And So It Begins

The night before a journey is a sea of anticipation. My morning meditation, waves of distractions…so hard to keep focus, I surrender to the flow and instead do an impromptu ritual for safe journey and magickal inspirations. I walk by the river and bless the rising sun. Today is the day, finally, after all the planning, all the pieces are beginning to become visible. The manifestation of intent. Returning home, I review my packing one more time. I have downloaded the most helpful guidebooks onto my IPad so that I need not carry the weight of the books themselves. I have torn out a few relative maps just for orientation and also added some apps on to my phone and tablet that might prove convenient. Copies of my documents and what itinerary I have conjured are left with my children. Copies are also tucked into my backpack. I have added things to my cross shoulder bag which will carry my IPad and other items that will need to be accessible during my travel…okay, I am ready, as ready as I can be.

     Excited and assured, I grab my bag and my backpack and head for the airport. The airport is doing some construction within the main facility and so I do not linger there but rather take the tram directly to the airside after checking in and printing out my boarding pass. With no bags to check and a well- organized backpack, security is not a problem. I enter a small restaurant at the airside and order wine, cheese and roasted vegetables. An overnight flight and dinner will be served on the plane, but a celebration is order. Thank you, Goddess, for the gifts of the Earth.

     It will be awhile before boarding. I make myself comfortable in a seat near the boarding gate. I gaze pensively out of the tinted windows to the wide expanse of cloudless blue skies. So many stories to be told. Are they worth telling? How will I tell them? I am a woman, like many women who has thought herself not pretty enough, not smart enough, not wealthy enough, not creative enough, not talented enough, and not spiritual enough. Always judging myself and always coming up wanting. I think back to a book by Julia Cameron, The Artist’s Way, there is a valuable mantra in that book, “my job is to do the work, not judge the work,” followed by, “Goddess, I am in charge of the quantity, You are in charge of the quality.”  And thus one by one I have snipped the tethers of never enough, the oppression of self-imposed limitations and restrictions, I am learning that I am enough, and I hope to light that flame of enough, of spirit in others. That is the journey we all make to our inner core; the Dark Moon work of the Maiden, the Fullness of the Mother and the Wisdom of the Crone.

     There is a freedom today that permeates my soul, my heart, my total being. I am sitting at the airport having permitted my red hair to become white, having cut the long curls to a close cropped cap. I sit here with my 16 pound back pack, fingering my pentacle with its Alexandrite center, dreaming of the path ahead, a ribbon of known and unknown; planned and unplanned, knowledge and discovery. I take a deep breath and then another, I allow my eyes to close and the meditative journey to begin.



     Good morning Great Britain!  British Airways, comfortable flight, a bit of sleep, some food, some wine, some conversation, some time reading…life is good.

     We landed just before 8 am. Not having to wait at baggage claim is always a blessing, but especially when you need to navigate the lines at passport control. The walk seemed like miles of moving sidewalks, twists and turns. I am sure it was a function of my being excited to just get on with it. Carrying my back pack also meant that I could pick up my pace when the crowd permitted me more access. I could not stop smiling. Finally the hallway gave way to a wide expanse of open space, a huge maze of passengers, lines up and down, left and right, all leading to the front of the hall where a long row of kiosks with high windows and cameras stood guard. There was a shorter line for passengers with EU passports, but the “other” line was the one that demanded my presence. I went to the end of the line…yes, still smiling….ahead of me was a group of about ten people, mostly women, pushing huge carts of luggage and carrying huge purses on their shoulders. They had flown to London to board a cruise. They were laughing and chiding each other as they complained about having to manage their own luggage and bemoaning the length of the line as well as its slow forward progress. I smiled as I realized that my perception of these people had been that they were older, senior, mature adults. I laughed as I realized that although I saw myself as younger, vital, energetic and adventurous, to all around me, I was decidedly a 69, almost 70 year old woman with white hair and a backpack!

