Feast of Brigid

brigid1The Celtic Triple Goddess of Poetry, Midwifery and Smithcraft is traditionally celebrated on what is more commonly referred to as the sabbat of Imbolc or Candlemas.

We call upon Brigid in contemporary times when we desire Healing, Transformation or Creative Inspiration.  In reality–you cannot attain any of these without the other.

This week, CTW is offering The Feast of Brigid, a guided magical visitation with Brigid.
During our journey we walk the Triskelion Path and meet with the three faces of Brigid at her Forge, her Flame and her Well.  Available for immediate download (or listen here at the CTW website) upon purchase.

Upon completion of your purchase via paypal you will be immediately redirected to your mp3 on the CTW website–please allow paypal to redirect you!



 

 

 

To Each Witch, Their Own Way

 

Sincere thanks for all your powerful responses to yesterday’s Daily Witch (December 7).
I honestly appreciate every single opinion, every description of your Craft–be it your religion, your belief system, your discipline and/or your Way of Life.

Whatever your thoughts, opinions and beliefs are about your Craft, they are yours.  They are right, true and correct for you.  They may not be and should not be right, true and correct for everyone else who dares to name themselves Witch.  When we go down the path witches teaof defining ways of being as incorrect or lesser, we are on the dangerous road to fundamentalism.

None has the right to tell another what to believe or practice.

We say, “A Witch bows before no one.”   That includes other Witches.

Words have Power.  Words are Power. We can safely assume everyone using the title/descriptor “Witch” has had his or her own struggles and processes in coming to clarity on what that means. It’s got to be okay, for unique individuals to come to uniquely different definitions or we find ourselves engaged in war with one another over ideology! In standing apart and in judgement of one another, we do the work of the persecutors for them.

There are enough forces in the world(s) working against us.  Let us not work against one another as well.

I vowed to uphold all my Craft brothers and sisters. Whether I agree or disagree with them. Whether, in my opinion, they bring honor or dishonor to the Craft.  Whether they worship the Gods I do,  or some other(s) or none at all.  I don’t have to like everyone.  I don’t have to agree with everyone.  But, I do have to allow them their Truth.
Blessed be your Way,  Witches.

Daily Witch’s Bragging Rights

Today, Daily Witch was delivered to the email boxes of 600 Witches!  That’s a big milestone, in my opinion.

Aside from the opportunity to write about the Craft, one of the things I enjoy most about Daily Witch is the sweet feedback I receive from subscribers.  It makes my day to know that Daily Witch is striking a cord, opening up new ways of approaching our Craft and helping Witches touch base with what’s important to them.

Here are some quotes from recent feedback:

This is just beautiful, Karina. Thank you. It is just the message I needed today.

I have been completely enjoying the past few weeks of Daily Witch.  I have been using them as a jumping point for journaling.

Thank you Karina for your wonderful, inspiring messages. I feel very in tune with you and I look forward to them everyday.

Super love it and its a wonderful way to wake up in the morning. Sip my tea, and in my still half-dreaming state read something that reminds me to be the witch I am even in my most mundane moments. I ease into a full speed day feeling full to the brim.
I signed up for ‘daily witch’ a few month or so ago and have been enjoying every post.  Well done!

 I appreciate your posts every day. EVERY day. 

As I was walking into work this morning, I was doing my usual fretting and worrying about all the little things that add up in my mind, and then I remembered that I can choose to channel everything through love; that love can make the process much smoother. Then I got this e-mail. So serendipitous! 

Can I just say that I love you? :)  Thanks…I so needed to hear this today. You are *always* just what I need to hear, when I need to hear it.
Right on the mark as always!!
 
Love your daily emails
That’s a whole lotta love, Witches.  Thank you for subscribing, reading and sharing.
If you aren’t subscribed yet, it’s easy to get on board.  Click that big SUBSCRIBE button in the right column of the page and fill out the form.  We never share your information and only send you what you ask for.  Get connected.  Fall in love with the Craft (again).  Get Daily Witch.
You should always feel free to share Daily Witch, posts and pages from this site with your friends on social networks and via email.  Thanks!

