Vol. 2 – Issue 3
Musings From the Mystic Path
The Month of July
Hot! Hot! Hot!
We’ve passed the mid-point of the calendar year and are ready to embrace all that July has to offer. Summer is clinging hard and that also means higher temperatures. Let’s heat it up!
This month’s writings are a tribute to letting the heat rise and basking in the light of Summer’s offering. We’ve included more incense recipes, some wonderful photos and more. So, kick back on a hot beach or your favorite lawn chair and let the warmth of the Summer flow through you….
“All in all, it was a never to be forgotten summer — one of those summers which come seldom into any life, but leave a rich heritage of beautiful memories in their going — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”
– L.M. Montgomery, Anne’s House of Dream –
Tall and Magnificent
Tall and magnificent, you dominate the land.
Your broad trunk goes up and up, climbing towards the heavens.
I squint against the brilliant light of the sun as I try to see your apex.
And as expansive, verdant branches reach towards the sun, so do twisted roots graft deep inside the earth. How deep only you and Gaia know. Perhaps you touch her heart center.
I stare for awhile, in awe of you splendor.
Silently, I thank you for all that you provide: shade from the blazing sun, oxygen
for is to breathe, support for my weary body.
And I am not alone in paying homage for you provide for others as well.
Fluffy gray squirrels run back and forth, dancing and playing on your long limbs.
Colorful birds sing beautiful, elaborate symphonies in gratitude for your generosity.
For they know that their young are safe in their nests, hidden in the leafy depths of your canopy.
Delicate ferns decorate your base with a gauzy skirt while orange lilies add a colorful accent. Unseen, a multitude of wiggly little insects bury into the fertile earth kept
and make their homes in the cracks of your rough, protective bark.
Strong and stable you have endured for decades.
You remain a constant in an ever changing landscape.
And yet you are also constantly changing.
Lithe and flexible you sway in the breeze, bending without breaking.
You gracefully adapt to cycle of the seasons, showing off your beautiful
foliage when the sun warms the land then bravely exposing your naked skeleton
when the weather turns cold.
Tall and magnificent you reign over your own kingdom, and
I am grateful to call that kingdom my home.
“Always keep your mind as bright and clear as the vast sky, the great ocean, and the highest peak, empty of all thoughts.
Always keep your body filled with light and heat.
Fill yourself with the power of wisdom and enlightenment.”
– Morihei Ueshiba –
Photo: E. Fennelly
Pink and Yellow
Short sleeves and tank tops
Shorts and bathing suits
The heat is intense
It reminds me that I am alive.
Sunglasses and coolness of shade
Cool drinks and stolen moments
Of slow moving time
Resting in the hammock.
Everything is in full bloom
Everything is at the peak of its fullness
I breathe in the heat and stand in the full sunlight
Renewed, strong, expansive and lit up from within.
“Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light.”
– Theodore Roethke –
Malleable pain. Emotional, human pain; anxiety, guilt, stress, worry,unhealthy lifestyles and or coping habits. They can all take hold of you. Now include outside environment: the state of the world;the health of mother Earth; the social, economical, and political climate and its easy to be overwhelmed, to wanna give up. These all encompassing energy feeds have seemed to hijack my bodies and they do not feel good, so I ask the divine for help. I prepare for working with Deity at my coven’s Litha celebration. I read, I mediate, attend yoga classes. I work through new asanas, feeling the Agni, the summer fire.
And so the summer solstice arrives and we gather on stormy day at a beautiful state park. During this warm time of year, when the sun is at its fullest peak; I am outside, under the cloudy and grey sky, standing on mother earthy’s recently soaked greenery. Altars are set to commune, clarify, work, heal.
I stood at them and asked my pain from some human life turmoil to be cut away. I communed, danced, listened,prayed, made offerings. It was a powerful ritual, but the work certainly continues. The fire of solstice energy is an inferno. I planned a recovery: grounding, centering, post ritual baths, a massage, days off from work. Crying, Meditation, walks,gardening, healthy food, music. None of it is enough.
My own everyday issues, now coupled with physical ailments, tense shoulders, a searing sciatica, lower back discomfort and aching hip flexor. Add the limitless divine energetic stream of working with Deity and I need more healing! I seem to feel everything; my sharp, broken pieces and shards now at their breaking point. Such uncomfortable transmutation, it requires crazy strength. It’s easy to complain, get lost in the mundane suffering. Focus is needed more than ever. I remind myself that I am divine and have asked for help in transforming, connecting, and creating something new.
