What’s Mine is Mine

As we get closer to Samhain and US Thanksgiving (sorry Canadian residents, this is late for us) it’s good practice to remember and re-enforce the boundaries that we set around ourselves.

It’s very easy for us to make attachments to people and places and things and then forget that they are there. These attachments will often ping on our attention occasionally – sometimes more than occasionally.

Think of that Uncle who you love but who is just a bit annoying, or that book that you keep meaning to read, or that project that lays there half-done, or even your partner. Each of these things take a bit of our attention – consciously or subconsciously – and they are a drain on us.

Sometimes, like in the case of your partner (assuming a healthy relationship) it can be totally worth the attention and energy. But sometimes it’s just a drain.

Productivity gurus tell us to write out to-do lists to get it off our brains, or even just journaling can help. But sometimes, we just need to reset.

This little spell is that reset for our attention, for our energy. It doesn’t firmly cut the stubborn cords – there are other workings for that – but it does help us reset.

It’s kind of like when you get a new credit card number (due to loss or theft) and suddenly you see all the things that you are subscribed to or have allowed to charge you. For the stuff you want to keep, you just give them your new number. For the other stuff, you just leave them alone.

Here we are cutting, or at least recognizing, all our connections and choosing which ones we wish to re-establish.

The working is simple.

Find some time when you can be alone. Depending on how often you do this practice, you may need 15 minutes, or you may need an hour. Turn your phone off and make sure you won’t be disturbed.

This is really effective if you can do it in the shower! The water running off of your body helps. Combine it with a sugar scrub and you have a powerful reset.

Light a candle or some incense, or put on some music as you wish. Whatever helps you to relax and focus is great.

Now take three deep breaths and center yourself wherever your center is – that may be in your heart, or your belly, or lower.

With your mind’s eye, scan the edges of your body. See and feel the cords that connect you to all the things that have your attention. Maybe they are connected to the TV, or your phone, or your partner, or your noisy neighbours. They could be connected to anything. They may have different colors, they may feel different with textures and temperatures. There is no right or wrong.

Some of those cords start with you, and some of those cords start with someone, or something, else.

The cords just are. It doesn’t matter how many there are, or where they are attached to. That’s just you. No judgement.

Take another breath and chant the following words. As you chant, the energy returns to where it came from. Experience each cord separating from it’s target as energy goes back to where it came from. The cords from other people wither and drop off of you. The cords from you pull back into you.

What’s mine is mine

What’s thine is thing

To me return what is mine

To thee return what is thine

Keep repeating the chant until you feel (or see) that the energy returning to it’s owner. I find that I feel lighter and more energized when this work is done.

Take a deep breath again, and FEEL your body. Feel the seat under you, or the floor beneath your feet. Feel your breath as it enters your body, and as it leaves you.

BE. HERE. NOW.

Once you are done with the ritual take some time to ground and center yourself. Eat and drink something.

Over the next few days, reach out to those folks to whom you want to make sure that you keep your connection. Pay attention to the things you want to to re-establish those connections.

Remember that your attention and your energy is yours. It’s up to you where it’s spent.

Harvest Moon Reading

Question: What do I need to know for the next month?

From “This Might Hurt Tarot” by Isabella Rotman

It’s time to move from indecision to action. Pick something from all the things you want to do or create and charge forward – but first form a plan. Be willing to lighten your hold on material outcomes and let the creative and spiritual projects happen.

Feed your soul.

What will you create?

Sometimes a Little Sugar is the Cure

This topic came up on a discord server I’m on, so I thought that I’d share it more widely.

There are times when you feel icky. When you’re just down, not clinically depressed – that requires professional help – or you are just not feeling your usual self. Or maybe you’ve been through some life changes and need to re-focus and clean some of that emotional and spiritual guck off yourself.

Many folks will suggest a salt bath/scrub or smoke cleansing, but I believe that sometimes a little sugar is actually the answer. You can think of it as a bit of a honey jar on yourself.

When you want to bring in joy and fun and not just get rid of the negative ick, or maybe you want to sweeten your attitude towards something, sugar scrubs are the answer!

If you need a big cleaning – try a salt scrub followed by a sugar scrub. Bonus – sugar scrubs are good for your skin.

A bowl of my home made sugar scrub

Here’s how you make a sugar scrub:

Ingredients

  • Sugar – anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 cup is enough. Brown sugar is preferred, but regular white sugar works as well. The brown sugar is more “scrubby.”
  • A base oil – olive, avocado, safflower, whatever works as long as it’s liquid (you’ll need the liquid coconut oil if you want to use it)
  • A small amount of shampoo or liquid soap or shower gel
  • Magical additions if you’d like. This is entirely optional, but if you want to include a few drops of essential oil or a small (1/4 tsp or less) of dried herbs, gather them up. You could also add a small amount of coffee grounds. Remember that this is going on your skin, so don’t add anything that is dangerous or could harm you. A good protection combination is to use dried sage, dried peppermint, and coffee grounds.

Making the scrub:

  • Mix the base oil into the sugar a little at a time. Start with about a teaspoon of oil and mix it into the sugar.
  • Continue adding oil until the sugar sticks together. It’ll be very thick.
  • Add a small amount of the liquid soap, gel, or shampoo – about 1/2 a teaspoon of soapy stuff to a 1/2 cup of sugar. This helps to make sure that not too much of the oil stays on your skin.
  • Now mix in your magical additions. As you add each one (I recommend no more than 3), think about why you’re adding it and what it’s supposed to bring. If you don’t have any additions or want to make a general-purpose scrub, don’t worry about it, they are entirely optional, and I don’t add any most of the time.

