that she shows to us every night, yet we know her cycles and can predict what phase will occur on which day on the calendar.

Have you ever wondered what phase the Moon was in when you were born? If you are interested in astrology, you probably already know your Sun sign, ascendant, and Moon sign. But you can add to this knowledge by looking up the phase of the Moon for any day. Here are links to a couple of web sites that I have used to look up Moon phases from the past:

http://www.moonconnection.com/moon_phases_calendar.phtml
https://stardate.org/nightsky/moon

I was born early in the morning on Friday May 4, 1956, under a last quarter Moon.

Every 29 days or so, the Moon’s phase will reappear. Take time to check on what phase the Moon was in on your birthday, and look for ways to celebrate its return every month.

One way to acknowledge your own Moon phase is to take note when it occurs and do your magickal or energetic working then. See for yourself if your divination practices, ritual participation, studying, meditations, intuition and sensitivities, spell casting, whatever you do in your magickal practice, are easier or more difficult, depending on the Moon phase. Note on your calendar when your own Moon phase will occur, and then see how your practices are affected.

Dark Moon: The time of the dark Moon is good for when you want to do magick to help you with releasing addiction or unhealthy attachments.

First Quarter Moon: When the Moon is showing more light, this is a good time for drawing things to yourself, and to attract more of what you want to grow or develop in your life.

Full Moon: The Moon’s face full of light offers a boost of energy for whatever magicks you are working. This is also a good time to lay out your crystals or magickal tools to be bathed in moonlight to cleanse and recharge their energies.

Third Quarter Moon: This time of waning Moon light can be a good time to work magicks to help with transitions or removing obstacles.

Remember to look at the Moon in all her phases, and remember what the poet Rumi tells us:  Let the waters settle and you will see the moon and the stars mirrored in your own being. ~Rumi

 

First Steps on the Seeker’s Path

Numerology:The Art and Science of Numbers – Part Three

The next few months of focus for First Steps will be the study of Numerology. This is a #10 year.. 2+1+7=10. Numerologically, this adds up to a year where the singular “1” can unite and work side by side with the Limitless all of “0”, timelessness and eternal. Enjoy…

O – Opens the Way

Last month I listed that we would be taking a look at the numbers 1-3 in addition to “O”. Oh, the folly of my ways, in that “O” encompassing everything and nothing! So let’s hold 1-2 in reserve for their own post.

Last month’s post gave you some basic information about how to use Numerology for personal analysis. The next several posts will focus on the numbers O – 9 and their energies as esoteric tools. I’ve included some corresponding information about each number and its relevance to Astrology, Tarot and Qabalah. There are multiples layers of meaning in each of these systems and this series of articles is only meant to whet your appetite for deeper study.

A note about the planetary correspondences: Although you may find different attributions, those used here are those most commonly used in Numerology.

Zero – O….. represents:

Cycles, void, the limitless ALL, womb of creation and the Gate of the Divine

The number “O” is the beginning and ending of all things. It is the energy of cycles and as such is the container of the great void from which life begins anew. We could think of the number O as being the Divine all or the Limitless All that stretches out in expanse. Looking at the shape and curve the number presents as an invitation to enter through the center point of its opening. The mystery is held in what may emerge from the “other side” as there is always the balance of receipt and release. Moving around the circumference offers the reminder of the cycles in all things, but each revolution is slightly different than what has transpired previously and each new offers the adventure of the unknown.

I think of the zero as holding the potential for whatever I may wish to manifest through the assistance of what is seen and the vast expanse of the unseen. The circumference offers the boundary of container, flexible and resilient in its continuity. And what is held within that boundary reaches into planes of existence that may only be experienced by calling them forth into the reality of the now.

Tarot: The Fool

Tarot Key O – The Fool – is the first of the Major Arcana cards. His is the limitless starting point of creation and the limitless source of all life. The Fool moves forth trusting that all will be as it should and that there is no need to fear stepping into the unknown. The energy is that of ultimate faith and by the vision of this Faith all barriers are removed and the Divine flow steps into the potential of its own being.

Zero is the limitless all, the Divine, God and Goddess and every other Being of creation. Having a “O” as part of the number, such as 10, 20 , 30, etc… gives opportunity for that number’s energy to stand as co-creator with the source of all. We’ll learn next month about the nature of the number “1” but as a little preview:

1 is the number of the singular self; the individual “I” that is who we are as we come into this world and begin the journey of reaching out beyond the confines of the singular state of being. So, the number “10”  could hold the energy of the singular self, or “I” standing in the light and collaborative partnership of the source of all – “O”. 10 (Ten) elevates us to recognize the higher nature of our self-hood and standing beside the creator, itself, we are at one with the cosmic cycles.

Next Month:Numbers 1 and 2

In Conclusion…..

Where your journey begins, and
Where your journey ends are
But cornerstones of the
Limitless potential of the
Many paths taken between.
– E.J. Fennelly –

Upcoming Events – 2017

April 4 – May 24
Under the Veil of Night: Lunar Magick

5-wk. Session
More Info: Click here…

Looking Ahead:

May 6
The Veils of Beltane-A Ritual of Creation

Celebration with Grail of the Birch Moon and Coven of the Mystic Path
More Info: Click Here..

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted
Photos Provided:
Lucy: P.W.
Amaryllis: J.M.
Unfurl: M.Q.
Look Up: R.F.
Key O:Rider-Waite Tarot

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

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Posted in April2017, Volume One | 1 Comment

March2017:Seeding Fertile Ground

Vol. 1 – Issue 11

Musings From the Mystic Path
The Month of March
Seeding Fertile Ground

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The Month of March heralds the stabilizing of the Vernal Equinox and an opportunity for growth as the scales are reset and what you choose as your “fresh start” has cosmic support. As we move into the 3rd month of this year there have already been monumental changes at all levels of our lives. The transition at the time of the Equinox into the astrological sign of Aries, sets a new tone of fiery energy that can  be the burgeoning of newly found passion and drive for new adventures and opportunities, and most importantly balancing your personal scales of what matters most to you.  

This month’s issue is focused on using those Fires to quicken what we plant in the fertile grounds of our attitude of hope, intention and higher purpose. Just below the surface of a winter’s ground is life; ripe, eager and ready to push through the challenges of dirt, sand, weed and gravel and lift itself upwards in greeting to the Sun and the gift of Light and life. 

The theme of this issue is one of seeding fertile ground. But, before that seeding can take place we must prepare the ground to be receptive to what will organically thrive, if given the chance. And, before preparation is successful, you must acknowledge and claim the fertility of your chosen space. This means claiming your own power as being the receptacle for change and the ability to provide all that is needed of appropriate nutrients, inner light and warmth. 

Enjoy this journey into your own fertile ground and may all of your seeds of planting be fruitful… 

“Remind me that the most fertile lands were built
by the fires of volcanoes.”
-Andrea Gibson –

Featured Writings

Celebrate Spring
by M.H.

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On March 20,2017 the Vernal Equinox occurs at 6:29 am EDT. The Sun moves from south to north crossing an imaginary celestial equator dividing the north and south hemispheres. Our neighbors in the Southern hemisphere will experience Fall, as they are pointed away from the Sun. For us in the Northern hemisphere the opposite occurs and we will welcome Spring. It’s a time for us to celebrate the turning of the Wheel of the Year. Spring is the season of hope, new beginnings and a rejuvenation of one’s spirit.

What will you do to celebrate Spring? Perhaps, plan a gathering that will bring family and friends together outdoors. It’s a time of new freedom, shed those heavy coats and the darkness of Winter. Get in touch with Mother Earth, walking barefoot in the grass or take a hike in the woods, sharing time with the wildlife. Bring the dogs outside for an evening run or climb a hill and watch the sunset, now the days are longer. Take up gardening, grow herbs to use for incense preparation later in the year. Start a community garden program and teach the neighborhood children the importance of sustainability.

Clean your house and donate items you aren’t using any longer. Shed the extra baggage, this can include any emotional issues as well as physical items. Open the windows and let the fresh air inspire you to get started with a new project or hobby for the year. Not happy with the current political situation go out support a candidate, a new cause or run for office yourself. Get rid of the negative energies and unproductive thoughts you might carry. Empower yourself.

When the Wheel of the Year turns in a few short weeks, welcome the season and bring Gaia into your life this Spring. Listen for her words as the soft winds blow and as the rushing waters splash on the rocks by a stream. Feel her strength in the Earth beneath your feet as it inspires you with new self-confidence to achieve your goals. Let the warmth of the brilliant sunshine stir your creative inner fires. What will you do to celebrate Spring?

“The sun just touched the morning;
The morning, happy thing,
Supposed that he had come to dwell,
And life would be all spring.”
– Emily Dickinson –

Gaia Is the Earth’s Change
by R. Fennelly

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 heated striation
Of rock’s core as gentle bud
Pushes upward towards sun’s
Radiant blessing as Gaia sheds
Her parched skin and dons Spring’s
Celestial mantle of lusty fertility.

Gaia takes many forms evolving and changing as we ourselves do. She is the breath of life that flows in the breezy currents awakening tree and leaf to moving grace. Gaia is the tumultuous waters that rise with the tides and peak in ecstasy reshaping the shore. Gaia is the fertile field that opens itself to the planting of seed and grazing of the four-legged creatures. Gaia is the shade of the forest, lush with evergreen and wood scented loamy earth. All flow one to the other and Gaia, the earth mother dons her mantle of Wisdom in the ways of time.

….Things change from season to season and in the never ending cycle that is life itself, Gaia remains steadfast and strong in offering up her body as our home and our refuge as Her fires burn brightly.

Gaia calls to us as a Mother calls her children to her and with each step we take, whether it be contained in urban or forest we seek the warmth of a generous heart.

….And, so I stand under an arch of evergreens at the edge of a forest, looking out and up at the cold winter night sky. The expanse and darkness of ancient tree and deepened paths at my back and still, they are not able to shelter the blowing winds that move through me seeking the warmth of Mother Earth. This place knows me and knows of my need to remember and awaken in the quickening of my Earth Mother’s care.

Gaia awakens all life that stands inert and from this awakening new life takes hold. That which is frozen thaws and that which is overheated cools to an understanding of pure love.

….Under the frost and rigid ground life is resting, but will soon quicken as Gaia reaches upwards; Her fiery fingers of quickening life touching each seed and stirring the earth into awakening.

Gaia holds Her supple body receptive to our praise and honoring and enfolds us cradled in the safety of Her bosom. Strong and flexible; anchored and foundational, what she gives in return we hunger for and what we treat with disrespect and carelessness shroud Her weeping form as a Mother despised.

….I see the frozen streams of Gaia’s tears thawing and running fierce and strong as Spring and Summer took hold. I see the blossoming of Gaia’s cloak adorned with flowers, herbs and life as Spring and Summer called them upwards from her fiery belly. I see friends and family, loved ones and those who are strangers going about their daily tasks; some in reverent spirit to the earth Mother’s gifts and others numb and unaware of the life that flows beneath the concrete and stirs the polluted winds that surround.

May the blessings of Gaia bring new growth to all of your endeavors….

Excerpted from: A Year With Gaia-The Eternal Cord (2017)

 

“It was one of those March days when the sun
shines hot and the wind blows cold:
when it is summer in the light,
and winter in the shade.”
– Charles Dickens – (Great Expectations)

 

Bird Song
by A.B.

