When You’re Down, A Way to Climb Up

Climb Your Way Out of Depression
Climb Your Way Out of Depression

When You’re Down, A Way to Climb Up

So what have you heard about the burden of depression?

If you’ve experienced it, you know what an oppressive malady it is. If you have not experienced it, it’s hard to convey the essence of the pain.

Ever since I was little, I’ve had feelings of hopelessness and unworthiness. Abuse in the form of beatings from my brother and neglect from my parents, intensified my hopelessness.

I never knew when abuse would fall upon me. There was no rhyme or reason. Abusing a little girl is inexcusable. But what was worse, as that little girl, I felt a torrent of twisted thoughts. I believed the abuse happened because I deserved it.

I’ve heard a number of times that some people had perhaps a teacher that provided the support they didn’t have at home. But I wasn’t that lucky.

I did what I could to survive. I avoided people.

To me, depression was living in a deep, deep hole. A dark place where I was alone. I felt that I deserved this dark place. I had no hope, no love, no respect. I felt worthless. My chest hurt. Just cold putrid rotting meat inside me. The depression made it move and writhe like a carcass filled with maggots. There was more: tar, shards of broken glass, rusty nails.

Escape! That’s all I wanted. At eight years old, I tried to hang myself.

The Gods intervened. The cord broke. Not just once, but every time I tried to commit suicide, the Gods saved me.

They poured their light into a places I never thought any light could reach. My heart and soul. When that happened it was indescribable. It was beyond an epiphany. It was beyond life and death. It was so miraculous I can’t describe the event. Only that it was life-changing in every way.

It changed my thinking, my speaking, my body. It changed my world. It changed me. I was not me anymore, and yet, I was. My memories were the same, my environment was the same, my story was the same.

I knew who I was, and where I had come from. But now it was all different. How I experienced life was completely new.

I still have depression. I no longer identify myself as “a depressed person.” I am a spirit who deals with depression systems. I take medication and I have a helpful therapist. Each day I have good moments. I reconnect with the Gods on a daily basis. Even as I write this, my altar gleams with a glowing candle.

The Gods gave me a gift of self-love. I want to show you the way to it. I can’t walk this path for you, but I can show you my own path and walk side by side with you on yours.

Here is a chant you can recite to yourself when you’re hurting:

By the Sun and by the Moon,   

Let the Gods’ light be my boon.  

 

Shining deep and shining far, 

May I be healed by every star.

 

I saw it then, I see it now,

Darkness be gone right here, right now!

 

You can use this short chant whenever you are feeling low. For example you can use this chant during meditation, lighting a candle or as a prelude to a meditation.

As always, let me know your experiences using this chant by using the comments box below. I would love to hear them.

Blessed Be,

Moonwater SilverClaw

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Cakes and Wine Ceremony

Wine
Wine

Cakes and Wine Ceremony

What is a cakes and wine ceremony? It is the process of using food and drink to replenish the energy spent doing the working or ritual. Food also helps you to ground. Why is grounding important? It helps you shed the extra energy that you may have accumulated during your working. We raise energy to do our workings and when we are finished we need to shed that energy. For that we use this ceremony, which also helps replenish your body of the energy it used to do the magick. So the ceremony has a dual purpose.

For this ceremony you first must bless the food and drink. You begin with the wine or juice.

1)      Take the cup from your altar and pour the wine or juice into it. Then take the athame and dip its tip into the wine or juice. Say:

As the athame is the male, so the cup is the female, and so joined bring union and harmony.

2)      Pour some of your blessed wine or juice into the offering bowl or plate on your altar. While doing this say:

To the Gods!

You can now partake in the beverage.

3)      Take your athame and point it over the cake. Say:

Blessed be these cakes that they bestow health, peace, joy, strength, and that fulfillment of love that is perpetual happiness.

4)      Take one of the cakes (or just a piece of the cake) and place it in the offering bowl or plate. Say:

To the Gods!

You can now partake of the blessed cakes.

Note that this ritual was written for someone practicing alone. If it is conducted in a group, pass around the cup and the cakes, each person taking a sip and one of or part of the cake. As each person passes the wine and cake, they should say to the next person:

 

As you hand the cup to another say: May you never thirst.

The person replys to this: Blessed Be.

As you offer a cake say: May you never hunger.

When the cake(s) is offered to you reply: Blessed Be.

The Element Fire

Element of Fire
Element of Fire (thanks to Arthur for the photograph)

Fire

Aligned with the direction South, Fire is associated with energy and heat. European originators of Wicca held the understanding that South and fire were related.  As the Europeans saw it, the farther south you go toward the equator the temperature heats up. So the South and fire were linked.

We also see Fire as a masculine element. Fire kindles our bright spirit into action. Fire drives us; it is the moving force for our will. Fire inspires. Simply, fire is energy! A transformer, Fire gives us the power to change our thoughts which change our actions and our lives! We jump in and tackle our problems.

