About Pax

I am many things, Witch, Polytheist, Unitarian Universlaist, Husbear, Hospitality Profesional, (sometimes) Writer, Dreamer and more...

Notes Upon the Journey May 13th 2022

5/12/2022 Thursday day of Jupiter
11:45 pm Hour of The Sun
Waxing Gibbous Moon

Friends,

Happy Friday the 13th!!

As I start to write this it is a short time before a Friday the 13th.  Since early in my Withcraft journey I’ve felt Friday the 13th’s to be a special day, even a lucky or auspicious one.  13 Moons in a year, and all that… but also it’s been my bone deep conviction that Witches can make our own luck!  That and being aware of folklore regarding inauspicious days and unlucky things is very different from being powerless in the face of such things.

I am enjoying the first of two full days off, in a row, where I am not already ridiculously overbooked with appointments and tasks.  Not that the Husbear and I won’t be doing some running around tomorrow, but it’s stuff we need to get done and rather free-form.

My Journey lately has been turning mostly inward, shying away from listening to news and current events.  I was on a Twitter deep dive for a time and am enjoying that platform as a venue in which to interact with the written word.  But I had to pull away from it shortly after the war in Ukrain started.  I fell into Minecraft and music playlists and a period of struggling to get things done.  A lot of overnight shifts and a lot of unexpected extra hours at work, and a lot of just needing to back away from the world for a time.

I debated doing something special for Walpurgisnacht, or as I have jokingly started thinking of it, Halloween 2: Electric Bugaloo (as tainted as that reference has become by certain bad actors it’s still useful on occasion).

Walpurgisnacht and Beltaine sit opposite the Wheel of The Year from Halloween, and while traditionally associated with Life and Fertility in popular folklore, this too is a time when the veils between the worlds are thin, why else is there so much lore about the Fair Folk associated with it?  I was especially excited at the prospect of it being the Astrological New Moon on 4/30.  Part of me wanted to pull out the Full Kit and do something special for the Sabbat, but an unexpected resignation at work and my own duties as a manager there meant my time was not my own and once again my schedule became a thing of chaos…

Yet I managed to light some incense in offering that night.  A few days later Coffee was poured for the Spirits & The Dead.  I’ve also dabbled in some sigil-craft, nothing operative, more a few sigils designating places for future operations.

I haven’t done nearly as much writing or journaling as I had been hoping to do… but that’s part of why I am here tonight.  I’ve been developing my thoughts on the power and importance of language and word choice in ones Craft, and also on what it means to take up the mantle of Witchcraft in an era where so many people are tying together words and symbols for so many different purposes, some of them quite malicious and evil… witness the works of the Alt-Right over the last 20 decades.

My thoughts have wandered to the pendulum swings of history and culture over the last 40 years or so that I have witnessed…

It feels as if my nation is at some very difficult cross-roads right now, and I feel small and powerless in the face of sweeping forces of change that are inimical, dangerous, and potentially deadly to myself and those I love.

Then, once more, I take a breath, and connect my spirit with Earth and Sky, breath up through my Centers, and do whatever needs must be done that day to get by and get through.

This is no longer enough for me, I must start taking better charge of myself and my time and work hard once more towards the kind of life I wish to live.

So Mote It Be.

Bliss and Blessed Be,

Pax / Geoffrey

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

Higher Self took the Wheel

Friends,

I have often joked that I have a life-long, and occasionally successful, mantra of “Must. Control. Sense. Of. Humor.” Depending on whom of my social circle you ask I am either brilliantly successful in doing so or wildly hilarious in my failures.  Sometimes, and generally unintentionally, I am cruel in these failings, so I do keep trying to keep my warped wit on a tight leash until I have had a chance to really read the crowd.

Last night on my way into work I stopped by the corner store.  I had parked my car and was readying myself to mask up and deal with people.  Yes, I do essentially ‘people’ for a living, but as many have observed people sometimes make this *very* difficult!  Also, this time of year is one of the busiest in the Hospitality business in Central Florida which adds a few interesting wrinkles to every situation.  Thus, I sometimes spend a moment fortifying myself before wandering into the social fray.

