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Full Moon, July 19, 2016

Full Moon, July 19, 2016

Can you feel it? It’s almost palpable. There seems to be a spirit of fear that is looming over planet Earth at this time that has touched just about everyone in some way. I very much suspect that these feelings of fear have been sort of coagulating into something that has been termed an “egregore”, and so I am going to refer to this spirit of fear as the Egregore of Fear.

What is an egregore? Well, an egregore is like a collection of thought patterns that join together and form a collective energy that takes on a life of its own. Some may regard an egregore as a type of entity, and others may feel it to be less “alive” than an entity.  But entity or not, an egregore can have a profound effect on those with whom it makes contact. To read more about egregores visit this link:Egregores

There are egregores in the mundane world. Corporations have used them for years. They may not call them egregores per se, but the idea is the same. Companies create an atmosphere and use it to inspire employees to buy into their corporate philosophy. The psychologist,  Carl Jung speaks of the “collective consciousness” which shows how our thoughts can join together to create a larger thoughtform. 

I think we’ve all experienced egregores at some point in our lives. Most of us have had the experience of walking into a room or other space and feeling an overwhelming feeling of dread or depression. There can be “good” egregores as well. Visiting a holy place of some sort or a sacred space in nature, one might sense a feeling of peace or joy that lingers there.

So I am thinking that this Fear Egregore I mentioned has grown pretty big. It is draining us right now. I expect it could grow even larger and drain us even more. Social media seems to be acting as an accomplice to the Fear Egregore. You read a post about something horrible, or some policy, or some political candidate and you react either pro or con to the post and the Fear Egregore gets fed. I am guilty of responding in this way and need to constantly monitor my thoughts.

 

Don't Feed the Egregore!

Don’t Feed the Egregore!


Ok, now, hold on! Don’t feed the egregore! I’m thinking there are steps we can take, but we need to keep calm and take action in a deliberate and unified way as a magickal/spiritual community. There may be more than one way to deal with a  “non-helpful” egregore. One might focus on breaking it up energetically or trapping it and emprisoning  it, but I see problems with both of those tactics.  One very effective way to deal with an unpleasant egregore is to create a bigger “good” egregore to overshadow it, rendering it less effective. You may hear people say they are sending love and light to a situation and they are pretty  much attempting to create an egregore of love and light. The thing is, an egregore needs to be composed of the thoughts/energy of at least two people. The more people involved, the larger the egregore. 

So here is my suggestion: let us come together as circles, groups and solitary idividuals from all parts of the world during the upcoming full moon on July 19 to raise energy of love and peace. We will in this way create a Love and Peace Egregore. The more who participate in raising or sending energy,  the bigger our Love and Peace Egregore will grow. Be creative and come up with visualizations and various ways to pack some power into the energy you send! What does love and peace mean to you as an individual and a group? Does it mean having  all physical needs met? Does it mean being loved unconditionally? Can you gather items, photos, etc. to suggest to you what love and peace means? Could you dance or sing or chant to raise your power? And as you release the power you raise, see it rising up over our planet and joining together with the thoughts and energies of others to create a huge, glowing bright Love and Peace Egregore. Watch it overshadow the Fear Egregore and even cause it to appear smaller and smaller.

Some people may read this post and say, “Yeah, right! Sounds good on paper, but this is just more of that fluffy bunny mentality. It ain’t gonna work! This is just the way people are. Can’t change human nature.” In response to that I would put forth that it’s certainly worth a try. What have we got to lose? Perhaps we will need to do this circle linking more than once (I suspect we may). But isn’t that what magick is? It’s bringing about change through the force of the will, desire and action. 

I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas for this full moon ritual. Please share and repost this blog post so that as many of our community can participate as possible. Thank you.

Brightest of Blessings,

Sarina

On Facebook you can join  this event on the 19th: Full Moon Connecting Circles


From Yule to Imbolc and on through Ostara and then Bealtaine, the wheel of the year has seemed like the Goddess decided to give it an extra push to speed things up! Having new babies around will make it seem that way. I have been helping with the twin grand babies and time seems to have shifted into high gear. 

But what a gift to see any baby, whether human or other species, thrive and grow and change by the day! Caring for the small and helpless can reward us with some truly “zen” moments. We are forced to slow down and live in the moment. The act of rocking a baby to sleep can’t be rushed any more than rushing a seed to sprout and grow. 

The Magickal Garden has an abundance of blossoms right now and the foxgloves, which are sacred to the fae, are finally blooming after the seeds were sewn more than a year ago. 


And my love affair with the roses continues. In fact, more and more it seems like I grow more in tune with my surroundings since returning to California 3 years ago. 


Yesterday at the Covenstead we celebrated the arrival of the summer season with Bealtaine. We danced the Maypole, cast a spell for “A Shower of Abundance” , and drank a Magickal Brew to honor and encourage fertility for all good things to birth and blossom in our lives. 



