Autumn


It is Autumn here in England. For me, Autumn is when the trees start shedding their leaves. They do this because they are getting less light. This is because the Earth rotates on its axis as well as rotating around the sun and the part of the sphere I am currently living on is slowly rotating away from the sun.

However, that is the scientific reason. I confess that I would prefer there to be an occult reason, but I have not yet found one that fits with my beliefs. I have heard the one about the Oak King and the Holly King fighting for dominance and Brigit giving way to The Cailleach, but it just doesn’t ring true for me.

When I became Pagan, many books I read stated that this was the season that plants started dying. No, they don’t. Farmers will confirm that there are crops which are farmed at winter, for example winter barley. Any gardener will tell you that some plants have foliage all year round. Grass lives all year round and can be found under the snow.

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Beliefs


What you believe shapes your world. I’ve just been watching the film “Shadowlands” in which the author C.S. Lewis suffered a lot because he believed that it was the natural state of people to suffer.

Granted, a film is not real life, but I believe that if you believe people should suffer then you will subconsciously seek out situations where you suffer. Before you get angry, please note that this is a generalisation and I am not saying that people are responsible for the bad things that happen to them.

What I am saying is that if you believe that you deserve a good life, good things and people around you, then you will seek out good things and good people – but you may still end up in a car crash, train wreck or other trauma through no fault of your own.

A good example is that I used to end up with partners who were not good for me. Then I started thinking to myself “I deserve to be with a good person” and I started ending up with better and better partners.

Divination


There are many methods of divination. This is because all divination requires is ascribing meanings to various symbols and then pulling them out at random or thinking about the question with eyes shut, then opening them and seeing what there is.

I once selected a number of stones at random, closed my eyes and decided what the stone I picked out was going to represent (e.g. work life, love live etc) and then picked one. It was quite basic, but it worked.

A friend of mine once ascribed meaning to the dots on six-sided dice. I meant to try this method, but I put the book under my bed when my parents were coming round and the damn thing has disappeared. It’s especially annoying as I have a dice program on my phone, so I could easily try his system out.

Tarot cards are so prevalent because unlike systems such as cloud or fire divination they can be used as long as you have a light source. I’m best at cloud divination, but in Britain the sky can be a mass of solid grey cloud, which we Scots call dreich and is no use for divination.

I can’t get on with fire divination or any method that involves scrying : I just don’t have the talent for it. Someone tried to teach me many years ago and I tried, but just couldn’t get the hang of it at all.

Dark Fluffies


This is a term a friend of mine coined to describe fluffy bunnies who are not all “everything in the universe is lovely” but still manage to combine the ignorance and idiocy of your generic fluffy.

For anyone who is ignorant of the term “fluffy” a good example is a sister of a friend of mine who was telling him that you could cure any illness by rolling around in grass yet went to A&E when she had a broken collarbone. He encourages her for the entertainment value.

Dark fluffies are those who will happily tell you all about how to curse, but when you ask them how to cure mysteriously fall silent. They are those who will extol using blood in spells for everything, when it’s obvious it will not work for a cleansing spell.

Midsummer


This is the first ritual I’ve done in a while. All the tests came back from my doctor negative, so I assume the tiredness was my fibromyalgia stepping up a gear. I say “was” because the last time I was flametending I asked Brigit for healing. Last Monday I tried to walk around the sward and felt knackered after it. The next day I felt fine, despite going out to a toddler group. The third day I weeded the drive for half an hour and felt fine, where normally it would have had me on the sofa. It looks like Brigit has answered my prayers, although I’m being cautious and taking it gently for now.

The ritual went well and was lovely. All my rose bushes were out, which added to the atmosphere. The first one to come out was my old-fashioned pink climber called Celsiana, which smells how you think roses should smell and is now past its best. The second is in the height of its glory and is an old-fashioned off-white rambler called Garland. The last is a red tea rose called Fragrant Glory which has a strong smell.

Ancestors 101


If you are going to make an altar to the ancestors, keep in mind these points.

Firstly, not all ancestors will wish to be on your altar. When you first place a photo of the ancestor(s) you wish to have on your altar, light the candle and ask them if they wish to be on the altar. If they do not, whatever their reason, respect their wishes and remove their picture. Bear in mind that ancestors may change their mind – my mother-in-law said she did not want to be in contact with me via my altar, then a few months later the other ancestors said she’d changed her mind and wanted back on.