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The sweet song of the birds
calls me from my winter’s sleep
announcing that Spring has arrived.

I stretch and wipe the remnants of sleep
from slowly focusing eyes and sunlight
Streams though spider silk curtains of gauzy
Lightness and a soft and gentle breeze
Carries the scent of newly awakened earth.

I stand from my soft bed of moss and greenery
The earth below my feet moist with fairy kissed dew.

A leafy canopy of roof that shelters over
Head filters early morning sunlight like
Shards of the finest crystalline prism.

All of nature surrounds me as
The call to Spring is heard
In the deep roots that meander
Through darkened loamy earth.

I lift my face upwards towards
Sun drenched sky and breathe
In the essence of newness.

Quickened life fills my being and
In harmony with the eternal cycle
I am clothed in the fabric
of Gaia’s Spring cloak.

 

LOSS—GAIN—LOSS—GAIN
By LB

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In the past year, I have lost many things.
In the past year, I have gained many things.

In our house, we lost the furnace, the radiator, floors in 2 bathrooms, sewer and storm runoff pipes. I know myself well enough to know that when the foundation of my house get gouged, I feel very insecure. I am very land-based, home-based, solid-earth based. I like to feel grounded. When the foundation of the house I share with my Spouse had to be dug up and I saw the earth underneath our house, I was unsettled. And the workmen dug a 7-foot-deep hole in front of our house right at the bottom of the steps that leads to my house, I was scared I would fall into the hole, like Alice down the rabbit hole. Now the foundation of our house has been refilled, the pipes replaced, the hole filled in. And there is a scar. I go downstairs sometimes and look at the scar that snakes through the basement, and I am reminded of how fragile even a 90-year-old stone house can be. Yes, it has withstood storms, blizzards, wind, families living in it and moving on, and it is still standing. But it, too, is vulnerable.

I lost my job that I had held for 20 years. At first, I was shocked and angry and spent about 2 weeks saying, “Why me? They should have let someone else go, not me! I did good work, they should have kept me.” And so on. Until I finally realized, that the real question was, “Why not me?” I wasn’t so special or precious that I deserved a job more than anyone else. And I know I am resilient and I would be fine. And I was. I got my unemployment payments, then I got a job in a public library, which is a better fit for me. I feel a renewed passion for the value of what public libraries provide to the communities they serve.

So what was lost? What was gained? Everything is on the wheel, or a spiral. Every breath I take in is the start of it being exhaled. As the chant goes, and the wheel turns, never ending, new and old and new again…. And, The Wheel Turns

I take a step by raising my foot into the air, then bringing it back down to the ground, propelling the other foot to lift up, then down, and so on. There is no stasis. Everything vibrates with energy, with movement, with life, with momentum. Even the cells in our bodies are in motion. We move with energy, as does the wind and water of the earth, and fire burning. The earth spins on its axis, rotates around the sun, and our galaxy is moving in the expansion of space. I am learning to sing the song “Seasons of Love” from Rent. This song includes this lyric: five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure a year in the life?

A year in the life is marked by the turning of the Wheel of the Year, based on the cyclical change of seasons. As we celebrate each season’s beginnings, we mark the end of the recently past season. Right now, as I write this, it is winter, yet I see flowers budding and blooming and I hear bird song. In the midst of Winter, Spring is making herself known. At each moment, we are moving toward a new season and away from the old season.

If we look at the Wheel of Fortune card in the tarot deck, we see creatures in each of the corners. Each of the creatures—angle, eagle, lion, and bull—are all winged so that they may move with the currents of change, while remaining themselves. Death, life, future, past, riddles and wisdom: all are illustrated in this complex card. It is indeed the wheel of fortune—what is gained when something is lost? At this time of incipient spring, let us remember what we lose and gain as each moment passes.

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”
-Yoko Ono – 

“The deep roots never doubt spring will come.”
– Marty Rubin –

Focus On…

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

At dawn on Sunday morning, March 5, the sun will rise at 6:33 am, and the Moon will arrive in its first quarter phase at 6:28 am. The moon at that time will be under our horizon and thus not visible to us. As the sun brings light to our day, the Moon will be half-illuminated. The Moon is one quarter of its way through the cycle of new moon, then first-quarter, followed by full moon, and then the third-quarter and new phases will follow. At the time of the quarter moon, it will appear to our eyes as if exactly half of the moon is illuminated and half is in shadow. We won’t see the Moon at dawn; it will rise at 11:14 am. The Moon’s reflected light will be shining through the bright light of the sun’s rays, until it sets at 1:59 am in the early morning of March 6.

The Moon will be in Gemini, a mutable air sign. The traits associated with the mutable modality are adaptability, flexibility, resourcefulness. The Gemini sign is one of facile communication, a mind going at the speed of light, lots of ideas and new ways of looking at things. The air signs are those who can see both sides of any issue, and can be objective and analytical.

The Moon in its first quarter phase in airy Gemini will be one that brings light to ideas, developing new plans, seeking new avenues and different directions to pursue. The Moon is gaining illumination, and it will be in our sky in full daylight, and so will bring new light to new ideas and new ways of looking at what is already known.

This Moon phase is a time of developing ideas of where you are going, what you want to do, how to change up usual patterns, move into new areas of interest. What new books or ideas do you want to explore? New conversations to have, people to meet, new ways of looking at familiar thoughts, a change in perspective—now is a good time for these activities. All of these possibilities, and more, are in focus during this doubly-lighted quarter Moon in airy, mutable Gemini. Do you have a knotty problem that you just cannot figure out? The growing light of this Moon in analytical and rational Gemini can be used to help you see a new way of looking at the situation.

To help with remembering the gifts of this phase, you can do a ritual that incorporates air, change, and light.

First, gather materials for your working.

  1. Obtain a feather. Several choices:
  • One feather that has both black and white barbs
  • One black feather and one white feather
  • One white feather, half of which you paint with black paint or a black marker
  1. A small, hand-held mirror.
  1. A magnifying glass about the same size as the mirror you will be using.
  1. A piece of black card stock or poster paper.

Then, perform your ritual….

Ground and center. If you like, burn incense. Some scents that are associated with the Moon are jasmine, white sage, and lavender.

Think about your plans, or ideas, or some situation for which you need clarity. Without pre-scripting the answers, hold up your mirror, see your own reflection, think of your questions or ask for a view of what is to come, and breath out until the mirror is fogged. Place the mirror down on a flat surface, reflective side up.

Next, take your feather and thank the bird that released it as a gift for you. Hold it up above your head, and release it again. Let it fall through the air, and observe its flight. As it lands, take a moment to notice how it felt to see it fly. Then pick up the feather and lay it on top of the mirror.

Then place the black card stock on top of the mirror and feather so that it half covers them. Visually, you should be able to see half of the mirror and half of the feather. Then, place the magnifying glass on top of the card stock. This will magnify the insights you will gain and bring focus to your situation.

Leave your mirror, feather, and magnifying glass out for a 24-hour period where it can be bathed in sunlight during the day and by moonlight at night. Once during that 24-hour day, ideally at the 12-hour mark, take up your bundle, remove the magnifying glass and the card stock, take up the feather and let it fall again, and reflect on your intentions or goals or area for which you desire clarification, and breathe into the mirror again. Replace all the pieces: mirror, feather, card stock, then magnifying glass, but this time make sure that the card stock covers the other half of your bundle. What has been hidden will be revealed.

After the 24 hours are passed, take time to meditate on what has been revealed to you. Have you gained any new insights? Any new understanding of old problems? A new path to follow, a new idea to develop? Write down anything you wish to remember, and then you can separate the pieces of this working. Place the mirror where you can see your reflection in it to remind you of your intention or desires. Place the feather high up near a window so that the sun and moon can shine on it. Put the magnifying glass and the card stock away until you need them again.

Whenever you wish, you can reactivate the ritual by the breathing onto the mirror, flying the feather, and placing the card stock and glass on top. This will help you to see answers you had not considered, other possibilities, and new ways of looking at what had become so familiar you had stopped really seeing it.

I wish you clarity and I will end this with a quote from John Lennon: “We all shine on…like the moon and the stars and the sun…we all shine on”

First Steps on the Seeker’s Path
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Numerology:The Art and Science of Numbers – Part Two

Welcome to 2017! The next few months of focus for First Steps will be the study of Numerology. This is a #10 year.. 2+1+7=10. Numerologically, this adds up to a year where the singular “1” can unite and work side by side with the Limitless all of “0”, timelessness and eternal. Enjoy…

Numerology for Personal Discovery

“When using names rather than numbers to make a determination, each letter has a numeric value that provides a related cosmic vibration (look at the end of the post for letter values). The sum of the numbers in your birth date and the sum of value derived from the letters in the name provide an interrelation of vibrations. These numbers show a great deal about character, purpose in life, what motivates, and where talents may lie.”

Those who use numerology as a predictive tool use the numbers to determine the best time for major moves and activities in life. Numerology can be used to decide when to invest, when to marry, when to travel, when to change jobs, or relocate and for any other predictive possible outcome about which the querent seeks information.

There are six aspects of your personal numerology that we’ll take a more in depth look at the esoteric meanings of the calculated numbers.

• The Life Path/Lesson
• The Birthday Number
• The Expression Number
• The Soul Urge Number
• Your Inner Dreams Number
• The Personal Year Number

If you find that numerology resonates with you, consider dedicating a journal to this study so you can record our personal information and any impressions, insights or other you may come across as we look at the individual numbers. This, like most esoteric studies (Astrology, Qabalah, etc..), is an ongoing process that unfolds in a series of many years of observation and research. Continued work with the numbers and occasional meditation on the deeper vibratory meanings and essence of each number will yield surprising results that give you a deeper knowledge of your own energetic and vibratory patterns.

To Begin:

  • Select a journal to write the information in
  • Write out your full birth name (or name you most often are referred to; as in the case of a married woman).
  • Write out your birth date

Using my information as example:

Robin Candace Fennelly (nee: Grayson*) * I am using my married surname since it has been my surname for 34 of my 58 years.

Born: February 2.1956

The Life Path or Life Lesson Number
You Are…

The Life Path is the sum of the birth date. This number represents who you are at birth and the native traits that you will carry with you through life. The Life Path describes the nature of this journey through life.

2 + 2 + 1+9+5+6 = 25/2+5 = 7

The Birthday Number
You Have …

The birthday is a supporting influence added to the Life Path. Think of it as a modifier to the Life Path. These are traits that you brought into this life much as with the more important and dominating traits shown by the Life Path. Here is your birthday and the modifying traits shown by it:
2 (the 2nd day of February)

The Expression Number
You Must…

A number derived from all of the letters in your FULL BIRTH NAME make up what is called the Expression or Destiny number. This is the number that describes the talents and attitudes at your disposal in this lifetime, if you choose to develop and use them. This is sometimes referred to as your potential or destiny. Living up to attributes of this number may not be easy, but it is your goal in the here and now. It is your life’s purpose, spiritual mission, and your field of opportunity.

