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[Witch Way] Volume #6 Issue #1 -- Midsummer is Here!
June 13, 2013
Hi, Happy Litha!

Ken's Korner

If you look at the Subject line of this email, you’ll see that it says Volume 6 – Issue 1. This is the first issue of our sixth year of producing Witch Way. It doesn’t seem that long ago, that I was the only one writing all the content for the newsletter every month. That was on top of all the content I put on the website. Now I have several writers, producing monthly columns for my little newsletter on Witchcraft and Paganism.

Six years is a long time. I’ve known well produced publications in paper that didn’t last six years. Hole In The Stone, Connections, The Denver Pentagram, all were well done, with great articles from fantastic writers (including me), but none of them lasted this long. Perhaps it’s because all of those publications charged money for each issue, and Pagans are notorious for not wanting to pay for things. Perhaps those publications tried to do too much too fast. Or perhaps those publications simply lived their lifetime, and like everything else, they passed from this plane.

Whatever the reason, Witch Way is now old enough to attend elementary school. Twelve issues a year, for five years, that comes to 60 issues. That’s a massive amount of writing! I never thought I would ever produce that much content for anything, and if I had set that as a goal, I probably would never have attained it. The 60 issues and the words contained within are just a side effect of the real goals.

Every month, on the 13th of each month, for six years now, we have tried to publish a newsletter filled with interesting ideas, and useful information. The first issue was sent to 8 subscribers. One of them was me, the others were all friends showing support. Last month Witch Way was sent to 1,832 subscribers, this month it looks like we have bumped up to 1,852 people who will be getting this issue. To the 20 new people, Welcome!

I started Cyberwitchcraft with two main goals in mind. First, I wanted to get accurate information out to where people were looking for it. I also wanted that information to be completely different from what can be found on every other website about Wicca, Witchcraft & Paganism. After all, how often can you read the same information over and over on each and every website you find?

The second goal was to make Cyberwitchcraft a business. The goal of business is to make a profit. There are those out there who will read that last sentence and brand me a Heretic for trying to make money off my spiritual Path. That’s fine, they can think what they will, I really don’t care. The fact is, money is a tool that allows those who use it, to do what they want. No one can survive without money.

I never planned to get rich from my website, but I did expect it to at least support itself. After all, if I’m constantly putting my hard earned money into something that takes a lot of work and effort to maintain, what is the motivation to keep doing it? It took several years, but between the ads on the website, and products I’ve offered here and there, the site more than pays for itself.

So I have met or exceeded both the goals I set when I first started the website six years ago. It hasn’t been easy, and I would not have been able to do it without the help of friends, and a few of you who were more than generous with donations (you know who you are). Cyberwitchcraft.com is consistently getting around 12,000 unique visitors a month. That means 144,000 people come to the website in a year.

Now just so you understand, I’m not telling you all this in an attempt to impress. First, it’s an achievement I’m proud of. I started with all of 9 unique visitors that first month the website was up. Now just six years later, I’m getting 12,000 unique visitors a month. I think that’s an incredible accomplishment that shows what can happen when you put your Will and Intent toward a goal, whether that goal is magickal or not.

As Witches, we often talk about manifesting dreams and goals. The problem is, most people aren’t willing to put the time, or the energy into that manifestation. People are impatient, they want it now. I’m all for Instant Gratification, but I also understand that some things take time, and anything worth having, takes a lot of work.

At the beginning of the year, I promised I was going to explain how to make your dreams come true. Over several months I have given you ways to manifest whatever it is you most want in your life, whether that’s a car, a house, a job, or someone to share those with. No matter what you are looking to manifest, the process is always the same.

I wanted to manifest a source of unique, accurate information about Witchcraft that would be highly visited, and would at least pay for itself. I wanted a way to give back at least some of what I have been given over the last couple of decades. I believe that the numbers above show that I have achieved those goals.

Achieving a goal is never easy. It takes time. It takes work. It takes the intent to accomplish the goal. Most of all it takes the will to see it through, no matter what else may happen. If you expect to simply cast a spell, and have your dreams tomorrow, I’m afraid you are going to be very disappointed. If I were a Snake Oil salesman (or a Politician) I would just tell you what you want to hear, and take your money.

