Black Moon

Moon lore for a Black Moon ranges from the silly to the incredibly powerful magic that can be employed.

A Black  moon in its simplest terms is the 2nd New Moon to fall within a calendar month.  This Friday is such an auspicious date.

This ultimate Crone’s Moon, the Black Moon.

This moon can be used for many types of magic:
Deep Oracle Trancing
Crowning of a new Crone or Sage
Divination into the darkness where there is trouble to be resolved
The strongest of bindings can be performed under the Black Moon
The letting go of bad habits
The beginning of a new stage of life

Many things can be applied to the powerful energies of the Black Moon,

My favorite part of Black Moon lore is that it leads to portals to the Otherworlds, The Upper, the Under, to the Sidhe, to the Ancestors, each one being a singular shift in consciousness that takes you deeper than you’ve imagined possible. This is the night to travel, to rejoice, to spend time with those who’ve gone before you, to explore with your Guardians, and to revel with the Cousins.

This year, this is the night of my Croning…I procrastinated when I relocated to Reno, and have procrastinated since…but now is the time I claim the power that’s been gifted, use the experiences of life to help others, and to continue teaching the next generation to be one with the Universe, One with the worlds.

 

Food for a Celt’s Soul

The importance of food in Celtic Ritual and Magic

In Celtic ritual practices there are several times that food is ingested as part of ritual. At the end of every full and new moon ritual we take part in cakes and ale. Every Equinox and Solstice we honor the ancestors with a feast. During Samhain we also have a Dumb Feast where we commune with our ancestors as we feast, not a work is spoken aloud.

The significance of Cakes and Ale as part of ritual is a sign of service – just as Orthodox and Catholic priests serve the Host so too does the Priestess bless both the Cake and the Receiver and again she will serve the circle, blessing both the ale (which could be ale, wine, mead, or fruit juice) and the receiver again. In return each member blesses the Priestess for her service to them as a group. This not only reconnects each member of the circle as friends, confidantes, and companions, sometimes even family of choice. The service itself also serves to remind the Priestess as the Priests that they are companions of the Divine called to serve the needs their community and not just their own wants and desires.

The significance of the Ancestor feasts are to remind us from whence we came, that we are made up not only of flesh and blood, but the hard work and sometimes love of the generations before us. We honor our ancestors who changed the world, made history, sacrificed daily, and struggled to live and maintain our beliefs in the face of persecution and death. We honor the Ancestors for the gifts we have in our lives today, and even now science has shown that trauma from previous generations’ leaves a mark in our genetic material as published in Discover Magazine  With that said, as we feast and share foods, we also share the stories of those we knew well, the legends of those who are well known, and the family myths and stories of generations past.

For Celts, the hearth, and the comfort, nourishment, and nurturing it represents is sacred, as is the food we eat, and liquids we drink. We came from the earth and in time will return to the earth to replenish the soil with nutrients again.

Bright Blessings be with you always,

Gwenyfur Draigtanllwyth
Founder and High Priestess
Gathering WIND
May 2016

 

The Wheel has Turned

Hard to believe the Wheel has fully turned since my last posting. I keep telling myself to sit down and write and keep getting distracted.

So, I was fortunate enough to travel to Dublin, Ireland a few months ago. The processing of events is still ongoing but has reached a point that I can now make sense of what happened, how my previous life intersected with my current life, and how I can apply the new knowledge gleaned from the ancestor there to my current physical experience.

So on with the story. ..

January 23rd this year was a full moon, and in my exuberance to experience as much as I could while I was there I booked a tour to see NewGrange and Tara and the Village Slaine. I met the coach at AIB, and quickly paid and got my seat early that Saturday morning. I settled in for the drive and eagerly listened to the Mary as she shared her knowledge of the surrounding areas of our drive, battle sites, birth sites, historical data that can only be shared in the fine Irish tradition of Story Telling. I was in heaven on earth the depth of her knowledge and how she shared it was truly enchanting.

We arrived at the Newgrange museum site where I was surprised to learn that this passage mound predated even the great pyramids of the Giza plateau, by nearly a millennium, and continued the tour through the displays they’d created after the excavation of the mound on the times, tools, shelters, and lifestyle of the indigenous people of the time. Their lifestyle quite resembling the Native Americans of the southwest at the time the Europeans discovered them a few hundred years ago.

The Neolithic art of the site is amazing, the way it has survived nearly 7 thousand years makes it all the more mysterious and magical. There are literally thousands of theories on what the different pictographs and symbols may mean, but no one truly knows for sure – that being the case – I went to my default and felt with Spirit instead of Intellect.

