Beyond the Seasons

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Seasonal celebration themes are such a strong focus within the magical and pagans worldview that it can be difficult to see beyond them. I don’t mean to ignore the seasons instead what I am asking is, what is beyond the celebration seasonal cycle?  The Seasons are an excellent place to start when you first begin your magical study but having started there it is important to remember that they are not the bee all and end of magical practice.

This year I have found it very odd that it is currently spring here in New Zealand, I am in a bit of a confused state.  This I believe, is because I spend a month in Canada at the end of July and beginning of August.  While I was in Canada I felt that moment when the season turned from summer to autumn and so I have been a bit discombobulated so to speak. This in turn has caused me to wonder when it comes to magic and magical work, what is beyond the seasons? How do we deepen out understanding of this magic that we work with?   I don’t believe that it is possible to work without the seasons because we do live in this world, in this place. But what is beyond the general understanding of the seasons

Having live my life in New Zealand and the last 15 years in Wellington I believe I understand quite deeply how the seasons interact and move with this landscape that l live in.  I have also explored and understood the societal seasons, which are similar but also not the same.  For example tax year ending and starting, the election cycle, and various other stimuli that will affect the spirit of a city such as Wellington.  There is also the obvious combinations such as the build-up to Christmas, which is for us,  during the summer, followed by easter which is during our autumn.  And our winter which I have taken to calling the long dark, not so much because there is less daylight but more so because during the hard winter months there is no public holidays to look forward to. From the beginning of June until the end of October there are no public holidays.. Near enough to 5 months of the winter season, our coldest darkest time, with nothing in the way of public holidays or celebrations to look forward to.

And I have spend much time playing with and in a sense coming to peace with the northern hemisphere seasonal holidays that have been imported wholesale to New Zealand without seasonal considerations. Oddly enough, they work or can work for the plucky observant witch or magical worker.  For instance,  it is Beltane here in New Zealand, that time between spring and summer.  And over the years Halloween has been introduced from North American along with a fair amount of expat Americans and Canadians, who like to celebrate that touch of home.  Halloween as I have learnt is the beginning of what is called in Northern America the holiday season.  Samhain and Beltane are at both ends of the spectrum of life for me, and I have found that the veil that everyone talks about, is thin during both seasons.  But for Beltane it is about bringing things forward, or birthing from the spirit world, where as Samhain is about Ancestors who essentially inhabit the spirit world. or that is how I have felt and worked with it without going into more explanation because really it is difficult to explain. And Halloween, that is about dressing up in costumes, having fun and learning to face that which scares you.

Beyond the seasonal correspondences, themes and thoughts is a tide of magical underpinning that can be very subtle, and very difficult to put into words.  But for me it is about movement, and moving, the ebb and flow, or if you like growth and deepening of your understanding and connections with the world of spirit, and divine.  And the harder  it is, this understanding of the magical beyond the season, the harder can be to put into words, so instead I create art.

I create doorways in the forms of fabric wall hangings that depict magical things, such as Gods and Goddesses, from which you can invite that magical underpinning and magic through, which can then fit your own framework and understanding of how the magic works.

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It is said that if you open the doorway, the invited come through and if you don’t then the wall hangings will remain inert but also sacred art.  It makes sense that the ones who have gods and goddesses sewn into them will invite those gods and goddesses. I should not have to say be careful here right?

So how do you reach beyond the seasons and into the tides and magic in the spirit worlds?

Spring is Coming

Spring is coming here in the Southern Hemisphere

Dandilions

I have taken a break from intensely reading about Magic, Paganism and the Esoteric for a spell.  I am about half way through several books, Kristoffer Hughs Cauldron BornAya: A Shamanic Odyssey by Rak R Razam, and Traditional Witchcraft and the Pagan Revival, by  Melusine Draco, which was sent to me by Moon Books  Pagan and Esoteric publisher, the book is due to be published this August.  All three I would like to review, but seeing as this is not a book review blog, I figured, it was time to post about something else.    So on my train rides to and from work I have been reading novels and pondering what to write about here.

While I have taken a small break from reading about Magic and Paganism, my Witchy practice as such and as off beat as it is, has not taken a break.  And this weekend was all about preparing for the coming spring.  This year for me spring has not come early as it has done so in other years, but it is coming and it’s not far off now.  I can almost smell it in the air.  My Saturday was spent taking a part of protest against the GCSB Bill,  with about 10,000 other New Zealanders around the country, which has left me with an image of a hand full of sand being held so tightly that the sand just slips through the fingers, and the hope that because governements all over the world are clawing so tightly to the way things were that, what will be in, and the people of that future will slip through their fingers.  But I digress.