You can also make up a batch of the base and add additions as you need them.

If you’re going to use it relatively quickly, you can leave it in the bowl, but if you need to store it (even overnight), put it in an airtight container. Store on the counter or in a drawer.

To use the scrub

Put about 1/4 cup of the scrub in a bowl or cup that is not likely to break if you knock it over and place it in a convenient location for when you’re taking your shower.

Pause for a moment and think about what the scrub is intended to accomplish – scrubbing all the gunk off and bringing in joy and happiness (for example). If you work with spirits, you can ask them to bless the scrub – nor not. Please do whatever you feel you need to do with it.

Now start your shower. If you’re planning on using soap, do that before the scrub. Take a little of the scrub at a time (it will dissolve in the water) and scrub yourself. You can use it anywhere as long as you didn’t add in any dangerous oils or herbs, but remember that it IS a scrub – so be gentle with your delicate bits.

Rinse off and dry off. The scrub will leave a little oil on your skin; it’ll be absorbed quickly.

And that’s it. Simple to make and use, but it can be pretty powerful stuff.

A Prayer for Balance at the Equinox

If you’re like me, and the world is feeling a bit off kilter, maybe this prayer can be helpful for you.

Balance can be challenging in turbulent times

As the light and the dark are balanced on this day,
So do I ask for balance in my life.
I call to you, Cernunnos,
Antlered One,
Liminal One,
Balanced One,
Help me to walk the line between,
To find the calm of balance
As it flows through my life.
I call to you, Cernunnos,
To guide my mind,
Guide my heart,
Guide my body,
To find the balance I seek.
Cernunnos,
Guide me well.
I thank you.

Image by Andreas Riedelmeier from Pixabay

Minimalist Ritual

I often hear that ADF style rituals are complicated or too hard. I wrote this very basic, minimalist ritual to demonstrate how you can do a quick Core Order of Ritual rite almost anywhere.

If you’re interested in seeing how this breaks down, I’ve mapped it to the Hearthkeepers organization of the Core Order of Ritual which combines a few of the steps into one in some cases to make it a bit easier to understand.

A single candle on my altar
A single candle is all you need for this ritual

Needed for the Ritual:

  • Candle or other symbol of fire. Electric candles work well if you’re in a space where an open flame isn’t a good idea or not allowed. A red rock or other symbol of fire also works.
  • A cup of water or another drinkable beverage.  You’ll need about a ½ cup.  I’ve used tea, water, and wine equally well for this.
  • A bell (phone apps work well as substitutes if you don’t have a bell)
  • Divination tool (Check out the various phone apps or the Nine x Nine divination set on the ADF Website if you don’t have something to use)

Some notes:

  • You are invited to replace the more generic titles, such as Gatekeeper, with names of the specific deities or beings that you work with in those roles.
  • I called Cerridwen as my Being of the Occasion as she is the one I wished to worship in this rite. You are welcome to call to any Spirit or Deity that makes sense for your ritual.I was going for the ultra-minimalist ritual here, so a lot of this is done in your head. 
  • Please note that ALL of this can be done in your head to varying degrees of results.  I recommend at least having a symbol of fire and pouring out offerings of water
  • I have included the optional step of calling to Inspiration, but I did not do the, optional, Outsider component as I did this ritual at my shrine.
  • Stage directions are in curly brackets “{ }” everything else is spoken aloud

The Ritual

I pray to the Kindreds, may you Bless me as I do you Honor.

{light your candle or touch your fire symbol as you say the following}

Kindled from the Great Flame, kept by prudent skill,
join with our common Hearth, that these flames be one.

{ring a bell three times and feel the sound clear the space}

Earth Mother, may you join my rite and lend your Blessings.
Inspiration, may you join my rite and lend your Blessings.
Allies of my Hearth, may you join my rite and lend your Blessings.

We come before you to thank you for your Blessings.

Between Order and Chaos, I stand at the center of the Worlds.
Gatekeeper, I call to you to aid our work and guard the Ways between.

{in your mind’s eye, see your hallows – Well, Fire, and Tree. Feel their textures and hear the sounds.}

As the Fire opens as a gate, as the Well opens as a gate, as the Tree opens as a gate, so the GATES ARE OPEN!
I call to the Kindreds, Ancestors, Noble Ones, Shining ones, may you join my rite and lend Your Blessings.
Cerridwen, Creatrix of Awen, I call to you. May you join my rite and lend Your Blessings.
Cerridwen, Great Goddess, to you I do honor. May you accept this sacrifice as a token of my devotion.

{make an offering of water}

To all the Kindreds here, to you I do honor. May you accept this sacrifice as a token of my respect.

{make an offering of water}

May the Kindreds share Their Wisdom with me.

{take an omen}

{touch or hold up the water}

Mighty Kindreds, you have shared your Wisdom with me, and I ask that you share your Blessings. May you bless this water as you bless me.

{drink}

My thanks to you Lady Cerridwen, for your aid in this rite.
My thanks to you, Ancestors, Noble Ones, Shining Ones, for your aid in this rite.
Gatekeeper, I ask your aid one more time.

As the Fire becomes flame, the Well becomes Water, and the Tree becomes as a tree again. So, the gates are CLOSED.

My thanks to you, Gatekeeper, for guarding the Ways and lending your aid.

My thanks to the Allies of my Hearth, for your aid in this rite.
My thanks to Inspiration, for your aid in this rite.
My thanks to the Earth Mother, who supports us always, for your aid in this rite.

This rite is ended.

Further Resources