Mac, Moving On: The Best Thing About New Beginnings Are The Firsts

“The best part about the first kiss is right before the first kiss.” — Brett Davern

If any of you have been following me on Instagram (#wicclit) you will have noticed my big birthday road trip adventure to Tennessee, my future home state, to see the big solar eclipse.  As I was relaxing after the big trip, I was thinking how cool it was to see a solar eclipse in totality for the first time.

And I got to thinking– firsts. Firsts are so cool, and in this new phase in my life I have so many firsts to look forward to. I’m going to experience some firsts I haven’t experienced in a long time.

First new guy was something that came to mind– first new crush, first new romance, and, best of all, first kiss. The butterflies in the stomach, the goofy grin you can’t wipe off your face… as the thought crossed my mind, I got excited.

I’ll admit, while my ex did try sporadically, in general he wasn’t the most adept at romance. I haven’t kissed anyone but him in over 20 years, and up until not too long ago I never thought I’d kiss anyone else. But being a free single woman again, I’m looking forward to experiencing those titillating firsts again.

I’m ready to experience my first real seasons in about 18 years. That’s how long it’s been since I’ve seen snow. I know Tennessee isn’t exactly the arctic, but it actually gets cold there! I’ll be celebrating the Winter Solstice, and winter will actually be coming! I don’t have to crank up the AC and use spray snow on the windows to pretend anymore.

And it’s not just winter! It’s all the seasons! Around where I live now, in the dead of winter, it’s a miracle if temperatures stay below 70 degrees for a whole day. That is what we consider a real ‘cold front’ in these parts. Celebrating the coming of spring and summer have lost their meaning for me. Now I get to reacquaint myself with my old friends. I can actually look forward to their return with excitement and anticipation, because they’ll be gone for a while.

And I don’t know if I can wait for my first autumn. OMG, I loved the autumn/winter season when I was growing up in the north. I lived for blustery golden days, and overcast chills and cuddling up.

For the first time in over 15 years, I will be able to bundle up– oh, how I loved throwing on the layers: sweaters, hats, scarves, gloves. That’s been just impossible here in the subtropics. I’m lucky if I can put a light sweater on over my t-shirt. Mostly, the only layering I do is in the summer time: floppy sun hats, and oversized rain ponchos.

I always loved the cold weather just because it’s so cozy and pleasant to bundle up. And I am so excited about this that I’m thinking of taking up knitting again.

Another big potential first that I’m hoping to enjoy in my life soon is my own home. I’ve never been the owner of a house. I’ve always been an apartment dweller… it just seemed natural in NYC. Even my parents and grandparents who did own houses in New York (which was actually possible back in the 60’s when my parents were married) owned small houses with 2-4 apartments.

I am hoping, praying, working, casting and completely fixated on the dream of being able to buy a house when I get to Tennessee… not that it’s been easy with all that’s been going on this year. But I’m determined to make it happen somehow… and the idea of my first home; of being able to paint the walls, and plant the garden in any way I like, of knowing it’s not an issue if I want to get another dog, or want to change out the carpeting– sigh. Dreamy. 

That’ll be me in a year from now… sitting in my house, knitting a sweater by a roaring fire, cuddling up with my future boyfriend, eating some freshly baked herbal bread with herbs harvested from the garden. So many firsts– or at least, firsts in a long time; firsts in this new phase of life — are to come.

And another great thing about firsts is that once you’ve had them, you get to cherish the memories over and over again.

I wish you many firsts in your future.

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Mailbag: Ask Sage (18)

Before I begin, I want to let you to the NEW WORKSHOPS FOR SAMHAIN in Sep. and October. I have a feeling spaces for these are going to go quickly!

Meantime, it’s time to do a little catching up on the old mailbag, so let’s have at it.

History is actually fuzzy for Witchcraft… for the most part, it was, until about the 19th/20th century, only associated with malevolent magic. Even for Pagans, ‘Witches’ were feared, loathed and persecuted because the word ‘witch’ was associated with doing evil.

Of course, there were benevolent magic users as well; but they wouldn’t have called themselves Witches. And they would have worshipped their indigenous Gods, following the local culture/religion. So it’s best to pick a culture in which you’re interested, and start exploring the roots of magic and spirituality in it.

Witches were never a people, or a religion, or a unified group of any sort… the Old Religion theories have been debunked for a long time now. Much of Witchcraft as we know it today was an explosion out of the Pagan revival and occult movement. Ronald Hutton’s book, Triumph of the Moon, is actually an excellent resource.

