Spring on the Horizon

It’s getting close to the lunar new year and for many people, that means a time of cleansing. For some, this is a time of the year when they take on a dietary cleanse. They try cutting things like sugar and meat out of their diet to see if it works for them. I have been contemplating no sugar but I love my ice cream and cookies too much to actually do that. For others, they start their physical space cleansing, also known as spring cleaning. This is something that I have been doing. Ever since last year, I have been making moves to become more organized and get rid of some of my excess “stuff”. I try to keep my home clean throughout the whole year but there are times when I need to do extra work, like my garage for example, it needs a lot of clean up work right now. For lunar new year in asian countries, it’s customary to not clean the day of the new year to preserve prosperity in the home. On the day after, you clean your whole house top to bottom to welcome in prosperity.

For Imbolc this year, I celebrated both the coming of spring and did some ritual cleansing using full moon water that I set out to charge during that wicked lunar eclipse slash blue supermoon we had on the 31st of January. I used the water to clear my chakras. I haven’t talked much about chakras before but it’s something that I believe in ever since my yoga teacher training in 2015. I am by no means an expert on it but it’s something that I hope to develop more in the coming year.

As for welcoming spring, my covenmates and I poured some cream from a dairy that I grew up with into the garden. I haven’t used a lot of milk in my practice before but I will likely use more this coming year. Milk, eggs, and honey are the only animal products that I feel comfortable making as offerings in my practice at this time. I know that blood, bones, and meat make great offerings but I just haven’t felt the desire to use them. Milk, eggs, and honey are offerings of fertility and life while blood, bones, and meat are more offerings of death. Perhaps, I will use blood, bones, or meat at Samhain this year.

Which brings me to the question of why do pagans make offerings or sacrifices and what do they mean or represent. To get to the root of what sacrifice means, you have to go way back to an age when every single resource, however small, was needed. To make any kind of offering or sacrifice to the spirits or gods was seen as our way of giving back to those who provide to us. Think of it like our way of taking part in the conservation of energy or the circle of life (as explained in The Lion King). Humans are excellent at producing what they need and then over producing for the sake of our economy. Pagans who take that over production and give it back to nature, are helping to recover some of that loss so that it might be used again in the future.

Do the gods or spirits demand sacrifice? You bet they do. The more we take from the land, the more we will one day have to give back. What we have been giving back, plastics, chemical waste, and other ecologically damaging by-products will only harm us and the planet we call home further. There’s going to be a cost that humans will one day have to pay for all that we have taken. While there are things we as the individual can do to help stem off this sacrifice, one day, we will all pay for our devotion to consumerism.

While in Hawai’i, I had a chance to see a volcano in action. Seeing where the beginnings of our planet and the land in which we rely on in action was both inspiring and humbling. Here was the core of creation at work and yet it was destroying at the same time. Looking at the lava in action, I understood why the Hawaiians believed that the volcano was the Goddess, Pele. You could feel her presents there in a way that I have not experienced in my life before. Volcanoes will one day recover our land for us, their lava will spill over all of the destruction we have caused on the surface, drag it deep into the core and bring new life to the surface. Billions of years from now, when our time on the service has long since burned away, Earth will still be here, hurtling through space until the Sun engulfs her and then new energy will be expelled into the universe. That’s our true immortality, in the atoms of our makeup, we are all made of stars.

So on that happy note, hail the coming of spring and the cycle of rebirth of the land!

~Priestess Spiritsong Dreamweaver


Full Moons of 2018

Part of my practice is following the moon cycles, not only the lunar ones but also my biological one as well. I have put together a chart for you to keep track of when the next full moon is happening in 2018.

Spirisong Dreamweaver

Month Name Description
Tuesday, January 2, 2018

02:25 AM

Full Wolf Moon This full Moon appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside the villages. It is also known as the Old Moon. To some Native American tribes, this was the Snow Moon, but most applied that name to the next full Moon, in February.
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

01:27 PM

Blue Moon

Full Snow Moon Usually the heaviest snows fall in February. Hunting becomes very difficult, and hence to some Native American tribes this was the Hunger Moon.
Friday, March 2, 2018

12:52 AM

Saturday, March 31, 2018

12:37 PM

Blue Moon

Full Worm Moon At the time of this spring Moon, the ground begins to soften and earthworm casts reappear, inviting the return of robins. This is also known as the Sap Moon, as it marks the time when maple sap begins to flow and the annual tapping of maple trees begins.
Monday, April 30, 201812:59 AM Full Pink Moon This full Moon heralded the appearance of the moss pink, or wild ground phlox—one of the first spring flowers. It is also known as the Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and the Fish Moon.
Tuesday, May 29, 2018

