Spiritual Motivation For Lucid Dreaming

Posted in Noteworthy Magickal Experiences on May 21, 2017 by nikkisnature

I am not only a shamanic dream teacher and have a deep dreaming practice of my own, but I strive constantly to improve my ability to attain full lucidity in the dream time as often as possible.  What does all of this mean?  Shamanic dream work is taking the approach that dreams are other realities or alternative versions of this reality.  Within this view, one can then journey back into the scene of a dream awake,  just as one makes shamanic journeys into nonordinary reality in traditional practice, and interact with the energies and images of the dream time, bringing them into ordinary reality to enhance our lives and our expanded vision and understanding of our world.  For over ten years I have maintained an unbroken streak of journaling all of my remembered dreams daily, and following up on work with any that stand out or in which I have a clear sense of emotional investment.  Through this dreaming practice I have often been prepared for the future with precognitive dreams, I have interacted with spiritual guides and the deceased, and I have been shown magick that I have been able to bring into my day to day physical reality.  In addition to all of this, as I mentioned, I strive also to be able to become lucid while dreaming.  A lot of people don’t fully know what this means-  if you are wondering if a certain dream you had was a lucid dream, then it really wasn’t.  I say this, because when you become fully lucid (meaning you have clear knowledge that you are dreaming, simultaneously being aware of your body in your bed, and having full recollection of everything to do with physical reality) it is unlike any other kind of dream experience.  For me there is usually the sensation of a clear energy shift from a normal state of dreaming into this hyper-aware state.  As I gain the revelation that I’m successfully aware of ordinary reality in its entirety and also still anchored firmly in the dream world, I notice how crisp every little physical sensation is-  I become aware of my body and my environment in a way that feels much more real than ordinary reality, in fact.  In this state you can experience sensation in any way you choose-  you can fly, pass through walls and shoot fire from your hands.  In addition to this, you can transport yourself to other locations at will, speak with whomever you want, and often you can experience intense spiritual revelation.  Many authors and lifelong students of lucid dreaming have been able to have experiences of interacting with deity.  When I began to really cultivate my own practice and read more and more accounts of this, I became determined to work toward this goal myself.

As I got better at reality checks, practicing meditation and holding my engagement level with the hypnagogic state, I began to increase my frequency of lucid dreams, and I held onto the daily intention that I would try to interact with The Morrigan, my matron guide and Goddess.  Even though I would get lucid often, it is not always easy to stay firmly anchored enough in that state to get things done, and often the first thing I want to do when I attain lucidity is fly, and then I lose my opportunity to do more.   So I continued to try.  On the morning of Halloween 2016 I was dreaming and became lucid.  I stepped out of the room in which I was engaging with a previous dream character, and into an empty hallway.  I simply held a clear thought about wanting to invite The Morrigan into this state so I could interact with her.  Even though I have mental images of how I imagine her, what happened next was not controlled by me or conjured up purposely in any way.  As I thought of my Goddess, what happened was not what I expected.  I had thought I might converse with a deity in human shape.  But I saw a foggy cloud made of bats and crows moving toward me.  It rushed into me, passing through every cell and space of me, filling me with an intense energy rush stronger than anything I’ve ever felt.  To have this happen and know it clearly while aware of yourself in ordinary reality is indescribable.  As the energy rush continued to fill me, I was levitated off of the floor, in a horizontal, face up position.  Floating in the air with the energy continuing to shoot through me, infusing me with the intense strength and ferocity of The Morrigan, I began to have some facial convulsions and snarling.  I knew her wolf form, and it surprised me, as I had normally focused on her crow and raven forms.  Eventually, as the energy flow finished, I stood upright again.  I chose to wake up at that point so I could journal this amazing experience while it was fresh.  I was fully amazed at what had happened, and that in this state of lucidity, I had invited Her in and been gifted with an extreme energy download, in a way I couldn’t have imagined or dreamed up myself.  I expressed thanks, honored Her in my rituals, and continued to cultivate my relationship with her as well as my lucid dreaming skills.

