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 –
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.”
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!
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
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
– Walt Whitman –
We gather rosebuds
and inspire the blooms most beautiful.
over bodies long-forgotten,
dependent on them for our composure,
Supine, mangled, heaped, digested,
leveled by will,
we touch the sky
on their backs and bellies and legs,
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
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.
Bealtaine, the Fae, and the Importance of Not Being Ernest.
An Opinion Piece
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.
Lá Bealtaine sona duit
Lá Bealtaine sona daoibh
The Intersection of Moon Phase, Astrology, Elemental Energy, and Magick
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.
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.
- 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
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
More Info: Click here…
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
More Info: Click Here..
Stock photos, unless otherwise noted
Everything: Jeanne 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:email@example.com