Notes on the Journey (and some rambling) April 6th 2022

4/6/2022 Wednesday the day of Mercury
8:30 am Hour of the Moon
Waxing Crescent Moon

Friends,

So lately I have been working almost exclusively overnight shifts at the motel.  This means my days off are sometimes nap, run around like a mad man doing things, come home pass out and try to get chores done in the night, sort of affairs.  OR I am up most of the night and at odd hours.

Last night I took advantage of this and went for a walk through my neighborhood in the late night or early morning hours (depending on which side of dawn the majority of your time is spent) enjoying the night sounds, stretching my legs and getting sweatier and more winded that I like to admit, and doing mildly eccentric things at some key intersection/crossroads.  Coins were offered, and some important walking level knowledge of the area gained, and I was reminded how much I enjoy a good evening stroll, even when I am woefully out of practice with such exertions.

Part of why I decided to go for the walk was BECAUSE I am so dreadfully out of such practice.

I’ve also been contemplating a few different posts/pieces of writing.

One about Crossroads and other places of power, especially contemporary and urban places.  I’ve posted to a couple of my social media streams variations of the question “Is any intersection of roads a crossroads, or is there something *special* required that signals or brings limnality or power”  Although now that I think about it that might have been a MUCH better way to phrase it than I did… but we will see what develops.

I’ve also been thinking about writing about the practice of researching information and avoiding misinformation, both in general but especially in the esoteric or occult/witch/pagan realms.

It’s both strange and more than a little delighful to be here and writing regularly again.  It is another area I find myself pushing and stretching myself in the last few days. 

Some of this renewed passion for life and living it and enjoying as I wish to has come with the coming and going of my 50th birthday.

I was very much in my feelings about it for a couple of weeks leading up to the event.  I was writing and working towards some very different goals 10 to 15 years ago and life has brought with it detours and changes.  Leading up to the day itself I was feeling somewhat depressed and disappointed.  Looking upon myself and cursing my fate as Shakespeare says in one of my favorite poems, but that mood moved on and lifted like to the lark at break of day arising… to crib another line from The Poet.

Now I am feeling determined to live and enjoy my life and the life of my mind and spirit and body to the best of my abilities.

I hope each of you has a lovely day, and please, do something for yourself and to nurture you body and mind and spirit today!

Bliss and Blessed Be,

Pax / Geoffrey

Craft Notes: 13 Coins at The Crossroads

Friends,

So late last year I posted a fragment of writing to my Twitter and my Instagram…

“Sliding slowly through the ink black velvet liquid humidity of the Southern night. Hands clutching the wheel, headlights barely scrying the way as I trace the arcane ley lines of old County roads. Ahead I spy the yellow circle and it’s black criss crossed lines. I fumble 13 copper colored coins from my left front pocket, each found and picked up for luck. Where the river of Iron crosses over and through the river of asphalt I cast them out the window and down. An offering and a trade.”

13 Coins at a Countey Crossroad by G. Stewart 2021

Inspired by actual events as I drove home from dropping some things off for my partner at the Hospital the night of his stroke, this poem also references a simple spell or crossroads offering I make any time I am feeling in need of a bit of extra luck or good fortune: 13 Coins at The Crossroads.

Offering 13 coins, ideally pennies, at anything resembling a crossroads is a spell or rite I came up with some years ago for any time I was feeling the need for just a little bit of luck. I’ve refined it over the years, and any time I see a coin on the ground and pick it up, I place it in my left front pocket.  Now you can, simply buy a roll of pennies if you’re in a bind and need a bit of fast luck, a Witch does what works after all and I’ve used this approach when feeling especially nervy about something in my life.  I find it preferable though to collect pennies and other dropped/left behind coins and to set them aside in my left-hand front pocket of my pants, opposite where I carry my wallet and keys and everyday coins.  Sometimes if I am finding a lot of coins, I’ll set aside a dish upon my blessing tile or a special dish on a shelf for the found coins to wait for use.

