Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Witch’

The Importance of Ritual

All around the world and throughout time people have been engaged with ritual. Whether these ceremonies are elaborate or disarmingly simple they play a vital role for the human psyche.

Ritual allows us to step out of ordinary time. We pause and connect to something much larger than ourselves that also dwells within us. During ritual we seek the stillness that encompasses all. In essence we are creating a conscious awareness of the sacred.

This cognizance is easily observable in shared rituals such as: marriage celebrations, baby showers and even with funerals. Communities mark events as important by creating a formal way of acknowledging and experiencing that revered connection. Some rituals are done alone and may not be visible to others. Praying the rosary or lighting a candle can be solitary rituals.

Regardless of how many people are involved or the intricacy of it, ritual gives us space to offer our celebrations, our gratitude and our hope. It has the power to calm us and bring us to our center when chaos holds sway. The promise of returning to such a dwelling is why ritual continues to be practiced in its many forms.

If you don’t already, give yourself permission to incorporate ritual into your life. Discover some that resonate with you or create your own. Let the practice of ritual direct you in entering the place where connection, peace and hope reside. You will be glad you did.

Rain Dance of Celebration!

The rain has found its way here once again! For those of you not living in Northern California this may not register much of an impact. To the many folks who do live here or live in a similar climate where rain is scarce, any falling of water from the skies is cause for celebration!

In response to the rain, my daughter was doing “the happy dance” at her place of work regardless of who might be looking on at the time. She is not alone. Many of us are offering up gratitude and stepping out in the rain for even a small twirl around.

Feeling the rain touch your face, hearing the gentle sound it makes, seeing the rainfall drench everything and everyone in its path, speaks to a deep primal part of us that knows water means life. It brings renewal to the earth and to each one of us. The rain cleans things up and makes a clear path.

This is most appropriate for this day. In many traditions this day is a time to reflect on what has taken place during the past year. It is a time to let go of things that no longer need to remain in our lives. Perhaps we have grown in some way and need different things in our life to help us. Today is also an opportunity to look toward what we would like to create in our life. The cycle of a year is at play as we discern what we have harvested this season and what we want to harvest next Autumn. Important work can be done on this day.

My suggestion is to allow the rain to fall upon you. Let it wash those things that no longer fit away. Invite the rain to fill you with a sense of renewal and hope. Take some time to imagine the clear path it is laying out for you. Then think about what you want to encounter on the path. Be clear in your intentions for next year’s harvest.

If you get stuck or are unsure how to proceed you can call on the ancestors. The veil between Spirit and our physical world is thin at this time. Take time to honor the Elders in Spirit, those ancestors who are easily accessible now. Ask for their assistance if need be.

But first: dance in the rain! At least get your feet wet. I’m betting it will make a difference in how you feel and will give you the openness to proceed.

 

 

 

Dreams Manifested: Short Story Published!

I am beyond excited today! Today is the first time I’ve had the chance to see one of my stories in print! There is no describing the elation I felt when I saw the book cover!

Some time ago I fell head over heels in love with writing fiction that has a message for the reader. This publication represents the dawning of that dream into reality! I know that many other incredible things will follow. Never give up on your dreams! Ever!!!

I am sharing it here so that you may enjoy it too. I had fun writing this short story. It makes me smile!!! I hope it lifts you as well and inspires you to continue to reach for your own dream.

Here is a brief description of the story: “In this whimsical short story a Sea Witch teaches the reader some lessons of the sea and of life. If you are ready to experience some Magic and transformation within your life this book may provide some tools.” It is available as an eBook through this link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00OGSASKO

Enjoy!

A Gift of Fox Medicine

Each day I like to start my morning by being outside. Luckily, my balcony affords me a gorgeous view of the Briones, which are rolling hills in Northern California. I begin my day there because Nature brings me to balance and offers inspiration. I am normally gifted with something that helps to direct my day and life. I say that it does because this concept correlates to my own beliefs and Native American teachings that remind us that life is sending us messages, information and guidance. Our job is to learn how to receive and interpret what is being offered.

I’ve witnessed all manner of wildlife and things simply by sitting still and observing the view. Today’s gift on the hills was the sighting of a magnificent, red fox. I saw it only moments before it bounded away into the corpse of trees, confirming my suspicion that it held messages for me. This fox approached the forest with a sense of adventure and lighthearted play.