The Fire’s elementals are Salamanders. Our ancestors saw the red coloring of salamanders’ bellies and associated them with fire. Seen as dragon like, the elemental Salamanders are shape-shifters like the flames themselves. Sometimes, Salamanders can have wings and human faces like Sylphs.

Some things that represent fire for Wiccans include: embers, the sun, hot chili peppers, and a candle’s flame. You can use any of these items in the South quarter of your circle to represent Fire.

Blessed Be,

Moonwater SilverClaw

The Wiccan Altar

An Example of a Wiccan Altar
An Example of a Wiccan Altar

When I first started to learn from my mentor, it took me forever to remember where everything went on my altar. I would feel self-conscious about making mistakes. My mentor smiled and simply moved the item I had misplaced to where it should reside on the altar. So don’t beat yourself up if you need to use this picture for a while.

There are about just as many ways to set up an altar as there are people. Each person or group may have a certain way of doing an altar setup. Here’s an example of a Wiccan altar. Let’s start with the right side of the Altar.

  • As you can see at the top right is the “Cakes/Bread” You can use bread, cupcakes, cookies or a power bar for that matter. It should contain carbohydrates to nourish the body to replenish the energy you used during ritual.
  • Below that you can see the “Censer & Incense“. This incense burner has cone incense inside it. However, you can burn any kind of incense in this burner. Remember that incense, when burned, represents air on your altar.
  • You can see the “Taper (a long wick),” which is used to help light the candles. You light everything from the working candle. You can use the Taper to transfer the flame to another candle to light it.
  • To the right is the “Lighter” which is used to light the working candle.
  • Below that is the “Bell/Chime” that you use for ringing, when appropriate.
  • Continuing around in a clockwise direction is the “Pentacle”. You use the pentacle to help you focus your attention on your goal.
  • To the left of the pentacle is the “Athame” used to cast circle and to direct power.
  • Above the athame is the “Water in Bowl.” Water is one of the four elements and is used with the salt to make your holy water.
  • Continuing around we have the “Salt in Dish“. Representing Earth, Salt is put into the water.
  • Above the salt is the “Wine Filled Cup”. The cup as you remember is a female symbol and holds the wine/juice to be blessed.
  • Above this are the “Offering Dishes.”
  • Next you see in the middle the “Goddess Candle” and the “God Candle,” which are used to represent the deities.
  • Between the God and Goddess candles, find the “Working Candle,” which you use to light everything else during ritual. The Working Candle represents fire on your altar.
  • And flowers are always a nice touch for nature and the goddess.

We will discuss more on how to use an altar later. Have a great week!

Blessed Be,

Moonwater SilverClaw

The Tools of Wicca: Candles

Merry Meet. Let’s talk about candles.

Candles
Candles

From tea lights to tapers, Wiccans use candles for many purposes including: calling the four quarters, using them for spells, and lighting the sacred space.

I use tea lights for the quarter candles. What are the quarters? They’re the four compass directions in a circle. Each quarter has specific attributes and entities that dwell in a particular direction.

Each of the quarters (compass directions) has its own candle to honor the beings when we call them to our circle.

Taper Candle
Taper Candle

Consider using taper candles for the God and Goddess candles, which honor the God and Goddess.

On my altar, I use a votive candle for the working candle, which has two functions: a representation for the element fire and a source for lighting all other candles, incense or other objects that need to be burned.

Use your working candle for only one purpose. You’ll notice that all candles tend to only serve one function. Wiccans use quarter candles for the quarters. They choose one candle for the God and then use that particular candle for all subsequent rituals. The same is true for choosing a candle for the Goddess.

Wiccans use candles in spells, too. When doing candle magick, the type of candle and the color of the candle are important. We will discuss candle magick in another post.

Candles provide lighting, too. You can use any type of candle you want for this purpose.

A note on using scented candles. Use scented candles to incorporate aromatherapy into your magick, if you like. Different scents bring up powerful emotions, which is great when focusing on a particular task. Avoid using them for any other purpose.

I wouldn’t mix scents by burning multiple scented candles at the same time. They will mix, giving you unpredictable results. If you are mixing oil to scent a candle try to keep it simple at first until you become familiar with the different results you get with each scent. Then you can slowly mix scents to see what results you get. Be sure to take notes.

Blessed be,

Moonwater Silverclaw

The Tools of Wicca: The Working Candle

In the last post we talked about water and what it represents. Now we will continue with fire.

Working Candle
Working Candle (photo by Arthur)

Fire is the spark of life! As a masculine element, fire is included as the flame of the lit candle on our altar. We light this candle, known as “the working candle,” first. Then we use the working candle to light other objects such as incense or other candles. The other candles have their own specific uses, and we do not work with their flames.

In the next post we will be discussing salt. So see you next time.

Blessed be,

Moonwater Silverclaw