Thursday, January 11, 2007

We've Moved!

Come visit at our new home:

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Comparative/Competitive Spirituality

One of the temptations we need to fight as we wend our way down the spiritual pathways, highways, and byways, is the tendency towards competitive or comparative spirituality.

It happens in places like yoga classes all the time – people comparing themselves to each other. Not trying to be their best selves in the asanas, but trying to be better than their classmates, to get more of the teacher’s praise.

Unfortunately, it happens in circles and spiritual workshops as well. We want to be good at whatever we do. Unfortunately, too often, we take it too far and try to prove we’re good because someone else is “not good”.

In reality, they may simply progress at a different pace or have different goals. We can’t compare ourselves to anyone else when it comes to something as ephemeral and personal as spirituality.

What we can do is strive to meet our own goals, and encourage our fellow travelers to do the same.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

New Year's Goals

Thursday, January 4, 2007
Moon phase: Last day of the Wolf/Cold Moon
Retrogrades: Saturn

A fresh year means a fresh start, a clean slate. One can have that at the beginning of each new moon cycle, but there’s something about the optimistic energy with which the majority of the world is infused on the 1st of January that’s infectious.

And, on top of that, this year, the turn of the year happened during a waxing moon, so even the moon cycle supports our resolutions!

There are three things I want to work on this year:

--Go deeper in the oracle work;
--Remain steady in my yoga/meditation practice
--Study herbs

I’ve done some herbal study and even had a bit of training, and I’d like to enter a formal training program; however, both financially and chaos-wise, I can’t commit to that this year. But what I CAN commit to, starting with the next new moon, is studying herbals and learning as much as I can about as many herbs as I can, herb by herb. This will help me when I do enter formal training for herbalism.

And, I have The Herbal Tarot, which will, no doubt, help me.

One of my Yule gifts was John Matthews’s The Celtic Oracle, which used to be called The Celtic Shaman’s Pack. I’m going to focus my oracle work from this full moon to the next one on that pack.

Unfortunately, I don’t have permission from the publisher to post photos of the deck, so it will be without illustration, but I hope you will join me on my journey in 2007.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

The Importance of New Year's Resolutions

Even though my year spiritually goes from Samhain to Samhain, January 1 gives me a chance to start fresh, too, with New Year’s resolutions.

People squawk about New Year’s Resolutions. They tend to say they don’t do them because they set themselves up for failure and it makes them feel bad; or they pick a bunch of simple steps that are little more than a to-do list.

The point of a resolution is to make a commitment to yourself. If you esteem yourself, if you respect yourself, you are going to keep striving beyond what you think you can do AND ACHIEVE IT.

If you don’t push yourself beyond your boundaries, beyond your comfort zone, you can’t grow. Growth is spurred by challenge, not by complacency.

Does that mean everything on your list gets perfectly polished off?

No, because, during the course of a year, your life changes, and you have to adjust.

But not to do something because you’re afraid of failure, or purposely setting goals that are too easy for you are marks of self disrespect. And how can you expect others to respect you when you don’t respect yourself?

Resolutions are for YOU, not anyone else. If you wish, don’t tell anyone. Making them public allows those who don’t have your best interests at heart to try to sabotage you. Sometimes, that’s a spur to go even farther than you thought you could. Other times, it discourages you.

Whether you choose to share your resolutions with a close friend, on a blog, or just keep it in your heart – pick one thing you want to strive towards this year. Let this be the resolution of your heart. And push yourself to achieve it.

Choose growth in the coming year instead of complacency.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Yule 2006

Tonight is the Winter Solstice – Yule. It’s the shortest day and the longest night. One of the wonderful things is that . . .starting tomorrow, the days get longer!

The solstice is when we celebrate the return of the Sun (son in archetypical reference) after the long winter nights. Even though often tonight is called “The First Night of Winter” – it’s merely the LONGEST night, not the first. We still have many long nights to experience – to me, February nights seem particularly interminable.

But tonight is a time to celebrate.

Even if it’s only a moment, take a candle and light it as a welcoming symbol towards the sun’s return. Take a minute to reflect on the darknesses in your life and how you want to bring in more light during the coming cycle.

Celebrate with family and friends in this festive season; take some time to breathe. Align yourself with the natural world and work WITH the seasons, not against them.

Bright blessings to you!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

7 in '07

Here’s a bit of Shameless Self-Promotion for you:

I have articles in 7 of the 2007 Llewellyn Almanacs:

The Witches’ Calendar
The Spell-A-Day
The Magical Almanac
The Herbal Almanac
The Tarot Reader
The Moon Almanac
The Wicca Almanac (which is released in Spring)

Of course, I hope you buy them for friends and family and keep a copy of yourself!


Thursday, November 02, 2006

Mercury Retrograde

So, what, exactly, is Mercury Retrograde? And why do we bitch and moan about it so much?

There are certain times of the year when it appears that the planets are going in the opposite way of their journey around the sun than normal. That’s a “retrograde”. In terms of planetary influences, it means that the planet’s influence in your chart is also backwards.

Mercury is fairly close to earth, and therefore has a good bit of influence. Mercury handles communication, travel, electronics, and shopping. So, when Mercury is retrograde, people tend to misunderstand each other, travel is screwed up, the computer goes kaplooey, and money changes hands quickly.

How can you use Mercury retrograde to your advantage? Depending on where it is in your chart (which will change the degree of influence) and where it was when you were born, here are some suggestions:

--Think before you speak. You should do so anyway, but do it even more during these weeks. And, if someone says something you find offensive, don’t react. Walk away and think about it, within the context of what you know about the person. The words could have come out wrong, or what you heard might not be what was said. Mercury is also associated with the Trickster in some mythologies – so be careful.

