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5 Witchy Things To Do After A Vacation

Merry meet, Witchlings!

It’s been nearly a month since our last post, so I want to share a brief life update with you. We’ll get back to the Elements series in our next post, but I figured a personal update or something different every now and then couldn’t hurt.

First the Update

My partner and I returned home a few days ago from a lovely two-week vacation to the UK. Life got very busy leading up to our departure, and most of my writing took a backseat to other tasks and entertainments. We’d planned and saved for this trip for over a year, and with how busy this last year got, it was so very needed.

I read so much!

Being able to read for enjoyment has always been one of my favorite pastimes, but I haven’t been able to binge-read in years. The last four weeks or so, leading up to and during the trip, allowed me to read the first full series I’ve read since my teen years (and only the second full series in my life). It reminded me a lot of why I write and why I adore certain stories.

Now that I’m back, I’m more excited and motivated than ever to continue the variety of projects I’ve got in store for you. Still, even after a refreshing break, I always need a little time after a long vacation to get back into the dance of my everyday life. In addition to time, there are a few things I need to do to settle back into my home space after being away for so long.

If you’ve ever left home for a few days, you may have noticed that it feels different when you return. Whether the place is empty or occupied by a cat-sitter, the energy of our apartment shifts when we’re gone. To get our place’s vibes back into balance after a long separation, here are some of the things I like to do within 24 hours of getting home.

Five Witchy Things I Must Do After Vacation To Reconnect To My Home

Shower
Image by Fifaliana Joy from Pixabay

It may not sound witchy right off the bat, but showering is a well-known tool for spiritual cleansing. Of course, for me, I’m usually more concerned of getting the grime of travel off of my skin. Whether it’s eighteen hours on a Greyhound bus or ten on a plane, the recycled air filled with the respirations of a hundred other people always leaves me feeling sticky. It’s typically my first thought upon getting home.
In addition to body cleaning, there’s something very grounding about showering in your own home. Using my own tub, knowing the perfect position to turn the knob for my preferred temperature—it all serves to reconnect me with my sacred space. It’s a step I can never skip, and I tend to do it within an hour of getting home.

Express Gratitude
Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Once the grunge of travel is off of me, I begin to assess the moment. Either immediately after my shower or during it, I start thinking about all the things I’m grateful for to further ground myself.
I’ll typically say thanks for getting home safely (especially since flying kind of freaks me out), and I’ll give thanks for having a place to rest, for my pet, my books, my friends, and all the things that remind me of the best parts of my life.

So, even though I may feel a longing to go back to the freedom and adventure of a trip abroad, it’s easy to feel joy for all the good stuff I’m returning to. We may already be planning our next trip a year and a half away, but I can focus on all the things I’m grateful and excited for in the meantime.

Clean (Both Physically and Spiritually)
Image by annca from Pixabay

I typically try to clean our apartment just before we leave, so that I have less to do when we get back. Sometimes, though, we have a cat sitter stay at our place to avoid upsetting our fluffy girl, Brooklyn, too much. While they don’t go “hog-wild”, most people I know aren’t nearly as particular about cleanliness as I am. Because of this, I tend to go into deep-clean mode after anyone else has stayed at my place.
Having a physically clean living space settles my mind, while the activity itself tends to bring me down to earth. If I mix up a batch of enchanted cleaning spray, I’m able to put magic into the actual structure with each spritz. Simply put, cleaning up after a trip plops me squarely back into the reality of my life.

After a physical clean, I need to clear the energy in the air. Depending on my mood, this can be done with smoke from a sage or mugwort bundle, cleansing mists sprayed throughout the room, a boiling potion allowed to evaporate into the air, or any other method that strikes my fancy. Whatever methods I use, the goal is to clear any stagnant or negative energy that may have settled in my home when I wasn’t there to do my usual spiritual upkeep.

Light Candles and Incense

Once all that old energy is cleared, it needs to be replaced with something positive and healing. To do that, I usually light a long-burning candle after blessing it with a prayer and dressing it in ritual oil. The candle burns down and, as it does, I go about my day, occasionally imagining its firelight filling the place with positive energy.