An so, my magickal ones, life goes on, and hopefully new things are blossoming in your lives. As we leave the past behind, so too must we leave the sorrows and look for the sprouting seeds and newborn babes to enter the wheel of our lives in whatever form they may take. And so it is! Blessed be!

Bright Blessings,

Sarina

Bealtaine Shower of Abundance Fertility Spell

Frogs know when it’s about to rain, and the more water, the better it is for mating. Just before a rain storm you might notice frogs croaking. This fertility spell is based on this magickal froggy activity.

Gather together: 1. Frog sound noise makers ( or you can use your voice to croak like a frog) 2. Rain stick or rattle or your voice to sound like rain falling. 3. Rose petals which you have charged with your wishes for abundance and fertility in whatever area of your life you choose.

Say: “The sleeping frog woke and has started to croak!

The sound does inspire to attract his hearts desire!”

Make the frog croaking sound and really build it to a crescendo. 

Say: ” down from the sky falls a magickal shower,

Bringing us blessings and lending its power!”

Make the sound of rain with your rain stick, rattle or voice.

Pour the charged rose petals over your head and say, “I am truly blessed!”

Recently we have been experiencing an astrological grand trine in earth signs. Maybe that’s what inspired me to write a post on creating crystal grids. I really love crystal energy and I don’t know why I haven’t posted much about these powerhouses of magickal energy in the past, but a crystal grid can really enhance the energy of your magickal home! Earth is one of the five major energies that can be tapped into for manifesting your magickal wishes.

 

A crystal grid is simply an arrangement of crystals, often in a circular shape, laid out with a certain intention and charged to send out energy for that purpose. You can use all clear quartz crystals (they are sort of all purpose in the crystal energy realm), or a variety of stones of various colors that are known to possess the energy you want to project. For example, many green stones relate to the heart chakra and are good for love and healing of emotions. However, green is also a good color for financial prosperity and abundance. Knowing the energy of the stones is very useful in setting up a crystal grid. One book I would recommend for learning about the stones is:

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This is a wonderful go-to book for the meanings and uses of just about every crystal! I love it! There are a lot of great websites that deal with working with crystals, too, and I am by no means an expert on working with these “gems”. There is always more to learn where crystals are concerned, but don’t be discouraged thinking you don’t know enough to use their wonderful power. A simple grid set up in a place where you will see it often will suffice to bring about your magickal intention!

 

I keep a crystal grid set up continuously on my ancestor altar around a candle. My ancestors in spirit are my guardians and I honor them at all times. I have two pieces of selenite that are shaped like angel wings and I arranged them on either side of the candle. I also have some heart shaped stones that my husband and I collected that I like to include. Green and pink stones for the heart and higher heart also seem to fit in this grid and I use quartz crystals to further enhance the energy. 

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Do you see the possibilities for working with crystals? By adding their energy to candle work, herbal charms, or any other type of energy work you are making a good thing even better!

 

I have been collecting crystals for years. Some I have purchased and others were given to me as gifts.


When you receive a crystal, always remember to clear it. My favorite ways to clear a stone are by running it under cold water, smudging it or holding my hands over it and sending energy into the stone with the intention of clearing old energy that will not benefit me. I also like to then charge the stone to work for my magickal intentions. At the full moon I like to set my stones out in the moonlight to recharge them. 

After deciding on your intention, gather the crystals, the cloth or other base you are going to use and any candles or figurines you will use for the center of your grid. Start in the center with your central figure and then place the crystals around the center in a pleasing pattern. I always feel that your intuition should guide you in the crystal placement. When you feel everything  is in place, hold both hands over your grid and charge the crystals to give off the desired energy. If you want to say a charm or prayer over your grid, that would be great. Leave the grid in a place where you will see it at least once a day. When you do visit your crystal grid, visualize all the positive results that you desire from its work. Don’t focus on what you lack or bring any worry energy to the grid. Just be calm and positive that all is well! Be sure to thank the stones and other energies you are working with while the grid is set up and when you are ready to disassemble it.


So here are a few examples of some SIMPLE crystal grids to get you started:

This grid is calling on Ganesha to remove obstacles (because that’s what he does!) from achieving financial prosperity. The citrines are orange and clear money magnets, the green malachite and emerald and other green stones are for wealth and those clear quartz crystals are radiating the energy into the environment. In back of Ganesha there is a copper ball and piece of copper (metals are also $). I chose a gold plate as a base for the grid and set the grid on a red table cloth, because Ganesha just loves red! 

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The following grid calls on Kwan Yin, the Goddess of Compassion.  Have there have been lots of arguments and disagreements in your home?  Have you been needing to show a little compassion towards yourself? If so, call on Kwan Yin. Rose quartz is associated with her and the energy of compassion. Green stones are for the heart and healing. She is on a pure white background, symbolizing the purity of her love and, again we have some quartz crystals to radiate that loving energy into the environment.

