I took time out from my Thanksgiving preparations to go on what I call fairy time. When I had gone outside to attend to one of my turkey day preparations the wind felt like it was calling me. Tugging at my senses and making me feel a call to the wild. In response I went about gathering what I would need for some fairy time. I put my trusty bottle of corn meal for offerings. Corn meal is a good offering to the land and with the wind it puffs from my hand spreading the blessing of it. I pulled my hunter orange hat that I use for hiking during hunting season and went off to the local town forest.
The night before I started Silver Ravenwolf’s new book The Witching Hour. She goes over what she calls a “spirit walk” where you go out to connect to nature and the spirits to gain knowledge and some of the special gifts of nature. I call this faery time. I learned about faery time from my Friend Matooka. Faery time is when someone who is fey in essential nature goes out into nature to rebalance themselves after having too much busy human time. It is a time to reconnect and let go of the mundane.
I started my faery time like I usually do with an offering of corn meal at the beginning of the trail to the spirits of the land and fey of this place. I asked that in return they give me there guidance and protection on my journey. Moving through the woods with the November winds rattling the trees and shaking the leaves instantly calmed me. As I walked I mused about my year reading with Matooka Moonbear last night. How my focus was on connecting to the innocent childlike way I connect to the world. As I walked I tried to catch a leaf falling from a tree. Since I was little I knew that if you could catch one in the fall you would enjoy a illness free winter. Whether this is empirically true I have never investigated fully but it has always been something I try to do in the fall. I leaped and reached but the three times I tried I caught no leaf.
Disappointed I turned my eyes to the beauty of nature around me. I picked up a fallen pine bough bringing it to my nose to smell it’s scent. This brought me to think about Silver’s book since one of the things you would get from a spirit walk was things you could add to your herbal formularies and powders. Thinking of the book I asked spirit what it had to teach me right now. I reached again to smell the pine bough and a small oak leaf fell and stuck to my jacket. I laughed picking it off my jacket and knowing this was my message from spirit. The leaf meant to me that you don’t have to try so hard or push yourself so much, sometimes it is just about connecting, asking and letting yourself receive.
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Pussy hat project Crochet Version. By Adam Sartwell.
I am going to the woman’s march with a couple of friends in Boston on January 21st 2017. I am a man who supports woman’s rights. I want to show my support by both marching and making as many hats as I can. If you would like to learn more about the Pussy Hat Project and see other patterns please go to https://www.pussyhatproject.com. If you would like to know more about the woman’s march on Washington go to https://www.womensmarch.com. For the information on the Boston one go to http://bostonwomensmarchforamerica.org
I made this version of the pussy hat project hat because I hate sewing. I tried to Knit the hat they have as a pattern on their website and it came out really large. I am sure my gage was off or I was using bigger needles then I needed. So I looked at the crochet patterns and I didn’t like the look of them. One required sewing which is a bummer cause I hate sewing. The other one had no ribbing so it fit snug to your head. So this pattern makes the hat from the top down in a method I used to make tarot bags where you use both sides of the chain only going in one side of the loops at a time. Then It incorporates making ribbing sideways around the hat which gives you a stronger ribbing then the alternating BL and FL. I used an H or 5.5mm hook and It took about a skein of medium 4 yarn.
- In the chain one away from hook In back loops only half double crochet until end of chain. Turn and in the other loops of your chain (the front ones) half double crochet to end of chain then slipstitch end making a round.
- Ch2 and double crochet in all Hdc all the way around hat. Slip stitch into beginning of hat.
- Repeat 2. for 5 rows or until you have the desired length of four to four and a half inches
- (now the weird part where the ribbing begins.) chain eleven in chain one away from hook in Back loops single crochet until you reach hat. Single crochet in dc of hat. Sc in next dc above.
- Turn. sc ten times in sc of previous row of Brim in the Back loops only.
- Chain one turn sc in bl unit you reach hat. Sc in dc, sc in next dc.
- Repeat 5+6 until whole hat has ribbing.