     I was still thinking about that as I stepped up to the passport control desk. My 2011 passport showed a woman with shoulder length red hair, hmmm. The Brits use facial recognition software so the discrepancy was not an issue. My lack of a concrete itinerary was at first questioned but my rail pass and my York reservation addressed those concerns. My passport was stamped and I was sent on my way with a very warm welcome to Great Britain and wishes for a successful adventure.

     I belong to a credit union so I used my debit card at the airport to get just two hundred pounds sterling. I would get more cash with my card at a bank once I arrived in York. I planned to use credit and debit cards when I could but I also was able to negotiate better lodging rates by paying in cash. ATM accomplished, off to the train station. Rail pass validated, next step of the journey Platform 4, a train to Kings Cross, London where I will board a second train heading to York. Still excited, still smiling, but wait, what is that I see? A Costa oasis on my way to Platform 4? Well first things first… it is almost 9:30, time for a wee bit of caffeine and a huge cup of latte…Blessed be!



Drawing from Ether to Substance

  A journey of body and spirit begins long before the first steps on solid ground. I had dreamed the journey, I had cast spells for the journey, I had journaled my wish for the journey and set my intention to draw this journey out of the ether and into the world of substance. I began to weave the magickal and the mundane in preparation for those steps. My search engines and YouTube became dedicated tools as much as all my notes and books and magickal workings. In retrospect, I chuckle at some… for instance I became a frequent viewer of the very dated but very helpful You Tube series, “Speaking our Language…Learn Scottish Gaelic.” I chuckle a bit as I remember caring for my toddler grandson and rattling off “Ciamar a tha sibh? Tha gu math, tapadh leat.” Spoiler alert…I did not succeed in learning the language, but I did use that phrase a few times…especially the tapadh leat, which means thank you.

     Having been to the United Kingdom before I listed areas that called to me to return. I compiled information on ley lines, sacred sites and especially places meaningful to me. I am a Vermonter and rugged landscapes with rock outcroppings always make my heart soar. I knew I wanted to walk in the Highlands as I had done years before. I wanted to feel the cold winds that carry the cold rains, I wanted to breathe sweet air and sink my feet into the dark Highland mud. I debated just getting off the plane with no plan verses having an itinerary with dots laid out on a map. I opted for drawing only broad brush strokes and coloring in lots of flexibility. Once that decision was made I made my first purchases: Guide Books, Rick Steves’ Guide Books for Scotland, Great Britain and Wales; Lonely Planet guide book for Scotland and the Rough Guide book for Scotland.

     I have always opted for travelling light, whether an overnight jaunt or a month of travel. This has been somewhat of a challenge for me because often times in my ritual and teaching life, lugging heavy baskets and multiple items is the rule rather than the exception. I am convinced, however, that to travel via plane for any amount of time is to travel light, and that was especially true for this journey. I have learned that back packs work better for me than any size suitcase on wheels. When a suitcase has wheels it seduces me into believing that adding an item or two to the mix does not matter…usually those items are best left at home. The goal was not to check my luggage, to be able to carry it on my back for extended distances and periods of time, and also to be able to comfortably lift it into the overhead compartments of planes, trains and buses. For me, that meant that the pack had to weigh no more than 16 pounds and be able to fit in most of those compartments. I have climbed enough stairs in train stations and B and Bs to learn that carrying something on your back is easier than tugging something up a staircase, heavy and sighing with every stair. I have also witnessed my share of tourists who struggle to get luggage on and off the trains or wait in long lines for the elevators while the stairs are just a hop away. So, I did treat myself to a new Rick Steves Classic Back Door bag… the basic one, not the convertible one. The convertible one expands and I knew I would have a difficult time convincing myself not to tuck some other items into that compartment. That being said my bag is 21’X14”X9” and weighs less than two pounds. It does not taper like many packs and it’s squared off design is more easily organized. This trip I also planned to use packing cubes to keep everything in order and to eliminate packing and unpacking and packing again at every stop.

