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Ahimsa Grove Samhain Special: Hecate’s Veg History

 

          Few Neo-pagan goddesses are as strongly associated with Samhain as is Hecate (also often spelled Hekate). Therefore, I thought it might be a good time of year to point out the perhaps unexpected ways that Hecate has always had a place at the vegetarian table.

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Riding the tides of Samhain (No sh*t, no flowers)

 

"I can make whatever choices I want in my life, and I will live with the consequences of those choices. But if I want to live a life close to my deepest desires, I have to risk knowing who I really am and have always been. Knowing this, then I can choose."

 Oriah Mountain Dreamer, The Invitation

  

We live in a culture and a world of avoidance.  Television, social media, alcohol and drugs are just a few escape routes we have to avoid truly knowing who we really are.  At this time of year, when Samhain is fast approaching we cannot avoid the very real fact that we will die, that death is unavoidable, though we may try.  Looking at death straight in the eye can reveal some very hard truths about ourselves, about how we live in the world, and what our responsibility and duty is to the ancestors, not only ancestors of the past but perhaps more importantly, ancestors of the future.  

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    Hi Anges - I understand your perspective, and find it fascinating - though it vastly differs from mine. I don't believe in a Crea
  • Elizabeth Blakely Toews
    Elizabeth Blakely Toews says #
    Not true, we do not have to die. We have created a death hormone over the eons. We can bust that death hormone. I know because abo
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    I see death as I see birth - it's an event that happens in our lives, but it is not a start nor an ending to life. Death is not th
  • Elizabeth Blakely Toews
    Elizabeth Blakely Toews says #
    This Metaphysician feels you are not understanding immortality, of course the soul--that part of us that is a God spark, lives on
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    Hi Ted! Yes, at this time of year I go over my Will, closets, mind and attachments, etc and have a really good clean out. It's be

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
The Magick of Making

What is a spell? Is it the gathering together of specific items such as crystals, herbs, and colored candles during certain phases of the moon to heal?  Is it the power of an invocation chanted by a coven to bring a deity? Is it a song sung by a mother to her child to soothe them? Is it the drawing of a certain symbol on the ground of a sacred space designed to protect it? 

If we define magick as the process of focusing intention and applying will to situations, objects, and energy around us to cause a change in consciousness, then all of these activities are kinds of spells. They are all forms of magick in their own way.

So with that in mind, we may also consider the visual art-making process as a magical path. Of course, not every piece of art is a magickal working, but with the right elements and conditions, it has the potential. 

Art can be created to take on a variety of magickal purposes - here are a few examples:
-A painting or statue created to represent a deity, to remind us of the divine
-A vessel or sculpture created to house a spirit or other sort entity
-A work created for as a focus for meditation or to transform a person, place, or thing 
-Work created to be an interactive altar, sacred space or be part of an altar offering

And while nearly any object can be re-purposed for use in magick, there is something extra special about an item that was handcrafted with that intent in mind. Why?

As an artist, when I sit down to create a painting, piece of jewelry, drawing, or sculpture, there are numerous steps and factors involved.  I generally (and prefer to) create my work in my studio space, which is essentially my personal sacred space.  I consider what I wish to work on, making a list of what I need. I carefully prepare the area that I work in/on/around and painstakingly gathering my materials.  I choose the light, music, and time aside needed to focus - and then I get to work. If I am creating a custom painting for a client, then I am meditating on them and their needs.  If I am creating a piece that relates to a deity, then I approach them respectfully and allow a dialogue to occur that brings them into the process.

I find that creating work is a balance of conscious, subconscious, and unconscious levels of awareness and thought.  If I am too much in any one area (overthinking, or perhaps too much in trance), the work will not be as successful.  The body, mind, and spirit must be in alignment, yet also be fluid enough to allow for change.  

Through much experimenting and observation over the last 20 years, I have recognized the similarities between the state of being I experience during classic spellcraft and when I am creating art infused with magick.  The energy transfer feels identical, and as I have studied the work and experiences of other artists, I have noticed similar results in the product.  It has its own buzz that you not only see, but feel. Whether it's a ceramic chalice, a talisman necklace, an elemental mask, a goddess sculpture, or painting of a god - the hand-worked, mind-forged, spirit-infused item seems to possess something more, right from the start, and continues to build as it interacts with the world around it. 

Just like any good traditional spell, it requires skill and knowledge in the medium, the ability to focus one's intent and energy, and the patience, dedication, and understanding of working with the project and seeing it through until the end. 

If you don't consider yourself an artist, that's OK. Think about the art and artful objects you may have in your home, be they originals or copies.  Why did you choose those pieces, or how did they come to you?  How do they make you feel? Why do you have certain things in specific places? What about art or objects that you have left behind, given away, or sold? 

If you are an artist, and this is new and intriguing to you, then consider what media you are best in, and what sort of magick it may lend itself to.  Over the years I have created deathmasks and psychopomp portraits, spirit portals, fetishes, drawings to bring about change, paintings for meditation, altar objects, and energizing talismans to name a few.  There's a lot of potential out there, when you have the right mindset and skill to make it happen. 





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Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_PlaquetheOfferingofMaatBTR_103_20130520-193301_1.jpgDua, Maat, you who were with Ra from the beginning.

Mistress of the two lands, Lady of truth, dua, hail and welcome.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
The Role of Belief in Magic

Belief is a powerful tool in magic, and in spirituality in general. Belief is a funnel for attention and intention. Whether you believe in something because you genuinely believe in it or believe in it for the sake of something you are trying to achieve, belief has a purpose in magical work. I find the following passage to be illustrative of the importance of belief in magical work:

Be it noted that we do not have to believe or disbelieve in the actuality of such inner agencies per se. what we must believe in is the possibility they exist in their own state of being, yet are capable of interaction with ours by unspecified means or degrees...We need not believe in 'spirit' unless we want to, but we positively must believe in our capability of living and behaving as if the energies available to such entities might be employed on our behalf. From Exorcizing the Tree of Evil by William G. Gray

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Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

I love Chaos Gods. They fill my life with hugely beneficial synchronicity, if I only open to these supposedly chance occurrences, instead of stubbornly digging in my heels. (Yeah, I know Chaos Gods are portrayed as all evil and dangerous, but that's a lie. Well, some Chaos Gods are evil, but I don't work with them.)

I felt moved to write about this Divine chaotic kindness because of a recent event. It dazzled me so much that I have to share my delight—or I'm going to burst—in how beautifully and intricately the World Tree weaves to embrace me in its branches constantly.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Bee Smith
    Bee Smith says #
    This post is pure gold, Francesca!
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Wow, Bee, thank you so much! ✨
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Love this, Francesca, and I hope Ravyn contacts you for tips on disability crafting. It's both comforting and humbling to look bac
  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis says #
    Thank you! Yes, I am so grateful for divine designs. Did you read my book Share My Insanity? In it, I talk about chaos only appea
  • Jenn
    Jenn says #
    This is so awesome! I love felting - I do needle felting but have a book about wet felting and definitely want to get into it. You

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_zeus.JPGI have heard hard polytheists come up with all sorts of words to distinguish their gods from Jungian archetypes.  The gods, they say, are "real", "literal", "individual", "distinct", and "separate"; they are "persons", "beings", "entities", or "agents".  The archetypes, it is implied, are none of these things. 

I think much of this is based on a misunderstanding of the nature of the archetypes.  In the next four posts, I want to talk about four terms that polytheists use to distinguish gods from archetypes: "real", "literal", "separate", and "agents".

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