Friday, June 19, 2009

The Brightest Flame

The scent of Cinnamon on the candle awakens my senses

I run my fingers along the Tengwar carved into the wax.

It reminds me of my intent and stirs my soul

Red scales and wings surround me

Something is coming. It speaks to me in my dreams.

Protection, Strength, Energy, and Resolution are mine

So Mote It Be!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Successful Spellwork

Successful Spellwork

Lately some of my students have been asking me questions about Magick. Magick is a great subject because it is so personal and yet so universal. Several people can have the same intent and go about achieving it in very different ways, proving that there is no one right way to do things. The variety is stunning and holds special interest to me.

I had a one student ask me a question; I'm sure runs through everyone's head when it comes to using Magick. Her question to me was, "What makes Magick work and why is it effective for some but not others?"

In my experience, several factors must work in your favor for a spell to be successful. This list of factors varies with each spell and each person, so getting things right is very important and tricky. I think this is where most of us get confused and deterred. The elements we need to work in our favor are not always within our control.

As many of you know a spell is commonly compared to a prayer, yet intensified. There are several elements to consider, like timing, tools, specific intent, location, etc. In addition, there are plenty of "don'ts" we are taught when it comes to spell casting. Who wouldn't find the task a little daunting? I know I did at first.

I learned that if I follow some simple guides I tend to have great success with spells. Here is a list of things I have found help successfully create and cast spells. I am sharing this with my friends hoping that you can apply these ideals to make your own practice a little more effective.

1. Will. Keep in mind, this is not the same thing as intent. I have learned that I must have a specific desire that drives me to plan and execute a spell. This isn't as simple as a general need, but strong desire that drives me to work and focus. It needs to be clear and obtainable...

2.Talent and Skill. Some people have a lot of natural talent and some have to work at Magick a little harder. Others have a little of both talent and skill and seem to have no trouble with Magick. It doesn't matter if you have a little or a lot, just try your best, develop your skills, use your natural talents, and you will be amazed...

3. Patience. Some times we need things right away, but many times what we think is urgent, can wait a little while longer. When we are patient with Magick and ourselves, we can achieve things on a grand scale. You could be going without for many reasons. Maybe there is a lesson you need to learn or you are undermining your own needs and desires. Keep in mind that real life is not like Bewitched, we can't crinkle our noses and poof we have a basket of apples appear. Sometimes it takes years for your intention to become reality. Maybe your prosperity you are working on now will manifest later when it is a better time. Relax and let things happen, as they need to happen. Plus if you are following a spiritual path there may be certain expectations placed on you in connection to obtaining your need/want.

4. Wiggle Room. Give your energy room to adjust, as it needs. When we allow it to self adjust we allow it to work in the best possible way for our own benefit. Give your energy freedom and room to work. Keeping it contained and too tightly controlled is no way to get what you want and need. Perhaps you think your Magick needs to go right but in fact it should go left in order to be productive and successful in outcome.

5. Trust. This is HUGE! Trust in the energy you call upon as well as your own. If you doubt it, scoff at it, second-guess it, etc., you deplete yourself and the energy. I think the consequences are obvious.

6. Confidence. This next item also goes hand in hand with trust. You must have confidence in the energy you conjure as well as yourself. If you cannot believe that you and the universe have the ability to move and change things, you will get nowhere. Be confident about your work and abilities, and be wary of arrogance. Also feel and know that you are worthy of obtaining what ever it is you conjure.

7. Intent. Clear intent is essential most of the time. Sometimes we don't know exactly what we need and that is when we leave it in the hands of a greater power, (which is when spell work is more like praying). Magick is not necessarily passive. Magick is usually direct, after all it needs a place to go. Know what you want. State your intentions as clearly as possible. If you intend to come into a large sum of money by winning the lottery then say so. Just a warning… be careful what you wish for… You might get it.

8. Attitude, be positive. A positive attitude is everything. If you are continually negative about your situation, stop it! This is something we all struggle with from time to time. When I find myself down in the dumps, I change my attitude fast and decide to make it a happier day. Much of how things happen to us and what happens to use depends on how we look at things and how we react re-act.

9. Organization, get yourself organized. Organize your thoughts. Organize your tools/materials. (If you need them) Organize the space where you plan to work. Write your spell out and list the things you will do first, second, third, and so on. Also, make sure your space and tools are clean. When you have it all together you can focus and therefore making your spell more effective.