Why especially pennies? Well, if I was feeling Gother than Thou, I might say because the copper color is symbolic of spilt blood as an offering to the spirits! *insert dramatic musical cue here*

The rather mundane truth is that there is a widespread association in the English-speaking world between pennies and luck. There are any number of explanations for it, including the old rhyme “Find a Penny pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck.”  Then too, a penny (or once upon a time a sixpence) in a brides show is supposed to bring luck and prosperity to her life and marriage.  Pennies, and other coins, also have a place in folklore as a payment to the spirits that take the dead to the afterlife as in many ancient cultures one buried the dead with coins over the eyes and the practice has continued in some places into modern times as a way of ensuring a peaceful and rightful transition for the deceased and to maintain the boundaries between the living and the dead.

There are a number of finer points I was not aware of, like the idea that a found penny is only lucky if found heads up! Some sources say if found tails up that could be the proverbial bad penny.  Being a witch, I just pick the penny up with my right hand, see if its heads up or down and if down I speak a quick cleansing/blessing before moving it to the left front pocket for storing and later offering or use in magick.  I suppose, one were minded to do so, you could set aside pennies found tails up for a baneful working of some sort; but generally speaking if you are putting that much time and energy into preparations for baneful workings… perhaps ones time might be better spent in either theurgy or therapy rather than spell craft?

Copper, of which pennies were once made, is supposed to have healing and energetic amplifying properties and can allegedly help balance once Chakras or energy centers.  Having the same symbol of the Planet Venus and being associated with both the Goddesses Venus and Aphrodite in ancient times, Copper is also symbolically associated with healing, love, prosperity, beauty, and as an energizer for magic and spell work reputedly assisting the practitioner in drawing power.  Some sources say Copper was once widely used in the making of mirrors.

So all of these ideas are interwoven with pennies and luck, from a folkloric perspective.

The origins of the idea of pennies = luck are a little harder to sort out. Some sources would have you believe that the idea dates from when pennies represented a great deal more buying power than they do in the current era, or from a time when metal was rare in society and finding any was finding something precious.

Whatever the reasons for the association it is there.

The spell itself is a very simple one, walking or even driving through the appropriate crossroads, you toss the pennies in the air (or out the window of your vehicle) and offer a quick prayer or greeting to the spirits or powers that reside there, then go on about your business avoiding looking back.  This is done whenever one is concerned about needing a little bit of luck or to ward off misfortune and can also serve to build a stronger relationship with the spirits of place in a particular vicinity.

I particularly like this one because it is a very simple and quick and easily performed bit of magick… although it does require one to give some thought to what constitutes a proper crossroads, especially in a contemporary or urban setting… but that’s a piece of writing for another time…

Bliss and Bless Be,

Pax / Geoffrey

Notes upon the Journey April 4th, 2022

4/4/2022 Monday during the Day of the Moon
7:19 PM Hour of the Sun cusping towards Hour of Venus
Waxing Crescent Moon

Friends,

A few quick notes and references and thoughts before getting ready for work today.

Yesterday was a day off from work and despite my original plans to get any number of things done my body demanded rest and much sleep.  Rest, herbal teas, and diverse forms of self-care including a spot of reading and some Minecraft were in order.

Yesterday started with the clock radio and my local NPR station informing me of outrages and atrocities, a theme continue through some of my social media wanderings yesterday… more and more lately I can relate to that one New Yorker cartoon where the text is something like… ‘My desire to be well informed is frequently at odds with my desire to stay sane…’  I may need to start culling some of the links and subscriptions and follows again…

In my last post I referenced the Noumenia-tide.

My adding the “tide” ending to words that do not traditionally have them is my own coinage, much like those times I reference one planetary hour or day “cusping” towards another.  A personal quirk.  My own way of referencing, the flow of time in the case of “cusping”.  With the “tide” ending referencing Yuletide and the idea of a season, and the way in which certain energies and Holy Moments are not limited to a strict hour on a strict day (usually) but that often times there is an ebb and a flow, a window of opportunity for ones work.

