12 Days of Yule: Lovers’ Night & Solstice

Two dot, a pair of eyes, a voice, a touch, complete surprise: two dot.
—”Growing Up” by Peter Gabriel

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Image c. Nevit Dilmen

Last night we told the story of One, that first being who birthed themself from Unbeing.  But it would not be much of a story if things simply stopped at One.

Fortunately for us, One eventually came to recognize themself.  Just how this happened no one can say for sure.  Some say they simply looked down at their hands and realized they had form as well as thought.  Some say One was lonely, and from that loneliness came an understanding of self.  Some say One looked in a mirror, and in that swirling pool of star-stuff they saw themselves reflected.

(“But where did they get a mirror?” asks the inquisitive child.  “Shhh, it’s a mystery,” replies the long-suffering parent.)

When the One recognizes itself, there are then two. The Second, by its nature, is now separated from the One; thus Two is the source of all further differentiation of the One.

As each studies the other they are drawn together. Gazing at one another, One cannot help but see something of themself in Two, and likewise, Two also sees something of themself in One. Two and One find they complement each other perfectly.  In each other, they find joy.

Light the second candle, celebrate the joy of unified opposites.

Happy is the moment, when we sit together,
With two forms, two faces, yet one soul,
you and I.

The flowers will bloom forever,
The birds will sing their eternal song,
The moment we enter the garden,
you and I.

The stars of heaven will come out to watch us,
And we will show them
the light of a full moon –
you and I.

No more thought of “you” and “I.”
Just the bliss of union –
Joyous, alive, free of care, you and I.

All the bright-winged birds of heaven
Will swoop down to drink of our sweet water –
The tears of our laughter, you and I.

What a miracle of fate, us sitting here.
Even at the opposite ends of the earth
We would still be together, you and I.

We have one form in this world,
another in the next.
To us belongs an eternal heaven,
the endless delight of you and I.
—”You and I, in the Palace” by Rumi

12 Days of Yule: First Night

One dot, that’s on or off, defines what is and what is not: one dot.
—”Growing Up” by Peter Gabriel

Tonight, the retelling of the story of the world begins. Tonight, celebrate the spark, the divine explosion, the first existence of the One.  One has not yet become Two—One is undifferentiated from Itself, yet has separated from the void of Unbeing.

Light the candle of potentiality. Stand on the threshold of wonder, the precipice of fragmentation, before the One explodes into infinite multitudes.

The kindling of flame
The kindling of the Wheel
The kindling of light and dark
The kindling of the Powers
May hope be kindled in the hearts of all
May your flame join the eternal Fire

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Credit: ESA/Hubble, NASA, Karl Stapelfeldt (GSFC), B. Stecklum & A. Choudhary

 

Winternights: 12 Days of Yule

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While I tend to follow pretty straight-up OBOD practice for Imbolc through Fall Equinox, Yule has become something of a multi-day event, as has Samhain to some degree.  With Samhain, it more about maintaining awareness of the closeness of the Ancestors and the Wild hunt for the time between October 30th and November 5th.  Yule, however, is when I take time every night to realign myself with the OBOD stream and indeed the cosmos as a whole. In the darkness, I take the time to cleanse, meditate, and then enact through ritual my place within the greater Order of things.

First Night: Dec. 20th (honor universal forces of creation; a single point)

Lovers’ Night/Deepest Night*: Dec. 21st (honor first joining; two points recognize each other)

Children’s Night: Dec. 22nd (honor all the diversity of creation; a third point arises from the first two)

Night of Peace: Dec. 23rd (take a moment for deep meditation and contemplation before the rest of Yule begins; without peace, no work can be)

Shining Night: Dec. 24th (honor spirits of all kinds, the spirits of place, of root, rock, and water; and our own ancestors who have chosen to dwell in those luminous halls after they passed from this life; we give thanks to all these beings, and hold our breaths in wonder and anticipation of what morning will bring)

Yule: Dec. 25th (celebrate family and community)

Stone Night: Dec. 26th (Ritual of the Element Earth)

Ice Night: Dec. 27th (Ritual of the Element Water)

Gale Night: Dec. 28th (Ritual of the Element Air)

Hearth Night: Dec. 29th (Ritual of the Element Fire)

Weaver’s Night: Dec. 30th (Elemental Weaving Ritual)

Wyrd Night: Dec. 31th (divination fiesta! Usually get together with friends and instead of the typical New Year’s festivities, we do readings for each other for the upcoming year.)