A river walk helps, some soothing water to balance. Colorful skies above an ever-changing environment. People of all backgrounds and ages enjoying the salty air. Rabbits and groundhogs feeding and hiding in divets of sunken land along a meandering path. I notice two frigid air pockets on a hot day with a warm breeze. Why? What do they contain?
There are broken railroad ties and posts only visible in low tides, an old wooden pier, and an old small ticket house, all remnants of a past bustling seaport. The music of the lapping waves helps harmonize my being as I find my way down onto a rocky beach.
My body and mind relax. And then, a discovery; a small chard of sea glass, with a chalky white, almost phosphorescent buffering. Gone are the sharp edges, it feels smooth in my hand and comforting. Just as I begin to rise, another piece comes into view. This one a dusty brown, feeling like it has history, a story to share. Next is another white, but a different shade, then a magical green unearthing. So many more treasures start to appear on my walk. I pick up an old plastic container to begin my collection. So many shattered and disregarded bits; all left to mother earth who has turned them into charming, luminous gifts.
I am grateful for these discoveries, this metaphor. I am thankful for the inspiring reminder to persevere, and that my journey is part of my destination. I will focus to know myself, to trust, and work to synchronize with the solstice and continue through all the seasons.
“When I feel the heat, I see the light.”
– Everett Dirksen –
HEAT IT UP,WITH HOMEMADE INCENSE!
Our coven celebrated the Summer Solstice last month and some wonderfully crafted incense was part of the creative process. The first recipe was used as the elemental combination of Air and Fire as participants crossed the threshold into what would become Sacred Space. Water and Earth were represented by energetically charged Salt and Purified Water. Together they opened the participants to resonance at the alchemical and spiritual levels of their individual beings.
The Second Recipe was used at the Altar of the Goddess Sekhmet; She being one of the Trinity of Deities invoked at the ritual to effect the transformation we were seeking on the Longest Day.
So, try them out; mix it up and add your own ingredients to embellish as we encourage you to heat it up…
Purification Incense Recipe created
by P.W. Summer Solstice 2017
Combine these ingredients:
Health pinch of Rose Petals
2 Holly Leaves
2 chunks of Dragon’s Blood
2 chunks of Frankincense
Burn on charcoal discs and let the aroma surround the participants as they pass through.
Sekhmet Incense created
by Iolanthe Summer Solstice 2017
Combine these ingredients:
3 tablespoons Frankincense
1 tablespoon Dragon’s Blood
1 tablespoon Copal
1/2 tablespoon Cinnamon
2 tablespoons Sandalwood
1 tablespoon Sun Incense*
1 tablespoon Myrrh
Mix all ingredients in a mortar and grind to a rough powder with a pestle.
You may also want to revisit the article written last month about the art of crafting your incense..
“…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?”… Read More…
“The morning heat had already soaked through the walls,
rising up from the floor like a ghost of summers past.”
– Erik Tomblin, Riverside Blues –
The Intersection of Moon Phase, Astrology, Elemental Energy, and Magick
In this summer month of July, we will be looking at the influences of the fixed water sign Scorpio during the first quarter phase of the Moon, which moves into Scorpio at 11:23 am on Sunday July 30, 2017. The Moon in Scorpio is a good time to delve inward, to uncover secrets you have been keeping from yourself, developing psychic awareness. At this time, you may feel your emotions more strongly and you may feel somewhat dramatic.
The first quarter Moon phase is a time of growth and expansion. Scorpio is a sign of transformations and its element is water. Water, too, is an agent of change. As in the words of the song by Holly Near, The Rock Will Wear Away:
Can we be like drops of water falling on the stone
Splashing, breaking, dispersing in air
Weaker than the stone by far but be aware
That as time goes by the rock will wear away
We are the changers and the changed. The Moon is expanding in light, Scorpio is pulling emotions out of the depths and bringing them forward, and we are being transformed. Water will break down solid surfaces—rock, metal, wood, earth—down into their component parts, disintegrating them so that they may return to the source. How will you be transformed during this Moon’s expanding phase and by Scorpio’s water energy?
Here is a water blessing you may want to use…
We who are human, we who walk upon this earth, we who have been gifted with life:
We remember when we were molecules in the primordial soup.
We remember when we floated in the amniotic sacs of our mothers’ wombs.
We remember the taste of salt tears when we wept with joy, with despair, with deep, deep feelings.
We remember the languid feeling of sweat on our skins on hot summer afternoons.
We remember the light of the Moon making a moon river on the ocean’s face when we looked upon it during a full Moon night.
We remember rain falling, and falling, and falling, and mud puddles and new streams in the streets.
