A Little Tree Magic

I’ve recently been pondering my role as a mage in the Northeastern corner of the US. Every teacher that I have had the honor of learning from seems to eventually break down this work to relationship, with myself, and the world around me. As I deepen my work with the subtle world around us, I am constantly reminded that I receive certain responsibilities with knowledge.

This really began hitting me as I was driving through a few towns in my area, trying to experience and describe the vibes of these places. While there can certainly be wild variances in the feel of a town from one end to the other, I usually generalize from the town’s center and go from there. There are a few local towns that have quite the oppressed, unhealthy feel. There are a lot of things that play into it, including economic shifts, lack of jobs, the struggle of smaller brick and mortar retail, and drug issues (which are all interrelated). It feels as if the energy of place helps keep the town there, though. Some places, despite the obstacles I just described, seem to be thriving. Is the general feeling that the people of a certain town, mixed with landscape and the ways land energy move throughout the town play a role in sustaining a town’s depression?

There is one town in particular (the name isn’t really important) that, every time I drive through, I think “Damn! This place needs some major juju fixing.” It feels like this immovable heaviness that is way bigger than me, a problem that I can’t address on my own. As I was driving through that town, I was wondering how I could potentially nudge the town’s energy flow in a healthier direction.

Then, I remembered something that I read in “Natural Magic” by John Michael Greer. It was specifically a quick sentence tucked away in the part discussing the magical uses of Oak. He suggests placing an amulet or talisman beneath the roots of an oak tree you are planting. The idea is that the oak will then help with the work, exuding that energy as the tree grows. In this way, it continues its work long after the magician has died, assuming the oak is allowed to live out its years.

I can’t imagine that the magic exuded from this method is acute. Instead, I would imagine it as a slower working, gentle yet patient. The same way the energy of place seems to work. Imagine a grid of these magic trees planted throughout a place that seems to hold heavy, dark energy. Would trees planted with amulets created to change the energy it interacted with to healing energy effect the people around it?

To answer these questions, and to try and lift some of the heavy energy that is certainly not healthy for my neighbors, I propose an experiment that I need a little help with. I would like to create a sort of grid of these magically charged trees, especially in the local towns that need it. Do you live locally, and want to have one of these trees on your property? I would be more than happy to create an amulet to bury. All it would take from you is buying a tree, waiting for me to make an amulet and bring it to you, and letting the tree grow for as long as you are able.

I plan on experimenting with starting oaks from acorns. Once they mature to a point where I can transplant them, I will happily donate the tree, along with the amulet. Until then, you will have to supply your own tree. It would also be interesting to try out other trees besides oak, and see how the energetics of different trees interact with the amulets.

I wouldn’t be planting anything until the Spring, so you have about half a year to consider it. I feel that this might be a good way to do good work for the area. Worst case scenario is we plant more trees, which is still a great outcome. We might just change any oppressive vibes that might be lingering about, though, and that is good work.

If you don’t live close to me, or you want to do your own magic, play around with this work yourself. Make and bless an amulet for healing, abundance, love, or whatever you think your space needs a little more of. Plant it with an oak. See if you have any differences blossom around you. Like I said, worst situation is that you will have a lovely tree for shade and wildlife habitat.

 

Until next week

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Keepin' Faith Alive

If you hadn’t caught my Facebook notification on the Autumn Equinox, I was down south in the Florida Keys for a week, helping my dad and my brother repair my parent’s place in the wake of Hurricane Irma. My dad’s place is pretty sturdy, so it survived the two feet of ocean that flooded it relatively well. He was lucky. Others were not so lucky. There were people in the area who had lost everything.

The islands were covered in the wreckage of everything that the wind and waves could grab. Add a film of sea silt and organic matter, and you can get a picture of what our surroundings were like. The power was slowly being restored, and the water was running, though it was under boil advisory. Anyone who didn’t have the money to have a house built higher up had to gut their houses. Each place on my dad’s road had piles of furniture and sheetrock waiting for the town to go through and move it. It was a mess.

As I worked there, sweating in a house without any power, I mulled over how the Keys seemed to be a place where humanity didn’t really belong in the way that they are there. All fresh water is piped from the mainland. The sand for beaches is shipped in to cover the petrified reef that the islands are naturally formed from. It all feels slightly artificial. That mixed with climate change, all the work that we were doing felt a little senseless.

I talked to my teacher Adhi about the way that the trip had affected me, and she proposed that I do a fire ceremony to help transmute the grief of the people on the island, as well as for the islands themselves. As someone walking a path towards being a shaman, dealing with grief and finding ways of helping others express it are jobs that I am to take up. Along with helping a friend and her clients dealing with the grief of a big change in her business, this was the perfect time to experiment.

The first part was making the fire. Once it was going well, and I had all the kindling and wood that I would need to keep it going, I began to rattle around the perimeter of the fire, as well as smudging the space with cedar. I made offerings to the East and Air, South and Fire, West and Water, North and Earth, Below and the Planet, above and the Sky, and to the Fire and the almost Full Moon. I called in the four elements to bless the space and the work, as well as the currents of power from the Planet, the Sun, and the Moon.

I then made an offering of rue to the fire. I had been taught that rue pulls heavier energetic entities into it, so I had hoped that I would be able to use it like that to draw grief to the fire. I’m not sure if burning it cancelled that effect out, though. That part is still in experimentation. After that, I rattled, sang, and prayed. I know that this is a little less than specific, but at that point I was just following what felt right. I dug into myself to find any grief that I may be carrying about the destruction in the Keys, or my friend’s life change. After that, I sang to pull grief away from the people I was holding ceremony for to be transformed in the fire.

Fire is such a helpful tool in ceremony. It lends its own energy to the work. It can act as a portal to send away negativity, or even as a tool to transform it (such as I was trying to do in this ceremony). While such ceremonies can be done with the people you are holding the ceremony for far away (using yourself as a point of connection between the people and the fire), I find it far easier to have the people actually at the fire.

I think that I helped alleviate a little pain with the ceremony. I know that my friend seemed lighter about her life transition, and my emotions that I carried from seeing people in suffering had lightened. I hope that the ceremony helped the Islands and the people there, as well. Ceremony shouldn’t be where help ends, though.

We’ve had many tragedies around the globe recently. It’s easy to “send thoughts and prayer” (though I feel that sometimes people feel that just typing that on social media is enough), but skip the next step, which is work. As I first learned Druidic ritual, it was always emphasized that action should be taken as soon as possible after magical work to create the change that the ritual had begun. It only begins in our consciousness. The next step in the work is action.

Ceremony serves as a way to process emotions, reconnect, and inspire. These things alone cannot solely help a situation. Churches that pray for the poor, but do nothing help their situation are rightfully ridiculed. The same goes for people of a spiritual persuasion and any disaster or tragedy. Ceremony is important. So is food, clothing, water, and other necessities. Hold sacred space for those in need, but don’t forget to help, or donate to those who are in a position to help.

The Bible says “Faith without works is dead” and I must say that I agree. We are the meeting place of spirit and the material world. We must create the change we want to see. Positive thoughts aren’t enough. Even when all we can do is ceremony, bringing that ceremony into this world takes work. Change isn’t free.

I’ll be doing ceremony for Puerto Rico soon, but I will also be finding a way to donate to a group there helping out. How will you help the world about you, magically and otherwise?

 

Until next week

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Stories and Magic

I remember the first “official” storyteller I ever saw. He was performing in front of a local library. I was rather young (no more than 12 years old) and it was summer, as we were outside. He had a poofy purple shirt that even I thought at the time was a little ridiculous. He told a few stories that day, but I only remember one (which is pretty good, I think, for being told over two decades ago). It was the story of a woman who was working as a maid at night. The Devil decides to visit her and take her as a bride. With the help of a talking mouse, she tricks him out of a whole bunch of riches, and delays him until the morning, when he is forced to disappear. Later on, an unkind character takes her place as a maid, and the Devil decides to come with her. She becomes greedy, doesn’t listen to the mouse’s advice, and ends up being taken away as the Devil’s bride.

I find it interesting how this story and storyteller has stuck with me throughout all these years. I think it was when I first fell in love with the art of live storytelling. Storytelling can pack quite an emotional punch! I think most of us have had the experience of watching a movie that affected us so deeply that we had to process it for days after. A well told story can shake us to our core!

Live storytelling and song served as entertainment in the world before movies, but they also served as a way of passing down information and knowledge. Putting knowledge into a pattern that our brain enjoys is a highly effective way to remember something! A technique for quick memorization, called “The Memory Palace,” uses our mind’s spatial recognition and its love of story progression to remember a random list. It’s famously used by people who are competitive memorizers (it really is a thing). I believe that stories work that way, especially when relying on oral tradition to continue the dissemination of knowledge. The story of the Devil and his would be bride that I heard as a child is a moral tale, speaking to the virtues of patience, keeping one’s wit about them, and being open to listening to the wisdom of others. Ignoring good advice that has proven worth and being too egotistical are ways to end up in a real bad situation.

Storytelling was (or is) the art of Shamans, Druids, and Bards. It was the vehicle for information on how to live, and why things were the way they were. In other words, storytelling is where myth is born. While the story itself may not be rooted in truth, there is a truth about the world from the storyteller’s perspective that they are trying to give to the audience. Perhaps myth is so effective and so intriguing because it is a vehicle that still interacts with a more subconscious part of ourselves.