Some months later, in a journey I was leading for a class of my advanced coven students, I had a conversation with The Morrigan where she told me that next time I could lucid dream with her, I should ask about “the blood sharing ritual”.  It took a while, and a lot of short lucid attempts before I was again lucid for long enough to carry out this request.  Finding myself anchored in firmly, I stated to the dream space that I would like to speak with The Morrigan to find out what this blood sharing ritual was.  Suddenly, an intense cloud of fog came at me and infused me intensely, much in the same way as the cloud of crows and bats from the previous interaction.  I also was given a knowing in the experience of that moment that her “blood”, that life force which she is able to share directly with me, comes in the form of energy.  This was how she infused me with her strengths.  I also knew that later I would have to gift some of my blood and energy to her, which I did, in ordinary reality.  But, in that same dream space, after the energetic infusion, I continued to remain firmly in the dream.  Fully aware, I decided to continue on with my spiritual work, and asked that I be able to experience what it is to be a Raven.  I instantly began to feel a slightly uncomfortable shift as my body morphed its form.  Strange to not have arms, and to see not much of myself except for some black feather hairs sticking beyond the boundaries of my eyelids, I flexed my back muscles and was able to fly.  The sensations through this body were amazing-  the air felt tingly and full of current as I moved.  It did not feel as I imagined it would, again affirming that I was not controlling this or making it up.  The air felt more like water upon which I was surfing.  I was surprised at how easily I could glide upon it with little or no effort, especially since I had loads of previous experience in lucid dreaming flying.  I flew for a while before landing and choosing to wake up to journal and plan my offerings.

Immense gratitude does not even describe how I feel about having been able to embark on these interactions with Her.  Amazed with what is real and possible in the scope of the conscious and energetic planes of this universe describes it more aptly.  I feel blessed to have received a direct infusion, a gift of energy from my Goddess now, on multiple occasions.  It empowers and renews me, and reminds me that She is part of me as I am part of Her.  We are connected in a very primal way, one that I am so honored to have been able to feel firsthand, in the most real and direct way possible.  If I can leave you with any inspiration to consider from this, let it be the following:  dreaming is our spiritual birthright, and can open the door to the realities and mysteries that we can’t experience firsthand in the physics of our current ordinary reality.  Deities and guides are real.  They are intelligent entities who are connected to you and are accessible with a simple thought.  You may not be able to see and feel them so intensely in ordinary reality, but they exist in and through you.  If you can combine strong dreaming skills with strong faith, the possibilities are literally limitless.  Blessed Be.

Read This Even if You Think You Already Know About Moon Phases and Manifestation!

Posted in General Magickal Practice, Uncategorized on March 28, 2017 by nikkisnature

