Monday, 19 February 2018

Honouring My Ancestors

Fancy bottle with graveyard dirt 

I use graveyard dirt lovingly gathered with my own hands from my family's burial ground, and placed within a pretty crystal bottle as part of my ancestral altar. 

"We hear your whispered voices speaking words of wisdom into our unconscious minds. Your whispers awaken our dreams, our hearts, our desires. You who are our ancestors who once walked upon the earth and are part of our shared life eternal, we praise you with all that is sacred in our lives."

Since the death of both my parents I have regularly honoured my ancestors as a means of continuing connectedness with them, and all those who came before me. There are many traditions and ways to do so, and there really is no right nor wrong way in my own humble opinion. I prefer a daily prayer invoking those who came before me, those who have stayed to guide, and protect me in my own life journey. I thank them and make an offering of my favourite incense, and will often light a candle in remembrance. Much like my Goddess altar I have created my ancestral altar as an outward expression of heart. I have included items that remind me that they are still a part of my daily living. I also include items that remind me of my distant ancestors, rocks, and bits of wood pine cones, from the land they once lived upon in a way to include those who I never met in this life, but feel strongly in my being. 

When I am able to I will visit the family burial ground to plant flowers, and sit quietly, but unfortunately that is not as often as I would like to. So creating this small space within my house has actually worked out very well for me. I find the privacy of honouring the dead at home more conducive to making them more fully a part of my daily life. My altar is alive, it is a living source of connection, strength, guidance and well being.

A  few words on cemeteries since I have pictured graveyard dirt above.

I love to visit them, they are sacred, liminal places. I enjoy photographing memorial art, giving thanks to those who they honour, and I will say occasional prayers for person's graves that appear in need of kindness or just call out to me.

But, I never take dirt, nor rocks from graves, or anything that does not directly belong to my people.

Nor do I invoke the dead that I am not directly related to by either blood or love. This just feels right to me personally. I know others do, and of course Ouija is very popular even if used as just game with no serious intention, but I do not recommend it, nor anything that involves working with the dead who are not your own. I have done a lot of ghost hunting in the past, along with investigating reports of hauntings and this has probably helped to greatly shape my view on the matter as I have witnessed and heard of many negative experiences.

A good resource for those who may wish to venerate their ancestors with Pagan traditions: For The Ancestors which contains helpful articles, advice, and prayers including for the elevation of the soul of the troubled dead.

1212 Synchronicity

Synchronicity is a word that was coined by C.G. Jung and is defined as the simultaneous occurrence of events that appear to be significantly related, but have no discernible causal connection ie: meaningful coincidence. Synchronicity, and synchronistic-mysticism is something that I study, research and practice. I pay close attention to these meaningful coincidences, and particularly those with repetitive number sequences.

Despite the fact that I have never been very good with numbers I have always and not so secretly wished I was a Math geek like my Dad was and my sister is. My mind is just not cut out for advanced mathematics, however I do enjoy numbers. And I have had a special relationship with the numbers 11, 22, and 23 since I was very young. By relationship I mean that through my own curiosity and observances I have noted these numbers appear to me often, in repetitive sequences and in significant ways, and times.

I am not alone. This happens with many people and with different sets of numbers, and there are many schools of thought on why this occurs, and what the meaning behind the appearance of these numbers may denote for the experiencer. If you are interested in researching these potential meanings and notions a search on Google will bring you many, many hits. In fact humanity's fascination with numbers in general, and numerical mysticism is both very ancient, and complex. With 1111 and 22 in particular there are cults built around them. And my lucky number 23. 

Many years ago when I was working from home, and during an 11:11 wave (for UFO geeks think like UFO wave) so to speak ie: I was seeing this sequence often, and I decided to run a little test. I covered every clock in my home, and I removed my wrist watch.

The very morning I did this little experiment, and with the radio on a CBC morning program the announcer called out the time as 11:11am. This was so random, and unexpected that I was floored. I was seriously gobsmacked. In fact I started laughing. I found it quite funny, and immediately started uncovering the clocks. So I have tested some of these ideas, including the most mundane that we train ourselves to look at clocks at certain times, or scan receipts for number combinations and then simply affix a special meaning to them, which the Cosmic Joker saw fit to play a prank with via the radio announcement.

For an ambitious, fascinating and artistic study of numbers, and the significance they can play within our live please do have a look at The Secret Lives of Numbers.

