Friday, 25 July 2014

On Walking the Hedge: New Understandings and Meeting Pan

       So a few posts back I made a bit of a fudge when I was talking about hedge witchery. In the post, which you can read here if you so desire, I wrote that although I was interested in the hedge I was not into the flying ointment stuff as at the time, I presumed that hedge-craft was mostly about rubbing on an ointment that might make you hallucinate, I was wrong. Why am I even pointing out that I made a mistake? Because I think its doubtful that I'm the only one in the witchy or pagan world who has thought along the very same lines and I though that should be corrected, at least for those who take the time to read this post and learn about hedge witchery.


      My first real (and very much needed) reality check about hedge-craft came from a comment that one of my favourite bloggers wrote on my wall. In the comment she wrote:

"I think hedge as a path can be so much more than journeying, ointments, tarot..etc.. I focus that way because my strong suit is seeing and of course jumping the hedge is part of it but to me it is more having that connection to spirit and the wild place, especially discovering those local and what they have to offer you in spirit.." -Morgan from Love by the Moon

    I am really beyond thankful that she left this comment on my post because as I said it really was a reality check, I mean not all witches practice their craft the same way (stricter followings of Gardnerian and Alexandrian Wicca exempt) so why would all hedgers cross the hedge the same way?!


     Needless to say Morgan's comment really got me thinking. I had been reading her blog, Love by the Moon for months, which I need to add is seriously amazing, go read it now or well maybe after finishing this post, but you get the picture :p I'd also been studying up on hedge-craft because I have been feeling a strong pull towards the hedge but never really addressed it. Honestly I was a little wary of the incorporation of some poisonous herbs into the path of some hedgers and for some reason I made an assumption (assumptions are always a bad idea) that all hedgers worked with poisons. So I got skittish and ignored my spirit's cry to walk in the otherworld, but thankfully after talking with Morgan and realizing that not all hedgers cross the hedge using flying ointments made with poisonous herbs I re-evaluated my thoughts on hedge witchery.

      My misconceptions corrected I have recently begun incorporating hedge witchery into my practice, something that my spirit has been asking me to do for a while. Looking back on some of my past meditations I know that I have crossed the hedge before and even grounded in the otherworld and so really it was high time to pay attention to this calling. So last week I gathered three candles (I almost always use three because as part of my Celtic path three is a spiritually significant number), got out my phantom quartz crystal which is especially useful for dreaming and finding clarity amidst murky emotional situations, mixed some dried lemon a personal herb of magic with dried basil leaves which are non-toxic and also increase your psychic awareness, poured me a little glass of white wine to calm myself and settled down with meditation music.


     The result was amazing, I felt my spirit open up to the otherworld and while I was there I encountered the White Lady a personal deity who is akin to the Arthurian, Lady of the Lake who I have met before in meditations, but this time I also met Pan. Yup Pan. I don't follow a Greek or Roman pantheon nor do I feel much connection to their deities though I do respect them, so I was more than a little shocked when he showed up. When I came across Pan he was green almost turquoise and resembled something like a green-turquoise version of the image below:


     I'm sure he was Pan, as when ever I met gods or goddesses or spiritual beings I seem to almost intuitively know who they are, unless they are actively trying to hide themselves. So there was Pan standing in the middle of a decaying and somewhat dead forest, kind of like a forest in winter but with no snow. He seemed a little bit temperamental, I got the feeling it was because his forest wasn't healthy. When I came back, his energy seemed to follow mine so I went to the google and searched up what I could on him and found out that he was essentially Greece's God of the Wild. When I discovered that, it struck me that on my first journey where I was actively seeking to go a hedge walking that he was essentially telling me that I needed to follow my spirit and accept that I was a Wildling at heart, one who needs to connect with the wilderness of the Otherworld as part of my practice.
 

     To thank him for his message and to ensure that he would go back to his home, after all one doesn't want a temperamental Pan just wondering the human planes willy nilly, I decided to leave him an offering. So I gathered some tiger eye, peridot and jade crystals as well as a bit of mossy bark I collected months ago on a forest adventure and went outside, perhaps about half an hour after my meditation, to deliver my thanks. I charged and blessed the crystals and bark with gratitude then placed them at the base of a tree in front of my apartment building and grounded my remaining hedge-walking energies into the soil. As I was walking away I turned around to look back at the tree and saw him standing there so I nodded my head once more in thanks. By the time I was back in my apartment his energy had left the yard and my home. Knowing that he had gone back to the Otherworld, I let out a breath and curled up in bed with a book before bed.

     So there it is, I'm a hedge witch. Certainly not as experienced as many of the other Hedge-bloggers and non-blogging Hedgers but I have begun to follow the path of hedge witchery. I guess that means I can call myself a Traditional Celtic Hedge Witch now if you're looking for a label, but honestly who needs labels at the end of the day I am just a wild spirit who practices magic, communes with the Otherworld and runs barefoot in the grass.