We left the museum on small shuttles and were driven up to the actual Newgrange mound, which I found thoroughly energized with ancestral energies, and a familiarity (though I’d never been there before in this physical experience) that was almost cozy and warming.

Our group was then separated into 2 groups, I went with the first group into the mound, the passageway is very narrow, and the entrance so low that even at my 5’3″ I had to duck to avoid a concussion from neolithic stone. An echoing voice in my head chimed in at that point “I didn’t have to do this before!”  I’ve had random voices chime in before so I wasn’t off balance yet, and continued up the passageway until I reached a small room with 3 alcoves each felt of a different energy, each contained a large stone bowl, and each in a different direction. The passageway itself is East, the 3 alcoves are South, West, and North.

The alcoves are covered in carved grafiti from 4 hundred years of unguarded tours, scribbled names and dates all the way back to the late 1600’s, which just goes to prove mankind has always been afflicted with the jerk gene. But, beneath that horrid graffiti looking through it, past it, beneath it is some of the most amazing, beautiful and pure neolithic art you will ever find. Enough so that they set the tone for the alcoves.

I studied the South and the energy coming from there was masculine, warrior, the guardian of the people, the strength of conviction and provision a masculine energy of fixing, treating, and commitment.

I then turned to the West alcove, where the art was still as stunning, and found an energy of life there. Life being lived, loves being together, pride in children, the gathering of crops, the grinding of wheat to bread, birth, rebirth, just that lovely passion filled energy that we call living.

I then turned to the South, and again the voice chimed in “My bones are gone!” I silently answered that it was the year 2016 of course they’re dust by now! And went on to study the alcove itself, the art was swirls and spirals, stars and the sky, including recognizable astrological signs, and the energy was mystical, magical, definitely the energy of Other, be it Witch or Fae, a mixture of the two perhaps, when people and the Sidhe lived and communed together perhaps? But Magical is the only sense of energy you can pull from that alcove – it vibrated with it, to the point of thrumming, and I was enthralled, at this point hearing the tour guide as if from a great distance as the ancestral energy began to rise and drown out nearly every other sense.

It was then our turn to leave the mound and I did so already half entranced. With the full moon that day the House of Brigh had decided to gather at our different places and points in time and create a healing chamber for our Founder, Teacher, and Mentor. And there’s a convenient circle just outside of the mound off to the southeast just a tad.

It’s there that I walked until I heard the voice chime in again “This is my spot” I slipped out of my shoes and put my bare feet to the green grass of the land and began the exercise to call the ancestors and the Sidhe to help with my work.

What happened next was life altering and I admit I will not share all of the details, as there were personal messages shared, ancestral knowledge passed on that I’m still digesting, and those neural changes that working with the Fae always brings that take time yet give so much in return.

Although it’s there that Thorin, my friend and guardian through many magical adventures, misadventures, and mundane antics in my life revealed himself to actually be Fae, Some people say they have Guardian Angels…I have a Guardian Fae whose voice I’ve known since infancy, whose voice I’ve argued with or ignored as I tread where angels feared to go, whose sarcasm I’ve growled about, but whose presence is as familiar to me as my own face, and now I know who and what he is, how he’s appeared to me in the past is nothing to how I saw him on that hillside in that circle.

There is a truth to the Fae being called the Shining Ones, and in their true form they are truly Fearfully Glorious.

Family Trials

My dreams have been full of travel of late. With the discovery that the Witch spirit is drawn where needed by those who are in need it’s been an interesting week of spirituality, exhaustion, and challenge.

I work full time in the software industry in a long hours high stress position, as well as VA chaplain, as well as teaching and conducting rituals at our local community temple, so I’m no slouch when it comes to keeping busy. The Spirit wills – or as a new acquaintance and fellow Witch would say – The Witch Blood knows!

I’ve had 2 losses in the past year that hit me hard – one I helped to cross over when I arrived – as he was lingering in some confusion near his coffin at the funeral home and watching us with fear and an almost desperation since he didn’t feel his work was done as yet.

The other, ran from her fate in the otherworld and is fast turning to poltergeist with the animosity, angst, and vitriol of the spirit that comes when you’re faced with the hypocrisy of your lifetime coming along to bite you in the ass.

Both of these people were christians in their lifetime, and while the former went peacefully across – not quite happy to leave his family to their respective fates, but accepting that he no longer belonged in this world at this time gave a sad smile and went into the arms of his Savior.