Fox carries many attributes according to Native American teachings. What I took from the visit from this specific creature was the reminder that magic, the feminine, intuition, charm and subtle playfulness are the order of the day.

As I watched it bound away, I thought, “Why walk, when you can bounce?” Incorporating an openness to explore while playing really could be the definition of fun, at least according to fox. That is not all that fox offers though because a true adventure entails discovering our courage while testing our mettle. Fox knows that beginning the adventure with optimism and playfulness opens the realm to wonders never imagined in our past.

I full expect that the medicine of the fox is telling me to approach life expecting that an adventure awaits me just over the hill. I would bet it is already on the way. That is ok because fox also instructs that I will find magic when I honor the feminine and follow my intuition. I wish you could see my grin as I say, “Bring it on!”

RED TENT MOONLODGE GATHERING: AUTUMN IMMERSION

Come and learn Native American Traditional Teachings regarding women, their “Moontime” and their importance within the tribe or community. Discover how you can apply these teachings to enrich your own life.

You are invited to join me on SEPTEMBER 20, 2014 at Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, Children’s Chapel from 12:30pm – 4:30pm (PDT) for a Red Tent Moonlodge Gathering: Autumn Immersion. The church address is: 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek, CA 94549. Register via Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church’s link: http://mduuc.org/religious-education-programs/register-for-classes or contact adultprograms@mduuc.org.

Women of all ages come to rest, renew and remember your sacredness. Join Shelly O’Connell as she shares Traditional Women’s Teachings with you. We will dance, drum and join together on a journey to embrace the true radiance within each woman. Autumn Immersion will give each participant the opportunity to put the teachings into practice immediately. Together we will go deeper into the teachings this season.

Women ages thirteen and older are invited to attend. Workshop participants will bring one symbol of yourself as a woman to place upon the altar which we will create together. Include a journal for notes and homework. Suggested attire is comfortable clothing; long dresses or skirts, if you like, to remind you of your femininity.

Shelly received the Traditional Women’s Teachings from Native Elders. “These teachings completely changed and enriched my life!” she writes. Shelly says of the teachings, “Following the Traditional Women’s Teachings centers you and allows you to step into your wisdom.” Are you ready to step in to your own wisdom?

This will be a four hour workshop offered each season; Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter with teachings related to each season. You may attend one workshop, a few or all, it is up to you. Suggested donation of $25.

*Painting by, Valoru*

Summer Solstice: the Seat of the Fire

Welcome Summer! Summer is many things and there are vast teachings about this season. Today I wish to honor the fire. Fire burns but it is also brings transformation and renewal. Fire represents Spirit and the elemental spark within all of life. Fire helps us to remember the intensity and passion present in life.

Take a moment to light a small flame or a large one if your location and responsible behavior allow it. Take whatever you wish to release or transform to the fire. It will be forever changed when you give it to the flames. Know that new life is coming, rejuvenation is on the way.

Let the fire teach you of passion and of life-force unleashed. Fire is a complex teacher. You will learn respect in working with it. This is important because it is powerful and it is sacred. Just as you are, my friend. Fire will help you to learn this truth.

Fire is the beacon that gathers the people back to living fully and honestly. Through its teachings we walk a Sacred Road. I offer my gratitude to the Spirit of Fire. Aho.

 

 

RED TENT MOONLODGE GATHERING: SUMMER TEACHINGS

You are invited to join me on MAY 31, 2014 at Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, Children’s Chapel from 12:30pm – 4:30pm (PDT) for Red Tent Moonlodge Gathering: Summer Teachings! The church address is: 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek, CA 94549. Register via Eventbrite: http://redtentmoonlodge.eventbrite.com

Women of all ages come to rest, renew and remember your sacredness. Join Shelly O’Connell as she shares Traditional Women’s Teachings with you. We will dance, drum and join together on a journey to embrace the true radiance within each woman.

Shelly received the Traditional Women’s Teachings from Native Elders. “These teachings completely changed and enriched my life!” she writes. Come and learn the original teachings regarding women, their “Moontime” and their importance within the tribe or community. Shelly says of the teachings, “Following the Traditional Women’s Teachings centers you and allows you to step into your wisdom.” Are you ready to step in to your own wisdom?

Women ages thirteen and older are invited to attend. Workshop participants will bring one symbol of yourself as a woman to place upon the altar which we will create together. Include a journal for notes and homework. Suggested attire is comfortable clothing; long dresses or skirts, if you like, to remind you of your femininity.