But as for the challenges and benefits of Witchcraft, those I can talk about because I have experience with them. The challenges for me have been learning– getting past the B.S. and getting down to the nitty-gritty of what is going on. Not just with how magic works, but internally. To learn the Craft, you really have to go in and examine your true self, face your ‘demons’ (so to speak), and test what you’re made of. You need to be disciplined and patient. It’s a big self-transformation, and it’s an ongoing effort. I wish it was as easy as muttering a few words, but there’s just so much more to it than that.

But, I’ve felt the journey worthwhile, because the benefits have been plentiful: self-fulfillment, embracing my own power to control my life, the ability to achieve my goals and work to build my future, a fascinating journey full of excitement. The list goes on and one.

Hope that helps!

The foundation of just about everything in magic and Witchcraft is learning is discipline of the mind. Being able to focus, altering states of consciousness at will, getting into the right state that is conducive to energy work, etc. are all things learned through meditation. So you might want to take some time to focus on that.

A lot of people get most tripped up because they have the wrong idea of what meditation is, so you might want to start studying that for a while. The problem a lot of people have with meditation is that they are trying to turn off their mind… not only is that not necessary, but it’s not really possible. You’re not supposed to be in a state of ‘thoughtlessness’ when meditating with a completely blank mind; you’re supposed to be in a state of relaxed awareness, and not let your thoughts distract you or carry you away. Thoughts pop up, and you let them go. You don’t try to force yourself into this state; you learn how to ease yourself into it, and hold yourself there. And, if necessary, return yourself to it if you start drifting.

A good way to do this is by using your breath as an anchor… when thoughts pop up (and they will), simply acknowledge them objectively, consciously let go of them, and return your focus to your breath.

Most important thing is to meditate consistently– a few minutes daily is better than an hour once per week or every couple of weeks. You can start off for even 2 minutes at a time, and expand on it as you are able to comfortably hold yourself in a meditative state.

As for when you can classify yourself as a Witch– I’d say whenever you’re studying and practicing the Craft. I don’t think there is any set time; when it’s more than dabbling, I guess, and it’s something you’re truly pursuing.

And for your final questions, about what magic can really do… I hate to place limits on it. I will say it doesn’t work like in rumor and fiction. I wouldn’t expect it to work outside the bounds of nature. I would say it works more within those bounds.

You’ve probably experienced magic plenty of times without making an effort. You think about a song you haven’t heard in years, and start humming it all day… then it pops up on the radio. You thought of someone, they called you. You focused on your need for something, and someone offers you something. That’s magic… you sent the energy for a goal in motion, and somehow it found a way to channel back to you. To the untrained eye, it looks like mere coincidence, and that’s because real magic works within nature, not against it. Everyone uses it… the only difference between the Witch and the non-Witch is that Witches learn to do it better, deliberately.

Depends… usually I like to keep jar spells that I am using to continuously draw something on hand, giving them a boost occasionally with candle magic over them. Jars for protection or to repel something, I usually hide or bury. This is one of those times to use your instincts.

Oh, hon, I’m so sorry. A spiritual psychic/healer might be your best bet, though, for a complete reading and diagnosis of the issue, if he’s open to it. That’s not something anyone like me can do over the internet for him, he has to work with someone personally who can really dig into the problems.

Mental illness and hauntings often go hand in hand, because some dark entities can be drawn by a mentally unstable/struggling mind. So I would encourage you to help him remain in treatment and continue with meds, therapy, etc. This is of the utmost importance because it sounds to me as if a lowly entity is feeding off of him, which is only going to risk making him worse if he’s not getting treatment.

It’d be idea if someone could start cleaning/cleansing his apartment– smudging it, banishing negativity, sprinkling black salt as a barrier, etc. Either him or a friend if you can’t be there. Cleansing and purification baths, chakra cleansing, etc. can also help alleviate some of the pressure. If you practice the Craft, you can certainly make him some charms or cast some protection spells on him. This should all help; but working with a psychic/spiritualist would probably at this point be his best bet to really unravel the problem.

I’m also getting a bit of a message, so let me just pass it on: I don’t know him or his life, but I have an urge to say, if he’s been involved in something kind of ‘dark’– not necessarily magical but something unethical or destructive, this could have been a catalyst for dark entities feeding off him, which is taking any predisposition he has to a chemical imbalance and making it worse. I’m not accusing him of anything or of being a bad guy (it might not even be him, it could be someone around him- family, roommate), I don’t even know what might be going on…  there’s something unhealthy, some root cause that he needs to get away from.

