Travel Blessing

Lady Brigid bless this place,
Bless it with your strength and grace
Bless it now from stem to stern,
Keep it safe till I return.
By this charm cast three times three,
As I will so must it be.

Experiments with the Sun Mirror

18208165226_463cd981d4_zWow, what a change I’ve noticed in my energy levels when I’ve been able to do even a few moments with my Sun Mirror in the morning.  The mirror work in and of itself was inspired by Levannah Morgan’s lecture on DruidCast episode 98, which is worth multiple listens if you’re interested in this kind of magical/energetic practice.

The first energy system I ever worked with was qigong’s Three Dantian, and that’s pretty much what I still stick with today (although Kristoffer Hughes has a fascinating Welsh energetic system which I’d eventually like to explore further).

I’ve been invoking Beli Mawr since we’re passed May Day. It’s likely that I will invoke Sunna in the winter months. I’ll likely do a formal dedication/consecration of the mirror as a working tool on Solstice, but even without the formalities, it’s been extremely effective for getting the nwyfre flowing in the mornings.

Stand or sit with the sun at your back. Use the mirror to focus a beam of light first on your Lower Dantian (roughly where the uterus is located), then on your Middle Dantian (heart), then on your Upper Dantian (third eye).*  At each cauldron, say:

Beli Mawr, ignite my passion.
Beli Mawr, inflame my heart.
Beli Mawr, illuminate my mind.

I haven’t really found a satisfactory way to perform this exercise when it’s overcast, unfortunately. However, it’s quickly becoming a foundational element of my practice, and I imagine it will prove invaluable when the winter doldrums strike in early March.

*PLEASE DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE REFLECTION OF THE SUN. THIS IS WHY PIRATES WEAR EYE-PATCHES.

Creeping Tendrils in the Mind

15901326063_22481140d5It’s that time of year.  The time when the fog of depression begins to creep out of the snow and wrap itself around the winter-weary.  Things will be better by May Day, but purgatorial Equinox still looms distantly.  Despite being magically inclined, it’s not a tool that I’ve ever wielded against depression until a few weeks ago.  I don’t know why it’s taken me so long.  Maybe pride, maybe denial, that false optimism of I-can-beat-this-on-my-own.  I’m “fortunate” in the sense that my melancholy comes and goes, but getting it to disperse in the winter can be a monumental effort.  Of course the little spell pouch helped–not a panacea by any means, but it did make a difference.

I tossed this spell together with minimal fuss and little regard for astrological timing–probably it would be best done on a new moon or failing that on a Sunday in the Hour of the Sun or Moon.  There was no formal incantation, but I performed extemporaneous prayer to Brigantia as I assembled the components.  The pouch was nearly worn through in places, but it released the scent of the herbs nicely, serving as a tangible reminder to be kind to myself and breathe deeply.

Pouch to Ease a Melancholy Mind

Lavender–calming
Tansy–against depression
Agrimony–brightening
Lepidolite–balance, calm
Quartz–clarity, power boost
Rose quartz–self love
Pentacle charm–protection
Sigil (this one is personalized for me, you should probably make your own)
Pouch colored lavender or white

Please note that the following accompanying behavioral changes will enhance the effectiveness of this working: getting my ass outside for exercise (yes, even in winter), more leafy greens and fruit, journaling, and seeking out neighbors and friends for social stimulation.

Charm for an Anxious Child

15844867185_9693521703_zWhen I came home on Sunday, Hufflespawn’s room was an absolute mess. Not a surprise, I mean the kid’s four, it happens.  But when I told him it was time to clean up, he was adamant that we couldn’t because all the stuff on the floor was a booby trap for monsters, and if we cleaned then the monster could get in.

I now had some choices:

a) Tell him there’s no such thing as monsters and leave the room a mess.
b) Tell him there’s no such thing as monsters and force him to clean his room.
c) Provide another solution to the monster problem, which removed the barrier to cleaning the room.

I went with option c), and said, “Well, the problem is that while this is great for catching monsters, it’ll also catch mom and dad if we need to come in here and that wouldn’t be cool. So, I’ll tell you what. Let’s make something to keep the monsters out that we can hang on your door. Then you’ll know if one is trying to get in, but we can still keep the floor clean. Deal?”

15657509200_57f67b1203_z“We get to make a REAL booby trap? Okay!”

Now, I’m sure people will read this and say to themselves, “There’s no such thing as monsters.  Why encourage fantastical thinking when it’s something that he’s going to need to outgrow?” In my mind, it’s not a matter of real vs. imaginary.  It’s a matter of trust–I remember what it was like as a kid to have a fear of something monstrous and have an adult brush it off as imaginary.  Telling a kid not to worry because something isn’t “real” rarely works.  Their fear is very real to them–denying the validity of that fear just makes the child distrust you.  Now, this isn’t to say that you need to feed into the fear or exacerbate it, but you can respect your kid’s fear and work with them.  In this case, I hear my son telling me that he doesn’t feel safe, so my job as a parent is to empower him to feel secure in his surroundings.

This is where magick can be a wonderful tool.

I grabbed some bells and some red worsted cotton yarn and measured three lengths that were as long as Hufflespawn is tall.  We knotted them together and I had him hold the tail as I began to braid them together. We would braid for the length of his palm from wrist to middle finger, then thread a bell onto the center strand and continue braiding. At each bell, we said a little rhyme:

Ring-a-ding-dong,
No monster likes this song!
Ring-a-ding-dell,
Bells make monsters yell!
Ring-a-ding-dee,
Monsters run from me!

When we finished, we tied it to his door. As promised, it makes a jangling noise when people go in or out, and Hufflespawn is quite proud of his monster trap.

Oh, yeah, and the floor is clear, too.

Songs for the Sun’s Day: Witch’s Reel

Witch’s Reel (Scottish Traditional)

Cummer go ye before, Cummer go ye
If ye willna go before, Cummer let me
Ring-a-ring-a-widdershins
Linkin lithley widdershins,
Cummer Carlin Crone and Queyn
Roun gae we

Cummer go ye before, Cummer go ye
If ye willna go before, Cummer let me
Ring-a-ring-a-widdershins
Loupin’ lightly widdershins
Kilted coats and fleein’ hair
Three times three

Cummer go ye before, cummer go ye
If ye willna go before, cummer let me
Ring-a-ring-a-widdershins
Whirlin’ skirlin’ widdershins
De’il tak the hindmost
Wha’er she be