A Witch Needs Magic

It’s true that when we’re “going through stuff” the last things we feel are magical, powerful or enthusiastic about our Craft practice. We can shy away from practicing magic “until witch napthings get better.”

Here’s the problem with that thinking: We’re Witches. When a Witch isn’t doing magic, she isn’t practicing the Craft. Rather, he’s practicing self abuse.

We need our magic. Even if all we can manage is a long soak in a hot salted bath with a candle and some incense burning, it’s something. Even if all we can do is offer a quick prayer of thanksgiving over our food, that means something. If we can’t do anything else other than sweep the floor with the intention of moving the negative energy out the door, we’re doing something.

We need our magic most when life is throwing its worst at us. Use every breath, every act of self care and every last drop of Will to get some magic done.

Don’t let a rough patch steal your Will. A Witch bows before no-one.

Magic heals, Witches.  And, Magic heals Witches.

Excerpted from Daily Witch.  Get Witcheries like this one delivered to your inbox every day.  Just click that Subscribe button on the right.

Witch-Power

(excerpted from October 8th’s Daily Witch.  If you want to receive Witcheries like this one in your inbox each morning–click the big subscribe button to the right!)

 

Witch seeks power, courts power, flirts and dances with power; kisses power; honors power; runs power; generates power; revels in power.  A Witch is Power.

Just as all things in nature have and generate power–the sea, moon, trees, storms, frogs, monkeys, mountains–so too is the Witch a force of nature.

aradiaTo negate or refuse our power is to negate or refuse what is natural within us.  It is akin to the bird denying her song for fear of awakening someone!  Preposterous!

The magic of the Witch is power-full.  To tone it down in order to make it safe, palatable or otherwise acceptable is to deny ourselves of our birthright.  It also denies the Seeker what they desperately long for–the very thing that interested them in the Craft–the experience of ecstasy.

Be not afraid nor ashamed of your power, Witches.  Be who and what you are.  Don’t apologize or dial yourselves down.  For you, Witches, are a glory to behold!

 

 

Left + Right Handed Magic

We’ve been discussing magic as conscious creation in Daily Witch. If you’re a new subscriber and want to catch up, please check the archives.  If you’re not subscribed, go ahead and click that big button to the right .  It’s free.

Having identified the beliefs that lessen or block our ability to attain our desires through magic (or other means). We’re ready for the work of transformation.

Here, we choose between what are commonly referred to as the Right and Left Handed Paths.

magic handThe Right Handed Path acknowledges that while we might know what we don’t want (the negative belief), we don’t have a clear idea what we do want. Right Handed Work involves trust in powers greater than ourselves to look out for and manifest what’s in our best interest. It is a path of Surrender: “Your will, not mine, be done.” If you really trust the Unseen (Gods, Goddesses, GodSoul, Angels, Allies, Animal Spirits, etc.) more than your own best laid plans, this path is safest and best. Brace yourselves, though, for you cannot be sure what They will have in store for you.

The Left Handed Path is the path of Will. We opt for the Left Hand Path when we have a clear and precise idea of what we want. Left Handed Work involves trusting ourselves more than anyone or anything else. In transformational magic, we need to have a clear idea of how we want to be instead of the way we’ve always been (with our beliefs and blocks). This is no small feat! If you really trust you know best, this path is the correct one. Your Work will be to transform your old beliefs (and how they manifest) into new ways of being. Likely, this will require some research so you have a very clear idea what you are attempting to manifest within yourself. Be prepared, though, this kind of transformation can feel jarringly rapid. Like wearing a new pair of shoes, your new way of being may take some breaking in and getting used to.

Which Path calls to you, Witches?