The above video link contains some screen-caps that are taken from
The authors conducted an exhaustive online empirical study in order to determine the relative popularity of every integer between 0 and one million. The resulting information exhibits an extraordinary variety of patterns which reflect our culture, our minds, and our bodies. They surmise that their data-set is a numeric snapshot of the collective consciousness; herein they return their analyses to the public in the form of an interactive visualization, whose aim is to provoke awareness of one's own numeric manifestations.

 The manifestation of specific number sequences such as 1111 or 2222 have always seemingly occurred to me prior to, during, and just after significant changes within my life or those lives of people very close to me. These timeframes and circumstances are ones that one might consider to be liminal; at a point of change, a threshold, in between one state and the next.  Occasionally they are accompanied by PSI ie: psychic disturbances, and I will give a very recent example of one.

Lately I have begun experiencing 1212. The other day I came home and my iPod docking station had been switched to on (anonymously), no one, but my cat was here, and my cat is not that dexterous. My iPod is password protected and it takes two swipes of the screen, plus a password and then a touch to the app to launch a music player. I have 1000s of songs on it, but when I walked in through my front door it was very loudly in the midst of a Lovecraftain style dramatic recording about a Homunculus, yet another Fortean subject that I am currently very interested in and experimenting with. I had forgotten I had even loaded up this particularly recorded story and it certainly wasn't on my last listened to playlist. The incident was very John Keel-like in it High Strangeness factor. But if that was not weird enough, the time on the docking station (which should have been in sync with the device (which was 6pm-ish) was displaying 12:12 am. Very odd and meaningful considering I have been waking up randomly to seeing that specific time 12:12 over the last month.

I keep a journal of synchronicity, and I would suggest anyone who experiences them to also keep a record of these. Some synchronicities turn out to be not so important or meaningful and others much more so and highly significant in hindsight. I have actively manifested synchronicity with success, and in doing so have created  unexpected and complex, and enriching experiences, (along with some darker ones) these will be in part the focus of my planned book on UFOs, Synchronicity and Magic.

If you have had a similar experience with numbers or a haunted iPod please feel free to share in the comments. I'd love to hear more.

Friday, 16 February 2018

Synchronicity and the Sword that ran to me

"This is the strangest life I've ever known." ~ Jim Morrison

I have led a fairly eventful life and my interests include many odd things, but the story of my sword is by far one of the strangest experiences I have had. And considering I am a witness of a UFO that says a lot!

It started out as a normal Saturday  morning with some errands to run, when something utterly random and strange happened.  I ended up unexpectedly in a not very familiar part of town when I noticed a woman setting up for a garage sale in her driveway. She had a bookshelf set up and I noted we had some common interests including a fairy book she had put into the mix. I struck up a conversation with her, and I spoke with her for perhaps ten minutes in total. She was a lovely Irish lady by the name of Gwenifer.

Before I went on my way she said she had something she figured I might like to have.  I must state at this point that she was, until that morning, a complete stranger to me, and for the most part she still very much is. She could have had no idea my interests, or that I love, and collect swords.

She went over to her porch and brought the sword pictured above out to me. Of course I was highly intrigued and delighted by this beautiful sword.

Her story as to how the sword had come into her possession was that a drunken actor apparently gave it to her in a pub in Stratford. She said she had figured it had been used as a prop. This sort of suprised me as this would be a dangerous "prop" because this is a very real short sword or rapier.

Beautiful, light weight and a dream to hold and handle. I was enchanted immediately. I said to her that I loved it and on the spot she just gave it to me.

She gave it to me.

Gwenifer, taped a coin to the hilt, which you can see in the photo above, and she proceed to present me with the sword in an Irish Gaelic ceremony. Incredible as I am now deeply immersed in researching my own Celtic heritage.

The gift of an accompanying coin when presented with a sharp object is a widespread tradition in many different cultures, and that includes knives, scissors, and swords. It is a symbolic offering for not severing a friendship or that the sword in turn will not be used against the person who gifted it.

I told her about my fairy tree, which is where my sword is now proudly hanging. A protection of all the faery and nature spirits. 

This was a very Arthurian-like event in an unfamiliar neighbourhood,  and a strange woman named Gwenifer who was distributing swords from her driveway.

