Vol. 3 – Issue 3
Musings From the Mystic Path
The Month of July
Welcome to July, vacation time and eagerness to explore. This issue is a light reading little gift inspiring you to get outdoors and breathe in the strength and beauty of this July weather. Tessearact honors silence and a call to the Hero’s Journey and Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat takes you step by step through the practice of Sun Salutations.
I’ve decided to take a another break this month with the Seeker’s on the Path column, with unexpected projects looming large and attempts to just simply “be”. Put on the sunscreen, find your favorite outdoor spot and drink in all of the pleasures of July.
” No matter what people tell you, words and ideas
can change change the world!”
– Robin Williams –
Gentle warmth surrounds me as darkness claims the day.
A contented hush falls o’er the land – that’s when they come out to play!
Twinkling, twirling, sparkling, swirling, a vision, oh so bold!
Playful, joyous, exuberant and glorious, wondrous to behold!
The Fireflies are speaking, lighting up the inky night,
Darting here, floating there, in graceful, intricate flight.
Night begins to deepen as La Luna lights the sky.
Gentle moonbeams beckon, dancing lights begin to rise.
Twinkling in the heavens, sparkling down below,
Lightening bugs or distant stars, who am I to know?
“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says I’m Possible!”
– Audrey Hepburn –
I work in an office setting and over the years I have tried to be creative in the ways I could enhance my learning, practice my craft and offer devotion while at work. Since setting up an overtly Wiccan altar on my desk is not an option, I‘ve devised discreet ways in which I could have the important components of my belief system visible yet indiscernible to any who are not on the same wave length.
I spend most of my day on the computer and at one point for many years my boss and I shared the same office space. She did not particularly care for music of any kind and I have music running through my veins. Additionally, there would often be (distracting) meetings and phone calls that I had no choice in listening to. My solution was a set of headphones and an arsenal of CD’s. Now these weren’t just any CD’s, but rather were a variety of pagan music artists, active meditations and pathworkings or instructional audio. Having had five children under five, I consider myself an adept at the art of multitasking and selective listening. This fulfilled my wanting to experience sound (vibration) that would be spiritually supportive and believe it or not, also is great practice for partitioned focus- something good magickal practice often requires.
My eldest daughter is an artist of spiritual and mystical paintings. So whenever I was able I had either a small picture or photo of her work on my desk. Notecards and greeting cards from a new age and wiccan store filled in at creating small pockets of visual focus on my desk. She gave a me a painting of an Egyptian Priestess (she had a vision that it had been me in a previous lifetime) for my birthday and it graces my wall as reminder of the pantheon I frequently work with.
A small book of Rumi’s poems is my daily morning read before I start work. It is small in size, large in inspiration and fits nicely in my desk drawer. Some years I have purchased “quote bank” desk calendars or something similar that I used as a quick meditation tool each morning to start my day and keep track of appointments and meetings.
I weave a bit of color magick into my day in the selection of the color of the clothes I am wearing or in the colors of the highlighters, pens or folders I use in my work. In honor of the elements, I have elemental related items placed on my desk or window in their appropriate corners. A feather (found on a lunchtime walk) sits in the East- a small Lava Lamp sits in the South- a Desk Fountain sits in the West and a small pine cone (another lunch walk find) sits in the North.
To celebrate the seasons and the Sabbats, a small vase of flowers, pine cones picked up from a walk, seashells or dollar store snowmen sit on my desk tucked into the corner, but in eyesight. I use oils as my perfume of choice and the small roll on vials of Egyptian Musk, Dragon’s Blood, Frankincense, Nag Champa or Tunisian Myrrh fit in my desk drawer and offer brief excursions into the feelings of this ritual or that working as needed, in addition to their calming, purifying and balancing attributes.
Lunchtime offers opportunity to walk and get outdoors to commune with the Sun and nature. A 15 min. walk can rejuvenate and cleanse the buildup from closed off indoor spaces nicely and can become a meditation to center your breathing and your connection to earth and sky. I also find souvenirs along the way to bring back into my office space; remember the pine cones and feather on my desk! I usually use my lunch time to write, read or prep for workshops or ritual and doing so outside when weather permits enhancing the creative flow.
For several years, I was fortunate enough to offer a weekly lunchtime meditation for some co-workers and myself. Everyone looked forward to it and I enjoyed the feeling of service, connection and the creative aspects of setting up visually beautiful settings to begin each meditation. You would be surprised at how many people might be on board with setting some time aside for this practice.