Use the chart below to determine your Expression Number:
…..1 = A J S
…..2 = B K T
…..3 = C L U
…..4 = D M V
…..5 = E N W
…..6 = F O X
…..7 = G P Y
…..8 = H Q Z
…..9 = I R

R O B IN C A N D A C E F E N N E L L Y
9+6+2+9+5 3+1+5+4+1+3+5 6+5+5+5+5+3+3+7
31 + 22 + 39 =
92/ 9+2 = 11** A master number

The Soul Urge
You Most Want…

The Soul Urge or as it is sometimes called, the heart’s desire, is an important core influence in numerology. This number is made up from the vowels (a, e, i, o and u) in your full birth name just as it is recorded on your birth certificate.
R O B I N C A N D A C E G R A Y S O N
6 + 9 1 + 1 + 5 1 + 6
15 + 7 + 7 =
29/ 2+9 = 11**

Your Inner Dreams
You Wish You …

The sum of the consonants in your name relates to a secret dream, your inner desires, or maybe even fantasies. This number may be so strong in your subconscious that you even project the trait as a personality mask. It is who you wish to become or how you would project yourself in the world, if not for ?????

R O B I N C A N D A C E G R A Y S O N

9 + 2 + 5 3 + 5+4 + 3 7+9 + 7+1 + 5
16 + 15 + 29=
60/6+0 = 6

**Master Numbers are those that are not reduced. These are the ultimate expression of the core value of the particular number such as 11-22-33-44

The Personal Year Number

This number is calculated using your birth date and the current year. The resultant number gives clue as to how and what energies may present or flow through your year. Knowing this can offer opportunities to refine, transform and embrace those aspects of yourself and your life. For example, my number for this year would be:

2.2 2014
2 + 2 + 2 + 0 + 1 + 4 = 11 **

Don’t forget to write these numbers down in your journal. You will refer back to them as we explore the numbers themselves…

Next Month:Numbers 0 and 1 – 3

In Conclusion…..

“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant:
if we did not sometimes taste of adversity,
prosperity would not be so welcome.”
– Anne Bradstreet –

 

Upcoming Events – 2017

March 19
Celebration of the Vernal Equinox: The Quickening
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More Info: Click here..

March 19
Mystic Fires Drum Circle
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More Info: Click here….

LOOKING AHEAD:

April 1
Spring Magick with the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel
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A day-long event of workshops and a Ritual for the Stag God, Cernnunos.
More Info: Click here….

April 4 – May 24
Under the Veil of Night: Lunar Magick
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5-wk. Session
More Info: Click here…

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted

Questions_Ruler

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 2017, Volume One | 2 Comments

February 2017:Rising Up!

Vol. 1 – Issue 10

Musings From the Mystic Path
The Month of February
Rising Up!slide2

The Month of February stands as a space of settling in after the pace of the holidays, anticipation of what a new year may bring and heralds the coming of balance at the Equinox and the promise of a shift into new activities and ventures. This year that space of settling in has issued the calling of standing strongly in what you have settled in to as your beliefs, philosophies and how your personal stance rises up in response or reaction to what is occurring on the political front.

This month’s issue is focused on the challenges of a new presidency, fraught with uncertainty and anger. There are articles of personal experience and perspective from those who attended the Women’s Marches and an opportunity to actively engage in an audio Ritual Pathworking that was the recreation of a live ritual honoring the Goddess Columbia, and the lighting of our own torches. Tesseract features work aligned with the Full Fiery Moon of Leo and the additional power held in the lunar eclipse. Invocations, statements and more are offered up to the seen and unseen as we rise up to meet the challenges of the work at hand.

The theme of this issue is one of rising up! Allowing to arise what we hold to be true for ourselves and bringing that into manifestation as we rise up on the wings of Liberty, Justice and Freedom. Each, and every one of us is a vital piece of the larger puzzle; so be mindful of where and how you are focusing your energies. These are times that require us to present for the long haul and the vision of what our individual actions contribute to that longer and larger picture are continually unfolding.

So, Rise Up from the seat of strength and inspired action!
Rise Up from the depths of despair, inertia and hopelessness!
Rise Up Carrying the Torch of Justice!

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“I ask that people reach deep down into themselves and pull out the heaven that resides there. Do away with the hell of everyday pointless antics. Treat who you have well because they won’t be there forever. Some people have riches and some have nothing, but what price does someone have to pay to be loved?”
– Anonymous –

Featured Writings

On January 29th our coven held a ritual of empowerment and change honoring the Goddess Columbia, as protectress of our country and holder of the light of Hope. This was the Statement of Intent written for the ritual…

The Intention of Community
January 29.2017
by S.S.E.

We live in rapidly changing times, when what we know, what we cherish, what we hold close to our hearts, seems to stand in peril. Our sense of who we are and what we are feels fractured as never before. As we gather together on this day, January 29 of the year 2017, in a ritual to Celebrate Hope and Empowerment, understand that together we have power, together we have strength, together we are a united community. Today is the sabbat of Imbolc marking the beginning of Spring, the promise of the lessening darkness and the time for growth of new life.

Today we call upon Columbia, goddess representation for the freedom and liberty of the nation of the United States of America, to stand with our community, to show us the way to remain calm in chaos, to hold fast to the Founding Principle of the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

This is our community’s time, it is why we are here, not to be swept away on the currents of change, but to use our power and the power of Columbia to light our torches and be the guides through the darkness into the light of the new day. We are not victims. We are not powerless. We have intention. We have intelligence of the heart. We are star seed and we already know how to use our magic and our energy to manifest power and purpose. Do not be fearful of the endings for what you think you know; all endings are also beginnings. Embrace the chaos to create order and produce great things in accord with higher will. On this day, dream and manifest the creation of a new beginning. So Mote It Be!

“I pray every single moment of my life; not on my knees but with my work.  My prayer is to lift women to equality with men.
Work and worship are one with me.”

― Susan B. Anthony ―

 

The Dove’s Call
by M.

“Have you seen this before in your life–
not have you heard as a story?

We’re now bound, each and all,
by oaths only we know

To be here and to save what we know to be holy
and remind us, in this, we are not alone.

And our faith in our work
may be all we have to keep ourselves going,

But with each at our back,
Every step can be sure.

We are here to save what we know to be holy
and remind us, in this, we are not alone.”

An Invocation to the Forefathers of Our Nation

2wethepeople-statue-of-libertyby Celestine

We call to the Forefathers of our nation, be with us now in this sacred space!

We call to the brave men and women who crossed the seas in search of freedom from tyranny, freedom from oppression, and a better life for their families!

Although the road has sometimes been rough and the path has not been straight you persevered and now we call on your strength and energy as we continue your work to make our country and beacon of equality and justice!

Hail to the Founding Fathers and Mothers of our nation!

You whose vision and foresight established a country of promise and possibility!
You who established our right to speak freely and make our opinions known!
You who championed for our right to worship as we choose!
You who fought for our right to participate in government!
You who battled for equality for all humans!
You who looked out for the land and its creatures!

We ask you to enlighten us so that we may learn from past mistakes and to guide our actions as we plan for our future!

We call to you, the Pioneers, Founders and Leaders of our nation!

We ask you to be with us today and witness our efforts to champion for the underprivileged, to fight for equality, to demand justice, and to protect the land and all of the life forms it supports!

We ask for your continued inspiration as we support the tenets put forth by your who birthed our nation:

“All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Hail, Forefathers! Hail and Welcome!

The Women’s Marches

Demonstrators protest on the National Mall in Washington, DC, for the Women's march on January 21, 2017. Hundreds of thousands of protesters spearheaded by women's rights groups demonstrated across the US to send a defiant message to US President Donald Trump. / AFP / Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Demonstrators protest on the National Mall in Washington, DC, for the Women’s march on January 21, 2017.
Hundreds of thousands of protesters spearheaded by women’s rights groups demonstrated across the US to send a defiant message to US President Donald Trump. / AFP / Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Record numbers of people gathered for the Women’s Marches on January 21st. What began initially as a singular effort in Washington, D.C. took hold and swept across America with marches held in major (and smaller) cities throughout. According to data compiled by Erica Chenoweth at the University of Denver and Jeremy Pressman at the University of Connecticut, at least 3.3 million people participated in over 500 marches across the US. (Univ. Denver/Univ. Ct.)

This Fire of Community rising up reached even further, spreading globally onto seven continents. London saw an estimated 100,000 marchers, while other cities outside the United States, like Toronto, Canada and Sydney, Australia saw tens of thousands of protestors taking the streets as well. (N.Y.Times)

The following are writings from participants in Marches held in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C….

Why I Marched
By Celestine

I am a middle-aged, straight, professional, white woman who grew up in a working-class, Christian, rural, predominantly white area. My childhood was happy, I did not lack for anything and my parents encouraged me to reach for my dreams. With the help of scholarships and student loans I was able to go to the college of my choice and thanks to good grades I got my dream job upon graduating. So what would possess me to attend the Women’s March that was held on January 21st?

By the time I reached adulthood women were considered equal to men. I was not limited in my career choice like my mother and grandmothers were, I could choose my career. My niece can play sports with the boys and my friend’s daughter can serve in the military. Many women hold powerful positions both in industry and government. Yep, no need to burn my bra!

And I have seen our country make great strides in racial equality. I have worked with people from many ethnic backgrounds and they were all able to obtain the same level of employment I have, albeit with more of a struggle. And then wonder of wonders we elected a black president! Yes, we Americans are growing into better people!

The one social struggle I did witness was for LGBT rights. I grew up in the 70’s when people were freeing themselves from the rigidity of the previous decades and gay people no longer felt the need to hide. By the 80’s I was a teenager and witnessed the hatred, discrimination, and mis-information of the AIDS epidemic. Since then I’ve seen a number of friends struggle for years to find acceptance, some of whom lost friends or became alienated from their families because they were gay. I watched their struggle to be with their partners and raise families. Then I celebrated with joy when my gay friends were finally granted the right to marry. Yep, humanity is on the right track!

All I need to do is continue supporting my friends, pray to the gods, and post encouraging memes about equality on Facebook. No need to get my hands dirty! Sure, I may need to voice my disapproval when an ignorant person makes a racist or homophobic comment but surely there is no need to stage a protest, those protestors are now the radical minority. Yeah, I still saw some problems in the news but mostly they were in third world countries and they didn’t really affect anyone I knew. Overall humanity is evolving into a tolerant species so kudos to us!

And then I started to really pay attention. I heard a close relative make homophobic remarks and vote against hiring a man just because he was gay. I heard co-worker call our president and his family “monkeys”. I saw a friendship between two men who have been best pals since childhood come to an end because one of them came out of the closet and the other did not support him. I stood in stunned disbelief as my friend’s husband explained that his buddy could not bring his black girlfriend around because the guys called her racially insulting names. (He said this while listening to a Shaggy CD and never saw the irony!). I saw my family struggle to accept my sister-in-law’s religious exploration and forbid her from talking about her beliefs in front of the children. I heard a teenager state with conviction that the world was made in seven days and is only 2000 years old despite the fact that we had just hiked through Dinosaur Valley State Park and saw dinosaur footprints that were 110 million years old. I began to wonder what frickin’ century we are in!

Yet none of these issues affected me personally. Then, after several years of secrecy, I came out of of the broom closet to my family and closest friends. It felt safe for me to do so. Sure, there is still a lot of mis-information about paganism and witchcraft in movies and in the news but there are also many reputable leaders in our community that are teaching by example. What a wonderful day when we can openly worship as we believe, just as our founding fathers hoped! Then suddenly there was talk about registering Muslims. The fact that we could even consider a registry with the scars of the Holocaust still fresh made me fear who would be targeted next. The Hindus? Buddhists? Wiccans? Before long that slippery slope will lead to one national religion. So much for separation of church and state! Suddenly my fear was real.

