Monday, 3 April 2017

Leaving Covens



There are so many articles about building covens, being in covens, working with covens - but fewer about leaving or dissolving a coven. I know that in some cases the latter can be painful or difficult to talk about, but I think it's important to discuss nonetheless.

I have been involved in 3 covens in my pagan career. I left all 3 of my own volition, for different reasons:

  • The first I left because I was moving to a different city, and this was before there were online covens. It was the coven that initiated me and dedicated me. The high priestess moved and the coven met rarely, only when she came back to visit. When I moved away as well, the coven opted to discontinue, but all of us remain friends. Our paths have taken us many different places, but we all have that initial connection in common.
  •  The second was a small coven, and disbanded due to schedules - it was almost impossible to find a consistent time to meet, and we all decided to go our separate ways. We lived on opposite ends of the city, and we all had varying work schedules and none of us had a vehicle. After months of trying to schedule meetings and rituals, we all determine that the coven was not viable at that time.
  • The third was due to communication breakdown and conflict that severed the ties between the members. This I will not go into much detail about - mostly because I don't think it's fair to air dirty laundry in a public way, but also because while I may dislike some of the previous coven members, I do hold my oaths seriously and believe they are entitled to their privacy.

There are a wide gamut of reasons why people leave a coven - abuse, scheduling issues, relationship/marital breakdown, change of path, branching off to form own coven, relocation, forced/asked to leave, etc. Like any other social group, there are complex dynamics at play. I have always viewed almost all covens having an expiry date - it could be weeks, months, years, decades. Eventually, though, there will be an ending. It is the natural way of things. Birth, life, death. Natural cycles.

When you are a part of a coven, it is work. It can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be incredibly draining. You are working in trust with the other members. You are creating magic and change, you are supporting one another. It's not all glamour and glitz - there is all the mundane stuff that goes along with it - who is hosting, who is working what ritual, who is bringing the ram skull, etc. I think some people can go into a coven experience thinking it's going to be just like The Craft, and they're clearly the Sarah of the group.



It is not like that at all. Covens involve humans, and humans have emotions and conflicts. Some are ill, some are contrary to a fault. Some are power hungry. Some are too giving. Some too lazy. Covens are as flawed as the people within it, and that can lead to any of the aforementioned scenarios that would cause someone to leave. Some people leave in a big way. Sometimes one person leaves and everything crumbles. Sometimes people leave in a quiet way. Sometimes one person leaves, and the rest continue  on.

What people fail to pay attention to is the debriefing process. By that, I mean what actually happens after you have left. Everyone gets caught up in the moment, it's hard to look past that to the near future. There are a few rules of thumb I think are prudent in these situations:

  • Did you swear any oaths binding you to other members of the coven? If so, you need to address those oaths in a way that will sever you from the coven itself. You need to make your energy yours again. Whether you work that out with your former coven or not (and if you can, you should), it should be the first thing you take care of.
  • Be sure to take any and all personal property with you when you leave.
  • Ensure to take time to address your spiritual bonds with your spirits and gods. I usually recommend a cleansing (smoke or bath) followed up by an informal recommitment ritual. Addressing your needs is important, and can be helpful in the decompression process. Even if you leave on great terms, you still need to take care of yourself.
  • Know that any and all secrets, oaths, and words shared while in the coven are sacred - meaning, you should not be telling other's secrets or using any of that information as fuel for any 'retribution'. You should not be gossiping about any other member's business. It's disrespectful to yourself, your former coven, and whatever gods or spirits you swore your oaths to. I don't care how juicy or how you think it will make you look - DON'T. The only exception to this rule is with actual physical, mental, or sexual abuse, and any of that involving minors. That should be reported to the police. (I am talking actual abuse, not hurt feelings or perceived victimhood. Actual abuse that can cause long lasting actual and possibly irreparable harm.)
  • Don't "take revenge" on members of your former coven. I know that if you leave on bad terms, and there are a lot of hurt feelings, it can seem tempting. Don't. It's childish and unbecoming. Move on with your life with lessons learned, and allow them to do the same. You'll all be better for it.
Covens are a learning experience, and you should take any experience with them after leaving (good or bad) as a lesson. You learn a lot about yourself when you work in close proximity with other people, and those lessons can be a powerful force moving forward in your life. I look at it like a resume - you have had good and bad jobs, but you learned something (theoretically) in each of those jobs that can be applied to the next job, or other areas of your life. Working in covens is no different, and leaving a coven does not have to be forever traumatic or bitter. 