No, I am an honorable Witch who is trying to help you along your Path, so I am giving you the hard Truth. If you want something, you have to work for it, and you have to work hard. You have to be willing to sacrifice time, money, effort, and more to attain it. Magick isn’t a shortcut, it’s another tool you can use. If you aren’t willing to do all those things, you will not reach the goal you have set, whatever it is.

The more you want something, the more likely you are to get it. Why? Because if you truly want it, you will do whatever it takes to get it. It really is that simple. No smoke and mirrors. No wave of the wand. If you want a car, or a house, you have to work at something that pays you the money for a down payment, and will continue to pay enough for you to make the monthly payments.

If want someone in your life, the easy part is getting them. You just have to say hi, and be a little interesting to them. In order to keep them, you have to sacrifice time you’d rather be with the guys, or out shopping, and spend it with the person you want in your life. You have to give your money for gifts for birthdays, Yule, and just because. You have to be willing to work harder than you’ve ever worked on anything else, just to keep that person in your life.

The bigger the goal, the more time, energy and effort you will have to put into it. The rewards are amazing once you realize that everything is up to you. The challenges are daunting, once you realize you are the only one who can give you what you want. So the question becomes, will you do what it takes, no matter what, or will you give up at the first challenge?

If there is something you want out of this life, you must be the one to get it. You are the only one who can, and you are the only one who will.

Blessed Be,
Ken

Ken Biles



Plants, Petals, & Potions

by Julie Andaverde

Herb: Peppermint
Latin Name: Mentha piperita
Family: Lamiaceae
Genus: Mentha
Common Names: Mint, peppermint, menthol leaf
Parts Used: Roots, leaves
Magical Uses: Money, healing, strength, augment power, luck, travel.

History and Folklore:

Peppermint (Mentha piperita) is a fast spreading, perennial and winter hard plant. Peppermint flowers from July till September with small violet flowers. The leaves are mint green and stand crosswise opposite each other on the stem. The leaves are elongated, oval and have saw tooth shape and a striking menthol smell.

The seed of mint is dark brown approximately spherical and small. The plant is a crossing of water mint (Mentha aquatica) and green mint (Mentha spicata) and knows many varieties (20 to 35 different kinds of peppermints). The dark purple variant is the most suitable for medical applications. The many mint kinds have approximately the same properties although the taste often differs in strength. Mentha arvensis becomes used in China and North-America many. Mint kinds become used especially in the kitchen and for refreshing teas.

According to ancient Greek legend, Hades — the god who reigned over the underworld — became enraptured by a nymph named Menthe, causing his wife, Proserpina, to turn the young beauty into an herb and banish her forever to regions of shadows and moisture. And — like most such tales — the myth still has relevance today: This perennial, peppermint (Mentha piperita ), is often found growing wild in wet, shaded spots but it will also thrive in your own garden or window box.

Magical Uses:

Peppermint is one of those herbs that have a lot of associations. In herbal magic, peppermint is used for money, protection, purification, healing and love/lust. Frankly, I am not surprised at peppermint’s diversity, since it is a relatively easy herb to obtain and generally considered pleasant. A lot of herbs have a smell that is not always appreciated, but peppermint, and the mints in general, are pretty much always enjoyed (if you don’t like mint I’d be interested in hearing the reasons). It is just a fresh and pleasant smell.

One thing to keep in mind when using mint is that it can have a strong smell. Be careful with how much you add. Start with a small amount and add more to get the ratios with the other herbs right. Also, since mint flavors are so common it is best to make sure that the associations you, or whoever you are making the sachet/oil/pouch/etc. for, have mint fit in with your methods. If you are trying to make a spell to attract a casual lover you probably do not want to use mint if its strongest associations are with your grandmother. That will kill just about anybody’s buzz. In the cases when you’re making something for another person, it would be best to keep the mint for healing and protection spells.

Medicinal uses:

Peppermint has many medicinal qualities that make it a useful and easy herb to use. One of its paradoxes is that it is both a stimulant and a relaxant. That means that peppermint is predominantly stimulating to the circulation yet soothing to the nerves, thus having both qualities at once. It is possible, however, for one of these qualities to overwhelm the other, depending upon the type of preparation. Peppermint oil is more stimulating and peppermint tea is generally more soothing.