 

Karina BlackHeart

The Art of Witchery

So often these days I read Pagan blogs, news outlets and social network posts that name Paganism and Witchcraft as a religion.  This is true for some (including myself), but Witchcraft is also an art.

Considering what we do as Art and ourselves as Artists brings a fresh perspective to the Craft.  I often emphasize the importance of a Daily Practice but even more strongly encourage students and practitioners to blur or entirely erase the boundary between “Practice” and “Life.”

Understanding Witchcraft as an Art and Witches as Artists helps us do this because it undermines the enculturated dichotomy between “religion” and “real life.”

An artist is an artist all the time.  Yes, there are the hours set aside for creating art at the easel or writing desk, but the eye and sensibility of the artist can never really be set aside.  The artist is always paying attention to light and shadow, pattern and color, rhythm and  meter, texture and feeling.

So, too with the Witch.  We set aside time for our Daily Practice but, eventually that practice expands to include the whole fabric of our lives.  The Witch is always paying attention to the patterns of energy.  Our eye is trained toward life-death-sex-rebirth, silence, the sacred and many of the same things an artist gives his attention to.

Craft and Art are often differentiated along class and gender lines.  But, in our art and craft, they are one and the same.  It’s important for the Witch to seek out, give attention to and manifest beauty (and power is Beauty-full).  Our practices are the “piece” we’re currently working on.  Our lives, however, are the Masterpiece.

Go make beautiful magic, Witches!

Boston

April  16, 2013

I want to take a moment with you this morning to give attention to the bombing at the Boston Marathon yesterday in Boston, MA.  Let’s just stop for a moment.  Stop reading.  Close your eyes.  Be still and breathe.  Find your center and breathe.  Send a positive thought to those affected.

We’re all affected.  Perhaps not in a personal way.  But, this happened and it impacts every one of us.

kwan yin2A quick survey of my social divination tools, Facebook, Twitter and G+ early last evening clearly revealed the impact this event had.  The emotional responses ranged from outrage to disbelief, angst, anger, fear, panic, paranoia, apathy, grief, hopelessness and even some self-satisfied, “I told you so’s.” Calls to action included donations of blood (the Red Cross says they have enough so please don’t flood the blood banks), to demands for justice, war, prayers for peace and compassion for victims and families to curses against the perpetrators and even the sending of “white light” to the bomber(s).

We’re all affected.

Far be it from me to tell anyone how to interpret these events.  I suspect that our outrage, our desire for revenge and our proclivity to call for more violence doesn’t really serve us.

Anger is an ally.  It tells us something is wrong.  Our outrage at random acts of violence feels justified.  It’s easy to go to the place of dread, panic or paranoia.  It’s almost a default setting to shut down our responses.

I would ask though, that we continue to ground and return to Center. That we enter a state of stillness deep enough to access our core response to this violence (and all violence).  Can we find the  courage to sink beneath our adrenaline-fed emotional states and access our grief?  Below the anger, disbelief, apathy and panic, lies grief.  It is seeded by Love.

Love for humanity.  Love for the strangers wounded or killed and their friends and families.  Love for the people who witnessed in person and through the media.  Love for the first responders.  Love for the city of Boston.  Love for humanity — even in the midst of violence.

From the deep well of love (that might make you weep, which is appropriate), flow compassion and connection.  Open your heart.  Stay with your center.  Here lies the wisdom concerning correct action.  Follow that wisdom with the actions which arise naturally from it.  Every action taken from that deep well–no matter how small or seemingly insignificant–has an impact as great as those bombs exploding. This is your Power in a time when we are angered by our sense of powerlessness.

Love is stronger than fear.

Bless this Life and make it right.

Karina BlackHeart 

empty wellIf your own well is empty, how can you quench the thirst of others?

It’s notable that in our desire to be helpful to others we often forgo our own self-care.  Who among us hasn’t pushed on when we needed rest? Cancelled an appointment to be there for a friend? Volunteered for a task knowing our calendars were already too full?  Tried to pass on wisdom we haven’t yet integrated.  We all want to be helpful!