10. Personalization. Make the spell YOURS! Sure you can get ideas from others, why not! Just don't rely on the work of others (which usually is tailored to that other person's needs) to work specifically for you. Yes, in some cases it can happen, but not all the time. Make the energy yours, make the intent yours, make the spell yours! Own the energy and live completely in the moment you create.

11. Space. Being cramped or in a place that is too open can be distracting and can hinder your progress. Also, keep in mind other factors of the space, like the temperature of and noise factors. You want to keep your focus.

12. No after thought. When you are done with the spell and you release the energy, forget it! Clean up your workspace and tools, refrain from picking your work apart, analyzing your techniques, questioning the effectiveness, etc. Just let it go. If hours or days later you find yourself thinking about the spell and thinking about it in detail, distract yourself and find something else to think about or do. When we continually think about the energy we send out we end up calling it back to us and taking it away from your goal, thus depleting it of the strength you gave it in the first place.

13.Action outside the spell. Look at your situation before you plan your spell. I like to use "money" as an example when it comes to spell work because we can all relate. If you are sitting down to plan and conduct a spell that will attract more money to your life it is always a great idea to look at why you are low on funds to start.

Could you budget a little better? Do you spend money on needless things or things that are not sustainable? Do you need a budget to organize your spending? Perhaps you could just use some discipline. Once you look at why you have no money explore and decide on a plan of action that will help you keep the money you bring in. There is no use in doing a spell that will bring you more money if you can't keep it and use it wisely. Take time to identify the things you can do to improve your situation. Then after you cast your spell put these things into action. If you found that you need to follow a budget to control your spending, then create a budget and stick to it. You can even add an element into your spell that will help you establish discipline in sticking to your budget. The point is Magick doesn't and cannot work if you will not help it and allow it to work.

14. Practice makes perfect. Don't expect that because you did one spell successfully that you are a pro. Keep up the good work by doing spells as often as your personal energy allows. Perfect your techniques and skills through repetition. You can do simple spells for your friends/family (with permission of course), for your dog, your cat, yourself, etc. Also, give yourself variety by trying different forms and techniques. If you are good at Candle Magick, try Color Magick or elemental Magick next… Variety keeps you fresh and inspired.

The list above, for me, matters in all Spellwork. Of course, there are other things we can add to the list, but I think this is fairly complete. I found that no matter the day, phase of the moon, or the position of the planets I can execute a successful spell by following this guide. Sometimes all the elements fall into place on their own and other times I have to work at them a little more. It all depends on the situation.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Lesson of the Labyrinth, Part 1

It is solved by walking…

A traditional Labyrinth Mantra

There are a great many ways of applying the Labyrinth as a tool in our lives. You only have to use your imagination and walk a Labyrinth.

Labyrinths are unique and gentle teachers. A Labyrinth will awaken your inner wisdom and allow you to see the things you might over look. Labyrinths encourage your individual ability to become a better and more balanced person.

Some would argue or question how this solid structure or pattern could be gentle and flexible teacher. One person may it as too rigid. Another may see it as a bunch of meaningless lines. The fact is no matter your first impression; you will certainly change your view once you walk a Labyrinth. Their lines and patterns work with us instead of against us. They open us up to message and inner knowledge we might ignore.

I have studied and used Labyrinths for almost 7 years now. I was first introduced to them in a ritual during a spiritual retreat. The Labyrinth was made of corn meal on the green grass. At first it seemed strange to walk such an odd pattern, but when I did I was changed. Everything I was holding on to and hold back was freed.

If you have not yet experienced a labyrinth walk, I strongly suggest you look for one in your area and give it a try; It will be an experience you will not soon forget.

Labyrinths are beneficial to people who find it hard to meditate by using traditional, sedentary methods. I have also found labyrinths to be an exceptional tool for ritual and spell work. You are limited only by your imagination.

I would like to share with you some information so when you find a labyrinth in your area and decide to walk it, you will be knowledgeable about your journey. I have structured the information in lesson groups so the info is easier to take in.

Lesson One

Learning to Walk a Labyrinth

To begin this lesson you need a Labyrinth. Here is where I think most people run into trouble. Labyrinths are not available at Wal-Mart or Target. However, I think this is what makes them so much better than something you can purchase from a chain store or in mass quantities. Most Labyrinths are built by communities, and created by hand. Personally, I make 8’x8’ canvas labyrinths for individuals to use in their homes.