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This final grid is using an amethyst candle holder and several spiritual, higher chakra stones to tap into the astral planes. This would be a great grid to use in meditation. This time I used some flat ended quartz crystals aimed upward to send out a beacon to the higher realms. I set it all on a piece of star studded fabric in a very magickal purple color. I lit the candle in the holder as well as some incense to create a wonderful, simple crystal grid for meditation purposes.

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I hope you enjoy exploring the magickal world of crystals! At the full moon I may set up a grid to be charged in the moonlight to bring in even more magickal energy. Then there is the idea of a garden grid,  or a fairy grid, or a new moon manifesting grid……..the possibilities are endless!!

You can watch me set up a crystal grid on YouTube on The Magickal Cottage Channel at: The Magickal Cottage on YouTube

Blessings,

Sarina

 

 

Geez, this autumn has just flown by! I’ve been busy, but in a very good way. Mabon was celebrated at The Covenstead with the burning of the Wicker Man. We gave thanks for our abundance of blessings as we wrote each one on a corn husk and attached it to the burning man. Here are a few pictures of that celebration:

   
    
   
At the equinox I always decorate for the fun ahead. This year I added a Samhain tree.

   
    
   
Then, on October 11th I became the grandma of twin boys. What a joy they are! And life suddenly got very busy helping my daughter. But, as I said, things got busy in a good way!

Next, came Samhain with all the fun that entailed. We shared a dumb supper at the Covenstead on the 30th and honored the ancestors at their altar.

   
 
On Samhain I did trick or treat duty at the Magickal Cottage. I love that we get lots of kids at Crow Hollow. Some of them look a bit cautious when they see me sitting on the porch, but I reassure them that I am a “good witch”.

  
My son, Tim, gets in on the fun as well. 

  
So that is a quick summary of what has been going on around here! I hope your autumn has been just as exciting. To me autumn time is the most magickal time of the year!

  
Blessings,

Sarina

sheila2

It’s been hot here lately at the Magickal Cottage! The summer sun has been absolutely oppressive. Fortunately, tomorrow it’s supposed to start cooling off a bit. It’s the Dog Days of summer! According to Factmonster: Dog Days is the name for the most sultry period of summer, from about July 3 to Aug. 11. Named in early times by observers in countries bordering the Mediterranean, the period was reckoned as extending from 20days before to 20 days after the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) and the sun.

All a body feels like doing on days like these is to kick back and move as little as possible, sort of like the way my dog chooses to spend most of her time year round. Our dog, Sheila (she’s Australian), has a couple of “beds” around the house and usually chooses to lie down on the one that is closest to her human. Except for when the mail carrier or delivery truck threatens her home, she is fairly laid back  and sleeps a lot.

Three cats make their homes here as well. However,  the big difference between the cats and the dog seems to be in the way that cats will sometimes “honor” you with their presence and dogs “cherish” your presence. I am a crazy cat lady, sure, but can just as easily become a crazy dog lady as well. I was the dog mom of three dogs at one time, so there you go! I’m a sort of a switch hitter when it comes to animal parenting.

The thing about dogs is that they just love to hang out. There is something very comforting about a dog who likes to curl up next to you when you are taking a nap or feeling under the weather. There is speculation that humans first domesticated dogs because they were helpful in alerting them of danger and proved useful in hunting prey with their sharper senses. But over time it seems that the bond became much closer between dogs and humans. The goddess, Hecate, is fond of dogs, especially black dogs. And dogs are said to guard the gates of the Underworld which is proof of their reliability as a watchman. I can’t picture a cat agreeing to sit and guard anything that they were told to guard by human or deity!  

As an animal totem or guardian, this is what we are told about dog:

The Dog is a symbol of the small becoming the great.
People with this totem have great spirit
and a great ability to love.
It takes a lot to break a dog spirit.

People with a Dog totem are usually helping others or serving humanity in some way.  
Dog medicine embodies the loving gentleness of best friend and the fierce energy of protector.  
You will have a deep understanding and compassion of human shortcomings. 

As an animal totem I think dog is one of the great ones. And people with this totem are true humanitarians. Sure, they aren’t as exotic as a dragon or a phoenix (I love dragons and phoenixes, btw), but wouldn’t you love to have a dog person as a best friend or partner? I would!

So kick back with your canine companion and enjoy these final days of summer. What? You don’t have a dog? Well, there are plenty of them just yearning to hang out with you! Go and get you one! And remember: Adopt, don’t shop.

Bright Blessings,

Sarina

996221_DThe_Coven

 

This Lughnassad was a memorable one for me. This Sabbat coincided with my somewhat sudden decision to join a coven. In my double fire sign fashion one day a couple of weeks ago, I suddenly got this strong message that I should join a coven. It was one of those out-of-the-blue messages that told me to do this, and when I get that kind of message I take it more seriously because I know it’s probably from Spirit.