I believe this gives me a mandate to form a government ;)

There is a long standing love affair with swords and both sides of my family. My Mother fenced as did my Uncles who won many tournaments, and trophies including a medal at the Pan Am games.

Pictured below my Uncles Mike, Joe, and Arthur.

I love swords and I  collect them. Swords are magical tools and this one is very special. My very own sword of time. Clearly this sword wanted to be mine. It did not just call out to me, it ran to me. And I LOVE it.

Updated 2018: Five days after I originally posted this to my web journal Out Of My Mind's Eye I had a UFO experience over Lake Huron, in Ontario, Canada. I find that UFOs, for me, come with a flurry of synchronicities that may not feel at the time UFO or cosmic magic related, but they come in with that wave or zones of strangeness that have spontaneously erupted throughout my life .

Originally published on July 13th, 2016 to my Out Of My Mind's Eye web journal

The Wizard Stone and Gifts From The Universe

Lately I have been feeling out of sorts, a little sad, and a little lost. I blame the current world events to some degree for my melancholy as Thursday was the worst day for feelings of anxiety without knowing where they was coming from; and just prior to the American bombings in the Middle East. I am not the only one feeling it if you look at these numbers from the Global Consciousness Project.

However, and usually just when I am feeling low the Universe provides me with just the synchronicity that I need to feel better. A beautiful surprise.

That afternoon I received a lovely gift of seashells, and rocks from Italy, one in the shape of a heart. These are my favourite treasures as they always make me feel grounded with the Earth, and doubly so if they are given to me by people who genuinely care about me. I felt much better just holding the stones and shells in my hand. The timing was perfect and I gave thanks in gratitude for this synchronicity, and gift. I believe it is the soul of our Universe that guides in these matters.

I'll borrow from Ricky Gervais: "Life is a struggle. With little beautiful surprises that make you want to carry on through all the shit. Until the next little beautiful surprise."

Speaking of synchronicity 11:11 has also made a reappearance of late, and especially after discussing it in a pre book release recording with Ryan Sprague on Friday.

I have been experiencing 1111 everywhere. 11's and 23 are my numbers.

Yesterday I walked along the beach collecting quartz pieces and other stones, contemplating these feelings, and synchronicities, and I think I have been away from some serious bonding with nature for too long. Nature is my way of reconnecting, not only with our Earth, but myself. With that thought in mind I ventured off for some much needed solitude and disconnect today.

I needed to breathe.

So today, Sunday I hiked in the woods and much to my surprise I found a  big hunk of black Obsidian as I was climbing up a fairly steep and untrodden embankment.  It is formed as lava from volcanic eruptions cools within the earth. The speed at which it cools prevents crystallization and the rock forms as solid volcanic glass. Obsidian was revered by ancient cultures. It was one of the major barter materials, and prized for its ability to be worked to razor-sharp edges for arrows and spears.

Obsidian is known as the "wizard's stone" in metaphysical circles as it can stimulate the gift of prophecy. It is also used to help block negativity of any kind including psychic attacks.

From a healing stand point Obsidian is considered to help protect the very sensitive against depression, and from abuse.  It is the stone of the soft hearted and gentle people of the world. This is especially important to me personally as I am an INFP personality type, meaning I am very feeling and sensitive.

Finding this large specimen today was a gift, and I am truly thankful to the Nature spirits and the Universe for having received it.

For more information on Obsidian and other gem stones check out this lovely website Sunny Ray.

Originally published April 9th, 2017 to my Out Of My Mind's Eye web journal. 

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

An Impossible Little Man

"Last night I saw upon the stair
a little man who wasn't there.
He wasn't there again today.
Oh gee, I wish he'd go away!" 

~ Old Nursery Rhyme

I love a good mystery......which is why I chase after UFO's, Ghosties, and other strange a conversation with a friend the other day I had the opportunity to remember, and relate a strange experience from my childhood, which may have in turn been the impetus for my deep interest in the paranormal. My encounter with the "Impossible Little Man" is from way back, 1973 to be exact, and I was 5-6 years old.

Make of this what you will.....

In '73 my Mom was pregnant with my younger sister and my parents were looking to upgrade their home. Often they would take me out with their real-estate agent looking at houses. One house in particular was in a then newly developed neighbourhood, but on land with some historic significance.