     This trip presented some additional challenges for light packing. I was travelling in the Highlands where temperatures would still be in the 40s, but I would be there for an extended period of time, plus I might spend some time in England, so there was a chance I would experience much warmer temperatures. An on line search produces numerous resources and advice on light packing. I found a video on line produced by Rick Steves featuring Sarah Mudoch. Sarah is one of the Steves tour guides. She had just returned from a trip to Italy, so not only did the video show how and what to pack, but it was based on the pack she had brought to Italy. The video was so helpful that I subscribed to her blog: Adventures with Not only was it informative and entertaining, but she was quick to answer emails regarding my particular dilemma. And Sarah is really hard core on packing light.

     In order to help anchor the journey in substance, my first tether would be my airline ticket. I quickly discovered that flights from Tampa to London were considerably more convenient and less expensive than flights from Tampa to Edinburgh. Since I planned to purchase a British Rail pass to ensure flexibility as well as savings, flying to London seemed the best plan….it did however, cast part of my journey in stone…the beginning and the end. London, not Edinburgh; England not Scotland. Regardless of the free flow of travel, I enjoy the security of having reservations for my first and last nights of my journey. After a night flight from Tampa, I wanted to have an easy and comfortable, but still interesting place for a night or two to regroup and recover. There was York staring up from the map in bold letters.  I am not sure what I love about York, but I had fond memories of my last trip, so without further deliberation, I booked two nights at the Arnot House. The Arnot House is within walking distance from the train station and just around the corner from the City Wall. Perfect, fly into Gatwick, navigate passport control, train to King’s Cross, hop a second train to York. Sigh of relief.

  The need to decide on the last night of my journey forced me to make a major decision about where to spend both my birthday and MidSummer. My initial plan was to be at the standing stones in Lewis or at Tigh na Cailleach in Glen Lyon or even on Ben Nevis, but now that would not work because I needed to be near Heathrow for my return flight on June 22. A few years ago I had thought about MidSummer at Stonehenge, but that no longer called to me.  Much to my surprise messages popped up everywhere…random thoughts, random images. During one of my walks I was playing an album by Kellianna. “Mists of Avalon.” Okay, Goddess, I get it…Glastonbury. I would spend both my birthday and MidSummer there before heading to London and Heathrow. I had to make reservations because it would be three, maybe four nights. Synchronisity…a pagan themed B and B. The name? The Covenstead, the room? Hedgewitch. Sometimes the Goddess changes your plans, sometimes they are different, but prove to be infinitely more magickal.      

        Bags packed…..the adventure begins!


Wynde…My Path, My Site

    With the passing of yet another birthday, the Solar and the Lunar returns reveal the swirl of possibilities and the illumination of promises still unfolding. This was a remarkable birthday and with its passing a stronger commitment to this site was born…a renewed energy and a stronger vision. Such incredible sites on the Internet dedicated to the Craft. Sites resplendent with candlelit pentagrams, and besoms, magickal calligraphy, images of Goddess and God, many dark and beckoning emerged from my searches and visits. With renewed commitment, I realized these sites had affected me in yet another realm….the realm of self doubt…was my site witchy enough? There is a mirror image to that question that many of my students have voiced…is my life witchy enough?

    The title of my page is Wynde.  Wynde is my adaptation of an old Scottish word, Wynd.  A wynd is a narrow pathway or alley way. It often has twists and turns, and more often leads to hidden treasures. Gael refers to all things celtic and thus the name of my site and my store reflects both my path and my affinity for Scotland, Ireland and all things Gaelic.