Hope that helps.

Hmmm that can be tricky. One way to bury a jar spell surreptitiously is to put it in a flower pot. Cover it with dirt or sand, and put a plant over it, or stick fake flowers into it an make it a decoration in your room.

Sometimes the best way to hide something is in plain sight. Consider getting a pretty, decorative jar or container. For example, go to some country store and pick up one of those really adorable decorative preserve jars. Or go to a dollar store or thrift shop and pick up a fancy-looking container with a tight-sealing lid, and hot glue it closed.Do the jar spell in it, and keep it on a shelf.

Say it was a gift from a friend, and it has sentimental value. Make no big deal about it. No one has to know.

 

I have a few more mailbag installments coming up this week so be on the lookout for them. For now, go check out those workshops!

 

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Mac, Moving On: Embracing The Shadows and The Light

In a few days, I’ll be standing in the shadow of the total eclipse. I guess I’m feeling sappy these days, but an eclipse is like life… there’s always shadows. They’re not bad. They may be scary. Or beautiful. Or both. But in a way they’re good– because if we have a shadow, it means that somewhere, there is light, and the light always comes back.

As Witches, we embrace the shadows and the light.

For me, I’m coming out of one shadow, but turning my face toward the sun. On paper, I’m not divorced yet…. but that’s coming.

In my heart, however, I am thoroughly unbound from this man. I spent two nights in ritual. I listened to break-up songs. I looked through pictures. I cried my heart out and purged my emotions. I severed the vows, ritually burned everything from my handfasting cord to a copy of my vows, screamed in anger, let out my frustrations, smashed our silver handfasting chalice. I meditated and went into a trance, I went through my chakras and untied and unbound every tie that held us together. I cleansed myself with sage and healed myself with some enchanted chocolates and found consolation in the beauty and love that is to come.

The morning after what would have been our 18th anniversary I drove in the dark to the beach and dumped the ashes. I threw the smashed silver cup away as well. I stood knee-deep in the water, cleansing myself, baptising myself in this new phase of my life. Facing East, I welcomed the Sun. I watched the horizon as the light began to consume it, painting the dark sky pink and orange. I watched the sun break on the edge of the water until it was hovering in the sky. The warmth bathed me and I knew it was done.

I feel like I don’t even know him anymore, and I’ve lost all respect for him. Spiritually, and emotionally, I’m free.

We have kids together, and he’s made a complete mess of himself, so unfortunately he’s still, temporarily, around. I’m not going to go into detail, but he’s made a complete mess of his life in all ways– emotionally, financially, etc. with a lot of stupid-ass choices. But for the kids’ sakes I’m trying to keep it civil and help prevent him from ending up on the streets. I can put up with it for a little while… until the divorce is settled, he starts paying what he owes me for support and we get everything untangled.

I will be away from him soon enough though! I am MOVING TO TENNESSEE! 

In 2015 we decided to move to Orlando, but it didn’t work out in 2016 as we couldn’t find a place we liked. We decided to resign the lease where we’re living and move in 2017, but about 3 months before we were supposed to go is when he started cheating and left me.

I was about to move to Orlando, too, a few months ago, when it hit me: I don’t particularly love Florida. I came here because of him. It was a compromise, though. Oh, I learned to make the best of it, and come to appreciate some of Florida’s charms, but hell, I just never fell in love with the subtropics.

It dawned on me, I don’t have to stay in Florida. I can go anywhere I want.

My boys were set for Orlando so I told them I’d move there if they want, at least for a couple of years until they’re settled in college and/or jobs (my youngest is 16). But they actually want to move to Tennessee, too… to someplace where there are seasons. They’ve never lived out of Florida and are curious about it. They could always leave for college/jobs wherever they want anyway.

I plan to get on with the move immediately after the new year… I’d like to be out by February.

So, we’re actually going this weekend with my sons, since two of us have a birthday only two days apart. We’re going to scout out some places in our future new home town and watch the big solar eclipse.

Be sure to follow me on INSTAGRAM if you haven’t, as I’ll be posting images during my trip.

High on her speculative tower
Stood Science waiting for the hour
When Sol was destined to endure
That darkening of his radiant face
Which Superstition strove to chase,
Erewhile, with rites impure.

~ William Wordsworth;The Eclipse of the Sun, 1820

 

 

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