Notes Upon The Journey: January 4th 2022

1/4/2022 Tuesday during the Day of Mars

9pm Hour of Mars cusping (1) towards Hour of The Sun

Waxing Crescent Moon

Friends,

               *Takes a slow Centering breath and begins*

So as I mentioned on Instagram, I am picking up some of the set aside pieces of my spiritual practices and Craft lately.  In the face of my beloved’s stroke in August, combined with several job scheduling insanities brought forth by being short staffed and the stiff competition for labor in the Hospitality segment, I set aside all but the barest of essentials of my regular spiritual practices.

 As part of this I have actually picked up my journal and started writing in it again!  Thus the headers to tonight’s missive, which is the format I will use in my journal, and I may adopt for my Notes Upon The Journey posts going forward.

I spent the last couple of weeks weaning myself away from what I am thinking of as ‘disassociation scrolling’ and trying to be MUCH more mindful of how I am interacting with Social media and what I am putting into my brain.  There is a current in Esotericism and the Occult that suggests that our mental diet of books and media is just as important to our healthy growth and development as our physical diet, and I would tend to agree.  Especially given the last few years revelations regarding conspirituality and misinformation!

 In service to this I have been trying to take stock of how I am spending my sometimes-scant moments of free time.  It is not enough just to unwind mentally and take a few moments to retreat from what sometimes feels like an onslaught of daily life; we must be taking time for ourselves and engaging in habits and practices that actively nourish body, mind, and spirit! The exact format this takes is going to be different for different people naturally enough, but I think we can agree that there are a LOT of forces at work in the over-culture that work to distract us from or influence us in regard to this goal?

 For me this has meant both changes in, and contemplations of how I might positively change, how I am currently approaching things.

 In Body, I am trying to be more mindful of what I am eating, not only to support my Bear in his efforts towards eating Keto and Gluten-free for is health, but to support my own.  I am taking my morning meds and daily fistful of vitamins (2) in the world’s morning rather than my own.  Because of my hospitality schedule sometimes I am working to overnight shift and sometimes the afternoon, until recently I was juggling when I took my meds and vitamins in line with whatever my sleep schedule was.  I took stock of things and decided that the best thing for me and my overall health was to line it up with the worlds morning and evening rather than my relative mornings and evenings.  So whether I am getting up for the day or getting ready for bed to sleep with the Sun and awaken with the dusk, I am taking my various vitamins and meds on a more stable schedule.  This has helped me a LOT in my overall health and mood!  I am also taking the advice of AA and Alanon’s Just For Today and doing a few things each day I don’t particularly want to do just for the exercise.

So then, what does nurturing or nourishing your body look like or mean for you?

Regarding my Mind, as I mentioned I am trying to look at how I spend my down time.  I fall, all to easily, into the habit of just endlessly scrolling through social media lured in by the shiny and purposefully isolating and addictive natures of the sites.  Some of the changes I am making involves varying up my screen time between different apps so as to be in better communication and contact with people I care about.  Some of the equation is to cull some content from my feeds and also to start asking myself what I am on a particular app or site for, what topics or areas of interest do I want to draw content from, and to be mindful of how I interact with that content because the algorithms will take those interactions and run with them – force feeding me one thing and neglecting other aspects of my mental diet.

Improving my mental diet also means setting aside the screen for a book or podcast or NPR, looking at a movie or show occasionally.  The reading will be a bit of a challenge because I am so very out of practice doing it but I am realizing I need, and deeply miss, the mental exercise and nourishment of it.  MOST importantly reaching out to friends for actual interaction and conversation.  That last is difficult both because of the ongoing pandemic, but also due to the out-of-sight-out-of-mind tendency of my ADHD blessed brain.

So then, what does nurturing or nourishing your mind look like or mean for you?

I am realizing as I write tonight’s entry that the care and keeping or one’s spirit is something like an equation.  The things we do for body + the things we do for mind + (insert spiritual and religious practices and relationships here) = growth, stability, and happiness as we seek our ‘winged’ or perfect state.

I’ve been doing very good with the basics of this the last few months, I think.  Grounding and Centering and Shielding each day, breathing up through my Chakras (3), touching base with the different parts or layers of myself.

Journaling and introspection have been iffy and episodic.  But part of the whole point of my recent efforts in body and mind has been towards healing and stabilizing spirit, and my fumblings in social media the last few months have been accompanied by a lot of trying to get to better understand how I am relating to the world and what I need to be doing to heal myself from many unhealthy and neglectful habits and practices.  REGULAR journaling has not happened but attempts here and there, and creative work here in Chrysalis and elsewhere in my social media has occurred.  It’s just been a bit haphazard as I am getting my feet under me once more as it were.

I’ve had some ups and downs in terms of my regular practices in relationship with the Dead, the Spirits, and my Gods.  There have been times where the offering cups have moldered or lain empty and fallow.  There have been times where at best I spoke prayers during my commute to work.  As I mentioned at the opening of this letter, a lot of my efforts have been focused upon just getting through my day.   Much of my Witchcraft has been focused on space cleansings and banishing and protection work.  I am changing that up and going to be picking up my Tarot cards again, well yet again, because I am realizing as I find my stability once more that I need to be in better touch with my intuitive self.

