22 October 2010

Crossroads


)O(

Having been without home internet for the spring and summer, my blog(s) were sadly neglected.  Work was crazy busy over the summer (all the little munchkins - and their parents - out and about looking for something to do) and only now are we settling down into our regular schedule (which can still get hectic, but nowhere near as bad!). 

However, as we edge closer to Samhain (one of my favourite times of the year), it seems an appropriate time to shed (seeing as I just turned 30 on Mabon) the old, decaying, stagnant self. 
Samhain is considered by some Wiccans as a time to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on, and it often involves paying respect to ancestors, family members, elders of the faith, friends, pets and other loved ones who have died. In some rituals the spirits of the departed are invited to attend the festivities. It is seen as a festival of darkness...it was also widely believed that on October 31, the guard between this world and the afterlife is at its thinnest point of the whole year. [Source: Good ol' Wikipedia]
I'm taking stock of who I've become and what I believe in.  Recently, I've found myself reacting in very anti-Christian ways - and I don't like acting that way.  My overall philosophy has always been "live and let live".  [A phrase who's meaning, incidently, can be most directly and famously related to World War I - and the so-called Christmas Truce of 1914, among other events - Wiki.]

To that end, I'm drawing up a personal wish-list of various magical and mundane goals: what I would like to do (spiritually and physically), what direction I want to find myself heading towards, and even how I see myself and the world (and thus, how I react to it...).  Nothing is concrete (nor written down) at the moment, but eventually I'll draw enough conclusions (or at least possible paths) to scribble them down - and hopefully post everything here.

Blessed Be,
Gwen

Where I Blog...
* Behind the Fairy Tale Page - my reading lists blog [long neglected; will be updated soon]
* Bets and Charcoal - the miscellaneously mundane blog [this may go the way of the dodo, but I haven't decided yet...]
* Black Cats n' Broomsticks - my witchy blog
* Bonnets and Bolts: the Journal of Lucretia Stern - my story blog
* Horticulturally Hopeless - my gardening blog
* Once Upon a Time... - my bookish blog [long neglected; will be updated soon]

27 May 2010

Bast's Blessing Spell...


I found this while browsing the internet awhile back and loved it. All my life, we've had a cat - I can't imagine a household without one! Blessed be, Jenn

----- )O( -----

Materials: envelope, cat’s hair clippings, your own hair clippings and a picture of your cat.

Set up your altar facing the sun, decorated with your cat’s favorite things. Place the picture with hair on top in the middle.

Beloved cat, beloved friend,
May our friendship never end.
From whiskers’ edge to tip of tail,
May Bast protect without fail.
Nine times nine, your life and mine,
In Bast’s blessing, intertwined.

Seal the envelope after placing the hairs and picture inside. Place it somewhere where you keep your cat’s things.

Source: "Bast's Blessing Spell for Cats" post dated May 23, 2008 from Garnet's Book of Shadows blog

Original Source: Llewellyn’s Witches’ Spell-a-Day Almanac (2008 version?)

14 May 2010

I hate lawnmowers...

Warning: this is a rant...or at least starts out that way.  I don't normally swear - if I do, it's usually (though not always ;-) "crap on a stick".  Sometimes, however, moments call for stronger language... 

I live in a townhouse complex surround by apartment buildings.  Every couple of weeks during the spring, summer and fall months (about April until October), the landscaping/yard maintenance company descends upon the entire block.  For the most part, I'm able to ignore them.  Today, however, I woke up annoyed.

They start early - 7 a.m.  I don't appreciate waking up to the sound (and smell - ick!) of a gas-powered lawnmower (it's bad enough we live right next door to a large hardward/lumber store - they start at 5 a.m.!), especially when I'm in the final days of my (mini) vacation.  And why do they have to cut the grass within an inch of its life?  It's just started to grow as it is!

I hate drivers.