The house was brand new at the time, and therefore never lived in. Being a kid I was itching to explore, and seeing it was unoccupied I was given free reign. And I did explore on my own bottom to top. I came to one bedroom that was just too cool!!! It had skylights, and I said to myself this is soooo going to be my bedroom!!!!! I whirled around intending to run down the stairs and tell my parents, and the realty lady that I picked MY room ...

And that is when I saw him .... He was standing in the corner of the bedroom. A little man, slightly smaller than myself at age 5-6. He was wearing non-descriptive clothing, looked rather stern and was staring directly at me. I remember being shocked. I remember blinking, looking away, and back again and he was still there. I was probably scared, that I can't really recall, but I do remember knowing he was "wrong" ... not supposed to be there, not "real" ...

I have no idea how much time passed, but eventually I heard my parents and the realtor outside of the door. I looked at my mom in the door frame, and gingerly made my way past the little man who had kept his eyes fixed to my own the entire time.

I said nothing ..... But I loathed the house from that point. My father put a deposit it on it, but the deal fell through ... and I was relieved ...... we eventually moved elsewhere.

Many years later I told both parents about that day. My father was a scientist and atheist, and my mother more of a nature loving free spirit, but who was still very level headed ... and they both were supportive of me. They never insulted my intelligence....or in other words, if I said something happened, they trusted my word that something had indeed occurred that I felt was important enough to tell them.

My mother claimed to have recalled that day, and how my demeanor did change dramatically, but she just wrote it off ... and I said nothing to her at the time.

So there you have it, what, who, or why I can't say.....beyond he was solid, and looked very real ... yet somewhere in my child's mind I knew he was "impossible" ....... maybe even a ghost......or some bleed through from another space, and time.....

Several years after writing this post, and with the help of another friend who is a professional scientist and very well versed in UFOs and open to the occult, I came to consider my "little man" may have been a homunculus or  -> literally "little man." The image I have included is LAM which is Aleister Crowley's homunculus. This is not a true representation of what I encountered, but its close enough that I thought I'd include it.

Originally published October 23rd, 2009 to my Out Of My Mind's Eye web journal 

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

Reflections of a Witch

Reflections of a Witch ~ Italy 2017 

"Sorcery's deepest secrets are inscribed in the Land. They are etched in the bark of trees, and they are announced in the gurgle of streams and rivers. Learn to read these things, and there's nothing you can't know. The wind carries these sorcerous secrets; the earth hides them in her bosom, and yet, to eyes that really see, there's no real trouble finding them. You'll have more troubles really using your eyes to their fullest potential than you ever will with generous Nature revealing her treasures."

Italy 2017  ~ Lily 

Th’ treasure-horde of old is more than mere gold
It is th’ art that constrains th’ rain to speak again
It is th’ art that pries open th’ hidden eyes
It is th’ art that makes bloom th’ rot-dead tree
& leaps th’ Hedge that never dies.

-The Resurrection of the Meadow

David Abram says it best, when he says:

"Each place has its own mind, its own psyche.
Oak, madrone, Douglas fir, red-tailed hawk, serpentine in the sandstone,
a certain scale to the topography,
drenching rains in the winter, fog off-shore in the summer, salmon surging in the streams -
all these together make up a particular state of mind,
a place-specific intelligence shared by all the humans that dwell therein,
but also by the coyotes yapping in those valleys,
by the bobcats and the ferns and the spiders,
by all beings who live and make their way in that zone.
Each place its own psyche.
Each sky its own blue."

An excerpt from Forgetting Human, pt. IV The Spirit-Language and the Sorcery of Sense by Robin Artisson

The entire series of Forgetting Human is available on the American Folkloric Witchcraft blog.

I felt this connection to the land very deeply when I was in Northern Italy this past Autumn 2017. There, in the magic of the "sunset place," the land is at peace with her people, and I was blessed to be gifted with a treasure from the spirits who reside nearby in an ancient necropolis. I will write further on this in another blog post.

Image credit (top) Massimo Teodorani aka Totemtag

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Tales of Cosmic Witchery and a Book Faerie

Welcome to my online cupboard, feel free to look around. This blog will be a collection of my past, present, and future imaginings, notes, photographs, and writing from various sources, along with some fresh material that has not found a home on sites that I regularly contribute to, and will be exclusively found here.

This will be a companion blog to my website Out of my Mind's Eye where you can learn about my current research interests and projects, and an extension of my original web journal.