At this point in my life, I am done with coven work. I am not currently involved in any kind of coven structure. My spouse and I have a small hearth we work together on, and we have several people we meet up with to celebrate and mark seasons, but most of our practice has become familial. I have taken my experience with working in the 3 groups I have been in, and molded it into something useful. I know what I enjoyed about working in a coven, and I know what I disliked about it. Like any other kind of group I have worked in, there have been some wonderful things, and there have been some terrible things. They all kind of even out.





Saturday, 4 March 2017

Anger and Witchcraft



Okay, I want everyone to look at the world right now. Look at everything that is happening. How does it make you feel? Do you feel helpless and overwhelmed and powerless? Do you feel angry?

Good.

We should all be angry at everything that is happening around us. We should be fucking furious. Our palms should be sweaty, our hearts should be palpitating, our teeth should be set tightly. We should feel tightly wound, like a spring ready to leap into the air, like a rubber band ready to snap.

I want us all to really sit in this. To marinate in this feeling, to let every injustice, every betrayal, every assault to wash over us like we are bathing in the filth of it. I want us to feel like it's running over our skin, puckering our fingers, making our hair filthy and greasy. I want our skin to crawl. I want us to feel on the precipice of losing it, to feel like if we don't lash out physically or emotionally, we will die.


Are we there? Good. Because this is the place of magic.

Magic is energy. It is the will that we channel to enact change in the world around us. So many times we are told to be calm, and clear headed, and raise our gentle, pleasant energy. So many people forget the darker, shadow side of the self also serves a purpose. Anger is the prefect catalyst for change, because it is an intense burst of focused, hot energy. Anger is just as pure as love.

Times are grim. Last year, for me, left me feeling angry. I feel it even now, knowing how the change in my life - the change that has been ultimately for the best - has showed a deception, duplicitousness, and cowardice I had been so blind to seeing in the world. I feel it now, bubbling through my skin like a vapour, waiting to have the kinetic energy directed at an ultimate end. I watch the world around me - the constant denigration of those who most need our love and understanding, the constant use and abuse of women and people of colour. The violation of bodies, all bodies, by those who have no right to them. All of these things make me enraged. It swirls together like a potent cocktail, begging me to take a sip and be a weapon in an arsenal against whatever I choose. Drink of me, it begs. Be strong, be definite, be my weapon.

I choose to use that energy for a more positive change.

It is easy to focus all of that shadow energy at something just as shadowy. It is temping to enact revenge or destroy. And sometimes, truly, there is a need for it. For me, though, I have not wanted to use this energy for anything other than justice for those who need it more than me. There is enough in this world that will seek to destroy, so much in this world that will try and shatter or crumple you. So much in this world that can make us all sick and exhausted merely thinking about it, never mind acting against it.

Take that anger, and hone it into a weapon. Hone it into a weapon for change in the world. Don't ignore it, or push it down. Really feel it, but be very clear about how it makes you feel. Channel that rage into something that enacts positive change in your life. Take that anger, and use it not for revenge, but for justice. I am not saying that you shouldn't curse - if the situation warrants it, do what you must. I have in the past, and I am sure I will in the future. You'll get no fucking shame from me.

I wrote a piece last year about darkness and the shadow self.

While I speak of the darkness, we must always remember what lives there. Anger lives there. Jealousy lives there. Fear lives there. Hatred and sadness live there. These are all important parts of our spiritual diet, but like proverbial junk food, moderation is key. A little fear is healthy, it keeps us alive. A crippling fear of being abandoned is not. Anger is a powerful motivator in moderate doses - it becomes cruel and bitter and hateful in large doses. The same goes with the light. Too much love leads into obsession. Too much kindness can seem insincere. Too much acceptance turns you into a doormat.

Balance, balance, balance.

