Tag Archives: Magic

Protecting What’s Ours

After about 12 years of visioning and fundraising, the Open Hearth Foundation is opening a community center for pagans of all paths here in the District of Columbia. The center officially opens December 31, 2011, but Becoming has the honor of facilitating the cleansing, warding, and blessing of the center at its monthly circle of connection on Sunday, November 13.

I’m very excited to be conspiring collaborating with Frank Stormcatcher again. We met last night and made some plans for a working that would be powerful, meaningful, effective, and inclusive. The intent is to prepare and protect the physical space on a spiritual and psychic level for the future stability and growth of the community. If the physical community is a container for the good of the community, then our magic will wash that container, strengthen it, and then fill it with the blessings of the community and the Divine in its many forms and faces.

With that in mind, I want to invite those in the local community who desire the community center to succeed and flourish to join us in this work on Sunday, November 13, 12:15pm at the OHF community center, 1502 Massachusetts Ave, NE, Washington, DC. Circle will begin promptly at 12:30pm with potluck lunch to follow.

Photograph of Frank Stormcatcher at the Jefferson Memorial Samhain Drumming by Eric Eldritch, 2011

Tarot Blessing

One of my spiritual groups, Becoming, is undergoing a time of transitions. I am stepping down as the Presiding Celebrant after eight and a half years of service, and handing the responsibility over to my dear spirit sister Ketzirah and her vision. We have also been struggling with the continual search for a permanent home and the ongoing dance of delegation and decentralization through a new leadership framework. We have also lost some long-term, dearly loved members over the last couple years, while gaining a few new ones. It has been bumpy, but we each have faith that we will move through it and out the other side stronger.

With the upcoming transition of Celebrants on my mind, I offered a working experiment at our monthly Circle of Connection yesterday. It was an experiment that was quite elegant in my head, but I wanted to see how it would play out. The Becoming folks are nothing if not adventurous when it comes to such experiments. Some of our members are familiar with tarot; others not so much. We used the Gaian Tarot (the fan-girl edition as I call it) because they are nature based (like our group) and work well with people who are unfamiliar with tradition tarot meanings but willing to be open to the images.

Our intent was to use the cards as a way to ask and listen for a blessing from the Heart of the Universe, the core energy of Becoming, and our individual Divine Sparks.

I shuffled the cards and explained the steps in the working. Each person in the circle drew a card and held it face down until all cards were drawn. We then looked at our cards to examine the visual image. What drew the eye? What colors, shapes, animals, plants, people were present? What were they doing? How did the card feel?

We then closed our eyes and recreated the image of the card around ourselves. What did we notice now? What sounds, tastes, textures, smells? What was hooked our attention? What were people, plants, animals doing or saying? Where were we in the scene?

Opening our eyes and looking at the card again, we noticed what was absent in our imagination that was present in the card. And what was absent in the card but present in our imagination? What message was the card telling us? What blessings was the card giving us?

I asked everyone to use the phrase “May we…” to begin the blessing from their card. I said a short intro to the prayer and then we went around the circle, showing our card, and giving the blessing.  Here’s what came up for Becoming this day.

We call to the Heart of the Universe, the core of Becoming, and the divine spark within each of us to give us a blessing.

[Canoe] May we have the vision to see our destination clearly and the discipline and strength to get there.

[Elder of Fire] May we honor the diverse paths and perspectives that we all bring to Becoming and that contribute to the spirit of Becoming.

[Explorer of Water] May we fearlessly meet the challenges and adventures along our path.

[Elder of Earth] May we continue to spin the threads of connection between us and other people, between us and Nature, between us and the Divine.

[Bindweed] May the ears of Becoming never be closed to the song.

[Ace of Air] May we receive the blessing of the root of the powers of air, the mediator of fire and water, the balance which cannot exist without both. As the butterfly’s life depends on the flowers, the flowers are sustained by the butterfly—so Becoming is blessed by its members and its members are blessed by Becoming.

[Child of Air] May we be filled with grace and peace. Although we have our own paths, may we remember that we all fly together.

[Ten of Fire] May we be able to burn away the things we no longer need so that new growth may arise in their place.

[Elder of Air] May we always hear the simple music in the melody of the wind. Even if the birthplace of Becoming is beyond the horizon, together we will always have a home.

[Four of Air]May we bring all the needed pieces together to create a home to nurture us in growth.

[Five of Air] May Becoming be blessed with leadership that inspires us to connect with one another and the outside world.

[Child of Water] May we be like children before the universe, willing to wade into it and explore it, willing to stand in it and experience it.

[Guardian of Earth] may we all be good stewards of the earth. May we have the serenity to recognize the small thing that helps us achieve that task. May we also recognize those whose loyalty we have engendered to help us along this path.

Heart of the Universe, hear our prayers.
Core of Becoming, hear our prayers.
Divine Spark with Us, hear our prayers.
Blessed be. So Mote It Be.

I noticed a few things about the cards we pulled. Five out of thirteen were Air, which is the element we started studying on Sunday for the next three months. We pulled three Elder cards and two Child cards. All our numbered cards speak to beginnings and transitions. And the two Major Arcana cards speak to freedom of movement and displine, and the lack thereof.

Once again, I am in awe of the inspiration and beauty that Becoming members find in themselves when we connect to that rich source of divinity in circle together.

Blessings be to the journeyer; blessings on the journey.

What is magic?