The latter – lived a life of false faith, her words and professions of faith being in direct opposition to her actions and deeds. She lived an embittered life, always blaming something other than herself for whatever situation she found herself in, always ascribing it to a twist of fortune, the backstabbing of another, and never gave so much as a penny to help another without attaching a string to call in that “favor” later if she thought she needed.

The latter lingered near her body – was angered by the Pastor’s words of “comfort” to the family, as I was by his rose colored description of this embittered, angry, and cruel woman I’d known all my life. She had already seen where her afterlife was leading according to her faith and her spirit already embittered and angry became malevolent.

She’s been haunting my mother ever since the rest of the family left a week after the funeral – last October. Time and again my mother has spoken of not sleeping – of grandmother calling her name long into the wee hours of the morning, of the toilet flushing by itself, of the sink turning itself on, of the coffee pot appearing on the counter again (mother doesn’t drink coffee) and many other oddities that are exacerbating her bipolar depression.

Mother is also a Christian and isn’t comfortable asking for me, as a Witch, to deal with the situation as I know I should, but in her dreams and her sleeping times, her need pulls the Spirit of Witch, and the Blood knows where it is needed, and off traveling in my sleep I go.

While I stand guard – mother sleeps soundly – while my spirit talks with the malevolent angry thing that was once my grandmother, it gives my mother peace enough to sleep – and she is improving. Though the past couple of weeks – I’m fast reaching exhaustion.

The malevolence has lessened and may in time accept the fate her faith has planned for her – or may in time simply fade as many of the once born do…but in the meantime – these nocturnal travels will continue – and the conversations will continue until I convince my grandmother to accept or fade.

I sometime wonder if I shouldn’t just banish this spirit and be done – even with the rancor and hatred I had from her in life – I cannot find it within myself to force her to the nothingness of the once born or to the fated “hell” of her faith. I am saddened she didn’t make her peace and faith real prior to her death, and continues to be so angry and bitter…I know that even now – by her faith – she would be welcomed in a much nicer place if she could let go of the baggage and just for a moment – purely believe – and in that pure moment of faith – she could finally find peace.

Ostara

The Wheel is ever turning!

With the beauty of the world coming to life surrounding us I am again in awe of the cycle of nature, the world, the universe.  As I was surveying the winter damage to the gardens I came across the crocus poking through the ground and in bloom, so excited I had to snap a picture, then stood mesmerized by their purple beauty, their strength to bloom in the frosty temperatures, and the promise the first flowers of Spring always seems to hold.

As I continue surveying the gardens and beginning the yearly clean up of the detritus and leavings of Winter, I found Iris already beginning to poke their blades through the earth, daffodil greens beginning their yearly climb to the surface, and miracle of miracles, the honeysuckle beginning to bud leaves.

The old saying of “Hope springs eternal” comes to mind as I continued surveying the rest of the gardens, roses, backyard that is already turning green, and I found myself by the Beauty Tree anticipating the glory that it will become in late Spring. The hope brought with signs of returning life, the earth waking from slumber, and the new adventures that await in the mountains during the warm season.

With the long winter of near fatal illness, slow healing recovery, the frustration of missed goals and deadlines, I find my spirit again coming to life with the promise of hope. Hope that life indeed continues, hope that projects can be begun, restarted, and that health and prosperity have returned with the waking of the world.

May this same hope infuse your spirit with the new life of Spring and give you the motivation to see your goals accomplished.

Blessed Be!

 

New Beginnings

In this equidistant time between Imbolc and Ostara we are in the middle of our New Beginnings. The time of year when we put into motion all of those plans, intents, ideas, and wild hair inspirations that have come to us through the quiet resting season of Winter.

Spring is coming! As we begin to see the crocus poking through the frozen earth – the very first flowers of the coming Spring remind us that now is the time, now is the day, this is the season to begin. We begin to look forward to the sun in our eyes driving home as we relish the longer days appearing. We’ve begun to plan our flower beds for this year, our vegetable gardens, and have begun looking at our herbs to see if they’ve survived the winter or will need replanting this year.

We’ve started to walk away from the Darkness of Winter and into the Light of Spring. The temperatures remain chilled and in some places downright cold, but we move forward knowing the Light is here and the promise of Spring draws nigh.

This is the time to put your prosperity magic for the year into place, so that it grows with the light. This is the time to put action to plans for projects, tasks, and purpose to the goals you intend to reach. Time put into action all of those steps, plans, goalposts, mile markers and other action points to accomplish all that you’ve planned for the year.