I am also doing better recently in terms of my relationships with the Dead (as I call the Ancestors of body and spirit), the Spirits, and the Gods.  I am not engaging with them on the daily more formal basis I would like, but offerings are being made more regularly and with care and attention, prayers and praises are being made and offered, and space for listening being made.

So then, what does nurturing or nourishing your spirit look like or mean for you?

So that is what is going on with me lately.  You may notice that this is in some ways more detailed than a lot of my posts last year.  I am intending to use my blog more in the coming year, as an adjunct to my Journal and BoS/Grimoire, and as a place to work on the Craft of Writing as much as the Craft of Witching, so look for articles and think pieces and of course random stuff here, and elsewhere in my social media streams in the coming year.

Bliss, and Blessed Be!

Pax / Geoffrey

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  • (1) “cusping” here is, as far as I know, my own coinage for noting the planetary hour when it is withing a short time of transitioning to the next.
  • (2) Fistful of Vitamins is going to be either one of the volumes of my Autobiography or a band name if I ever develop musical talent!

Rite of Renewal

I stand before the altar on the windowsill. I take a deep breath and feel the air entering my lungs, a whisp of power entering my body.  Drawing them in and down, the magick, the life force, flowing down through my body and bones, legs and muscles, and feet and veins extending down into the ground beneath me. I find myself changing my stance as something deep inside my body and soul opens or reawakens.  My shoulders drop, my feet shuffle into a wider more stable stance, my muscles relax and my posture straightens.

I take another few deep breaths savoring the sense of reconnection with the earth below me, the sky above me, and the wide world around me.  Then slowly I breathe and draw the energies of the earth and the world up into me and into each of my energy centers in turn, a few breaths for each from the base of my spine to the crown of my skull, and up into the sky above as I strive to reconnect to the many parts of myself and to the holy universe all around me.

After a time, I look to the altar before me.  Taking up a stick of incense in my left hand, and the latest of many specially chosen lighters in my right…

“It begins with a breath, as I rekindle the fires”

Said as I light the end of the incense, holding my breath for a moment as the flame at the tip dances and kindles itself into being.

I set the lighter down and move the flaming tip of the fragrant stick in the shape of the Sign of The Crossroads, calling silently with my yearning and Will to the many powers of the crossroads and liminality as I speak the words of invocation

“Round, Round, Wrap Around, Protect me now, from Sky to Ground.”

The scented smoke wafts into the air, briefly holding the shape of the Sign before drifting, as I reconnect with magick and power and mystery.  Transferring the stick to my right hand as I slowly move it towards the altar, running it back and forth as I mutter my greetings to the Dead, the Spirits, the Witchfather, and Hecate.  Swirling the smoke in each of their offering cups in turn, before going to another household altar and greeting and blessing the Morrigan’s offering cup.

I return to the windowsill altar and set the incense stick into the bowl of salt and sand and ashes.

I then uncap the bottle of Florida Water and splash offerings of perfume into the various offering cups.

I stand for a few moments in contemplation.  The offering cups had sat neglected for all too long, and then were emptied and thoroughly cleaned before sitting fallow for a time.  Now the first of a new cycle offering sits within them perfuming the air, the scent dancing with the scent of my incense.  Stirring my mind and memories with thoughts of renewal and recovery and reconnection.

Then it is time to turn to doing some devotional dishes, and cleaning, in the company of and in the spirit of welcoming and respecting The Holy Powers.

Notes on the Journey December 13th 2021

Friends,

A couple of weeks ago, I realized I had been running largely on empty.

Scheduling upheavals at work, and several weeks where every one of my days off were largely chock full of appointments with diverse doctors and dentists for both myself and my beloved. In the immediate aftermath of Jon’s stroke there had been a flurry of spell craft and offerings and prayer, and then with the onslaught of events I had cut my practices to the bare minimum. Over time I fell into an old and familiar trap of “later”.

I’ll deal with it later, or so I told myself. Whether it was my regular practices, or different housework, or making the time and conscious decision for genuinely nourishing forms of me-time and self-care.

 I had fallen down a new rabbit hole, Tiktok, even made a few videos there (and will be making more) but a lack of free time and a surplus of bad timing has been thwarting me. Since Jon’s stroke in August, after an intense flurry of prayer and spell crafting that first week, I pretty much kept things to the simplest of regular practices. Grounding, Centering, up through my Chakra’s, and prayer.

That was the game plan anyhow…  but with the mad rush of events and appointments I, once again, found myself slipping into a depression doing the bare minimums on self-care and chores and feeling constantly overwhelmed and doom-scrolling through Tiktok.

In a perversely lucky way, this is not my first rodeo with depression or an unhealthy form of disassociation. Over many years I have wrestled with cycles of balance and imbalance in my life and spirituality. So I paid a little extra attention to some of my favorite creators when they were posting about issues in dealing with Life, Spirituality, or ADHD.  After a time, I’ve been trying to get back into a semi-regular routine of spiritual practices simply for themselves and myself and not merely as a preparation before leaving the house and dealing with Work or the Outside World.