Anger is a useful tool, and it is a place we all should visit. It is not a place we should live. It is a shroud we sometimes must wear, but it should never become a uniform. It is like sex magic - it can be a beautiful and bountiful way to raise energy - but too much can leave you in a place you never wished to be, and with possible unintended consequences. We need to practice self care and protect ourselves.

Witches, it is okay to be angry. We witches were born of anger and injustice, and we are born to be activists. We are catalysts for change, and we should use whatever we have to enact that change. We need to harness and use our anger to enact the change we want to see in the world and in our lives. We have a plethora of energy just begging us to be used - if the internet is any measure of how disenfranchised and furious people are feeling. It is a wellspring, powerful and pure. So, if you need to curse, do so. If you want to work positive workings, do so. Do what is best for you, but use the energy. Don't waste a drop.


Monday, 6 February 2017

For the love of reading




This has been a quiet and introspective winter full of shadow work. It's not a bad thing - in fact, it's needed. I have needed the decompression from the last 2 years, and while it can be difficult facing one's shadows, there is a certain amount of sovereignty in reclaiming your life from that. I suppose when you work with a lot of gods associated with death and chaos and reclaiming your power, it is to be expected.

I have spent the majority of the last month planning and reading. Planning for upcoming festivities and trips. and catching up on all the reading I need to complete. I have a backlog of books from 2012, so I am working my way through them combined with some newer fiction to give my mind a break.

I found with last year and all of it's chaos, it was difficult to get caught up on my reading. I read what I needed to in order to maintain my IDGAF initiate status, but beyond that - nothing. I really wanted to change that this year, so I have been really focusing on doing that and trying not to accumulate new books at a startling rate. Unfortunately for me (or my pocketbook, anyway), I have a number of books to purchase in the next few months. Books I have been looking forward to since they were announced. I just have had no desire to read in the last year - until after Bookmas. With all the new and wonderful books to read, I knew I wanted to push myself. I have been getting back into my stride, which has ben challenging since I used to read all the time on the bus - but since I bought a car and carpool to work, I no longer do that. I now read before bed and on breaks, and on my days off.

So while it may be quiet now, in the coming weeks it will be less so. I have put a good dent in the 40 books I have pledged to read this year (5 so far, working on 6 and 7 right now), and as the thaw begins, and as my dog gets older, I will be able to go out and have more adventures.

I highly encourage anyone who want to challenge themselves to go and sign up for Goodreads, and pledge to complete the 2017 challenge. I am hoping this challenge will reignite my love of reading again.

Sunday, 1 January 2017

A new year, a new challenge



Ah, 2017 - you are a welcome sight. After the turbulence of 2016, I am ready and welcoming for a new start, a new year, a new challenge.

Last year was rocked with turbulence and change - not all bad. Some of the change was sudden - but for the best. Sometimes change happens and it's sharp and sudden and throws you off your feet - but with the benefit of hindsight, you come to see that it has all played out as it should have and you are better for it. Sometimes the change is gradual - and comes to fruition in the most beautiful way. Sometimes the change is rotten and horrible and there is just no dressing it up. Regardless of all that, one thing is sure - change is inevitable.


This has been the year of death in so many ways, and death has stolen so many of our creative and inspiring voices. So many people who have helped others understand themselves, to feel comfortable in their own skins, to feel confident, to empower them to take control of their lives. Their voices being silenced is a tragedy for future generations. Bowie and Rickman were big ones for me, but the real kicker was Carrie Fisher - she was such an inspiration - a strong, flawed woman who was a passionate advocate for mental health - and funny as hell. That one stung the most.

And Trump?!? I won't even touch that one. It's too bizarre to even fathom.

My husbands and I had decided that we wanted to do something to culminate the end of 2016 in a big way, because the year was so brutal. We decided to drive out to the beach and burn our datebooks and calendars - along with an offering and lots of black salt.




And here we have it, offered under the shadow of the new moon and the limitless sky - the smouldering ashes of 2016.

I came home, offered up some incense, and drew my second tarot card for the year. At Samhain I drew the Star. Tonight I drew the 10 of cups - a favourable combination.

