- Raven Waldenpond
- I am a modern day hedgewitch who has now passed into her early crone years, learning more about the world of plants and magic. Living an authentic life that is out of the mainstream, I am dismayed by the greed,consumerism, and polarization of American society. I realize I cannot, nor would not, go back to a life that people led close to the earth and goddess worship hundreds of years back. Yet, I want to live this life on my own terms. Having arrived later in life with the realization that I have a pagan heart, I want to connect with like minded folks that are social renegades,pagans, and free thinkers.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Last night was the last night of the dark of the moon, with the new moon rising on Sept. 11th, 2007 at 8:44PM in my central US states time zone. The dark of the moon is good for working spells of banishment, protection, and divination. When I awakened this morning, it realized that tonight would be too late to perform my gargoyle home protection ritual, since a new moon would already have risen, making it a new moon. New moons, which to me is the first beginning crescent of show, is of a different, lighter energy. So, quickly, this morning before going off to work, in the morning before the sun rose, I performed a fast ritual. I wanted more protection for my home, garden and entryway to keep out negative or harmful influences. I work with other spirits for the inside of my apartment. However, I wanted another layer of defense to keep intruders from damaging my garden or coming up my steps to enter my home.
Gargoyles were used as protectors, especially on churches, as protectors. It was a throwback to pagan times and the concept of dragons and other beings, watchers, who guarded sacred land. For amore scholarly explanation, follow the link.
So, I used my four inch grey gargoyle statue, bought at a $1.00 Halloweeen display, as my symbol and talisman. Sacred space was case, calling the quarters only. Then I took the inanimate statue in my hand, and with all my will, cupped in my hands, said:
Though you are clay, I place my energy and that of the elements into thee. You are to protect my garden, my door from any who wish me harm. Bar them from coming up my stairs if they mean harm. Bar them from touching the plants in my garden if they mean harm. DO NOT KILL NOR MAIM! (said three times with feeling) But SCARE THE SHIT OUT OF ANYONE WHO COMES WITH HARM IN THEIR HEART! (again, must be said with all the power and feeling you can muster) I breathed three strong breaths into its mouth, put my saliva and female fluids (not blood, fresh out of that for now) on it and placed it on my altar. When I come home tonight, the gargoyle will be place near my garden entrance, buried back unseen, to guard and protect. If you do something like this, it is a good idea to reinforce and visualize your commands from time to time. It is like a thought form, the more you concentrate on it, the stronger it becomes.
Some Wiccan, women especially, make a Witches Bottle, filled with thorns, nails and their own body fluids, especially urine, and bury them at the base of their property. It is said that the power of protection lasts a year and a day.
Belief in this is needed to make it work. I don’t know know if it will protect unconditionally, but hey, it can’t hurt. I also believe the collective conciousness of pagans throughout time, especially the Celts, creates an energy field that makes the protection more likely, because it is believed in.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
It is the time of the year to gather the red sumac berries that grow in abundance in the semi wild places I visit in my neighborhood in northeastern Oklahoma. You can make a healthy tea from the berries. Be very careful that you are picking RED sumac and not WHITE, which is poisonous. It would be advantageous if you are new to wild crafting to explore the internet beyond the scope of this blog to make sure you are picking safely. The berries are best when gathered before rain. Alas, I could only gather a handful last week before the deluge came last night. As soon as it dries out , I will get more. Be ever mindful not to over pick an area, because wildlife depends on the berries, too. Folk wisdom suggests putting the berries in ice cold water because direct contact with hot water when making tea makes the tea bitter. I guess that is like the rule of using cold water for teas and coffees, also. Some people dislike the little hairs and want to strain the tea thru cloth. It has not bothered me. Last night I made a large pot of red sumac tea with a few yarrow leaves from my garden, sweetened with a little honey and the juice of sand plums. My purpose in drinking these wild teas is mostly for health, so sometimes it does not taste like a gourmet tea. That is OK. I think that the act of sacred gathering is tied to the energy of the plants properties and it boosts its medicinal value. Just an intuitive thing. Certainly science would scoff at that. If they can't measure and analyze everything and find the "value" then to them it has no value. The berries go into my battered copper tea kettle upon my stove, which is to me, sacred space. Though I do not have a hearth like a hedgewitch of times past, my stove is dedicated to Brighid, Goddess of the Hearth, Healing, and Fire, among other names. More on sacred space stove concept can be read on an earlier post called "My Stove is Sacred Space". The berries have phytochemical nutrients I have not really researched, but check the internal links if you want to know more. Certainly there is good stuff in there, better than the junk in a Pria bar, for sure! As soon as the ground dries out , I will be gathering more berries for the winter.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Since I have become more identified with the path of the hedgewitch, I find that I cannot tolerate seeing waste, things being destroyed before their usefulness is wrung out. I cannot control what others do in this regard, but there is a feeling of deep satisfaction with re-using, re-purposing, and recycling. I don’t want to take it to extremes, and sometimes food does rot in my fridge and I have to throw it away. I live in an apartment and a compost pile is not feasible. I do throw eggshells and other wastes on my garden when possible,but not all of it. In my limited space, that would create rodent problems. However,tea bags, after being wrung out to get the last drop, get torn open and put on the plants. Leftover bones with some meat still on go in the stockpot for soup. Did you know that making homemade soup with the bone and gristle being reduced into the broth has great health benefits? You get calcium from the bone and some for of collagen/glucosamine from the gristle. Somehow soup from a can just cannot offer these advantages, I think. To me, without waxing too poetic, there is something akin to sacred in these acts. I feel connected to all the life forms and know that my body will recycle to feed other life forms someday. The food cooking ,simmering on my stove is like a small sacrament, in thanks for all that is given to me.