02:20 PM

Full Flower Moon Flowers spring forth in abundance this month. Some Algonquin tribes knew this full Moon as the Corn Planting Moon or the Milk Moon.
Thursday, June 28, 2018

04:54 AM

Full Strawberry Moon The Algonquin tribes knew this Moon as a time to gather ripening strawberries. It is also known as the Rose Moon and the Hot Moon.
Friday, July 27, 2018

08:22 PM

Full Buck Moon At this time, a buck’s antlers are in full growth mode. This full Moon was also known as the Thunder Moon, because thunderstorms are so frequent during this month.
Sunday, August 26, 2018

11:58 AM

Full Sturgeon Moon Some Native American tribes knew that the sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this full Moon. Others called it the Green Corn Moon.
Tuesday, September 25, 2018

02:54 AM

Full Corn Moon This full Moon corresponds with the time of harvesting corn. It is also called the Barley Moon, because it is the time to harvest and thresh the ripened barley. The Harvest Moon is the full Moon nearest the autumnal equinox, which can occur in September or October and is bright enough to allow finishing of all the harvest chores.
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

04:47 PM

Full Hunter’s Moon This is the month when the leaves are falling and the game is fattened. Now is the time for hunting and laying in a store of provisions for the long winter ahead. October’s Moon is also known as the Travel Moon and the Dying Moon.
Friday, November 23, 2018

05:41 AM

Full Beaver Moon

Full Beaver Moon For both the colonists and the Algonquin tribes, this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. This full Moon was also called the Frost Moon.
Saturday, December 22, 2018

05:50 PM

Full Cold Moon This is the month when the winter cold fastens its grip and the nights become long and dark. This full Moon is also called the Long Nights Moon by some Native American tribes.

Rebirth of the Spirit

The winter solstice has come at last. The dark time of the year has come to an end and the sun is reborn. The days start getting longer but we are also in the coldest time of the year. On the one had light is returning but we must endure six more weeks of winter chill before spring arrives on February first.

I celebrated this solstice with my coven. We had a feast dedicated to Freyr and had a blot to the Norse gods, spirits of the land, and our ancestors. We made a sacrifice of red wine on the outdoor altar. After that, we sat around the outdoor sacred fire pit in our winter cloths for a journey to our sacred thirteen oaks to seek wisdom for the new year. It was minus 17 degrees celcius out there but there was something peaceful about listening to the fire cracks while the wind blew at our backs. Each of us received a vision from the flames that was meant just for us.

My vision was reflective of my inner conflict. Lately, I have been struggling with what it means to be a pagan priestess. Even the words themselves don’t feel right. I am not a leader but I do have special knowledge and experience in my pagan path to share. I am forced to walk the path of a spiritual leader, teacher, and practitioner. Since I am in such a small community of pagans, we have very few pagan leaders and teachers, which means that any of us who have even just a few years experience are forced onto a path that we might not be best suited for.

Taking control of your own spiritual path is one of the most exhilarating experiences you can have. When I say you are your best teacher, I mean it. You don’t need someone to show you the way, you know the way, you have always known it. Having someone feed you directions will likely only get you lost. As the old saying goes, there’s more than one path up the mountain. That is to say that just because one person found a “safe path” up, does not mean that your path will be just as safe. In the same way that all snowflakes look exactly the same before they fall to Earth, they change as they fall until each one is completely different from the others.

I have been contemplating the title of “priestess” as is stands right now. I have been feeling that the term I have been using is too akin to that of the Wiccan system. I am not a High Priestess nor will I ever be. I do not practice Wiccan ritual magic and I do not fully follow the Wiccan belief system.. My own practice is more akin to that of shaman or in the Norse tradition, a Seiðr or a Völva. I have some ideas for how I want to grow my pagan path next year and I have been given some ideas on how to do that.

This past summer, I spent a full moon cycle working with Goddess energy. This year, I want to grow on that experience and bring in my work with the Gods. I won’t be dividing my time though, I will walk with both types of energies. I will likely be spending more time on research for the Norse traditions. I have been feeling more and more drawn to Norse energies over the last few years. Some of the ways in which I plan on bringing better understanding to the ways of my ancestors is to revive some of their domestic practices, including clothing, food, and fishing and hunting. I don’t want to just become a reenactor but more of a revivalist. In our modern age of industrialization and mechanization, it’s easy to lose touch with our roots.

I look to cultures like the Sami who have managed to keep their roots and participate in our modern world. While much of their culture has been forced to change to other spiritual beliefs in recent centuries, they too are finding revival in their spiritual connection to the gods of old. I would argue that since our culture is so caught up in consumerism, it’s very difficult for us to break away from it. It’s so much more easy to buy food, clothes, and other possessions than it is to make them ourselves. The only this is costs us is hours of our lives to fill someone else’s consumer need. We are literally trading our lives for stuff.