So onwards and upwards, to all the promise and potential of 2017.


Saturday, 19 November 2016

Headed into the darkest part of the year


The lights of Samhain have passed, and now we head into the waning days of autumn, full of rain, little light, and a chill to the bone.

I love this time of year.

I have always found it quite ironic that I enjoyed the fall as much as I do, since I also enjoy the brightness of spring, the heaving bounty. In the autumn, there is a dearth of such plant growth, but more growth within the self and the soul.

This Samhain was marked by a number of firsts.

We attended a wonderful private ritual the night before. We were interrupted a few times by passerby, including some curious and kind of rude people who chose to film and photograph us. Aside from the interruptions, it was a nice ritual with a good journey inward. I found it did help to prepare me for Samhain proper.

Now, as a point - I celebrate Samhain on October 31. Some people celebrate based on the astrological date (in fact, some people insist that any other time is wrong - and you know me well enough by now that I don't let that elitist shit fly with me), but for me, it has always held a special significance on that date. Perhaps it's the echoes of the fact people have been celebrating on that particular date for centuries, or that my dedication was held on Samhain oh so many years ago. I don't know. I always advocate to celebrate whenever you feel suited to do so.

Early that day, I made my traditional apple cider. I have spent years making it, it has become a staple in our household. There's a bit of this and a bit of that in it - I find that spices just warm you to the soul. My very first Samhain I made this over a campfire as I was measured and dedicated.




That night, D and I loaded up the car with kindling, cauldrons and supplies. We drove out to a remote beach right on the Atlantic, and lit our sabbat fire with the waves crashing behind us.




We burned incense, left offerings of honey and cream for the fae, and apples for the landwights. We toasted and boasted and swore our official oaths, we honoured our gods and spirits, and we honoured our ancestors. We burned vestiges of our past, and buried the long dead things that no longer serve.

Afterwards, we left the beach as we had found it, headed back home, and all 3 of us curled up on the couch with some cider and Ghostbusters. :)

A mere 10 days later, we brought our newest family member home.


His name is Aengus, and he is a little spitfire. He is clever and funny and a pain in the ass and a source of stress and a complete and utter joy. We are enjoying forging a relationship with him. The first few days are always hard, and this was no exception. He's had some pretty crazy separation anxiety - but he is learning that we will always come back and he has nothing to fear. I spent a few days on the couch this past week with a cold, and he was great cuddly company. I am looking forward to introducing to more of our friends when he gets his second round of shots.

In a way, he is a wonderful punctuation to what was, in all honesty, a fucking awful year. So many people have expressed that 2016 has not been kind to them, and I am no exception. That said, I feel things are looking up, and I am trying to remain positive going forward.

I am still riding on that chariot energy - moving forward.

I find that it is easy to become introspective and focused inward at this time of year - it is like we starts to hibernate a bit. We start to wind into the dark inward spiral. I think it's very important to have time like this to focus. It gives us clarity and helps us re-evaluate our purpose. It helps us examine our lives and determine what works and what doesn't. Without having that time to reflect, I find myself becoming a bit scattered.  I notice a huge difference this year as compared to last year, as last year I was under a great deal of stress and unable to take time to be introspective.

Now I view it as invaluable, as I have had ample time to reflect.

I intend to enjoy the waning light, enjoy the brisk breeze, and enjoy going forward - don't waste your time looking back, you aren't going that way.



Sunday, 23 October 2016

Harvest Home (or reaping the intentions sewn).



The veil is thinning.

I thought I could feel it as we passed Harvest Home, but now with the darkening evenings, the whispers of the other world seem so much closer. I smell the chill in the air, I see figures in the mist and fog. Samhain is coming, and I am ready.

I have spent the last 5 months planting seeds. I have nurtured them, I have given them love and attention, and now I am harvesting the good intentions I have sewn.

First thing is first - we are now car owners.

We have spent the last number of months putting the intentions into place that if my job was renewed, we would get a vehicle. That came to pass when that exact thing happened, and D became debt free at the end of September.

We had researched, had weighed our options, and we decided to get a brand spankin' new Kia Soul. We don't have kids (nor will we), and it's usually just us going place to place. D started a new job this summer, and we now needed a car, not just wanted one.



