Kindling the Fire at Home & in the Community

Posts tagged “Circle of the Black Moon

Through the Veil

Beloved Dead Skull

“The Goddess is Maiden and Mother and Crone; Her children surround Her; She is never alone.

She lives in the moment, knows no grief or uproar, ‘til Harvest rolls ‘round and brings death to Her door.

Then Her bright colors fade and Her glitter grows dim, For Her son lives no longer; She’s mourning for Him.

He’s fallen upon Her body of Earth- Oh, how can it be deadly, which once gave Him birth?

She buries Him gently, and follows Him down, And She casts off in grief all Her robes, jewels and crown.

There is no need of finery where now She sets foot, Down in the darkness of loam and of root.

Her heart is bound tightly, no peace stills Her mind.

She is cold and bereft; She is angry and blind.

She stumbles and staggers; ever weaker She grows, But then hears a voice She is certain She knows!

“My Mother, My Lady, why have you come here?” ‘Tis the voice of Her lover, Her Son, in Her ear.

“Why have you left me?” She cries out in grief. “Why must I bear you to be my joy’s thief?”

He has come here before but She does not recall, And He touches Her hand, to explain again, all:

“It’s age and fate, Lady. There’s naught I can do, Save promise by rebirth I shall rejoin you. You are ever my Lady, my Mother, my Dear, And I swear that in death there is nothing to fear.”

Now She remembers: the grave’s but a womb And a promise of rebirth brings light to the gloom.

There’s peace and reunion to follow each death, As a moment of stillness will follow each breath.

And the Goddess emerges each time She withdraws, And the Wheel turns to freedom, and rolls without pause.”

Ancestor Altar 2This past weekend we gathered to celebrate Samhain and to honor those who have gone before us in a quiet & reflective way. We initially intended to do so outside, but with the fickle SE Texas weather were relegated to the indoor sanctuary once we realized the wind and rain wasn’t going to let up anytime soon. It was as it should be. The atmosphere was  serene, peaceful and calming.

I went into this ritual with an open mind willing to honor whoever came to me. I thought that I knew who would be most prominent in my mind, but it turns out who I expected isn’t who weighed heaviest on my heart. It was my Grandpa Turkey (Dad’s dad) and I wasn’t expecting him to move me to tears, but grief has a funny way of revealing itself  long after you think you are past it. Maybe having him suddenly taken from my life is what made his return rush over me like it did. Whatever the case, I was happy to revisit memories of him and think about him after so long. I spent many summers and holidays visiting him growing up so once we sat down to try our hand at divination I sat with Rowan’s prayer beads in my lap and let my mind wander through the many thoughts of my childhood spent at his home. Playing billiards. Swimming in the pool and having him chase my cousins and I with the water hose. BBQ’s on the back patio. Early morning wake ups with him reading the paper and handing me the funnies to read. Butter pecan ice cream. Many hours of Legend of Zelda together. Cocktail hour where I’d get my virgin drink with extra cherries. My mind had no shortage of cherished memories.

This was the first time I attempted meditation with prayer beads. At first I was a bit clueless as to how to begin or what to do to use them. This is probably something that a former Catholic would be fantastic at because of experience with rosaries, but I had none of that. So I asked Rowan what she had in mind when she made them. She quickly showed me that they were Maiden-Mother-Crone prayer beads and counted them out with me once to show me how she used them. That’s all it took and I was off.

Counting… 1… 2… 3… fingers sliding over the beads one by one with subtle pauses to reflect, breath and allow the memories and any message to come to me. I gave each message some space and time to really sink in before moving on. Once I was satisfied with the messages I received and was sure it was time to move on  I decided to attempt to use the prayer beads as a pendulum and they worked beautifully. I was a bit surprised at how quickly the responses came to my questions, but thankful. By the time I was set the prayer beads in Rowan’s lap I was feeling quite pleased that I had accidentally forgotten my intended divination tools for ritual. Turns out that the divination tools I needed that night weren’t my own.

My last divination was with a 3 card tarot spread. Samhain Tarot Reading 2013 It told me that my hearts desire was fully acknowledged and would come to fruition when the time was right. Ugh… you mean I have to wait?!? Patience is something I have been working hard at getting better at. Sometimes I can be extremely impatient and get very grouchy when what I want and what I get don’t match. It’s a struggle at times to know that something good is on it’s way, but not know when it’ll arrive. This is also why I am terrible at surprises. I don’t dislike surprises, but I dislike knowing one is on it’s way. So if you plan on surprising me with something don’t tell me “I have a surprise for you!” That’ll drive me crazy! Hopefully the subject matter I was inquiring about prior to this card spread will manifest sooner rather than later… I’m ready universe!