As a pedestrian, it's a dangerous world out there!  At one particular intersection near home, divers don't pay attention to lines in the road (I'm constantly skirting cars) nor do they look when they're turning (within the last year, I've come close to being hit 3 times!).  And why do malls, plaza's, etc. not make they're areas more pedestrian-friendly?  Oh, I know, because most people drive and the money is all that matters!

On my way to the store this morning, I saw an ad in a bus shelter for an ESL (english-as-a-second-language) teaching company.  What ticked me off (or at least added to the inner rant I was having at the time) was the portrayal.  Four women, each with either a different skin tone or facial feature, were seated around a table.  Two books were open in front of them - the first thing that popped into my head was that it looked like the bible!  It had that thick-looking leatherish cover with paper-thin pages.  The four were smiling and happy looking, but all were wearing "western" clothing with not a hair out of place.  How's that for an assimilation-advert: Come to Canada where you can learn English, read the bible and become middle class!!

It was turning into one of those days where all you want to do is flip everyone off and make everyone as miserable as you are.

And then I saw something that shook me out of my rut and made my inner voice said, "Fuck my bitchy mood".

It was a sparrow. 

She was in the middle of a busy parking lot, not a green space close by.  As a car drove inches by her, she gathered some litter in her beak and flew up to the nest she was making on the top of a pizza store sign.

Itsn't it amazing how we - humans, animals, plants - can survive

I have nothing to complain about.  Nothing.  At.  All. 

I'm not homeless.  I'm not dying.  I'm not friendless and alone.  I'm not in the middle of a war zone.  I didn't have a bad childhood.  I don't have an abusive husband.  I don't have cancer.  I'm not starving.  I'm not in pain. 

I have nothing to complain about. 

I have a very good life.  We're not rich (far from it - paycheck to paycheck is more like it), but all the basic needs - as well as many unnecessary wants - are fulfilled.  I have a loving (if sometimes tempetous) relationship with my mum, and I've been blessed with the presence of many furry companions. 

Usually I'm the one telling mum (she's easily stressed about a lot of things and sometimes gets depressed) that life could be worse. 

I suppose that everyone needs a reminder.

)O( Blessed Be, Jenn

12 May 2010

BOS (or other book) Blessings

(source: Celtic Jems) 

Beautiful Goddess of many faces…
Bless this book that it may enhance
All who choose to read its pages.
Bless this book as my relationship
With You may continue to grow.
I pray to You that You will grace me
With Your love and Your Blessing.

Source: unknown
(If this is yours, please let me know!)

~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~

In the realm of magick this book shall reside.
No one but the chosen shall see what's inside.
If breath be to air as passion to fire,
Let harm come to none, this is my desire.
If life be to earth as water to emotions,
This book be filled with magickal potions.
May the Gods protect it, keep it from harm,
And upon it bestow power, magick and charm.
No one without wisdom shall peer at it's pages,
The knowledge inside shall be handed down through the ages.
This book be it mine, it harbours no fears,
The knowledge obtained through blood, sweat& tears,
My magick's my passion, the spirits my guide.
The book may she bless it with spiritual light.
And let only her children read of its rite.
For those of the Wicca truly can see,
That this is my will,
So mote it be!

Source: Wiccan Cottage

~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~

Elements protect this book
From wondering eyes and prying look,
And fill it with Thine ancient power
In this right and ready hour.

Source: Book of Shadows: a Family Grimoire

~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~)O( ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~

By gods of old and those yet born,
and the howling wind that proceeds the storm.
By the water that cleanse the soul,
and fire that burns ages untold.
And by the gentle earth from which we come,
this blessing shall not be undone.

This Book of Shadows I do bless,
as the elements will attest.
That this blessing protects this book,
from curious eyes that pry and look.
And from things that cause it harm,
this book I fill with knowledge and charms.
By my will this I do wish,
as I seal it with a kiss.
By my will, so mote it be!