We remember the taste of cool water in our mouths when we drank deeply when thirsty.
Remembering all this, we can make an offering to Gaia, our Mother, who has gifted us with water, with Moon, with light and with darkness, and with cycles within cycles…
Take some water – from a faucet, from a stream, from a rain fall, as you will. Put it in a clear container. Sit with your contained water for a while. Look through the water and at the water and think about where it has been and where it will go.
When you are ready, go outside when the Moon is shining, and bring your contained water. Hold the container up and say:
I offer this water to the Ancestors.
Bring the container down in front of your heart, and say:
I offer this water to my Self.
Touch the container to the earth, and say:
I offer this water to the Descendants.
Then, hold the container out from you and say:
A gift from the Gods to us; a gift from us to the Gods.
Now you can pour out your water near a tree or a plant as an offering to Gaia.
We are containers of water. Make of your Self a gift. Let transformation happen!
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…
Nothing and everything
The endless void fills all time
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
Each walks a path of experience
pulling and gathering from
Wisdom and lessons hard won
fill what moves within.
As Six expands to become Seven…..
Five – 5… Represents
Change will only occur when the foundation is disrupted and pushed to its limits of growth
The number Five (5) represents the regenerative process and the potential for directing that energy towards a specific and defined goal of new creation. When we arrive at the number five, we have opened up the stable base of four; visualize a square. Something has disrupted the order of that four and made way for a new form to appear. We see also the number five as represented by the Pentagram. Five points, each reflective of a quality of an element (fire, water, air and earth) and at the pinnacle or point, the element of Spirit.
Visually the shape of a 5-sided shield gives additional meaning to the energy of the number 5. The tip or point of the shield may be pointed in any direction and used as a singular focus point of the energy that has been supported in the four sides. This is the action of five as we set our course of focus on a specific end point and by the catalytic nature of will this energy naturally disrupts, changes and sets about a new path.
The planetary energy of the number five is Mercury. Mercury is the Lord of communication in all of its forms. Speech, art, music, writing, etc… all are held within the energy of Mercury. The infamous effects of a Mercury retrograde speak of failure of technological and human communications. Warnings to read the fine print before signing contracts or entering into agreements and misunderstandings and arguments seem to increase during this time period. This type of activity is an expression of the energy of polarity that is held within Mercury. Communication stirs the energy and starts new conversations which if productively acted upon disrupt the status quo and move into new creations that hold the potential for great achievements.
Read more about Mercury:
The Temple of Mercury- What’s Up
Astrology: The House of Creativity – Creative Efforts and the Resultant Products
This is the astrological house that provides the energy to reform what has been brought into manifestation as it progressed through Houses 1-4. This is the place of emergence from the Fourth House of Family and if there was sufficient care and nurturing, easing into the transition of moving away from that stable place of home will be one of creative adventure.
The ruling sign of the Fifth House is Virgo whose energy is analytical, detail-oriented and very specific about what passes its tests. Virgo is an Earth sign so what is set upon to be reordered will either be directly of the physical realm or will have end result and impact in the concrete world. Virgo is the stabilizer of the Zodiacal Wheel and without the stability of a reliable and useful container, creation will not reach its fullest potential.
Tarot: The Hierophant
Tarot Key V – The Hierophant sits as representative of Divinity within the container of humanity and corporeal form. The number of this key- 5- holds the mystery of how that union is fostered and retained once expressed. Five is the number of disruption, emerging from the foundations of four equilateral and equally supportive sides. The Hierophant is testament to the ability to retain the merciful attitude of the manifest and act in service to the creative energies of the Divine. In this sense, The Hierophant and all who aspire to this state of being have done the work of drawing all of the elemental parts of self into a place of mastery and it is from this mastery that is birthed the enlivened sixth element of a Spirit of gnosis.
Qabalah: Geburah – Might
It is with the precision of a surgeon’s scalpel or the more radical aggression of the soldier wielding the sword that the imbalance of disease or disharmony of unchecked (unrestrained) power is excised, reshaped and transmuted by the catalytic energy of Geburah.
The sphere of Geburah is probably the most feared sphere on the Tree. It is also largely the most misunderstood or misinterpreted as its energy is fierce in nature, accepting nothing less than change and exerts a force that is transformative. Within the sphere of Geburah we are now faced with choice and free will. Geburah is the place of creating and exercising discernment. Knowing when to push the limits and how to create the necessary resistance to the surge of creativity that provides boundaries to create form from what has potential to become chaos. It is through this process of movement, force, challenge, obstacle and friction that we have the greatest potential for growth and greater free will of a higher frequency that is inherently Divine in nature.