Okay, we need to get some things straight.  For a lot of years now, I’ve been seeing people post backward information about the moon’s phases.  What you think you know about doing manifestation work or intention setting in conjunction with the moon’s energy may be all wrong-  could explain a lot, eh?  I am continually seeing people write about setting intentions for what they want to bring into their life at the new moon.  This is wrong.  (And those who know me know that I don’t say that lightly.  Whenever I teach about an opinion I have on something magickal I always make sure to acknowledge that I’m teaching in a specific tradition and that I respect the alternative perspectives that exist in other traditions.  But the moon is the moon regardless of tradition, and its cycle has a very obvious energetic pattern.) Now I will explain why intention setting at the new moon is wrong.  The 28 day lunar cycle is an exact mirror of the female menstrual cycle.  The new moon is when the moon is dark (Dark Moon and New Moon are synonymous terms) and not visible from earth, and at its most yin point.  After its darkest point, we move into the period called the waxing moon, when the crescent slowly starts to be visible again, increasing a bit daily for two weeks.  During the waxing moon, you can add an energy of increase, or building up, to your magickal or manifestation work.  The waxing moon is equivalent to the uterine lining building up and preparing to be fully fluffed with healthy cells that would allow an egg to implant. The full moon is when the moon is a bright, round, fully lit orb that is visible from earth-  this is the moon’s most yang point in the cycle.  Yang energy is emanating, vital and creative.  The full moon, like the white round egg, signifies ovulation.  It is at the time of ovulation that ideas can be fertilized and put into play effectively.  At the full moon we charge tools and stones, we charge ideas and ask that our intentions be put into action.  Once the moon passes peak fullness, it begins waning, or decreasing in lightness and visibility.  The waning moon phase is equivalent to the aging, quieting of the uterine wall.  There is no longer a ready egg, and the cells are no longer ripe to support creation.  It is an energy of lessening, and it is a good time to be lowering stress, getting rid of negativity, or lessening of blockages.  When we get to the new moon again, that period of lunar darkness, we need to remember that this phase is equivalent to the actual period!  This is the shedding time.  This is when you clean house, banish, and complete any removing processes that may have started during the two week period of the waning moon.  So in the current day, the terms new moon and dark moon are synonymous.  I believe that in older times, the term New Moon may have been used to denote the time when the moon once again became visible as a crescent, validating to the naked eye here on earth that the cycle had miraculously begun again.  But you need to remember that this is actually the waxing phase, when the moon is already in a pattern of increase.  When you set intentions during the dark/new moon, you are in the shedding/period time, so you are fighting against the current.  Now, once you can actually see the waxing crescent, if that is what you prefer to call new moon, it wouldn’t be wrong to get your intention focus building at that point, but your peak manifestation moment is always going to be the full moon.  I hope that you can clearly envision and understand the cycle in its entirety as I have explained it here.  You can feel free to ask me questions about this-  there are many, many people who have this skewed, even some of the websites that come up first in the list upon googling “moon phases in magick”.  Anyone who likes to study the metaphysical, or actively engages in manifestation needs to know this.  After mental focus, timing in accordance with moon phase is probably the most important ingredient in any type of magickal work.  I’m tired of seeing people who are trying to lead or set an example for others disseminate wrong information about this incredibly universal energy.  Don’t fight it folks-  line up with the ebb and flow and you may be amazed with the results.  So mote it be!

Lady Nikki, High Priestess, Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick

Book Review: “Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires” by Aaron Leitch

Posted in Magickal and Occult Book Reviews on March 24, 2017 by nikkisnature

I came upon this book when I was looking for more information about using approaches from some of the more obscure medieval grimoires in my personal magickal practice.  Since I run a large coven with a longstanding traditional initiation structure, I consider it my responsibility to continue to deepen my own understanding of the oldest magickal sources possible and then to pass my knowledge on to my students.  I have used pieces of magick from “The Key of Solomon the King”, “The Goetia”, “The Black Pullet”, “The 6th and 7th Books of Moses”, “The Book of Abremalin the Mage”, “Raphael’s Book of Ancient Talismanic Magic”, “The Magus” and many more old sources for many years, but never have I attempted the task of following the instructions of The Key or any one grimoire to a tee from the beginning as recommended by the ancient mages.  I was very curious to see what another modern-day magician would have to say on this subject.  I was very impressed and pleasantly pleased right from the beginning as Leitch provided a very thorough and accessible history of what we know of the grimoires and their supposed authors as well as a contextual backdrop for the religious and political climate of the time periods from which they came.  Some of this was information I was never given before in such a manner and it proves to be very important in putting the material into perspective for this day and age.  I particularly enjoyed that Leitch goes on to set out in proving how the grimoires are actually incredibly shamanic in their approaches, and he shows how more ancient longstanding methods of working with spirits are really the continued underpinnings of the grimoiric practices.  It’s funny, because there wasn’t any one thing the author said that was truly new to me, but the way he delivered his logic and facts allowed me to have a lot of moments of clarity and new perspective on how I can integrate a lot of this old magickal material into my existing practice.