 

*Deepest Night is a variable festival that celebrates the moment of solstice, and can be combined with any of the earlier celebrations.

Strategic Sorcery Homework #10

Here we are: the final homework!  Thanks to those who have followed along on this journey; links to all the posts in this series can be found on the Past Projects tab.  It’s been one heckuva experience.

9041862355_25a7630f14_z.jpgA friend had asked me to provide some magical help around money and career. What started out as a bit of financial sorcery ended up incorporating aspects of planetary magic, sigil magic, spirit bottles, and meditative focus. Both the client and I were more than satisfied with the results.  This is the working of which I am the most proud during the Strategic Sorcery course.

First, I performed a reading around the client’s job situation. General gist was a lot of waiting and networking, and more waiting.

Then I did a divination as to whether I could help him magically. The first card is how such a working would affect me, the second is how it would affect the client, and the third is what the overall change in the Web would be. I took away from this that I needed to be more intuitive in the charm’s construction, that this might help blow through some of the waiting period on his end/move things forward a bit faster, and that at the end of the day, balance would be achieved, not only for mundane matters, but spiritual ones as well.

Over the next week, I worked on the items for the charm during the hours of Jupiter. I started on Saturday with the personalized sigil design. This is keyed specifically for the client, so I doubt it would work for anyone else. It was constructed using the astrological symbol for Jupiter, and a sigil I created using a witch’s wheel.

9044087976_7c1af17dcb_z.jpgHere’s the full contents of the wallet:

There are nine items:

1) Grök foot (charged Monday for Moon & Jupiter)

2) Piece of lightening-struck oak (gathered on Sunday for Sun & Jupiter)

3) Piece of cinnamon (placed in wallet Tuesday for Mars & Jupiter)

4) Penny (charged Saturday for Saturn & Jupiter)

5) Jade & hematite money meditation beads (strung on Wednesday for Mercury & Jupiter)

6) Pig vertebra (charged Friday for Venus & Jupiter)

7) Money-drawing sigil (inscribed on Thursday for extra Jupiter-y goodness)

8) Job-finding sigil (inscribed on Thursday for extra Jupiter-y goodness)

9) Malachite stone (more Venusian influence, charged Friday)

The personal wealth sigil was also inscribed on Thursday during the hour of Jupiter to maximize the amount of Jupiter energy present. The other two sigils are from the Financial Sorcery book.

The crow foot was a substitute for a gator hand, which is often placed on the outside of a gris-gris to grab and hold money. The claw is placed in the bill fold facing out to seize wealth, but still be protected by the wallet.  Since the client has an affinity for corvids, it seemed doubly appropriate.  The bird itself had died on my property and I was able to process its remains personally (which was an educational experience in and of itself).

 

I sent to wallet to the client with the instructions to keep it well fed and happy.  Within a month, he had moved and had a new job at a much better pay rate and relatively sane hours. He had already been putting in a lot of legwork when I made this for him, but he said it definitely have him an extra boost.

Strategic Sorcery Homework #9

14633060984_f0ea357ab1_nWorking for a client…this homework ended up being a very valuable lessons not only in client relations, but in setting boundaries.  

A client approached me for something to help keep negativity out of her home and her life.  Now, this woman seems to attract disasters like nothing I’ve ever seen, so I figured it would be something of a challenge. I had already made a witch’s bottle for her, and done some other energetic work, but it was becoming increasingly clear that this may have been more a case of mental instability and paranoia than actually malevolence.

