Realm of Land: Veneration of The Genus Loci

For the next few posts i plan to do a series of posts about the celtic realms of Land, Sea,and Sky. These posts with largely be workings to honor spirits specific to each area. At some point i may, in the future, write a bit about their shamanic significance. But for now i wanted to start with some basics. What follows is a working to venerate or honor the Genius Loci, or Land Spirit of a specific area.

The Genius Loci is the spirit of a specific area,even cityscapes have some genius loci in them. This spirit will watch over the area and the spirits that reside within it. They are the Guardians of the area and can be a great ally too the practitioner.

This process or ritual is intended to be used on a regular bases to build a relationship with this entity.  The benefits of doing the work is many fold, including helping the practitioner to come to understand, in a more personal way, the symbiosis between man and nature. As well as learning the locations of power spots or Faery Gates in the area,being able to ask favors or petitions of the Land Spirit, and creating a power location for personal spiritual work.

I strongly suggest you not petition the land spirits for anything until you have established a firm relationship with them.

What you will need for the working:

  • 1 red candle
  • Bread (please remember this is an offering too someone, quality DOES matter)
  • Wine,beer,or other spirits again quality
  • any bobbles you may wish to also offer
  • bell,whistle,or drum

For this rite you will not be casting a circle, so you do need to be mindful of the area you have chosen. If an area feels hostile or negative its a good bet its not a land spirit interested in your company. Thus do not choose to do this working there. I would suggest starting with the Genius Loci near your home. Look for some thing distinctive in the landscape. Often that is where you will make the strongest first connection with the spirit. Once you have found your location you may proceed as follows:

Facing north, place the candle in the middle of your work space, bread to the north of the candle,wine to the west,bell to the east, and finally, you set in the south. If you wish at this point you may walk in a widdershin direction around your work space 3,6,or 9 times. This will help you create a stronger connection with the Unseen spaces. Think of it as cranking on an old Graham Bell telephone.

Settle down before your altar, setting in the south facing north,close your eyes and experience the sounds,smells, and sensations of the area. Try to sense the spirit here. When you are calm and centered and have fully awakened your senses too your surroundings; take up your bell or other instrument and ring it. As you do you must KNOW that this sound rings forth into the Otherworld across the Veil and is heard by the Genius Loci.

Now light the red candle saying something to the effect of:

“I kindle this flame

as a beacon into the unseen places.

I draw the eye of the Spirit of this Land.

A sworn child of the Mother,

who wishes only to honor you.”

Hopefully, if all goes well straight out of the gate, you could get some sort of response here. Be patient and above all, observant. It will be subtle a branch moving oddly, an animal that looks at you in an uncanny manner. If nothing happens, do not fear, it may not for several workings. Just continue on with the work. However, if a feeling of panic, or hostility comes over you, pack it in sister! You’re being told to shove off. But lets say all goes well.

Next hold your hand over the bread and say something to the effect of:

“Here is the bread of life,the nourishment of the Earth

As it gives life too me

i offer of it too you

I consecrate it in honor too the spirits of this land.”

Take a small bit of the bread and say “May we never hunger”

Next take up the cup of wine and say some thing too the effect of:

“Here is the cup of Mater Sangreal

The blood of the Mother

The blood of abundance

I consecrate it in honor of you the land spirits.”

Take a sip of the wine and say “may we never thirst.”

Now you have a few options here, you may place the bread and wine in a hole you have dug, or a bowl,or place the bread in the cup then poor it out as you speak. However you choose to do it bring the two together and say something to the effect of:

“As i have taken,

So this is given

Shared in honor

as one who is of the family of the Old Gods

with the Spirits of the Land.

I give it to the Ground

I give it to the Genius Loci

That the seen and unseen people

and spirits may be made whole

again and live in peace.

For behold,what is taken is truly given,

and what is given is truly taken.

So be it.”

(by the by the line what is taken is truly given and what is given is truly taken is from Robin Artissons book The Witching Way of the Hollow Hill please check it out for more workings and prose )

From here you may leave any other offerings you have thank the spirits and leave your offering of bread and wine on the earth as the invocation suggests. Tahda! you just honored a Genius Loci…now keep doing so! Come back and keep the area clean, feed the animals, do this working again at least once a month. Eventually very interesting things will happen if you allow your self to have the eyes to see and the ears to hear.

and now a few resources:

ge·ni·us lo·ci (j n – s l s , -k , -k ). n. 1. The distinctive atmosphere or pervading spirit of a place. 2. The guardian deity of a place.

