19 December 2011

Winter Solstice

It’s finally here! The Winter Solstice is this week and I am so glad.  This year the Solstice is happening on the 21st at 9:30pm pst.  This works out beautifully for me.  So often the actual moment of the solstice it at a far less convenient time (like the middle of the night or while I’m at work), it’s nice to have it at a time when I’m normally awake and not busy.  Now I just have to decide how I’m going to mark the occasion.

Over time my practice has evolved away from formal rituals and towards more simple, intuitive practices.  While in the past I have done formal rituals (calling quarters, formal workings, offerings, etc.) to celebrate the Solstice, it just doesn’t seem quite right anymore.  I think I’ll spend this solstice in meditation – I’ve got some internal quibbles I need to look at and I can’t think of a better time. Oh yes, this will be a shadow worker's solstice.

The Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, which makes it an ideal time to work on themes of self-examination, exploration of blocks and negative emotions, banishing, and old wounds.  I think I’ll spend this Solstice thinking about all the things that have held me back over the last year, things that have kept me from achieving my goals, and things that have left me unsatisfied.  So many metaphysical practices focus on always looking at the light, being thankful for what you have, examining the steps to making things better that they forget that it’s impossible to move forward until you’ve fully addressed the hurts of the present. 

I’m going to take the longest night and honour my wounds - my shadows.  Yes, I’ve had some amazing triumphs this year and I’ve given my thanks for them, but I’ve also had to deal with an astonishing amount of pain and stupidity.  The bad times are as much a part of our lives and are as necessary, if not more necessary, for our growth as the good times.  I’m going to think about and honour the challenges I’ve faced.  I’m going to look at the lingering hurts and self-doubts that they’ve created.  I’m going to acknowledge them, figure out what put them there, and honour them.  Those dumb insecurities are there for a reason and if I don’t accept that reason then I’m never going to get rid of them.  If I don’t look at why things hurt me I’ll never learn how to address them (as opposed to just avoiding them).  I’m going to look at my own weaknesses and appreciate what they can teach me about myself.

I’ll do all this sitting in the dark before the moment of the Solstice and then, just after the moment has passed (when the sun is as farthest from us) I will light a candle and appreciate what sitting alone in the dark has taught me.  And then I’ll get up, turn on the lights and figure out how to move forward.  Not the world’s most exciting Solstice, but a meaningful one.

15 December 2011

Rock on!

I made The Magickal Buffet's list of Favorite Things 2011!  How cool is that :)

The author says:

"There are a lot of books out there about protecting yourself from demons, curses, dark magics, etc. But this year saw the release of my new favorite in the field, “Defense Against the Dark” by Emily Carlin. Carlin is the Dean of Dark Arts for the Grey School of Wizardy but her book is accessible to magical practitioner and average joe. It leaves no stone unturned, no question unanswered. I’ve been recommending it to anyone who will listen, and now that includes you."

13 December 2011

City Protection Spell

I've been working on a project for the last two weeks - a special city protection spell.  I love my home.  I think the Puget Sound area is the the most beautiful place in the world and I wouldn't live anywhere else.  I grew up here, my family is here, I play here.  This is my home and I want to do everything I can to keep it safe.  To do this I hatched a rather ambitious plan that begins with graveyard dirt.

If you're not familiar with working with graveyard dirt, it's used to add the energy of the person whose grave it came from to a spell.  It's important that you know something about the person who's been laid to rest before you use dirt from their grave in any spell.  If you don't know who the person is (personally, historically, etc.) then you'd better have good psychic senses that will tell you on the spot.  Before taking the dirt it's important to explain to the deceased what you want to use the dirt for and get their permission - you can take it without permission but that's just rude and can have unintended consequences. 

Lakeview Cemetery, up on Capitol Hill, is the final resting place of Seattle's founders and first citizens.  A keen student of local history, I know that the Seattle founders vested their lives and livelihoods into this city.  Their passions and foibles shaped what this city was to become and their legacy is everywhere and they've got a vested interest in preserving what they created.  I decided to gather graveyard dirt from as many of the city's founders as I could to add the force of their spirits to my spell.  I got Yestler, Renton, Denny, Phinney, Mercer and more.  I also added in a dash of Princess Angeline (chief Sealth's daughter - and a ghost I've seen several times) to touch the legacy of the local natives and a bit of Bruce Lee for skill.  They all agreed to help me ward my home from harm.  For each of them I left an offering of thanks.

I gathered all the dirt in a tin and waited for the full moon to quicken the spell.  I wrote my intent on a piece of paper, sealed the spell with my blood on a coffin nail and placed it in with the dirt.  I sealed the tin and intend to wrap in duct tape and bury it.  I won't share the exact wording of the spell, but I specified what area the spell was to cover, and that it was to protect the area from all disaster both natural and man-made, to strengthen the city and it's people, to make them wise, and to keep us all safe, sane, and sound.  I've always felt that magick is that last thing you have to do when you say "I've done all I can."  Now I think I can really say that I've done everything I can.