Peppermint is well known for its antispasmodic action to relieve nervous irritability and reduce or prevent muscle spasms. This makes it useful when treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Peppermint oil is frequently used as an anodyne or analgesic to ease headaches when applied across the forehead and temples.

Another use of the peppermint herb is to take advantage of its stimulating, stomachic, and carminative properties. Thus the herb is used for the treatment of indigestion, alleviating the symptoms of flatulence and intestinal colic. A major use of the peppermint herb is as an aid to the process of digestion. The volatile oil content of the herb is the primary agent responsible for this beneficial activity. It increases the flow of all the digestive juices in the stomach and also promotes the flow of bile, at the same time it relaxes the main muscles in the gut. Other digestion benefits lies in its soothing effects upon the lining and muscles of the colon, it alleviates cases of diarrhea and helps relieve a spastic colon.

Used as a topical ointment and applied directly to the skin for various disorders, this remedy helps relieve the pain and reduces sensitivity in the skin arising as a result of external disorders. Used as a chest rub for the treatment of respiratory infections it brings relief. The action of an ointment or salve is that upon local application of the herb, it will stimulate capillary dilation and action, and cause skin redness from drawing blood from deeper tissues and organs and thereby relieves congestion and inflammation.

The aromatic quality of peppermint may be the most famous one of all its many other medicinal qualities. This ability to stimulate the gastrointestinal mucous membranes through its spicy, pungent taste and to relieve headaches and other congestion with its fragrance is usually the first thought that comes to mind when someone mentions peppermint.

So, my crafty witches, go forth and experiment with different types of peppermint and see which works for you. This time of year is perfect for a mojito, after all!

Resources:

  • A Modern Herbal vol.I by Margaret Grieve
  • Culpepper’s Complete Herbal
  • Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs
  • Medicine Grove by Loren Cruden

Love, light, and blessings!
Julie Andaverde

DISCLAIMER: It should be understood that Julie Andaverde is not a medical doctor, nor is Witch Way a medical journal. Some of the herbs and ingredients discussed in this column can be dangerous or even deadly if misused. Proportions and ratios discussed are based on personal observation and experience. Use of any herbs or ingredients is at your own discretion and risk. None of the information contained herein should be construed as medical advice. Always consult a trained medical professional.





The Witching Hour

by Marcus Leader

The Energetic Mechanics of Circle Casting

Limitations in the mind of a witch or magickal person while performing a ritual or act of magick can weaken or sabotage the desired results leaving the person wondering why the act failed. In order to insure success in any magickal endeavor, the person initiating the act must first banish all doubt and cast away any thoughts or misconceptions of limits before beginning the ritual or magickal act. Limitations are our greatest illusions.

However, there are times when a witch or magickal person must embrace limitations and boundaries with all their being as an act of protection. The perfect example of this is when we cast a circle of protection or COP. The person casting this COP must visualize and intend well defined boundaries and set strict limitations of what and who can cross those boundaries. It’s not good enough just to say the words without the intent or to visualize without empowering. A circle of protection can be a very real and tangible shield within the dimensions between the worlds, the place where magick is born and manipulated and the place with all sorts of entities and forces dwell.

Our creation of these boundaries through visualization and focused intent will shield us from unwanted outside magickal energy or entities that do not belong inside our sacred circles as long as the boundaries are set in place properly. Many of you have experienced the power of a properly cast COP. You can feel it when you extend your senses like a humming or buzz that will sometimes even produce a crackling charge in the air. It takes a great deal of skill and intention to create such a circle, but it is something that we all can learn how to do if we apply ourselves and have a working knowledge of the structure and nature of these invisible shields.

To start with you must understand and visualize not just a circle on the ground, but an entire sphere or bubble of protection that projects upward from the ground in a dome above us and then back down into the ground the same distance below us. This sphere of protection and everything within it is set apart from our physical world by being slightly out of vibrational phase with our normal physical reality. I have experienced COPs that are truly magickal and seem to defy the known laws of physics by causing time to speed up or slow down to a noticeable degree.