“Really?”, I asked. I had been fairly content to quietly practice as a solitary crone for the past several years, and I hadn’t been actively searching for a group to join. Sure, I missed my other solitary friends back in Texas. And texting back and forth wasn’t quite the same as getting together and sharing in person. But I still hadn’t been looking for a coven.

Just to satisfy my curiosity (and Spirit’s prompting) I decided to look on the Witchvox website. Now, Witchvox states clearly that they don’t have the time to check out all the postings on their site,  and I understand that would be impossible to do. I was a little bit leery of contacting a complete stranger about joining their group without ever having met them or the other members. I did find a coven in my area, however, and it sounded right up my spiritual alley. The coven placed an emphasis on the natural world and even had what they called “weed walks” to explore the local native plants. Now, that intrigued me! So I sent them an email.

To make a long story short, the high priestess and I clicked and I am now a member of a coven. I also joined a local MeetUp group that she recommended and attended two Luhnassad celebrations: one with the coven and one with the MeetUp group. Life is full of surprises! I am happy with my decision to join a coven and look forward to learning a lot and spending some rewarding time with my new friends.

You may be asking yourself if you should look into joining a coven. I would start out by telling you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with being a solitary witch. If you are happier living that way then, solitary or coven, one way is not better than another. As long as you are constantly studying, practicing and learning, then being solitary is fine. If you do decide you would be happier as part of a group, then I would recommend being cautious in your search for the right one. If you find a group online I would check to see if they are part of a larger spiritual community or tradition so you can read about what they emphasize in their beliefs and practices. My coven was a part of a larger traditonal group and I was able to go to the main website and do a little more research.

After our initial phone conversation I was able to meet the coven leader at one of the MeetUp group get-togethers and we were able to chat face to face. With each contact I think we both felt more comfortable. Believe it or not, often the coven members are just as nervous about having someone new join the group as the newcomer might be feeling. There are some hateful people around who might crash a coven meeting to do harm to the members. Or the newcomer might just be, well, kind of ……odd? Arranging to meet with coven leaders in a public place might be a good idea, and even then make sure you have told someone close to you where you will be going.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions of the leaders and be honest about your past experience or apprehensions. There may be levels of study that are required of you as a member and some sort of initiation. However, never go along with something you are uncomfortable with, and you should not have to pay hundreds of dollars to be a coven member. If you have a question, I say go ahead and ask. Also, there are plenty of resources available to read that tell about common coven practices. I have a friend who had a very unhappy experience joining a coven of two other women who proceeded to take advantage of her and robbed her of hundreds of dollars. I’m sure there are more wonderful covens out there than there are unscrupulous ones, but just take care, OK?

One last caution I would have for you if you decide to go in search of a coven to join; and that is: LISTEN TO YOUR GUT FEELINGS. If something doesn’t seem quite right or the synergy feels “off” somehow, then there is a reason, no doubt. A coven should be a very close-knit group, and if you feel that the members and you are not a good fit, then keep searching for the right group. Never feel there is a rush to join or that other opportunities won’t come along. What is that saying? When the student is ready the teacher will appear. That sort of applies to this situation. So we could say: If the witch has a need, the coven will appear!

Whether solitary or in a coven, I wish you many bright blessings and happy experiences along your spiritual path!

Magickal Hugs,

Lady Sarina

  
A week or so ago I spotted an old bathroom cabinet by the curb that someone had put up for grabs. After I had examined it and found it to be sturdy (if a little dirty), I realized it might be the answer to my herb and oils storage problem. It just needed some scrubbing and smudging and repainting. 

   
 
I left the cabinet outside the house and gave it a good scrubbing. I generally don’t bring any old previously used item in the house until it has been cleared. If something smells bad I don’t even bother to bring it home. I guess “Clair smelling” is one of my psychic gifts, but even a slight residual odor can really turn me off. Other people’s energy can cling to an object and its best to keep that sort of energy out of your magickal cottage. After the cats had inspected the cabinet and I had blessed it with palo santo, it was ready for a couple of coats of sage green paint. The cabinet had a towel bar that I figured would work well for hanging small bunches of herbs to dry. Rather than hang the cabinet on the wall I decided to turn it upside down and set it on top of my roll top desk (my next painting project).

I have acquired other pieces that I have repurposed in the same way. It’s just important to remember to clear the old energy away along with the dirt and grime. Some good ways to clear an item are: sunlight, smudge, your own energy, wind, or have your feline companion check out the article. Their purring is very healing and great for clearing as well. 

It’s so nice to have more space for my magickal  ingredients! Now everything is in one place and easier to find when I need it. 

  
Blessings,

Sarina

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