So to be clear, I did not march because I am whining that my “side” lost. I did not march to insult our President. I did not march to encourage women to have abortions. I did not march for environment protection, health care for all, or eliminating poverty (though I support them all). And I did not march because I personally am oppressed. I marched because we need to remember what our ancestors fought for and how difficult their struggles were. We need to be reminded that the work is not done, there is still inequality in our society. The thin veneer of polite civilization seems to be shredding and the darkness is society is being revealed. Yet believe there is hope for the human race, that we can be kind, peaceful, and benevolent. I dream of a day when all humans will be treated with dignity and respect. I marched because we need to stand together and support each other even if we don’t understand each other’s struggles. In the words of Pastor Martin Niemoller:

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

This is why I marched, because we ARE stronger together!

“We must use time creatively, and forever realize
that the time is always ripe to do right.”


– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.-

The Goddess of Freedom
by Littletree
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Upon arriving at the Women’s March on Washington last Saturday,one of the first things I wanted to do was to look up an old neighbor. Well, we weren’t exactly neighbors; when I lived in the Capitol Hill neighborhood back in the 1990s, She has stood atop the US Capitol as She had since 1863 when she was hoisted onto her six meter cast iron pedestal by former slaves. I call Her the Goddess of Freedom.

She took a brief sabbatical in 1993 to have a little elective cosmetic work done while a crack in the pedestal was being repaired. I visited Her up close. There had been a new Democratic president sworn in in January and a March for Lesbian Gay Bisexual right in April and I was hopeful that Freedom would be watching over the repair of more than just physical cracks in our democracy. I could imagine a cautiously hopeful expression of resolve on Lady Freedom’s face.

But on this cold Washington day in January I had a harder time feeling hopeful. Is it really going to make a difference if we protest in DC. It wasn’t until the next day that I could admit I was glad I went to Washington rather than the rally in my new home town of Philadelphia.

The claustrophobic experience of riding the train and worrying about toilet availability was significantly more critical than when I was 36. I couldn’t see the face of the Goddess’s statue, but I did see the face of resolve, determination and even hope. I saw it on the very very crowded MARC train. I saw it in line for the men’s room at the Smithsonian and Union Station where we became a community and made reasonable accommodations for anyone who needed a stall rather than a urinal. There were other members of my coven and of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Delaware County and at least three women from my school.

I am still disheartened by the campaign and the election of 2016, but I try to have faith in the words of Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

“I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the heart’s affections
and the truth of the imagination.”


– JOHN KEATS –

The 2017 Million Woman’s March. My first protest ever!
I enjoyed the people, the energy, the speeches, the causes.
by M.Q.

I was never one for conflict, so a protest used to be furthest from my mind. It took time ( my whole life really) for me to stand my ground, speak up for my beliefs. I wish I had more gumption. As one can imagine: I found it quite easy to be among so many fellow citizens that have the same ideals and beliefs. It was uplifting, invigorating, and temporary.

So many questions? Why haven’t I spoken up sooner? Have I been blind? Why did I not see all these issues? How are we so divided? Why has it been business as usual at my job? How do I interact with family and friends who do not share my beliefs? How can I expect my elected officials to communicate, to agree to work together towards common goals when it seems no one can, myself included. How can I expect others to change when my opinions most certainly will not? What’s next for our country, our planet? So many issues and hurdles.

So far, I’ve learned a little about courage and sharing my truth, what I believe in my heart. Standing up for my values, my opinion counts just as much as the next citizen. Speaking up is quite a challenge for me. Ridicule, harsh comments, arguments are expected. The losses are the learning curve. Odd, when I’m finally more comfortable and confident expressing my beliefs, it coincides with losing a friend, or a loved one. I suppose that comes with the territory. However, I’ve tasted a tiny smidgen of courage, of resolve, and I cannot go back. I have the highest regard for the company I now keep.

It is comforting to learn that I am far from alone. There are millions around the world that share my same beliefs and opinions and that brings me Hope.

“I cannot accept that to be realistic means to tolerate misery,
violence and hate. I do not believe that the hungry man should be treated as subversive for expressing his suffering. I shall never accept that the law can be used to justify tragedy, to keep things as they are,
to make us abandon our ideas of a different world. Law is
the path of liberty, and must as such open the way to
progress for everyone.”

– Oscar Arias Sanchez –

 

Focus On…

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

This month we will look at the penumbral lunar eclipse which will occur on Friday February 10, 2017 when the Moon will be at 22 degrees Leo, a fixed fire sign. We will look at using a pendulum to help us bring clarity.

Full Snow Moon. Hunger Moon. These are some of the names that have been used to greet the full Moon in February, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. At the time of cold snowy winter, when the days are short and the nights are long, we look forward to the light of the full Moon. In February, the full Moon will appear on Friday, on the 10th day of the month.

However, its light will be shadowed. We will witness a penumbral eclipse of the full Moon. This eclipse is subtle and the Moon will appear to be only slightly shadowed. In a penumbral lunar eclipse, only the outer edge of the Earth’s shadow (the penumbra) passes over the Moon. This differs from a total eclipse in which the Moon passes directly behind the Earth and is entirely covered by Earth’s shadow (its umbra). In the Philadelphia area, a penumbral eclipse will begin at 5:34 pm, will be at its maximum coverage of the moon by 7:43 pm, and the full moon will be unshadowed by 9:53 pm.

Eclipses mark a time when something comes to an end (the Moon retreats into shadow) and something new is revealed (when the shadow recedes). The Moon can reflect our emotional lives, so this time is valuable for looking at what is retreating emotionally for us right now, and what is coming into illumination and understanding. What has been lurking in shadows for you? What are you feeling confused about? What is not clear to you? What is somewhat obscured?

This full Moon will be in Leo. The sun rules Leo, and Leo basks in the light and warmth and focus of the sun. Leo is a fixed sign, signifying an energy that is steadfast and persistent; and it is a fire sign which emphasizes intent and will. We usually look to Leo for a strong beam of concentrated energy to help us to develop our intentions to accomplish what we want and need. Leo can light the way, and similarly, we look to the Moon as a guide at night to reflect the sun’s light and to help us see our way. But with this penumbral eclipse there will be a partial shadow. Leo’s full light will not be fully present, at least during the time of the eclipse.

Often, our own emotions can be a mystery to ourselves. So can the feelings of others. It is easy to misunderstand and to be misunderstood. We can take the time now to reflect the light of understanding, and to look within for hidden motives or what we are hiding from ourselves. The Moon will reflect sunlight again, the shadow will pass, and Leo will be in its full glory again.

Since the full Moon phase is a time for fruition of what has been our intentions, hopes, and dreams since the last full Moon, let us consider what will we bring more of to ourselves, and for ourselves. To help with understanding at the time of the shadowed full Moon, and with uncovering what is hidden, we can use a pendulum.

Take time to think about what you are trying to uncover. Are you trying to understand some facets of a relationship? Are you trying to discern a possible path to take for the best outcome? Are you trying to find a way to communicate that is more clear? There are no limits to what you can ask, but it might be more successful to have just one or two specific questions that you want to focus on and explore. Try to edit your questions to simple yes or no queries.

The answers will come to through your intuition, and from your sensing of signals seen and unseen that surround you and your question, and from your own higher self. Phrase your question in a way that will be received by your higher self and tap into your intuition. Too broad a question might not lead to a clear answer.

For example, a broad question might be, “How can I find a romantic partner for the rest of my life?” A more edited question that could be answered as “Yes” or “No” might be re-phrased as “Is it in my best interest to continue to see the person I am dating now?”

Here are some possibilities for framing your question:
(1) Will this action that I am considering be in my own best interest?
(2) Is this person I am making plans with trustworthy?
(3) Ask yes or no for a choice you are considering.
(4) Ask if your lost object is in the house? Or in the car? Or elsewhere?

As you witness the shadowing and uncovering of the February full Moon, remember the fixed fire energy of Leo that the Moon will be in at the time of the eclipse. Focus, illumination, self-expression, dependability, and warmth are significantly associated with this sign. May you uncover you own truths and qualities by the phases of the Moon.

“We must not allow ourselves to become
like the system we oppose.”

-Archbishop Desmond Tutu-

First Steps on the Seeker’s Path
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I am foregoing Part Two of this series until next month’s issue so I can direct you to the Lighting the Torch ritual pathworking.

About This Ritual:

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This pathworking is an experiential rendition of a live ritual held on January 29.2017 at 3:00p.m. (EST) in Springfield, PA. Our coven had decided that we would use the celebration of Imbolc, normally held at this time of the year and dedicate it to the Goddess, Columbia and a self-empowering call to Liberty, Justice and Right Action. These are attributes that are needed more than ever as we move through this year of historical change and uncertainty about the outcomes.

The steps we choose to take and the truths that we claim as our own will likely change as the deeper processes of politics, emotions and action are revealed. So it is in the best interest of each individual to connect with the philosophies that our country was founded upon, the realities that our Ancestors encountered and the vision of our Forefathers. This is not the first that America has had to take a closer look at what has worked in the past and what is the vision of the future that every American holds for their place in the broader community of global humanity. This ritual holds the intention of claiming the sword of justice and the light of freedom as we step into the place and power of taking responsibility for our own actions that will ultimately impact those around us.

About the Goddess, Columbia:

liberty_and_eagleLiberty, as Columbia in the National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C.

Fast Facts:

  • Columbia-aka: Standing Liberty, Walking Liberty and Lady Liberty (NY Harbor)
  • Her work is that of Governance and those who abide in her state, the District of Columbia were charged with being committed to the well-being of the country and its inhabitants.
  • Her statue was first put on top of the Capitol 5b424a1e08928b60c48030ffa9125eb1building and decree was passed that no building could be higher than that of the head of the Goddess. The bronze Statue of Freedom by Thomas Crawford is the crowning feature of the dome of the United States Capitol. The statue is a classical female figure of Freedom wearing flowing draperies. Her right hand rests upon the hilt of a sheathed sword; her left holds a laurel wreath of victory and the shield of the United States with thirteen stripes. Her helmet is encircled by stars and features a crest composed of an eagle’s head, feathers, & talons, a reference to the costume of Native Americans.
  • You will also find her in front of every Federal building in different forms and carrying different symbols.

A great clip from  a broadcast of Thom Hartmann about the story of the Goddess, Columbia… The Story of the Goddess, Columbia

About the Ritual Pathworking:

This pathworking will be a combination of active participation and contemplative space. Select a space where you will not be disturbed for approx. 50 minutes and have some room to move a bit. If you are tight on space, movement can be generated by swaying in place.  If you wish to gather a small group to work the ritual, be sure each person has a candle for themselves.

(optional) If you wish to set-up quarter altars as well as the central listed below, please do so and decorate in whatever way is in accord with your spiritual path.

What You Will Need:

  • Purification supplies such as incense (or a favorite body oil) and charged salt water (place a small amount of salt in a small bowl of water. Hold the bowl in your hands -one on the bottom, the other hovering over the top. Pull up the energy of intention and connection to what the elements of Earth and Water mean to you. Pour that intention into the now, charged, water of purification). original_emily-henderson-dollar-store-bathroom-candle-before_s3x4-jpg-rend-hgtvcom-966-1288
  • White pillar candle ( I like to use the glass pillars that are sold at the Dollar Store. They are easily contained, burn well and for these purposes actually resemble a torch!).
  • A table or space that will serve as an altar to hold your candle/matches(or lighter) and anything you may wish to add as representation of your affinity with our country, the Goddess Columbia and action.
  • A chair to sit on.