You will have to do some searching to find a labyrinth you can use, but it is not hard… and if you can’t find one you can make one!

You can search for a Labyrinth and Labyrinth Facilitators on The World-Wide Labyrinth Locator,

OK! So once you find a Labyrinth, how do you walk it?

Simply, you place one foot in front of the other and go… But for those of you (like myself) who need a little more detail here is some info you can use one your journey.

Since this is a spiritual tool as well as a tool for healing, it is important that you respect the design. I always bring an offering to give to the Labyrinth after I exit. I also follow some simple etiquette.
1. Do not cross the lines, unless it is an emergency
2. If you are walking out and another person is walking in, step aside and allow them to pass you.
4. Leave your Cell Phone, and other electronic devises outside the Labyrinth. You will have no need for them here.
3. Be respectful to the design and others walking the Labyrinth

There are many methods to walking a Labyrinth. Some jog, skip, crawl, but most just walk at a slow at a steady pace. What ever you choose it is helpful to remember a few basics.

A Labyrinth has three basic stages, the beginning, center, and exit/end. I will go over each basic stage separately so you can identify them when you walk a labyrinth.

The important thing is to never walk a labyrinth expecting it to solve all of your problems immediately. The universe does not work this way. As always, you must put in effort if you expect any result.

The Beginning
As the name suggests this is where you begin. It is the opening of the labyrinth and the journey toward the center. You should have a focus as you walk if you have something to resolve or improve. This is where you identify your needs and desires. Some choose a mantra or chant to say as they walk. I find that this adds to the experience and encourages one to focus more deeply. Another simple and effective focus is your feet. Your gaze will naturally gravitate to your feet, as it does feel each step as you touch the ground.

If you have no specific subject, then simply walk.

The Center
I encourage all who walk a Labyrinth to spend a few moments in the center. I like to spend some time in prayer so I may speak directly with the God and Goddess about my focus. I take this time to ask for guidance. I may also ask for wisdom, prosperity, energy, etc… anything I need to further my progress.

While you are here stop a while and reflect on your purpose for being here. Take your meditation further by allowing yourself to sink deeper and allowing yourself to let go. If you must leave something behind, leave it. If you need to take something with you as you leave, ask for it. Pray… Meditate... Chant… Do what feels right.

The Exit/End
When you are ready to turn and exit the Labyrinth’s path, allow yourself to feel the sensations in your mind and body as you move. Don’t analyze them, discount them, or question them..

Some feel compelled to move quickly out of the labyrinth, encouraged by a sudden burst of energy. I have also seen people dance their way out as though they were overflowing with joy! Exist in the moment and live each step as it touches the ground.

When you exit the Labyrinth, remember to give your offering, leaving it just out side near the opening.

Labyrinth walks are usually solitary journeys. These journeys can take as little or as much time as you need depending on the size of the labyrinth. The important thing is not to rush. Take in the journey and the lessons piece by piece so you can properly understand what it is you receive.

I hope your journey into the Labyrinth is fulfilling and beneficial. If you have any questions please feel free to post them!

It is solved by walking…

Rev. Brandy Boswell

Thursday, June 4, 2009

What is a Labyrinth

Classical 7-Circuit Labyrinth

What is a Labyrinth?
The embodiment of Wisdom, Prosperity, Hope, Peace, Personal Power, Strength, Protection, and Growth.
Or simply… The archetype for life.

A labyrinth is sacred symbol, an ancient pattern designed for a variety of reasons. It is a tool to be used toward self-healing. One may walk a labyrinth to quiet the chatter in your head enabling the walker to meditate effectively. One may walk a labyrinth to pray, deal with a difficult decision, or heal. Labyrinths have been used for centuries in rights of passage and to commune with the Gods. There are countless uses for a labyrinth.

A labyrinth is a geometric design that is usually portrayed in it circular form. The size of a labyrinth can range from one small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, commonly known as a finger labyrinth, to over 80 feet in diameter.

Labyrinths… Mazes… They are all the same right?
There are several styles and types of labyrinths out there and it is easy to mistake them for mazes. To add to the confusion many people misuse the word Labyrinth when they mean to say Maze. A simple distinction between the two is this…
Labyrinths are usually a single path structure that have no dead-ends or tricks to confuse the participant. The purpose of a labyrinth is to allow the user to meditate on a goal or issue without concern for what direction he/she should take next. The single path journey is a reflective inner walk with one's self.

