Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Homemade Hoodoo

Sticks, Stones, Roots & Bones Stephanie Rose Bird

One of the required reading books of my Initiate year with CAYA Coven. I gotta say, I have been delighted by the reading list so far, and this one continues the standards of wise, effective, encouraging and deeply reverent materials we have covered in these studies. How many times have I looked into a path of spiritual guidance only to be thwarted by energies of elitism, negativity, or just plain washed-out goop? I am relieved and excited to report that the deeper I delve into CAYA, the more I feel I have truly found my spiritual community.

But back to the book. This wonderful, informative, inspiring book. Stephanie Rose Bird leads us through the history, lore and practice of the American folk magick that developed out of the cauldron of African traditions bubbling away with a blend of European and Indigenous ways in the Southern USA. It's a hands-on crafty approach to spiritual practice, which appeals to the Kitchen Witch in me. Most of the materials are already lying about the house or easily found outside, and the power comes through awareness, attention, and intention (but doesn't it always?). The author stresses ethically-sourced and organic materials whenever possible, and goes into great detail about why this is important, with plenty of options to choose from. Still, it's thrilling to read about the strange animal bits and dangerous/illegal items or now-endangered plants that went into mojo bags of the past.

Each chapter focuses on a different element or concern of life that might need working on. Cleansing, protection, conflict resolution (by peaceful or other means), ancestors, prosperity, love, and the many rites of passage are each explained, explored and provided with several concotions, rituals, and songs to bring our lives into alignment, and hopefully to restore balance in the world and beyond. I see that I've marked the book up with some bits I'd like to return to, including, Spirit of Love Floor Wash, Protection Rings, dipping sewing needles into special oils to infuse their energy into the project, "the androgynous deity Erinlé is honored as the orisha of herbalism," 'Lift Me Up' Pine Floor Wash, Elegba Spirit Altar and Bath, and "the soles of our feet function as receivers of divine messages and transmitters of our intentions into the spirit world." I could spend a year exploring practices just from this book and not run out of fascinating possibilities.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Beyond the Binary

For the past month or so, several CAYA Priest/esses and I have been brainswarming a new study group focused on issues of gender-variant spiritual practice in our coven. We decided that as our first public offering, we would launch a blog on this Transgender Day of Remembrance. 

May it serve the highest good for the benefit of all beings.

Namaste and blessed be!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Invoking Hina

On Saturday, CAYA Coven's Grove of Artemis (our women's circle) celebrated the Graveyard Moon by honoring the Hawaiian goddess, Hina. I felt deeply honored to offer the invocation, as I now feel to share it with you here:

Hina
Aloha
We call to you

Hina-i-ka-malama; Hina in the Moon
We have prepared this sacred space with candles and song, offerings of fruits and flowers to welcome you

Hina who works in the moon
Who beats the kapa cloth to clothe her family
We honor your strength and creativity

Hina, healing mother
Who infuses the plants with healing energies
Tonight we pray for healing
Move us like the waves make the seaweed dance
Dance with us tonight, powerful Hina

Hina, mother of the islanders
We are all islands surrounded by your beautiful aloha
Our hearts gathered like children in your wide embrace

Hina
Aloha
Hail and Welcome Hina