The Noumenia, meaning New Moon, was both the first day of the lunar month and a religious observance all it’s own in ancient Athens.  It was observed on the night of the first sliver or crescent of the Waxing Moon being visible in the sky.  A time for honoring the Gods, especially Hecate and Hermes, and resting and feasting with family.  Many Hellenic reconstructionist’s celebrate it monthly as a time for honoring the Gods.

The New Moon, as observed in many Traditions of Witchcraft, and referenced in all the Alamanacs, is the Astronomical New Moon or Dark of the Moon, when the Earth’s Shadow obscures the Moon from sight in the night sky.

Slightly different energies involved, but for me at least, the New Moon-tide is when I prefer to set aside time to formally honor the Holy Powers.

A few quick minutes in front of the Altar today, an offering of incense, the briefest sense of ‘you’ve got this’

May it be so!

Bliss and Blessed Be,

Pax/Geoffrey

Notes Upon the Journey April 2nd 2022

4/2/2022 Saturday during the Day of Saturn
7:34 PM Hour of Venus
Waxing Crescent Moon
The Noumenia-tide

Friends,

Last Nights offerings dwell within their cups, a couple of sticks of Incense waiting in the burning dish, a bottle of blended oils of Frankincense, Myrrh, and Copal, sits upon the altar basking in the blessings of the Holy Dead, the Holy Spirits, and the Holy Gods.  It was a work night, but I pulled myself together early enough and did a minor avalanche of dishes in the sink and cleaned up the counters and then made the Sign of The Crossroads and invited the Holy Powers and made my offerings and asked their blessings.

The oil is the result of an apparent suicide in one of the rooms at my motel.  The event turned my mind to thoughts of blessings and cleansings, and for some reason I felt the urge to craft and Craft something for special blessings, protections, space cleansings.  Very early in my practice I found a joy in the scents of Frankincense and Myrrh, not having been raised in a church I didn’t have any past associations of them with Christianity and they have both been used for blessings and cleansings for thousands of years in the temples of many Gods.  I later came across Copal, and finding it was a New World resin used for many similar purposes for thousands of years here, I began blending it into my resin incense preparations.

A friend mentioned to me once that this was Three Kings Incense used in the Church of the Catholics, so I have thought of it as such for decades… I was recently reminded though, that it is Benzoin and not Copal for Three Kings Incense.  I do not recall smelling Benzoin before, although having been to a few High Church ceremonies in the past I am sure I smelled it, and some sources report it as being the key ingredient in the smell of “church”.  Now I am intrigued and my have to play around with it, but part of what motivated my use of Copal was its being of ‘The New World’ and a desire to send signals of the sacred to the Land and the Spirits there-of where I live?

In other news:

I have been trying to avoid doom scrolling and falling down social media rabbit holes that can eat the minutes and hours of my day.  Although games of Minecraft have once again become a needed mental break from the worries of the day.  I try to budget my time, and keep in mind the old Al-Anon advice of doing one thing I don’t want to do each day simply for the exercise.  Chores are thus being chunked out slowly but surely.

Work has stabilized a bit, and I am working a semi-regular schedule that has let my sleep schedule stabilize!  This is a blessing as I find between my ADHD and my age, that too much chaos in my sleep schedule leads to exhaustion and depression.  We are still in the BUSY season of the Hospitality business here in The City Beautiful, and Central Florida in general, in another few weeks some more breathing room should materialize.  The last few months has seen the annual onslaught of activity returning.

Speaking of age, I turned 50 last week!  I was very much in my feelings and rather downhearted about it in the week or two leading up to it… postponed plans with friends… BUT I have gotten over that and reminded myself that life continues and so do I and so do my efforts and following my creative dreams!  Part of this is my renewed efforts and writing hear and building my blog site to be the kind of resource I wish I had had years ago.

I also ran into a couple of interesting pieces in the last couple of weeks…

Storm Faerywolf wrote a blog post on why he favors the use of the word Warlock

There was an very good article on Doomscrolling over at The Wild Hunt…

I need to run and get ready for work,

Bliss and Blessed Be,

Pax / Geoffrey