Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Ancestors & Angels

One of the things most cultures have in common, especially earth centered ones, is a reverence for the ancestors and Judaism is no exception. Numerous times in liturgy Abraham, Isaac and Jacob are brought to mind as are the Imahot, Sarah, Rivkah, Rachel and Leah. These, among others, are invited into the sukkah and we are invited every Pesach to join in spirit with our ancestors who witnessed the plagues and the parting of the sea by being reminded that these things were not just done for them but for us as well.

For those with greater sensitivity it is a short step from intellectualy recalling the Ancestors to actually feeling their presence. In the invocation to my Rosh Chodesh ritual I invoke the Foremothers and most of the time I actually feel their presence. One of the greatest experiences I had was at my wedding where I felt the sprits of the Ancestors attend almost as if a nomadic tribe had come to celebrate with us complete with their goats and all that would have traveled with them. This should have been of little surprise since the opening blessing the rabbi did was an invitation to the Ancestors. It was thrilling especially since my dream was to have my spiritual community join in celebrating with my beloved and myself.

The Ancestors aren't the only spiritual beings I've experienced. Even back in the days when I was a good Catholic girl I had expereinces where I'd be praying alone in an empty church and I'd feel a presence or 2 in specific places in the church. Then there are the times I've been leading synagogue services and standing on the bimah I have felt myself flanked by 2 presences of the same nature; these I believe are angels. Why I should be so graced I don't know - it's not like I'm extra virtuous or anything but Judaism believes that there are angels and spirits all around us so I guess it shouldn't surprise me that they would join me in prayer.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Stones have energies that many witches learn to work with, myself among them. That is not to say that I'm an expert by any means but I do have my favorites. I learned very young about the energies of stones; my mother used to border her flower beds with field stones and would complain how some stones just didn't want to sit next to each other. I get to experience this every spring as I rearrange the stone borders around my own beds that the winter sprites have tumbled about under the snow. How 2 stones could sit comfortably next to each other one year and it be unfathomable the following spring how that could be the case I don't know. Like I said, winter sprites and ground fairies.

And then there is the monument to Earth that I am still trying to construct in my meditation garden - mostly a pile of local sandstone with a 100 lb crowning 'jewel' of white granite. The whole thing is supposed to be about waist high but I can't seem to get the supporting stones to interlock to support the piece of granite. Methinks it might have something to do with the fact that I have tried to impose my will on the stones rather than being receptive to their energies - I had the whole thing together once and then moved it more to the edge of my garden to balance out the placements of Fire (a hanging candle) , Water (a fountain) and Air (windchimes) and since then it hasn't wanted to go together. Time to go commune with Mother Earth.

Another stone related project of mine is a stone path the I'm putting in through garden and experiencing first hand how some stones just will not sit nicely nest to other ones. Either the shape is wrong or the color or something so since I have to gather all my own stones, sometimes from quite a distance, it's been taking a while. Well, between that and that fact that I redesigned it last year to lead from the main artery through the garden to Water; it would help if I could quit messing with stuff.

More artistic creations include most notably my staff (which I use instead of a wand) and my athame. My staff has a crowning piece of a quartz point and inset cabachons of 4 black opals, 2 labradorite, 2 leopard jasper, 4 onyx, 2 garnets and 1 each of amethyst, lapis lazuli, malachite, citrine, amber and carnelian all of course chosen for traditional properties which I'll expound on more in another post about my staff. The handle of my athame has been inset with a large cabachon of labradorite bordered by twisted gold wire.

Labradorite is my favorite stone despite not being all that traditional in magic working. It is the dark companion to moonstone and is held to be sacred to the Crone. Legend has that the aurora borealis was captured in labradorite and freed by a hunter to occupy the skies where we find it today. One of the things I love about it is how that aurora effect is still there and it seems to hint of mystery and things to be captured just beyond the veil.