I basically follow the same concept with incense, letting it burn and visualizing the smoke spreading my whispered blessings through the air. While the incense tends to burn out quickly, the candle can last most of the night, often remaining alight until just before I go to bed sometime around sunrise.

Meditate
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Finally, once my body and home are cleansed and we’re both filled with positive energy, I can take the time to actively meditate. I say actively because, throughout the whole process, from shower onward, I will typically be in a meditative state.

But, I think it’s important to sit down and focus entirely on meditating when all those other tasks are complete. The meditation can last from two minutes to half an hour, depending on my mood at the time. I usually focus on grounding and visualize my personal, internal light bonding with that of my cleansed and blessed space, as well as with the light of the planet and cosmos.

Bonus: Stare At My Pet

Of course, as I do all of these other things, I take frequent and long breaks to do one of the most relaxing things known to mankind: stare at my cat, Brooklyn. She’s a perfect grey Tabby with perfect ears who smells like pure magick. I honestly don’t know how I ever felt at home anywhere before I had her to come home to.

Traveling has always been a dream of mine, but leaving her makes each trip a little harder, and having her makes coming home a thousand times more exciting. She makes me feel like I’m “home sweet home” more than anything else.

Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

These few things not only help me settle in after being away for a while, but they help me to realign spiritually. Seeing as I can’t bring my entire sacred space with me, my practice is temporarily altered whenever I go anywhere for long.

These things bring me back to me. They bring me back to the path, to my work, and to the things that bring me a sense of fulfillment. As much as I love to travel, I love my work and feeling like I have a purpose even more. Maiden’s Circle, writing, card reading, and all the things I hope to accomplish drive me every day and fill me with passion. And I wouldn’t give that up for a million dollars.

What sorts of things do you need to do to reconnect to your living space after an extended absence? How do you realign your energy after being away from home? Let me know in the comments!

Be blessed,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

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The Ordains: Part 19 – Safe Within The Magick Circle

This is the nineteenth entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as the Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“A Witch uses the magickal circle as a physical and non-physical representation of a temple on the earth plane.”

This isn’t really something one might have a lot of opinions on. It’s pretty straightforward in meaning and, I believe, most witches would be hard-pressed to disagree. Our Circle is sacred, and we all acknowledge that simple fact, no matter how a Circle is constructed.

I’d be overstepping it if I said that every witch in the world casts the magickal circle, but all of the witches I’ve met have done so at some point in their lives. It’s safe to say this is a common practice. If you’re reading this, then you probably already know what the magickal circle is. For those of you who don’t, I’ll gladly explain.

First, to keep things clear, I use “magickal circle” and “Circle” interchangeably, with “Circle” capitalized to denote its spiritual importance to me. We witches use the Circle to create a sacred space where we can safely practice magick and worship the Divine.

Image by RD LH from Pixabay
To create a magickal circle, one needs little more than intent.

That said, most of us do prefer to use certain tools that allow us to physically mark the space as sacred alongside our spiritual efforts. This serves in not only giving our minds a type of anchor, so that we’re grounded and focused on the task at hand, but it brings together our earthly world and the spiritual one.

Witches use a variety of methods to create their Circle; some even use different methods for different occasions! Here at Maiden’s Circle, we have a basic Circle-building structure that we feel is useful in all occasions. The full method is taught in our upcoming Covenpath course, but I’ll go over the basics here.

Generally, all of our Circles start with an activity to help participants ground themselves and focus on the upcoming ritual. This could be anything from a few deep breaths to a full on meditation to singing and dancing—anything that gets us grounded in the space and within our bodies.

Once we’re grounded and our intentions are focused on our purpose—whatever reason we’ve chosen to create the Circle—then we’re ready to erect our Circle. This usually means calling to the four cardinal corners of the earth (North, East, South, and West) and asking their spiritual guardians to protect us while we work. In our practice, these guardians are represented by four major elements: Earth, Air, Fire, and Water.