Ceremony is a certain form of storytelling. Many times we are calling in mythical powers in ritual. Whether you believe these figures exist outside of your consciousness is usually irrelevant. They are there for the story you are creating, or the story that you are trying to change. I’ve mentioned before that magic works best on the magician doing the ritual. The ceremony is a pivotal part in your story, the point where your journey changes to go where you are trying to get it to go. You are using symbols, sounds, and other sensory tools (just like a good storyteller) to communicate with your subconscious. A good story will convince the audience to change in some way, or reinforce thoughts or actions that the audience are already involved in. Good ritual does the exact same thing.

So when someone feels that a song, or a movie was a changing point in their life, they have experienced magic! The artist used the tools of story, sound, and symbol in a way to change the person they are entertaining. This is the power of storytellers.

As a side note, this is also the power of media. TV commercials are designed to use sound and symbol to make you buy something. The best commercials (or the most memorable) are the ones that elicit an emotional response out of you. They then use that emotional response to direct your action (in other words, buy their products). John Michael Greer, a favorite occult writer of mine, has called advertising a form of “black magic” and, while funny, it’s also kind of true. Effective politicians do the same thing. Creating the emotional response of fear, then directing that fear to a certain action is an incredibly useful, and incredibly immoral tool.

So, look for how stories direct your life this week. They can be fictional stories that strongly affect you, or true stories that direct you and your actions. Even look at your internal narrative in which you are the hero. These are the really interesting stories that define us! Also consider how you can change these stories or narratives. That is the beginning of life changing magic, I promise you.

 

Until next time,

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Creating and The Divine

Every month or so, my teacher Adhi Two Owls gives her apprentices homework outside our regular work of rattling, dreamwork, listening, divination, and working with our Burden Tree. This month, we’ve been tasked with creating something with plants and stones, listening to their individual energies, and mediating between them to create something synergetic. While this is a fun project for me (I’m thinking that an amulet is in order for this particular piece of homework), it touches on something bigger. It works with the Divine nature of creative expression.

Before she started her journey as a Shaman, Adhi went to art school. She often talks about the connection between her work as an artist and her work as a Shaman. In order to quote her correctly, I asked her to give me a quote that I could use on my blog about the relationship between the creative process and the work of the Shaman. This is what she gave me:

“The creative process is the one thing we do as humans that most reflects the Divine nature of the Universe. The Universe is in a constant state of creation and expression... There is no particular goal only the meandering exploration, binding, destroying, churning of energies and matter. The Universe is defined by the nature of its unfolding and mutating creating worlds... elements.... stars... etc...

Art and the creative process for us humans is the same. We imagine and muck about with the skills, materials and challenges. We go into relationship with the process and it brings us to greater understanding.... And if we are lucky something beautiful or useful. As the process unfolds we engaged and a participate and we create each other... In a sense no inside or outside... Oneness... "

The creative process as an extension of Divine work fascinates and resonates with me. There are moments in artistic creation (whether it be through paint, sculpture, music, or verse) where a disassociation can be felt, as if you’re channelling more than creating. This is a magical moment, and your work can seem bigger than you.

It’s something that can make the Sacred tangible, as well. Music is a magical thing that can have amazing effects on us. Art can move us in ways we didn’t think possible. Poetry can speak to your heart where nothing else could. This is the magic of inspired creation.

Adhi is not the first person who I have heard this from, though. The creative experience plays a large role in Revival Druidry. They refer to it as Awen, a Welsh word for poetic inspiration. In Druidry, it is much more than that. It is inspiration itself, the draughts of Cerridwen’s Cauldron of Wisdom. It is the current of intuition. It is the individual purpose of being that each of us carry. It is what drives us to create and change.

Awen is such an important concept in Revival Druidry that it finds its way into most of their ceremony and work. The word itself is treated as sacred. To them, the creative process is the expression of the Divine. Creativity is an important part to crafting magic and communing with nature.

The healing and magical nature of the creative process is something that is a joy to explore. So, my suggestion to you this week: Try creating something that has sacred meaning to you. It can be simple as a quick dry clay pentacle, or something as ornate as prayer beads to honor a deity you’re fond of. Maybe you want to create something ugly to represent a heavy emotional response that no longer serves you and your process, then destroy it. Or perhaps write something that carries that emotion, then burn it. The creative process can be a great venue for release, as well as a way to bring beauty into the world.

 

And with that, I’m going to get something creative done myself.

 

Until next week…

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Meditation Obscuration

My relationship with meditation is a difficult one, fraught with all of the mental flailing and general stubbornness that I can muster.

I remember my first time trying to explore meditation. I was in my younger teen years, and I figured I would try to meditate on an amethyst that I had. I stared at this chunk of violet crystal as I sat on the bathroom floor, trying to focus. I expected this to be an earth shattering moment of clarity and power that I had only dreamed about. About five minutes later, I was still sitting there, staring at a rock, and not experiencing the explosion of energy I was expecting. In seven minutes, I stormed out in frustration.

Even now, my patience can fail me, but I am at least a little farther along my meditative path. Knowing its place and importance helps. That’s what I want to talk about today: meditation’s place in magic, and even a method of meditation that you may have not heard of before.

Meditation has a larger place in history than one might suppose. When mentioned, meditation can bring to mind the image of a Yogi sitting in lotus position, fingers locked in Mudra, and chanting a continuous Om. While that can be what meditation is for some, it’s actually much bigger. It’s found in many different traditions. Standing meditation is common in Qui Gong and Kung Fu. Seated meditation can be found in Druid and Christian traditions. There are even traditions that encourage meditation and movement!

There can be a lot of reasons to take up a meditation practice, but the main selling points to me are focus (especially in ritual) and relaxation. For anyone who has tried working in ceremony, you may have noticed that it’s easy to lose focus. It can be for me, anyways. Trying to call elements can be difficult if part of your mind is busy figuring out bills that need to be paid. Relaxation comes in (along with focus) when I am doing Reiki. I am trying to focus, relax, and let the energy flow, but I find that I easily get in my own way. Meditation can help that.

My normal meditation practice is usually married to my rattling or drumming practice. In my shamanic work, I am supposed to be rattling or drumming every day to get my brain into a Theta state. There, I practice acquiring information, and interacting with the spirit realm. While I rattle, I follow the sound, listening to it. Thoughts of the daily grind pop up and try to interfere, sometimes successfully. Other times, I can get into the zone I’m aiming for, and get a little work done. There is another tradition, though, that I have tried and would like to introduce you to.

The tradition of meditation that I want to talk about today is one that I’m trying to rework into my practice. I learned about it from John Michael Greer’s “The Druidry Handbook,” and it is an intriguing tool. It’s called Discursive Meditation, and it is the favorite method of the Ancient Order of Druids in America, an order to which I belong. This practice is not quite like the Eastern traditions where you try to find a place of “non-thinking,” but a practice of observing and directing your thought in a focused way.

Discursive meditation starts in a seated position with your feet on the floor. The Neo-Druids who created this style of meditation believe that crossing your legs in lotus position can cut you off from Earth energies, and is less conducive to the Nature orientated work that they stride for. Breathing and relaxation techniques are employed for the first five minutes or so to get your body relaxed and your mind ready to work. Then, you begin to think upon the theme of the day’s meditation.

The theme is ideally picked the night before meditation, and briefly touched on right before you go to sleep. This gives your subconscious a chance to sort of chew on it in your dreams, ready to tackle it during your meditation session the next day. It is suggested that the theme be no larger than a sentence or phrase. This is a great opportunity to pick something that you might be working on, should you be following a magical path. Perhaps it can be a symbol you are working with, or an herb, or stone.

After breathing and relaxing, internally repeat your theme three times. Now, you think about it. This might not be as easy as it sounds. I know at least for me it isn’t. My monkey mind starts chattering. I find my meditation on Rowan has somehow devolved to the dishes that need washing, or how much I disagree with the Game of Thrones theory that Bran is the Night King. The practice at that point is to gently stop and try to back track your way to the original theme. How did I get to Bran in Game of Thrones? Well, I was thinking about the godswood trees that he is fond of. Those tree leaves remind me of a red version of oak leaves. Oaks were sacred to Druids. Druids probably used Rowan, as it seems to be well rooted in Celtic traditions. And here we are, back at Rowan. Eventually, this should train the mind to recognize when it’s beginning to go off track.

The reason I like this method is its use in unpacking and dissecting knowledge. It brings magic work to an intellectual level, while helping focus and energy flow. I plan on using it to explore Oghams (the Celtic magical tree alphabet that I’ve previously mentioned) more, and try to adapt them to local trees, versus their traditional trees, some of which don’t grow here in northern Vermont. It should also help me in my focus with rattling, as well as my Reiki work.

Should you want to learn more about Discursive Meditation, you can check out the articles on the Ancient Order of Druids in America’s website here, or order “The Druidry Handbook” here.

Now, I head up to continue my work on my new workspace. We’ve been coming up with silly names for the second floor room that is now my herb lab, creative space, and general wizardry room, but, if you can think of something properly ridiculous, please let me know.

 

Until next week,

 

  • The Green Mountain Mage

Reclaiming Othala

I was watching a video about the insanity that happened in Charlottesville, Virginia last weekend, and I noticed that amongst the crowd of white supremacists was a person toting a flag with an Othala in the center. For those of you who don’t know the Runes, Othala is the Rune of heritage, inheritance, and family, and it has been used by white supremacists from time to time. As a magic practitioner that uses Runes, this angers me.

White racists have grasped at the Runes as some connection to a “pure Aryan past” that is specifically from their culture. Their use of Runes have raised the attention of a few watch groups that now list them as “potential symbols of hate” (such as this article from the Anti-Defamation League). While these articles usually point out that these symbols are used outside hate groups, the fact that they are still symbols that people have to watch out for is disheartening.

