A Changing of Seasons


**This site is no longer active.**

One of the things Wicca has taught me is that faith is fluid and changeable. Growing up in a conservative Christian household, I wasn’t offered the mental framework to understand that other spiritual concepts exist – what my parents believed was the only right and true religion and everyone else was misguided and pitiful. The idea that differing (even outright opposing) spiritual understandings could be equally valid without compromising each other was something that I had to learn on my own.

While I found my own kind of enlightenment moving from Christianity, through an agnostic/atheist time and into Wicca, I confess that I carried some of the Christian tendencies forward with me, without meaning to and without realizing it. Things like a superiority complex, the rigid inability to change over time, and hate. Most Christians would probably be aghast at the notion that Christianity taught me to hate, given that the overwhelming majority believe it to be a religion of love, but that’s a conversation for another time. I’ve done my best to combat these things as I encounter them, but undoing years of indoctrination is not an overnight process and there are times when I recognize that more than a cursory effort is needed.

This version of me now is fairly reluctant to change. The loss of a child shatters every single piece of your soul, and the painful changes that happen after, and continue to happen months and years out, make grief survivors want to lock down what little they can. I’ve created a quiet kind of order to my daily life, and have guarded it with vicious words, isolation and tears over the past almost two years. And when you’re aware of how devastatingly painful change can be, instinct is to hold out against it for as long as you can. And in that way, I have been lying to myself for a while now.

I’m not really Wiccan anymore, and while many of my higher ideologies still align well with Wiccan (and in general, Paganism as well) practice and beliefs, I don’t feel I can claim the name any longer. I haven’t observed the turning of the wheel in over a year, I rarely perform spells anymore and seldom think to address my concerns and problems in a witchy manner. I still stir my pots deosil; I will continue to be as green as possible in everything I do; and will still carry the respect for all living creatures that I learned within Wicca. But in terms of my own spirituality… I don’t much anymore. Big questions like, “Why am I here?” and “What is my purpose here?” don’t interest me, probably because my answers would be depressingly pessimistic. And right now, that’s okay. If Wicca has taught me anything, it’s that I, in and of myself, am always enough. Right here, in this moment, I am no more or less than I need to be.

Ultimately, my inability to write authentic articles, and my growing dedication to my publishing career, have led to the decision to put Ayslyn’s Corner on hiatus. I have no idea how long this absence will last, and I do honestly hope to come back at some point, revitalize and become bigger and better than before. You guys have been so awesome – walking this path with me, exchanging stories and ideas in a way that was everything I hoped to accomplish when setting up this blog. I hope that that friendship has been as beneficial to you as it has been to me.

This isn’t an ultimate goodbye; I’m still going to be filtering over pieces from my writing blog, Invisible Ink, that you might find of interest, and of course if you’ve enjoyed my articles and want to keep following me and/or keep in touch, I’m much more active over there.

It has been an amazing adventure.

Blessed be, my friends. Until we meet again. ❤

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Source

Being a Witch is not a hobby.

It’s not a trend or a style.

I’m not going to grow out of it.

It’s a way of life.

It is who I am.

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Cold Weather Contemplations

20151122_153718editedLast year about this time, I talked about how as a Wiccan and a witch I felt a need to develop a love of nature in all its forms – even the wintry one that I simply held no affection for. We looked at some simple ways for the winter challenged to try and honor the season without compromising their warmth too much, and about working consistently on changing the way we think about our least favorite season. (Which applies to anything, really.)

Today as I was scraping the driveway after less than an inch of snow, it occurred to me that my perspective on winter had changed. It’s still my least favorite season by any stretch, but as I was reminiscing about growing up in a place where less than an inch of snow would shut everything down for the day, I realized that I’ve adapted.

I can appreciate the way snow looks piled in the yard (despite the fact that I still hate it on my car) and the way I feel all cozy inside looking out. I admire the way bare tree branches look with a thin layer of semi-melted snow. I’ve set my debut novel in late fall to winter, simply for the sensory information that it will add to the story as it progresses.

The lesson here is don’t give up on something because you don’t see results right away. Change can take time, and sometimes learning patience like Old Mother Winter’s is part of your growth. )O(

Peace, guys. ❤

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A Witch’s Wand: Charging, Care and Other Tidbits

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A popular picture of wands

Today is the last installment of our Witch’s Wand series, and it’s going to feature some miscellaneous pieces that didn’t really belong in any of the previous posts. I truly hope that reading this series has given you each a deeper appreciation for this powerful altar tool – I know writing it certainly has done so for me. The whole experience has been made that much more wonderful by everyone sharing pictures and short stories about how they found that special wand. That kind of community is exactly what Ayslyn’s Corner is all about – an online forum for Wiccans and Pagans to collaborate and celebrate the faith and life structures we’ve each chosen to embrace.

Now, let’s take a look at the last round of wand advice and care.

Ways to charge a wand – The correct method for charging your wand is completely dependant upon what kind of wand it is. Soaking in salt water is probably not good for most wood wands, but charging by moonlight or sunlight can bring about the same cleansing and charging effect. You can briefly run your wand through a natural stream, or all else failing, cleanse it with a smudge stick. Your wand is probably the tool you need to cleanse most often, being the one that literally channels your energies. Unless I’m in a hurry or the spell I’m working is light, I cleanse my wand every spell. Others I know will do so once a moon, in the phase that they most resonate with.