This holiday season, my family and I agreed to go on a trip instead of doing gifts. My brother and I are at the point in our lives where we don’t need any gifts. So instead of getting more stuff, our family is investing in time and an experience together. We are going to Hawaii for sixteen days. This will be the longest family vacation we have taken in years and the first non-Californian vacation since our Grand Canyon trip in 1992. Needless to say, we are long overdue for taking a trip together like this. I have been looking forward to this trip since we first decided on it in June. It will be nice to have a change of setting for a while and not worry about everyday life for a bit.

Hawaii has always been a place that holds a special magic, in particular the Goddess Pele. I am fortunate that we have chosen to go to the Big Island, Hawaii herself where the volcano Goddess Pele lives. I cannot wait to see the act of island creation at its source and see where lava spill into the ocean giving way to new life. Part of me thinks that it will be hard to get me away from this island once I get there. The only other place that holds this same kind of magic for me is Iceland.

I have been waiting for the Asatru temple in Iceland to be finished before I go there. I don’t expect it to be a long trip, maybe a week but I don’t want to go until that temple is finished. I wish that we had something like that here in Canada or even in British Columbia. We don’t have any dedicated pagan temples where I live. It’s not that we don’t have a vibrant community that could sustain it if one was built, it’s the work that it takes to get said temple off the ground. What will likely have to happen is an elderly pagan will have to give an endowment in order to get the process started. Kind of like how someone in my hometown had to give the land to the Catholic hall in order for it to have been built in the 1980s. Not there there aren’t enough empty churches in Kelowna, we just don’t have the capital to get them off of the ground. Talk about a lifetime goal. I hope that one day, I will have land to build some sort of covenstead on it. Of course, that’s getting way ahead of myself. For now, I will just focus on my personal pagan path and growing my own tradition.

Spiritsong Dreamweaver

Sacred Items of Adornment

1319584_artemidaIt was the day before my break up with my ex and I felt compelled to purchase a silver arrow pendant. I don’t know why I was so driven but I have the feeling now that I was just done with dealing with men. Don’t get me wrong, I am not a man-hater, I just think I need to cultivate some female divine energy right now. I feel like somehow my femininity was stolen from me in the last eighteen months and I want to reclaim it. This is one of the reasons I plan on doing a whole 28 days of Walking the Path of the Goddess, starting this full moon.

I have been feeling a connection to Goddess Diana for the last little while, I would say from just before my breakup and continuing on after. Diana is the goddess of the hunt, the moon, and nature being associated with wild animals and woodland, and having the power to talk to and control animals. Oak groves and deer are especially sacred to her.

I think I have been appreciating her independence as a Goddess who chose to remain a wild woman in a very male dominated society. There’s no surprise to me that she’s the Goddess of witches in Italy the old religion of Stregheria. She’s also a protector of women and childbirth. Now there’s a Goddess for women for sure. There’s a whole branch of Wicca dedicated to Diana that’s very female oriented. Diane_de_Versailles_Leochares_2

As a goddess of hunting, Diana often wears a short tunic and hunting boots. She is often portrayed holding a bow, and carrying a quiver on her shoulder, accompanied by a deer or hunting dogs. She was portrayed as beautiful and youthful. The crescent moon, sometimes worn as a diadem, is a major attribute of the goddess.

Since my break up, I have been wearing my silver arrow necklace, which I have started referring to as my Silver Arrow of Diana because I think that the Moon Goddess was at work within me as I faced my ex and called off our relationship once and for all. He wanted a break and I wanted my suffering to end, so I shot a silver arrow into it. Now when I wear this necklace, it remind me of what I gave up and what I received in return. I gave up a loveless relationship and gained a renewed sense of self-love and independence.

I have also been wearing a little silver ring with a pink crystal heart set into it, on the finger that once wore the claddagh ring I used to wear when I was with my ex. I have been calling this new ring my Promist Ring of Self-Love. When I look at it, it reminds me to take care of myself first before anything else. I gave up a lot of myself in my last relationship and I didn’t receive anything back in return for those sacrifices. This ring reminds me that when I am feeling like someone is taking advantage of me, to pull back and take of myself first. As my coven mate is fond of saying, “You cannot serve from an empty platter.”

Keeping items that are sacred to you are important. Our ancestors also thought that personal items were important as we have seen evidence of them in grave goods uncovered in archaeological dig sites all over Europe. We will never truly know how important they were to those people or where they got them from. We live in an age where we can share the stories of our sacred objects in a medium where they can almost last forever. I don’t mind sharing my stories of my sacred objects with you and I hope that they inspire you to find sacred items of your own.

Blessed Be!

~Priestess Spiritsong Dreamweaver