     I do admire and love to visit those intensely witchy sites….especially the dark ones that seem seeped in mystery. These sites are so mystically magcikal to me. I also admire the houses of witches whose craft permeates every nook and crannie of their abode. I have one friend in particular…even as you park your car on the street the house calls to you…a powerful witch and priestess abides within…magickal offerings adorn the trees, spheres hang from branches and peek out of bushes, magick is in the air!  Inside the air carries the sweet scents of incense and candles, tributes to the Goddess and God transform mundane to magickal…inside, outside, above and below, it all vibrates with the essence of her craft and the path she shares with her Shaman partner. I love being in that space, soaking in that essence, and I especially love when we weave our energies in that ritual space. I live in a condo…a fairly small condo, but even before I moved to smaller spaces, the visible signs of my craft have been more subtle. I have maintained my same Goddess blessing at my entrance, but now a I have a sprig of rosemary across the top of it since I no longer have outdoor space. My witches ball still hangs in the center of my sliding glass doors that face West, but now those doors lead to a Juliette balcony. Herb pots, candles, a lunar calender, a magickal planner, all are scattered hither and thither around the living area, dining room and kitchen, tributes to my Spirit Horse and the ELements. My bedroom is less subtle…my altar centered on my Amethyst Cathedral, my besoms, my window adorned with a stained glass crescent moon and numerous crystals…candles, cauldrons, magick abounds.

   My spaces are a bit more subtle because my space reflects the path I follow and the merging of my particular magickal with mundane.  Your Wynde is yours to create. How you choose to express your Craft will be determined by your own context and your footsteps upon your path…where will it lead you? I am witch of Air, Water and Fire: I am High Priestess and teacher, healer and crone, this site reflects who I am at this manifestation of my life. There are many ways for you to experience and express your path as you journey forward. Let go of expectations and listen to the Goddess who speaks within. Be true to the Voice. Perhaps your monuments to your craft will be filled with pentagrams and candlelit corners, images of the Goddess, crystals and besom…perhaps your expression will be a single candle and a small bouquet of flowers, whatever your create, create it with joy in your soul and the love of the Goddess in your heart…all else will follow.

    And, yes, my site is witchy enough – it is a creation of the path I have followed, a journey that continues to twist and turn, that narrows, then expands to narrow yet again… there is magick on this path….and endless possibilities.

So mote it be!


The Journey Continues

    Sometimes the Goddess challenges our resolve with distractions. We hear this inner voice of inspiration, purposeful possibilities, numerous threads of future action, then as the weaving begins, as the warp appears set, the distractions begin, the tension seems amiss. Like some witches, I have struggled to balance the magickal and the mundane only to discover that it is the arbitrary boundary I have created between the two that is the tension, that creates the problem. There is no boundary, it is our intentions about our magickal life that heightens our awareness and permits the magickal to shimmer through all that seemed mundane.

     It has been almost three years now since I sold my hillside farm, bid a gentle farewell to the woodland spirits, meadow elves and water sprites to return to urban living. The difficult choices of a crone was eased by the loving embrace of children, grandchildren, old friends and a beloved spiritual family. Here I discovered the water witch within my soul and the promises of footsteps yet to come. Sun in Gemini, Moon in Cancer, Leo rising, no longer the  Priestess, time to embrace the Crone…but how…where is the next step?High

      On this morning, I ask myself, “Why do this at all?” Why as I struggled to anticipate the next step in my 69th and 70th year did I create a web site, attach a store and embark on this strange journey? More importantly, why, as I begin my 71st year have I intensified my commitment to continue? The answers spill out in a series of heartbeats…I love this Goddess path with every fiber of my being, and I love to write…surely at this crossroads, it is time for one to give voice to the other such that others may hear. Another answer to my question also emerges, a crone at 60 dances the power dance around the fire, creates magick at the altars of the Forest and the Mountain top, but who is this crone at 70? I had to discover her, own her, love her and share her, believing that in some small way this sharing will be seen by just the right person at just the right time and that sharing will inspire her or his journey forward as well.

      As I anticipated my 70th birthday,I was determined that my 70th  would be both a remarkable celebration and a life altering experience. I love birthday parties, balloons, friends, ice cream, and especially birthday cakes, but not this time, I wanted this to be a time of a personal journey, my Cailleach journey, and for me, that meant Scotland. I set my intention with a wee bit of reservation, but as so often happens when you set your foot on a true path, the Goddess gave me a major shove forward. A debt I had long ago written off was paid and suddenly, I had a savings account and work to do. 