Another way “giving from an empty well” shows up is in our resistance to Manifestation Work.  Many is the time I’ve witnessed Witches’ inability to craft and execute a spell for something they want/need.  Sometimes, there’s a basic disbelief that magic works.  Other times, we don’t feel worthy of receiving what we say we want.  And, still others, we harbor a belief that having what we want constitutes greed and prevents the less fortunate from having what they need.

In each of these circumstances, there is work to do!  Sometimes that work is putting ourselves front and center–creating and maintaining a boundary within which excellent self care can flourish.  Or, we may need to examine and transform our beliefs about the efficacy of magic, our own worthiness or how our world view may be clouding our magical vision.

These are tough assignments!

What’s harder though, is to give from an empty well.  Whether the “water” is our time, energy, wisdom or other manifestations of our Craft, it behooves us to take a look at what’s holding us back as well as what’s pushing us forward when we’re already depleted.

In the coming Daily Witch will be taking a look at how to “catch” yourself if you’re feeling stuck in any of these areas.  Are you subscribed?  Click that big, black subscribe button in the upper right corner of this page to get on board!

Take good care of you, Witch!

Karina BlackHeart

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Lady of the Moon

Let me be clear when I state that it isn’t really any of my business how other people choose to worship or practice the Craft.  However, in the Traditions I practice, Witchcraft is the religion of the Goddess. It is in this spirit that I write on Our Lady of the Moon.

razor edgeShe is nameless and Her names are infinite. In Her guise as Moon, we might call Her
Artemis, Astarte, Dione, Melusine, Hecate, Aphrodite, Ceridwen, Diana, Mahina, Arionrhod, Marama, Brigid, Isis, Demeter, Selene, Yemoja, Bendis, Hathor, Ix Chel, Mawu, Ealadha, Mari, Lona, Ma.

First published in Aradia, The Gospel of the Witches*, “The Charge of the Goddess”  literally charges us to “ . . .assemble in some secret place and adore the spirit of Me who is Queen of all the Wise . . . . sing, feast, dance, make music and love, all in my presence.”

Many beautiful and detailed rituals have been performed in answer to Her call.  But, what if you don’t belong to a Tradition or the complicated rituals you read about in books ring hollow for you?  What if you are are seeking a really personal, intimate relationship with Her who is the “Mystery of the Waters and the White Moon among the stars?”  What if we treated Her like a friend, sister or “Mother” as our language suggests she is? 

This ritual can be performed at any phase of the Moon.  For though she is worshipped in her different aspects as Maiden, Mother and Crone, she is but one Goddess–one Moon.  I encourage you to speak to Her with sincerity.  Use language which feels comfortable to you for empty words are empty of power.  Let your visit with Her be heart-felt, informal and sincere. 

For this ritual you will need the following:

  • A printed copy of the Charge of the Goddess (I suggest memorizing it so it is part of you rather than a script you read)

  • Incense

  • An anointing oil

  • A white votive candle in a votive holder

  • A glass jar of water

  • A plate of finger foods you enjoy (ie:  cheese, crackers, fruit)

  • Matches

 

This ritual takes place at night, outdoors where you can see the moon.  Dress appropriately for the weather.  If you prefer to perform magic in your robes, cords, jewelry and other symbols of power, that’s fine.  If you prefer to be skyclad, so be it.  If not, that’s perfectly fine as well!  The only requirement here is your heartfelt desire to connect with Our Lady of the Moon.

 

Begin with a simple grounding and centering meditation.  Follow the pattern of your breath until you are calm, centered and ready.

soul supportSit comfortably in the moonlight (or the darkness if the Moon is Dark).  Call the Moon to you using your own words which can be simple language, intricately woven poetry, a chant or a song.  Use the Names which feel most powerful and familiar to you.  Keep it simple and pay attention to your emotions.  The feeling state you wish to call upon yourself is one of joyous anticipation at the thought of spending time with a friend you admire greatly.  As you speak (recite or sing), allow your heart to soften.  Allow your heart to open in love and longing for Her, the Moon.  Turn your face to the Moon as you call Her.