So, we have one. It is everything I hoped for. I know in the long run it is an extra expense, but we have a rainy day fund started for just such issues (and the fact the car is under warranty for quite a long time). But it is amazing. No more buses for groceries. No more being stuck in the city, having to rely on the kindness of my father-in-law.

So the first thing we did? Went apple picking, of course!

We took a beautiful Sunday and traveled to the Annapolis Valley, to our favourite orchard. We spent time wandering the rows, filling our bags with the sweet fruit that will become crisp and butter and sauce. We thanked the land for being bountiful, despite the wicked drought of the summer.


Afterwards, we spent the afternoon driving around and enjoy nature. We ended up at a little brasserie in Canning, and got to enjoy the views after lunch.


We took some time and drove to Scot's Bay, stopping at the Lookoff along the way. As we were driving past a harvested field, we saw some commotion with a flock of seagulls, and what looked like the remains of a seagull. We wondered what the commotion was until we looked across the field, and dead in the middle of the field, just behind the farmhouse, was a coyote! Ballsy to be out during the day, and far too quick to get a photo, but it's been years since I saw a coyote and it was a good sight.


We got to the Lookoff, where neither of the menfolk has been, and got to look over the valley. It was beautiful.






After going over the ridge, we ended up in Scot's Bay. It's on the Bay of Fundy, which has the highest tides in the world. The parking lot at the beach had a big sign warning people not to park too close, as the tides rise quickly and their car would be flooded. I took a little video, as we got out there as the tide was going out. Quickly at that.




A video posted by Rhi (@thecorvidkey) on

 We meandered back along the ridge and ended up in Grand Pre, and at Evangeline Beach - again, a beautiful day for it. Tide was out, but when it is in, it's up over the nearest rocks.


We made our way slowly back home, and stopped at these limestone cliffs near sunset. The sky was a really weird cyan blue. I don't know why, but I have always wanted to photograph these cliffs!



It was a wonderful, amazing day trip!

I have been working with D to try and suss out our Samhain plans. We are going to a private ritual the day beforehand, and possibly the public ritual. However, on Samhain proper we want to do something we have never  been able to do - go to a beach and have a fire. We have some things we want to close the door on for the past year, and a few remnants of old attachments we want to burn. I am in the midst of doing the research, but it should be a fun night!

Lastly, we have set into motion the last thing on my list for the year - we have adopted a dog!



He is wee. So, so wee. He is a Taco Terrier, and 5 weeks as of this photo. He is coming home on November 10. We have a name chosen, but we're not going to reveal until the official date he comes home. We went to see him, and we just fell head over heels in love with him.

Now comes the real work - puppy-proofing! We have supplies to get (he's puppy pad trained, thankfully), and some setting up to do, but we are over-the-moon excited. Again, we're never having kids, but we always wanted pets.

It's been an eventful month. I am hoping that's all for big change for a long while.

But honestly...


Sunday, 25 September 2016

Pre-Harvest Home and Record Keeping



A blessed Equinox to all!

My hearth and I have yet to celebrate our Harvest Home holiday, but we have plans for next week. It has been hectic in mundane life - I spent the last few weeks doing more training and writing more tests at my job, and I found out my contract was extended for another 4 -6 months, which is welcome news. I wasn't ready for a pay cut, and in fact my wage is going up soon, so that is wonderful. We have been trying to do a lot of research, since we are likely buying a vehicle in the next 10 days or so. We have been making some decisions as we are planning to adopt a dog in the next few months. That on top of the tail end of Mercury retrograde has made for interesting and busy times!

A few weeks ago I tore apart all of my altars around my spiritual nook,  and in part of my restart, set up some simple and dedicated spaces for the gods I work with most - Odin, Freya, the Morrigan. I wanted to have a simpler approach, and to work on continuing to build string working relationships with the gods. For me it is important to separate the spaces, because I think each of those spaces is a place of honour, and you can build the kind of energy you want on each.

Specifically for the Allfather, with offerings of pipe tobacco.

For Freya, her cats, to love and death intertwined.


I also set up a few working altars, and my main seasonal working altar.

