Got a misbehaving scrying mirror? Corny crystal ball? A pernicious pedantic pendulum? Here’s a quick way to cleanse them! Steep mugwort in hot water. When cool, “wash” your tools in the tea and let dry! Good luck!
Many of people suffer from Triskaidekaphobia – a fear of Friday the 13th. Yes, it’s a real thing. There are many reasons why: the Apollo 13 launch and explosion or the arrest of the Knights Templar by Philip IV of France. Some say that the fear goes back to the former Apostle Judas – who was the 13th. It’s true. Many hotels don’t have a 13th floor. Some parking lots have no numbered spot that has the number 13 in it. The Society of the Irish Motor Industry even registration system of new vehicle plates adjusted in 2013. http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/2013-number-plates-to-be-changed-to-avoid-unlucky-13-26890349.html
It’s true. There have been some horrible things that have happened on Friday the 13th in history:
• Buckingham Palace was hit by five German bombs on Friday September 13 1940 with both King George VI and Queen Elizabeth coming close to being killed. One member of the royal staff died and the palace chapel was destroyed
• A Chilean Air force plane ‘disappeared’ in the Andes on Friday 13 October 1972, with 16 survivors turning up two months later. They had been forced to eat dead passengers in order to survive
• Rapper Tupac Shakur died of his wounds on Friday September 13 1996 six days after being shot multiple times in a drive-by shooting
• The Costa Concordia cruise ship ran aground on Friday 13 in January 2012 off the western coast of Italy killing 30 people
But you know what? It’s no different than any other day. Horrible things happen all the time, and every day. We as a society just choose to focus on this one day as it rarely occurs. This is one fear that I refuse to perpetuate. Friday the 13th is my lucky day. I can’t think of a single thing that has gone wrong for me on this day (unlike Mercury retrogrades, ugh!). I got an idea. Let’s bring back the 13th Club – and this time? We make it cooler!
The original Thirteen Club, founded by one Captain William Fowler in 1882 and had at least FIVE U.S. presidents as members. While these guys pushed the superstitions to the limit, walking under ladders and opening umbrellas indoors, we don’t have to do that! http://www.theparisreview.org/blog/2015/03/13/morituri-te-salutamus/ The new 13th Club would explore superstitions from around the world. And if we can’t defeat them? We minimize them! I’m a witch after all! Who’s with me?
I’m one of those witches and pagans that honours her ancestors weekly. I learn their names and their stories. Normally, I give offerings of thanks for all that they have done for my families just by living and teaching us how to survive. This past week I did something different. I thought of all I’ve given to the ancestors for offerings. More and more, no single “thing” I gave felt like it was enough – or appropriate. I decided to take a different approach. This past week, while I did light my candles for the ancestors, I gave no offerings. This past week I fasted for the ancestors. To be clear, I set a time for my fasting. I had a protein shake for early breakfast and set my fast end for dinner. As a diabetic and compulsive snacker, you can see where this would be difficult for me. It lasted eight hours. While I stuck it out with only having water, coffee or tea, I thought of my ancestors. From both sides of my family, my ancestors were labourers, farmers, soldiers, hard workers and harder spiritual workers. They came from not so poor families themselves. While everyone could read and write, not everyone had three meals a day, or even a bed to sleep in at night. They worked long hours in risky places for less than optimal pay even for the times. They served their countries and put their lives on the line for their families and friends. If they could make that sacrifice, surely I could stick out eight hours. If you ask my friends, they may regale you with stories of the feasts that were held in my home. Food is how we celebrate life and death. This time, I chose to recognize not just the lives of my ancestors. I recognized all they sacrificed so that I would have a better world to live in and make the world a better place for others. And so I did. After eight hours, I had my first solid meal. It was plain food. I don’t even remember what I had. I do remember thanking all those of my blood who only had one meal a day – maybe – for all that they have done for me and for their sacrifices.
As we people gather ‘round, we mark this space our holy ground. East, South, West, North, and Spirits of place, we call you forth!
Gods, Goddesses and Deities, of earth air fire and sea; Grant blessings here, and harm to none and bless our work that will be done.
Well that was the way it was supposed to go! I had the pleasure of leading the main ritual for this year’s Durham Pagan Pride Day. Usually the day has it’s challenges. Today was no exception. I completely forgot that I was vending, scrambled to make it all work and promptly realized that there was no way I’d be able to go home for my full ritual supplies and come back.
Thankfully MY community stepped up, stepped in and got everything going right for me.
While many are thanking me for main ritual, I wish to thank everyone who came out, supported the event, bought from vendors, helped set up and take down. My thanks to the local coordinator, Kat who made sure that I didn’t roast in the sun! I also want to thank my sister in spirit Lady Charissa and the Pagan Business Network for their contributions, ideas, support and general cheerleading! See, that was the gist of what the main ritual was all about.