Click Here:  Lighting the Torch! All Hail, Columbia!

Please Note: you will be directed to the Teachings on the Path web page for this pathworking. Space and media limits on this page do not accommodate this audio. 

Credits:
Cast and Call: R. Fennelly
Statement: S.S.E.
Invocations:
Ancestors: M.Q.
Forefathers: L.M.
Columbia: J.M.

All Chants-Reclaiming and Friends
Air I Am (Chants)
Rise With Fire (Chants)
Let It Begin (Let It Begin)

In Conclusion…..

… (I) leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your
bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal..

― Abraham Lincoln ―

 

Upcoming Events – 2017

January 24 – March 14
It’s Written in the Stars
writteninstars
8-Wks.
More Info: Click here..

February 19
Mystic Fires Drum Circle
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More Info: Click here….

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted

Questions_Ruler

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 February 2017, Volume One | 2 Comments

January 2017: Happy New Year-Happy Metamorphosis!

Vol. 1 – Issue 9

Musings From the Mystic Path
The Month of January
Happy New Year-Happy Metamorphosis

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January 1st of any year brings hope and the possibility to transform, renew and change as a new calendar year provides a do-over. This year change is imminent and all that we thought we knew about the progress we have made as a civilization and a species will be put to the test. 

This month’s issue is filled with opportunity offered in experiences shared and creativity expressed. We begin with a look at the tradition of making resolutions. A special encounter with the Goddess Brigid and Tesseract’s focus on January Full Moon in Cancer. First Steps begins the New Year with a study of Numerology; a fitting way to kick off a number “10” Year. 

The metamorphosis of the Butterfly is a thing of beauty and sacred in its implications of change and transformation. We, too, wait in a cocoon of our making and whether we wish it to be so or not, the change is imminent. So, we surrender to the transformation and what emerges is strength personified in the delicate form of the butterfly. May this year bring that transformation and may you see the beauty and strength we can find in the waiting…

Featured Writings

Happy New Year!

I stand in the last hours before the
Sacred transition to the new year.

Images and recollections of all that
This old year has brought
Flash before me and feel the
Hope that these things bring.

I stand at the mid time as
Midnight rings in the new.

Images and aspirations
Of dreams to accomplish
And goals to achieve
Light up the night sky
As stars twinkle high above.

I stand in the sunlight of
The first day of a New Year.

Anticipation courses through me
Like an electric flash of inspiration
And the brilliant architecture of
Dream and vision weaves its tapestry.

New journeys
New opportunities.

The old and the new in harmonious
Blend as I chart a new course
For this year of transformation.

Finding Our Inner Resolve
by A.B.

December 31st marks the last day of the calendar year of 2016, and we bring the accumulated lessons, joys and sorrows of that year with us as we cross the threshold into a new beginning- the first day of a new year. For many, this self-initiated new start is welcomed by the making of carefully and thoughtfully chosen “resolutions”. And, just as many, often find that by the end of that cyclic year, those resolutions have fallen by the wayside, replaced by regrets or excuses for not having accomplished what we had set out to. What I would like to offer is a new way of looking at this yearly ritual. In fact, we can get the process off to a good start by thinking and approaching it more as a ritual, complete with inspired intent and focused will that may serve to enhance the determination needed to sustain you throughout the entire year.

When we enter into ritual space, we have certain expectations. The first of these expectations is that we are entering into a sacred act or agreement, if you will. We expect that our declarations and devotions in ritual will be supported by Deity and we rarely, if ever entertain the idea of failure as an option. We pour all of our intent and desire into focusing on the successful outcome we are expecting from the work being done in sacred space.

According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, the word Resolution (Noun) : [res-o-lu-tion] is defined as below:

1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination.
2. A course of action determined or decided on.
3. A formal statement of a decision or expression of opinion.

These definitions create the basic energy put into the making of a resolution, but the etymology of the word lends a different perspective. The word resolution is directly derived from the Latin verb resolvere (also-Solvo, solvere, solvi, solutus) which means to untie, unfasten, loosen, unbind, etc. The prefix- re- has two distinct meanings. One interpretation of the meaning of the prefix-re- means “again”, and the other meaning of it implies “backward” or “back”. So, we could say that the literal meaning of the word –resolution- is to unbind again. If we think on this definition we can easily see the cyclic nature of setting into motion what action or change we desire. With the ending of each year and the beginning of another we return to the same old quandary of setting goals, that are still largely under the influence of old patterns and behavior. We would not consider reusing a spell or attending a ritual that was ineffective, yet we allow ourselves to remain caught up in the magick of our own un-making. But, if we approach the resolution making process as one of releasing ourselves from this cycle, there is more energy surrounding the positive and successful nature of this timeless ritual.

As we move through our daily practice, weave our magick and go through our mundane activities, part of this process involves release and loosening up to open up more fully to what we wish to bring into our lives. The alchemy that is a part of that process is the creation of something that will be strong, flexible and serve as a foundation from which we can see more clearly, make more effective choices and realize the great power we hold simply by opening to our higher intent. Magick that allows for the flow of carefully directed energy, bolstered by the resolve of intent is ultimately enhanced when that direction is loosened, becomes flexible and moves in a way that can foster growth and expansion.

We are always in a state of change and growth. It is this movement that affirms our life and our humanity. So creating goals, or resolutions for this process are appropriate tools towards helping us move towards our higher purpose. If we create the intent of our “resolutions” to unbind or loosen us from behaviors that we repeat time and again that are not productive and supportive of our forward moving growth- we allow the space of confinement to break free. If we create “re-solutions” to those hindrances of the past that keeping us looking backwards and often distort or skew our objectives of self-actualization, we have tapped into a very powerful and transformative tool that allows us to be more fully present in both our mundane and spiritual activities. And, when we relinquish our need to constrict and control the course of our actions, we can be more receptive to the many joys and opportunities for stepping into the energy of our inner power and become more firmly resolute in our adaptability to the challenges that come our way.

If we return to the idea of ritual and sacred space, consider sitting quietly in a dedicated space as you put to pen and paper your resolutions for this new year. If you want to keep it simple, light a candle, take a deep breath to clear your focus and intent and fill your space with supportive energy in accord with what you wish to bring into manifestation through your resolve. If you want to fully embrace the magick of what you are resolving to, create a ritual working that incorporates the writing down of your intentions. Ground and center, purify, cast your circle and call in the specific elemental energies that will sustain your resolve. Make your declarations in witness of the seen and unseen and be sure to offer up thanks to those supporting to seal your working and resolve.

In whatever way you choose to begin this yearly process, as you sit and pen your “resolutions” for 2017, take a moment to pause and give breath and intent to those things you wish both to release and to bring into your life. Take some time to open to all the possibilities that these new intentions offer up. As for me, my resolution is to stand with open arms and open heart to what lay ahead. To remember the lessons of a resolve that is born of allowing the energy to flow through me in a way that will be productive. To more firmly anchor in what are my truths and to be the space of refuge for those who may become battered in the changes ahead. My intent is to fine tune that inner resolve and when I return to December 31, 2017, look back at the change I’ve allowed to become my solid foundation.

Blessings Bright for an Inspiring New Year!

The  Above is a Reprint from WitchVox Article 2012….rcf

 

The Future Looks Bright!
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By Celestine

Recently, I was asked to draw read a single tarot card representing the past year. The card that I was given was The Tower which at first took me aback as it depicts a terrifying image of people flying oyt of a burning tower. However, as a wise teacher told me, the cards are not all bad or call good, it is how you interpret them. I then took this card to mean that old problems, weaknesses, and blockages that no longer served my higher good were pulled down to make room for a new start. As the past year has been filled with self-exploration I took this card to be a good omen, a sign that I had let go of old baggage.

With the new year only days away I decided to try again, this time with the intention of finding out what I need to know to help me in the new year. I asked for guidance from my higher self and the Divine then pulled tarot cards based solely on my intuition. I did not have a specific number of cards in mind, nor was I following a specific spread. Instead I pulled whichever cards called to me and stopped when I felt done. I drew four cards in this order:
The Star
The Queen of Cups (inverted)
The Page of Pentacles
The Three of Pentacles

The Star, as it happens, is the card immediately after The Tower in a standard tarot deck. On this card a woman is pouring water from two pitchers while a bird looks on. She is simultaneously refilling a pool of water while irrigating the land. She has found the balance between common sense and intuition, between the mundane world and her dreams. There are eight stars above her, indicating strength and balance. Eight is often considered the Karmic equalizer which may mean I need to consider the results of my actions and how they will affect others. This card represents hope, generosity and inspiration. For me The Star card is a symbol of new beginnings and and sign that good things will replace the bad that was destroyed when the Tower came down. I believe it indicates that I am on the right path for balancing my spiritual growth with the everyday demands of life and that my hopes and dreams may come to fruition.

The lovely Queen of Cups sitting serenely by the sea is associated with emotions and intuition. She exudes peace, calmness, and love. I however drew the card inverted which may mean I am out of touch with my feelings or cannot control my emotions. Occasionally I have angry outbursts but rarely show my sensitive side and generally keep a pretty tight reign on my emotions in public. The Queen of Cups reversed may also indicate that I am cut off from my innate psychic abilities. I have always had a logical mind and a strong belief in scientific fact, keeping any flights of fancy in check. In recent years I have been trying to learn to trust my instincts and listen to my vibes as well as unleashing the creative, imaginative side of my brain. I think this card confirms that I need to drop some remaining barricades so that I can be more in touch with my emotions and psychic abilities. Perhaps instead of constantly thinking I need to just feel and go with those feelings and vibes.

Ah, the Page of Pentacles! One glance at the young man on this card holding a single pentacle in his hands and I feel excitement and enthusiasm. This is a card of inspiration and new beginnings. The youth appears to have single-minded focus on his goal. I believe I need to act on my dreams and aspirations with a youthful exuberance and optimism and stay focused on the desired outcome.

My final card was the Three of Pentacles which depicts three people having a discussion. One holds a hammer and chisel and another a paper with drawings on it. The three seem to come from different professions yet appear to be working together on a project. This card may represent teamwork or collaboration as well as competence. It indicates that working with others and utilizing all of our strengths may provide a better outcome than going it alone. I am very resistant to receiving help from others, I tend to want to prove my competence by working harder than others and handling more projects. The message I received from this card is one that I’ve been told before and yet continue to ignore, namely it is perfectly okay to ask for and accept assistance. In 2017 I think I need to stop wearing myself out at my job and learn to delegate tasks and work collaboratively. Additionally, I also see this card as a sign that my already cohesive spiritual family will continue to work together, uniting all of our skills and strengths to make good things happen.

So there it is, the cards are telling me that I should be optimistic about 2017, trust my instincts, and be prepared to take action collaboratively with others so that we can manifest good things for the world. I wish a happy new year for you all and hope 2017 blesses you with an abundance of love and light!

Wintry Questions…

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by M.Q.

I take a walkabout in the chilly January air.

Gone is the lush and verdant foliage
Replaced with a screen of brown
Crooked twigs and branches.

The pungent wet earth faintly hitting
My nostrils as it simmers just below
The deadened surface and an
Eerie stillness is in the fog.