Another important aspect to consider about a COP is that it is created as a barrier for nonphysical energies and entities only. Humans, pets or other objects can and usually do cross the boundaries with ease. When this happens accidently, the stream of continuous, circulating energy of our circle of protection, (known as a phase-locked-loop in physics), is disrupted creating an opening in the shield that is very difficult to close. A good analogy of this would be how the fabric of a tent in a rain storm will shield out the rain until the inside surface of the fabric is compromised with just a single touch. This phenomenon is the result of the molecular surface tension of a liquid surface. The same thing happens to the phase-locked-loop energy of human intention when the surface of our COP is touched long enough or boundaries crossed resulting in a hole within our COP, sometimes a tear which is clearly visible to entities outside the circle. There is a way to move in and out of a circle with the use of intention that will not compromise the circle by using your intention to cause the energy of the circle to flow around a point of exit or entry which is commonly referred to as “cutting a doorway”. I would not advise that this is done unless it is absolutely necessary because while open, the circle is vulnerable. So once cut and an entry to or exit from the circle takes place you must close it again as soon as possible. Generally if this done during a ritual, then you have some degree of protection since you would have called elementals , guardians , or deity to guard your circle giving a little more protection while opening the circle up.

The energy we use in casting our COPs is pulled in from around us from the etheric plane of power, known as the zero point field to the scientist, and is channeled into our energy fields through our chakra right above the navel around our solar plexus. This is the most powerful of all the chakras for energy manipulation. Once you learn the proper techniques for pulling this energy in you can then form it or program it to function in whatever way you wish as a result of your focus visualization. Then it is projected out through the chakras in your hands by focused intent directly or it can be coupled with a magickal tool such as an athame, wand, or sword for accurate placement. An experienced circle caster does not necessarily have to go through all of these steps once their energy body has gained familiarity with the process. They can simply visualize the entire sphere of protection surround the required space and raise their energy by tapping into the etheric plane of power and with a single trigger, such as a loud clap exploding the circle into existence. This takes a lot of experience so until you can feel the energy of your COPs do not try or at least do not trust this method of instantaneous circle casting.

This instantaneous process of circle casting was taught to me during my 8 year apprenticeship in Toltec shamanism. The Toltec shamans of my lineage deal directly with many forms of spirits and elementals, some of them quite nasty and deadly. So in order for my mentor to insure my survival of my apprenticeship, some of my earliest lessons were in the area of spiritual combat. Once a shaman or other magickal person has acquired the experience necessary to channel in energy and explode outwards a circle of protection then they can begin to learn how to manipulate the circle into a shield or semicircle of protection that is many times more powerful than a circle alone. This is done by collapsing the circle to a semicircle and condensing it to an area just large enough to shield your physical body. The reason for doing this is because some of these negative entities, or NEGS for short, have the ability to manifest into our physical dimension and therefore, they are able to attack us physically as well was energetically. Projecting out this invisible condensed energized shield will stop most of these types of entities. Spiritual and psychic self-defense will be the topic of a future article.

For now I hope this has given you a new perspective on the energetic mechanics of circle casting. Next month I will be extending this topic by covering some of the step by step energy techniques I wrote about in this article that can be applied to any magickal circle or tradition.





Betwixt & Between

By Gwynalda Shadowalker

The First Step

Many moons ago, across the pond on the Emerald Isle and in Merry Ol’ England, there once lived a wise Anglo-Irish Warrior-Mage named Charles Richard Foster Seymour. Born in Ireland in 1880, he later attended Trinity College in Dublin where he majored in Russian. As a British soldier and military intelligence officer, he saw action in South Africa, India, German East Africa (WWI), Iraq and Russia. Over the course of his travels, he became a Master Mason in the Grand Lodge of Scotland. He retired from the military in 1929 with the rank of Lt Colonel.

During the early 1930s, Seymour joined Dion Fortune’s Society of the Inner Light, a Ceremonial Magical Lodge based in London. There, he quickly rose through the initiate grades. He eventually became the author/editor of the lodge’s monthly magazine, as well as Fortune’s acting High Priest after her husband left the group.

In the late 1930s, Seymour wrote an outstanding essay titled, “The Old Religion: A Study of the Symbolism used in ‘Woman’s Mysteries’”—which essentially outlined the Path of self-initiation into the lesser and greater Pagan mysteries. This essay reported the results of experiments by senior members of the occult fraternity, which aimed to explore the inner mystical landscapes that the Adepts encountered during their meditations.