There have been special occasions when I was doing a specific working and I would bring in a small crystal to anchor the energy or a sigil drawn on a small index card discreetly placed under folders or my keyboard. These largely went unnoticed or simply received the comment of “how beautiful”.
I think part of what makes our path so rich in diversity and style is the freedom to be creative. The sensibilities and responsiveness to be able to problem solve and work magick that is effective but can still remain within the confines of where you are able to perform it and what you have to work with. The beauty is held in the ability to empower ordinary objects with the vision and responsiveness of the finest magickal tool. I think these are some of the things that make the pagan path flexible, sustainable and something that can truly be as interwoven into the 24/7 365 days mantra. Here’s to the creativity of the God and Goddess that courses through all of us!
“Motivation comes from working
on things we care about.”
– Sheryl Sandberg –
Hold My Hand
Reach down and hold on
I have strength enough for us all.
Weave your fingery roots through mine
And I promise that we’ll be able
To hold our ground.
Dig a little deeper into the soil
And that will anchor and brace us.
Reach out and grab on
We will hold tight in any storm.
After all, that is what a community does for its own!
“Motivation comes from working
on things we care about.”
– Sheryl Sandberg –
The Solar Connection
We feel the power of the sun’s energy upon us both daily and throughout the year. If we consider not only the physical considerations of the Sun as the central planet of our solar system, but also look from a magickal and metaphysical perspective the attributes that we associate with solar energy are all pervasive in our daily experience.
The Sun is connected to the chakra (energetic center) which is located centrally within our body, the solar plexus. It is from this point that we generate and release energy. It is from this central location that when we are engaged in spiritual practice that we feel the beginning stirrings of the rise of that energy. This is the place of energetic awakening and return.
You could think of the solar plexus as being the sustainer (of aroused energy), the life and light bearer (energy produces light and a new state of being) and that which warms (energy produces heat) and promotes growth (energy moves us from one state of being to an expanded and enhanced state of awareness). Spend some time this month out in the sunlight, and be sure to use SUNSCREEN! Visualize the sun enlivening the spark of sun within you.
“Spread LOVE everywhere you go!”
– Mother Teresa –
The Intersection of Moon Phase, Astrology, Elemental Energy, and Magick
Here we are, reveling in the glorious summer month of July. Even as we are drenched with sunlight, I want to remember the darkness that is also present. We will meet the dark time of the Moon on July 12 and the Moon will be in her full illumination on July 27. Even if we won’t be able to see them, there will be two eclipses in this month. There will a partial solar eclipse in July 13 that will be visible in the southern part of Australia and in Antarctica. And there will be a total lunar eclipse on July 27; this will be visible to viewers in Europe, Africa, Asia, and western Australia.
We just recently celebrated our Summer Solstice, when we enjoy the most amount of daylight hours. In the southern hemisphere, they are enjoying their Winter Solstice season. They have more hours of darkness than daylight each day, right now. While we are in light, they are in darkness; while the Moon is full, it will be in shadowy eclipse there. While the sun rides in the sky, there will be a shadow on its face, at least for a moment.
We cannot exist only in the light; we cannot exist only in the dark. We need both; sometimes we live more in light, and sometimes more in darkness. There are lessons to be learned in both areas: diving deep and resurfacing, again and again, are ways we can have personal rebirths.
I have been thinking of silence. Silence has many meanings; the two that I am thinking of are first, literally quiet surroundings: with no voices, music, traffic, bird song, machinery, all the indicators of living in a modern, bustling city. This is hard to find, maybe even impossible. And, secondly, personal silence. What does it mean when I am silent? Is this chosen, or imposed? Am I being quiet for self-protection, or because I don’t have someone I want to talk to, as this moment? Mindfulness meditation is helping me tune into awareness of my own inner (incessant) chatter. What would personal silence mean? Is it an inner stillness, or is it an avoidance of revelation? I found this quote that gave me thought:
“Silence is a power because it keeps what’s tender, what’s vulnerable, away from scrutiny, criticism, dismissal, interruption, and exile…Silence is a power, yes, but when does silence turn upon its keeper and become the captor? When does it inhibit the natural impulse to speak, the urge to sing, the longing to contribute? …When does silence stop us from fulfilling our purpose, or making connections with others?”