Secondly, the ancestors on the altar will have all the same faults and virtues that they had when they were alive. If an ancestor is an untrustworthy son-of-a-gun when s/he was alive, they’ll still be like that after death. Only venerate the ones which will support you in your life. I have not yet had an ancestor turn up who I did not wish to be in contact with after death, but if I did I would politely request them to leave. If the ancestor did not I would then research banishing rituals for spirits.

Thirdly, I have heard that you should wait a year and a day after their death to invite them to your altar. I was going to do that after my Poppa (mother’s father) died only because it seemed like a decent interval. However, he turned up on my altar six months after he died. This may be an exception, as he was always a people person and my son is named after him, which may be a good reason for hearing from him sooner than I thought. I would still wait a year and a day, but it would be insulting to ask them to come back later if they turn up before that interval.

Candles


A lit candle makes a connection to an entity, whether it be the ancestors, spirits or a deity.

Either the candle being dedicated to the entity you want to connect to or a photograph will help matters.

So not a Witch’s Garden


When we were looking for a house to live in, one of the few stipulations I made was that it had to have a decent garden. Luckily, we did not end up with the huge garden I wanted, as it’s difficult enough to manage the small garden we have.

To start with, the garden was covered in either ivy or bluebells. If I had known what I had known now, I would have napalmed the lot. Whatever you do, do not plant bluebells in your garden. They are a devil to remove and I’m still trying to kill the blighters after seven years of gardening. I cut all the ivy down and have a wand with a diameter of an inch as a result. I kept quite a few other pieces, but unfortunately those were stored in the garden shed, something got in and made holes in them, so I lost the lot. I now store wood in the garage to cure.

The garden and lawn has suffered from my ignorance. When I was growing up my parents had just let the lawn be, but the soil in my current garden is clay so we are prone to moss and I knew nothing of drainage holes and still know little of weeding the lawn. I have nearly banished all the moss and this year’s lawn project is to buy edging and use it to mark a border, as one of the side borders is merging with the lawn. I did previously use a spade to mark the border, but since the lawn is so poor this did not work and I think I need edging to make a permanent border edge.

I had done some gardening before, but stopped in my teens after the gladioli incident. I had grown them from seed and they were growing marvellously and flowering well until my parents insisted on putting grass cuttings around them for mulch, which killed them. I was terribly upset and did not garden again until I moved into my current home.

I did not know about soil types or shade as my parents’ attitude is “just put it in anywhere, it will survive” and I found out through a lot of trial and error that this advice just doesn’t work. I no longer take gardening advice from my parents.

Since the garden has clay soil a lot of herbs will not grow, as most need dry conditions. I did plant heartsease, thinking it would have a lot of uses but I never did use it and one year it failed to come up again. I could plant herbs in containers, but I currently have four, which are proving hard enough to deal with as it is. For example, I had not realised that even when it is raining sometimes the rain doesn’t reach the soil in the container until my penstemons failed to flower.

My garden is at the moment suffering from neglect through illness (I’m currently recovering from a bout of ‘flu and am off physical work until better) and having a toddler to work around. I’m hoping to do a lot more this year as he’s now napping for around two hours an afternoon, but it’s possible that he may drop naps altogether and I’ll be stuffed.

I don’t think I’ll ever have the witchy garden I dreamed of, but I seem to use wood in my spells instead and have a local wood five minutes away from me.

Prayer


I have been a pagan for sixteen years and am just getting into prayer.

This is not counting the “A, please help me with X thank you” requests which I suspect everyone of any religion makes when they’re in a tight spot.

I have taken so long to get into prayer because I was brought up as Christian, yet God never answered any of my prayers, not even the ones of which I’ve given an example of in the paragraph above. So I became disillusioned and stopped praying.

When I became Pagan and found myself in a tight spot, I did pray then and the prayers were always answered. However, I did not start praying properly again when someone on a Facebook Brigit group recommended it for becoming more in touch with Brigit.

So far I say a prayer to Brigit when I light the hob and one to The Morrigan before I shuffle my deck of tarot cards. I suspect prayers will become more a part of my life as I progress in my path.

Fallow Period


Unfortunately I have not being doing much of anything for the last few weeks (apart from what was detailed in last week’s blog) as my son has seen fit to give me three hours’ sleep a night, except for two nights when he gave me five.

He has spent a lot of the time when I was awake sleeping on the sofa and yelling because of his teeth at various intervals.

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