Now You’re Expecting…


First off, CONGRATULATIONS! It often takes a lot of hard work conceiving. However, as a pagan there are some extra things you have to do…

When your baby is newborn, at first the vast majority of your time will be taken up with looking after it, so this is a rough guide to enable the primary carer to be able to pick up the pieces of having a pagan life when your baby progresses beyond the newborn stage and you find yourself having a bit more time.

If you have a newborn, then unless it’s an emergency don’t bother trying to do any sort of magical work. If you’re lucky you’ll remember which day of the week it is and if you’re really intent on marking the festivals, light a candle, but it will probably come and go and you will have forgotten about it.

Firstly, make preparations before the baby comes. I typed up a lot of astrological information I knew I needed to run my daily horoscope, so I was two years ahead by the time my baby arrived. If you have a witchy garden and your baby is due to arrive in the Spring or Summer, then make sure it is all tidied up and get a responsible person who is not you or your partner to take care of them.

Also, in case herbs you need die or you are unable to get to your usual shop find a mail order system. I am unable to go into the woods because I can’t use a sling and two of my friends are unable to walk far due to pelvic problems. Another friend has a baby who screams when he is in the car despite trying everything. If you are in this situation you will want to keep car journeys to a minimum.

Essential oils and herbs need to be stored where little fingers cannot get at them. Also labelling everything is now of the utmost importance because if the worst happens and you have to take your baby or child to hospital, if the doctors know what they’ve ingested then they can get the best care. Children, babies and animals have smaller internal organs than us, so are less able to process medicines, herbs, essential oils and suchlike, which is why they have lower doses than adults.

These days I write all my spells on my mobile. This means that if I get a few minutes to myself I can look at the spell I’m working on and add or change a few bits. I also try and do something magical every day. This might be as simple as gathering together a few ingredients while on a walk, or consecrating them ready for use.

I also wait until I’ve put my son down and then perform a spell or ritual, because I know then that I have roughly half an hour before he wakes up and can concentrate fully on what I’m doing without fear of interruption. Spells are hard enough to do without worrying about whether your baby will wake up or not.

I mentioned candles earlier in this article. I flametend regularly and having a cat and a mobile baby plus naked flames can spell disaster. So I bought battery-operated candles. These are just as good as the real thing, plus using them again and again builds up the power in these objects. You can probably do the same thing with a real candle by making your own and using the remnants of the old candle in the making.

I hope you enjoy your babies and someday you get some sleep…

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Spring Equinox


A couple of weeks ago I celebrated the Spring Equinox.

A lot of Celtic practitioners don’t celebrate the equinoxes and solstices as there is no evidence that the Celts celebrated them. I believe that the stone circles and barrows etc of which the sun strikes them at a certain point on equinox or solstice predate the Celts.

I know of no evidence in myth or folklore of celebrating equinoxes or solstices, so I have to conclude that the Celts didn’t celebrate them.

So why do I celebrate them? It’s because I believe they are an intrinsic part of our lives which denote certain points when the balance of the earth swings towards the summer or winter, or is equally balanced.

Land


For me, the land that I live on is an integral part of my practice and my life.

I celebrate the festivals on it, my home is on it and since I’m a housewife I work on it.

It’s only polite to introduce yourself to the land that you live on when you take up residence there. Even if you’ve only moved to a different part of town, just introduce yourself.

The introduction can be as simple as going outside and saying “hi, I’m X” and giving offerings to it or it can be a full-blown ritual that takes ages. Whatever you feel is necessary.

Defining Spells


I once visited Aberglasny, which is a National Trust property, in order to see it’s thousands year old yews.

What was apparent to me on setting foot on the property is that the place has an unnatural air of calm about it. Reading the history of the property, I learned that the families who inhabited the property never got beyond the third generation before dying out.

Talking later with a friend of mine with a lot more magical experience than myself, we came to the conclusion that a Bishop who originally owned the property had probably “blessed” it so it would have the calm he desired. Of course, he never wanted children, so what started out as a blessing became a curse.

Prayers


As some of you know, I have been flametending for a while now. Despite years of meditation I’m having trouble keeping my mind on Brigit while I flametend.

So I asked on a Facebook group for help and someone suggested praying to Brigit when I light the hob.

Unfortunately I seem to have a block about prayers. I was brought up Christian and I didn’t see the point of saying Grace. I asked why, but was not given an answer other than “that’s what we do”. So when it was my turn to say Grace I gabbled it as fast as I could with no feeling whatsoever behind it, which is not the point of a prayer. My prayers to the Christian God were never answered, even when I needed them the most, so I gave up on prayer a long time ago.

A few years ago there was an incident which illustrated the power of prayer to me. I called my friend Cathy, who is Irish and by accident I dialed one digit wrong. I did not realise this till I had talked to her for a while and the other person on the phone thought I was her Scottish niece Isobel.

However, by that time I had told her that my husband had lost her keys and she said she’d pray for his keys to be found even though she didn’t know me. Later that evening he found his keys, which had dropped into the boot of the car.

I have no idea how to get my head around my block, but think that it’s a necessary thing to do. However, I have said odd prayers to the deities when necessary and they have always been answered.

