Sunday, November 20, 2016


I am the Mountain
I am strong, resolute
I am immovable, unshakeable
I am the higher ground
I am the shelter from the storm.
yet do those who take shelter in me
know of the smoldering fire deep inside?

I am the Fire
I am the candle, I am the lamp
I am the hearth, I am the forge
I am purifying, sustaining
I am the warmth that brings comfort.
yet if I break my bonds, only ashes shall remain
in the wake of the firestorm

I am the Storm
I am the lightning and the thunder
I am the wind and the rain
I am the rage and the fury
I am the dreadful Hand of God.
yet life spreads behind me in my wake
from my waters of life and energies of rebirth

--Jes'arra Mourningstar

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Phoenix Pinions

I've been thinking about my name, off and on, the past week or two.  Not the name that I go by in public, that's printed on my driver's license and other such IDs, but the one I chose for myself seven years ago when I was finding my path with Earth-based spirituality.  I had read something about 'choosing your Pagan name,' which would be the name that felt true to you, the name that the Goddess might call you by.  I worked on it for a while, and settled on "Jeska Moonwillow."  "Jeska" was based on my mundane first name, of course, and "Moonwillow" to combine the quiet, peaceful, spiritual light of the Moon with the elegant and stoic bend-but-not-break spirit of the Willow tree.

What I've been thinking about is how I'm not really that person anymore--it no longer feels true to me, it is no longer the name of my soul.  I think Jeska died back in April.  Maybe that aspect of me--that piece of my broken soul, if you will--is the one that I placed in the niche, as the one-winged angel that is standing guard by my soulmate; maybe that is why the 'me' that remains isn't her anymore.
Maybe it's not quite that dramatic, and things have just changed too much.  While I still consider myself a Moonsdaughter, I find myself increasingly drawn not only to the Moon but to the darkness that surrounds her, and to the tiny pinpoints of light in that darkness that often struggle to be visible in today's always-on, artificially-lighted world.
And I think I can no longer be the Willow tree; "bend but don't break" isn't me anymore, because I did break.  I can't be the tree, because I am the splinters, the ashes, the fallen leaves.

And so, I think it's appropriate, on this Blood Moon,* to mark the passing of Jeska Moonwillow, and to embrace and celebrate the birth, from her ashes and splinters and fallen leaves, of Jes'arra Mourningstar.

Jeska may not have survived the fire and the storm; I am the fire and the storm.  So Mote It Be.

*:  Yes, Blood Moon; I name the full Moons my own way.  I'm not wrong, and neither are you.  The second Moon of Autumn is my Blood Moon because I need it to be the Moon that can fall on astronomical Samhain, which is usually November 7th.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Circle of Protection: Black

I've been obsessing a bit the past couple of weeks, although the underlying emotions may have been bubbling up for longer than that.  I'm going to try to be a little bit more vague in this post than is usual for me; I think I can unfortunately be prone to oversharing, so hopefully I can learn how to open up partway and keep some discretion at the same time.

I've been feeling very unsafe recently.  Some of it is probably residual from the anxiety attacks I had a month ago, some of it is probably from my recent back pain making me feel less physically able, but it also feels like there's more to it than that.  I'm having what feels very much like a premonition that soon I will be in a position to need to defend either myself or people around me.  A Tarot spread done for guidance seemed to confirm and solidify the feeling. It's turned from something that's been in the back of my mind, to something I feel like I have to do now.

It led me to go out into the backyard and test the little pepper-spray thing that Joanne had bought for me, which I had stupidly never done before.  It was... disappointing.  I aimed at a tree from less than ten feet away, and the stream never made it far enough to hit it.  It rather seemed like in an emergency I'd be just as likely to get it on myself as anyone else, and overall I think I would be just as well off trying to poke an attacker with an ink pen to get them to leave me alone.  All this time, I felt like I had something to protect myself with, and I find out it was just an illusion.  Just a talisman, just a ceremonial "weapon", like an unsharpened sword.

As a witch I do believe in the power of charms of various sorts; crystals, herbs, spells, and other talismans of protection.  But I also believe strongly that in order to work magic in the spiritual plane, we have to do the groundwork in the mundane first.  Like, a spell of prosperity is all well and good, but I still have to go fill out the job applications or else there's nothing for the spell to help me with.

So, I'm starting to lay the groundwork to get myself into a place where I will be actually ready, and actually able, to protect myself.  I'm glad to be making some progress already but I find myself feeling frustrated with the length of time it will take, especially the part about getting into better physical shape.  I think I worry that I've already waited too long, that I won't be ready 'in time.'  In time for what, I have no idea.  But I worry anyway.

Then to make it even more complicated, I've also let myself think about the effect this all might have on my spirituality.  Does preparing myself to be able to use harmful force for defense push me further down the Left-Hand Path?  Will I still fit in at the UU?
I end up thinking, I'm just being crazy.  Actually, I hope I'm just being crazy, because then nothing bad might happen after all.
All I know right now is that I have to do this.  The premonition, the uneasy feeling, isn't going to go away until I listen to it and get ready.  I can't not do this.