Correct ways to store a wand – You should store a wand like tarot cards – in a special cloth or bag and therein in a safe place. This doesn’t mean that your purchased wand necessarily needs a custom bag, but considering that your wand is an extension of yourself you should treat it with respect. It’s also acceptable to leave the wand on your altar, provided you don’t have cats who like to play with it. Like…me… Do take note though that if you leave your wand on your altar, (or in general if you leave your altar setting up) you should clean away the dust and refresh the energy of it periodically.

Correct altar placement – To a certain degree, correct altar placement is determined by your current working, but a good rule of thumb is that the wand goes on the right hand side of the altar, and should be placed close to you, vertically so that the blunt end points towards you. The right side of the altar is traditionally the God’s side, so keep that in mind when you are creating your own altar layouts, and if that doesn’t suit your needs, change it up.

Correct Utilization of a Wand in Spellcasting – I’m sure you’ve heard that your index finger can work just as well as a wand in spells, right? That’s how you want to hold a wand – as a part of your hand and an extension of your index finger. I hold my wand a couple of inches from the bottom, with thumb, pinky, ring and middle finger wrapped around, and index finger straight along the wand. In this way, any motion you make really is in the wrist. (I feel like there’s a Harry Potter reference in there somewhere, but I swear the concept of wand magick being in the wrist was around before the books were written!)

When to let others handle your wand, and when not to – When I was first discovering Wicca and Paganism, I had a lot of awkward lessons. One that I will never forget came from a lady who worked at my college and who I had always admired for her no-nonsense, motherly attitude. Not long after she realized that I was exploring Wicca, she showed me one of her special pendants, and without thinking I reached out to touch it, to admire it, and she practically smacked my hand away. She wasn’t trying to be harsh, but rather teaching me right quick in her typical manner that touching another’s magickal items is a BIG no-no. In the same way, you should always ask permission before touching someone else’s magickal items, and allow yours to be touched selectively. People who have negative or overly aggressive energy about them will leave a residue that will be particularly noticeable on things like wands and stones – it’s your job to guard your items from unwanted influences, or at least to cleanse them when touching can’t be avoided.

And there you have it! Do you have any final thoughts on wands and their magickal uses? Any experiences you’d like to share?

Keep to the Mother’s light,

)O(

 

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Kitchen Witch

This cute little sign just arrived! I got it from an Etsy shop for a newly bared spot on a kitchen wall. It unfortunately didn’t come with the promised hook on the back so I’ll have to go get one next grocery trip, so until then it’s on the counter. What kinds of witchy objects do you have in your everyday space?20160120_112137 (1)

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A Witch’s Wand: What to Look for When Purchasing a Wand

Last time we looked at some different ways to construct your own wand, but today we’re going to look at some tips for purchasing a wand. There are times when the creation of a wand is impractical, or when a wand made by another’s hand is instantly entrancing. The most important thing to remember is how well you like a wand. The most expensive and beautifully crafted materials are nothing is not lovingly held.

Consider these things as you look at purchasing a wand:

Quality. Whether wood or stones, the quality of the used materials is important to consider. This doesn’t mean that you need to buy the most expensive wand; most of us are sensible in our approach to magick, and that mentality should extend to our tools. Consider too materials that are universal; a clear quartz crystal for instance can be charged and used in place of most other stones. Such wands can save you money in the long run, though there’s nothing to say that you shouldn’t have a wand for specific types of spells if you perform a lot of them.

Potential uses. A wand for different types of spells is another aspect to consider. If you’re looking at a wand with a peridot stone, know that that wand will naturally lend itself to healing and one with tiger’s eye will be good for grounding and gaining perspective. While you don’t necessarily need multiple wands that will serve the same purpose, you should never turn away a wand you’re drawn to if you’re able. You never know when you might merely be the messenger to convey it to needing hands.

Rarity. Consider how many copies there are of your wand in existence. This isn’t a problem for individual, hand crafted wands, but ones that are even regionally mass produced means that your wand is one of hundreds. How you charge your wand and your own intent and abilities are still going to primarily be responsible for any spell’s effectiveness, though there are some who believe that wands cut from the same materials are all linked together, and any lesser magicks (or not real magick at all) worked with one will lessen any real effort made with another.

Character. Yes, character. I don’t know about you, but I appreciate things with good stories or at the very least a flaw. I’m not a one dimensional witch, which means that my needs are not best served by perfect items. If you’re looking at buying a wand directly from a crafter, ask about it’s history, about its crafting process. You’ll be all the fonder for it.

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An example of an inferior wand.

Most likely, you’ll know when a wand isn’t a good fit right away. There will be something obvious, like inferior materials or you simply not liking the look of it. Case in point, this wand that I bought off Amazon years ago when I was just starting out. Sure, it flows well enough and there’s a pentacle carved into the base, but as soon as I took it out of the packaging I was instantly disappointed. It’s light but much too big around and the green is a horrible shade. The worst part though? It’s a dowel stick.

Have you ever purchased a wand that turned out to be a wasted investment? What about one that was perfect?

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Job Hunting Spell

A simple but practical spell to help in your job search. Goodness knows I keep trying any of these I can get my hands on! )O(Source: Job Hunting Spell

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