- When you have gone all the way around the hat turn it inside out and sc through the loops both beginning of ribbing and end of ribbing to combine. Finish off.
From Nothing and All,
the Holy Desire,
of self unto self,
Speaker to listener,
the word divided us.
In it we found,
joy and sorrow,
pleasure and pain,
laughter and tears,
and through them
our love is made pure,
of self unto self
Our Holy Desire
for Nothing and All.
• • •
I came up with this poem as I thought about my experiences in Witchcraft Four during the Chokmah lesson. My vision verged on the mystic. Poetry is really the only way I know to put words to this particular vision.
I bought a singing bowl in Montreal on our vacation. I am horrible at getting them to sing and this was the first one that had ever sang for me. I took it as a sign and bought it at once. It is little and brass and came with a Wooden pestle and a pillow. When I got it home I out it on my desk and for got about it until yesterday. I picked up the bowl last night and began to play it without a particular intention to journey or meditate. As I played I became entranced and mindful. It then came to me to do an offering of sound and vibration to the gods and as I played I thought of the gods and made prayers of gratitude. I felt so good after I repeated the offering of vibration this morning pushing myself to find five things I was grateful for. The whole exercise maybe took five minutes but filled me with a feeling of peace before I had to go to work.
I woke this morning from a disturbing dream. The interpretation of the dream helped me get past it’s disturbing quality. Knowing that my dream was not literal and was a metaphor for what I am going through I could find it’s meaning. This is the kind of discernment we use for dreams. It got me to thinking about journeying as a shaman and how sometimes our journeys are much like dreams. For when we journey we go out into the planes of dream. Some shamans would say that our physical world is just another dream. To be “awake” to the meaning of a journey or an omen we must interpret it like a dream. Interpreting anything uses intellect and intuition combined. You must know yourself and what your subconscious signs are. You must have the intuition to be able to know if it is true for you. I like to get into a light trance to talk to the aspects of the dream or journey. I flat out ask them what they mean. This can be done with anything in the landscape even inanimate objects.
One of the most helpful things I have found is to talk about a dream with a friend who knows where the metaphorical bodies are buried in your mental landscape. Sometimes getting an outside perspective can help get us get clarity in our blind spots.
One of the things that I think is so important to the process of going on into the third level is to maintain work with the basics. Yes the level three is filled with journeys and work with guides but it is the things we learn in witchcraft one that give us the “witches fire” to take on the shamanic work. It is often hard to find time for all this work and support.
For example I know that one of my own shadow parts that often defeats me is when I get into a mood where I see my long list of things to do and see that it is never ending. I feel depressed about it and then it starts to leak out into other things in my life souring my reactions. This morning was one of those times.
I have been doing a ritual of discipline using a Sanskrit chant for forty days ending on New Years day to remove obstacles, both internally for all my “parts” to become whole and another chant to deal with helping me in my ministry work. The first chant for removal of obstacles is :” Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha” Which means “ Om and salutations to the remover of obstacles for which Gum is the seed.” The second is a more well known chant and happens to be one I had a shamanic experience with on my birthday. I woke up thinking our guest was chanting this chant in the middle of the night only to find him asleep on the couch. It is “Om Madne Padne Hum” which embodies the compassion of the enlightened who turned from there own enlightenment to help raise the consciousness of those who are suffering in the world. So to help me get out of my funk I put on some meditative music in my car for my ride to work. I did my two chants 108 times using mala beads to keep count. Then I cleared my chakras using my instant magic trigger and sent Reiki to myself. By the time that my commute was done I was not in a mood anymore but was optimistic. At the end of my drive I did my three soul alignment to give any extra energies released to my higher self.
Most people don’t like having a long commute but I really kind of like it in the fact that it gives me a time where I can use my trigger to help both my self as I did up above, or to send light and reiki to people who are in need. It is amazing how such a little practice can change your life and those of others. If your interested in doing a chanting working similar to mine Look at the book Healing mantras By Thomas Ashley-Farrand