This is a good time of year to visit with the Goddess and prioritize your plans and goals. The wisdom of the ages is simply moments away as we meditate and commune with the Divine, the Universe. With this wisdom we can often wind up not chasing our tails in fruitless wastes of energy, but move forward with confidence – putting our Will into place and Creating the results we wish to see in and around us.

Meditative journeys such as Cerridwen’s Cauldron, The White Goddess, or Animal Guide meditations are good to keep us going as we implement our plans.

In the spirit of this season of beginnings:

Let’s be about it!

Blessed Be!

The Ever Turning Wheel

I was reminded tonight of the ever turning wheel, not by our seasonal changes, our sabbats and esbats, but by a shining beacon of bravery, light, and sweetness that is facing her wheel turning with the end of this time and crossing over to the summerlands.

She is quiet, unassuming, caring, and vulnerable to people who have derided her beliefs as a Witch. She spent her life sacrificing and caring for others asking little for herself, and as we talked about her final arrangements, and perused the stories, prayers and rituals I had thought to bring along with me, she smiled, chatted, and became animated; openly shining with an inner light of strength and peace.

As I gave her a blessing of the Goddess’ and Gods’ tears welled in her eyes, though not tears of sorrow and fear, but tears of joy and peace. Her heart was overwhelmed with the good things she had surrounding her, the strangers who had become friends, and we shared a brief moment of harmony as sister witches at peace with the world around us and the friendship we formed in those moments.

I am reminded that we are all here until the wheel turns in our time and that each of us will face our crossing over in our own way. We each have our tasks to accomplish, our lessons to learn, and our paths to walk to completion. I can only hope to face the time of my turning with the grace, serenity, courage, and peace that she is facing hers.

Blessed Be!

Tetrad of Blood Moons

April 15th marks the beginning of an alignment tetrad that happened only 3 times in the last 600 years. These 4 “Blood Moons” or lunar eclipses are followed by 6 full moons. The beginning of these is visible in the US during the night of April 15th.

Ironically, each occurrence of this tetrad in the past has heralded another religious revolution. The first tetrad recorded in the 15th century saw the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, the 2nd saw the founding of Israel in 1949, and the third oversaw the 6 day war between Israel and Iran in 1969.

While the planets and sun travel in a way that will see nine of the cycles in the 21st century, one does wonder what this cosmic opposition will find coming into play in this century.

Christians and Jewish leaders alike are plotting these blood moons which will occur this year and next during Passover and Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles), both highly celebrated festivals.

So what does this mean for we the Witches? It means a powerful time of Mars, Earth, the Sun, and our Moon being in alignment. Those warrior passions, the divination of our Goddess, the strength of our life giving Sun, and our own Gaea connections becoming stronger. The alignment is a rare time allowing for deeper wisdom, stronger power, and more potent relationships to build with the Universe.

This is the time to grab your destiny, to focus your will, and to use your Witch’s voice to create what you will of your world, to harness the energy available to deepen  your bonds, and to focus your workings on being a Warrior of Gaea and healing the areas around you.

This Beltane we are travelling to the First Forest, harnessing that energy, combining it with the energy of the alignments, focusing it even more, then pushing it outward from our Circle to the valley that is Reno, Nevada, and healing the areas we live in. We’re charging stones to bring back with us to recharge under each of the moon’s cycles during this alignment in order to continue the healing that we begin on Beltane.

I don’t suggest all Witches should participate where ever they may be, but imagine what a group of Witches of a single intent can accomplish for our planet and the life within if we worked together to focus the energies available to us!

 

The Black Moon

With this Black Moon falling within the sign of Aries this is the time to embark on your goals of leadership, strength, power, and intent. It’s the time to pass away and detach yourself from things that have been holding you back, thoughts and habits that keep you distracted, and cut those bonds that have kept you from stepping forward and meeting your true strength and potential.

This is the last black moon in 2014, so it’s now or never!

Take advantage of this Black Moon for your divination, for your setting your feet on the path you should be, for getting your mind clear of things that clutter and distract from your goal.  Get in touch with the changing aspect of the Goddess, of the strength of will to enable that change, and move ever forward on your path.

The power of this moon is extraordinary for Crone energies and all aspects of change. Take advantage of it.  Delve deeply into it, immerse yourself within and without in the energy of this moon and take it with you into the rest of this Turning of the Wheel.

You won’t have another chance at a Black Moon until October 2016!