…and here I think I will chunk some of what I am feeling the need to write about and say into a couple of other posts…

Partly because as I have been re-reading my blog and thinking about how to return to a journal of my life and practice, I have realized that my ADHD blessed brain is sometimes like a rail-road station with multiple trains of thought running through it at any one time, and because I want to start crafting my topics and thoughts on them and my writing, in a bit more focused and deliberate a manner.

Bliss, and Blessed Be,

Pax / Geoffrey

The Honored and Beloved Dead: Ancestors and Others

Friends,

For me, when I am offering to The Honored and Beloved Dead, I am usually including not only my own ancestors of blood, but a variety of others.  There are the Ancestors of Spirit including Queer predecessors and Witches whose work has guided, inspired, or made my own journey possible.  There are figures from History and my Culture whose work and lives have also touched upon my journey or made it possible.

I rearely call upon, work with, or make offerings, to specific individuals.  Not sure why just my own choice motivated in part by experience or the lack there of.  I do not usually feel nudges from specific individuals.  Like my work around Spirits, and my more interpersonal work with the Gods I work with, it is often more of making offerings and giving acknowledgment and preparing a place at the metaphorical table of my life and work for Them if they choose to involve themselves.

The general formula will be to make an offering of Wine or Water or Coffee while speaking along the theme of…

“Hail to the Honored and Beloved Dead,
Those to Whom I am tied by the Red Threads of Blood,
The Silver Threads of Witchcraft,
The Pink Threads of Queerdom,
and The Many Colored Skeins of Beloved Friendship and Inspiration,
Be, Be Here, Be Here Now, Hail and Well Met, Bliss and Blessed Be,
Be Welcome in my life and works and rites,
I thank You for the many blessings of Inheritance and Inspiration you have given me,
Even where I sometimes struggle mightily with some of your Legacies.
Bliss and Blessed Be.”

G. Stewart (c) 2021

On some special occasions, birthdays to the relevant dead or Holidays such as Samhain and Memorial Day and Pride, I might pour an offering to a specific individual or group of ‘Ancestors’.

Now i realize this may seem like an odd way of doing it.

For myself, I really don’t have much of a connection to my blood ancestors or much knowledge of them.  Beyond a couple of names and the general themes of Ireland, Scotland, and Sweden.  Then too, as a Queer man who grew up in the 1980’s, I was influenced by both the fact of that Twentieth Century phenomena of The Nuclear Family, and the fact that Queer people have often had to redefine the idea of Family to create their own found family unit.

That’s about all I have for now, having hacked my way through the dense undergrowth of my ADHD executive dysfunction and a seemingly endless To-Do List to try and write something today.

Peace,

Pax/Geoffrey

Notes on the Journey Sept. 2nd 2021

Friends,

On August 15th my partner of 12 years, and fiancé, The Fabulous Jonathan suffered a stroke.  He’s still aware and able to speak, there’s minimal change of personality or cognition as far as I can tell, however he has suffered partial left side paralysis.  He can use and move his left leg a little, but his left arm remains mostly unresponsive.

A glass top stove woth a red enamelled cast iron skillet upon it.  In the skillet some salt and needles of Rosemary have been scattered around a lit white candle.  Designs and initials and a hearts have been traced in the salt with a finger.
A simple spell for healing and protection…

We have had some ups and downs, especially in the last few years…

For the longest time we were each kind of struggling in our respective careers and finances were tight.   For the longest time he’s opted to go without insurance and the cycles of our finances have ended up meaning money was always tight when it was time for my insurance open enrollment where I could designate him for my insurance.  So, we would tell ourselves ‘maybe next year’.  Even with the Affordable Care Act prices were either too high when his income was low and only went higher when his income started taking an upswing.  Also for the longest time it always seemed that our combined incomes were never quite enough to make things comfortable rather than getting by.

In late 2018, I ended up making an emergency trip to Portland, Oregon, to visit a dear friend of 30 plus years who had entered Hospice care.  I was able to spend time visiting him over a couple of days before he passed.

In 2019 just as his business was beginning to really take off, he was the victim of an assault, spent most of March of that year in a medical coma due to seizures in the aftermath of a concussion.   That same year we had a friend of ours living with us who was dealing unresolved trauma and untreated anxiety disorder and depression.  At the same time, I had transferred into a new location at the company I work for and unwittingly into an extremely high-stress and emotionally and spiritually toxic workplace.  Jonathan wrestled with some remaining health concerns into the later portion of 2019, our friend moved out, and after a lot of workplace drama and turmoil… I took a demotion to transfer out of that location.  By Late 2019 a lot of things were starting to look up again for my Bear and I, his business was picking up and I was in a much healthier workplace and started to unpack some of my very complex feelings about 2019.