I initially read this article long ago in the early 90s. At the time, I found it fascinating, but didn’t realize how prophetic it truly was. Although it’s written from the perspective of a Ceremonial Magician, it describes experiences common to Witches, too.

One of the most radical concepts that Seymour discusses is the significance of Goddess worship throughout the ages. He refers to the Divine Feminine as “the Great Mother, who is called the Lady of Nature, the Bona Dea, the Magna Mater, Isis.”* She holds the key to all the mysteries. For modern Neo-Pagan Witches, this comes as no surprise, but to early 20th-century sensibilities, it was a brand new and rather shocking idea. Back then, few could understand Dion Fortune’s sentiment that any religion without a Goddess was “halfway to atheism.”

Another novel notion of Seymour’s is that religions, as well as their deities, change their status by growing and evolving over time. This “ever-becoming” process characterizes life itself, every individual, and the journey toward spiritual enlightenment. However, it also contradicts the tenants of monotheistic orthodoxy, which insists that there is but ONE true, right and only, never-changing, transcendent (male) God.

Seymour and his fellow Adepts explained this contradiction with an allegory: Religions of the “high-roads” versus those of the “by-roads.” Both roads lead those who travel upon them closer to divinity. However, what a traveler experiences along the way differs greatly, depending upon which route they choose.

The “highway” refers to the well-trodden path of mainstream, monotheistic religion. The multitudes trudging along it are half asleep, guided and shepherded by strict overseers. People on the highway enjoy safety in their numbers and the comfort of conformity. The foot traffic on this road extends as far as the eye can see ahead and behind—but all travel in the same direction. The highway slopes gently upward.

The “byways” refer to the steep and dangerous and challenging initiatory paths that wind up to the “Cave on the Mountain,” where each individual can experience the Mysteries and commune with the Divine. Religions begin and end in these byways. And in case you were wondering—yes, as Pagan Witches, we’re up among the byways on that mountain.

Occasionally, one of the highway travelers will awaken for a moment and step off the road. A foolish guard will try to force their errant flock member back onto the main thoroughfare; a wiser guard will make sure that no others are enticed to follow.

Leaving the highway is rather disconcerting and disorienting. When you step off, there you are, all alone and separated from everything that’s comfortable and familiar. It’s simpler and easier to fall back in line and drift along with everyone else on the high road. Consciously deciding to leave that road for good, and to seek another Path, is just the first step in a never-ending journey of self-development and spiritual discovery.

I was only 17 when I took this all-important first step. It happened during my first trip out West to Colorado. It was one of those week-long camping excursions that combined the activities of “Outward Bound” with those of a Christian “religious education”.

For the week, a group of about three-dozen teenaged tenderfoots from the plains of Illinois enjoyed the wonders of the Rocky Mountains. Each day, we participated in a different outdoor activity. We hiked up near the Continental Divide, rode horses on a wilderness trail, went through a high obstacle course with a zip line, and learned how to rappel down a 20-foot rock cliff. This may not sound terribly adventurous, but let me just tell you that for anyone with the least bit of acrophobia, all these activities were extremely challenging (if not downright terrifying).

We were also supposed to go white-water rafting, but that event was cancelled. The river was simply too dangerous that year. Earlier in the summer, one of the camp’s young staff members drowned in the rough waters of an advanced course. They told us this, but never really addressed it. In retrospect, that death definitely affected the other young staff members. I sensed the undercurrent of their grief, but didn’t know what to do about it.

The religious instruction (also known as “indoctrination”) portion of the camp consisted of a two-hour sermon in the dining hall every night right after the evening meal. As I recall, the pastor was an entertaining story-teller who enjoyed the sound of his own voice. To be honest, none of the sermons were especially memorable, with a single exception.

The sermon on the second-to-last day at the camp was different. It occurred right after lunch, rather than after dinner. Prince’s “1999” blared over the sound system. When the song finished, the dining hall became really quiet. Suddenly, the pastor leaped up onto the stage. He carried a huge black plastic trash bag and started throwing around pieces of garbage onto the floor. His captive audience was collectively surprised by this bizarre and uncharacteristic type of behavior.