What is magic?
The young child asks.

if you will,
a scintillating light
wandering through all time and space,
linking my heart
to you heart,
to the heart of our cat,
to the heart of the pine tree,
to the heart of a virus,
to the heart of the homeless man
across the street,
to the heart of the earth,
to the heart of the sun,
to the heart of the universe,
connecting all of us into a great family
with no beginning and no end.

Do you see it?

The child scans the park
with eyes gone wild.

That, my friend, is magic.

Breathing Our Prayers

 Sacred Dove Mandala

About a month ago, I wrote about the magick of our breath. In our tradition, the season of Spring (early February through end of April) is the season of the element of Air and of the archetype of the Artist. We focus on our breath as the mover of life force, the meeting of spirit and body that is life triumphant. The breath is our spirit’s way of enlivening and animating the matter of the body. Attending to the breath links the conscious self to the other parts of our self, including our Divine Self, or our personal God/Goddess.

Our breath is our prayer to this Divine Self. Communing with that Spark is as natural as breathing in and out, filling ourselves with life and spirit. In Fifty Years in the Feri Tradition, Cora Anderson, one of the founders of the Feri Tradition and an influence in our tradition, tells us:

“The more natural and intimate your contact with the [Godself], the more sure you will be with the results of your prayer. You should pray first to your personal God before trying to contact other Gods. When this kind of prayer becomes as automatic as speaking to your loved ones, it is then possible to commune with the Gods in a loving wholesome way.”

And so, we practice the Ha Prayer, a prayer of breath and life force.  There are several variations of this prayer, each tailored to a particular path or need within the individual. This is how I practice this prayer.

Bring your attention to the energy all around you. Bring your attention to your breath. Begin to beathe comfortably and deeply.  Say “May all my souls be straight within me.”

Ask your Younger Self (or Fetch, Child Self, Lower Self, Wild Self, Unconscious) to store the energy you are about to take in.

Begin a four-count breath. For example, inhale to a count of three (or four or five or seven…), hold for a count of three, exhale fully to a count of three, and hold again for a count of three. 

Breath in sets of 4 breaths until your body begins to tingle and you fill yourself full of life energy. I find it helpful to dedicate the first breath to my body, the second to my Younger Self, the third to my Conscious Self, and the fourth to my God Self. This round repeats for 8, 12, or 16 breaths.

When you are well charged, ask your Younger Self to direct the energy where it is most needed to align your souls and create a clear channel of energy within you. Trust your Younger Self to know what to do.

On the last breath, tilt your head back as you breathe out and blow a breath of air upwards. Send the energized breath to your God Self, which you visualize as a ball of blue fire floating above your head.

By “feeding” your God Self in this manner, you are stepping on the path of connecting and communing directly with that part of you that is eternal, which is our link to the gods. As my teacher, Katrina Messenger, says, “our acceptance of the blessings of the gods is our greatest gift to them.”  The Ha Prayer is both an offering and an acceptance of the love and life of the universe.

May you be ever so blessed.

Sacred Dove Mandala (c) 2010

Magic of Breath

Ghost of the Spirit by Chris Luckhardt, http://www.flickr.com/photos/motionblur/ / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Today, I am reminded, not “to breathe,” but to bring my awareness to my breath.

Breath is life.

Breath is magic.

Breath is both body and spirit.

As I have learned from various teachers including my mother, energy follows attention. So, if I attend to my breath, I am attending to life here and now. I am attending to my body and my spirit. I am bringing energy to life and magic, body and spirit.

Just by paying attention to my breath.

I notice that as I am writing this, Pandora is playing “Breathe” by Telepopmusik. “Just breath. Just believe.” How synchronous is that?!

Winter’s Daily Practice

At Reflections Mystery School, we have seasonal daily practices that correspond to the element of the season: Earth in Winter, Air in Spring, Fire in Summer, and Water in Autumn.  These daily practices are meant to connect us in a physical and energetic way to the element of the season.

In the Winter, we ground energetically and we massage our feet.

Our Feet Touching Means We're Married

Grounding brings us back to the present, back to our bodies. Here and now, we are effective agents of our Work. We are only able to answer the call of our vocation by being fully present. When our minds and our energy is scattered this way and that, like tangled yarn batted about by a small kitten, nothing makes sense. Threads that look like they lead somewhere double back on themselves and leave us feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. Taking the time to bring our awareness back  and finding that still point inside of us gives us the space to listen and move with intent and purpose.

Massaging our feet further focuses our attention to the parts of ourselves that actually move us around this physical plane. When we practice an embodied spirituality, being aware of and taking care of our bodies is a holy act. Our bodies have a great deal to teach us, if we take the time to learn. Our bodies have a great dealt to tell us, if we take the time to listen. Massaging the feet communicates to the body that we do value its messages, that we consider it sacred and worthy of our attention.

Every year, someone asks of our teacher “how is massaging my feet a spiritual or magical practice?” She has her own answer, and mine may be quite similar. There is a saying about magic that energy follows attention. When we pay attention to our feet (our bodies) and care of them as holy, then the energy of healing and love flow to them and to all they do and represent to us: mobility, foundation, support, strength.

Our feet are the foundation of our bodies much as daily practice is a foundation of our spirituality.

Related posts that inspired me to write today:
Katrina Messenger on Radical Self-Care
Ketzirah on Sustainable Spirituality
Christine Valters Paintner on The Exquisite Tenderness of Bodies

Photo of my feet and my husband’s feet on vacation at the Delaware seashore, 2008.