It feels as if they are taking my magic symbols away from me.

On top of rhetoric threatening me and my family (non-straight folk are usually not on their lists of favorite people), and friends who have different melatonin levels than I, their appropriation of my sacred alphabet is the icing on the cake of anger and frustration. I don’t want people to look at my Rune tattoos on my back and misunderstand their meaning.

This has been something in the back of my mind for a few years now, but the events at Charlottesville has brought it to the forefront of my mind. I’ve struggled with the use of Runes, and wondered if the use of Runes by supremacists and nazis have, in a way, tainted them. I think the Rune class I recently took was what finally made me comfortable with it. The Runes haven’t been fully appropriated, as the swastika was by the nazi party (that story is linked here!). So, this week’s blog is one of protection and reclamation.

I could keep going on about it, but I believe others have written better than I on this subject.

Here is an article that words it well.

And finally, here’s something that my husband found on one of the many Asatru/Heathen groups that he’s part of. It’s well worded.

“Don't stop wearing Mjolnir. Don't cover your Tiwaz tattoo. Don't leave your Othala bracelet at home. It will be difficult, and there will be much explaining, but the only way to keep the white supremacists from taking our symbols is to keep them and wear them and use them and explain them. Nazis stole the symbol of Sunna because we weren't there to protect it. They took double Sowilho because we weren't there to protect it. We are here now.

 

Othala will not be taken from us. It is OUR inheritance, and our children's.

 

Tiwaz will not be taken from us because justice prevails.

 

Mjolnir will not be taken from us because Thor is the guardian of ALL Midgard - not just those with so little melanin, we can see their yellow bellies.

 

Be proud. Be willing. Be heathen.”

The Runes are mine to use, and I won’t let those who want to use them as a weapon against those they deem different take them from me.

 

Until next week

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Raising My Voice

Singing and vocalization finds its way into so many spiritual and magical traditions that it’s hard to ignore. On the surface, it seems strange that sounds strung together in a pattern would have so much power. Yet, music has a strong presence in acts of connection to the Divine, and magical work. As an amateur musician, I find it especially intriguing.

My first foray into using sound as a magical tool was church. I loved the singing part, most of the time. As my family moved around, and I was able to experience different churches, I began to notice that some of the services had praise sessions that felt more powerful to me than others. I didn’t connect as well with older hymns, especially when sang at the slow tempo of the church my parents finally settled into. I still wonder if part of it was lyric relatability, or the congregation. It seemed to me that, sometimes, you could sing the same song with one group of people, and feel this amazing connection to God, where, sang with another group, it seemed dead and meaningless.

I think my Granny agreed. She often times told me that my parent’s church was a “dead” church, and they didn’t know how to praise. Come to think of it, she may be one of the first real driving forces that started me on my path, though she’d be rolling in her grave if she knew where I stood in life now. She leaned a little more Pentecostal with her faith. When I tell people that one could tell if she was in a good mood when she started cheerily singing in tongues, they probably think I’m joking.

I’m not.

She believed that God had worked miracles in her life. She claimed the Lord spoke to her, sometimes literally. She even claimed that she died once and Jesus sent her spirit to her suddenly healed body. She even told me as a child that, if I prayed hard enough and believed, God would heal my eyes so I wouldn’t need eyeglasses. While there was a clear disconnect with how things work here on Earth, coupled with religious justification of questionable behavior (like implying weaker eyesight has a correlation to levels of faith to a small child), I believe she could feel and experience things that were outside the realm of everyday perception. One of these experiences was being able to feel and identify ecstatic energy raised in a group via singing.

The human voice has a place in prayer and praise throughout much of the human experience, and it makes sense. Music moves us. It has demonstrable effect on our brains. Sound itself is vibrations in the air that our ears pick up. Sound has the ability to affect matter. Music comes naturally to most of us, whether it’s simply humming a tune, or being able to play an instrument. It even has effect on plants and animals. Why wouldn’t it affect the Astral Plane?

I remember a weekend workshop I attended with a Pomo Medicine Man, Lorin Smith. He spoke of how his father was a great Medicine Man, and how he even had a song to sober up quickly after a night of drinking. Whether his dad’s sobering song was something real, or just a tall tale about someone who already had powerful abilities, it’s an interesting concept to consider. The idea that someone could change the way that their brain was reacting to alcohol in his system through sound and otherwordly help would be an incredibly handy skill to have. Lorin emphasized that he did not have that skill, though. Instead, he shared a song with us that we sang for at least an hour. Repeating a spirit song over and over like, inducing a Theta state in the brain, was an interesting experience, for sure.

This all brings me to my Lughnasadh celebration this past Tuesday. For those of you not familiar with Lughnasadh, it’s a Gaelic festival marking the beginning of the harvest season. It was co-opted by Wiccans and pagans as one of their eight holidays (or, as Wiccans would call it, Sabbats). I like the eight seasonal holiday set up, as it’s closely connected to the seasons, they are all well placed through the year, have great traditions associated with them, celebrate the Earth in its journey around the sun, and I just generally think they work for me. My husband and I set up a fire outside, brought offerings in thanks for the harvest (homegrown blueberries, kale, and lemon balm), and sort of hodge podged a ceremony together that felt right.

As we stood around the fire, and spoke our piece, I felt the need to rattle a bit. As I rattled, and Josh spoke words of thanks, I felt a nudge from spirit. Use your voice, it said.

I have been working with getting comfortable using my voice in toning and song in front of people. This was our first real seasonal celebration that we had both observed. My insecurities said that I didn’t want to ruin it for him. Then, I realized I was ignoring something bigger than me, and, through that, I was potentially missing out on a powerful moment.

So, I began to sing.

After he was done, I asked if he minded me singing some Runes. He didn’t, so I did. Then, he toned some runes, while I rattled. It ended up being a powerful experience for both of us.

I guess the moral to this tale is that playing around with sound in a sacred setting is not an experience to miss. I can’t count how many times ceremony would have been less without someone being brave enough to raise their voice, and sing, or intone. If you have a situation that opening up your voice is appropriate, and it doesn’t step on anyone else’s experience, do it. Try it when it’s just you and a tree. Or a thunderstorm. Or a mountain. Play with it. If you can’t listen and find a song, find something magical that you can copy with your voice on YouTube. Or bang a drum. Shake a mason jar filled with BBs like a rattle. Get out there, and explore. Who knows what you might find.

Speaking of getting out and exploring, between an upcoming family camping trip, and a weekend excursion to CT to do some work with my teacher, Adhi, I am thinking that I won’t have the time to write a proper blog next week. So, next Friday, I will not be posting. I will continue my weekly blog a week after, on August 18th.

Be well. Enjoy the summery weather.

-The Green Mountain Mage

Blessings of Rowan

My arms were a little sore from some water therapy that Sandy, a teacher of mine, was having her apprentices try out that day. Apparently, holding someone up in a pool intermittently for an hour while trying to connect to water spirits is a great workout. I shook my arms out as I headed up the hill to meet with the other apprentices under the Rowan tree by the roadside. Our next task was to connect with the tree.

Rowan has a LOT of history and mythology. European cultures seemed to love it! It was a tree that saved the Norse god of thunder, Thor, from an untimely demise. It was reputed to dispel evil witchcraft. It has been said that it was the wood best used when carving runes. It has a creation story in Greek mythology, reputed to grow from the blood of an eagle battling demons. Scottish tradition did not allow Rowans to be cut for anything other than ritual purpose. It was used in magical fires, walking sticks, wands, and shields.

Perhaps it was its indomitable nature that caught their attention. There are Rowan relatives strewn across the globe. We even have a few growing here in the States. Perhaps it was the wine and jelly made from the berries (I hear they are delicious, but they need to be cooked before eaten). Perhaps it was the strong energy of the tree, which I have had the pleasure of recently being introduced to.

As we sat under the Rowan (or, as it’s called around here, American Mountain Ash), we talked about the protective nature of the tree, and it’s place in the Celtic Ogham. Oghams are an ancient Celtic alphabet that has risen to the place of a magical tool and system, much like the Runes. Each of the 20-25 Oghams (depends on the set you use) has a tree associated with them. The second Ogham, Luis, represents the Rowan tree, and its protective and magical nature.

At first, as we crowded around this tree, I didn’t get much besides how much the tree liked another one of the apprentices. Sandy asked us to sit with a Rowan, or a piece of one during the coming New Moon. Okay, I think. So, during the time of the New Moon, I grab a branch of the Rowan.

I was expecting to sit with it that night, but the Rowan decided to get my attention on the drive back, as its branch lay there on my lap. It seemed to ask me “So, how about all those insecurities.”

Well, I thought, that’s an interesting ice breaker.

As I followed this sudden, rather personal interaction with the spirit of this tree, she began to show me how her energies were that of creating a sort of safe space within oneself. She felt strong and safe as we explored different fears that I have that hold me back. Grow into your own path, she seemed to say, don’t worry about feeling competitive with anyone else’s.

I have a lot of these insecurities, but I’m excited that I’ve connected to the energy of this plant. I think that this is going to be a tree that I work with for a while. It’s a power that I am going to call on in my work to help me acknowledge where I am, and to help create a stronger inner world. An interesting exploration, to be sure.

And on that shorter than usual note, I leave you all to your Fridays. I hope you get a chance to get out. Maybe connect to the world out there. It’s a wild place.