When you feel the light (or darkness) of Her breath upon you, when you feel Her power filling you–be still.  Breathe deeply and soften.  Open to Her.  Drink in Her blessing.

Light the incense and say to the moon, “This is for you, Lady.  I hope you enjoy this gift.”

Light the candle and say to the moon, “Here is a mirror of your light, Lady.  I hope you enjoy the reflection of your beauty.”

Read or recite the Charge of the Goddess.

Take up the oil and say, “I dedicate this oil to you, Lady.  Bless it so it carries your love. Charge it so it carries your power.”  Hold the oil up to the night sky to receive the blessing.  Chant the name(s) of the Moon Goddess which feel most powerful and familiar to you.  You will sense/know when the oil has been blessed and charged.  Trust your instincts.

 Take a little of the oil on your fingertips.

Anoint your crown saying, “Blessed is my Crown.  I am sovereign in my power.”

Anoint your third eye, saying “Blessed is my Sight.  My vision is filled with power.”
Anoint your throat, saying, “Blessed is my Speech. My words manifest power.”

Anoint your heart, saying, “Blessed is my Heart.  My love is my power.”

Anoint your solar plexus (a hands breadth above your navel), saying, “Blessed is my Will.  My action creates power.”

Anoint your pelvis (two fingers breadth below your navel), saying, “Blessed is my Passion.  My desire is the seat of power.”

Anoint your sex saying, “Blessed is my Root.  Here is the creation of power.”

 (Note:  It’s perfectly fine to anoint yourself while wearing clothing.  Never put fragrance or essential oils directly on your genitals–they burn!)

Bring your attention back to the Moon.  Turn your face toward Her again and say,
“You are with me.  I am with you.
As such my words and thoughts and deeds are true.”

 

Feel the truth, love and power within you as you stand with the moon, thus anointed.  Breathe that in.  Take time to experience this fully,  Feel the power and love within you as you take up the jar of water in one hand and the plate of food in the other.

Hold them up to the night sky.  Ask for Her blessing and Her charge as you did with the oil. 

When your instinct tells you the blessing and charge is upon the water and food, sit down and ask her to join you in partaking of it.  As you eat the food and drink the water, tell Her of any concerns you have.  Ask Her for any advice or help you need in your life.  Ask for the wisdom, knowledge, healing or power you seek.  Speak to Her like you would a dear friend.  Be still, quiet and centered so you might discern Her answers.

 Eat and drink slowly.  Savor the Moon drenched food and drink.  Know it is changing you and will continue to change you.  Take time for your conversation with the Moon, the Goddess.  Allow yourself the child-like glee of sitting down for a chat with the Lady of the Moon!

 When you’ve drunk the water and eaten the food you may wish to sing or dance or engage in other pleasurable activity.  Do this as act of love for Her.  Do this as a gift for Her.

 When you sense your visit is complete, simply thank Her as you would a friend who you’ve just spent time with.  Feel your heart open in love for Her.  Tell Her you will see Her again soon.  Blow Her three kisses and your ritual is complete.

You may use the oil to anoint yourself between visits with the moon. Recitation of the blessing of your power centers (chakras) is always appropriate and will actually help invoke those powers into you.  Bring the same vial of oil with you each time you visit.  If you notice the vial is nearly empty, add the remaining oil to a new bottle of the same kind of oil.

*Aradia.  Gospel of the Witches.  Charles Leland.  Pheonix Publishing.
**  “The Charge of the Goddess” may also be found widely on the internet.  It was revised by Doreen Valiente.  A more contemporary version can be found in The Spiral Dance by Starhawk.