Feather Magick

(I originally wrote this post for Moon Books Blog)

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The element of Air…the wind in our hair, the sun on our lips, the call of birds we hear with our eyes closed, to magnify all the other senses. And with those calls, we feel the magick; we feel the power; we know how to direct the energy of the feathered creatures into our daily lives, to find and keep love, to bring tranquility and healing, to expand knowledge, to protect us, or to inspire us.

Every feather I find is a gift. It’s carefully tucked away in a special box, or gently placed between the pages of a book. It will lay there and pulsate with unused energy, dormant magick, until I feel the need, until I hear the call…then I’ll bring it out. I’ll combine the feather with candles, herbs, incense, and often personal items. I’ll open myself to the spirit of the creature, the energy of Air– and often the other elements as well. I’ll cast a circle to contain my magick and protect me from all the other energies and entities swimming around the universe, or I’ll throw caution to the wind and leave myself open and vulnerable. It’s my call.

At the center of it all is the creature:

Blue Bird/communication & eloquence: the element of Air is mingled with Water– one pure thought, the other emotions and inner mysteries. I choose incense and herbs with receptive (feminine) energy to draw into myself the magick of eloquent communication touched with the right amount of intuition and insight: calamus, jasmine, hibiscus, columbine, pansy, or lilac. I choose incense and herbs that quiver with the energy of Air: lavender, bittersweet, goldenrod, sage, or slippery elm. The candles– one is yellow (Air); one is blue (Water); one is white and carved with personal intentions, goals, and wishes. To the cauldron I add the Blue Bird’s feather and perhaps a slip of paper holding the name of someone who needs to hear me, really hear me, maybe for the first time.

Blue Jay/protective magick: you know when you’re not safe, when you’re vulnerable and unprotected. Sometimes it starts as an uneasy feeling, or dreams in the night that stay with you during the day. You know. The Blue Jay’s raucous, obnoxious, aggressive behavior will cast a spell of protection around you; the bad boy of the bird world, like a strutting gutsy gun-toting bad boy on the streets. With the energy of this bird, your enemies will keep their distance, think twice about attack, think twice about crossing you. The candle is black, the herbs and incense pungent, stinging, obnoxious, even poisonous…cloves, allspice, cayenne pepper, belladonna, hemlock, black cohash, thistle. You will make a mojo bag to keep with you at all times, a bag that will contain at least three of these herbs, the Blue Jay’s feather, and a stone of black onyx.

Cardinal, Goose, Swan/Love:

Cardinal: the very color of this bird sparks with the energy of Fire…passion, lust, love, and raw sexuality. It wreaks of sweaty sheets; breathless whispers; the fierce mingling of bodies, the beautiful struggle to get ever deeper, closer; ecstasy so intense it leaves you exhausted. The red feather of the Cardinal carries desire, sexual fantasy, the raw instinct to mate, the pure unadulterated energy of sex. Save this feather for a special occasion, a special someone, because once this energy is released, you will no longer have control.

Goose: loyalty, fidelity, passion for a one-and-only love. The Goose mates for life, and this is the energy its feathers will carry. The magic of this bird is a love that will out last time, a love to grow old with, a love that is unquestionable, a love that you can trust– forever, perhaps through more than one lifetime. The magic of the Goose engulfs the mystery of soul mates. It is the energy that draws two people together with a first look, a connection that is keenly felt but can’t be explained.

Swan: the Swan is first love, new love, delicate and genteel love. It is the spiritual beauty of a new union. The Swan’s energy encompasses naïve enthusiasm, an awakening, a coupling of the mind as well as the body. The energy of theses feathers contain the gallantry of the knight in shining armor, the fair maiden, and happy-ever-after endings. Love magick of the Swan has nothing to do with reality; it embodies the fantasy of what we wish love were like. Beware the magick of the Swan, it can lead you into illusions and a lust to chase forever an unrealistic ideal…but this magick has its place.

Dove/healing rifts: this bird is the epitome of peace, and it’s this energy which can be used to heal rifts; to bring enemies together; to end feuds; to bring a sense of well-being to people, or a space. On a white sheet of paper, write the names of those involved in the dispute; but write them not in a single row, or on opposite ends of the paper– write the names one on top of the other. Lay the Dove’s feather on one edge of this paper and roll it up, tying it with white ribbon, creating a scroll. Either keep this token in a secret place and let the magick bubble and brew and build over a period of time, or unleash its energy in one furious burst by throwing it into the flames of a roaring bonfire.

Owl/wisdom: oh, be gone, the ways of the fool…bring with the feather of the Owl wisdom, the ability to judge truthfully, insight that reaches beyond what we can see or feel, and the means to keep in check all those things in life which can so easily unseat us. The spirit of this bird encompasses wisdom from the universe, the past as well as the present, it wreaks of ancient energy, the ancestors. Guard its magick well…there are those who would not wish wisdom upon you, for with wisdom comes discernment.

Robin/domestic bliss: heal the wounds of domestic strife, or enhance the energy of a happy home with a feather from the Robin. The magick of this bird is centered around hearth and home, family and familial connections. If the energy here is tainted, every other aspect of life will fall into the great abyss. Like the center of a wheel, the energy of the home supports and connects all those who touch it. Sweet Robin, bring with your energy the Mother’s great blessing upon our hearth and the loved ones seated ‘round it.