 

Until next week…

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Mountain Myths

Last Tuesday, I celebrated my 33rd birthday by tackling an 8 hour hike looping over Mount Lafayette. It became pretty clear how out of shape I was about a half an hour in. An hour and a half in, I caught passing fellow hiker’s worried glances as sweat poured down my face and I gasped for breath. I probably looked like I was close to dropping dead. It’s a little bit of personal karma for bringing friends on the exact same hike when I was far more fit, wondering why they couldn’t keep up. That’s a different story, though.

As I breached treeline on Little Haystack Mountain, I knew that the physical discomfort was worth it. The breeze met me, along with a 360 view of the mountains surrounding me. On the other side of the mountain lay forests and mountains all part of the Park, some of which rarely sees humans. To my left was the ridge I would continue to Mount Lincoln, then Mount Lafayette. To call it stunning is an understatement.

When you get to the top of mountains like this, the sense of sacred space envelopes you. As I traversed the ridge, all I could think was “Here! This is where my Gods reside!” For me, it is a mixture of the spirits that live on the mountains, and the mountains themselves. As I summited Mount Lincoln, I had five minutes where there were no other hikers, so I took my rattle out of my backpack and played to the mountain and its spirits. I felt them come to the sound, curious and numerous. As I noticed a few hikers approaching, I gave an offering of tobacco and other herbs in thanks.

I believe the act of offering before, during, and after the hike is an important one. First, gratitude to the mountain for letting you safely travel on it is important, as well as offering gratitude for all the people hiking on it that day. I make offerings to anything that strikes me as something needing special acknowledgement. I make offerings to the mountain at top, as well as to any spirits that speak to me. I make offerings at the end of the hike. This turns my hike into a ceremony for me, where I am interacting with the wild forces that I pass by and upon.

Mountains have quite the history in myth and sacred landscape. Perhaps partly due to mountaintop’s inherently wild and dangerous nature, they have long been the home of deities. Mount Olympus in Greece is one of the most well known examples of this. One does not have to travel to Europe to find mountains with sacred myth, though. Mount Katahdin in Maine was held by the Abenaki as the home to Pamola, a powerful bird spirit with the head of a moose and the body of a man! He was not a fan of people climbing his mountain, so they generally steered clear of the mountain top.

Another mountain known as a sacred space is Mount Washington. Mount Washington resides in NH, about an hour from my home, and holds the title of the tallest mountain on the east coast. The Abenaki believed it to be the home of the Great Spirit, and generally left it alone. Then, white folk came along with very different ideas on how to deal with this rocky behemoth. This famous mountain now sports an Auto Road, a railroad, a weather tower, and a few other buildings.

The story of the mountain’s sacred nature could have been due to it being the biggest mountain for miles and miles. It could be the fact that the mountain is known to be the home of some nasty weather. There are often casualties on the side of that mountain of people who were not prepared for the kind of weather they were about to face, or people who suffered the type of accidents that happen on a large steep mountain. Perhaps the stories of spirits were just warnings that the mountain was generally unsafe. The stories didn’t end with the development, though.

There are fascinating ghost stories that I’ve both read and heard. Stories of lights and voices where they shouldn’t be. Stories of feeling watched. Some of the stories even have a more malevolent edge to them. People have attributed these stories to the ghosts of folks who had died on the mountain, but I believe it to be something bigger than that. I believe these stories to be about a mountain spirit that really isn’t into people being in its space, especially without permission. This doesn’t take away from the sacred nature of the mountain. It does mean that, when I get back into hiking shape and hike Mount Washington, I have a lot of gratitude work to do with it.

An interesting book that touches on the nature of mountains and shamans is “Masters of the Living Energy” by Joan Parisi Wilcox. It’s about her experience with Q’eru shamans of Peru. These shamans derive their power from Apus, mountain spirits. Their relationship with the Apus as well as their sacred bundles, their Mesas, is incredibly interesting. I suggest you give it a read if you have the chance.

In other news, the creation of my Rune sets are coming along. I’m aiming towards getting them in the store soon, with some new herbs to follow.

 

Until next week

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Runes, Tattoos, and Life Lessons

With a computer issue Friday night, and a birthday party to put together Saturday, I’d like to apologize for the lateness of my blog. I’ll be back on track this upcoming week, I promise.

There is a blessing in the tardiness of this week’s piece, though. My husband and I just returned to our house from part 2 of a 3 part class on Runes, giving me a little time to talk about this magical Norse alphabet that I work with.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Runes, the Elder Futhark (the set of Runes that I work with) is a writing style from Northern Germanic tribes from around the 2nd to the 8th centuries. There are 24 letters in this alphabet, and each carry a meaning and its own power. As myth goes, the Norse God Odin hung himself to Yggdrasil, the World Tree, pierced by his own spear, for nine days and nine nights. From the Well of Urd at the base of the tree, he beheld the Runes that the Norns carved into the tree to direct fate, bringing the information into this world. That’s, at least, how the story goes.

I believe my first real introduction to Runes was from my high school friend Robin (who, incidentally, also introduced me to Shamanism). I dabbled in working with them for years, using them for divination, and even using them to invoke energies in my life by having select Runes tattooed on my back. I’ve also always integrated them into amulets that I’ve made, finding their basic angular shape easy to draw or embroider, and their ability to move energy to be rather powerful.

My husband and I heard that Sali Crow, my mentor Sandy’s sister, was doing a three part class on Runic divination and magic recently. With both of us having interest in Runes, we decided to try it out. The first class was all about the meanings of Runes in divination, and different spreads to use. It was incredibly informative and added a whole new level of understanding for me to use in creating magical objects with them.

The second class was using them in healing, which was especially interesting to me as a Reiki Master. It included an energetic attunement to the Runes. Watching an attunement to a certain type of energy unfold is an interesting thing, especially when you can compare the way different people react. In my case, I get to experience it unfold within me, while watching how it unfold within my husband.

Soon, after the attunement, Sali began discussing using the Runes. As she mentioned writing Runes on you for magical effect, she then threw in a warning. “Unless you are really sure you want to enter into a life long contract with a Rune, don’t get them tattooed on your body!”

Well. Shit.

So, my overthinking mind went down the path of how the Runes tattooed on my back effect my life, and push me in the directions that I find myself pointed in. For the most part, they make sense. I did pick them for their meaning to me, so a life long contract with the Runes for Divine messages, balance, personal gifts, and protection aren’t the worse Runes to be stuck with, especially as a Healer and Mage. It does make we wonder what part of the things that have driven me is the part that chose those Runes, or are my life choices partly driven by the Runes on my back?

Then, there is the Rune that I thought was important at the time in my life that I decided to get it tattooed on my back above my other Runes. It’s a Rune that isn’t part of the Elder Futhark and I honestly can’t remember where I found it. I understood it as a Rune of necessary tribulation. After a little research recently, I found where the Rune was from. The Younger Futhark, a reduced form of the Elder Futhark that had come along centuries after the original. The Rune I had chosen was the newer version of Hagalaz, the Rune of hail. The Rune of disruption, destruction, and uncontrollable acts of nature. In other words, a tricky Rune to have a life long contract with.

Now, this Rune does have healing aspects, but none of them gentle… There is a connection to the dismemberment experience of the Shaman, and the destruction of the ego to make way for a better self. Good things, but not easy things. I’m still organizing my thoughts on all of this, but it is interesting to think about ways that the Runes I have may have shaped my life in ways unclear to me at the time. I’m sure I will have more to share as I unpack the implications a little more, while by body digests the Runic attunement. Perhaps the third class, which is on singing Runes in magic work, will clarify the situation a little more for me.

In part of my Rune work, I will soon have hand made clay Rune divinatory tiles on the website. Stay tuned. I will also make a few sets of Ogham divinatory tiles for you Druids out there who might be interested.

 

Until next week….

 

  • The Green Mountain Mage

How I Met A Sea God

It was the middle of the night, and all I could think about was that one of the other campers on the island were going to come over to our site, thinking that someone was dying, the screaming was so loud. To this day, I’m surprised no one did. We were gathered around a woman who was weeping and wailing, and we would have had a hard time explaining what was going on to anyone who happened to be checking out what was happening at our site.

Let’s back up a bit.

On the first or second full day on the island, Adhi had made little beeswax disks for each of us. She told us to work any negativity that we’re trying to get out of ourselves into our beeswax throughout the week. A good tool for me, as I had some rough resentment issues I was trying to let go of. Whenever I wasn’t working on my rattle, mesa, divination bag, divination practice, prayer braids, or general work connecting to the island, I would be squeezing and reforming that beeswax, trying to work in all the negativity I was carrying. This practice would stay with me the entire week. I’ll speak more on that later.

One of the activities that we were supposed to be doing on this weeklong workshop was to work on journeying every night. If you are unfamiliar with Shamanic Journeying, it is the practice where one attains a Theta brainwave state usually using using to the repetitive sound of a drum or rattle. The Theta state is where we dream. When journeying, it is a conscious dreaming where we direct what we are doing. This is a tool to explore your inner landscape, as well as using it to project beyond yourself, or to interact with spirits.

This didn’t happen for the first few nights. There always seemed to something else to be done, or the weather wasn’t cooperating, or Adhi had something different in mind. Later, she would tell us she had been waiting for us to get used to working with each other, as she felt someone would have a sort of breakthrough when we finally got to the journey work. Without a sense of safe community, we wouldn’t be able to go very deep.

We did try the night before. We were all in the big tent and Adhi broke out her rattle. It was a good experience, but the tent was cramped and I don’t think a lot of us went too deep into our psyches that night.