I planted some yarrow and use it medicinally, gathering the dry stalks, leaves, and flowers for winter teas. Every bit is used. Even the woody stocks, when decocted in water for several hours, yield their precious healing compounds to be used. Since I do not have room for many yarrow plants, I want to be sure that I make the best of what I did grow. Returning something of yourself or leftover food is both a composting and spiritual act to me.
Any comments on how others feel about not wasting?
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
It is two days before I am scheduled for pelvic surgery and the apprehension is quite uncomfortable. How does one stop the anxiety of the anticipated pain without drugs, or even with them? Though not major surgery, this is a procedure with much post op pain, and I just want to get through it. I have been reading “Red Branch”, a fantasy semi historical novel about the pre Christian Celts woven with the myth of the Hound of Ulster, The Morrigan-Raven, and Deidre. Cuchulain, the Hound, is a warrior conceived by the god Lugh, or Lewie the Long Hand. He is part human but personifies the raw courage and ferociousness of the warrior. As I read this, I think of courage. The lives of warriors are steeped in pain of battle. It is one of the attributes I have not developed well in regard to dealing with physical pain. I have become quite courageous psychologically, and am a fighter. But pain brings me to my knees. In the preceding days, I have been talking in spirit /meditating with The Morrigan and Brighid for courage and healing, respectively. On the physical level, I am doing all I can beforehand with diet to make this easier. There is nothing else to do but walk through it, no respite from it, no changing my mind about the surgery (That would cause more problems later.) How hard life must have been back then. Getting cudgeled on the head and being torn limb to limb in battle was the norm in warfare. Certainly our warriors today have to face pain and being blown up in the process. I keep reminding myself, that in the larger picture, my fear of this pain is a mote in the eye of the world. About getting older and facing my own mortality and a body that will need further healing by virtue of age- it creates more compassion for those in pain around me. So like Nike says, Just Do It.
Surrender Surrender Surrender.
Sunday, July 1, 2007
There is a feeling of quickening of events, going faster and faster toward some final destination. All around the globe, there is turmoil and awakening too. It is a great and terrible time to be alive. Various religions have a thread of destruction and hope in their prophecies of the end time. To the old prophecy of the Celtic world, an end time did not mean an end of the earth all together. It meant an end of a certain belief paradigm. It is the same with the Baha'i Faith.I have read the prophecies of Hopi, Algonquin/Bird Tribes, Pleadians, Icke, Biblical, Celtic,Aztec and others. There is an overlay of light and dark, good and evil, building and destruction, in all. Faster and faster the changes are coming. It is as if The Great Mother herself is groaning in childbirth, birthing a new paradigm. Will much of the people perish in the purging? Already there is so much pain and suffering. Has it been that way before, but we did not know it because communications were sparser? I wonder about this. Sometimes I wake up at night and cannot go back to sleep with some of the fear and wondering. There is so much greed, hatred, and disregard for The Earth. Yet underneath it, like a woman giving birth in great agony, is great joy. I don't have all the answers and am wary of those who are really sure. Sometimes I am afraid, sometimes overwhelmed by the ugliness. Yet...there is a quickening, and the final outcome, will, I believe, be a shift to a higher conciousness on the planet. I do not remember where I read it, but there was a passage, Native American one that says the Dawn is coming. The people in the canyons are asleep, mostly. But one by one, as the Dawn breaks, up, up up, on the higher plateaus, people are awakening. With each awakening, more and more are rising from the Dark Slumber. I hold that prophecy in my heart. May I be brave to face the coming days, to serve,and love with all my heart. It is a bumpy ride, my fellow earth people. Hang on and Love with all your hearts.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs, packed with antioxidants, and attractive. I have a pot of it on my porch stairs, and it is thriving in all the rain we have had here on the southern plains. When you plant herbs, there exists a delicate balance to bring out the most aromatic properties in many herbs. You want to grow herbs in reasonably rich soil, but not too fertile. That spoils them and they are not as pungent. The stress of growing in less than perfect conditions brings out the best in them They are like people in that respect; adversity can make them flourish if it does not crush them. Rosemary needs thorough watering more infrequently rather than lots of regular watering. I put my eggshells around the base so they can absorb the calcium. Though I am mostly organic, I do not have room for a compost pile in my apartment setting. Consequently, I do use a little Miracle Grow on my plants in addition to dry browns and green mulch. This plant gets about three small does of Miracle Grow a year, and lots of mulch in late fall to protect it from the cold in zone 7. I also overwintered two potted plants on my south facing windowsill. It is a welcome addition to potatoes, lamb, and chicken. A theme that runs through much of my writings is to be more self sufficient in regard to self healing. I hope it doesn’t happen, but there is a danger that our access to supplements to maintain health will be seriously curtailed in the US and other countries with the enforcement of CODEX. Have a backup plan. Silently start planting and learning about the healing plants, wild and domesticated. Your personal well being depends on it. If you do not have a yard, make choice to live in a place where you can grow some of your own food. If you rent, find creative ways to find space on porches and sunny windows for some plants. Even more than the scientific factual aspect of the value of herbs, consider the spiritual also. When you nurture herbs in your garden, often with products of your own body and food leftovers, you create a bond with these plants. Thank them. Tell them you appreciate them. If you are a believer in Other Worlds, thank the devas for their help in making your plants grow. Occasionally leave offerings for them. Here is an part of a Celtic song that has been adapted and sung by Lisa Thiel. I sometimes use the chant in my daily work with the plants:
I CALL ON FLOWER, PLANT, AND VINE, THE HEALING POWER OF THE GREEN BE MINE.