Further into the meat of the book, Leitch takes a lot of time to discuss many of the specific tasks from The Key and a few other key works that the magician is supposed to undertake in order to properly prepare him/herself for working with the angelic spirits for magick.  Some of these tasks include long periods of personal preparation-  daily prayers, fasts, lifestyle changes for purity and attunement to spirit.  To a reader of the grimoires it can seem daunting if not impossible.  Only after doing all this is the magician  said to be ready to use all of the planetary seals, call on the angels properly, etc.   What I realized through his telling, though, is that the purpose of all of this dedicated and intricate preparation is to improve both the mental focus and spiritual attunement level of the magician to better prepare him to receive spirit communications.  I realized that the modern day practices prescribed to students in a traditional initiation lineage such as my own coven, the Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick, actually parallel this idea of daily attuning to spiritual energies, honing one’s focusing abilities and working on cleaning up ethics and behaviors to better prepare oneself as a magician.  I have had great success in working with many of the seals and words of the grimoires in my own magick, and realized that though I had never followed the preparations specifically prescribed in the grimoires, that I HAD followed the preparation instructions recommmended in my own lineage tradition for daily ceremony, and that it may have had similar results.

Another thing that Leitch covers in his book is how to make suitable substitutions for some of the grimoiric instructions regarding sacrifice or the obtaining or crafting of other materials for tools or ingredients that don’t seem plausible in the current day.  His discussion of these is very encouraging and gives the reading magician lots of ideas of how to parallel these works in his or her own completely suitable way.  I found it very encouraging and again found myself having moments of clarity on how to incorporate some of these classical techniques for the modern day.  Now Leitch may not agree with me here, but I also felt that in the case of all of the prayers involved, which are predominantly Christian and Hebrew mysticism oriented and with a heavy use of psalms, that some substitutions could be made there as well.  Since I work within a more pan- and  polytheistic spiritual view, my gut feeling is that a lot of the same prayer structures from the grimoires could still be used but saying “the Gods” instead of “our Lord God almighty” and so forth.  Since I have always prayed that way and the seals and words of the grimoires still seem to hold great power for me, I don’t think there is any problem with this.  After all, it is my general belief that all of the various multicultural paths to the divine are equally as valid, and it is up to the practitioner to find the way in which they can fully engage without skepticism, and with fullness of heart and soul.

Studying this book was a true pleasure.  I would heartily recommend it not to my first year students who are engaged in learning the basics of ceremonial magick and foundational information in astrology, Qabbalah, planetary work, etc, but to initiates and already relatively studied practitioners who would like a broader perspective on incorporating the widsom of our oldest magickal gems into their practice.  For those dedicated and seasoned students of the occult who want to deepen their understanding of the grimoires, gain a more integrated historical perspective of these works and ultimately improve upon their own magick, “Secrets of the Magickal Grimoires” will not disappoint.  Many thanks to Aaron Leitch for all of the research and dedication that obviously went into this work.  Blessed Be.