Toko-pa Turner, from “Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home”
At this time of fullness, and contraction, light and dark, noise and silence, let us strive to find an inner balance with all of these influences. At the time of the new Moon, it will be in Cancer, a cardinal water sign. This is a combination that strongly emphasizes starting on an emotional journey, stepping out on a new path of discovery of your Self. Go inward, plumb the depths, swim deeper than you thought you could into your inner landscape: find what has been hidden or silent. Do you want to reveal this self to others? To yourself? Speak up, or keep silent.
It is up to you. Discover what there is to find, and then decide what to bring up to the light. It is in your power. And it is the ultimate Hero’s Journey of exploration, challenge, and transformation. A magickal working that may aid this hero’s journey is one that involves a seashell, a candle, a clear glass of water, and a bell. First, assemble your ritual materials:
- Small seashell
- Yellow Candle
- Water in a clear glass
- A bell, or a singing bowl, or a wind chime made of metal
Place these materials on a table with a lighter near the candle, which is at the back of the table. The water is in front of the candle, and the shell is on the left side of the candle and the bell is on the right side, as you face the candle.
The seashell is made by a creature of the sea from elements drawn from their own bodies; shells serve as their protection. What you hold when you hold a seashell in your hand is the former home of a living creature. Seashells represent earth and water.
The yellow candle stands for sunlight; it represents fire and air. Water in a clear glass represents Cancer’s watery influence. And, A bell, or a singing bowl, or a metal wind chime represents the yin/yang of sound/silence; it represents earth, since metal is drawn up from the earth, and air, because sound travels through air.
Then, perform the ritual….
Begin with grounding and centering. Notice your breath: bring it to your awareness. Slow down your breath; take a moment of peace. When you are ready, take a seat before your assembled materials. Light the candle. Sit in silence and watch the candle flame. Think of warmth, fire, sunlight, moon light, long summer days, heat, rising. After a few moments, pick up the shell. Think of how the shell came up from the sea, where it had held a sea creature within it. The sea creature created the shell; the shell protected the sea creature. Now it remains as a thing of beauty, with gradation of colors, perhaps stripes and various textures. Think of the coldness of the sea, the hidden depths, the eternal swelling of the tides, going deep. Would it be silent, if you were to dive into the ocean’s depths? Once the shell held a life; now it is a thing apart.
When you are ready, put down the shell. Pick up the glass of water. Look at the water in the glass, then through the water. Look at the candle flame through the prism of the water: has the flame changed when you look at it differently? Have you changed, by diving into the water? Drink the water, slowly. Think of how our home planet Earth is primarily composed of water. Think of your own body; it, too, is comprised primarily of water. What energies are moved through your body as you drink the water?
When you are finished, put down the glass. Pick up bell (or chime or singing bowl). Take a moment to notice what sounds are around you. Are you inside a building? Are there other people in this building? Can you hear them? Or, are you outside? Do you hear bird song, or traffic? What ever you can hear, acknowledge the sounds, then let them go. Activate the sound of your bell. Let it ring out. Disrupt the silence or the surrounding sounds with your own sound. Let the sound reverberate outward and onward, out into the cosmos. Let your sound ring out. Listen. Keep on listening until the sound you have made has faded away and you cannot hear it any longer. Put down the bell.
Give yourself a moment of recognition of your journey. You have traveled deep into the ocean, out into space. You have opened to the light and gone into the dark. You have embraced silence, and you have rung out your song. Blow out the candle. Your journey is complete. ….So Mote It Be!
“Each person must live their life
as a model for others”
– Rosa Parks –
Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat
” Every Posture Is a Journey Not a Destination “
Summer! A sunny, leisurely time marked by a whimsical onslaught of sensations.
Delightful sounds of awe and merriment, the birds morning calls, children’s laughter, music from an ice cream truck, a thunderstorm, the evening symphony of cicadas or lullaby of crickets.
The aromas of fragrant wisteria and jasmine. The garden landscapes of bright wild flowers, hibiscus and crepe myrtles or mid day sunbeams filtering down through a cool forest canopy. Summer also has an ongoing feast for your palate.From carnival food at summertime festivals to clam bakes and cookouts to crisp garden veggies.
These warm months are a time of flourishing activity. Despite all the engagements and errands and chores; summertime conversely ushers in many moments of quiet respite. From the lull of the ocean to a swinging hammock, it is the season of siestas. Daytime naps quickly recharge us. For another boost, try exploring a few rounds of yoga known as the Sun Salutations.
As the name suggests, these are a set of postures that began as prayers to the sun. How apropos! Each salutation consists of 12 poses designed to warm up all parts of your body, just like the sun on a warm day.
