A few winters ago, I was lucky enough to spend the end of December in Europe, and one of the most beautiful, sacred sites of my trip was the Chartres Cathedral in France, outside of Paris. I’d long been fascinated with this spot, since it turns up again and again in Grail lore and stories of the Magdalene heresy, but what I didn’t know before making this pilgrimage was that the cathedral stands over a holy well, and before the current stone structure was built, the site was possible a Druidic grove or Celtic holy site. Wherever the magic comes from that infuses Chartres, it’s tangible, and the visit lingers with me as one of profound peace and personal exploration.
With gas prices lower than we’ve seen in a long time, lots of people are taking to the road and the air to travel for the upcoming holidays. It’s a time of gratitude and love, whether you’re flying solo, headed back to visit your blood family, or carving out time for the friends you hold dear, but when so many people hit the roads, tensions can rise and safety can feel tenuous.
I wanted to share a quick spell for safe travels with y’all before I head off for Thanksgiving. Take your time, be courteous to other drivers, and consider asking Isis for a little extra protection before you leave your house.
Sekhmet is an interesting goddess; long before I traveled to Egypt, I’d begun to feel pulses of magic from the lioness-headed statues I encountered in various museums, and even in the land of the Nile, it was in a museum that I first felt a pull toward her. At the time, it struck me as a bit strange that I’d feel resonance not with the sand beneath my feet, but with the massive black granite statues of the goddess, but it makes a certain amount of sense. It’s widely believed that tremendous statues of Sekhmet guarded Egypt’s ancient borders, and some even say that in times of invasion, the statues were brushed with poisonous spores to infect the would-be invaders as they crossed into Egypt. It’s no wonder that the statues of the Lady of Pestilence pack a punch; these icons are loaded with power!
I hadn’t expected to feel so strongly drawn to this goddess during my pilgrimage to Egypt; I’m an Isis girl all the way, and while I’ve always enjoyed the other Egyptian gods, I’ve never felt pulled to work with them. But Sekhmet was insistent, from the first time I faced her in the beautiful museum in Luxor, and by the time I ventured south to the Temple of Kom Ombo, I couldn’t ignore the intense emotions her image stirred in me.
One of my favorite places on earth has long been Stratford, Ontario. I first visited this magical haven when I was very young; my mom was taking a Shakespeare class, and she decided to introduce me to The Tempest. We read it and discussed it together every night leading up to our trip, and then I had the spellbinding experience of seeing the words come to life in the Festival Theater, a beautiful space boasting the first thrust stage constructed in the world since the days of Shakespeare himself. There were trap doors and magical things, and I walked away completely captivated.
In the years that have passed, I’ve been fortunate enough to sneak away to Stratford regularly; it was easy enough, since I lived in Michigan for the first twenty-four years of my life, and the drive was under five hours (provided everything went smoothly at the border). It has become harder to make the pilgrimage since I moved to North Carolina, but Stratford has now become a special spot for my husband and me, since we spent our short honeymoon there six years ago, and just returned again this summer for another amazing artistic experience.