Almost Everyone is an Empath…

Posted in Psychic Work on March 3, 2017 by nikkisnature

Well, sort of.  It is so common now for people to come to an understanding of a “new age” term, identify with it, and then throw it around left and right.  I’m not saying that you are not an empath, as we say, because you probably are.  But there are a few aspects to this term that are worth considering, and certainly many subtleties.  I believe that everyone has the capacity to sense the feelings of others, but some people just seem to become more affected by them than others.  The question is then, where is the line that defines how much sensitivity to others defines an empath?  I constantly see facebook quizzes going around that say “if you say yes to 8 out of 10 of the following statements then you are most likely an empath”.  The statements are things such as “you don’t like crowds”, “You prefer one on one quiet conversation to noisy parties”, “you require a lot of alone time”, “you often feel upset all of a sudden and can’t explain why”, “you are unable to watch violent or scary television without feeling disturbed or excessively upset”, and many more.  I know so many people that would answer yes to all of these, but are they all empaths?  Maybe, maybe not.  If so, then it is certainly not an uncommon way to be.  If not, then who is?  I used to say that I identified with being an empath because everything I would read would ring true with me for the most part.  But I am starting to think that maybe the true empaths are only the people who fully feel someone else’s complete set of emotions regularly, as though they were their very own.  And I’m not talking about passing notions of an emotion, or getting a sense of an emotion you don’t understand.  I mean really, truly feeling it simultaneously, and having it happen routinely with multiple people, not just your closest family and friends.  I say this because I believe I have seen a few people who are going through this, but this is not what happens to me, despite the fact that I score 90-100% on every empath identification quiz.  I regularly get a wave of knowing someone’s exact emotional state, but now that I am examining this much more closely, it is just that-  a knowing.  It is not a sensing of the emotions that overtakes me as if they were my own.  I am not usually in full turmoil over someone else’s stress.  Also, I love horror, fantasy and all manner of magickal and thrilling TV and movies whether it has violence in it or not, and I’m not usually bothered by that.  I believe that ability I experience where I know the emotions of other people is a form of psychic awareness known as claircognizance, whereas the state we are all currently referring to as empathic is simply the form of psychic awareness known as clairsentience.  So for me, I normally simply know psychically what is going on, rather than feeling it fully.  I do have intermittent bouts of clairsentience where I’ll feel a symptom or emotion fully in myself, but it doesn’t seem to impair my normal function or get confused with my own true feelings.  To sum up, I believe that everyone has different psychic abilities that fall somewhere on a spectrum from rarely sensed or very light, to daily occurrences that are clear and able to be validated.  I think in the circles in which I teach, I’ll go back to differentiating for my students which experiences they may be having are clairsentient, claircognizant, clairvoyant, and which are simply just feeling emotionally sensitive oneself, because now that everyone is an empath, it’s becoming tough to discern which situations require training and psychic cultivation in order to learn to handle, and which ones are simply the side effects of being a normal sensitive human being.  Feel free to open up discussion here in the comments !

Using Feathers in Magick

Posted in General Magickal Practice on September 7, 2016 by nikkisnature

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This article is, in a sense, the sequel to my previous entry on feather finding.  So maybe you, like myself, have had a great spring and summer season of feather finding.  What now, will you do with all of your amazing finds?  There really are a lot of options.