As I’ve detailed here previously, in early 2020 I nearly died from congestive heart failure.  Jon kept the home fires burning so to speak and was able to eek by in the 2020 real estate desert getting enough photo shoots to keep bills paid.  Once I was awake from my medical coma, I was able to make sure bills that needed paying got paid as well from some money I had tucked away for a rainy day.  Thankfully I had insurance through work and once I was released from the rehabilitation Hospital had a couple of weeks to relax before I had to return to work and a daily 50 mile each way commute.   All of this in addition to the rest of society’s collective trials and tribulations beginning in 2020…

By late 2020 my work situation changed, and I was able to transfer back to an Orlando location for work.  The same location that had been a toxic pit of stress but was now under new management and had been rather thoroughly transformed from the wretched hive it had been before.  I still dealt with some residual stress simply being in a place I had had such freakish levels of stress in before… but thanks to some great co-workers and managers and some efforts of my own both in terms of Craft and self-care I have been able to work through a lot of those troubles.

Moving into 2021 things began looking up again.  I was working in a great environment and the real estate market picked up spectacularly here in Florida, which meant Jon was busy-busy-busy!  My own job, in the Hospitality industry, caught fire in February due to industry staffing shortages and the Idiot Governor deciding to eliminate all Covid precautions in Florida.  With those two factors I ended up working doubles and turn-around shifts and 6 day weeks for a few months.   We were both doing really well financially and able to start getting a lot of ducks in a row financially and ‘adulting’ wise, both as individuals and as a couple.

Things were looking great, and we talked about finally getting married and moving forward with a number of plans to arrange our lives more for ourselves and our ability to spend some time together having more experiences and making memories rather than work and more work and retreating into our individual and sometimes very introverted bubbles.

Then, a couple weeks ago, he had a stroke during a photo shoot.  He called me concerned because he’d experienced severe dizziness and trouble walking and balancing.  I encouraged him to go to and ER or an Urgent Care to get looked at, and in that first conversation he dismissed the idea… because of course no insurance and cost concerns.   I asked him if he needed me to call in to work and he said no.

An hour later, moments before I was to leave the house, he called me back.  He had finished his photo shoot, tested his blood sugar (he’s diabetic), and driven to a local Walmart to pick up a blood pressure monitor.  By the time he got to Walmart, he had realized he could not move the left side of his body.  As he told be this, his voice was slurred.  I told him to call 911 (emergency services here in the US) and then call me back.  I called work and was able to get the morning shift person to cover for me.

I then called a couple of close friends, leaving messages, alerting them to the possibility Jon had had a stroke.  One of them was DK, whom you may remember from my Red Letter post, asking her to return the favor of prayers and magick for me and my beloved.  Then Jon was calling me back.

He was talking a little clearer and was waiting on the Ambulance.  I was torn between franticly asking questions and trying to be brave and keep him calm/reassure him.  He was trying to calm me down and in the distance we could both hear the sirens.  He in person and myself through the phone call.  I heard the EMT’s arrive and start asking him questions.  Heard them tell him that it sounded like he had a stroke.  At some point I was saying “Bear, Bear,” our mutual nickname for each other as I tried to get his attention, I asked him to hand the phone to one of the paramedics.  He did and I spoke to the paramedic for a few moments, explained who I was and asked where they were taking him.

The local hospital in the town he was doing the photoshoot at, about an hours drive from Orlando by the Turnpike, didn’t have the facilities to properly care for a stroke patient and they were going to have to helicopter him to the nearest appropriate hospital.  They were waiting on the life-flight crew to make that determination.  The paramedic got my contact information and promised to call me back.  I asked him to hand the phone back to Jon.  His voice was still off, but he wasn’t slurring his words as badly.  I told him I loved him and to call me as soon as he arrived at the Hospital.  My Bear, as of course he would, asked me to bring him his charging cord… I told him yes, and we rang off.

There were a few more phone calls from friends who I had only been able to message as I waited to hear from either Jon or the paramedic.  My friend Bishop W (of an Independent Catholic Church, he and his husband are dear friends of ours) agreed to add him to their prayer list.  My best friend M agreed to ride up with me whenever I found out where the hospital was.  Finally, I heard back from the paramedic and he told me Jon was at a hospital 2 hours drive North of Orlando.  Due to weather conditions and proximity it had been the best available option.

The Hospital was closed to visitors because of Covid 19.  Not surprising as Hospitals throughout Central Florida are full to capacity with Covid patients, new reports have told of many cases where emergency care patients had to wait in the ambulance for up to 2 hours before any bed inside the hospital came available.  Jon was relatively lucky in that they were able to get him into the ER immediately.

Around 3 hours later by the time I got to the hospital, M in tow with me for moral support and to help me pick up Jon’s car which had been left in the parking lot of the Walmart halfway between the hospital and our home.  Jon was still in the ER and I wasn’t going to be able to see him.  I spoke to him by phone, and to one of the ER personnel getting an update on his condition… dropped off a couple of things for him and then headed home…

That’s not all there is to the story of course, but, that’s all I can really go into right now.

Jon’s home now and we have new challenges before us.  He is able to stand on his own now, which is progress.  He still needs help walking any distance but more for someone there to help make sure he’s staying balanced because he can’t get up on his own if he falls.  His left arm is still unresponsive but from what I’ve been told in cases like this the arm takes the longest to recover.