From rebellion the creation of harmonious accord is birthed.
Six – 6… Represents
I have felt the waters of chaos and birthed what will flow
harmoniously and fully enlivened as its product
Within the energy of the number Six (6) lies the harmonious relationship between the essential trinity and the spiritually amplified Trinity of Higher expression. As we work within a state of balance and sincerity of action designed towards the higher good for all we move towards a place of spiritual enlightenment. This is the call to bring into harmony and collaborative interaction the synthesized product of harmonious expression. If we think of the birthing process, the act of labor and giving birth is one that moves you from the comfort of body and mind. Emotions run high and the energy expended means pushing to the limits what is normal baseline of strength and endurance. Pain, fatigue and much more are companions in the process of bringing life into the manifest realm.
But, the exhilaration, joy and harmony of all the senses that were stretched beyond capacity erase any discomfort that occurred previously. All is forgotten in the bliss of looking at this tiny form of human life that is dependent on your stability, care and love for its survival. This is the quintessential energy of the number 6. The place of calm and rest and realization of union of a triune nature that has co-created with that which is like itself in Divinity.
The planetary energy of the number six is Venus. The planet Venus was called Phosphorus by the Greeks which translates to “Lightbearer” and Nogah in Hebrew which means “The Shiner”. Venus shines most brightly in the sky in the morning. This is the gift of attraction that the planet of Love exudes. The energy of Venus is that of beauty, harmony and awakening the emotional self. It is the heart that yearns for romance and connection. This energy supports social interaction and the overwhelming goal is to connect at a deep and often intimate level with those of our choosing.
Read More about Venus:
The Temple of Venus-Learning to Love
Astrology: The House of Service – Career and Community
This is the astrological house that opens the pathways for seeing and responding to what is outside of your personal needs. This is the House that provides the energy that will inspire you towards a path of service that may be expressed through career choice (as in the case of health professionals) or in Community (as in the case of volunteers). Its ruling sign is Libra, the sign of balance and refinement. This means that choices will be weighed and measured for efficacy and selection will be made based upon the aesthetics that may be achieved. If we return to the idea of the harmonious expression of the number 6- is it not a joyous and harmonious state to be enraptured by an action or object of beauty? Now, to clarify I am not necessarily speaking of physical beauty, for beauty truly is held in the eye of the beholder. This is beauty that is transcendent and stirs the longing within to connect and be at one with others giving of yourself as the bridge of connection.
Tarot: The Lovers
Tarot Key VI – The Lovers speak of the power of duality, relationship and the harmonious union of opposites. Their union is blessed by the Higher power of the Limitless All and the solar fires of quickening are ready at the support to create progeny from their union. The energy of the 6th Key is one of the need for the intent of creation in application upon what holds the central core of the whole stable and in a state of balance. It is through this harmonious collaboration that separation of the two incoming energies and recognition of their differing states of expression become precisely configured for use.
Qabalah: Tiphareth – Beauty
The sphere of Tiphareth is the central core of the Self. It both emanates its sustaining and strengthening energy and also serves to contract, assimilate and quicken. This energy is magnetic in nature and as it absorbs and draws towards itself, it simultaneously releases, distributes and emits the newly transformed energy. This action is very similar to the process of the heart within the physiology of our being. The heart serves to cleanse and purify the blood for recycling and release to those vital areas that are reached via the elaborate network of vein and artery. This action puts the body in a state of attunement, so that the vital nutrients may be received and the body will remain viable, strong and healthy in function. Tiphareth acts as the place of attunement and synthesis of return and release whereby the energies of the other spheres have a place of common meeting ground to blend and distribute in accord with the specific needs of balance and equilibrium.
Tiphareth is not only the place of deeper connection but it takes that connection further in the call to be “fully present”. Fully present in the sense of the bright light of the sun shining on you, moving you into the spotlight and making you accountable not only for showing up to do the work, but to do so in an illuminated and fully enlivened way.
Next Month:Numbers 7 and 8
The day settled into a heat
That revealed the light of
A heat of strength and
Unyielding in where it
Chose to transform.
Just breathe it in
Let it light you up
Call it in, now!
Upcoming Events – 2017
July 11 – July 25
Celestial Tides: Days of Light, Dark and Balance
For more information. Click here…
Celebration of Lughnasadh
For more information. Click here…
July 15 and August 19
Mystic Fires Drum Circle
For more information. Click here…
August 8 & 15
Breathing in the Sun
For more information. Click here…
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted
Pink and Yellow-R. Fennelly
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