We would then hold an object that represents each element in its corresponding direction and call upon those guardians to join our Circle and protect it. Many witches also call upon a deity or two, often a feminine and masculine pair.

Lastly, we would visualize an orb of light growing around us, covering our space and solidifying it as sacred.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
This is our temple. This is our church. It exists where we choose to create it.

Of course, once we’ve completed our Circle, it’s important to respect the space we’ve built. A good rule of thumb is: if you wouldn’t do it in a public church, you shouldn’t do it in your own Circle. Naturally, there are many exceptions, since public churches tend to have a very different idea of what’s appropriate.

But, what I mean is if it would be disrespectful to a spiritual space, you might want to avoid it. For example, you wouldn’t want someone coming into your Circle and starting fights. You wouldn’t want someone to enter your Circle with cheesy or greasy fingers and then proceed to touch all of your ritual tools. So, don’t do it to yourself or to anyone else’s Circle. In general, when you’re in another person’s sacred space, you’ll follow their lead for how the space should be treated.

Over time, we all figure out what works best for us in Circle. Even people in covens have their individual methods in addition to the coven’s style. Like most things in witchcraft and Wicca, we have the benefit of being able to cast a magickal circle in whichever way suits us.

However we create our Circle, I believe it’s a useful practice for every witch. The Circle allows us to have a sacred space anywhere we choose, it protects us from any ephemeral beings that are up to no good, connects our mundane lives with the Divine, and enhances the magickal energy of all of our workings. We are truly safe within the sacred Circle.

Do you cast a magickal circle? Do you cast it for every work or only during certain rituals? Is it an important part of your practice? Share your responses in the comments!

With many blessings,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page! PLUS Did you know we have an MCCA newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!

Brief Update and a Rerun

This week, I’ve been dealing with some personal things, so I’m still catching up. It didn’t feel right to leave you hanging, though, so I’ve found an entry from my now-inactive blog, Voix de Wilder, to share with you. I believe this piece does a good job of explaining my thoughts on things like “fate” or “destiny.” While my views have shifted slightly, a lot of what I said back then still stands, and I think it’s important to explore our own mindset over time. I’m still learning and always asking “why.”

I also wanted to take a break to let you know how things are going concerning the course and other Maiden’s Circle endeavors. As you know by now, Maiden’s Circle sends out a newsletter each time there’s a new update. Lately, that’s pretty much only been notifications of new blog entries and whatever news comes up that week. Do you like that format? Would you like more in the newsletters?

In any case, I want to let you know that our Covenpath course is coming along slowly, but surely. Each week, it gets a little closer to publishing. I want this to be as valuable as I can possibly make it, so I’ve spent many hours researching to make sure we provide the right amount of information while keeping in mind that this is a self-study course. As soon as it’s ready, you’ll be the first to get an email. Make sure you’re signed up for the newsletter, because only those people will get the massive discount of $13 (as opposed to $133). That’s $120 worth of content just for joining the newsletter!

The closer we get to going live, the giddier I become. I sincerely hope this course provides a sturdy base for your witchy practices and that it can lead to a huge growth within Maiden’s Circle. The fact is, I’m looking for coven members. It’s important we all have a similar understanding of the Maiden’s Circle practices, even with varying practices of our own. That means, new members would need to take the course. (That said, enrollment in the course doesn’t automatically mean initiation into the coven.) So, with the launch of the Covenpath course, I hope to see growth in our numbers. If it isn’t clear already, I have a deep need to share this journey.

To help sate that need, Maiden’s Circle now has a learning group on Facebook! The group is meant to foster discussion and learning from one another and is just a bit more formal than other groups I admin. This is because I truly want to have an engaged Pagan community where everyone expresses themselves and participates. I want to hear about your beliefs and practices so that we can connect with one another on a more personal level. So, be sure to check that group out, as well as the Bacchans of Witchsfest group for even more fun, witchy posts.

The Ordains series will continue next week, but I hope you enjoy this brief update and break. Let me know your thoughts in the comments or join us on Facebook. Until then, I hope you enjoy the entry below in which I discuss the ideas of fate or destiny. Blessed be!