So, I tried the approach of making something positive for her instead. I felt like flexing my sacred geometry muscles, so I designed the following combination of sigils and shapes to draw and hold on to good energies/luck.

Since part of magic is psychology, and the resulting paper wasn’t all that impressive, I decided to brush up on my origami skills.  There are a variety of spells which include dead frogs or toads as materia magica. Since I have a soft spot for these little amphibians and tend to think killing them in the name of a spell is bad juju for the health of your garden, I thought the origami version would be preferable. Still effective in my experience, with without taking away a valuable predator from the veggies and herbs.

My client ended up being so pleased with the first one (red) that she asked me to make a second for her back door (green).  And, for good or ill, she hasn’t asked me for any workings since. (I tend to think it’s for good, as most of my divinations surrounding doing work for this woman warned to be very careful lest illusion/dependency begin manifesting.)

Strategic Sorcery Homework #8

img_1264This was the lesson on changing one’s own habits.  It was, for me, the absolute hardest assignment to complete because I had thought I was fairly happy with my habits throughout most of the course.  Then, this past winter, I started putting on weight as I never had before (for me this was 10 lbs., but I didn’t want it going any further!).

In truth this shouldn’t have been a surprise. Two years ago I ended up in a sedentary job and the outlet I had used for exercise, Kung Fu, well…my newly ex-husband was a teacher at the school, so that was less than comfortable. I stopped going to class, and didn’t put any effort into exercise aside from the occasional walk or gardening.

However, earlier this year, the ex stopped teaching there–around the same time it became obvious that I needed to start looking out for my health and wellbeing again.

So, I made offerings to Macha and Gwynn ap Nudd, the two deities that I work with who would be most invested in me bettering my physical form. I switched around my offering schedule so that I was focusing on them the day I had Kung fu class.  Any time I found myself coming up with excuses to weasel out of it, I could recenter and focus on them as an inspiration to keep moving forward.  I would wear Gwynn or Macha’s symbol (arrowhead or crow) to remind myself of the oath that I gave to them, to be strong in both mind and body.

I’ve now been going to class once a week since February. I love it. As an extra bit of motivation, my son (age 6) is taking the kids class right before mine. Even if I were tempted to skip my class, I’m already at the school because he needs to be there for his.  I have gotten back down to my “fighting weight” and more importantly, I’ve slimmed down (I can fit in my favorite pants again!) which indicates I’m turning that fat back into muscle.  I can pick up my boy again, and am feeling more energy than I had in months.

So, not much in the way of materia or sigils for this assignment, but a hefty dose of offerings and divine inspiration!

Strategic Sorcery Homework #7

One of the things that I did during my blogging hiatus was complete the remaining homework for Jason Miller’s Strategic Sorcery  course.  I’m happy to say that I did in fact manage to graduate and found it to be one of the most valuable trainings I’ve undergone.  So, without too much further ado, the next few posts will be slightly redacted versions of the assignments that I had remaining.

8009806568_a1209cc56d_kLooking over the various Strategic Sorcery grimoire spirits, the one to whom I felt the most affinity was A., the Strategist.  I went for a walk in the woods like I often do when contemplating a magical working, and was rewarded with a perfectly formed owl pellet (smack in the middle of the trail!) as confirmation that this was going to be a wanted and beneficial alliance.

I continued thinking upon what symbols, colors, and tools would be appropriate.  Obviously the owl and by extension browns, golds, and amber.  I cut the paper for his sigil out of an old atlas and centered the drawing on my own physical location (I credit him with helping me stay in the same neighborhood after my divorce).

8009799163_05b6fc4898_kOther materia include symbols for strategy (chess pieces, gears, rulers), money to grease otherworldly palms, opened locks, and an acorn for strength (it’s a Druid thing).  And of course, the sacred owl pellet as the heart link!

Finally, I crafted a necklace that included many of these symbols. Normally it stays draped on the jar, but when summoning A. in ritual space, I wear it to strengthen our connection. At least once a week I make an offering of incense and tea.