We are working our way through these latest challenges, and I know we can deal with them.  We have family and some very good friends; and a few more financial resources than most; although this is in part robbing the Peter of my Retirement funds to pay the Paul of urgent needs while also navigating some tricky financial waters.   We have a roof over our heads, and we have each other.   With the help of our Ancestors and Spirits and Gods, I know we will get through this.

At the same time though?

It. Is. A. Lot.

So, that’s what’s been going on with me and why things continue to be intermittent at best here and in some of my other social media.  At the same time, I realized tonight that I needed to not only write some of this out of my head but to also engage in some writing to touch my creative side.  I’m going to light a stick of incense in offering to the Holy Powers and call it a night because I need to be up early tomorrow in order to get our home ready for the many adventures and challenges the future seems so ready to bring.

Bliss, and Blessed Be folks,

Pax / Geoffrey

Notes on The Journey August 6th 2021

Friends,

There is a light at the end of my work tunnel and with luck I will return to a reasonably stable work schedule and two days off a week soon! *knocks on wood* As I’ve mentioned previously, the hectic pace of work has in a strange way been helpful in that I found my best work-self/worksonna once more and so things on that front have been a lot easier and more stable on a personal and professional and mental health level.

As you might imagine working so much overtime and with crazy schedules including double shifts and turn around shifts and unexpected scheduling changes has led to little to no free time. Work, sleep, prep-for-work, wash, rinse, repeat. My regular practices have shrunk to the bare minimums. At the same time though, I have managed to celebrate a number of New Moons and been presented with the opportunity to practice and deepen my Craft.

It’s an interesting development in ones spiritual path when you set aside the rote words and rites and patterns of the past and start treading your own way.

I find myself examining some of the work and magick I’ve done in the last 6 months or more. Should I have put more caveats on my spell for ‘prosperity’? Probably! *chuckles ruefully at the lesson learned*

More interestingly I find it interesting how, when dear DK messaged me about spells and prayers for her beloved and I agreed… it seemed like some sort of switch was turned on… or perhaps that once I stepped into the circle of my own power and responsibility as a Witch that act seemed to echo into the unseen world and several relationships reshuffled and reconnected and changed in subtle ways.

Yesterday was a blissful day off and I spent the day participating in the Oxygen cycle; sleep, putter around with some minimal chores, eat, meds, puttering around with social media amusements, nap, wash, rinse, repeat. It. Was. Lovely!!

Today it is back to work again a little later and in the coming days there will be chances to start weekly and daily work on the many many things that need doing around the house and yard to make things more livable and pleasant once more. I’ve done a little more work on the Online Resources page and am going to reach out to a few dear friends before getting ready for work.

Bliss, and Blessed Be,

Pax/Geoffrey

Spells: The Red Letter

Friends,

Today’s entry is one part a description of a spell format, and one part exploring some of my autobiography, and misadventures in it’s evolution … with appropriate bits of discretion of course.

To appease those who might be vexed at a number of paragraphs of evolution and misadventure in the development before the outline of the spell, as much a hazard of this type of blog as in the Culinary world of recipe blogs, we will lead with an outline of the spell itself and then we can dig deeper.

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The Red Letter

Inspired by a journaling exercise/Will exercise/spell from the writings of T. Thorn Coyle, where one writes out a sentence regarding what one is Willing into existence/manifestation in red ink, a Red Letter is a vaguely letter format page or more of writing with appropriate symbols sprinkled throughout in red ink on a special piece of paper.

Opening with the subject/targets name, and various identifiers like nick-names, planetary and astrological and elemental correspondences and symbols related to them. The letter then flows into the energies and powers your calling upon and what your calling upon them to do. Be entirely focused on the goal of the spell, but be as poetic and evocative in your imagery and wording as you can. In this case the symbols are used to help signify the person/subject being worked upon/for and to signify some of the powers and energies brought to bear, but the main focus of our efforts in the Red Letter should be in the power and beauty and eloquence of the words we choose as we work to express to the universe our desires in the matter.

From here The Red Letter should move into calling upon the elemental powers and whatever ancestral powers or spirits you work with and finally any Gods that you work with/worship. We end, as so many spells do, with whatever variation of So Mote It Be that strikes your or your traditions fancy.

This spell is one that, in part, relies on the relationship between the persons involved and it is not just the casting of the spell, but some form of sharing it WITH the subject or their petitioner that is the key that unlocks the magick.

The Red Letter is read aloud at a proper ritual moment by the caster. This can be during an appropriate Moon Phase, or on a particular Planetary Hour and Day, or however your practice and path move you.

Then we need to do something to ‘send’ the letter to our subject and into the aether. Burn it, fold it into a charm bag for the recipient, or you could actually mail the letter to the recipient for them to either place in a charm bag or perhaps tuck into their Grimoire or Book of Shadows as a token of love and well-wishes as they feel appropriate. Another key element of The Red Letter is that it be an interpersonal interaction of some sort, it is not enough to simply cast and forget; the recipient should be aware of this working and ideally at least some of the wording. The working, and the wording, are meant to touch their mind and heart as well as their fate, it should inspire their own prayers and imaginations, and in the case of a fellow worker of wonders their workings.