  1.  Smudge feather fans:  This one may seem obvious because it is a very common way to use feathers.  If you have a large feather with a strong central spine such as a turkey, goose or vulture wing feather, you can use it for smudging even just by itself.  I like being able to use the feather pretty vigorously to waft sage or incense smoke, and to draw symbols or pentagrams in the smoke in the air. Even less hearty feathers though, such as gull or crow, or tail feathers of many birds, can be grouped together in small bunches and attached to a handle to create very decorative and sturdy fans for smudging.  If you’ve never had another person exorcise you using feathers prior to a sacred ceremony, I highly recommend you try it!
  2. As an additional aid to spell releasing:  Many times a magickal practitioner will go out into nature or by a body of water to release ashes or herbs from a spell in order to allow the vibration to spread out into the world.  As an air sign person myself, I realized that this process carried an extra energetic boost if I also brought a handful of my small, fluffy feathers, and after releasing the spell, blew the feathers up into the air off of my hand (as if making a wish) to punctuate my final point of focus.  (Don’t wish though…simply manifest by clearly seeing the intended outcome as though it is already happening)  It is also very beautiful to watch the feathers float through the air, especially if you do this over water and let them land and float away, bringing the ideas you have focused on out into nature with them.  Don’t forget that the element of air (to which feathers belong) corresponds to the realm of thought!
  3. To augment your Book of Shadows:  A Book of Shadows is your personal grimoire- a special journal where you document magickal experiences, words, recipes and spells for your own future use, and hopefully for posterity as well.  Mine is a lovely huge leather job with linen-like pages that looks like something straight out of Hogwarts.  I take great pride and care in crafting the pages so that they beautifully convey the energy of the magickal act of which they speak.  Taking small feathers, even the little fluffy ones, and gluing them in a grimoire adds an amazing energetic and aesthetic touch to your book.  This is especially poignant on pages where air factored into a spell you did, or you wrote an invocation to an air-oriented spirit or deity, or if, like me, you, yourself are a creature of air and it factors into all the magick you do!
  4. Creating decorations, shrines and altar pieces:  Bird feathers can easily be incorporated into frames, mounted on wall hangings, stood up in vases as though they are flowers, and glued to prints that make your sacred space more magickal.  It’s nice to figure out if any of your favored deities or guides are related to specific birds, and use those feathers to decorate the area around a statue or picture of that God/dess.  I always feel honored to receive feathers that are connected to my primary Goddesses, and I am sure to show them and let them know.
  5. Used as charms or protectors:  If you love the feathered nation or have any bird guides or deities/spirit guides with bird associations, a feather is a great item to include in protection charms. Birds are watchful and aware and have the best vantage point to see things coming, and can then give you fair warning.   I always tie some special feathers into a sprig of goldenrod that I dry and use annually for a home protection spell.  Also, if you are ever burying spell contents that you need to keep on lockdown, placing a special feather on top of the buried box can act as a symbolic and energetic guardian over the process on your behalf.
  6. Use it as a quill:  I’ll admit I don’t do this often, but you can, of course, use a large feather with a sturdy spine to write with in ink, just like in the good old days. This is a super cool way to write your spells on parchment.  I don’t know if I trust myself enough to write in liquid ink in my special grimoire though!
  7. Feather finding for divination:  This doesn’t apply to the use of feathers you already have, but I use the actual act of feather finding as a means of divination many times.  It is one of the purest forms of divination I do, because there is no room for personal interpretation to interfere in the message at all.  To do this, I like to walk in a quiet place like a trail or a cemetery alone, and ask a yes or no question.  When I set out to do this, my rule is that if I find a feather before I circle back around to where I started, then that is a “yes” answer to my question.  Don’t perform this unless you are prepared to accept that the answer might be no!  And don’t change your route or walk all day long until you find a feather just because you want the answer to work out to your advantage!  It works very well for me, and with super clear and later validated results.  Also, sometimes when I wasn’t even intending to do divination, but I find a feather that feels very auspicious, I will halt my thinking so I can stop and be clear about what was going through my mind right as I found the feather-  it is usually a validation of some deep truth in that particular thought process.

These are just the feather uses that seem most obvious to me right now!  I’m quite sure there are as many more potential fun and magickal uses as there are birds and practitioners of magick.  Please feel free to share your ideas here in the comments as well. Have a bright and magickal day!

The Art of Feather Finding

Posted in General Magickal Practice, Uncategorized on May 25, 2016 by nikkisnature

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At this moment in late spring, feather finding season is finally here for those of us who are magickal practitioners in the northern US.  In many cultures and through much of time birds have been considered to be very magical-  one of the great mysteries of metaphysical exploration has always been seated in the notion of understanding celestial, heavenly, ascended realms while still immersed in our time here on Earth.  Birds have come to be a representative symbol of this, since they exist here on our earth and are dependent on earth substances for their survival as we are, but they also take to the skies and embody flight and transportation between earth and sky.  Finding feathers has come to be even more meaningful to me personally since I have a bird-oriented Goddess as my primary guide and divine connection.  I consider found feathers to be gifts of magick, and have naturally found hundreds of feathers per spring/summer/fall season per year in the past few years, continuing to increase as my magickal practice deepens.  Many of my coven students and clients have asked me if there is some trick…they want to know how I manage to find so many feathers.  I have realized that while not tricks, there are some definite approaches that make feather finding more likely, and so I will share my insights with you here:

  1.  Go walking outside a lot, and be open to the idea of spotting and collecting feathers.  It sounds obvious, but if you only walk outdoors once in a great while, your odds are going to be much lower than that of the next Witch.
  2. Make a point of walking in the morning, when it has not rained for the past few days.  It is much harder to find feathers on wet ground, and the ones that you find like that will probably be in crummy condition anyway.
  3. Choose quiet settings where people don’t walk constantly, and go when the grass has not been freshly mowed.  (This, too, will ruin any feathers that were there)  Cemeteries, trails at local ponds or land conservation areas are great options.
  4. As you walk, allow your eyes to casually scan along edges of things-  edge of the path or road, or places where a feather would get stopped if it were being blown by wind.  Also when you pass open patches of grass, scan out over these areas and look for anything sticking up.  If you aren’t sure if it’s a leaf or a feather, it’s often worth getting a closer look.
  5. Soften the visual expectation in your mind’s eye.  By this I mean, watch to make sure you are not just envisioning one style of feather or one size of feather in your mind.  Just like doing a large jigsaw puzzle and looking for that one piece you need amidst all the rest, it can be very hard to spot something that doesn’t really look like what you were expecting.  If you have a hard time being present enough to do open-minded noticing, try rotating in your mind through all different feather types as you walk-  picture barred feathers, solid colored feathers, small feathers and large.
  6. If you have a connection with a bird as a power animal, or a guide or God/Goddess that has bird energy, create a short, rhythmic incantation that you can repeat to yourself as you walk.  I’ll give you an example of one that I use (although I don’t use this solely for finding feathers, it sure does seem to help).  I’ll repeat:

Morrigan, Phantom, Queen of the Sidhe,

Show me the feathers, let me see.

Note that “Sidhe” is pronounced “shee”, so this has a nice sound to it.  To really use it as a wonderful meditation while looking for feathers at the same time, I suggest pacing out four walking steps per line, inhaling through the mental stating of the first line, and then exhaling through the second line.  This is just an example, and again, I urge you to personalize and create something that has you working with your own guides for intuitive steering.  Even if your primary guide or God/dess is not related to birds in any way, they can still guide you, and it’s worth a shot.  Even if you are not sure who your guides are but you feel an affinity or interest in a specific Goddess…make an incantation that honors her and asks for help.  S/he will appreciate it, and if s/he is truly yours, you will receive help and validation!

I hope this inspires greater feather finding confidence as you go back out there!  There are many ways that feathers can be used magically, and maybe that is a topic for the next article.  Wishing you many flights of fancy and inspiration-

Lady Nikki, HPS, Society of Witchcraft and Old Magick

 