My Sunday was about spring cleaning.  It was a glorious sunny day on Sunday and apparently time to spring clean my room, dusting my various altars, picking up all my clothes from the corner of my room, and chasing the dust bunnies out the door.  I cleansed as I went, as is the witches way really, using two smudge sticks made by a fellow Witch and Artist, both work wonderfully and whats more smell great.

So for your viewing pleasure, some of the fruits of my labour.

The Goddess Altar, and the God Altar

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A little while ago I decided that I wanted to explore masculine and feminine as such.  It is much talked about within the various pagan traditions, and comes in many different forms, Goddess and God, Lord and Lady, Brigid and Lughnasadh, Dark God and Light God, Dark Goddess and Light Goddess, the list goes on.  So in order to help me understand the masculine and feminine I decided to create two altars, which are more like shrines, one for the Goddess and One for the God.

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Did I discover anything new about said Goddess and Gods? The Masculine and the Feminine?  Sort of yes and sort of I am still working on that.. I figure it is an on-going process like most things on this path.

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This is my current working altar, which is new, not the working altar so much as what is on it and how this has been arranged.  You see I am going to do some exploratory work on what is known here in New Zealand as Kiwiana, which I figure one day will be our folklore.  It sort of is already but not called that. When you Google New Zealand folklore you usually get Maori Mythology and Legends, which is all very well but I feel that it only tells part of the story.  What about the traditions the Europeans brought with them when they immigrated here? It was not so long ago that I can call them folk traditions, but there were various traditions that arrived on our shores with the settlers which has evolved into something distinctly Kiwi,  hence my exploration into Kiwiana.

In short Kiwiana   is a collection of objects that have over the last 100 – 150 years or so become iconic.  Some are old, as such and others are not that old.  Some are Maori in origin, for example the Tiki of which I have two forms on my working altar. (the statue on the right, and the green figure hanging on the glass thing in the middle)   Other objects, are from the countries where the settlers came from, for example Lamingtons, a sponge cake coated with strawberry or chocolate thin icing and coated in coconut, which could be Australian in origin, or actually Hungarian, where it is called coconut cake, or coconut square but in Hungarian of course. What is important here, is that they are quite iconically kiwi, hence the title Kiwiana.  Over the next little while in amongst the various reviews and other posts I am hoping to also explore various aspects of Kiwiana and its magical application.

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Photo taken from here

Now I am going to be using a principle that comes from American Hoodoo and root work, which is, from what I understand that Hoodoo and Root workers used pretty much what was on hand.  So instead of purchasing expensive and hard to get object and ingredients to do their hexing and root work they relied on local knowledge and a keen mind to use what was on hand.  So with these things in mind I am going to be exploring Kiwiana and with magical uses in mind, exploring the objects that I already have and their magical, spiritual and kiwi meanings.

 

 

Sewing Sacred Wall Hangings

Recently I have gone back to sewing wall hangings, inspired by Sara Lawless from Forest Grove and her wonderful Sacred Textile Talismans.  It was the triangle shape of the hexes, to keep away evil and bring blessings into your house that caught my eye.

The first sacred wall hanging I made was Druidry inspired.  I call it Earth, Sea and Sky: A Very Druid Wall Hanging, which is now sold to a wonderful Canadian who live in Australia who I meet in Canada. I so love Canadian Pagans and they are all mine, just so you know.

You can find the rest of the Sacred Wall Hangings that I have made on the Urban Witchery page.

Earth, Sea and Sky; A Very Druid Wall Hanging

the Second Desing I call Snake, Toad and Crow; The Hedgewitches Wall Hanging, this one has also sold and found a home here in Wellington. This Wall Hanging was inspired by the wonderful work of Ms Stitchwitch from Stitchwitch Cottage.  I love the fabric artwork from this lady ♥

The third Wall Hanging also sold.  Its called Triple Moon Elemental Wall Hanging and the triple moon is in the Southern Hemisphere setting with the crescent moons facing inwards.

Triple Moon Goddess Wall Hanging is the last one for today and is also looking for a new home.

This time as I make and Design this series of Sacred Wall Hangings I find myself falling into the same trance space I go into when creating and making incense.  It is a place of magical creations, a place of between the worlds, and that place, I am finding, is also a place of service.

If you wish to see the rest of what I have created you can see them here   and those that have not yet sold will be up on my Etsy Store Urban Witchery