As a result, and thanks to my basic spiritual routine, I was fairly grounded and centered when the apparently nice smiling young lady holding a small pile of what looked to be shrink-wrapped thin trade paperback books stepped up to my window and waved and indicated she wished to speak to me, I took it with an openminded calm.  Now this is the same corner store that some times has random emaciated and, well, rather methy looking women sometimes pop up next to ones vehicle like a toaster strudel inquire about donations or… work opportunities, which I try to be polite in refusing but they way they often suddenly tap urgently on my window when I am pulling my head together and placing phone in pocket and mask on face and not really paying attention to the world outside my vehicular bubble often puts me more than a little out of sorts!

 She seemed reasonably nourished and lacked the frantic/hostile energy or Eeekey vibes of these other ladies, had a friendly smile, and so far this seemed a different type of encounter entirely.  So I rolled down my window.

“Excuse me Sir, may I take a moment to Pray for you?” she asked.

I smiled back her and said “Thank you, but no thank you.”  She seemed a little surprised by this response for a moment, I am guessing she had counters for people getting hostile or being cautiously interested but she wasn’t really prepared for a polite refusal and after a moment of standing there staring into space with a confused “oh” face, she wandered off to her next potential recruit.

I went about my business at the corner store with only a faint sense of regret and missed opportunity.

Because quite honestly there have been times in life where I have been quite willing and able to bring to such an moment the Full Zelda (Spellman-raising-her-sister-Hilda-from-the-dead) Energy it richly deserves…

I can see myself, still smiling and polite, replying with a kindly…


“Only If you let me pray for you first, my dear.”

Opening the car door, with Siouxsie and the Banshees still playing on the car stereo in the background, I would stand by the open door and smile benevolently at her.  Slowly raising my hands up, arms perpendicular to my body, elbows bent upwards at a 90 degree angle and palms facing up to the sky I would take a deep breath, relax my shoulders, tilt my head slightly back and ecstatically shout my prayer to the heavens…

“Thrice Holy Hecate!  Gorgo!  Mormo!  Thousand faced Night!  Glorious golden-haired maiden who delights in wandering over the rough rocks, the baying of hounds, and the remnants of offerings!  Come unto us bearing torches, come unto us crowned in serpents, come unto us wielding the keys to the cosmos!  Our Lady of The Crossroads, Mistress of the Earth and Skies and Seas, Queen of Phantoms, Goddess of Witches,  Nurse, Guardian, Guide, and Savior!  Be, Be Here, Be Here Now!  Protect and guide this young woman upon her journeys this night!  By the Holy Dead, By the Holy Spirits, By all the many Holy Gods, Bliss and Blessed Be and So Mote It Be!”

Now, admittedly, the temptation towards such behavior is the sort of thing that can get one talked about. Especially when enacted at the corner store near ones home. But given the neighborhood I live in I’m reasonably certain that it would have only earned a concerned look from the Security guard, and my partner and I have been there often enough and are seen as that quirky friendly older gay couple who come in all the time. Plus I probably would have felt bad if she had recoiled in horror, dropped her publications, and ran screaming into the night… or perhaps fallen to her knees in terrified fervent prayers of her own. I also had to be on my way to work, and didn’t have time to file a report had she decided to beat the proverbial hell out of me with her stack of publications on Gods love and kindness.

So last night, for good or perhaps ill, I kept it on the inside.

More misadventures and general rantings soon my friends, I promise!

Bliss and Blessed Be,

Pax / Geoffrey

Queers vs. The Alphabet

Friends,

As a Witch & Pagan one of the ideas central to my concept of Magick & the practice of my faith is that Words can be used to shape the self & the world around us in sometimes surprising ways…

In my social media deep dives & wanderings, especially as of late on Ticktok, I have been surprised & delighted with the energy the Queer community as brought to the resurgence of using the word Queer as a group term.  I will admit I also enjoy the turning our oppressor’s language against them energy of the phrase ‘Alphabet Mafia’, but today I am talking about the word & experience of being Queer.

Now I must confess, I was never entirely sold on the acronyms or alphabet soup approach to terminology for our community for a number of reasons, some of which I am only just beginning to be able to articulate for myself.