     From that beginning was born this site and this blog. I wanted to write about this journey, I wanted to share it and suddenly mundane ideas became very magickal indeed. I did not embrace my crone-hood or my 60s gracefully. I colored my hair,obsessed about the lines on my face and neck, all the while agonizing over just the right anti-aging products. Somehow in all this denial, there was a light of inspiration. I started taking care of myself. Holy basil tea became a daily indulgence, I started eating a bit more healthily, I started walking and OMG, even exercising. I lamented my lack of stamina and determined to improve. There were hits and misses, times of discouragement and a few times of exuberant success. I discovered some of my patterns – I do better when I have a goal, especially a really big goal, and I need some sort of schedule. The trip to Scotland was a really big goal.

I faced some truths as a crone headed to age 70. Stamina, flexibility and strength require more effort than in younger times. Much to my chagrin I found that I was no longer able to sit cross legged for extended periods of time. (Just when did that happen?)  I needed to be able to carry my backpack and walk a minimum of 5 miles a day – that would take some effort…and then, there was that face in the mirror, no longer the face of youth, but rather the face of experience and a journey well traveled. Coloring my hair did not change that face no matter how I tried to convince myself otherwise. Nor was the secret to that face found at a cosmetic counter…two major changes emerged…. the first was to cut my hair short, really short, for me painfully short, and to permit the locks of the crone to sprout forth. The second was to put aside the false promises  of anti-aging creams and instead to find a healthy skin regime that worked for me. In Vermont, I had attended several Women’s Herbal Conferences sponsored by Sage Mountain and they had become the building blocks for my own herbal work. I returned to that knowledge and now that I was no longer working full time, there was space to create my own skin and hair products, to conjure my own magick while dancing between the worlds in their creation. The bath fizzies on this site are a function of that magick and there will be more to come.

 My journey has had some interesting twists and turns, such is the stuff of magick. Each week I will post and invite you to share that journey with me…. Next time, how i planned and how I prepared…Blessed be.





The Magick of Ritual

Rituals can be simple or complex, they can be composed and rewritten, or spontaneous, they can be performed by a solitary witch or a large gathering of people of like mind. Each ritual has its own special power. I often go to my altar drawn by some inspiration or some concern and perform an impromptu ritual. I often times dance my circle casting, sometimes I stand in the center and cast with my witches finger, other times I cast with faerie dust. I do still use an athame or my wand, but those are for more planned rituals rather than my being spontaneously called to my altar. I always call the Elementals and the Fifth Element, and in my mind I hear their voices…I am Air and I am here. I honor the Goddess. Sometimes I sit in silence, sometimes I speak, sometimes I dance, the work of the ritual flows from my intent. I always have a chalice on my altar and my ritual is always sealed with a sip…or even two of wine. I may pause before the releases, just because the sacredness of those moments lingers and I am often reluctant to disperse the energy that surrounds me.

I am awed by the power of ritual when performed by a group of witches who have practiced consistently together. I find that the whole is ever so greater than the sum of our parts. The energetic weaving that begins with the first moments of gathering intensifies as the ritual unfolds. Time disappears within that sacred space. We may have written a special ritual, orchestrated and choreographed our sacred work, but all that disappears within the casting of the circle and the ritual takes on a very special Magick of its own. To experience this oneness with each other is to truly touch the Face of the Goddess and to be lost in the holiness of Her embrace. The power of ritual is the power of those who honor it and who walk with the Goddess dancing between the worlds.





New Moon in Aquarius….Time of Imbolc

Today begins the time of the New Moon. The powerful inspirations for the New Moon cycle are released as Mercury finally is moving forward again. In my work with students, I have emphasized Moon Cycles and Solar Cycles and how they interact. I find the Waxing Moon in the Waxing year to be especially powerful for magickal workings. Intent becomes substance and the seeds for the year are especially potent.

