Thursday, January 26, 2012


For this week I decided to write about Brigid since she is patron to both Heather and I. Also her holiday on the Celtic wheel of the year, Imbolc, is just around the corner.

 Brigid (also spelled Brighid, Brighde, Bride, Breo-Saighead, Brigantia) is a Celtic triple goddess whose responsibilities include poetry, healing, and smith's work. She is also associated with fire and knowledge. A sacred flame was kept at Kildare for her even into Christian times when nuns tended the flame. It is because of this association with fire that she is also considered a hearth goddess.

Brigid is also a goddess of magick. Words have power. As a goddess of poetry, the power of the word, spoken or sung, falls under her domain. The bards frequently called upon her as a patron of inspiration.

My workings with Brigid go back to before she became my patron. My wife was having health problems so during a healing ceremony for her I journeyed to Brigid to ask for healing. I chose Brigid because of her association with healing and because she is Heathers patron. During the journey she taught me a new healing technique. I believe that at that time she had already decided to become my patron, it just took me a few months longer to figure it out. I journeyed to the Goddess to officially petition her to become my patron, and I have been working with her ever since.

A note: Many of my posts will reference journeying. This is a shamanic technique that I practice on a regular basis. For those who do not know what a shamanic journey is, it is similar to astral projection, OBE, and lucid dreaming. I will go into more detail about journeying when we reach the "J" weeks.

Friday, January 20, 2012




When I was considering what to write about this week, I originally thought about Beltane. Ultimately I decided to do separate posts for the sabbats that mark the wheel of the year. Instead I am writing about burdock.

Burdock is a weed. It grows wild in my yard whether I want it to or not. Every year I pick the burs out of my pet's hair and off my clothes. But like most things there is more to this unassuming plant than meets the eye.

Burdock is edible. The leaves may be cooked or eaten raw. Burdock root is medicinal and can be boiled to make an excellent liver tonic. It purifies the blood, and as such is used in many herbal blends to treat everything from acne to gout. Burdock also has magical uses. Use burdock for protection, to cleanse negativity, binding, and warding

Last year when the burdock plants began growing, I was not sure what they were. So I left one of the plants alone so it could fully mature to make identification easier. In early summer, the plant became infested with aphids. It was quite severe and the aphids were aided by ants who milked the aphids for their sugary excretions. I didn't want the aphids to move to my vegetable garden, so I left them alone where they were. A few weeks later, the aphids were all gone. What happened to the thousands of aphids? Lady bugs. The burdock had summoned allies is the form of lady bugs. They laid their eggs on the plant and when they hatched, the ravenous larva ate every aphid on the plant.

Ant tending aphids

Lady Bug larvae
What I learned from the burdock plant was that even when it seems like you have insurmountable problems, when you are surrounded by those that want to pull you down, nothing is impossible with the help of friends.

Friday, January 13, 2012


Unlike my last post, I didn't know much about angels. When I learned about the project, I thought this would be a good opportunity to learn. I am named after the Archangel Michael and so I decided to research angels for this week's post. I found an online catholic encyclopedia that contained a HUGE amount of information about angels in Catholicism as well as Judaism.

The original word in hebrew simply meant "messenger" and could refer to either human or spiritual messengers. In addition to carrying messages for God, angels also performed various tasks. Some angels were tasked with protecting or guiding individual people. Also some angels oversaw, or governed, a specific location or country, preserving the natural order and guiding the people. It was believed that if an angel caused imbalance in the natural order it created famine and plagues. In later, more complex, systems, angels were arranged into a hierarchy with nine ranks or choirs. In some systems of ceremonial magick four archangels are assigned to each of the cardinal directions, but there seems to be some dissent as to which angel governs which direction. They all name the same four angels: Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, and Uriel; but assign them to different directions.


The earlier views of angels appear similar to animist or totemic belief systems. Guardian angels are like personal totems. In the New Testament, a description is given of a sacred healing pool. It was believed that when the angel of the pool disturbed the water, the first person to bathe in the pool would be healed. There are similarities here to the sacred healing pools and springs of pagan Europe. Also, their role as enforcers of natural order parallels that of nature spirits in other belief systems.

This is just a basic overview of angels. Some traditions, especially ceremonial magicks, get really in depth about the angels and their powers and duties. If you are interested in working with these powerful beings, I highly recommend more research. Today's post has been brought to you by the letter A.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


I just started this blog last month and I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with it. Then my wife, DrFeather read about the Pagan Blog Project. So now we are participating together on the project with our blogs. Without further ado, my first Pagan Blog Project blog: A is for Animism

For me animism means that everything has a spirit. Every tree, every animal, every blade of grass, every rock. Even things that we would not normally consider alive, like mountains, planets, or stars. A good example is "Spirited Away". In the movie, a girl meets the spirit of a river. defines animism as:"


the belief that natural objects, natural phenomena, and theuniverse itself possess souls.
the belief that natural objects have souls that may existapart from their material bodies.
the doctrine that the soul is the principle of life and health.
belief in spiritual beings or agencies."

Believing animism gives me a different outlook than most people. Recently someone posted on facebook about wanting to become a vegetarian for ethical/spiritual reasons. For me this is a non issue. Plants have spirits just like animals do. No matter what you eat you're still killing something that has a soul. No matter what I'm eating, I give thinks to the spirit of the food. When I weed my garden, I apologize to the spirits of the weeds. It's not so much about not killing as it is showing respect for the things that you kill. Nothing can live without taking life from something else. And it doesn't end with "living" things. For example, if I ever build a house, I will ask permission of the land I'm building it on.

Many cultures have rituals to give thanks to the spirits that support human life. In societies where animism is a prevalent belief, rituals are conducted to show respect and give thanks to spirits of crops, weather, land, water, building materials, etc. In a culture where people traditionally only stop to give thanks once a year, and respect for our fellow beings is practically nonexistent, we could learn a lot by looking to these other cultures.

That's my two cents about animism. Be sure to join me next week for my blog about angels. Today's blog has been brought to you by the letter A.