Previously titled Sh*t Happens. First published Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Let’s just say that things happen, that sometimes events randomly fall together to create the perfect circumstances for certain things to occur.  Let’s say that’s it.  Things fall into place and things happen, without the hand of Fate or “the Universe.”  This is, indeed, the view of many skeptics and self-proclaimed smart people.  If that is the case, then we’re really just living to die, no?  Shit just happens, and either it’s good or bad, but it’s never important.  Moments aren’t special, so there’s no reason for sentiment and reminiscing.  There’s no point to romance.

I’ve seen two reactions from those following this school of thought.  Some people embrace it and adopt a devil-may-care attitude.  They live life fast and hard.  They live for the sake of experience.  They live dangerously, trying anything new, ignoring the consequences. These people believe they could die young, so they live every moment doing whatever they please.  Then, there are others who take this thought and find fear and misery in it.  If there is no meaning, if their lives are just a series of random events, what is the point of living?  These forlorn people often feel their lives are tragic, and tend to share their tragedy with others, leading to dysfunctional, often co-dependent, relationships.

It’s all very nihilistic, isn’t it?  On the other end of the spectrum are those who believe that Fate rules the world.  To these hopeful beings, every single event has a meaning, everything happens for a reason.  They are always where they’re “meant to be.”  There is some power in the universe that is watching over them, and even the smallest occurrences are meant for them.  A leaf falling at just the right moment is some message for them to interpret, or there’s a raging storm because they’re having a bad day.  Essentially, they believe the world revolves around them.  Truly, their own world does.

Then, of course, there are those of us who are the most idealistic.  We see the world as a gray area.  Some things just happen because they do.  Some things are destined.  Not everything happens for a reason, but nothing is pointless.  Life, ultimately, has a meaning amidst all the mundanity.  We’ve seen the magic that can occur; we’ve seen what can happen when certain random circumstances come together and create the perfect setting for creating change.

The task, then, is to learn to discern the difference; and when you find the things that are significant, when you do receive messages from the Universe (or the Fates, God/dess, Spirit, the Higher Power, or what-have-you), you must determine what they mean.  Perhaps it is just that I like puzzles, that I feel this is the most accurate idea of why things happen.  Who really knows why some people fall into jobs they’d never imagined and end up finding their calling?  Who knows what determines whether or not one person survives an accident?  Is it luck?  Or is it Fate that brings a person into another person’s life?  A person that makes the other feel joyous and free?  Or a person that leaves pain and destruction behind?

We search for lessons and often find them too late.  It isn’t easy figuring out what is mundane and what is a whisper from the gods.  I am happy that my mind works the way it does, but even that is a mystery to me.  The life I lived as a child, the environment that raised me, could have a different influence.  Instead of following in the footsteps of generations before me, I chose to take a new path.  Though, I’m not entirely convinced it was a choice.  I believe that, when it comes to destiny, mine is one of greatness.  I do, however, have to make the choices that take me there; nothing is set in stone.  I believe life will bring to me all I need, but it is up to me to make it mine, to keep it.

Some things are truly supposed to be in our lives, but we must work to prove we deserve them.  Not everything that’s meant to be is easy.  Not everything that’s difficult is a random occurrence or a “lesson learned.”  Perhaps sometimes, the lesson is, “Don’t give up.”  In that same vein, not everything that’s pleasant is fate.  Sometimes, we’re just lucky; it’s just good timing.  So, how do we figure it out?  What do we do with the information once we’ve done that?  How do we know which actions are “right”?  I can’t answer that.

I am working to figure it out in my own life.  There are things I see as signs, and but I am ever skeptical.  Everything is a sign and nothing is.  I am attempting to look at unique occurrences from as many angles as I can conceive.  Of course, it makes me seem a bit…insane, but I’m not sure that matters.  I am analyzing life constantly, and I can’t seem to let go of certain concepts, certain “signs.”  I don’t know what’s happening yet, or why, but I know something in my life is changing.  I don’t know which direction it’s going to go.  All I can do is make the choices that I believe will bring me the most joy and fulfillment.  I hope luck is on my side.

