This morning I was having a great deal of difficulty getting ready for work. You see as I have entered my crone years things don’t always look the the way they once used to. In particular, I was complaining about my wrinkled arms. It has just begun to warm up and I couldn’t find a shirt that had long sleeves, but wouldn’t make me a sweaty mess. That led to my being very critical of other parts that just weren’t as firm or smooth as they once were. As you can imagine my mood was beginning to darken and that’s not how I like to start my day, especially on a Friday! When my phone signaled that I had received a message I hoped it was something to brighten my day, but unfortunately it was bad news and I was immediately humbled. A friend of ours had passed away during the night. He had recently been diagnosed with the dreaded C – cancer. He was a few years younger than me, and had just married a wonderful woman after a lifetime of looking for his soulmate. It really put my problems into perspective. Yes, I have aged. My face has lines and crows feet. Because I’ve smiled often. Wouldn’t trade that. Gravity is taking it’s toll on my body. But it did house my beautiful children that are now responsible adults that have blessed me with grandchildren. I can’t run up the stairs as fast as I once could, but I am not in such a hurry anymore. My wrinkled arms are not pretty to look at, but my grandchildren love to be snuggled in them and I take every opportunity offered to rock them in the rocker my husband gifted to me when our first son was born. I look exactly as I should for my age. We will miss our dear friend, but I am grateful for the reminder of how precious our time on this earth is, even with the wrinkles. I smiled when I remembered one of my grandkids asking why my arms look as they do. I explained that happens when you get older. Her answer was, “I still love when you hug me with your flabby arms.” May the Goddess help our friend to pass to the Summerland peacefully. And thank you for reminding me to be grateful that I am still here on this earth, flabby sin and all.
Over the years I have had some awkward moments when someone has asked me if I am a witch. How do you respond? As inclusive as our society is, the world has not embraced us, yet. Mostly I think because we are still not understood. Some people think we are to be feared, others believe we are lost souls and need to be saved. I’m grateful to live in a county where I am legally allowed to practice my own beliefs, but I know that not everyone is on board with witchcraft being one of those beliefs. I give thanks to those that paved the way for us to have come as far as w have, but many of us still keep our viewpoints to ourselves. Our jobs, families, friends, and communities might see us differently so we choose to practice quietly on our own. And that’s okay. It is always better to let people get to know you better before you divulge your beliefs. If they already know that you are a nature lover, friend to animals and humans alike, and practice “harm to none”, you become less scary. However, be prepared for the questions that will follow. A lot of people take part in meditation, horoscopes, have tarot readings, and use positive mantras to help de-stress. Me too! These are all helpful to everyone, no matter what path you follow. I see no reason to announce to anyone how I honour my Goddess. But once you enter my home there are subtle references that sometimes are picked up on. This is where I tread lightly when asked outright if I am a witch. I answer with “well, that depends on what your interpretation of what a witch is.” Or, “why do you ask?” That usually leads to discussion. I have had some very interesting conversations and some that have ended badly. The ones that didn’t end well gave me no concern because I knew in my heart our differences were too many to maintain a good relationship. And, I never outright answered their question so they can’t cause me any grief. We truly believe in everyone having the right to freedom of religion and love our brothers and sisters regardless of their faith. I would love to shout to the world who I am and my beliefs, but instead I quietly enjoy the love and blessings granted to me by the Gods and Goddesses and honour them in return. Peace and love,
As the days begin to become longer and the world warms up, it is time to plan this year’s garden. I usually plant the things I know I will use in making lotions, recipes, and crafts. I grow my herbs on my deck so I can step out to snip off a piece to add while cooking. I’m sure to plant more sage and the lavender grows abundantly every year to use making smudge sticks. I used to plant a huge vegetable garden, but the rabbits and my old bones have deterred me these last few years, and I only do a few tomato plants and some beans. As the years have passed I have tried to envision a flower garden with perennials to minimize the time spent working in the garden and more time just enjoying it. I am happy to say I am finally reaping the benefits of preparing our gardens to sprout up beautiful, colourful flowers with minimum work on my part. Have you thought about growing some of the herbs and flowers that you can use to decorate your altar and use in many crafts and recipes? You don’t need to have a big garden. Choose the things you know you will use or find a use for something that grows naturally in your yard. A previous owner was kind enough to leave plenty of lily of the valley for me to enjoy. Something you have grown from a seed or a slip from a plant has your magic touch. You have watered it, provided light and warmth and nurtured it to become hardy, healthy, and bountiful. Some of my best thinking happens while I am caring for my plants. I come up with different ideas of how to use them and I love sharing the harvest with family and friends. Do try to connect with Mother Earth and accept her gifts an she blesses us, one and all.
Since spring is a good time for cleaning up, I thought I would share with you how to cleanse the objects on your altar or any new items that you might want to add. This is a very important step to ensure that there isn’t any negative energy attached to the item, and to make it your own. If at all possible, I try to do this when it is a new moon, but you can cleanse whenever you feel you need to. Items that you wish to use on your altar are not the only things that you should cleanse. Jewellery, stones, amulets and anything that you will carry on you should be free of another’s energy and empowered with yours. As time passes, you may feel the need to “freshen up” and do a little spring cleaning with your special items. There are different ideas on the best way to cleanse. This is the method I like to use, but you can do what works for you. You can find other suggestions from many sources on online and in reference books.
What you will need: dish of water (I like to use rain water), feather, white candle, and a small white cloth
Add salt to water. Place object in water or sprinkle water on all sides. Say 3 times “Earth and Water I ask you to remove all energy but my own from this ______________________.”
Place object on white cloth. Use feather to wave over object and say 3x “Air, I ask you to remove all energy but my own from this ______________________.”
Light the candle. Hold object carefully above candle and say 3x “Fire, I ask you to remove all energy but my own from this ______________________.
Return item to white cloth. The cloth represents Spirit. Now ask Spirit 3x to remove all energy but your own from the item.
After the objects are cleansed lay them on the altar. Call upon the God or Goddess you feel comfortable with. While making the sign of the pentacle over each object say, “I call upon ________________ to bless and consecrate these items to be used in any magic I work or any ritual I perform. I ask Spirit, Water, Earth, Air ,and Fire to bless and consecrate these items to be used in any magic I work or any ritual I perform.
So Mote It Be!
The first full moon of the year falls on January 20th or 21st, depending on where you are in the world. This moon is one that is extremely powerful as there will be two special events happening at the same time. Not only is the moon a Supermoon (which means the moon will appear about 14% larger), but there will also be a total eclipse. As the moon travels through the earth’s shadow it will appear to be orangish red. The colour is really caused by ashes, fire, and pollution, but will add a beautiful touch to an an already amazing night sky. The January full moon is known as the wolf moon, but with the addition of the eclipse it is being called the Rare Blood Wolf Moon. A magical beginning to the new year!!
Sometimes a name will resonate with you. Often we read about characters that may have qualities that we aspire to. You may feel that you want to change your name when you are beginning a new page of your own personal story. That’s ok, too. You may become interested in a different path and want to choose a name that lends itself to a particular one.
My name is borrowed from the seven sisters. Maia was the oldest of the Pleiades, the group of seven stars in the constellation Taurus. The name has many different spellings and meanings depending on the tradition or subject. I chose this name because of the qualities Maia represents. She is fertility, mother, and known as the one who brings increase. At this time of my life I feel I am working on these qualities, and bearing the name reminds me to do my best.