Source: Neo of The Wiccan Way

~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~

As I walk the corridors of the past
May the old ones guide and protect me.
Along side the guardians of the pyramids
Protect this book from unwanted eyes
Only I shall know the secrets it keeps
While the lord and lady watches over
It as I sleep
Blessed now by the earth below and the moon above
As I will, so it shall be, with
Harm to none! Blessed it be!

Source: Phoenixfirecat's Book of Shadows

~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~

Beautiful Goddess of many faces,
Bless this book that it may enhance
All who choose to read it’s pages.
Bless this book as my relationship
with you may continue to grow.
I pray to you that you will grace me,
with your love and your blessing.
So Mote It Be!

Source: Witches 'n Wizards

~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ )O( ~~~~~ * ~~~~~ * ~~~~~

Hearken as the Witch's word
Calls the Lady and the Lord
Moon above and earth below
Sky's cool blue and sun's hot glow,
In this right and ready hour,
Fill these pages with thy wisdom.
May those in need eye to see
The secrets which entrusted be.
To those who walk the hidden road
To find the hearthstone's calm abode.
Guardians from the four directions,
Hear us and lend Thy protection:
May these truths of Earth and Skies
Shielded be from darker times.
But to the witches whose map this be
May the way be plain to see;
And through all the coming ages,
May we find home in these pages.

Source: The Path and Life of Witchyredrose

Blessed Be, Jenn

My BOS - the book...

The book...

I've (finally) decided on a binder for my BOS - more specifically, a white scrapbook album:
It has the convenience of a binder (removing, adding, shuffling, etc.), but (though I hate to say it) a little more pretty.  I'm going to decorate the cover with a celtic-ish tree of life:


I've drawn the intial sketch onto the cover (in very light pencil) and now I have to decide how to colour it.  Paint? Crayons? Pencils?  I'm more comfortable with pencil crayons, but I don't know how the cloth covering will take to them...

I want to include more drawings (and I have no clue about the back of the album), but nothing has popped out at me yet...

The contents...

So far, I've decided on the following for the first initial pages:

* Inner Title Page - including "Book of Shadows of ..." and the date begun...

* Book Blessing - I may write my own, but I've also found a few that I really like, so I can't decide! ;-) I've posted what I've found here.

* Protection Spell

* Dedication - my dedication to and thoughts on my chosen path and deities

I really like Luis Royo's "The wind from Hastings"...


and was thinking of using it for the Protection Spell page (considering that it depicts a battlefield, it feels appropriate - to me, anyways! ;-)

(As you can probably figure out, I have celtic tendancies!  Considering that my father's side has Scottish and Irish roots (though I'm a 6th-generation Canadian and proud of it!), that's hardly surprising! ;-)

I've been googling like crazy to find different ideas as to how everyone (uniquely, of course!) organizes their BOS's, contents, etc.  However, I'm a virgo through and through and making lists (and organizing) is half the fun...

)O(  Jenn

10 May 2010

Moon Gardening...

Got my hands dirty this evening (until the solar lights came on - it was waaay too cold to be out gardening this morning and afternoon! ;-) when I plopped 10 bags of soil on the planned shade garden.  I have 10 more bags for the planned sunny garden (for veggies and flowers), plus the half-whiskey barrel and an old tomato pot (both for herbs) - I need more!!!

I'm waiting until Wednesday or Thursday to do any actual planting though - when the new moon comes.  My black thumb needs all the help it can get... ;-) 

I've been re-reading Ellen Dugan's Garden witchery while I wait, as well as any and all gardening books I can get my hands on!

Favourite Quotes... (and good reminders! ;-)

“Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt and live like it's heaven on Earth." (Mark Twain)

"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever." (Mahatma Gandhi)

"There is something Pagan in me that I cannot shake off.  In short, I deny nothing but doubt everything."  (Lord Byron)

"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." (Dr. Seuss)

"A room without books is like a body without a soul." (Marcus Tullius Cicero)

"Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend." (Albert Camus)

"You know you're in love when you can't fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams." (Dr. Seuss)

"The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference." (Elie Wiesel)

"So many books, so little time." (Frank Zappa)