It is a melancholy scene for many
A beautiful and stirring scene for myself.

Finally, a quiet time of reflection.
So many questions.

What is beneath the sparkling reflective
Pool I have journeyed to numerous times?

Who is tending the bonfire to the left
Of the baby blue lacquer wall?

I want to dance around it again.

What lies beyond the long wooden
Fence and pier in my subconscious?

Shall I plant a garden there?

Such a quiet time of discovery
It feels like even the Fae are at rest.

What will present itself once the Indigo ridge dissipates from the horizon?

If you begin to understand what you are, without trying to change it,
then what you are undergoes a transformation.

… by Jiddu Krishnamurti

Photoscapes..

Photos by M.Q.
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Step Closer..

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Open up the lens and take in more
What you find may surprise you!
Photo by Robin

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Your success and happiness lies in you.
Resolve to keep happy, and your joy
And you shall form an invincible host
Against difficulties.

… by Helen Keller 

 

A Little Story to Share….
by J.M.

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One of the themes I chose for this past year was that of bringing more of Spirit into your day to day life. To honor that, I have recently begun ritually calling to Bridgid before I use my kitchen/hearth, and offering my cooking to her. Not offering the food per se, but the creational/transformational act of cooking itself was done in her honor.

Now, I live alone and I have found that Bridgid is not a quiet observer when it comes to these offerings. And it feels nice to have HER company. It makes my home more of a home. There is a flow to cooking with someone else that I’ve really missed. The interactions around experimentation and ideas that are recommended, viewed, and then accepted or rejected.

And, although She is not physically there, for that is not necessary, it has helped to bring my cooking up another notch. I mean, who would have thought to put black cardamom pods temporarily in the water where I boil my soon to be mashed potatoes? It brings a nice smoky flavor to the mash. Add in some bacon and you are in potato nirvana. Or, make chocolate chip cookies into ying-yang chocolate/white chocolate cookies. The most revealing was her nudge that the ham that I made on a yearly basis, just needed to be put into a different pot, covered, and cooked more slowly at a lower temperature. Really? Finally, a good Christmas Ham for my Mom!

And Bridgid, for the most part, is very gentle on whether or not you accept her recommendation. She was fine when I didn’t mix cabbage with my potatoes (her first suggestion), with only a thought/comment of “that’s right … you’re Swedish … not Irish”. There was, of course, the implication that I didn’t know what I was missing. She lets you do what you need to do, and just whispers thoughts gently. So, it was with great surprise when I heard quite firmly “WHAT … DO YOU THINK … YOU’RE DOING!!!!?”.

I have been cooking a great deal lately, and my energy state has been getting enervated. So, after cooking two Solstice meals, hosting a Solstice gathering, being part of my coven’s re-dedication, and cooking for my Mom on Christmas Eve, I was finishing up cutting up the remaining ham for leftovers, and going to throw the hambone away. Yeah, no! It turns out that Bridgid is quite clear about that tomfoolery.

But I was tired … really tired; complete with back and feet aching, So I stopped in the middle of crossing the kitchen to dump the bone, and just shook my head wearily and said ‘really?’. She pointed out that the pot that I cooked the ham in was perfect for making soup and bumped me towards it with a counter reply of ‘Really!’. My choice, I know, but I was tired. I finally turned towards the pot, dropped the hambone in, filled it with water and let it boil. The next morning, I searched my pantry and found all the fixings for split pea soup (surprise!!!), and used the stock to make a very comforting, stick to the ribs, soup. And, it was not lost upon me that She was the one who recommended the pot to cook the ham in, in the first place! Clearly she had plans.

Thanks to Bridgid and blessings to you, your family, your ancestors, and your Spirits in this New Year. Perhaps, one of culinary adventure for you, as well!

Focus On…

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

The twelfth day of January will be illuminated by a full Moon in Cancer, a cardinal water sign. The sign of Cancer is associated with emotions, sensitivity, nurturance, and protection of self and loved ones. Those who have Cancer as their natal sign or ascendant can be intuitive and imaginative. This intuition, or tuning in to others, may make them prone to absorbing the energies and emotions of those around them. This could reveal itself as a “Share the Love” in abundance, or perhaps they could be pulled down into depression, struggle and feeling unmoored, depending who they surround themselves with.

The watery nature of the Cancer individual reveals this ebb and flow of feelings, which can change like the tides. Cardinal energy with its initiative and enthusiasm when applied to Cancer’s watery nature can invoke new beginnings, starting new connection with others, opening ways to nurture loved ones. Sometimes the Cancer energy retreats into itself for renewal and then re-emerges to re-engage, much as the Moon’s phases move from light to dark, and then back again. Reflecting on the full Moon’s light in Cancer during winter’s chill in January, we can remember that the sun’s warmth will still reach us, even in the dark of night.

Over the last few months we have looked at ways to let the Moon’s energies and phases help us cleanse crystals, release our inner fire energies and go deep with scrying for what will be revealed. Now, we can look for ways to enhance our love relationships. This month’s full Moon will shine a light on abundance, what we want to draw to ourselves, how to be open to love and good will, new beginnings with cardinal Cancer energy, and how to start with self-love.

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Here is a Love Spell, a way to draw or attract love. This spell takes place during the three days of the full Moon. While there is an exact astronomical moment when the Moon is full, which is the moment when the Earth is directly between the Sun and Moon, it appears to us to be full for three days. When we see it the night before the full Moon, the night of the full Moon, and the night afterward can be considered the three days of the full Moon.

The tools for this love spell include these items:

  • A signifier to represent something or someone you want to draw love to
  • A candle to reflect the light of the Moon; igniting the flame is to represent the spark of the cardinal energy of Cancer
  • Water to reflect Cancer energy
  • A bowl to contain the emotional energies that will be awakened
  • Rose quartz to represent compassion, love, and to energize the heart chakra

First, decide on what you want to draw more love toward. Yourself, another a person, someone in your family or friends. Perhaps you would like to draw love to a situation or event that you feel would benefit from love. A precaution — please remember that it is baneful to interfere with another’s free will. Spread the love clearly without trying to control the actions or will of another. If you would like to share love with an individual, check with them first for permission. That being said, sharing or spreading love for the greater good of all concerned is good magick.

Find or create an image that represents the focus of your love. A photograph of a person, a memento from a place that you have visited, a flower that reminds you of an event, a mirror to reflect your own light to yourself.

Obtain a pink candle and candle holder, a bowl, and a piece of rose quartz. Place the candle in a waterproof candle holder, then place the candle in its holder into a bowl. A clear glass bowl would be good, if you have one. Any bowl will do, as long as it is pleasing to your eye. Put water into the bowl so that the water touches the candle holder. Make sure the candle is stable within the bowl and not floating. The water should just touch the holder but not make the candle unsteady.

Place your love object near the bowl and then place your rose quartz between the bowl and the love object. These 3 things should be close together but not touching.

On the first night of the full Moon phase, ground and center, take a few deep breaths, gaze upon the Moon if she is showing her face. If not, then take a moment to remember that the Moon is still there behind the clouds. Then light the candle, and take note of the candle light on the rose quartz and on the item signifying that which you want to bring more love to. Move the candle toward the rose quartz a few inches, and then move your signifier a few inches closer to the quartz. After you finish your contemplation, blow out the candle.

On the second night of the full Moon phase, re-light your candle, and move the candle and the signifier toward the rose quartz a few more inches. After you finish your contemplation, blow out the candle.

On the third night, move the bowl with candle to touch the rose quartz on one side, and the signifier to touch the quartz on the other side. The rose quartz will bring together your intention and your signifier. Contemplate the new beginnings of this flow of emotions. When you feel complete, blow out the candle and the love will spread.

On the next night, remove the candle from the bowl, pour the water back onto the earth, and put away your quartz and your signifier. Your love will spread to your intended recipient, especially if it is yourself.

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.

… by T.S.Eliot, Author 

First Steps on the Seeker’s Path
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Welcome to 2017! The next few months of focus for First Steps will be the study of Numerology. This is a #10 year.. 2+1+7=10. Numerologically, this adds up to a year where the singular “1” can unite and work side by side with the Limitless all of “0”, timelessness and eternal. Enjoy…

Numerology:The Art and Science of Numbers – Part One

The Continuum

Nothing and everything
The endless void fills all time
Until…

One moves in the silence
Stretching and reaching
Towards the other as Two
Swiftly take flight.

They mingle and join
Each claiming their own side
So Three may point the way.
Each base stretched far and wide.

Foundations are laid
By another close at hand
Who opens the Four sealed Gates.
Disruption and creative force
Issues forth as the skillfully crafted
Shield of focus reflects the Five.

The light is fixed
The seeker is found
As outpour of healing grace
Gives way to the
Harmonious Six.

Each walks a path of experience
Pulling and gathering from
Vista’s extremes.
Wisdom and lessons hard won
Fill what moves within.

As Six expands to become Seven
The meandering web that
Connects becomes entwined.
A continuum of dual
Portal opening and Eight
The final climax of force contained.

Like amoebas they move and
Wiggle and stretch and pull
And strain until the
Tension and release
Catapult them over
The initiatory threshold of
Death’s Nine Gates.

All scatter and disperse
Once again seamlessly
Part of the void of the All
Until…

Once again the singular One rises
Reaching out towards its
Newly quickened mate.

Numerology is the study of numbers, and the mystical manner in which they reflect the specific energies wherever they are put to application. In the interpretation of an individual the numbers of the birth date, name or other auspicious dates indicate certain aptitudes and characteristic tendencies. When we use numerology to calculate the optimal time for a magickal working or spiritual event, we can access the energy of the day/date and harness it in direction towards what we wish to manifest. I use numerology frequently to eek out more information that can be used to give greater insight to what that day may hold as potential.

When using names rather than numbers to make a determination, each letter has a numeric value that provides a related cosmic vibration ( look at the end of the post for letter values). The sum of the numbers in your birth date and the sum of value derived from the letters in the name provide an interrelation of vibrations. These numbers show a great deal about character, purpose in life, what motivates, and where talents may lie. Experts in numerology use the numbers to determine the best time for major moves and activities in life. Numerology is used to decide when to invest, when to marry, when to travel, when to change jobs, or relocate.

Pythagoras, the Greek mathematician who lived from 569-470 B.C., is said by many to be the originator of much of what we call numerology today. Although, if we look back at the emphasis placed on the relationship and mystical energy of numbers related to the Kabbalah(Qabalah), we see that the use of numerology in some form dates back to being a very ancient art of interpretation.

Almost every counting system in the world is based upon the numbers 1 through 9. Each of those digits has its own particular meaning. Numerology is the method of reducing names and dates to special numbers that reveal character, quality and cycles of the person or thing being examined. It is a method we use to find the strengths and lessen the frustration of the limitations of our weaknesses.

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The Process of determining the number(s) for evaluation is done by the method of reducing the given numbers to a single digit. For example one of my daughter’s birth date is March 20.1990. To calculate her birth number the process would look like this:

March = 3 (month) + 2+0 (day) + 1+9+9+0
Add all of the numbers together = 24
Reduce it to a single number = 2+4 = 6

6 is the number I would use as their birth number and I would base my interpretation on the dynamics and energies of the number “6”. Simple, huh!