I have called this 'the Naughty Step'. Specifically my cursing and left hand space.

My main working seasonal altar. The candle in the front is a spell-in-progress.

I have been doing a little cleansing and reinforcing - I tend to do that this time of year. I made myself a Witch's Ladder to hang in the space to reinforce my wards.



On major thing I have been working on with my restart is magical record-keeping. It's not something I have focused on in a long time - I tend to have a pretty good memory for a lot of things, and I do a lot of things from intuition - but it is something I wanted to really focus on this time around.

There is something inherently magical is writing down all of your intentions, your workings, your learnings. Specifically, I have been working with the runes and writing out pertinent points in my workings. I've been writing out all of my meditations (which I have always done, but have kept up with). I have my journal - where I have written down all of my feelings about things happening in my life that affect my practice, as well as all upcoming ideas and plans. While I have a good memory now, I would like to have these things to look back at in 10 years to see how I have grown and changed. I want to write out all of my successes and failures, so that I can remember them. I want to write out all of the events that have left blackthorns in my heart so that I can move forward in a place of forgiveness and love.

I am a researcher at heart - I am a note taker, I look for patterns, and I like to have the facts to remind me of the mindset I was in at a moment in time, so that I can look back at it when time has had it's effect on memory, to know how I should feel or how I should proceed. If I have a spell that has worked really well that I have intuitively written, I want a record of it. If someone has said something that has an impact, I want a record of it. If I have learned something important, or if a stanza from a poem has spoken to me, I want a record of it.

The modern craft would not exist in the form it does if Gardner and Valiente did not keep records. Doreen Valiente herself had over 100 journals filled with events, workings, and thoughts. Those are invaluable. Though I won't have children, there isn't anything to say my journals and workings would not have value to someone else. Who knows! Maybe I'll adopt a kid at 50 and pass everything on. It's hard to say what the future holds, but I want to keep the past in the present.



I always joke that it's the Ravenclaw in me - always striving for knowledge and learning. Always trying to understand and know the ways of people and the world. It's just my way of holding on to it, preserving it so it is not lost.



Sunday, 7 August 2016

A quick question.




I'm running on some post-ritual bliss right now. I am also exhausted and need to sleep, because we are getting up early to go on a road trip!

I went to a great small Lammas ritual this evening with a few people from the local community. It was a lot of fun, really great energy. The rain held off a bit, though we could use it. My province currently has 3 out of control fires, which is a little concerning.

The wind was strong, we were right by the ocean, and the grey sky was just a lovely backdrop to the whole affair.

One the way out of the park post ritual, we came across a large patch of heather. We harvested a bit, and as soon as I got home the rain started. Heather is associated with calling rain. I feel like I should go harvest a whole damn field, we need rain so badly.

I have another ritual next week (for Hekate), which should also be great fun as it's at one of my favourite beaches in the province. Late night swimming? Maybe? :D

So earlier this week, my friend, let's call her K, sent me this message on facebook after I had posted something witchcraft related:

I told her I wanted to blog about it, and here we are.

Honestly, I am lucky that I don't need to hide who I am from most of my family. I don't filter most of my stuff. Most of that is for a few reasons.
1- I don't talk to a lot of my extended family. My mother doesn't give two shits about what I do provided I am happy and not harming anyone.
2- A lot of my friends are pagan or pagan-friendly, or they just skip over my post. I don't generally stay friends with people who are constantly berating other people for choice they make about their spirituality.
3- I don't have co-workers on my private facebook, so it's not going to be an issue with my work.

Now, I realize that there are LOADS of people who can't, for whatever reason, be open about who they are. I recognize that my laissez-faire attitude to not giving a fuck if anyone knows I am a Pagan probably would not get me far in a more conservative place. I am lucky that working where I work guarantees my right to live my life however I wish within the confines of the law. In other places, it can be very tricky to be open and out about who you are. Even harder with your own family.

