Gratitude Meditation

In order to transform we must ferment. In order to ferment we need to take stock of our current situation. We often frame these mental exercises in terms of what we want. When you go to a workshop and someone says we are always transforming, I think most of us naturally start to think of what we want that transformation to be, of what we want. That’s normal because when we do magic we have trained ourselves to visualize our intent, and to manifest it. We are witches, that’s what we do. But what if we set all that aside for a moment. This is Mabon, our thanksgiving. At this time, we give thanks for our harvest. What I am going to lead you in today is a guided meditation on gratitude, but not just for what we have harvested this year. Today I want you to consider all the things we don’t stop and take time to be grateful for. This world can be disappointing, it can be heartbreaking and disheartening, but in the midst of all the pain and struggle there are thousands of tiny moments, of beauty. If we incorporate into our fermentation, the practice of noticing and embracing these tiny moments with gratitude, how might that change the result of our transformation? Imagine living out of a place of gratitude. How might that change our view point?

Close your eyes. Let your body come to rest comfortably. Take a few deep slow breathes and prepare yourself to enter a meditative state. The sounds of the camp start to fade into the far distance. The sounds you notice only flicker past your consciousness and you immediately let them go. You take a deep breath down into your feet and legs, and when you release the breath you allow all the muscles in your feet and legs to go limp and utterly released and relaxed. Now take a deep breath into your upper legs and lower back and when you release allow all the tension in these muscles to flow out through your exhale. Now breath deep into your abdomen and solar plexus…when you exhale you sag with the release of every muscle into complete relaxation. Breathe again and this time fill your upper torso, shoulders and neck…as you exhale your head goes heavy and the muscles in your neck release and all the tension dissolves. Finally take one last breath in that pushes all the way up to your crown chakra, and when you exhale the muscles of your scalp, your forehead, your face and all down your neck sag in release as the last tiny remnants of tension and stress whosh out of your body with the last exhale. You are floating. Your body has no weight. Picture yourself reaching out your hands and long white roots shooting down from your palms into the ground. Then plant your feet on the ground and feel the roots shoot out of the soles of your feet and dig deep down through the earth. Your roots lock into place in the ground and are connected to the mother earth. You feel the warm, solid, earthy energy of the earth surging up through your roots and through your body, as your heart beats all the energy that was in your body, contaminated by fear, worry, stress, and anger is pumped through your veins, down your roots and back into the earth. Your energy and the earth’s energy pass each other like blood in your veins and now your whole body is pulsing with the earth’s heartbeat of solid grounding energy.

Now as you float in this meditative trance, take your mind, and allow it to start registering all the sensations we push into background noise so they do not distract us from the immediate task. The air on your skin, small breezes like bands of silk, the hair on the back of your arms stands up, your neck tingles, the smell of grass fills your nose. The world is sensation, and your life is not a long strand of pearls, each pearl a moment. Moments pile up and become a lifetime. The moments of pain stand out in our memory, but there are a thousand more smaller moments of joy. The feeling of burying your nose in your dogs fur, and breathing in his smell and feeling him nuzzle back, the taste of ice cream, the magical delight when a butterfly lands on your arm. We fade these moments into the background. But not today. Today we remember and treasure each one. Take this time and relive in your mind those moments that make life this amazing tapestry. Recognize them. See them, name them. And as you do so you will start a new process in your fermentation. Now you will start to hold gratitude for these small pleasures in life. This changes the course of your transformation. With each breathe grab a new moment out of time and hold it in your heart. Feel the gratitude. Let your heart rest in that gratitude. Then breathe and bring a new memory, find a new moment to hold dear. Now that you are grateful for them, you will find the small moments seem to multiply. You noticed so few before, now you notice so many more. The experience of living becomes more beautiful, more sacred. And on and on the cycle goes. As you evolve. As you ferment and transform.

Community Stew

It’s that time of year once more when Yarrow Coven puts on their annual Mabon camping trip. Though this year’s theme is different “Transformation and Fermentation” the Community Stew workshop led by Firewolf is still on the schedule.

It’s a fusion of traditions, from standard kitchen witchery technics, Stone soup, and twist on an old Samhain fire rite.

The point of the workshop is to gather everyone together and to focus our magick into one single dish to be shared by all. To infuse the dish with happiness, good health, and protection for our community during the darkness that is to come with winter. A shared meal created by everyone, for everyone, so even when we’re apart we remember we are always together. To strengthen our bonds as a community. A blessed dish of harvested foods, so that no one goes hungry during the cold season.

From start to finish each step will be drenched with the will of the community. At the beginning as everyone works together to peel, and chop ingredients, fusing each stroke with their intent. When we stand around the “cauldron” upon the open fire and toss in all the ingredients and give it a good whirl!

To the moments of time, we take to check on the bubbling brew. We give it a touch of love, a bit of attention as it’s given another stir.

These are the moments that magick is worked during this workshop. As we turn everyday mundane ingredients and transform them into a potion of sorts.

It’s a labor of love that results in a beautiful dish to sustain the soul and the gut once we all part ways.

To make this all possible it’s asked that everyone brings a knife to cut and chop with. An ingredient to add to the stew, such as a veggie, or herbs. ( Some examples are carrots, turnips, potatoes – any kind -, onions, garlic, rosemary, sage, leeks. You get the idea )

Be prepared to do energy work, and magick.

There will be a short period of time for explanations and time to center. It’s extremely important to have a clear mind that can focus on the task at hand.

There is usually always tons of stew left over, so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bring a storage dish to take some home. Share it with your loved ones, or others who weren’t able to attend this year’s Mabon. Spread the love and the protection.

The goal here is to look after one another, and what better way to do that, than with food.