Imbolc


I missed last Imbolc, as I was in hospital waiting to start labour and give birth to my son, which seems appropriate for the start of Spring.

This time I did my ritual and thanked Brigit for my son, who will be one year old in a couple of days. As he is now mobile I waited until he was asleep and did the ritual in the bathroom, as my current baby monitor’s range will not stretch to the garden, which is something that needs to be remedied.

Afterwards I made my Brigit cross which is currently hanging over the front door and tried to put the old one up into the loft to ward against fire. Unfortunately I could not get the loft ladder down, which is yet another thing to look at soon.

Religion


As a pagan, I think we who live in Britain have it easy.

While religion is not a taboo subject, if it’s mentioned people will move off the subject quickly. On one hand this is a shame as it’s difficult to have a decent discussion about what people believe. On the other hand, we don’t have people shoving their religion down our necks, except for those who proselytise at the door.

This means that I can keep quiet about what I believe until people get to know me and accept me for who I am and not shy away from me because of my religion.

While I have not suffered discrimination myself, I cannot say it does not exist as there were the cases in Orkney and Scarborough in the ‘80’s of pagan children being removed from their families. Only one child was not returned and no restitution made to the families for their distress. I would not admit to social workers that I was pagan.

However, in general we are not in danger of being attacked for our religion unlike other countries in the world.

Permission


Some say that you should ask permission for performing spells. I agree with those who say that it’s not necessary to ask when you are doing curses, but what about other spells?

As in any relationship, I do a quick calculation as to how much trouble I’m going to be in if the recipient finds out I’ve done a spell. So far the answer has always been “it’s not worth it” and I have asked permission.

I have not yet been turned down and when the recipient has said “yes”, I have felt the spell working even before I have done it.

Relationship with Deity


I originally wrote this to answer a friend’s Facebook query, but thought it would make a good post so I’m reproducing it with some slight alterations to make it read better.

It may have been only priest/esses who had a personal relationship with deity, but when paganism was reviving there were no priest/esses. In order for belief to be revived, deities would have to contact people personally, especially as the structure for supporting said priest/esses financially to be priest/esses is no longer there. Also I suspect that deities are adhering to the way things are done in the modern day (deities having a personal interest in people) which didn’t start in the modern Church until the Protestant Reformation, which (in my opinion) did it to stop the Church having so much power over ordinary people.

Unfortunately we get a lot of pagans who represent deity as something that they’re not. In my opinion some of these are people who the deities have tested and failed, although some will be nutters or special snowflakes. Once I was doing a meditation and had Herne the Hunter turn up. It was an Irish sort of meditation so I gave him a hard stare and told him he wasn’t Herne the Hunter. It was Angus Og mucking around and I wonder how many he’s conned who didn’t know better.

For those who are not into deity, I’m telling you a few of my experiences to show you that some people have real experiences with deity and not all of them are nice.

The first was with The Morrigan. I was in serious trouble at work and I prayed for help. A thought instantly came into my head to contact the union, which had just started up at work. I went to the local union rep, who told me to join the union and they’d represent me. I didn’t learn until much later that he shouldn’t have done that, the union rules were that they couldn’t help anyone who was not in the union at the time of trouble and he should have told me he couldn’t represent me and sent me away. Two and a half years later I walked out of there with £7K in redundancy plus shares. My rep later told me that he’d overheard my boss’ boss say “Fiona’s off with stress, let’s get her out of here”.

The second was with Siannon. For fifteen years I rented various properties and in all of them something went wrong with water. I had it all : showers and toilets leaking and in one case the circuit board of the shower went on fire! This started before I became pagan, so I didn’t think about it until my normally very cautious now-husband left the taps on in the bath and flooded our flat and the two below it. I meditated and got Siannon. A while later, she wanted me to do something for her. We were going away for a day and staying overnight, so I said I’d do it soon. The hotel we were staying was 300 years old and was fine when we went to bed that night. The next morning we woke up to no cold water. This was just us. We were transferred to another room which had enough cold water so we could wash etc and then it ran out. The poor manager was having kittens in case the kitchen was affected (it had happened once before) but we were the only ones affected. Nowadays, when Siannon says “jump” I ask “how high”.

The latest was with Brigit. She asked me to follow her and I wasn’t keen, but I said that if she gave me a child I would do so. At that time we had tried for two years with one miscarriage and had been trying for a further two years after that. I was forty-two years old and had been refused IVF because of age and being too fat. She gave me a son and now I follow her. I’m still not keen, but I have to uphold my end of the bargain.

Not Doing Things


I’m having one of those times when things are slowing down.

This is mainly because I’ve been ill and if you meditate when ill it’s more difficult to meditate, plus the illness and any medicines (drugs or herbal) affect the meditation, skewing everything around.

I’ve also had trouble reading my daily horoscope, as the net connection has been misbehaving and also our local transmitter for our mobile company seems to be on the blink yet again.

I find these times annoying, especially the meditating as I feel so out of touch with my deities, but I have to remind myself that things will get back to normal soon and deal with it.

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