The next night, we went to the beach. We laid down in a row, heads towards the water. “Journey into the water. See what you can find there.” said Adhi. She started rattling as we laid there, eyes closed, listening to the sound of the rattle mixing with the ocean waves…

Twenty or so minutes later I sat up, startled and disoriented. As I remembered where I was and who I was with, I tried to recall what happened. I hadn’t fallen asleep. It felt different. Like I had just lost a chunk of time. I could vaguely remember meeting something… something powerful… something so much more than I am that it was terrifying. It felt as if I had bumped into something that my brain couldn’t handle, so it didn’t.

The group shuffled back up to the campsite and sat down around the picnic tables. Adhi chuckled as she shared that she had seen beings coming up from the water to us, spirits meeting us halfway. She began asking folks about their experience. I sat silently, feeling strange and on the edge of some overwhelming emotions that had been buried somewhere deep in my subconscious.

Adhi came to one lady in the group, asking about her experience. The lady in question was a rather level headed woman who had done a little bit work with Adhi dealing with unresolved grief. She began talking about her journey, which ended up being less about the ocean, and more about wandering the world, looking for purpose. As she described what she had experienced, she began crying.

This is one of those points in my stay on the island that I don’t think I can do justice with my words. The most powerful events seem to elude me in description. We watched this woman unload all of this grief and hurt in a half an hour collapse of crying and screaming. There wasn’t much for us to do besides keep the space for her and allow it to all come out. It was deep, primal, and very real. Some prayed. Some held her. Some tried to ground all of the power that was flowing through all of us. And we all witnessed. As the woman on the ground worked through all of the emotions that she was letting go, some of it came out in gut wrenching screams. Somehow, none of the other campers came over to see what was happening. Maybe they heard and didn’t want to be involved. Maybe they didn’t. We were all so involved in the moment, not many of us would have noticed anyways.

After she had  out, she was limp and weak, but relieved. She had gone through some kind of rebirth. She would even swear she looked different afterwards, that she didn’t recognize the woman she saw in the mirror. We carried her to another woman’s tent so she wouldn’t be alone that night.

Once that was over with, and all had calmed down at the campsite, some of us briefly  talked about what we had just experienced before everyone returned to their tents. Everyone, but me. I still had unfinished business.

I had put the feelings I was working through from the journey aside when my friend had her release of grief and trauma. The experience from my journey was still there, though. It had left a silent gnawing inside of me. Thinking no one had the energy after the experience of that night to help me deal with how I was feeling, I decided it was up to me and the sea. So, to the beach I returned.

I sat there, watching the waves the best I could in the dark, listening to them break upon the shore. That’s when I saw it. Movement from the waves. The beings that Adhi had mentioned, coming from the water. A little freaked out, I continued watching and listening. Then, the figure of a man rose up from the waves. Not like a bad CGI scene in a b-movie where someone rises head first to stand on green screen waves. No. This figure crawled out and stood up, facing me. That was the point I went from a little freaked out to full blown fight or flight mode.

As I jumped out, about to run, I looked back. I didn’t see anything. I was using the sound of the waves to journey, and, in that state, I had connected to spirit. I decided it was time for bed.

The next day, we discussed our experiences. As I talked about what I had seen, Adhi asked poignant questions that somehow led me back to the sigil that I had drawn in the sand the day I had arrived. As I talked it over, I had an epiphany. I had an experience with Manannan Mac Llyr, the sea god I had made offerings to throughout the week. The realization hit me so hard, I began to cry like a fool. Adhi just smiled this ridiculous all-knowing smile as we moved on to the next person to talk about their experience.

The next morning, our final morning, we went out to the beach before sunrise where we built a sacred fire. Adhi pointed to the three logs making the main teepee for the fire, telling us it was a gateway to somewhere else. This was where we were to throw the beeswax, along with everything we had been filling it with. I meditated on it before angrily throwing it in. I silently stared out at the ocean.

As we left, Adhi took down the prayer flags which adorned her tent all week. She cut off two flags for each participant. In the center of each flag, a Wind Horse. A beautiful way to bring a little bit of the magic we had worked with home. Mine still hang from the porch of my old farmhouse.

And that was my Assateague Retreat experience with my teacher. For those of you who have not had journeying experience, it isn’t normally this intense. This was a week of work, in a magical place, under the guidance of an experienced shaman. Even when all those criteria are met, the experience still depends on the group, the time, and the spirits. I think there is a lot in this work that is simply out of our control.

What shall I write about next week? I don’t know yet. If there is a subject that you’d like to hear my thoughts on, please let me know in the comments section on the blog, or on Facebook.

 

Until next week!

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Rattles and Bones

The trick of the story is in the telling, isn’t it? And the story of my stay on Assateague is a difficult one to tell. I think most stories involving work with other realms can be hard to put into words. One almost worries that the importance of events is lost in the telling, because, really, you had to have been there. That’s a little bit of how I feel when it comes to this story.

Once we arrived, it was late and getting dark. Folks rushed out to help us put up our tents, fighting against the ocean breeze and the airborne sand. We squished together at the dining area to eat dinner and meet each other. It was lovely, and I wish I had been more present in that moment… but I wasn’t. All I could think about was the ocean.

I consider myself an ocean person. I love the feeling of it, the wild power. It’s this thing that is way bigger than me. It’s the womb from which life crawled out from. It’s wild, soothing, yet potentially dangerous. My dad and grandfather were both involved with the Coast Guard, and had a thing with the ocean themselves. I believe I come by it honestly.

Living in Vermont, my trips to the ocean are rarer than I’d like. That, along with a personal issue that I wanted to give to the ocean, made me antsy to get to the beach. At the end of the lovely meal, I rushed out there to be with the waves. I sat. I listened. I opened my heart. I drew a sigil for Manannan Mac Llyr, a Celtic Sea God that I work with (or, rather, he decided to work with me). The waves washed over the sigil and offering as I walked away to go to bed.

The next morning was figuring out how the week was to go. We would be making mesas, divination bags, and rattles. We would also be making a mesa for the campsite. I know I’ve mentioned mesas before in another post, but for those who may have missed it, a mesa is a sort of sacred bundle, normally a portable altar of sorts. The camp mesa was not portable. It was a community art piece that we made offerings to every now and then. Adhi kept the tobacco, cornmeal, and jasmine flowers close by so that we could go in our free time when we felt we needed to make an offering. It was all feathers, seashells, stones, and bones. Pretty impressive, but I am currently unable to find a photo of it. You’ll just have to take my word on it.

Between creative projects, we were encouraged to walk around the island and interact with it. I remember one holly tree that called out to me. I had never seen a holly tree. They don’t grow bigger than a bush up here, if that! It was the first being that really got to hear my new rattle. I still honor that tree with two leaves that fell from it that now live in the little mesa I made to bring home with me (which resides in the big mesa I use in my everyday practice). I rattled for it for about ten minutes until I was directed to go deeper into the woods. There was a lot of small magic on this walk (raccoon prints, bright red birds, and a raccoon skull), but the big magic was when I broke through to the bayside of the island. There was a herd of wild horses, grazing on the sharp grass.

I sat with them, and listened. They eyed me, but left me alone. I wandered the salt marshes until I came across the feather of a Broad Wing Hawk, an animal that I’ve worked with for years. It was magical to find one so far from home, where a nesting pair has always lived, even when I was a child.

There were all kinds of magical moments like that throughout the week. Things that might seem pretty basic and relatively unexciting perhaps to someone who wasn’t there. They weren’t as simple as that, though. This is where language fails me. The magic was there in the waves. The magic was there when I listened and was guided to meaningful items. The magic was there in the mesa creation. The magic was there with the rattles and the divination bags. With all the small things, along with the skills and knowledge that Adhi imparted, the weeks would have been amazing with just that.

It became a little more, though, when we started doing journeywork. And that part I will leave for next week. The story of bad juju beeswax, rebirths, snake magic, and sea gods.

A side note. Tomorrow, I am leading an herb walk in Littleton, NH. There is still room for others. If you’re interested, find the event link on my Facebook (or click HERE). All of the info should be there.

Have a safe Independence Day Weekend

-The Green Mountain Mage

Wind Horses

Well, I had planned on talking about masks, facial recognition, and masks as sacred objects. I seem to be unable to find an article that I planned on citing that talked about how our brains react to seeing oneself in a mirror wearing a mask. Instead, I fell down an internet rabbit hole of brain conditioning and how schizophrenics aren’t fooled by an empty mask optical illusion (an article and video linked here if you’re interested).

I decided that maybe I should break away from that.

Instead, I’ll speak a little more to experiential stories. I have talked about some of my recent work with one of my mentors, Sandy, for the past two blogs. Staying in line with that, I think that I will speak to a little bit of work I have done with my other teacher, Adhi.

I have been working with Adhi for about two and a half years, and have learned quite a lot from her. One of my most memorable times working with her was a trip that she led. We were headed down to Assateague Island off the coast of Maryland. It was April of 2015, and I was carpooling with a brilliant woman from Quebec down to the Old Line State. From where I live in Vermont, it was a 10 hour drive. 2 plus hours more for my friend coming down from Sherbrooke. My rather new friend, as I had not met her in person before the drive. A scary prospect at first, but we found we connected very well. We suspected Adhi had figured that it would work out, as she was the one who suggested that we carpool. This, and other Adhi coordinated plans, led a group of us to jokingly nickname Adhi “The Puppet-Master.” She found the joke funny the first few times, but I think that it is now a little much. If you’re reading this, Adhi, sorry/not-sorry.