The Basic Interpretation of the Numbers 0-9:

0 ….. Cycles, void, the limitless ALL, womb of creation and the Gate of the Divine
1 …. The singular “I”, the individual, the line of continuum, energy held and gathered back to itself
2 …. Collaborative effort- moving beyond the “I” to “we”- duality and polarity that results
3 …. The point of trinity or third that is created from the friction and combined effort of the two
4 …. Opening the point of support to a place of foundation, equanimity and force in a balanced state
5 …. The shield whose tip may be directed by Will to disrupt, change and set in motion
6 …. Doubled trinity, intersecting energies of descent and ascent, mirrored image of creative product
7 …. Carrying forward the lessons learned, the paths taken and the reconvening of the triune
8 …. The lemniscate, foundation (4) uplifted to become the container, receipt and release
9 …. Threshold /gate to endings and completion with potential for new fully in-formed beginnings

Next Month:Using Numerology for Personal Discovery

In Conclusion…..

May Light always surround you;
Hope kindle and rebound you.

May your Hurts turn to Healing;
Your Heart embrace Feeling.

May Wounds become Wisdom;
Every Kindness a Prism.

May Laughter infect you;
Your Passion resurrect you.

May Goodness inspire
Your Deepest Desires.

Through all that you Reach For,
May your arms Never Tire.

… by D. Simone, Author/Poet 

Upcoming Events – 2017

January 14
5-Hr. Intensive: Dreaming Creation
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For More Info: Click here..

January 29
Lighting the Torch!All Hail Columbia!
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A Special Celebration of Imbolc
More Info: Click here..

January 24 – March 14
It’s Written in the Stars
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8-Wks.
More Info: Click here..

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted
Painting: Dreaming Creation advert by Stuart Gonzalez

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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 January 2017, Volume One

December 2016:The Light Returns and the Fires Awaken

Vol. 1 – Issue 8

Musings From the Mystic Path
The Month of December
The Light Returns and the Fires Awaken

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December is the month of the Solstices; Winter, in the Northern Hemisphere and Summer in the Southern. For those of you in colder climates, we have a Wassail Recipe that is sure to warm and soothe in the frosty weather. Typically, it is a time of acknowledging that balance and harmony are not always about equanimity. In order to thrive, each must be given its time of power. The quotes selected this month are a mix of selections from various writers with a theme of light and “whole”ness as we find the space of balance within ourselves.

This month we have the second installment of our new column, Tesseract, written by Iolanthe. The focus is on the First Quarter Moon of December and scrying our way towards new beginnings.  Seekers on the Path continues its exploration of shadow work with the final installment, Part Three of “Down the Rabbit Hole”.

As we conclude the 2016 year, we wish all of you the light of family and friends. We offer the gift of creativity and joy as we count down to welcoming 2017. And, despite the challenges and obstacles this new year may bring, we offer you the illumination of Hope that flows from one to the other when we stand strong as a diversified, yet unified community! 

Featured Writings

Ceremony
by Celestine

This writing was inspired by participation in a recent Sweat Lodge…

We enter together, some friends, some strangers. Each of us seeking for wisdom to guide our path.

As the darkness enfolds us we feel the nearness of other bodies, we hear each other’s breath. Voices raise in chants as steam pours over us, surrounding us in a cloud of warmth.

The world outside ceases to exist. The darkness is everything.

Sweat pours from us, removing impurities from our bodies. Our fears and anger pour from us, removing toxins from our minds. Words come unbidden to our lips as our voices speak to the Divine, to our ancestors, to our higher selves.

We speak from the heart rather than the mind, emotions running unchecked.

Knees slick with sweat touch, reminding us we are part of a community, of a family. Murmurs of support lend us courage. Time stopped. There is no past or future, only this moment, a moment that goes on forever and goes past in the blink of an eye.

We are in a cocoon of love and trust.

When we get all we need and release everything we must shed, time starts moving again. We begin to hear the sounds of nature and of human activity. We are once more aware of the presence of others. The door opens and we leave, greeted by cool breezes and comforting sunshine.

We stand before Mother Earth dirty, sweaty, and exhausted, yet reborn and full of hope for our futures.

Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness,
to pull another hand into the light.

…by Norman B. Rice

Hold My Hand

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by A.B.

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

Weave your fingery roots through
Mine and I promise that we will be able
To hold hold our ground together.

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

Reach out and grab on so we
Will hold tight in any storm.

After all, that is what community does for its own.

 

The world breaks everyone, and afterward,
some are strong at the broken places.

…by Ernest Hemingway

Birth and Life and Rebirth of a Sweat Lodge
by Iolanthe

The current Sweat Lodge at Seelie Court was built about 3 years ago. It collapsed today, at the end of the fifth round, the Spirit round, during the sweat ritual for the Coven of the Mystic Path. I want to tell about how the lodge is constructed, used, and reborn. I am not touching on the spiritual aspect of its creation and the magick used, as this is not something I have personal knowledge of.

The first sweat lodge was built at Seelie Court in 1992. Many lodges have been built, served and were filled with spirit, sweat, steam, tears, chant, laughter, and acceptance of each other’s work. In time, they finished their lives and are replaced with other lodges.

The lodge that the Coven of the Mystic Path used for its Coven Sweat on Nov. 12, 2016 began its life about 3 years ago. Calculations were made: the lodge would be so high and this was its planned circumference. Saplings were gathered from the surrounding woods. The ground was raked of stones, leaves, twigs. The circumference was drawn and the building began. The uprights made of saplings were placed into the ground and then around the circumference, saplings were laid across and when these crossed the uprights, the junction was tied with cotton cloth. This continued until a dome was created.

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Here is a photo of a lodge at Seelie Court. The photo is from http://www.sacredwheel.org/sweat-lodges.html

After the lodge frame was finished, it was covered with blankets—a lot of blanket – to block light from entering the lodge. They were placed from the ground up and over the top and then another layer was placed from the top down to the ground. There were several layers of blankets. Over all of this, a large thick piece of black plastic was laid and held to the ground with stones placed around the perimeter. An opening was left for the door used to enter and exit the lodge. Over this opening, a door was constructed. Layers of blankets and plastic were wrapped at one edge over a long thick straight branch. This branch had ropes tied to each end, and the ropes are thrown over the top of the dome and were tied to tent stakes. The door fabrication was then placed in front of the opening. This door is raised or lowered at the beck of the water pourer to let in air and light, to release steam and heat, and to allow those participating in the sweat lodge to enter or exit the lodge.

On this beautiful cool fall day in November, those members of Coven of the Mystic Path who wanted to, or were able to, joined together to participate in the transformative power of the Sweat Lodge Ritual. In the morning of the ritual, all of the blankets were removed to air them out and some of the joins of the lodge were assessed and re-tied. After the blankets were aired, they were replaced on the lodge, the plastic was draped and the door was put in place. The lodge was ship-shape and ready to go.

The usual protocol was adhered to and we Mystic Pathers and a couple of others who also wanted to sweat that day entered the lodge and the first Air round began. During the next few rounds, some creaking was heard, but nothing too alarming. By the fifth Spirit round, the cracking was happening more and more, and when the Water Pourer declared “The ritual of the Sweat Lodge is complete” the roof of the Sweat Lodge started to dip down. The water pourer and an experienced fire tender (one of the people who had sweated with Mystic Path during the ritual) propped up the roof with their hands so that we could exit safely. We all left the lodge safe and sound and went on with routine of gathering our possessions, shoes, glasses, and wending our ways back to Dragonstead to eat and drink and recollect ourselves.

Meanwhile, there was another sweat scheduled for the afternoon. While some attempt was made to repair the lodge made of saplings, the water pourer for the next sweat and the fire tenders decided to use the stone lodge which is permanent and was on the land nearby. That sweat lodge is made of stones that had been used in previous sweats. The stone lodge was made ready and the next sweat was performed and all was well.

The sapling lodge that had lived its life will be dismantled. The saplings will be burned in the next sweat lodge fire, the blankets will be aired, the ground will be raked to free it of leaves, twigs, small stones, and the fire pit will be cleaned out. The next lodge will be built with new saplings and the freshened blankets will be laid over it. New carpet squares and fresh sheets will be laid out in a circle around the fire pit, and all will be made ready for the next transformative Sweat Lodge Ritual.

We Mystic Pathers were present at the death of a sweat lodge dome. To me, 2016 has been a year of endings and beginnings. I lost my job after 20 years at the same company. I have shed some of the baggage that I have been carrying around. Letting go so that I may be open to new experiences, people, spirit, knowledge, has been my personal theme. I left a coven in 2015 and I joined a new one in 2016. Going out from the personal, we have lost many, too many, great artists in 2016. We, as a country, have lost a sense of safety and security at home.

What will replace what I have lost? I know that I have a home with my Spouse, I have family and friends. I have a home with the Coven of the Mystic Path. I have inspiring teachers. I will find paid work soon. I had to let go of what was so that there will be room for what is to be.

The Sweat Lodge ritual is very important to me. I helped build a sapling lodge, I was present when another sapling lodge finished its life. The Lodge itself holds the Cauldron of Creation. We are transformed by going into the Lodge and going through the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual ordeal. The lodge itself is also transformed by our being with it through the Rituals. And, yet, the stone lodge is there on the land to hold us during the Sweat. There is something eternal about the Sweat Lodge, whether the saplings crack. The Spirit of the Lodge lives on in the stones, in the land, in each of us who have participated.

Winter Night Traveling

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by S.E.

The air is still and cold.

My breath hangs frosty before me
As I move through the darkness.

Snow crunches under my feet, my hands are
Curled deep in pockets for warmth.

I come to the open space and stare across the vastness.

Far in the distance lights twinkle like
Stars beckoning with promise of hot soup
Cozy blankets and cups of tea.

It is hard to remember the heat of summer and the brightness of its sun.

Winter sun is pale and brief; winter night seems to last forever.

My eyes look upward at the blackness of the moonless sky.

A single point of light shines
Emphasizing just how far away it is
From me and I wonder briefly if someone stands
There looking at their night sky
Feeling alone in the same universe.

 

People are like stained-glass windows.They sparkle and shine
when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their
true beauty is revealed only if
there is light from within.

…by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Happy Yule to everyone and Wassail!
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by M.H.

Wassail is an Old Norse salutation ves heill, meaning “be well”. The custom of wassailing dates back to medieval times, but it’s rarely practiced anywhere today. The original drink was made from mulled ale, roasted apples, eggs, curdled cream, sugar and spices. The apples would actually burst open giving the appearance of wool. So the frothy drink was also called Lamb’s wool.

In December, sometime during the twelve days of Christmas or on New Year’s Eve people would go house to house singing and offering a drink from the wassail bowl in exchange for gifts. The mulled ale was also poured on the roots of the apple trees in the orchards to ward off evil spirits and ensure a good harvest in the coming year. When served indoors, there was caroling, and merrymaking leading up to the great presentation of the Wassail bowl. Wealthy families used a Wassail bowl usually made of silver or pewter and could hold up to ten gallons of the spiced drink.

Below is the recipe I’ve used for many years at my Yule celebrations. The addition of alcohol is optional and of course only for adult gatherings. Many other recipes use wine, ale or brandy. Wassail can be bottled and given as gifts or served after caroling to pleasantly warm the guests.