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Embrace Your Hag Under The Full Moon

ImageIt has been far longer than i had realized, since last i posted here. I’m sure you all thought this blog was dead! For a time i suppose it was. Since last i posted i was inducted into the Daughters of the Sacred Grail, a women’s Avalonian group. During which i had a vision of the Horned Hunter.  And earlier this year my partner and i were able to conceive a little girl. As i write i am 8 months and one week pregnant.

  However, today i’m not here to write about my little one (you’d be surprised but one does get tired of talking about their   spawnling) During this period i took off from the blog, i began to study the “Bee Mysteries” so to speak. The past is full of priestesses who were devotees of Bee Goddesses. The topic has interested me every since seeing the remake of The Wickerman. But as of late my path has been heading in a totally different, or rather parallel, direction too Bee Priestesshood. This has left me a bit lost and confused. I kept receiving indicators,messages if you will, on a totally different wavelength.

  My road seems to be dipping down below the normal road of service and ritual. Deep down into the darkness of the Unseen places.

You take the high road,

and I’ll take the low road…

I was and am being lead down the low road. Or at least the Low Road has been made available for my travel. But, again this left me confused and a tad disappointed in my self. I have been championing the Bee Path for over a year now, and it seems to not be part of this new direction…or old direction depending on how i look at it.

  So, in hopes of divining where i’m going with all this, the past few full moons i’ve been working to figure this out in the Otherworld. All things start there and eventually manifest here, so it the best place to get direct answers. Last months whilst on the Holy Isle i became and old woman. A Hag in looks. I was shown an owl and a young child playing in a garden. I filed these things away for safe keeping in my mind.

 

  Still not satisfied, this month i sought out Dame Ragnell Her self. The Lady Ragnell and i have a history together. I assume, since she seeks me out in this world and the Other, that she is my Matron goddess. Last night i sought her under the hill in Glastonbury. Deep down in the widdershin world. The Horned Hunter ushered me to the Otherworld in his barge small white candles hanging from the tines of his deer horns. He asked me what i came to seek and i told him three times. He simply nodded and offered me his hand then helped me off the barge on the other side.

 

  From there i made my way,with purpose, too the Tor ImageAt the top I found a sort of trap door that i entered and began my decent via widdershin stares. Once i reach the bottom waiting for me was Dame Ragnell with her stark white hair and ancient face. I sat before her and watched her gnarled old hands spin her hair into thread on a bottom whirl drop spindle.

 

  In short order i told her of my trials, of my worry over the Bee Path, and not understanding the direction i’m going. She listened, but only grunted now and then to indicate her listing, or perhaps to punctuate something i was not grasping. When i was spent and had said everything i could think to say, she looked up from her spindle into my eyes. Again, as in times before, Her face would flash from old and ugly to vibrant and beautiful in a puff of smoke. Her eyes turning from beady and black to bright blue.

 

  For several seconds she just looked at me. Finally she grabbed my arm and simply said

Embrace your Hag

 

Then the spindle in Her hand shrank a little and became silver. She handed it to me and cackled out (very much like a raven or crow)

 

You’re symbol

 

I put the spindle in my Crane Bag and when i looked up She was gone…

 

  Do i know for sure what these things mean? I’m not positive, but i have a good idea. Reflecting back on my phraseology when telling Her of my worries, yes i think i understand her answer. My path is simplistically complicated. I have been looking at the parts and not the underlying current. My road is that of service, but i will always be beside and underneath what most people see. Mine is the way of the old Owlfolk, walker between places. What does this mean for the whole Bee Priestesshood, i’m not yet sure. But at least now i know where North is.

 

Mabon:A walk on the first day of fall

Today marks the first day of Autumn, my favorite season. I love every thing about it, even the dreary, grey, rainy days. Today, day and night will be equals. To my pagan mind, today the God and Goddess stand together at the crossroads of life and death. I honor the Harvest God for his sacrifice and the Great Mother for all the bounty her body has brought forth. And finally i take a step back and take stock of my personal harvests this year.