A page torn from a lined journal, with text in red ink.  The Page lays upon a black book, which in turn lays upon a wildly patterned cloth in mostly yellow and orange tones with pops of purple and green.

the caption below reads "A tongue firmly planted in cheek example of a Red Letter"

The text in the Picture has random symbols alongside several of the lines of text, standing in for various magical and occult symbols.

The red text upon the pictured page reads "Subjects Full Given Name.  Daughter of Astrological Sign. Sone of Poetic reference to Sign's Element.
Known as (nicknames here).  On this Night/Day of relevant planetary day.  In this relevant planetary hour.  Evocative calling upon Powers related to the first Rune/Sigil/Icon.
Evocative Calling upon Powers related to next Symbol and work at hand.  Poetic Calling upon various elements.  Here we call upon the Ancestors.  Here we call upon the Spirits.  Here we might call upon divers forces of Nature and the Cosmos.  Give the energies and forces and Cosmos it's Marching Orders Here.  By...Whose Authority are you calling upon to do this...  So.  Mote.  It.  Be"
A tongue firmly planted in cheek example of a Red Letter…

NOTE: while intended for and inspired by a work of blessing or healing, I acknowledge that blessing and cursing can grow from the same stalk.

One could conceivably use a Red Letter for baneful work, and I am sure those so moved would be able to find multiple loop-holes in the above, and self justifications, towards that end.

However, the recipients knowledge of the working and its words would need to be very carefully handled, and actually sending The Red Letter would conceivably constitute what the legal courts like to call evidence and is NOT recommended!

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(As you will see below, some of this format was brought about because I lack confidence in my artistic tallent and focus to create either a sigil or bind-rune, and this spell came about as the result of a very personal request. If you have the focus or artistic temperament to create bind-runes and sigils, then have at it my darlings!)

And now the circumspect biographical details and catalog of some of my metaphysical misadventures ensue!

Some years ago, DK and I had been friends and co-conspirators in the Pagan and Witch communities, among a few other Venn Diagram overlaps of friendship and interests that can happen in a relatively isolated largish small town like Anchorage, AK. We had at some time in our mid to late 20’s had a falling out when we ended up working at the same employer for a while and some of the qualities that led to affinity and friendship ended up at odds with our individual emotional/spiritual/mental baggage in collision.

We reconnected a few years ago over the death of a dear mutual friend. We ended up in a few long conversations at the time. We had both, in the intervening almost two decades been through life changes, growth, addiction, recovery, illness and many other hazards of life and adulting. Apologies, commiserating, the sharing of hard won tidbits of wisdom, and life lessons, ensued; and we both realized that life is far too short to let ones (reasonably worked through) emotional baggage cut off friendship and co-conspiracy. We have been in semi-regular contact since. The occasional text chat or video call, conversations via meme, and lately the sharing of relevant Tiktok’s with one another.

So when she messaged me with an urgent request for spells and prayers for her beloved, who was facing a diagnosis of Cancer, I was both honored, humbled, and a bit surprised.

She too is a Witch after all. At the same time she is wrestling with some similar issues of returning to her path and self and health after some roller coasters of life experience that I myself have faced. Something in me stirred, something sparked like a delightful memory and I immediately found myself throwing in with her cause.

I pressed her for information on her beloved’s full name, date of birth, any associations with religion, nick-names and various random bits of information as I formed my plan. I also made the decision to keep her in the loop as to the spell, because it felt as if she was as much in need of some inspiration and tools in her own efforts for her beloveds healing as he was in the need for healing.

Now some of my readers might object to the idea of sharing the details of a working with another, after all one of the cornerstones of the Witches or Magicians Pyramid is Secrecy. To Keep Silent. At the same time however a synonym of to keep a Secret is to keep a Confidence. One can share a Secret and still keep things confidential. It was in this spirit that I shared developments with dear DK.

I began by crafting and cleansing a healing candle with oils of Rosemary and Patchouli and Peppermint, a bit frou-frou for the gentleman I was working for, but sometimes as a Witch you work with what you have on hand. As it evolved, and as I will cover perhaps in another post, I did not end up tying this candle specifically to DK’s beloved, but found another purpose for it… but that evolved later.

As I considered the nature of the spell I began to think of a rite where a sigil or bind-rune would be lit a-flame by the candle flame. So I reviewed one of my old notebooks and the notes on runes. I selected a few that seemed to speak to either healing or health or vitality. Then… I ran into a block. I don’t have a lot of confidence in my artistic abilities related to drawing or design. This presented a brief road block and I was in a bit of a time crunch because I had determined by our subjects date of birth the right day for a working based on his astrological sign and the Planetary Days and Hours of the Chaldean system. The start of his chemo was approaching, and I needed to pull things together. The Full Moon on the right day had already passed, but the Last Quarter would also fall on the right day of the week and since I was aiming to infuse health and vitality and life force to our subject and to fight against his cancer using the waning of the moon could work and the Moon was going to be in Aires so the theme of removing unwanted things was still astrologically in play…

I realized that words and writing have been a deeply important aspect of my creativity and witchcraft for as long as I can remember, which is how the Red Letter format took shape. The Runes, became stanzas in the letter, the runes on the margin and the lines calling upon and referencing the powers of the world represented and directing them towards our subjects health and healing. The poetry found it’s way to flow once I settled into the preparations for the working.