I was born in the early 1970’s, grew up in the 1980’s, & was experiencing the first trials & tribulations of young adult-hood in the 1990’s.  It’s strange for me now as I near 50 to look back at the world I grew up in.  Society & culture are vastly less homophobic & dangerous for folks like me than they were when I grew up.  Not that there is not still a bunch of danger & homophobia out there, but it less ever-present & monolithic than it once was.

On some level I realized I was Queer at an early age.  As a result, even though I was not terribly good at hiding my flamboyance, I was theoretically closeted.  Theoretically because based on the bullying & bs I experienced in school I am pretty sure the light of my flame burned brightly & occasionally blinded others.  It took me years to recognize this as a source of pride & joy, a weird sort of super-power if you will.  One of the effects of living a closeted life is a sort of hyper-awareness of one’s environment to look for behaviors that might reveal ones alleged secret, a heightened awareness of references to & about homosexuality & ‘the gay’ community. Everything about the community was referred to as ‘the gay’ community in those days, at least from the perspective of a Queer youth reading the occasional articles & watching news stories.  This was also the era where when talking about some issues newscasters would use the phrase “women & other minorities”, it was a very different world in some ways.

Queer as a group term was first popularized in the 1980’s by ‘Gay’ Rights activists & by HIV/Aids activists trying to convince society to give a damn about a pandemic that was killing thousands of people each year.  It can be horrifying to realize as a child, that much of the world around you view a plague affecting people like you as killing ‘the right’ kind of people.  This is one of the reasons that it is unsurprising that in the current era the Queer community has a roughly 90% vaccination rate against covid.

I remember news stories of protestors chanting “We’re here, we’re Queer, Get Used to It!”.  I remember reading discussions of how the experiences of Gay Men & Lesbians had more commonality that difference surrounding their identity & how there needed to be a more inclusive term.  I remember reading discussions in the late 80’s or perhaps early 90’s around the word Queer & its inherent flexibility & discussions of how it was expanding the idea of what our community was & could be & could include.  Discussions of the Queering of Gender & Sexuality & Relationships in reference to ideas of Polyamory & Pansexuality & Asexuality & being Nonbinary or Trans.

I remember liking the flexibility & inclusivity of the word Queer.  I remember encountering news stories of the many ways the Queer community had come together to fundraise & engage in activism & community care & community aid, all in the absence of help from our larger society, we had to come together & do it ourselves.

Then, at some point in the early 90’s I started encountering GLBT & then LGBT.  The acronyms were reputedly chosen because some people felt the word Queer as stinging slur based upon their experiences growing up.  Even at the time, I kind of felt like maybe it would be more productive for folks to work out some of their mental & emotional issues from childhood rather than go the alphabet soup route.  Admittedly, “fag” & “homo” were the preferred slurs in my childhood & area of the country, so that may have influenced some of my thoughts.  At the same time though something always felt a little off about some of the arguments for the acronyms at the time.  It also felt like we were sacrificing the flexibility & power of a word for a somewhat soulless & less stylish acronym.

In my recent dives into Social media & Ticktok, I’ve had several epiphanies about that sea change of terminology from the early 1990’s.

There were certainly folks who needed to work some of their mental & emotional baggage out regarding the word Queer.  There were also any number of Queers who were not comfortable in being identified or associated with ‘those sorts of people’, and just who ‘those sorts of people’ were varied from person to person but I now recognized there was some of that energy in the changeover.

Internalized homophobia & the desire for respectability played a part in it for some.  It is worth noting that prior to the era of Stonewall a lot of the Homophile organizations were very much about the politics of respectability, and I cannot help but wonder if there wasn’t some backlash or a pendulum swing away from the militant ‘Gay’ liberation of the 70’s.  I also suspect some folks were reacting from places of transphobia, internalized misogyny, internalized patriarchy, internalized homophobia & even racism.  I think there was still a lot of work that needed to be done in our community around the questions & issues of what Gender & Sexuality mean for us as individuals and a community.  I think all these pressures played into the move towards the acronym.  I think in some ways even though the acronym served as a term for our unified community it also served to segregate & separate us & in some ways perhaps even weaken our community & movement at a time when Society was undergoing a pendulum swing regarding Queer people.