I love my family - some out of genuine love, others out of obligation. However, being the black sheep child of a black sheep child I am very used to not being understood and not fitting in. Even in my day-to-day, I know I am not everyone's cup of tea. I can't hold myself accountable to standards held by people who claim to know who I am but are willing to shame me for who I actually am. Coming out as pagan and poly was actually pretty simple for me - I told my mother, sister, and few cousins. My grandmother is an elderly devout Catholic who it served no purpose to tell. Everyone else... well, meh. They don't factor into my life very much, so their opinions of my choices are negligible.

My friends are different. I have lots of non-pagan friends. I would hazard to say that most of my friends aren't pagan (which is a massive shift from maybe 5-8 years ago). However, while my spirituality is a part of who I am and what I often measure myself by, it's not something that comes up in every day conversation. If they ask, I'll talk about it, but generally what we have in common is not spiritual. So no real drama there, thankfully.

The main thing I wanted to express is for those who cannot be open about who they are and what they believe - you do what is right for you, and whatever you need to protect yourself and your beliefs. That is not an invitation to go and hurt other people, it's just me saying that there should be no pressure to be open if it is not safe for you to be so. You take care of yourself. A large part of witchcraft, and one that a lot of people fail to discuss, is to be silent. Secrets are a normal and acceptable thing. So if this is something that you have to keep secret because you'll lose your family or you'll lose your job because some people are bigots- be secret! It's okay! Your personal safety is paramount - avoid putting yourself in harm's way if you fear for your safety.

So I guess it's a long answer to a neat question. :) Thanks, K!

Monday, 1 August 2016

Lammas-tide.

It was upon a Lammas night, 
When corn rigs are bonie, 
Beneath the moon's unclouded light, 
I held awa to Annie; 
The time flew by, wi' tentless heed, 
Till, 'tween the late and early, 
Wi' sma' persuasion she agreed 
To see me thro' the barley. - Robert Burns



We've had a busy few weeks, but we made time to do a bit of Lammas workings.

D's birthday was on the 28th, our anniversary was on the 25th.

I took the day off work, and we went out to a local park and had a lovely little italian picnic - margharita pizza, paté, tiramisu, italian moscato. We offered some of the wine to the spirits of the place who held us close (we didn't see a soul come through, it was blissful quiet), and it was a magical day. After eating, we got to lie on our picnic blanket and listen to the wind and the songbirds. I could have napped for a few hours.


A photo posted by Rhi (@thecorvidkey) on



A video posted by Rhi (@thecorvidkey) on


 It was a lovely day all around - it was nice to just take a break from the regular grind of day-to-day life and reconnect with nature.

We went out for beer and Greek food the night of D's birthday, and out for Mexican with some friends a few days ago. It's been nice to reconnect with people and try to build new bonds.

Today is a holiday for us, so it was easy to make some time to pop into the garden, harvest some plants for drying. The garden is kind of wild right now, I had to go out and prune and trim before even harvesting.




My little datura is coming along! I was worried it was gonna croak, but it's chugging along!
This is also only about half of the garden, the greenhouse has a number of herbs that are thriving!

I took out an offering of honey and oats to the wights of my garden space, and made sure to offer to my gnomes. I thanked the wights for a continued good harvest, and asked for their continued blessings.

I then harvested some rosemary, oregano, mint, roses, and basil, as well as some cornflowers. I hung the first up on this repurposed red birch staff we harvested a few years ago. I'm going to fancy it up a bit more after this batch is done drying, but this is good for now.


I offered the cornflowers on my ancestral altar, as a thanks for the continued guidance.


I then set out some oats and honey as offering for my gods on my altar. I burned incense and lit candles to honour their continued presence in my life.


Last night, I baked some lussekatter, since Lammas is all about bread. They turned out fabulous.


It's been quiet otherwise. I have a few rituals upcoming that I've been invited to, and that I am super excited to attend. There's a Lammas ritual being held in a park, and a Hekate ritual being held at a beach. I'm dipping my toes back into joining the smaller community of like-minded folks. It's been kind of a bumpy road for the last 6 months, but I feel ready to be around other pagan people again.

August is going to be 3 weeks of insanity followed up by a very well-deserved vacation. There are visits and rituals and weddings - but I am looking forward to every bit of it.

It's just remembering to breathe.


A photo posted by Rhi (@thecorvidkey) on