The night of the working itself had it’s own bit of revelation.. but I think I will save writing more about that for another post…

This spell is done and my revels at an end, all that remains is for the ashes of our Red Letter and some of the Candle Wax to be mailed to my friend, along with a bit of a Witchy Care package.

I hope this proves useful to some of you in your own journey’s.

Bliss and Blessed Be,

Pax / Geoffrey

Notes on The Journey July 21st 2021

Friends,

In the month since last I wrote here with oh, so many good intentions, my job life has gone through something of a wringer! We lost one Manager and two coworkers, all of whom left without notice. At an economy segment motel, in the height of the Summer travel season, in Florida, with no covid restrictions or quarantine measures, and frighteningly close to one of the theme parks.

*Takes a deep, cleansing breath, grounds, and chuckles*

It has been… an adventure!

In the midst of much scheduling chaos and double shifts and turn around shifts and six day work weeks… I found my full worksonna and my work-game again! This is good because being in ones zone in one part of ones life can, if you’re careful, lead to rediscovering your zone in other aspects of your life. Even though my practices remained at the daily basics, with little journaling or writing, and no where near enough reading for my tastes, I’ve been able to squeeze in some quality time with some dear friends, and pull my head together regarding some household chores and work.

Then I figured out how to read again, or rather how I read now. Time was I could sit down with almost any book and power through it in a few hours cover to cover, now instead of mentally devouring a book I snack on it. Nibbling here or there and sometimes setting it down for a few days to pick it up later. I can work on my reading skills, hell I took a class in Highschool designed solely to help one learn to read faster…. more pages in the same time frame; I can do that again.

I have also regained my self-confidence in my self as a Witch… which I had been stumbling with for a while.

A friend, and fellow Witch, of many years reached out to me and asked for prayers and spells for her husbands health as he began a battle with Cancer. I’ll go into some more detail magickally in the next post, but diving into Planetary hours, and Astrological correspondences, and Symbols and Runes and the raw and often wildly underestimated power of finding the right words… not only for a spell but for ones relationships with the Holy Powers. More on words, poetry, and relations with the Holy Powers later as well…

Peace,

Pax / Geoffrey

Notes on the Journey June 19th 2021

Friends,

Hello again!

Day Job scheduling chaos and mundane household considerations have kept me busy and away from my writings here. We FINALLY have a new A/C system after almost 2 years, and one year of using a couple protable A/C systems to keep the house livable in the heat and humidity of Central Florida.

You will start noticing changes to the Online Resources page with updated links, and some links removed as no alternate can be found.

I’ve been digging into my explorations of various forms of social media on Twitter, and Instagram, and Tiktok mainly as I learn how the current social media ecosphere operates and interweaves between the different formats.

The work of my spirit and Craft has been in simple mode for the last several weeks. Grounding and Centering, irregular offerings to the Holy Powers, some reading and Podcast listening, and a lot of contemplation of my life and path.

Trying to map out how to knit together my desire to write and Witch more in my life, and how to fit it together with the chaos of my day job. This is made especially challenging because I have been wrestling a LOT in the last year and a half with my ADHD and accompanying executive dysfunction…

The adventure continues!

I am going to be chunking out an hour or two, here and there, throughout my days to work on Chrysalis and my writing, and some of my social media efforts . I am also going to be reviewing my regular practices and figure out which ones should go to a firm DAILY format to build my spiritual/magickal will and muscles.

So keep an eye out here as I will be posting things here with a bit more regularity than the last several months have seen.

Bliss, and Blessed Be your journey,
Pax / Geoffrey

Notes on the Journey (and the Site) 4/29/21

Friends,

Hello again! So the hectic pace of my life, and my continuing misadventures trying to discover that fabled work/life balance have continued apace!

I got my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine recently, left me feeling very tired for a couple of days but no other ill side-effects. My doctor says my bad cholesterol is up and he has upped the dosage on one of my meds. This has led or perhaps intertwined with thoughts about how I am using my time when I am not on the clock at the day job. I find myself thinking about how easy it is to slide back into bad dietary habits, and how often I have had every intention of writing here, and/or going for a relaxing walk after work, or doing other needed work and told myself ‘tomorrow’. The struggle continues but at least I am trying to make small changes… blogging here today is part of that effort.

Some of you will notice that several pages have been removed from the site. Most of them are back into Draft mode until I have time to seriously sit down and review them and rewrite to something resembling my satisfaction.

