Vol. 1 – Issue 10
Musings From the Mystic Path
The Month of February
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!
“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 –
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
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
“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
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
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
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
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.
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 –
The Intersection of Moon Phase, Astrology, Elemental Energy, and Magick
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
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:
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:
- 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 building 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).
- 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.
Cast and Call: R. Fennelly
All Chants-Reclaiming and Friends
Air I Am (Chants)
Rise With Fire (Chants)
Let It Begin (Let It Begin)
… (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
More Info: Click here..
Mystic Fires Drum Circle
More Info: Click here….
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted
For more information about the contents of the newsletter and/or our coven:
Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW or email:firstname.lastname@example.org