Samhain seems to always bring out emotions in those who could otherwise usually conceal them. If you thought being moved by a spiritual entity was something you’d take in stride, you soon realize you were mistaken. Even though I know what to expect now after so many years of celebrating Samhain in ritual, the profound truth of sharing space with someone who has crossed the veil always brings out emotions in me. It’s a jolt to your system, not only to sense a presence, but to literally feel it. I am never really prepared, no matter how much I think I will be. Reaching through the veil to greet loved ones is taxing both physically and emotionally. This is why I can only handle ancestor work at this level very infrequently. While it is greatly rewarding, it is equally draining. Still, it’s hard to say goodbye when the time comes.

As we crossed back through the veil with a candle to light our way into the dark half of the year we closed the portal behind us. Once we had all reached the other side we watched as each candle was snuffed out one after another… it was as if someone had gone down the line and  blown them out with heaving breath. It was startling, but not scary and we all looked at each other with dazed expressions having shared the experience together. There in the dark we shared soul cakes, listened to the Lyke-Wake Dirge and honored our loved ones and each other with great big hugs and heavy hearts. No matter the time that has passed since the loss of a loved one, when grief is released into the universe in shared ritual space, we all feel it… we all share it… we all carry it a little while. It’s that short distance of carrying the grief for someone else, that gives us each the space to breathe and let go.

May your burden of grief be light through the dark half of the year.




Celebrating Our First Year Together

Earlier this month we celebrated a full year together as a circle. Since we started cooking up ideas in May of 2011, it seemed reasonable to have a get-together the beginning of June. Rowan and I weren’t real sure what to do to celebrate, but we knew we wanted to spend some quality time together just socializing and bonding with the members of our circle. Truth be told, this anniversary/birthday sorta snuck up on us. So all of the ideas we had brewing had to take a backburner to reality. What could we realistically put together that would be meaningful and fun with little time to plan? Not to mention that was affordable? We wound up deciding to have a group dinner & then head over to a local “paint-it-yourself” pottery place. It turned out to be a great time.

We all chose a piece of pottery, our paints & quickly got to work. Turns out the lady I made reservations with took off at 8pm, so as we all arrived to paint… they were “technically” closed. Nothing talks quite like money, so I let the manager know there was a group of at least 10 eager painters and we needed him to make an exception and allow us to paint since it was a mistake on their scheduling. He agreed since the rest of the facility was open for business until 10pm. We got to paint until 9:45pm. I looked around for awhile before I finally decided on what to paint. I wanted something I could get done in 2 hours and something I’d actually use… the trinket box won.

Fire lid & interior with  triple moon

Since the discussion of the flamekeepers cell had already started and I’d chosen a name for my cell, I decided creating a little trinket box in honor of it’s creation was appropriate. I thought about making something specific to our circle, but decided that I wanted to do what was really in the forefront of my mind. Besides, creating Circle of the Black Moon has given way to more inspiration and gumption to create other things, like Cill Willow. In a round-about way, making the little trinket box for Cill Willow IS honoring the creation of our teaching & ritual circle. When I sat down and thought about what I wanted to paint, all that came to mind was fire. So, I painted a little fire on the lid. It represents the fire of inspiration, the fire of the phoenix, the fire that cleanses… it represents the journey I’ve taken without & within our circle to get to where I was on that day. I plan to keep the matches & lighters that I use to tend Brighid’s flame stored in this little box.

In reflecting on how the last year has gone, it’s been an eye opening experience filled with a lot of growth for me as a witch & as a leader. It has been challenging in many ways, tried my patience, made me laugh, drawn people closer & tighter into my circle of friends and seen a few leave it, taught me new things about the path I walk, the people I’m experiencing this with and the topics we’ve covered. It has proven to me that it is possible for a group of people who come from different backgrounds, economic statuses, ethnic groups and walks of life can find common ground in a teaching circle like ours.We are a cohesive group who care for, trust and respect each other as individuals and as circlemates. This feeling of true community is what I was hoping for when I started talking about the possibility of creating my own teaching circle a little over a year ago. To have it come to fruition like it has is a blessing unlike any I’ve had on my path thus far. So, I’d say this past year has been a success! I’m not sure what I was afraid of before, because it has been more reward than challenge every step of the way.

Here’s to many more years of shared learning & ritual space with the people in my circle who have become an extension of my family! You are loved & appreciated more than you all may ever know. Thank you.