A Glimpse of the Otherworld

Posted in Noteworthy Magickal Experiences on April 3, 2016 by nikkisnature

I had a rare day completely off from work today.  My husband had gone to New York City with friends, and despite the fact that it had snowed overnight on this April 3rd, the sun was out and I was not going to miss the opportunity to spend some much needed time in the woods.  I asked the kids if they wanted to go for a hike with me, and they said no.  Instead of pushing the issue I decided I’d jump on the opportunity to go alone and have them exercise later.  Right before I left the house, I knew I could use this woods time to “go listening”, as they say.  I impulsively placed three drops of mugwort pure plant essence on my tongue and swallowed it.  Now, there is an important side note here.  Do not do this unless you already have a good history of successful usage with mugwort, or without consulting personally with an herbalist or qualified medicinal aromatherapist.  I have a long history with this plant, and have been using the essence on my skin and ingesting it carefully and respectfully for years.   Any plant essence used on the skin or for ingestion needs to be of the highest grade, and completely pure-  do not go online and purchase from just anyone.  Also, you should always test usage on the skin a bunch of times to look for reactions before you ever consider putting an oil on an orifice.  If you want advice on this, feel free to contact me, but just know that reading this doesn’t automatically make it okay for you to do.  Okay, disclaimer over.  So, in this way, the mugwort is incredibly strong and difficult in taste, and stays at the back of the tongue and throat for at least an hour or more.  I got to the trail I had chosen to hike and set out.  I began turning up my sense of alertness, taking in the energy of the place, and as I walked I began whispering an incantation to my leading Goddess, the Morrigan.  I repeated over and over again throughout the majority of the hike “Morrigan, Phantom, Queen of the Sidhe, show me the Otherworld, let me see”.  (Note that Sidhe is pronounced “Shee”, allowing the incantation to have some rhyme and rhythm.) My intention in asking this was not necessarily to communicate with the dead, or with fairies, or anything in particular per se, but to better understand what the Otherworld is in terms of the meaning implied in old Irish mythology.  At once the atmosphere changed from a sunny snow melt to a gray menacing sky with high velocity winds whipping around me in visual circular patterns.  I hiked on and was amazed at the rapidly changing conditions.  It seemed that there was a constant cycling-  I would experience blazing warm sun and blue skies, then fierce winds with tree branches bowing and pointing markedly, then blizzard snowfalls with poor visibility, branches breaking and falling all around me and the feeling of danger.  I knew intuitively that I was not in any actual danger but I was blown away by the repeated pattern of change that was happening in the forest around me, minute by minute.  A full blown raven flew overhead, and croaked deeply just to let me know that she was, in fact, a raven, and not the more commonly seen crow.  I began to understand that the Otherworld is an in-between realm where portals to every possible experience exist.  It is very much like the state of lucid dreaming, where one can do and see things consciously that don’t follow our material world physics…it is enchanted.  As I continued to walk I would also intermittently see flashes of what seemed to be animal or nature spirits darting past me.  I began to acknowledge this verbally in order to allow communication to happen.  A fox spirit named Cheever made contact and I asked why he chose to show himself to me.  Instantly I found myself in a small clearing where I felt the winds rising up violently in a ring around the place on which I stood.  I realized Cheever had led me to become aware of a greater spiritual presence, here-  a deity of place, if you will.  The winds continued to talk and gesture through the trees, begging me to get it.  I stuttered aloud “El…nar? El..var?  Elnavar!”  The winds howled upon getting the name of the guardian of this forest to roll finally off of my tongue.  I saw myself from above as if watching this like a move scene, knowing that no means of describing it to others would get them to understand the magick that was happening, and the clear drama of the situation that spoke so clearly through the forest.  Swallowing deeply to renew my sense of connection through mugwort, I introduced myself formally.  Elnavar wanted me to return again to this forest at intervals to commune with her and it, and she also wanted me to bring some of my coven members to commune with her as well.  I was aware that a few of my coven members who live locally already have a familiarity with these woods, but that there were also plenty of others who had never been here.  I told her I would bring some of my witchcraft students back to connect with this place.  As I blew her a kiss, finished my hike and emerged out of the woods and into a meadow that led back to where I had parked, the sun was back out, shiny and warm and melting the snow.  It has stayed this way for hours since…no further evidence of the crazy shifting of many worlds at once.  I believe that in opening myself to be guided by my Goddess in deepening my understanding of the term “Otherworld” I was granted a special magickal experience.  I connected with magickal beings and witnessed so many changing atmospheric states that I feel confident in my knowing that the Otherworld is not dark or light, but all shades at once.  Anything is possible from that in between realm, and we can experience meetings with beings that cannot normally manifest in this plane.  I am sure  this glimpse is only a millimeter on the tip of an iceberg of learning that I will barely see in this lifetime of study, but I feel honored, awed and grateful for having had it. Yours in magic, Lady Nikki.