After a very long drive, a not literal crash course for me in remembering how to drive standard in the snarl of New York City, giddy jokes about using date pits as divination tools, and discussions on English and French, we arrived at the bridge leading over to the island. The bay side of the island was thick with forest, the ocean side covered in shrubby bayberry and grass. A few wild horses grazed at the side of the road as we closed in to the campsite.

Ah. I’ve forgotten to mention what the island is rather famous for. Its wild horses. I’ll leave the story of how its herd of wild horses came to the island to your own research, as their arrival and survival is a story unto itself (click here for a link to the Wikipedia article on the horses found there), but it was part of why we were there.

The horses represented the Wind Horse of Tibetan Buddhism, carrying our prayers to the Upper Realm, while the wind off of the ocean reinforced that metaphor. And, wow, was it windy! Setting up my tent upon arrival was a little more trying than when I set it up in the sheltering woods of Vermont! I was excited about the more southern location when I was planning my trip, but I didn’t really take the ocean wind into consideration. I found out later in the trip that in a sheltered spot in the sun, it could be in the 70s, weather fit for shorts and a t shirt! Once away from your wind barrier, though, and layers were essential! It felt as if there was a 20+ degree difference! The colder weather may have made it a little more difficult, but there was a perk.

We had the island largely to ourselves.

Sure. There were other campers. You’d run into people every now and then on the trails. The beach was rarely shared, though. Of course, the fact that it wasn’t swimming weather might have had something to do with that, but swimming wasn’t the reason we were there. We were there to do our work with Spirit.

I credit that trip with readying me to do my Sit a few weeks ago. The nights were cold, and my sleeping bag was not warm enough. I would wake up every now and then shivering. I had to accept that as part of my suffering, an offering to Spirit to show that I was serious. I was there to learn. And Spirit did not disappoint.

The plan was to make rattles, mesas, and divination bags, as well as do journeywork every night. It went mostly to plan, but Spirit had a few different ideas on how it would go.

The story of my week on the island is apparently a bigger bite than one blog entry can take, so I’ll continue it next week (maybe more, depending on how long the story takes being told). It’s a busy upcoming week. Sandy is having us apprentices put together a Summer Solstice ceremony this weekend. The ladies are prepping the space in the stone circle. Marc and I are leading the ceremony (an inversion of the ceremony we did last time, when Marc and I prepped, while Morgan and Tina led). I haven’t led a group this big in ceremony before. Wish me luck!

A belated happy Summer Solstice!

Until next week…

-The Green Mountain Mage

The Story Of My Sit

We started the journey lugging everything we would could take out to the perimeter of the woods where we would be spending the night, along with logs for the sacred fire. The site was accessed by sloshing through field, swamp, and stream until we came to a little peninsula hugged by a clear brook that had cut its way deep into the land.

As Marc, the apprentice learning to run the protective ceremony, readied the fire, the other apprentices and I walked off to find our spots in the woods. My spot was a small grove of beech and pine, the outer edges surrounded by brambles and underbrush. I set my blanket and mask down, and felt the space out. I tried moving a few times, but the space kept calling me back. Yes. This was the space I was supposed to use.

I returned to see Marc beginning ceremony with the first apprentice to return to the fire. When it came to be my turn, Marc threw purifying herbs into the fire as I used the smoke to smudge myself. I then made offerings to my spirits and ancestors, pouring an herbal mix into the fire. Marc grabbed a small bowl with what looked like mud, and globbed some on my brow, speaking a blessing. I don’t remember most of it, but it invoked ancestors and safety, ending with “You are loved.”

Now, for some reason, that struck me. I tend to think of the universe as a powerful, but rather generally ambivalent power. Working with ancestors, and beings that care about one’s well being is still sometimes a foreign thing to me. I usually tend to accept things at face value, as things that just happen. I played with the idea that I am going into the forest alone physically, yet cared for by non-corporeal beings that were invested in my well being. In short, I got the warm and fuzzies.

So, I began the process of sitting there all night, by back supported by the trunk of a dead pine. I stared at the horde of mosquitoes covering my Carhartt clad legs, appreciative of the thick material impenetrable by the blood suckers’ mouth needles. I stared at the stag mask I had made to use later in the night to connect to the animal spirit I work with. Lost in thought, I glanced up, only to lock eyes with a doe.

She was about 50 feet away, very large, and staring at me. Not in a startled way, as you would normally see with a deer next to the road, but passively inquisitive. We looked at each other for about two minutes before she slowly wandered deeper into the brambles until she was out of sight.

Considering that a good start, I continued my Sit. Eventually, I heard a strange sound from the woods to my right. Like something big blowing its nose. A buck! Making aggressive trumpet sounds at something, potentially me. They usually aren’t aggressive at this point of the year, so it was rather odd. The rest of that story plays into another apprentice’s experience, sitting on the other side of the woods patch where the buck was making a racket. For my part, I sat there wondering if I’d be wrestling an aggressive buck that night. His trumpeting sounds faded away, though, so I knew that he wouldn’t pose a problem to me.

An exciting non-sequiteur in the evening as the sun disappeared was the appearance of a flying squirrel. I had heard about them living up here, but for the longest time I didn’t believe it. I had never seen one! Of course, as they are nocturnal, they’re pretty easy to miss. Still, seeing my first flying squirrel was exciting, and worth a mention.

As the night continued, the exhaustion and the uncomfort began to set in. I’d suddenly dip into vivid dreams that ranged from useful insight into my subconscious to utter nonsense, only to rip myself back to the grove I was sitting in. Every hour, I could hear Marc drumming in the distance, making offerings for our safety, as well as to the ancestors and spirits to help with our work.

About one in the morning was when I decided to start working with my mask. And, wow! I believe the biggest part of my experience was reconnecting to my Stag. Deer was one of the first animals that I strongly connected to when I started this work. He would always poke his antlered head up in my work from time to time, but not like this. We spoke that night, and reconnected. He told me what he would help me with in my work, and we talked about ways that I could honor him, and strengthen our connection.

I would say between three and four was the longest hour that night. We returned to the dying fire around five, and trudged to the farmhouse up the hill to journal while Sandy made us breakfast. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but I’m still processing it, almost a week later. I think that it was definitely what I needed.

Inspired by this experience, I believe I’ll discuss masks a little bit next week.

 

Until then, have a beautiful week

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Pre-Experience Jitters

For a while now, I’ve known that I need to get away and take a night to sit in the woods and hold vigil. Knowing that you need to do something, and actually doing it are two very different things. I always had excuses, and figured that doing something like that on my own without a little guidance from someone who knew what they were doing was a little risky.

So, fast forward to a month or two ago, when my new mentor Sandy told her apprentices that we were doing a Sit, I was pretty excited. We were going to fast, go to the woods, find a spot, and hold a vigil to connect to Spirit. I know that this is something that I need to do to continue down the path that I am travelling, but I’ve hit a wall. The anxiety and doubts have set in.

Here I am. A half a day into the fast. Two weeks since I’ve touched alcohol. Less than a week without caffeine. Tomorrow night is the night.

We arrive in the afternoon. We do a little bit of ceremony, the go to our spots. Sandy and one of the apprentices does an offering to the Ancestors every hour. I’ll be in the woods with my water bottle, a garbage bag to sit on, the clothes on my back, and a mask (that’s for the second half of the night). The first half will be me sitting and being present. Hopefully, the lack of food and discomfort while being in the middle of the woods will help me connect with Spirit. The second half will be me using my mask to connect to one of the animal spirits I work with.

That’s the plan, at least. It seems that part of this process is getting ready for it. Part of this has been facing pieces of myself that I don’t necessarily want to face, a process that I imagine I will continue to deal with during the Sit. The discomfort of the fast, the diet leading up to it, and the lack of sleep that I will be facing tomorrow is expected. I didn’t expect so much discomfort to come from inside of me.

Part of me doesn’t want to face anything that might come up in the Sit as I am by myself in the woods. Part of me knows that I get jumpy when I hear things moving in the woods at night and I’m alone. Part of me says that I’m fine and I don’t need to grow. I can easily stay here, where I am in this work. I know that’s not true, but it’s as if there is a part of me that wants to hold back and not grow. More the reason, I suppose, that I need to do this.

In many shamanic traditions, there is a sort of dismemberment process. Some take that as an emotional metaphor, but there are stories of shamans being taken apart by their spirit helpers in dreams only to be reassembled later on. It is their initiation, their way of becoming a shaman. I feel like this is something akin to this. I feel as if I will be losing part of myself in this, but in a good way. I’m not so sure of myself to say that I am going to have a dismemberment experience, but there is a feeling of sacrifice, of giving up. And that makes me nervous.

I have not as of yet experienced this shamanic dismemberment, in dreams or journeywork. I’ve been called to the work other ways, but I’ve always felt right at the edge of this experience, this cathartic rearrangement of world view. I look for it, but, at the same time, I fear it. There’s a lot that I don’t want to let go of. Of course, in the role in life that I accept, I have to. It’s part of the job description to face the scary. It doesn’t mean that I can’t kick and scream about it a little first.

Even if it is just a metaphorical giving of my comfort for a night, and nothing else, it will be quite the experience. It might just be the deep delve into Spirit that I need, though. Nothing but me, the woods, the Spirits, and the prayers from the nearby fire. I’m anxious and excited.

 

I’ll share more next week after I get back.

 

Until then

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Consciousness and magic

As some of you may have read, I am a Reiki practitioner. In Reiki work (and, later, in some of the Shamanic work I’m learning), I worked with being a channel for a specific type of healing energy. I learned to feel different energetic points on clients’ bodies, and try to suss out emotional and physical issues from what I would feel.