Wassail Recipe

1 Gallon Apple Cider
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon of whole cloves
1 tablespoon of whole allspice
small pieces of ginger root
1 quart of orange juice
3 cups of pineapple juice
3 cups of Apricot Nectar
zest of one orange
1 bottle of Vodka
1 bottle of Peach Schnapps
cinnamon sticks

Pour the apple cider in a large stock pot, add the brown sugar, place all the spices in a spice bag and place the bag in the cider, add the zest of one orange. Heat gently, to bring to a slow boil; then lower the heat and add the additional fruit juices and the alcohol. Allow it to simmer on low heat for 5-10 more minutes until it’s thoroughly heated, but not boiling.

Remove the spice bag and pour the mixture into a warmed crock pot or a slower cooker on your holiday table, add orange slices studded with additional cloves. These will just float on the top of the cider. Serve the beverage in heat proof mugs with and a cinnamon stick.

 

Focus On…

Our new monthly column…

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

In early December, we will see the first quarter moon on December 7. From our vantage point on Earth, the moon is 50% illuminated and seen as half-full. This Moon phase is one of growth, expansion, regeneration. During this quarter Moon phase, it is located in Pisces.

Pisces is a mutable water sign. Mutable energies go with the flow, as do water and Piscean energies. The Pisces glyph is two fishes swimming in opposite directions. Pisces energy is hard to pin down; it is mystical and dream-like. Water is a solvent capable of breaking down substances to its component parts. This is a component of the Piscean energy, which is all about regeneration: birth, death, rebirth. Water can reflect and refract understanding and is sometimes used to represent emotions, which can also be hard to pin down and can be dreamlike.

All of this mutable, watery, diving in deep into submerged depths, fits right in with the first quarter Moon phase. We must break through the shell of the seeds we planted at the new Moon last month so that the sprout can grow. Last month, we channeled Sagittarian fire energies to help us release what we no longer need and initiated action to manifest what we do need. This Piscean mutable watery energy during the waxing quarter Moon helps us to do this.

When the Moon is in Pisces, it is a good time to do magickal workings that involve remembering your dreams, divination, developing intuition, and trusting your inner guides. This will help you to intuit how your intentions may become manifest.

One way to do this is through scrying, which is a way to gain access to your intuitive self by gazing into a reflective surface, such as water, obsidian glass, or a mirror. This month, we can use a bowl of water for scrying.

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First, establish your space for scrying. You will want your space to be dark and quiet, and when you can be undisturbed for at least half an hour. If you can, scry at night in a darkened room with only candle light for illumination.

Gather your materials. You will need a small to medium sized dark bowl. Just an ordinary bowl will do, but it should have a dark interior with no patterns or painting on the inside. Fill this bowl with water. If you have charged water by leaving a container of water out in the full moonlight, that would be ideal for your scrying. If not, just ordinary water is fine. Place the bowl on a table. Have a notebook and pen or pencil handy for taking notes after your scrying.

Then, prepare yourself. Ground your energies, center yourself, take note of your breathing. Try to slow down your breathing and breathe more deeply for a few breaths. If you have a lot on your mind, let it all go for now, and know that you can pick up again after the ritual. Think about what your intent is, with this scrying. Do you want an answer to a question? Know what will be happening in your life? Do you want a message from Spirit? Get yourself to an inner knowing of what you want to achieve through scrying. Keep this knowing at the front of your awareness. Then let it go. What will come, will come.

Next, do your ritual. Seat yourself comfortably at the table, or stand in front of the table upon which you placed your candle and bowl of water. Steady your breathing. Ask your question or be open to messages or intuition. Then, clear your mind of what you want to see and be open to whatever will happen, no matter what that may be. This is a balance point: remember, this is a time of two fishes swimming in opposite directions. Be intentional, and be open to whatever happens. Be focused, and be fluid in your energies.

Once you are open and ready, gaze into the dark bowl of water. Soften the gaze with a soft attention on the water in the bowl. You may notice a change in feeling, or a temperature change, or shadowy figures in the bowl, or sometimes clear images or symbols. Or nothing. These are all valid experiences. What the scrying bowl does is provide a place to focus while you open your intuitive channels. Take note of what you feel and see, and write it down in your notebook. See if you get further information from your dreams, or if you start to notice symbols or birds or colors or other messages over the next few days.

Once you have finished your scrying, you can either libate the water, or replace it in your charged water container and use it again for you next scrying session. To offer the water as a libation to the Divine, go outside, raise the water up to the sky, down to the ground, to your heart, and then pour the water out onto the earth. While you do this, you can say “From above, as below. As within, so without. A gift from the gods to me, a gift from me to the gods.” Or use your own words to acknowledge the gift that water is to our lives.

As the Moon continues to expand its illumination in the coming days, you will find more and more that you are expanding your understanding of how energies interact with you and your intuition. May you swim well in the waters of Piscean energy illuminated by the first quarter Moon’s light.

 

Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space.
It does not seek anything in return;
it asks not whether you are friend or foe.
It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished.

…by Michael Strassfeld

 

Winter’s Solstice
Yule/Jul(Scandanavian)
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by J.M.

Darkness spreads. The nights grow longer. Cold bleeds into the bones. Shadows encroach and overwhelm places of light, and the Sun can barely be seen. Now is time of our yearly battle with the Dark, which we honor with many names: Christmas, Diwali, Chanukah to name a few. As pagans, we usually refer to it as Jul or the Winter’s Solstice. And this year, the Dark is winning … through repeated lies and mongered fears and ignited hatred. It may be difficult to consider celebration now.

And yet, now is exactly when you need to celebrate. We defeat this Darkness on a yearly basis by coming together with community. By gathering in places of warmth, and sharing light and warmth and food and kindness with others. By gathering in places of Darkness and transforming it with song, story, art and inspiration. We can’t do this without our loved ones, friends, and neighbors. They anchor us. They see us. They protect us.

So, light a candle for yourself to kindle a simple fire within. Sing with your coven mates to celebrate your presence in our community. Wear a Santa Claus hat, smiling at the people you meet and strike up a conversation. Buy a Penzey spice for each of your neighbors and wish them Happy Holidays, and let them know that you’ll be there for them. Support those businesses that support diverse communities. Cover symbols of hatred you encounter with signs of love. A swastika can be converted into four squares with L O V E in each square … tilt the V to make reference to Philadelphia’s Love park. Don’t hide. Shine! Create. Inspire. Connect at a human level… because in the end humanity and our shared connection is all we have, and all we will have! 

Good Jul to you and your extended families. Don’t let your candles go out!

A Creative Bonus….

Image for Jul/Yule: Wishing Cone – an easy gift to make and share!

You will need:
   Pen
   Large Pine Cone
   Strips of paper to be rolled into tiny scrolls
   Anything you wish to sprinkle on cone to make it more festive
   Glue
   Ribbon or twine to make loop at top for hanging

  1. Find a large pine cone that will lend itself to inserting multiple tiny scrolls in between layers.
  2. At the top, tie the twine or ribbon creating a loop large enough that will allow the cone to be hung on a Yule Tree or elsewhere.
  3. If you want to decorate with glitter, crushed crystal, etc… spread glue on those ares and sprinkle on what you will. Allow for adequate drying time.
  4. On the strips of paper, write well wishes for your recipient. These could be blessings of health, prosperity, love, etc… Be creative and make it as personal as possible.
  5. Roll each slip like a scroll and slide it between the layers of the cone so that it will not drop out. 

When you are finished, infuse it with your intentions and personalization for the person who will be receiving it. And, remember, that you can also make one for yourself; opening each scroll later on as a loving gift to you!

 

First Steps on the Seeker’s Path

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Down the Rabbit Hole – Part Three
by Robin

A Journey of No End

We’ve covered but a few of the concepts that tell the story of the Shadow and the human’s work of getting to know and working collaboratively with this part of themselves. This is the work of not simply one lifetime, but the cumulative effort of many and the memories carried forward with each that we choose (or choose not) to access as supports.

I have always viewed shadow work as that of continual evolvement. In other words, that my shadow nature is one and the same with who and what I perceive myself to be in the Light. It is neither less or more useful; nor, is it one to be ignored or glamorized. It simply “is” a fundamental part of “me” that makes me more fully who I am; stripped naked and vulnerable in my humanity as my Divinity takes on a slightly different mantle. As such, as I evolve, so too does it; albeit perhaps on another track, yet one that moves parallel to what I claim as myself in form and force as one of corporeal form who exudes a light that is “more”.

The other piece to this ideology is that of the variant degrees of Light and Dark. Clinging to the limited identification of the dark as the Shadow and the Light as the more overtly displayed omits a fundamental truth that each are only discernible because of one another’s adjustments through the scales of vibration and refraction. Each degree acts in reaction to the other’s response that is crafted from its reaction to the other’s response……. If you move through shadow/darkness to the point of its origin, Light is its companion spectrum. And so it is also true of the Light, having passed through its center point of equal ratio, darkness blossoms open to ensconce its seeker.

So, you see, we are ever engaged in the work of the shadow. We do not need to stray far to come upon it. But, with that being said and the ease with which it seems to be, I will also add that the most simple of spiritual endeavors, are always those that we are hard pressed to resolve. Complexity is our natural state and as such we seek the complex in those matters we consider to be the most complex.  Somehow this meandering through a webbing that un-relentlessly ensnares gives credibility and validation to our efforts. And, so we use tools and devices that our space of mind can comprehend and is accustomed to unraveling as our conduit for retrieving the simple truth of who and what we are. In keeping with this, I offer the pathworking below as such a tool to unraveling a more complete “you”. You will find that if you use it several times, the complexity will fall away as you journey easily having acquired the gnosis of the Shadow of Light.

Embracing the Shadow Self

This pathworking is one that may be used in your exploration of these concepts of taking the journey to the shadow self. Click on the link below to an audio version of the Pathworking. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see the link and title as below. Before you begin, find a comfortable setting where you will not be disturbed for approximately 30 minutes. If you wish to light a candle, or set sacred space in accord with your practices, do this as well. When you are ready to begin, start the recording and relax into the journey….

The Journey of the Shadow

You will be re-directed to Teachings on the Path:Bonus Pathworkings and Guided Meditations. Please use your browser BACK button to return to “Musings”.

It takes great courage to step upon this path and at times we inadvertently stumble upon it although another goal is in mind. If we make conscious choice to surrender to the dark nature held within, we find that it is a means of opening to the greater Light. And, this great light is ultimately the way of illumination on ascent through a state of balance and integration of all the parts of Self, which culminates in union with the brilliance of the Divine. The pain of this endurance is at once physical, spiritual and mental and it is at the point of the darkest hour and when the darkness seems most pervasive that the ultimate reflection of our Higher Nature is illuminated by the brilliance of Deity that points the way….. Robin.

References:
Man and His Symbols, Jung,Carl. Doubleday and Company, Inc.:1964. USA.
Psychology and Religion, Jung,Carl. The Vail-Ballou Press:1960. USA.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Carroll,Lewis. Dover Publications, reprint from Macmillan Company:1993. USA.

 

Upcoming Events – 2017

January 14
5-Hr. Intensive: Dreaming Creation
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For More Info: Click here..

January 29
Lighting the Torch!All Hail Columbia!
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A Special Celebration of Imbolc
More Info: Click here..

January 24 – March 14
It’s Written in the Stars
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8-Wks.
More Info: Click here..

Images:
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted
Painting: Dreaming Creation advert by Stuart Gonzalez
Photos: Hold My Hand by Robin Fennelly

Questions_Ruler

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 2016, Volume One | 2 Comments