--If you have to travel, give yourself lots of extra time. I try not to travel by airplane during a Mercury retrograde; if I do, I expect delays for hours and hours, so if it goes smoothly, it’s a gift. If I’m driving, I’m especially vigilant. I don’t want to get into an accident because someone else was careless. And I give myself an hour to an hour and a half cushion for all appointments. I can always arrive early and sit down and write a few pages while I’m waiting. However, I still expect and demand a call if someone else has caught up in the retrograde and will be late. It’s not an excuse to be irresponsible and disrespectful.

--I’m careful with the computer. Usually, my computer crashes. This time, it was my printer. Sigh. I do the best I can, and try not to get too frustrated. Which doesn’t work.

--I do a lot of thrift shopping and sale shopping. And antiquing. People don’t realize the value of what they’re selling, so it’s a good time to bargain shop.

--On the flip side, I don’t make large ticket purchases or sign contracts. I put off signage until Mercury goes direct. You especially don’t want to buy a house or a car during either a Mercury or a Jupiter retrograde. Or buy electronics. If they work now, they’ll stop when Mercury goes direct. Or, even more likely, they won’t work now.

I try to find more patience for myself and others during this time. It doesn’t always work.

My mantra: Stay low, stay quiet, go shopping.

Good luck!

Monday, October 30, 2006


Tomorrow is the Celtic New Year, where the wheel of the year turns towards the time of inner work and contemplation.

It’s also the time of “Tending the Dead”, a subject I discussed at length in last year’s entries at this time – five nights of tending to different groups of dead in one’s life – ancestors, children, pets, friends, The Lost.

Tomorrow, take time to re-evaluate your life. What do you need to harvest? What do you need to cut away?

Use your favorite oracle to divine the coming year.

My favorite spread to use at this time of year is a two-deck clock face spread. I choose one tarot deck as the “action” deck and the second deck as the “energy” deck. I shuffle both, thinking about the coming year.

For each month, starting with November, I place one card from each deck at a clock face position. Twelve o’clock is November, one o’clock is December, two o’clock is January, etc., all away around the dial. At the center are two more cards, for the 13th lunar month of the year.

Write down each card, marked “action” and “energy”, and, for each month, write an evaluation of what the cards mean together for that month.

Refer to it every month, so you can see what changes in the course of a year. And what does not. It will help point out patterns, both good and bad, in your life.

Now we begin the inward journey. Outdoors, in the Northern Hemisphere, we are moving towards winter. It’s a time to pull inward, let the storms rage outside, and deal with the storms within.

Samhain is the third and final harvest. It’s considered back luck to pick anything from the fields or garden after tomorrow – it brings bad luck, it will turn bad. Anything not harvested by now must be left in the fields for the spirits. So, if there’s any last minute garden work to put your beds to sleep for the winter, do it today and tomorrow.

Remember, there’s a price to pay for the excuse “I’m too busy” when it comes to Spirit.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

October 5 -- Full Moon: Blood Moon

Tomorrow is October’s full moon. It’s called either the “blood moon” or the “hunter’s moon.” Legend has it that this was the last chance hunters had to stock up for the winter, and this moon lit the way so they could hunt at night.

The moon usually hangs low in the sky, an almost orange-yellow, tinged with red. Whatever the scientific reasons for this are, on another level, it makes sense that the moon allowing bloodshed is shaded with red.

This is the last full moon before Samhain. Samhain itself falls during the first quarter (the new moon is on the 22nd). So, this is the last full moon of this agricultural cycle. Some folklore states the final harvest can be no later than the 11th; others that before Samhain itself is acceptable to harvest. Anything not picked by then must be left in the fields for the spirits. Bringing it into the house and eating it after Samhain brings bad luck and illness.

Tomorrow, think about what you’ve brought to fruition in this cycle. And then think about what you still have to harvest before the end of the month. What needs to lie fallow over the winter, in order to replenish and bloom by spring? What needs to be cut away?

Sunday, August 13, 2006

One Year Anniversary!

Waning Moon
Retrogrades: Pluto, Neptune, Uranus

Today is the one year anniversary of Kemmyrk!

Thank you to my loyal readers, who stick with me as I find the best way for this blog to serve both the oracles and the community.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Home Om -- Day 32

Last Day of the Full Moon
Retrogrades: Pluto, Neptune, Uranus

Yes, there’s one final bit of work to do in order to complete our full moon to full moon work:

Release it.

That’s right. For the next few days, go about your business, with an awareness of the work we’ve done, but without dwelling on it.

Give it the energy raised over the past month a chance to get out there and manifest.

It’s difficult – it’s always hard not to hang on to it and worry it. But let go, and let the manifestation happen!

Many thanks for taking this journey with me. Please let me know when you find your new home!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Home Om -- Day 31

Full Moon
Retrogrades: Pluto, Neptune, Uranus

Take your pen and paper. Write a short note to the Universe about your new home, your hopes and dreams for it, what worries you. Light the candle. From the lit candle, set the paper on fire, and let it burn out in your fireproof dish. This sends the message into the Universe.

Let the candle burn all the way down; throw away whatever’s left and the ashes.

There’s one more day of our work together, tomorrow. We’re not quite finished!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Home Om -- Day 30

First day of the Full Moon
Retrogrades: Pluto, Neptune, Uranus

In today’s visualization, walk up the path to your new home. You are carrying bread, salt, and wine. Open the door. Feel it under your hand. Smell the scent of your new house.

Step inside, carrying your items.

Let your energy spread throughout the space, mingling with that of your new home.

Put the salt in the cupboard, marked with an “X” so that you don’t use it.

Eat the bread; drink the wine.

These are visualizations of the first time you actually step over the threshold of your own home.