It’s been a bitter sweet year for me. As many of you out there have heard my home town was devastated by an EF5 tornado that ripped through the center of town. I am thankful that i was not harmed in the storm, nor where those i love. However, the devastation caused me to go jobless for a very long time. On top of that my Partners father had a massive stroke and fell into a come not 9 days prior too the storm. Many more things have happened and are happening so this year it was hard for me to view the world with the wisewoman eyes i know the Goddess has gifted me with.

To that end i went for a walk today. my little apartment does not have the space for rituals, hell it doesnt have the space for most any thing. So i went out got my self a pumpkin spice latte and headed too my local wooded park.The weather is perfect here today a nice 70ish degrees with a cool breeze. So i found a good entry point.Distantly i could hear Ravens calling to each other and i instinctively moved towards the sound. The forest isnt thick but it is almost a straight down drop, for anyone who didnt grow up running around in the Ozark woods it wouldnt be a fun walk.

For me it was like being a kid again, i could almost hear my dads voice, “ok now put your foot their and braise your self on that tree…good job!” Slowly steadily i made my way half way down the hill and found a good comfy spot under a twin trunked oak tree, with a clear view of the creek. On my way down i could feel the forest aware of me, wondering if i had brought anyone else with me. If i was here for magic again (i found my stang in this forest in April)

I sat on the ground and anounced why i was here, it was Mabon and i had come to say my thanks and to reconnect with the Earth and her children. Above me the oak tree dropped 3 acorns, big fat ones, just a few feet infront of me. I took this as a welcoming sign so i settled in. Just then a doe made a noise about 100 yards away from me i turned just in time to watch her bound away from me into the woods. As i looked back too the creek a pair of cranes flew down stream, as the Raven started a call and answer game off in the distance.

As i sat there i wrote this poem, it is about my life as a woman my spiral:

I Am The Spiral

I spiral out

I spiral within

I remember, I rejoice

I am the woven

I am the wreaver

I remember long nights

Long trips sleeping in our car

I am the spiral

I spiral out

I grow, I change

I remember being the odd child

Knowing,seeing what others did not

I am the spiral

Spiraling out

I grow, I evolve

I remember the abuse

It made me strong

I will survive

I am the spiral

I am the spinner

I grow, I evolve

I remember the asault

The unwanted touch

A virgin now!

No man shall own me!

I am the spiral

I am the spinner

I am the weaver

I am the woven.

And some day

my sprial shall be more

than my form may contain

I shall spiral into the cosmos

Into the cauldron

Back too the Mother

Back too the Roving.

I finished the poem, read it aloud a story of my life. Both good and bad. Strength gained from adversity. As i finished the poem the wind picked up and i felt a weight lift off my shoulders.

  I decided to get up and explore a bit more below me i picked up the three acorns and the thought occurred to me to use them in a small impromptu ritual. I went too the creeks edge and named each acorn some thing i was thankful for and one things i was laying to rest and i tossed each one into the creek. Each one with a *Kurplunk* and then a few seconds later a large fish breeched the surface and dipped down.

  With that i turned to my right and began to explore further down the creek edge between the worlds of forest and water. I walked a half mile or so i would guess when suddenly i felt some thing softly touch the skin on my face, like a spidar web, yet there was no place for a spider to make a web where i stood. Looking around for one, i looked down and at my feet was the mostly decomposed body of a fox! Now before you go “eeewww” please bare in mind that magic didnt use to be so sanitary. Magic was visceral and dirty. So using a skull, half decomposed or no, is normal.

  Now why would a fox interest me? why that animal? let me tell you about a dream i had a few years back. Mind you i have dreams of this nature off and no. I call it the Divine Hotline dreams.

  In my dream i am driving down the road its your average long straight highway, the person infront of my stops in the middle of the road….they just set there, so i finally get out to ask them whats up when i see whats wrong. The road stops! just gone and where it should be is a big open field of golden,ready to harvest, rice.Instead of being shocked, i was more like pleasantly surprised. I decided to investigate and in the center of the field i found a small red resin Quan Yin statue and a hand found red book. When i lean down and pick up the book and statue they disappear and i find my self at the foot of a black and red japanese style temple and i was standing at the foot of a long stair case leading up too the temple.

 Finding no other idea coming to mind, i start up the stairs taking note of my enviroment as i go. When i reach the top there is a small thin elderly japanese man with an odd hat on smiling at me.  He bows, so i bow and ask him,

“Where did the road go?”

