Friday, October 30, 2015

Samhain on the road

I love spending the holy days at my little piece of yard.  This will mark my 3rd Samhain at the house, and the last two have been amazing. The sun lowers, I walk out the back door, down the wood stairs and into the yard strewn with leaves. My gaze falls on the small graveyard over the stone wall from us, and the dead smile and wave as we are now good acquaintances. They're not a malicious bunch, just a group of old soldiers and a few of their ladies. They're a pretty quiet bunch.

This year, however, I won't be in my backyard to watch the moon rise and to hold ceremony. This year I'll be close to where I used to live, to places I've held ceremony before, at a convention furthering the pursuits of my heart and my sisters profession.

I'll have no patch of grass to go to, but that's no matter. Why? Because when it comes down to it, your own person is the only thing you need to celebrate the holy days.

Yes, it's nice to have grass to go to. Yes, it's nice to have the graveyard so handy. Yes, it's nice to celebrate in a place that I've been working with for so long, that is truly my home base. But will my ceremony be any less potent because I'm doing it in a hotel room in DC? Nope. I'll have myself, I'll have my intent and my will, I'll have my book and my cup - I'll have what I need to honor my ancestors, to thank the gods, to offer up and to call down blessing.

My ceremony does not diminish because I'm wearing my jammies with my hair in a messy bun.

The important part is what I put into it of myself. You can be wearing all the ceremonial robes you want, be in a stone circle on hallowed ground under a full moon with a full coven in attendance and resins burning in cast iron and attendants and food offerings and wine offerings and ALL THE THINGS... and it won't make a lick of difference if your intent and will aren't there.

Those things are nice. Those things are also not mandatory.

So, I invite you this Samhain to hold a ceremony wherever you are, in whatever you're wearing, with whoever you want there. Have a dixie cup of wine, or a red solo cup of sparkling grape juice, or a Pom Wonderful, or a cup of Mtn Dew. Have a cookie, or a cake, or a wheat thin if you want. Wear your jammies, wear nothing, wear sweatpants and a hoodie and your warmest socks and mittens and a coat! It doesn't matter how you come to the Circle, the point is to come, and come honestly, come willingly, come with intent.

I'll see you there.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Fall cleaning - a blessing oil recipe

Of all the yearly cleanings, Spring is probably the most widely known. Everyone comes out for it, everyone gets into it, everyone puts it on their to do list.

My favorite? Fall cleaning. Getting the last vestiges of summer out of the house and preparing for the colder months. Checking to make sure windows are closed and ready for the ensuing frosts and snows. Raking leaves and mulching over the plants that need some winter protection, planting bulbs to sleep till Spring, and bringing your potted plants inside for the year.

Fall cleaning is also a great time to redo your wards. We all have them, either on our specific room in a place we share with others, on the walls of our apartments, or on the houses we live in, we all have wards. These are like any other magic, and need refreshing and tending over the course of the year. I check on mine often, but the renewal and refreshing come at my Spring cleaning and my Fall cleaning.

A good ward renewal recipe: 
in a small bottle combine the following:
-- basil infused olive oil
-- rosemary oil
-- cinnamon oil
-- dragon's blood oil
-- myrrh oil

 As they combine, picture the sigils and protection lines around your house. See the whole of your space to protect. Swirl the ingredients clockwise in the bottle and whisper your intention of protection. Slowly let your voice grow as you continue to chant, giving strength to your words and intention until you feel the surge rising.

 Once it's ready, take a deep breath in and breathe out into the bottle. Let this sit on your altar for a while as you clean and ready your house to have it's protection strengthened.

When your'e finished cleaning, walk through the whole house/ space with sage (it doesn't have to be burning, in case you're in a place where that isn't allowed) and allow the sage to pick up the last bits of negative energy left.

When you're ready to redo the wards, take the bottle and place a small amount on one fingertip. Trace over the previously traced sigils, repeating the words you spoke when you placed them there originally.

Finish your ceremony as you usually do.

IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!!!! This oil blend is TOXIC. DO NOT INGEST. Cinnamon oil in particular will burn your skin, so do not spread this over your body.  Wash your hands immediately after completing your ceremony. If you know you have sensitive skin, use a Q-tip. Seriously. Cap it, label it with the recipe and date, and store it someplace that it won't be mistaken as edible. Dark bottles work to keep the oil from spoiling. Store in a cool, dry place. One batch should last you for a few years.