With love always,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page! PLUS Did you know we have an MCCA newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!

The Ordains: Part 12 – I Am You and You Are Me

This is the twelfth entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as The Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“Witches know that we are all one, we are all connected.”

If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you may have noticed that I use a lot of “we” language. Even though these posts are all written by one person, I’ll usually speak of topics using “our” or “we” instead of “my” or “me”. This is, in part, due to my desire to make sure that every person who comes to Maiden’s Circle knows that we’re connected in some way.

For as long as I can remember, though, I’ve used the “we” language (or some might call it the “royal We,” though I don’t believe that’s fully accurate). In essays and past blogs, this habit has been rather persistent, and I can’t really remember how it began—but the act has become a bit more intentional as of late. As I said above, I want to show those who find Maiden’s Circle that no one is alone. That, in my eyes, we are all one.

On Monday, I had a conversation with my partner about the idea of loving everyone. If you watch the tarot videos, you may have noticed that I end each one with a certain phrase:

“Remember, always, that I love you.”

My partner posed the question: “But what if you don’t love them?” To this, I snorted a laugh and told him that was impossible. I love all people.

Of course, in this day-and-age, such sweeping statements are frowned upon and rightly tested. So, he asked, “What about Donald Trump?”

Now, this blog isn’t about politics, so I’m not going to go over all the reasons a person might ask that question in response to the phrase “I love all people.” I’m sure most of you understand. If you don’t, feel free to send me private message on Facebook or simply Google the man.

In any case, my answer was measured. I can love a person that is harmful. I can love their spirit, even if I believe said spirit to be misaligned and out of place. That is because I believe their spirit and mine are part of a greater whole. We are intricately connected, and to hate them would feel like hating part of myself.

Let’s consider the makings of a human being.

Quite early in life, we learn that humans are made of cells. Sure, we’re made of much more than that, but the existence of cells is one of the first biological facts we’re taught in the American school system. These organelles represent my views on Spirit.

A person’s cells are all connected, but the cells that make up their brain are different from the cells that create skin—and that’s different, still, from the cells that form their heart. Sometimes, there are abnormal cells. These grow and, if left unchecked, can seriously hurt the person they’re part of (and so they’re removed, for love of the whole). Of course, if you dig deep enough into that metaphor, questions will start popping up about viruses and the like (and I could philosophize on this subject all day). But as a basic, simple metaphor, it describes my belief that all people are part of one much larger whole. My usual description is that of a jewel with as many facets as there are people and gods.

This tenet has guided me for much of my life and has had a strong influence over how I interact with other people. Although, since childhood, it’s been difficult for me to feel connected to others, I’ve always been interested in figuring out that connection which makes us all one. I’m not a neurotypical person, so, for a long time, that quest for connection seemed never-ending.

Even now, I find my circle is relatively small. But I’ve met so many people over the years and have learned so much. I’ve known and loved amazing people. I’ve felt the pain of loss and the bliss of soulful connection.

And I’ve seen—in every person I came to know—something divinely familiar.

Whether our connection ended in pain or pleasure, or simply because it was time—whether our connection is ongoing through lifetimes—it exists because we all recognized that spark of divinity in one another. I see it in every person I meet, including those unfortunates who can’t recognize it in themselves. And so, good or bad, because I know our connection exists, I can’t help but love them.

What do you think about this statement? Do you think we’re all connected or do you take a more individualistic approach? Let me know in the comments or on the Facebook page!

P.S. I’d like to offer aid to people who are homeless. Would you be interested in participating in a grassroots endeavor to create care packages for New York’s homeless? Hopefully, we’d branch out with steady growth.
A small team would deliver bags of essentials including blankets, feminine hygiene products, small flashlights, and more to help individuals navigate life without a home. Homelessness can happen to anyone, so I want to do my part and welcome you to join me.
If you’re interested, email me here and I’ll let you know how you can help!

Blessed be,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings, and subscribe to catch them every week! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page! PLUS Did you know we have an MCCA newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!