This is a difficult thing for me to talk about. I understand that many people are skeptical of what I do. I understand. I, in fact, encourage skepticism. Just taking someone at their word can be dangerous. Skepticism doesn’t change the fact that I can feel something when I’m working on someone. And it seems that I am not alone. There are quite a few cultures with words for some sort of life force or energy, such as chi or prana. I use energy, though that can be confusing as it isn’t synonymous with kinetic or thermodynamic energy, but it’s the best I seem to have in English. So, I run with it.

This is where magic acts. The only way we seem to be able to interact with this energy is through consciousness. There’s been a lot of talk about how our consciousness interacts with the outer world, and it seems to get messy quick. Our consciousness creates the constructs through which we understand reality, after all. I’d like to point out that I didn’t say that our consciousness creates reality. There’s a lot we are not easily conscious of that still affects our reality. Our mind creates ways to interact with the world around us, though. Our eyes receive light. Our ears receive sounds. Our nose receive smells. There’s a part of us that can pick up energy and how it feels.

It seems to make sense, as matter is all just vibration. I read an interesting piece from the New York Times about how nothing is truly alive. It cites how life is a useful label, but in the end just a delineation to better understand phenomenon occurring about us. Many mystics would argue that the opposite is true, that we live, not in a dead universe, but a live one. It has been suggested that all matter has a level of consciousness, all part of a super consciousness. It’s a theory that would erase the difficult line of what’s alive and not, while suggesting that there is something more to everything, that there is some sort of order inherent in all matter of the universe.

I would argue that this is how parts of magic work. Everything being a certain vibration of the bigger thing, a gesture of the infinite, carries with it an energetic correlation with bigger astral cycles. When I mention Angelica is a solar herb, I’m putting its energetic vibration (astral wavelength, magical juju… whatever you want to call it) in an organizational bracket with the energetic vibration of the sun. Put that onto your person, mixing with your astral self, leads to certain interactions. In Angelica’s case, it’s an herb of consecration, blessing, and protection. Its vibes interact with your consciousness to create a certain effect within the realms of your mind and energy.

Ritual is a way to direct these energies. Using triggers for your mind to interact with your subconscious, you can move these astral powers in a way that will interact largely with other conscious beings. When I do a ceremony to bless items, that further reinforces the purpose I’m trying to use that item for in said item. My consciousness, and the consciousness of the spirits that I am working with (if you believe in that sort of thing) interact with the consciousness of the item I am blessing. Whether that item is indeed on some level conscious, or the only place its consciousness exists is in my mind and, later, whoever ends up with the blessed item is up for discussion.

And that is a little bit of magic theory, as I see it. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts or questions.

Thank you for reading.

Until next week….

-The Green Mountain Mage

A Vernal Interlude

I started this morning mulling over how I was to go about continuing this blog’s discussion between bites of breakfast. I barraged my husband with all of the thoughts in my head, the articles that I would reference, the theories that I had. He looked me squarely in the eyes, and said “Sounds like you have a lot you have to sort through. Why don’t you talk about Spring instead?” as he gestured out the window to the apple trees filled with blossoms.

And he was right. Don’t tell him. It’ll go straight to his head.

Magic theory can wait until next week. Right now, Northern Vermont is going through the later stages of Spring. I always think of Spring and Fall the way that I think of Dawn and Dusk. They are this magical in between time. Not quite winter, yet not quite summer. Spring is especially dear to my heart. This time of awakening, when we are shaking the shackles of the dark Winter. And what a long winter we have up here!

I feel that awakening as I ready the garden for the growing season. I’m out there, planting seeds and weeding remaining weeds from last year. Everything seems to be unfurling at once, leaf, herb, and flowers. Flowers like my apple blossoms.

While the most obvious usable product of the apple tree would be the apples, there are many other uses for the savvy herbalist and mage. One of the parts that are usable is the apple blossom. I bring this up because one of the ways that I intend to capture a bit of Spring is to make a flower essence of apple blossoms.

You may have heard of Bach’s Rescue Remedy. It’s sold at health stores around the country, marketed for stress relief. Rescue Remedy is also a flower essence mix. Did I mention flower essences are, essentially, magic?

Flower essences are liquids imprinted with the vibrational qualities of certain flowers crafted for specific interactions with the subtle body of the person taking the essence. Not only is it used by people, I know pet owners and even an animal shelter that swear that Rescue Remedy helps calm anxious and nervous pets. The people who use it on their pets usually assume that it’s some sort of herbal extraction, not a mentrum filled with the vibrations of a certain flower to effect the aura of whomever takes the essence. Yet, they will rely on it with moderately good results. One could attribute the effects of Flower Essences on people to the Placebo Effect (*ahem*), but what of pets who don’t know that their water has a few squirts of vibrational medicine? An interesting question, indeed…

But now I’m getting dangerously close to next week’s continuation on the discussion on magic.

So, I plan on harvesting these blossoms, carefully cutting them off the branch without touching them. Dr. Edward Bach, the person who came up with this process in the 1930’s, was very specific in his instructions as to have as little human energetic contamination in the process. He wanted the magic to be all flowers, sunlight, spring water, and brandy.

To make the flower essence, the flowers will sit in a glass bowl filled with spring water all morning on a sunny day. The flowers wilt and are strained. Add brandy as a preservative, and you have apple blossom flower essence.

When Dr. Bach first outlined his ideas on flower essences, he mentioned 38 flower essences and how they affect the energetic body. Apple blossom was not mentioned. When I first learned to make these essences, my herbal teacher had me sit with some flowers in her garden and listen for their energetic gift before making medicine from their flowers. This is how we suss out the use of flowers unmentioned in Bach’s list. I have a notion that making a flower essence of Apple Blossom will be a great way to capture some of the energies of the in between time that we are experiencing. When I feel a need for emotional clarity in new processes, or feel the need for a sort of awakening and unfurling, I’ll have that Apple Blossom Flower Essence waiting for me there. I won’t know for sure, though, until I have a sit with my apple trees before making the medicine.

I invite you, the reader, to honor Spring with me. Life is waking up and readying itself for the warm months and the extended hours of sunlight. Why not do the same? Make a flower essence. Plant something. Sit and watch the buds of trees unfurl.

Magic is happening all around you. How do you celebrate?

 

Loving this magical in between time

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

The "M" Word

The “M” Word

 

I’ve mentioned Magic a lot in these past blog posts and even in the item descriptions in my store. We all have our own vague idea of what magic is. I want to discuss it a little, and clear up any misconceptions people might hold.

We’ll start with where any aspiring magician usually starts: Oneself. When learning how to do ceremony, if you want to start creating change, the best start (both easiest and beneficial to the learning process) would be to work change in your actions or thought processes.

This leads me to a first part of my definition: Magic is shaping consciousness in accordance to will. Your consciousness is the easiest consciousness to affect. You are, after all, the one experiencing it and being influenced by all your subconscious ticks.

As one deepens in their practice, they develop a better connection to their subconscious. They learn ways to communicate with it. How does one communicate on a subconscious level? Symbols and imagery! Smells! Sounds! Through mediation and working with a set of symbols, you teach yourself how to communicate with that “hidden self” of your subconscious. Ritual and ceremony are powerful tools to do just that. So is shamanic journeying (a term I will explore in an upcoming blog post).

This leads into an interesting article I read (linked HERE). It discussed how different tests have shown that patients who knowingly receive a placebo can still experience the placebo effect. One of the patients suffered from IBS for years. She was given a sugar pill that the folks running the test explained was a sugar pill. It still helped her have a drastic change in health for the better. The improvements stop when she stopped taking the sugar pills.

The article suggests that this could be expectation and conditioning. I would like to suggest that they are, in a way, correct, but with different language. Pills serve as imagery for medicine. We learn from a young age that they are what medicine, what feeling better looks like. Taking that “medicine” signals to our subconscious that we want to get better, that we will get better. The Subconscious works with our body to make it work.

This is also known as magic.

I would like to suggest another definition of magic: The controlled use of the Placebo Effect. Before we continue in this train of thought, I believe that one can easily get hung up on the idea that saying magic is connected to the Placebo Effect is the same as saying it’s fake. That’s not what I’m implying. I’m saying that looking at the Placebo Effect as nothing, as fake, is a logical misstep. Yes, the medicine given as a placebo does not contain the constituents of the intended medicine, so the medicine is not real. In a sense, when one makes an amulet of prosperity, the amulet is not the work you have to do to accrue wealth. Yet, it helps you be aware of, as well as generally find situations to make that money. Same with the placebo. It accesses a different way to heal that has nothing to do with the chemical constituents of the intended medicine.

What if we figured out a way to access this effect? What if we could use placebos as a way to talk to your subconscious and have it effect your body in a benevolent way? This is the beginning of magic.

Note I said beginning. There is so much more. There are “vital energies” that we interact with every day that help shape our actions and world. There are ways to branch out and affect the consciousnesses of others (human and otherwise). There are other disembodied consciousnesses to interact with (that will be a fun and philosophical discussion). There is information to access that would otherwise be inaccessible.

In all of these definitions, never do I mention the breaking of known laws of physics. That is not magic. That is science fiction and fantasy… at least, as far as I know. Indeed, magic works more through unlikely coincidence. This leads me to another fun definition of magic I believe I first read in some works by John Michael Greer: Magic is the art of coincidence.

We’ll continue this discussion next week, getting into consciousness, energy, and Reiki. If you have any questions, or anything that you’d like to add, please, feel free to comment. I’d love to hear from you and learn more about how you define magic.

Thanks for reading.

 

Until next week….