He smiles even bigger at me with a sparkle in his dark eyes and says,”All roads lead here.” in a matter of fact sort of way, as if i should know that.

From there he procceded to show me around his temple. there where bags of rice here and a statue of a fox there ect.. Finally just before i woke he told me to read the 22 chapter of the Dao De Ching. when i did it said this:

Chapter 22

Yield and remain whole
Bend and remain straight
Be low and become filled
Be worn out and become renewed
Have little and receive
Have much and be confused
Therefore the sages hold to the one as an example for the world
Without flaunting themselves – and so are seen clearly
Without presuming themselves – and so are distinguished
Without praising themselves – and so have merit
Without boasting about themselves – and so are lasting

Because they do not contend, the world cannot contend with them
What the ancients called “the one who yields and remains whole”
Were they speaking empty words?
Sincerity becoming whole, and returning to oneself

Later i kept seeing foxes when i was out and about. I had never seen them before,but it made me wonder. So i looked into a japanese god who had a red and black temple and associations with rice and foxes…to my dismay there was such a god! his name is O’Inari. His messenger is the Kitsune a 2 too 9 tailed fox.

and this was his temple. its physical location is Kyoto japan.

Later, to confirm my idea i had a dream i was visiting a japanese garden, and in side was a small altar too Inari,under my breath i said “Un-airie” which was how i thought his name was pronounced to my shock a handsome young japanese man appeared behind me and said, “you’re saying it wrong my dear, is Enaree.” he smiled and i woke up. I later confirmed it via the web that that was the proper pronunciation.

So, the fox is my totem i believe, when looking into the fox medicine information it seems to fit. My totems have changed and been added too over the years. And i welcome this addition so i plan to turn the fox skull into a fetish once i have allowed the rest of the skin and meat to rot away.

I thanked the forest and the fox’s spirit, but did not take the skull yet. i won’t until tomorrow when i have an offering to leave. From there i turned into the forest and called upon the Horned Hunter by word and sign. I asked that he be with me as we moved through the darkness and thanked him for calling me to his service.

Now, im home and plan to back some apple scones and pumpkin bread… i had taken several pictures but now my darn phone won’t let me upload then *sigh* i guess the things i saw were for my eyes only.

I hope everyone elses Mabon was as good as mine!

The Road To Avalon

I mentioned in my first post, as well as my bio, that i study the Avalonian Tradition . I have studied this path off and on for many years, since about 1997 or so i think. At that time i was following the doings of a group called the Sisterhood Of Avalon . At this time they were just a single page with a message board. I eventually joined their group, but did not find it to my liking.

Now before i continue on my story, let me clear up a few things: 1. i do not necessarily think Avalon was like in the book Mists of Avalon, 2. i firmly believe in doing proper historical research, 3. i am not into role playing … just had to add that one… also this is about my journey and is in no way shape or form as scholarly as it can get for that kinda thing visit Parting The Mists a hearth sisters blog.

Too my mind, it is entirely possible that the Isle of Glastonbury housed a priestess cloister of some kind. These women, and similar groups, were described in several texts both historical and semi-fictional. How i choose to practice this path is with a heavy does of celtic reconstructionalism in mind. However, i view this as a new and vibrant path so i also add bits of modern celticism,dianic wicca,and modern shamanism.

But until recently i had dropped this path completely. I was disillusion with the previous group i had been involved in and wasn’t even aware til a few years ago, that there were other Avalonian groups out there! A few months back a local Avalonian Hearth invited me to join them. I have since found a wonderful group of inspired women, who are a nurturing force in my life. Right now i am studying with them as a seeker.

This january i hope to start in the path to become inducted as a sister. To this end i have ordered my self a Chalice Well seal necklace that i am going to fashion into, what im calling, my maiden necklace. im going to use moonstones and white beads on it and hope to make an official “Here’s what im doing Mother” ceremony some time after Samhain or on samhain.

Now i am still a primitive witch…or conjurewoman. I view my self as the tribal priestess who was trained in Avalon then returned to her village to tend to the peoples spiritual needs. Upon reaching Sister statues next samhain i hope to get my self a silver chalice well pendant and from it im going to fashion my mother necklace from garnets and red beads.  If i should ever mentor another seeker/sister i will pass my maiden necklace on to her.

These are personal amulets, or totems to help me remember my path and remember my goals. To help align my self with the energies of Avalon