He’d worked himself up into a raging frenzy and kept ranting and raving about how we were all just like this worthless garbage. This might have been his modern-day version of “Repent, for the end is nigh,” but I can’t be sure of that. I felt neither the fear nor the guilt that he attempted to elicit from us. I do recall detaching a bit, and noticing that he wasn’t truly sincere in his anger or his message. His performance was bad acting—what Thespians call “indicating.”

Afterwards, we returned to our respective cabins along with our counselors to process what we’d just witnessed. One girl was hysterical—upset and crying inconsolably. Our counselor just sat there mouthing insipid platitudes. She said, “Yeah, a lot of kids have trouble with that particular sermon.”

Since I hadn’t taken the shaming sermon to heart, I had the opposite reaction. I got really angry. Who the hell did this guy think he was telling a room full of impressionable teenagers (who he didn’t even know) that they’re worthless? What a load of garbage!

That night after dinner, we didn’t have to listen to yet another sermon. Instead, we were sent out into solitude and the darkness outside, where we were supposed to accept God into our hearts and his only begotten Son as our savior.

I wandered down the side of a hill away from the others. It was a clear, moonless night. A single light post behind me provided the only artificial light that I could see. And then I looked up—into a vast, jet-black sky filled with countless twinkling stars.

In that single timeless-eternal moment, on that mountain beneath that clear starry sky—the Divine touched my heart and pierced my soul. I stepped off the high road for the last time, and turned to seek the hidden byways.

Blessed Be and Happy Midsummer!—Gwynalda )O(

*20th Century Magic and the Old Religion—Dion Fortune, Christine Hartley, Charles Seymour by Alan Richardson.





Trending Toward The Positive

By Evylyn Rose

Effects of Calling In Kali

This month, I would like to touch on another personal experience. For anyone who has even so much as looked into working with Kali, we already know that She means business. She comes sweeping in as a powerful force, ready to tear out all that is no longer needed or wanted. If you move at the pace She does, you make it out fairly unscathed. However, the more you try to procrastinate, deny what is going on, or try to cling to what needs to go, She quickly becomes the perfect example of the opposite of “gentle.”

Last Samhain, a circle of five friends— myself included— worked up the courage to call in this surefire Goddess. Two of us put together this ritual, making sure that we included Shiva to help us with keeping our egos out of the way and something to help us remember that we can lean on each other for support during the trials we would endure. Our goal: Get rid of anything and everything, past and present, that has been in our way, preventing our growth, and keeping us from living our lives to the fullest.

Kali certainly delivered. In hindsight, we could have used a little more focus on Shiva.

A Clash of Egos

What should have been a tight circle of friends, ready to support each other during our purging process, turned into a series of stories that could make decent material for a primetime drama. One friend found himself throwing things away for sure, but without facing any of it as Kali requires. As a result, he was finding himself homeless and penniless. Rather than lean on friends for the support he needed, he, instead, tried to shove himself onto them in a passive aggressiveness that caused more animosity. At the height of these behaviors, he then stole from these friends and found himself alone as a result.

At the time, I felt fully justified in my own reactions. I know that I was in the right on the outward behaviors, but my inner feelings in the situation were far from what they should have been. I lacked the compassion and understanding that he needed even as he was barred from my life. I can only hope that he has come to confront his challenges head on and is in or heading toward a much better place than when he left.

The second friend went through a series of soul-searching during major transformation. Only, she had doubts where she should have been confident and confident where she should have been focusing more TLC. Kali tore into her in many ways. Challenge after challenge arose. The more she took advantage of situations, the more she found herself quickly stripped entirely of them. After a time, she found herself completely uprooted as she moved out of state in a last ditch effort to get back on track again.

I find myself still conflicted on this one. As one who was taken advantage of, leaning on each other become increasingly impossible. Efforts to fix things would fall apart without reciprocated efforts to open communications. There is not much that I could have done differently on my part. However, I can work on forgiveness for the hurt that was caused by the betrayal. I only hope she finds the flow to smoother sailing as Kali finishes the job for her.