This will be a four hour workshop offered each season, on or around the full moon; Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter with teachings related to each season. You may attend one workshop, a few or all, it is up to you. This workshop may be offered each month. Suggested donation of $25.

Book Excerpt-Second Installment

Okay here is the long awaited second installment book excerpt from “You’ve Got the Magic in You”. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Creative Commons License

This work by Shelly O’Connell, M.Div. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

 

… No longer questioning how a professionally made business card carries a personal message for me, or how Lillian knew that I would become her student, I pick up the phone to give her a call. I am in the process of locating a pen and paper to write down directions for our meeting location tomorrow when she answers. After my greeting and introduction she speaks, “Oh, it is you, dear. I am so happy to hear from you! How has the rest of your day gone?” I briefly relay my day including the reflection in the park and my conversation with Scott. “So he is on board then?” she asks. I confirm that this is true. Lillian remarks with a smile in her voice, “Let him know that I am not a wacko would you, dear?” I let her know that we had that conversation and he is open in trusting my judgment. “Well, I knew that you had faith in me, dear. It is certainty nice to hear you say that you did and I wanted to hear you say so out loud,” she states with a giggle.
“This is going to be fun,” I think.
Lillian clears her throat, “Well I should certainly hope so, dear. Life would be pretty dull without incorporating a bit of fun.” Indeed! My mind aligns with her statement. I carefully take down the address and directions Lillian gives me to her home. We confirm the meeting time as six o’clock tomorrow. I ask if there is anything else she needs or would like me to bring. She leaves me with a cryptic, “You will know, dear …

A Red Tent Moonlodge Gathering

You are invited to join me on MARCH 1, 2014 at Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist Church, Children’s Chapel from 12:30pm – 4:30pm (PDT) for A Red Tent Moonlodge Gathering! The church address is: 55 Eckley Lane, Walnut Creek, CA 94549. Register via Eventbrite: http://redtentmoonlodge.eventbrite.com

Women of all ages come to rest, renew and remember your sacredness. Join Shelly O’Connell as she shares Traditional Women’s Teachings with you. We will dance, drum and join together on a journey to embrace the true radiance within each woman.

Shelly received the Traditional Women’s Teachings from Native Elders. “These teachings completely changed and enriched my life!” she writes. Come and learn the original teachings regarding women, their “Moontime” and their importance within the tribe or community. Shelly says of the teachings, “Following the Traditional Women’s Teachings centers you and allows you to step into your wisdom.” Are you ready to step in to your own wisdom?

Women ages thirteen and older are invited to attend. Workshop participants will bring one symbol of yourself as a woman to place upon the altar which we will create together. Include a journal for notes and homework. Suggested attire is comfortable clothing; long dresses or skirts, if you like, to remind you of your femininity.

This will be a four hour workshop offered each season, on or around the full moon; Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter with teachings related to each season. You may attend one workshop, a few or all, it is up to you. This workshop may be offered each month.

Book Excerpt

This is for those of you who have been asking to read my books. I have decided to share an excerpt from one of my books or short stories as a gift to you. I may decide to post an excerpt once a month after this posting. The downside is that you will have to wait for publication to read it in its entirety. Enjoy!

Excerpt from “YOU’VE GOT THE MAGIC IN YOU” by Shelly O’Connell

Creative Commons License
This work by Shelly O’Connell, M.Div. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

     We are pulled from our conversation with a polite but insistent little cough.  Kim and I have been so engrossed that we failed to notice that the older lady with white hair and wrinkled face and hands has moved from her table and is standing at a slight distance from our table.  We both look up as her second cough registers on our radar as a socially acceptable way to politely break in on a conversation.

      In a voice weathered with age she humbly states, “Excuse me girls, well you’re not really girls anymore are you?  Rather I ought to say excuse me ladies.”

      While Kim and I recover from this honest truth the woman goes on to say, “I couldn’t help but overhear you talking about magic.  Is there something specific that you wished to know?”

      Kim looks at me and blinks and I think, “Exactly.”  I look up at the lady and she is waiting expectantly with a little smile on her face and a twinkle.  Yes, no doubt about it that is a twinkle in her eyes.

      “Would you care to join us?” I offer.

      She just grins and replies, “I think the question is, dear, would you care to join me?”