I had pretty words all set up for it, too! Here are all the pretty words. I said most of them! I swear!
(I had the wreath set up ahead of time:)
Many pagans believe that we are all connected to each other – by energy, by faith, by commonality, by the myriad of deities that we honor. This connection is like a spider’s web. This connection is like fine embroidered stitching. This connection is like a network of nerves in our brains. This connection is like a map of veins in our bodies. And like veins we all go back to the source, back to one main energetic place. You can call it what you will: Heaven, The Summerlands, The land of the dead, another plane, another reincarnated life or back to the earth from which we came.
(This is where we strung three different lengths if ribbon around the participants. Some were looped. All were told to hang on to the ribbon.)
And yet, though we have this connection we are divided.
( Some were short, some long, some ended up with two or three pieces.)
We are divided by the different pantheons we honor. We are divided by the ways we honor Deity. We are divided by the songs we sing, the way we dance, and the magic we work. We are divided by the distances between us and our holy places, the distance be us and our chosen kindred and even by the festivals we can actually attend. We are even divided by those who can proudly claim their faith in public and those cannot for fear of unwarranted persecution.
Look at your ribbon, a representation of your connection to your deity and your people. Each of you honors Deity and your kindred a different way. Each of you can feel cut off from the source, alone, dealing with things you believe that no one can even comprehend. We all know this is far from the truth.
I have spoken to quite a few classes at Durham College about what it means to be pagan. For me, at it’s roots it means to spiritually survive, to connect to Deity and community the best you know how. To know that when we feel divide, all we have to do is reach out and make a connection. No we don’t wait for things to happen to us. I don’t know about you but my deities remind me that faith without work is dead. I can lift my voice in prayer, then I lift my butt and get it in gear.
(I showed them the wreath.)
You’ve seen and worked on a wreath like this before. However, this time, we will do something different. Look down at your ribbon, let a small amount your energy flow into it. Let those who are able come forward, and tie their ribbon to the wreath and to each other, to make the connection again to Deity. You can weave your ribbon through the vines making sure that your ribbon ties onto another one to be secure. You can ask for help! You can work together! You can tie your ribbon to only one or entwine it with others. All that matters is that you know that you are not alone and your community stands with you. If you are unable, will bring the wreath to you.
(We made sure everyone was included.)
Folk of Durham Region Pagans. This has been a very different ritual for Pagan Pride Day. We have celebrated the simplest and most holy of who and what we are – energetically connected to the Source, to Deity and to each other. That is truly magic.
Gentle folk, this is your Community Wreath – a representation of all that we are and can be. I will take this wreath with me to any pagan event I go to, to represent those who cannot be there and that those who wish to add their energy may do so.
Gentle folk is this acceptable?
(Thank the gods they said yes!)
And yet, even I can’t be everywhere. I propose that should there be an event that I cannot attend, the organizer contact me to have the wreath present, tie on more ribbons, to make more energy connections and then return it to me.
Gentle folk is this acceptable?
This is where we all empowered the wreath with our energy. It was amazing, awe inspiring and fantastic. What can I say?
It’s different in Durham! We’re a community, maybe divided by our paths, yet we are all connected through community!
In the past few years the economy has tanked, it’s true. We’ve all had to save our pennies for the really nice things we want. So why not do the same for your magic work?
Here’s the thing. The prevailing theory behind most magic is “as above so below.” The translation? “Garbage in. Garbage out.” If you can afford to get better quality of materials yet choose to go cheap? Guess what your magic results will be?
Now before everyone loses their minds, read the above again. Now read it out loud. The part that should stick out is the ” if you can afford to get better quality. ” if you’re still trying to get food on your table to feed yourself and your family? I won’t begrudge you on that point. However, if you’re shopping for a new video game or crystal? Some bling that you really don’t need to survive? Seriously, just get better spell materials.
I have to admit that I have an ulterior motive here, Not just for myself. Since the economic fubar in the past few years, a whole new class of artisans have emerged. From all natural candles, hand made fantastic incense, fine crafted jewelry to some great soaps and artwork are all available for you – made by people you know who understand the importance and value of good work.
Yes, it may seem expensive. Just give them your money.
So I hear some dissenters in the crowd. Ok fine. Let’s say that item A seems steep on price. Answer these questions:
And more importantly, will you have a better magical experience with a product that you know will work and work as intended?
Hopefully the point is clear here. Save your shekels and get the good stuff. If you’re looking for me to plug my own business, you’re out of luck. HOWEVER, Check out the Pagan Business Network to find a whole new world of great products made by great people.