- The Green Mountain Mage

Amulet Making: 101

This Monday, I plan on having my Protection and Prosperity Amulets up on the website, ready to go. It’s been a long time coming. Creating amulets is actually what really pushed me to creating Green Mountain Mage.

When I refer to amulets, I realize that some may not know what I’m talking about. The amulets that I make are meant to bring about a change in the wearer through a variety of means. Metaphor. A physical reminder to your brain to correct your actions to bring about a desired effect. A focus point. An object infused with a certain type of etheric energy to help guide the wearer’s etheric energy in a desired direction.

As for the amulets for the store, I’ve almost finished making my first batch. Actually, the bags themselves have been ready for a while. The materials were chosen. The runes hand embroidered into the front, my mind focused on stitching in the energies and purpose of the amulet to be. The prayer braid created for a drawstring, woven together with more concentration on the purpose and energy I’m trying to create. The herbs and stones picked out and ready to be put into the bag.

Then, the blessing part itself. I bless the space I’m working in, call to the corners, to the elemental energies. Call to the heart of the planet. Call to the Solar powers. Call to the Creator. Focus that all into the amulets I’m working on. Voila! Ready to go!

I’ve always enjoyed making things like this. The creation of an object with the intention of directing the more subtle universe around it puts me into a meditative state. It’s a little selfish, in that I find it relaxing for me, a great way to connect to the energies I’m making manifest. It’s a ritual of its own.

Each herb I work with has a planetary and zodiac correspondence that I keep in mind when formulating an amulet (or powder or incense, for that matter). Mix that with traditional uses, and the general feel of the plant, I can usually come up with a group of herbs and objects that work well together towards the intended point. Not that I’m adverse to using tried and true formulas. I can usually mine something good from one of the books that I cite at the end of this entry. Eventually, though, it comes to a Mage’s tastes, as well as what plants he or she works better with in general.

Let’s take my Protection amulet as an example. I start with old fire blankets my friends and I have used as safety when fire spinning (for those of you who don’t know about one of my favorite pastimes, click HERE to find out about my fire troupe). Red is a powerful color, and, having been used to keep my friends and I safe in its previous life, it already has meaning a a force of protection.

I then take orange embroidery thread, and start stitching in the shape of the protection rune Algiz. The orange furthers the solar/fiery color scheme. As I embroider, with every stitch, I visualize an energy of protection flowing through me, through the needle, and getting caught in the thread. Perhaps use a protection mantra to help with focus. Same for when I sew the bag together and hem the top. Same for when I braid the drawstring. This is what I refer to when I say that I’m doing something “with intention.” I’m using my actions as a focus for whatever “vibe” I’m trying to work with.

Now for the filling of the amulet bag. I start with a nail. Preferably iron, if I can get it. If not, it’s okay. I bend it into a circle. Drop it into the bag. Take a small piece of paper. Jot down a few more protective sigils. Fold it up, and put it in the circle of the nail.

Now the herbs and salt. I don’t always use salt for amulets, just (so far) the Protection Amulet. Salt has quite the historical use is protection and banishment magic, and I felt that the Protection Amulet would be remiss without it. Its use still echoes in the superstitious act of throwing salt over your shoulder when you spill some. Being Sea Salt, it also has earthy and watery qualities, desired aspects to balance out all the fire qualities of the herbs. Salt will also absorb etheric qualities of mixed herbs, which bring us to the three herbs of the amulet.

The number of herbs isn’t random. Three is a magical number. So, most of the amulets I make have a triad of herbs. The nail, the salt, and the herbs also make a triad, as well as the three sigils inside.

First is Angelica. It’s astrological correspondences are the Sun in Leo. That alone is very fiery, protective, and cleansing. In Christian lore, it has a connection to Archangel Michael (hence the name of the plant), and was used for dispelling all sorts of bad juju.

Then there’s St. John’s Wort. Another plant with its place in Christian mythology, and its astrological correspondences being the Sun in Leo, with its place in history as a medicinal herb also used for protection and cleansing.

Finally, to both empower and support the general energy of the amulet, as well as balance all that fire with its Venus in Gemini, I add Vervain. Vervain has a more pagan reputation, being connected to the Ancient Druids. It also has a history of being used for protection (amongst a host of other things).

Mix it all together in ceremony, bless it, and we get a Green Mountain Mage Protection Amulet.

Now, you may be asking what this is meant to protect one from, exactly, and how it does this. That is a great segue into my next post, where I will tackle the daunting project of defining my understanding of magic.

 

Until next week

 

- The Green Mountain Mage

 

Ps- If the subject of amulet making interests you, allow me to suggest three books. They are what I have drawn a lot of my information and inspiration from.

 

“Natural Magic” by John Michael Greer

 

“The Master Book of Herbalism” by Paul Beyerl


“The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, and Brews” by Scott Cunningham

Sacred Space

* I wrote this blog a few months ago. While it may be referencing colder weather, it's still applicable. :)

 

I was returning from a trip down to the Manchester Airport today, after dropping off my husband and a friend for an adventure to New Orleans. As I travelled North on Interstate 93 in NH, I watched as the surrounding land as it slowly changed from the flatter area of Southern New Hampshire, to the wild, rocky land of the White Mountains. The Interstate brought me closer and closer to the pass through these northern Appalachians until a turn revealed Franconia Notch. Its beauty hit me. Snow covered. Majestic. This is the beauty I see every day of my life, from my hill in my bordering state of Vermont. A two minute walk into the woods reveals the grandeur of Mount Lafayette, and the ski slopes of Cannon Mountain, the two giants on opposing sides of the Interstate. Because I’ve grown up with these mountains, it can be easy to forget their power and just see them as a backdrop to life. This is an injustice of my human condition. These aren’t just a background view. They are sacred space.

My first real hike was up Little Haystack, a mountain two over from Lafayette, the tallest mountain in Franconia Notch. It was with a Christian camp my parents were connected to on a beautiful lake in mid New Hampshire. They decided to try taking campers on a hike up Little Haystack, over the ridge to Lafayette, and loop back down to the waiting bus. The Notch, though, had other plans.

Franconia Notch is notorious for keeping bad weather in her grasp. The surrounding area may have perfect hiking weather, but the Notch could be nasty all the same. So it was on this hike. Half way up, the counselors started to realize that the weather may not be as… conducive to hiking as they thought. The first three fourths was fine. Once we breached tree line, though, all you could see was the wind moving through the low hanging cloud we were in. We reached the top of Little Haystack, but the wind was too intense to safely lead a group of kids across the sometimes narrow ridge that led to Lincoln, then Lafayette.

While some of the boys may have found this weather miserable, I was lost in the magic of it. I couldn’t see what I would learn to be the amazing view surrounding us. All I saw was the low growing, naturally formed bonsais, the rock cairns, the white, oxygenated water mist clinging to every miniscule, exposed hair, and the swirling mist. While the visual itself was amazing, it was what I FELT that hooked me. I was a mile above sea level, in a cloud, that much closer to space. There was a Sacredness about it. It was the beauty and Sacredness that brought me back to that hike, as well as inspired my hiking career. It also propelled me on my way to my obsession with Sacred Space in general.

Ah, to define Sacred Space. A place set aside for Divine experience? It’s more than that. I always feel it on certain mountains, by the sea, sometimes in special places in the woods, and in churches. The church bit is easy to explain. With all that prayer and singing going on, that creates an energetic connection to the Divine right there. Then, fill that space with spiritually charged symbols (hmmm…. Starting to sound like magical work…), and set it aside for sacred use in general. It becomes a liminal space, a transitional space. A place where everyday, secular life meets the spiritual world. These are the places where magic happens.

Mountains are liminal spaces, too. There is the pilgrimage (a.k.a. the hike) to the sacred space. Leaving tree line is the transitory point. You are leaving the world you know, filled with trees, undergrowth, and cover, and entering this place open to the sky and the wind, populated by only the toughest life. You can see the world you left behind beneath you, a strange memory of where you came from. You are that much closer to the cosmos, and infinity.

One of the most intense memories that I have of interacting with mountainous powers was a hike up Mount Willard. It’s not a big mountain. In fact, that’s why I chose it that day. It was early afternoon, and I wanted something quick, but with a rewarding view. Mount Willard isn’t above tree line, but it has an amazing outlook over Crawford Notch from a rocky outcrop at the top of the mountain. It was a windy day, and there was minimal hiker traffic. I sat down on the ledge, and listened to the wind. I began to feel wind spirits dancing over the open space between the mountains, dancing and singing. That day, I was given a song. After sitting, listening, and thanking, I began my descent, singing the song so I wouldn’t forget. I imagine the hikers I passed thought I was a little cracked in the head. As I descended, though, passing through the liminal space that led back to the parking lot, I lost the song.

The Sea is also a liminal space. Where the mountains can connect you to more solar currents, the sea is all deep planetary currents. The life blood of the Earth. The womb that life crawled from. This is where the primal waters of the Earth interact with the land. Here, the power of the moon plays with the tides. It is a powerful thing, and in this power lies its beauty and danger. I feel there is so much to talk about when it comes to my relationship with the sea that I will leave it at that for now. The Sea deserves a post of her own.

In my Shaman work, one of my practices is creating a sacred bundle. It’s my personal power, like a portable Sacred Space. In it are meaningful power objects. When passing Mount Lafayette, I realized that I don’t have any mountain representation in my Mesa, my sacred bundle. I think that, come warmer weather, a hike is in order. I have to go talk to the mountain. I think it has something for me...

 

Until next week

 

-The Green Mountain Mage

Powered by Face First