      I glance across to Kim as the woman gracefully takes a seat.  Can we say that shades of Alice now march across my head?  I begin to think we have crossed over into a parallel universe where everything that we knew as certain suddenly changes in meaning.  I do not have long to wait to see where this wormhole takes us.  I look over to our new table guest and think, “Weird.”

      The woman is staring at me with that knowing little smile.  “Did she ask if we had something specific that we wanted to know?” is the thought that courses my mind as she nods her head. “Wait; was that an invitation to join her?  Does she mean she is a Witch and that she is asking me to join her?” my mind is stumbling through this thought as I simultaneously remember that traditionally most people become Witches by invitation and initiation according to the research I have done on the topic.

      Before I can really put these thoughts coherently together the woman smiles into my eyes and says, “Yes, dear, that’s’ right.”

      “What’s right?” I ask.

      Again with that smile!  She takes a quick scan of the immediate area surrounding us, leans in conspiratorially toward me and states in a matter of fact tone, “It does mean I am a Witch and the invitation still stands.”

      I feel my world tilting because she has answered the questions in my mind.  The trouble I am having is that I did not utter them aloud.  “Does that mean she’s in my head?  Can she hear what I am thinking,” my mind queries?

      “Yes I am and yes I can,” she informs me.

      I look to Kim to throw me a lifeline.  Surely some down to earth, no nonsense response from her can pull me from the sea of uncertainty that is threatening to take me under.  Kim opens her mouth and I imagine the life preserver being tossed my way in the nick of time, my right arm begins to rise in order to grab on and stay afloat, but it is wrenched abruptly away as she speaks, “Don’t act so shocked, Gabs.  So she knows what you are thinking, you do this to people all the time.”

      That’s it!  I am gone.  I am tumbling and swirling, falling under the swell of a huge wave that captures you, spins you around and drags you along the ocean bottom.  You are not sure when or if your next breath of air will arrive, you cannot see and have utterly no control over when or if the ocean will spit you out and give you back to the realm of land breathers.

      I come up gasping for breath and coughing out salt water or in this case what is left of my chai latte.  I am left feeling raw and vulnerable and still a bit shaky around the knees.

      The woman whose name I don’t even know at this point reaches over and begins patting me on the back presumably to help me gain my equilibrium.  She says, “Sink or swim, dear, sink or swim” with no expression of irony in her voice.

      I shift my head to peer at her in amazement.  I hear a chuckle that is attempting to be smothered; my head whips around as I recognize the offender to be none other than Kim.  I level her with the full force glare she earned from ripping my lifeline away.  I deepen the glare to include her traitorous chuckle.  This only serves to encourage her to stick out her arm and offer her hand to the woman in greeting, saying, “Hello, I’m Kim.”  Does she have no concept of the wrath of a betrayed pixie?  Apparently not because she is smiling at the woman in complete delight, clearly anticipating what will happen next.

      The woman reaches her hand across directly under my nose to grasp Kim’s outstretched hand, “So very nice to meet you Kim.  I am Lillian, Lillian Dupree,” states our mysterious visitor.

      “Pleased to meet you, Lillian,” replies Kim.

      “Hey, we’re not at some tea party social you know!  Anyone remember me?  I am trying to figure out what happened here,” I retort angrily.

      Lillian responds, “There is no need to raise your voice, dear.  All we are doing is making introductions.”  She gives a small sniff to indicate my rudeness in butting into the conversation.

      “Pardon my manners,” I say somewhat sarcastically, “but I am trying to find my feet here.”

      Kim jumps in, “That’s right.  She is trying to learn what magic is and what???”  Kim fades off as she realizes that she has perhaps revealed too much.  Plus my expression has caught her eye and she decides finally to be silent.

      “That is ok, dear, remember I came to your table with the intention of talking about magic. Your friend hasn’t let the cat out of the bag,” says Lillian.

      I take a deep settling breath and attempt to clarify, “First off my name is not, dear, my name is…”

      Lillian interrupts me, “I know who you are, dear.”

      This has me slowing down, “You do?”

      With the gentle smile this time, she replies, “Oh yes, dear, your name is Gabrielle Cara Worth.”

      I am mollified into submission and complete silence.  I can only stare at her as Kim’s eyes grow ever wider.  We both openly stare at this woman before us who calls herself Lillian. I am peripherally aware that our waiter has arrived with our lunches. Interestingly enough, I am not surprised to see him place Lillian’s order in front of her although she has been at our table only moments. It is as if he knew all along that she would dine with Kim and me.”