Aquarius is the innovator, the progressive, the curious one, how does this work? How can this be made better? A New Moon in Aquarius is especially inviting for me. During my New Moon ritual, I asked a question, “What am I missing?” Being a New Moon child I find the New Moon closest to Imbolc is especially important for me…one of those times when ideas are everywhere and intent brims with overflowing … and sometimes…often times….unrealistic possibilities.  Time to consult the tarot cards, what is missing? I use a deck by Poppy Palin, Stories of the Wild Spirit,  The image on this page is the card I drew during my ritual. The Five of Earth, the Cauldron. I am wise woman and crone, I have conjured quite a brew in my cauldron and now in this new time I am challenged to improve the mixture….a dash of common sense, a dollop of creativity, a huge ladle of inspiration and many splashes of new knowledge.

The New Moon illuminates my path of spiritual, mental and physical action…a dance between both worlds…it also illuminates my path of political action. I have seen the activism of Starhawk both revered and reviled, I have seen other teachers criticized on line for taking political stances. I believe as a witch I cannot be silent….the Face of the Goddess is the face of all the Earth…and we are Her children. 

What was I missing? The strength of the brew….yes, there are ways for me to improve my personal brew, but there is more is there not? When I owned Mugwort and Malachite, I was privileged to host a workshop by Kellianna. I then attended the Women’s’ Herbal gathering hosted by Sage Mountain….Kellianna was there with drum and chants, one reverberates today…..and remember, we only have power if we claim it, if we use it….

We are a people at the full height of our power, now is the time and now is the hour. We recognize our sacred birth, we have the power to transform the earth.




New Moon Beginnings…

The New Moon in Capricorn…I started the morning with journal on my lap and hot coffee in my cup…and then began to dream and wander. Gemini woman born under the New Moon…I am prone to dream and wander. Follow through is my challenge but not my excuse…I use a tarot deck by Poppy Palin and this morning I decided to draw one card in honor of the New Moon…. I drew the Ace of Earth, the Seed. A New Moon in an Earth Sign and I draw the Seed. 

I try to walk regularly and since I live in an urban landscape, the RiverWalk holds a special attraction for me. On one segment of the RiverWalk there is a large labyrinth. I walk the labyrinth at Solstice and Equinox and at other times when She calls to me but today I walked swiftly by to the rhythms of Emerald Rose. Still pondering my tarot card and the New Moon possibilities on my return path, I suddenly realized the music had transformed to some selections from Ruth Barrett’s  album, The Year is A Dancing Woman. The Pentagram song ended and the shuffle of the selections conjured her song, Labyrinth…I looked up….guess where I was? You got it, I got it, I get it… the words to the song, my steps on the Labyrinth, the questions in the center, deep in my center, the answers I finally permitted myself to hear.

At the beginning of my personal Solar year, I asked a dear friend to do a reading for me, a card for each month. A twelve month spread that contained five…count them…five major arcana cards. Oh, dear Goddess, this is going to be a year! The card for December is one of the five. The card in her Osha Zen deck was XV Conditioning, in my deck it is XV the Fiddler…different cards, subtle variations but reverberating message…I had not paid much attention to that card throughout the month, but today in the light of the New Moon, the pieces fit together and I knew that Fiddler, the Labyrinth, Ruth Barrett, the Ace of Earth were messages and guideposts to challenge me to embrace again what I had chosen, to step forward with courage, bound but unbound.

I began this blog as an exploration of the wisdom of the Crone and to share my path with others.  In my heart I have wanted to be many crones. Some were elegant and strong and beautiful, some were wild and vibrant and free, some were a little of this and a lot of that. But I am a crone, my experience of myself as crone and the wisdom of the Crone Goddess I will share with you, and I will take on the challenge of follow through as I explore wondrous possibilities. I hope you will find wondrous possibilities in your life as well.Earth Mother, I honor you. I honor the Earth Mother in all of you.



Solstice Greetings…..