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Witchy Shopping Fun at The Cat, The Book and The Candle

        Recently I decided to venture out of my nest and decided to go on a bit of a witchy adventure. Normally all of my witchy adventures take place in my home, the park, in books or online (who doesn't love a bit of magical online shopping!), but this time my adventure was more so an out and about shopping adventure. Even though I'm a solitary, sometimes its nice to go out and about and see other witchies in the area. I don't really have a whole lot of desire to join a coven, I'm more of a follow the beat of my own drum kind of gal, but I do like having the occasional little chat with like-minded individuals. My favourite way to go about this, aside from talking to my witchy Aunt T (T's blog here: Sometimes its the Little Things) is to go to a metaphysical shop.


        So off I set on my magical adventure, with my wonderful boyfriend to a store in Cambridge, Ontario called The Cat, The Book and The Candle. There aren't many metaphysical stores in the area, so far as I've noticed there's only this one, meaning that I haven't been able to have a poke about in witchy store for a little while, so I was super excited when I happened upon it.


        After about an hour and a half of journeying on the transit we had finally arrived at The Cat, The Book and The Candle's quaint store front in Cambridge. The window displays of the shop are just filled with treasures like crystal balls, books, and candles. Inside the store is like a little piece of the otherworld, the walls are decorated with green man masks, pendants and prints, I fell in love with one particular Wheel of the Year print, that has inspired me to create my own (when I put my creative pants on that is). Surrounding the store are little tables with: crystals, pendulums, pendants, altar supplies for Wiccans, herbs, oils, necklaces, bracelets, runes, and tarot cards. My boyfriend and I must have been there an hour before we took it all in!



      Even more wonderful than all the magical things to purchase was the energy in the store. The store's owner, Jodi Cross a certified Hypnotist who offers readings and Reiki sessions, was an absolute dream. Her positive energy filled the store with a sense of peaceful, happiness and she was very helpful in answering my unending questions about what this or that crystal was for. When I'm ready for Reiki and a reading I would definitely go back to her!


      Now for the goodies... While I was browsing around I happened across a crystal ball on a little golden stand (featured in all the crystal ball pics in this post). From the moment I laid I eyes on it and picked it up I knew it needed to come home with me, when the energy calls you just have to answer it! So now I have a wee crystal ball sitting calmly at home next to my herb jars. I've yet to try it out but I'll be sure to write about that when it happens. I also came across a sweet little moonstone to add to my crystal collection, and my boyfriend bought me a gorgeous triquetra necklace on a blue ribbon for my birthday, which I have absolutely fallen in love with.


     Overall my witch adventure to The Cat, The Book and The Candle was absolutely magical and wonderful. If you're in the area I would definitely recommend a visit, if you're farther away she also has an online store: The Cat, The Book and The Candle Online, filled with even more goodies!



Friday, 11 July 2014

The Doe and Buck Moon -July's Full Moon Esbat

       As July's full moon draws closer, (its tomorrow!) I can feel the enchanting energy of Luna growing ever stronger. At 99% full today, the moon feels almost at parity with Mr. Sun even though it still daytime. While the sun shines bright it feels like the sun and moon are engaged in the midst of an intricate energy dance in the sky.


       This moon as well as the next two moons, in August and September have been making quite a few headlines even in the non-pagan media as of late. Each of these 'Super' full moons for July, August and September are scientifically known as Perigee moons, meaning that they are 30% closer to the earth than the average full moon. While the media is pitting this as an extremely rare occurrence, like the blood moon that occurred earlier this year according to NASA scientists this occurs fairly regularly. January and February of 2014 were also super moons, and last year there was also a trio of consecutive super moons though the media only emphasized one. Essentially science tells us that super moons are not a sign of the apocalypse (sorry apocalypse watchers there's no scientific backing behind your theories), but rather that the super moon is a natural phenomenon.


       So we're not going to die, at least not from Ms. Moon's closer dance to Earth. Rather this perigee moon is a chance to reach out to Ms. Moon's energies and bask in her increased strength. For those who follow Native American practice this moon is recognized as the Buck Moon, especially in Algonquin traditions. According to the Farmer's Almanac, the concept of the Buck Moon originates in the physical growth of the stag during this time as July is the month when buck's grow new antlers. In my opinion the origin of this moon's name also likely results from the fact that like the buck, in the western hemisphere crops are growing strong.


       While I've heard of July's Celtic moon being referred to as either the Claiming Moon or Calming Moon, I wasn't able to find anything conclusive so for that, I think I'll need a little more book research. As it is, one of my familiars is a doe, and so I think that for my Esbat celebration July's full moon will be the Doe and Buck Moon. Then I shall be celebrating the feminine and masculine intertwined which seems to fit with the energy I feel in today's energies.

More Info on Moon Names:
Pagan's Path
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