On the plus side of some column or another, while the hectic pace of life continues I have found time to begin dipping my toes into reading books again! It started in early March with the release of The Witch of Kings Cross, a fascinating and well produced documentary about Rosaleen Norton. I remembered reading something about her, and a piece of Witchcraft liturgical speech written by her, years ago in Doreen Valiente’s Rebirth of Witchcraft, and discovered that a collection of her notes or journals on occultism and Witchcraft had been published posthumously as Thorn in The Flesh.

I ended up ordering both books along with, based on some discussions over on occult Twitter, Protection and Reversal Magick by Jason Miller and The Witches Book of Spirits by Devin Hunter. All have been dutifully added to the now rather heavilly loaded undershelf of the lounge coffee table in my improvised study stacks. I was a bit vexed to find I didn’t have a copy of Rebirth of Witchcraft… but I suppose after moving across continent and also moving house several times since I really shouldn’t entirely surprised some things have been mislaid… still vexing though.

I have browsed through Thorn in the Flesh, re-read Rebirth of Witchcraft, and read Protection and Reversal Magick; it occurs to me that maybe writing up some book reviews for the blog may be useful writing practice to help stretch my mental muscles?

My spiritual practices have continued, although I have dramatically slacked off on the card of the day and journaling efforts. Recent scheduling upheavals at work led to a VERY upset sleep schedule and left me clinging to the most basic forms of my regular practices for the last couple of weeks. I have an extra day off today thanks to using some of my Earned Time Off, and am trying to take advantage of it.

I did do some cleaning of the windowsill altar on one of the nights of the Full Moon. Originally I had ideas about doing a formal Circle, but between the sleep schedule and being off my meds for a few days while I waited on a doctors appointment and some test results to come in before I could renew my prescriptions… I was just not physically or mentally up to the task… this time.

Otherwise I have been doing some research online on a couple of longer pieces for the blog and doing some thinking about my daily routines and how I can adjust them to start doing more of the things that I want to do as opposed to what I have to do.

Peace,

Pax / Geoffrey

Notes on the Journey 4/19/21

Friends,

So my last post was something of a victory over a big case of writers block I was wrestling with. I was having a lot of trouble figuring out how to write about my ongoing and evolving spiritual practices. Part of this was trying to figure out how much detail to unpack about my personal practice and my beliefs. Another part of my block was some sort of internal hesitancy to sit down and do the writing.

Writing used to be a pretty easy exercise for me. Not just the writing, but the reviewing and editing. Now, not having practiced the art in earnest for so long, I feel clumsy at best when I am sitting down to do it. But in this too I am learning to take a breath, forgive myself, and continue to do the thing. Gosh I hope this is growth. There were a number of years as both a writer and a Witch where I was stuck or perhaps going around in circles? No pun intended. This time my writing and my Witchcraft feel different… riskier and more personal somehow. I would like to think I’m actually maturing in both my craft and Craft.

Now speaking of puns, I did not INTEND to write a post about fluidity in ones spiritual practices and have several paragraphs dealing with libation offerings. That was more of an amusing accident.

The last week since posting and since did my windowsill New Moon Esbat has been a bit of a hectic rollercoaster. The night of the Esbat I was up late, and I’ve had a bunch of insomnia the last several days. Not every night, but enough of them that I think my internal clock or personal sleep schedule has perhaps adjusted to a new normal and I need to reconfigure some of my routines accordingly. Interestingly enough the whole ‘early to bed and early to rise’ routine has rarely been my style and returning to a night owl’s hours is more of a return to form for me.

Even with not having much time I have kept most of my practices intact, except for journaling and drawing my daily card/shadow work thing. Not really setting those aside just figuring out where the fit into the mix going forward. Then too parts of my brain have been trying to look at topics and ideas I’ve had for a while now for some longer form pieces for the blog that I wasn’t feeling ready to actually sit down and write about until just recently.

I have also somewhere found some of my reading habits again! A particularly happy development for me. I’ve reread Doreen Valiente’s Rebirth of Witchcraft, and am reading through Protection and Reversal Magick by Jason Miller.

My explorations and experiments in social media continue and I’ve been getting drawn into Occult Twitter as of late, some of the same cast of character’s from my blogging days and my Facebook world mingling with some new faces. Between Twitter and Instagram I have added a number of podcasts to my Spotify library and have a lot of food for thought, and more than a few questions… that I think I will take to social media…

More later folks.

Bliss and Blessed Be,

Pax/Geoffrey

Hospitality

Across oceans and continents, throughout ages and epochs, across cultures and faiths and peoples there is one story or lesson of which the ancestors have spoken or written or sung of again and again down through the ages and if we listen carefully we can hear them whisper of it still.  The Holy Powers, The Spirits, the Blessed and the Wise and the Tricksters and the Heroes, all will wander amongst us unrecognized or disguised seeking shelter or food or some small courtesy or kindness and the merest acknowledgement of their worth and dignity; many and manifold are the blessings and the joys and the good fortune that are gifted in return to those who are welcoming and caring and considerate and generous, many and manifold too are the curses and miseries and misfortunes that befall the inhospitable and the rude and the neglectful and the selfish.