The third friend’s journey meshes with my own. He did not seem as sincere in the ritual as the rest, but he did not come out unscathed. He began lying, keeping secrets, telling half or partial stories while playing the role of mediator; instigating more animosity to already difficult situations. Good intentions may have been present, but ultimately led to increasingly worse situations. He eventually exploded in an act of violence. From there, he found himself slapped with a restraining order, dropping out of school, torn from those he considered his family, and allegedly leaving the state.

Bouncing back-and-forth from ego to spiritual understanding, I am most saddened by this one. The fear for my physical safety is certainly logical given the circumstances. However, I also recognize the soul contract that was in place between the two of us and am eternally grateful for the role he has played to fulfill it. I wish him all the best and hope Kali clears the way so he can finally find what he is searching for.

The friend who wrote the ritual alongside me has done, perhaps, the best out of all of us. Although he has not been spared from trials of his own, he took them on as they came. He accepted that which needed to be faced as well as what needed to be tossed away. All these months later, he is just now going through his major transformation as he enters into a major phase of deep soul searching and finding the next steps for the path ahead. I can only imagine that Kali has a smile on her face as She looks down and sees him standing beside Her as She completes Her work for him.

Stubborn, But Still Alive

I went into this agreement with Kali with the hopes of further transcending my ego and figuring out what was holding me back. I had believed that by getting rid of what was unnecessary in my life, I could prevent losing all that mattered most to me at the time. I knew I wouldn’t come out without scars, but I had thought I was at least well equipped for the trials. Not so much.

The sale of the business I was working for left me without employment. The friends in my life dropped out like flies in a freezer. The more I tried to drag out those friendships, the worse things got between us. Although I allowed for changes in the dynamics between my lover and I, I refused to believe he had to be completely out of my life which led up to the event resulting in the restraining order. (Kali was certainly pissed at me by that point. She had thought all the spiritual two by fours, depression, and blockages would have given me hint enough. Go figure that Taurus Moon of mine comes with that bull-headed stubbornness, after all.) I could no longer afford my mortgage. By the time I found employment again, the situation was at a point that I was forced to sell or foreclose. As a result, I had to find new homes for most of my animals.

I had tried so, so hard to hold onto and fight for these things and more that my life for several months was one of repeated loss. As I struggled against the current, Kali made the maelstrom stronger. Yet every time I released and let go (especially those moments when I told my ego to shove off) and drifted with the current, what needed to go left in peace and what was needed to come in appeared effortlessly. Kali’s not finished with me as of yet, but I’m finally getting the hang of working with, not against, Her.

Important Points

As I watch another round of massive fires unravel in Colorado, I can almost see a correlation with Kali. These fires speak as if to say, “I burn because I must. Do not stop me or I will rage. What lies within me is what has to go.” Although I still ask and pray for the safety of all the life in the path of these fires, I cannot argue with the necessity of quickly and efficiently burning away the old so that new growth can take place.

I recommend everyone to go through transformations as they need renovation. Kali is a great aid in this process, but be ready for Her. What you think needs to be gone may well be what you need to hold onto. Likewise, what you believe should most definitely stay is more than likely going to be exactly what you need to get rid of quick and in a hurry. If you find yourself up against a wall, don’t try to tear it down. Face whatever it is you are ignoring instead and you will find the wall simply disappears when the time is right.

Most importantly, during times of change, let your ego fade away and go to sleep. It does nothing but make the tough moments that much worse. Instead, walk and talk from a place of compassion and understanding; not only for those around you, but also for yourself. You’ll need it.

Blessings,
Evy





Recipes for This Month's Herb

Peppermint

Recipes:

Fresh Peppermint Tea

INGREDIENTS
Fresh peppermint leaves, around 20 (more or less, depending on how minty you like it)
3 cups water
Honey, agave, or sugar to taste

PREPARATION

  • Add water to a medium-size saucepan and bring to a boil.
  • While waiting for water to heat, rinse mint well to remove any dirt, gently shake or pat dry, and delicately muddle or “bruise” leaves to release their natural oils.
  • Add mint to boiling water and turn off burner. Let steep for 3–5 minutes, tasting to determine desired strength.
  • Strain tea into cups (or remove leaves with a fork if strainer is unavailable), sweeten, and serve.






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Until next month, may you be blessed in all that you do, or as we usually say,

Blessed Be,
Graphic Signature

Ken Biles


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