To View a Video: Click Here…Traditional Sun Salutation (Brooklyn Yoga School)
Begin by standing tall, at the top of your mat with your feet hip distance apart, weight evenly distributed. Find your center and your intention.
Inhale and lift your outstretched arms up sideways, through the air. Imagine gathering all the Suns brilliance into your being. Once your hands meet above your head, pull them down along with the summertime heat and light into a prayer mudras at your heart center. Arrive into your body and once again, reaffirm your intention.
Next is a forward fold, diving down into your practice. You may need to bend the knees, remember to listen and honor your own body. Exhale as you bow down to the sun, to your mat and yourself. Release any face and neck tension.
Inhale, lift and send your right foot back so that you are in a lunge. Gentle fingertips on the ground, lifting your upper body, your heart forward and open, your sides long, legs strong. This can be a challenging position; however try not to shy away. Use your breathe to fill in any tight spaces that need a stretch. Accept the challenge and feel the heat starting to build.
Next, with your hands on your mat, beneath your shoulders; Inhale your left foot back to meet your right so that your body is in a plank position. Your spine and torso straight, strong core, your body mirroring your mat. You are now a reflection of your practice. Adept? Agile? Now, feel this throughout your length.
Exhale and lower your knees, chest, and chin to the mat, the 8 point salute or Ashtanga Namaskara. This position builds strength as you prepare for cobra pose. Remember the power of your breathe. Integrate balance and movement with your breathe for a seamless dance.
Continue on into cobra pose, sliding your torso forward and up. Elbows bent to start and toes tucked under, eventually with powerful legs as energetic conduits, your hips will be able to remain off the ground. Remember the fluidity of your spine. Pull the heart through so that it faces upwards in an open receptive position.
Exhale, roll your toes over and lift your hips into downward dog. This position can be a place of respite! Take 5 cycles of breathe. With strong core and legs, push against the earth with your arms. Weight equally distributed. Back to intention, appreciation, reflection, receptivity as you cloak your mat. You are the creator and such is your practice.
On your next inhale, lift your right foot forward back into a lunge. I am always so very aware of my lower chakras in this position. With my hips stretching open, I take the effort to release any stagnant energy that has accumulated at those lower center points.
Exhale and bring your left foot forward to meet your right at the top of your mat and bend over into another forward fold. Perhaps now, with the body warmed, your knees will be more straight, allowing your upper torso more length. Send your breathe into the back of your ribs. Feel energy continue to rise up through the arches in the feet. With powerful grace, rise up into standing.
Continue on into a slight back bend with a forward pelvis and opened chest. Your arms have followed your breathe and circled upwards as well. What a fantastic counter stretch!
Exhale and release back into mountain pose. Your arms at your heart center in prayer position and you are now full of powerful radiant heat. Continue to do another set, this time, lunging back with the left leg.
Sun salutations can also be done as a warmup for a longer practice on your mat. But, even if you only do a couple rounds, what a way to honor your own divine, radiant light! …..Namaste…. M.Q.
First Steps on the Seeker’s Path
I’m taking this month off to renew and refine what is needed for the next half of the year. Go outside in the brilliant light, greet the Sun. Sit in the shade and feel the quiet rest that rejuvenates. Walk a path of green and fill each step as a meditation in greeting the Earth Mother. Savor the sweetness of family, friends and time that languishes in the enveloping warm embrace of Summer’s bounty.
“We must be willing to let go of the
life we planned so as to have the
life that is waiting for us.”
– Joseph Campbell –
Upcoming Events – 2018
Celebration of the First Harvest
The Harvest of Sacrifice
Join Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW and Weavers of the Moon Fire, ASW in a special celebration of the First Harvest of Lammas. We will call to Lugh and to the Dark Mother, Hecate as we offer up our sacrifice of the harvest so that we may be strengthened as the light wanes and the winter approaches. For more information. Click here…
Musings From the Mystic Path is published monthly by Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW.
Editor: R. Fennelly, HPs, CMP, ASW
Columnists: L. B., Tesseract and India Amour, Journeys on the Yogi’s Magick Mat
Contributors: Membership/Petitioners of Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW
All rights reserved and maintained as intellectual property of the author. If you would like to re-publish any content herein, permission should be obtained and proper citation given to the author.
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted
Office Magick: ‘The Priestess” by Caitlin Fennelly
Photos: Hold My Hand/Office Magick-R.Fennelly
For more information about the contents of the newsletter and/or our coven:
Coven of the Mystic Path, ASW or email: email@example.com