Pagan Paths

It’s a common thing to hear that there’s a difference between our magical lives and our mundane lives. In reality, we have the ability to step into ritual and devotion each and every day.

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A San Francisco Samhain

It's quite early. I'm the only one up and about this morning, except the dogs. It rained through the night and soft, fine drizzle is continuing to fall. Heavy drops of rain are clinging to the leaves on the tree in my back yard, those leaves hanging on precariously enough themselves. To my way of thinking, it's just about the perfect morning here in Northern California.

Later on today, after cooking breakfast and showering and tending to the dogs and their muddy feet, I'll be heading out to San Francisco. I have a couple of out of town guests and I love showing off "The City". There are magical places that we'll visit that are dear to me and dear to the Reclaiming Community. Reclaiming witches and many other witches besides have visited these spots regularly for nearly four decades. There's something comforting in that, especially at this time of year.

Hawk Hill over looking the Golden Gate Bridge and the bay will be the first stop. So much magic has been done here by so many for such a long time. I have my own history here of doubt and flight and of hearing the calls of the ancestors through the fog and mist, as the veils thinned many Samhain-tides ago. The climb to the top of the hill is a little precarious. The small wooden track-way steps will be slick in the fog, but the view is always spectacular. I say the view is always spectacular, that doesn't always mean there's much to see. On clear days, the Golden Gate Bridge stretches majestically and leads one's eyes to the skyline of San Francisco. On a day like today, I'm likely to see a blank wall of white clouds, with occasional sightings of coyote brush, with a chance at spying swooping ravens. Like I said, spectacular.


We'll journey to the ocean and then swing up to an old park that's part of San Francisco's late Victorian past. We will leave offerings at the feet of the Goddess, as so many witches have done before. Her weather beaten and time worn visage hardly befitting the Goddess she is, but as with all things, flowers and herbs and pretty baubles can stave off the look of decay for a while longer. I have many reasons to love this place. I've been here with beloveds. I've been here for rituals. I'll remember witches that are no longer living, at least on this side of the veil, and recall that they too left offerings here for their Beloved Dead. 

It's probable that we'll journey to mural lined alley ways. Once thought of as graffiti, these incredible pieces of art tell the story of immigrants and goddesses and sacred land and police brutality and gentrification and hope and resistance and activists, long dead but never forgotten. So much of Reclaiming's history is on these streets. Protests and actions. Classes and Apprenticeships. Friends and lovers and mentors and so much of it is now gone and so much of it thrives and so much of it is remembered at this time of year. 


And then this evening, we'll wind our way to a huge public ritual. Thirty-seven years ago "The Spiral Dance" book, by Starhawk was released and a ritual began to celebrate the book and the causes and hopes it stood/stands for. For nearly four decades witches come together and journey to meet their Beloved and Mighty Dead. We sing a living spell that sustains us in the work we do in the world. We come to grieve the loss of dear friends, we publicly wail and cry, and drink from the deep well of being witnessed in community. And then we dance the Spiral Dance. It will be dizzying and disorienting and, if I'm lucky, I'll see the faces of my Beloved Dead dancing with me.

My tea is steeped. My guests are waking. This Samhain day is beginning. 

Let It Begin...

Let it begin with each step we take,

Let it begin with each change we make

And let it begin with each chain we break

And let it begin every time we awake


A year of freedom/ Let it begin now

A year of peace/ Let it begin now

A year of harvests Let it begin now

A  year of forests/ Let it begin now

A year of justice Let it begin now


Have a blessed Samhain!


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I've been a practicing witch and ritualist within the Reclaiming Tradition since 2003. I love being in service with this community of witches and world changers.   My own practice, my own way of changing the world is through devotional practice. It's my belief that we can re-enchant our lives by re-framing the so-called "mundane" as sacred and divine. By imbuing the familiar with a sense of wonder and infusing daily life with acts of magic, we choose to consciously make all of life devotion. Whether we engage in large, public rituals or sink sumptuously into the pure ecstasy of eating a delicious meal by ourselves or meditating at sunrise, our daily rituals can draw us back into harmony with the world and each other.  


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