 The Darkest Night has past and a New Light is born. There are magickal possibilities to be grasped and intentions to be forged. Astrologer Henry Seltzer predicts a chaotic year ahead….written in the Stars and clearly visible in the World that surrounds us. A time of challenge, for us to hold firm our values and beliefs and not permit fatigue to diminish the Light we carry within. Bright blessings to you on this day. May you walk in the love and light of the Goddess. Blessed be.



Scry…..Who Me???

Dark Moon, Dark Times, the power of the journey within. I have a powerful Dark Mirror. It seems to strengthen each time I use it. A few years ago it cracked. Its pewter frame holds it together, but it is cracked. My first thought was  “Darn, it is ruined”, my second thought was “No way, it is simply renewed”…it is still beautiful and reflective of my inner journey…just a wee bit cracked.

Teaching scrying had been a challenge. I once owned a shop….Mugwort and Malachite…a truly magickal place. One day in the shop I was discussing the art of scrying with my friend Meredith and sharing stories of our own learnings… When I scry I am more likely to hear then to see…Meredith shared her initial frustration….she was at Witch Camp and they were doing a scrying exercise…she gazed deep within the mirror, calmed herself,  softened her eyes and….and….nothing. As she became more frustrated the workshop leader looked over her shoulder.  “What do you See?”  “Nothing,” she replied and then repeated  ‘Nothing,” The workshop leader smiled…told her to look again, only this time to pretend she saw something…anything….just pretend…so she did, and she did. I do not know the name of that teacher, but I know that his particular wisdom and Meredith”s sharing of that wisdom has enabled many a student to look into a dark mirror, or a bowl of water, a drop of oil or the flame of a candle, and make that inner journey….    

Imagination is the key to magick and pretending opens the door…so if you have not done so lately, why not take a look?


The Journey Within

Mabon has slipped past, and the Solstice promises a return of the Light. In the Northlands the trees  no longer display the glorious colors of the Autumn Sun, the days are short and the chill crispness in the air has turned to cold.. But I am now a witch of the Southlands where the turning of the Wheel is more subtle. There is a hint of lightness in the air, the days grow shorter but not the deliberate darkness of the Northern mountains. And yet the energy, the vision, the flow turns inward, the Dark Times of the Dark Moon intensifies as the Dark Times of the Solar Cycle urge us to turn inward. My teacher once assigned a Dark Times Journal. From Samhain to Solstice, I looked into the Dark Mirror, deep within the Darkness, then I wrote: This night I gazed into the Dark and I saw…. Like the Dark Moon, the Dark Times encourage the journey to the hidden self and to embrace the inner light, connecting to what we know, connecting to our inner truth, releasing what no longer serves, and fueling that flame of Truth.  

The Dark Times are the time of the Crone…She who holds the wisdom of Her blood within. She tends the cauldron, She who holds the secrets of the cave, She who weaves the web of the universal forces…I begin these writings to honor the Crone, to speak of Her journey,  I was never sure where it would lead, but only that I was putting one foot in front of the other and following my heart.

My Croning was a celebration of Life and of my Path, It was joyous and full of love and possibilities. It was a transition but I was dedicated to Brigid, I did not see the Crone nor face her power. On the night of my Third Degree ritual, my teacher painted lines on my face, I had seen and embraced the face of the Cailleach…or so I thought until that night. Lined face I carried Her heavy stones, finally dropping them one by one as I approached the ritual circle.  That night, within that Sacred Space, I saw Her face, I heard Her call and Her voice was my own.

The face in the mirror now is definitely crone, the lines are no longer painted, they are earned, and so I write of my journey in these troubled times.  I have many role models, many who have gone before, many who walk with me now, many who will come after….witches all. Starhawk is protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline…she is witch, activist, crone… I see her face and I remember how long she has traveled this journey for the Mother,how strong her voice has been, how it continues to strengthen in the face of adversity.  We are people of power too long silent. Each of us can make a difference, As I continue my journey within I embrace the light of my next step…I encourage you to do the same, even if it is but a candle with a prayer for Peace placed upon your altar. Hold my hand, we walk together.N