Words have power, the power to shape oneself & how one interacts with the world around them.  Words, especially when tied together with action & symbolism & Will, have the power to effect change in the world around us I embrace the return of the word Queer and find it an oddly hopeful sign in these troubling times.

Bliss & Blessed Be,

Pax / Geoffrey

Notes Upon The Journey: Imbolctide 2022

2/2/2022 Wednesday during the Day of Mercury
7:41 PM Hour of Venus
Waxing Crescent Moon
Imbolctide

Friends,

               Happy Imbolc!  You will note above I say Imbolc-tide, this is my own coinage based on the phrase Yuletide, in that each of the Sabbats is often a period of days a small season of their own.  Calendrical Imbolc is the 1st & 2nd of February, this years astronomical Imbolc happens on the 3rd or 4th depending upon which resource I am consulting.

               I will confess I am not enough of an Astronomy or Astrology Witch to pinpoint the Astronomical moment on my own, but I suspect one of the reputable Almanac’s would know for sure.

               Imbolc, for me, is powerfully connected with the idea of new beginnings and first stirrings.  I spent 35 years of life and 18 years as a Witch (mostly) in my home town of Anchorage Alaska, where the Winter Solstice saw 4 hours of daylight, and by the time Imbolc rolled around the days were noticeably longer and on some years even a bit warmer!  Late February and Early March always saw the Fur Rendevouz festival going on in Anchorage.  One of the 10 Largest Winter Events in the world, various Costume balls and parties and events would happen, a carnival of sorts would appear downtown, there was a World Championship Ice and Snow Carving Competition, the World Championship Sled Dog Races and the ceremonial start of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.  Arts and Crafts fairs.  A returning to socialization and community coming out of the darkest depths of Winter.

               I am feeling a sense of renewal and rebirth myself after several weary weeks.

               The week following my last post saw me going to an oral surgeon to have a broken upper molar and the roots of a long gone lower molar on the other side removed.  I took a few days off work and a good friend agreed to take me there, and wait to take me home.  I opted to go under anesthesia for the procedure.  They could have done it with a local, but I opted to get knocked out for this.  Some memories and sensations don’t need to lurk in my sense memory or subconscious.

               They sent me home with some antibiotics and narcotics, and I napped for the next 24 hours with brief breaks for soft foods and bathroom breaks.  Actually it’s probably the most, and some of the best, sleep I have had in AGES.

               As if this was some precursor, the following weeks found the Orlando area bitterly cold with night time temperatures in the low 40’s and upper 30’s (Fahrenheit).  I found myself falling into a very hibernation like mode, wanting to do little else in my time off than sleep.  My sinuses and eyes acting up because of the dust stirred up with the heat being on for the first time all year pretty much everywhere.  There were a number of scheduling snafu’s between turn around shifts at work and various medical appointments for either myself or my darling.  I fear I fell back into the old unhealthy trio of Caffeine, Nicotine, and Stress.

               At the same time, I’ve been able to hold on to some of my goals mentioned last time I corresponded with you here.  I’ve been reading or re-reading from my piles of Craft related books.  I’ve also been able to do some creative work on Tiktock.  Today I even managed a few different posts across social media.

               I was off work yesterday and today.  Yesterday morning I left work around 7am, got home in time to take my Bear (we are, the both of us, homosexuals of the husky and hirsute persuasion) to a doctor’s appointment and got home around 11am to fall asleep for a few hours, then some food and scrolling and more sleep until the early hours of this morning.

               I spent the early part of the day at my kitchen windowsill altar.  I poured moldering wine out of a couple of the offering cups and replenished the Dead and the Spirits with freshly brewed coffee, and some for myself, before setting about washing dishes and doing some much needed cleaning and reorganizing.  The floors are still a bit of a caution, but as I reminded myself today…

Renewal and rebirth and the return to life and activity are not the work of a single day or moment, they are things of ebb and flow and time and tide and season.

Happy Imbolc to you all,
Bliss and Blessed Be,
Pax / Geoffrey

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

____________________

  • (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