Where did Labyrinths come from?
Labyrinths are found all over the world and are estimated to be over 5,000 years old. It is thought that labyrinths originated in Crete. However, evidence shows that they may have originated with the Amazons in the form of a dance. AS this dance evolved and moved from one country to another people began to place the dance in stone. What emerged was the classical Labyrinth.

What are Labyrinths used for?
Labyrinths are used in celebration, meditation, rights of passage, stress relief, fun, resolve inner and external conflicts, personal healing, personal and spiritual growth... The list is long and the possibilities seem endless, you are only limited by your imagination.

Many hospitals are now building labyrinths for patients and doctors to use when they need a few moments of peace and inner contemplation. Family members of the terminally ill as well as the terminally ill are finding clarity and acceptance as they routinely walk a labyrinth.

Professional office buildings are using labyrinths to resolve conflicts and lessen anxiety before entering into intense meetings and discussions.

All over the world people are building labyrinths in their backyards, churches, parks, and community centers so they may walk them when ever necessary.

Each person who walks the path of the labyrinth is touched in a special way. No one is completely sure why or how labyrinths work, but it does. Labyrinths are effective and their use is highly encouraged.

Stress relief, meditation, problem solving, healing…. Where could you use a labyrinth in your life?

Hand-Made Personal Canvas Labyrinth created by Rev. Brandy Boswell

Monday, June 1, 2009

Butt Prints in the Sand

Blessed Meeting!
I find we fall into a patterns where we unknowingly expect others to take care of our own issues. We do this in ways that are subtle and obscure. We are even clever enough to hide this from our selves. In some cases we try to force others to take the blame for our own mistakes.

This spiritual path is one of self. We follow a path of growth and transmutation. We are challenged to look inward so are able to confront our own inner demons and destructive behaviors.
To know ourselves and help ourselves is one of the most powerful and important tasks on this path. Standing on our own two feet allows us to stand beside the Goddess as she teaches us to walk with conviction.

We must help ourselves. We must listen to the deep inner voice that guides us and urges us to grow. We also must listen to the advice and messages of those who have come before us.

Blessed Be!

Spring time come and with it the sun.

Spring time come and with it the sun.

The light within is burning bright as we dance by the fires at midnight.

Peace and stillness that I find brings me close to heart and mind.

Truth be near as I seek my path within the trees. Divinity within I seek to please.

The light within is burning bright as we dance by the fires at midnight.

Spring time brings a sense of peace and urgency. In my heart the words I kept, as inspiration once slept.

Spiraling power let it grow, the inner Magick that I know.

Vanishing in the wind.

When there is nowhere to turn and peace is lost…

When the dark water closes in and I can no longer breathe…

Where can I turn to right the wrong I know nothing about?

How can I lift the veil that conceals my sight?

How can I remove the blame that is unfairly upon me?

Pain has my heart… Sorrow fills my soul…

When it all rips me to pieces… I feel lost…

I stop to ask directions and backs are turned. I am still lost.

The road continues ahead with no light, no destination in sight.

There is no place to rest and feel at peace. That place is now lost to me…

Vanishing in the wind.

by: Leandra Witchwood
Original post: 11-5-08

Being a Mother is…

Being a Mother is…

…knowing that some tears are frustrating, while some can be
funny, and others mean business!

…knowing when to laugh with your child and when to cry.

…knowing that a little spit-up on your clothes doesn’t mean
baby is sharing.

…knowing that a gentle lullaby sung form the heart is the finest pacifier.

…knowing that Breast Milk is the ultimate comfort food.

…finding joy in baby’s accomplishments from holding his head up higher longer, to his giant toothless grin, to his first science fair project, and beyond.

…knowing you are doing the best you can as long as you are
showing your children the love, consideration, and affection they truly need.

…knowing that no material possession in the world can gain your child's love and respect. Instead, discipline, self-respect, dedication, and kindness does the trick!

…finding total peace and fulfillment as your baby sleeps on
your shoulder.

…savoring special moments with your child while sleeping, breathing, walking, learning, singing, dancing, laughing, and crying.

…taking the empathy you feel for your child and applying it
to others in your life.

…feeling a great sense of accomplishment when your child
thinks of others before herself.

…knowing that big miracles with great lessons come in small