Sparrow/ambition: be cautious with the energy of this bird, for ambition, once released, can feed upon itself and devour the one who dared to wake it. Temper ambition with common sense; sensitivity to those around you; and a sense of balance above all else. The energy of the Sparrow is frenzied, highly concentrated, and too strong for some; but it may just be the push that’s needed to ignite motivation.

Raven/occult mysteries: the feather of the Raven is sacred to women like me. Within it lay the secrets of magick and manifestation; energies unseen; impossibilities realized. The magick of the Raven is wild and untamed; it carries the energies of the Wild-Woman, the Crone, the Sage, the Wizard, the Witch. The Raven will whisper in your ear, teaching you that which is considered forbidden by some. The Raven will send out it’s call, and if you’re of the right mind, the right spirit, to hear it, there will be no turning back.

 

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Wytchy Chit-Chat: It’s Been a Long Week

I feel like I’m waking from a fog.  This past week I’ve been sick with the flu, in bed most of the time, filled up on Ibuprofen and cold medicine, sleeping off and on, and waiting for the moment I would feel normal again.  Well, that moment has finally come– ta,da!– and none too soon; because I’m scheduled to be at Next Millennium tomorrow to do another book signing and tarot readings.  (That’s Saturday, May 7, noon-4pm, at http://www.next-mill.com )
I really didn’t know, as the week progressed, whether I’d make it or not, so I’m thrilled to be back up and at ’em!  I hope to see you there. 🙂

When I snapped out of my fog and re-joined the world of the living, it was quite a sight to behold.  Our apple trees had seemed to snap into bloom over night.  The air is fragrant with apple blossoms, and so is the house, as we fling open all the windows and let the fresh air run throughout.  This is my favorite part of spring, and I wish that these trees could stay magickally blooming for about three times longer than normal.  I snatched up my camera– and the following photos were taken today, by me, in our backyard:

I’m not the only one who enjoys our apple trees.  As I worked at the table on the back porch today, this was my secret companion.  He made a couple attempts to join me on the porch rails, but the sight of all the cats curled up asleep around me seemed to put him off (wise bird). 

I discovered that the small lilac bushes I’d planted in the herb garden right next to the porch were finally going to bloom– I’d planted them a couple years ago and they seemed to take forever to settle in and get comfortable.  But it was worth the wait…

My carpet of creeping charley (ground ivy), which I just started last year,  has taken hold and is growing like gang busters, providing a lush carpet in my secret garden…

So many of the other plants, from my hostas to the clematis, are very busy and in the process of creating leaves, they’re not ready to bloom any time soon.  But I don’t mind– patterns of leaves in a variety of colors are just as beautiful to me as a hoard of blossoms…

I’m never alone…if I don’t have a child following me around the yard, I have a cat.  Pyewacket, my eccentric black angora, was enjoying this day outdoors just as much as I was, and every time I turned around, there he was…

It was a good day today.  I finished up a good-sized magazine article and got it sent off way ahead of deadline.  I caught up on laundry that I intended to catch up on before I got sick.  I had the opportunity of spending some quality time with my kids and my katz on this gorgeous spring day; and my girls and I even managed a quick shopping run.

Today reminded me of a plaque that belonged to my Uncle, a beautiful plate that my Aunt use to have hanging in her kitchen when I was a child.  It said:

“Good Lord, just give me good health, and I’ll take care of the rest.”

Tea-Time with the Witch: Spring Arrives at Hedgewytch Hollow

It seems like Spring has had to labor especially hard to make its presence felt this year, but I found hard evidence that it’s finally arrived when I checked one of my flowerbeds this week.  The last time I’d looked, these daffodils were timid little sprouts shivering beneath last year’s dried oak leaves.

We had new visitors at our bird feeding station this past week, a bird that we’ve never seen before.  It took a bird-book from a friend to put a name to these lovely creatures:  orange-headed blackbirds.   The regular blackbird is my favorite bird, and when these guys were all together and everyone was busy eating with their heads down, rear-ends in the air, they looked like one big flock of blackbirds.  You can imagine my surprise when their heads popped up.

Since I’ve had two witchlets move out of the house and into apartments of their own, the remaining girls have been able to spread out and claim their own rooms– finally– meaning that they’ve outgrown their bunkbeds.  I was going to give these metal framed beds away, but a friend gave me a better idea…Much to my husband’s delight (*cough*).  I’m using the frame and the top platform to create new wildlife feeding stations in the yard, the bottom platform is going to become a trellis in the flowerbeds.  And since I have two bunkbeds, I’ll have enough for the front and the backyard. 

I’m going to get a couple more hanging flowerpots for this station, along with a second hummingbird feeder; and I’ve planted morning glories in the pots sitting by the ladders at either end.  Also, as the birds knock all that seed around, I’ll have sunflowers and other cool plants sprouting spontaneously beneath it.  I’ll take more pictures as the season moves forward.

We love being able to have Sunday morning coffee on the back porch, and we’ve been able to do that in early April this year, which is not always the case.  This was our first Sunday morning outside earlier this month.  Although it sounds like the weather is going to turn nasty this weekend, and I think I’m going to be dragging all these plants and pots indoors.  That’s what I get for being in a hurry!

“Every spring is the only spring – a perpetual astonishment.”

Ellis Peterson