New Year Witches 2018 Manifesting Magic Manifesto by Layla Morgan Wilde
The power of three is three times the charm. There is nothing airy fairy unicorn sparkly about this post. When magic happens, you can see it and feel it. It’s real. You can bank on it like the red or black of your bank account. If these words resonate, let them do their magic by saying yes. Yes, with full intention and super full moon power beaming down on all of us who are ready. You may use this mini-manifesto or write your own. Hand writing words and symbols on paper hold a tangible magic of their own but virtual or digital words work fine. Have fun playing with time. You can also write down your intentions for your future self. After all, there is no time but the present.
The politics of woman and power is as polarizing and confusing as ever. I would not want to be a young woman today served a digital menu of witchy fare disguised as empowerment. There was a time not too long ago I stayed snug inside my Wiccan broom closet thinking witchcraft was so passe or antiquated. I honestly thought I’d heard the last of “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?” Witchcraft in our mainstream lexicon is back stirring up a cauldron of good and evil, where as a Wiccan witch I followed rules to do no harm. There was never question of good or evil. All the headway we made is gone. Strangers will once again ask me that ill-informed question or worse.
Now we have pop quizzes on “What kind of witch are you?” with regurgitated, trivialized truths and half-truths swirling in a world of fake news. The person (witch/guru/shaman) who gets the most Instagram likes wins. At least temporarily or until the glowing fan/friend/acolyte discovers problem they get blamed for or they want to go deeper and realize it’s all smoke and mirrors and algorithms. A young seeker or any seeker for that matter deserves the truth
Is all this witchery-coated in hipster tattooed, black on black a shocking pink fashion. A now age fad? God/Goddess, I hope not. But it’s not for everyone, just as the equally on trend spiritual soul sister, shamanism, is not for everyone. I mean to actually function skillfully as a shaman is rare and a difficult path of service. The tang of exclusivity appeals to the “I’m so special, there’s a shortcut app for that and besides didn’t my parents say I could do anything? Right. except this is one gig you can’t choose. It chooses you and no, the “signs you are shaman” quizzes are bogus. If you’re a shaman, you know it and don’t need to take a quiz.
There are plenty of real witches and if someone young and curious is searching, hello, ask me. I’ve been a witch longer than most millennials have been in diapers. Ditto my shamanistic roots. It’s hard work. It’s fucking long and difficult. Years and decades long to arrive at a point of still knowing nothing. Maybe a crumb of wisdom. We all learn in our own time but certainly not over night at a weekend workshop, retreat, online witchy woo woo school. It almost makes me feel like teaching again. If the crown fits, wear it? And the cuteness, the dumbing down of my photo quotes still have power. Bees are tiny but if one stings you on the butt, you’ll think tiny but mighty.
Happy New Year! It’s the year I’ve been waiting a very long time for. Bring it on, but gently.
Unexpected Lessons From Dia del los Muertos by Layla Morgan Wilde
The beautiful powerful bonfire ceremony last evening sparked this and in the spirit of change, I’m popping up new images and posting here instead of directly to Instagram or Facebook. I’ve neglected this blog and it’s a way of honoring my work to serve a broader audience.
Today is dia delos Muertos or Day of the Dead (link to lovely images via National Geographic.) The holiday which runs from Oct, 31 to Nov. 2 is culturally Latino but the sugar skull iconography has exploded across cultural boundaries. It begs the question of cultural appropriation. Does wearing a sugar skull mask on Halloween smack of poor taste? This holiday, a celebration of the dead is not a party for the sake of a party. It’s a loud and proud honoring of ancestors of those with Latino roots. For those who aren’t Latino and that includes me, it doesn’t feel right to pretend to be something we aren’t.
How to celebrate Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead respectfully if you’re not Latino. It’s about honoring your own ancestors. We can honor other cultures by sharing, learning about and respecting their uniqueness. The common thread to all cultures and religions is the most primal element: fire. The easiest source that lasts longer than a matchstick or lighter is a candle. Light a candle and say a prayer or a few words for your dead relatives recent and generations lost in the mists of time.
What I learned from the Pagan New Year
Also while Googling what kitty Halloween graphics I’d done for Halloween in years past, I came across an image of my cat Odin from one of the legions of quote sites who have no regard for copyright. Here we go again. Every year more of these “photo quote” sites crop up and hundreds of my images are stolen. Please don’t share images from any quote site unless you know they offer to link to the source. Even then, they are making money and not the photographer/artist/blogger.
If my name or website is visible on any of quote sites at least it offers a source. This time they placed a white stripe at the bottom of the photo obscuring his name, my name, and website. It’s wasted energy chasing down IP thieves. Instead, I’m more aware of the placement of a name or logo and focus on how I can be of service.
First lesson of the year is done. Next? Are you feeling any energy shifts in your life yet?
Samhain and The Season of The Witch by Layla Morgan Wilde
Samhain or as I prefer to call it the witch’s new year is celebrated on Halloween. It marks the time of the end of the growing season and the beginning of winter and you don’t need to be a witch to celebrate. It may feel like death is all around us with the crunch of dried leaves under our feet, but it’s only another aspect of life. All week the energies are magical and the veil is thinnest between the seen and unseen worlds. It’s the best time to commune with the spirits of our ancestors. You can visit a cemetery to pay your respects but don’t need to stay all night like those celebrating Dia de los Muertos. It’s also an ideal time to tap into intuition for insights and using tools of divination.
This year is a watershed Samhain for me. My mother died on Oct. 27, her birthday and I’ve burned candles every day since, chanting Buddhist and other prayers for her safe passage on her journey. I feel her energy and expect more communication this week. I blogged about it at Cat Wisdom 101.
If you don’t have a close relative who has died, you can honor your ancestors and those unrelated by blood. In my daily practice of honoring the 7 directions I honor and give thanks to my witch ancestors and feminist ancestors, all the women who paved the way with their blood in the of female freedom and sovereignty.
There are pointers but no hard and fast rules for celebrating the season. All celebrations involve some ritual which deepens the meaning. Every culture has their own. Some are universal like making a wish and blowing out birthday candles. All celebrations are about connection whether it’s one person in nature or thousands at a music festival. Make it personal and meaningful to you. To access the magic more easily, UNPLUG as much as you can. Magic is never elecronic.
You can simply light a candle every day this week.
Have a bonfire.
Make an offering. Leave some wine or cake for the departed souls.
Honor and call upon help from your spirit guides, angels or animal totems.
Write on a piece of paper what you’re ready to release and let go of. Anything that no longer serves a positive purpose in your life. Burn the paper, saying “I release x.”
Make an altar of pumpkins, apples or pomegranates, dried leaves, photos of your dead relatives ( I include my dead cats).
Take a walk in nature. Use all your senses to notice and honor the shift our sacred Earth’s dance.
Celebrate a meal with family and friends.
Journal after a meditation.
Read tarot or other divination tools like runes, iChing.
Bright blessings of the season for a happy Halloween, Samhain, Day of the Dead or whatever name you wish to call it. May you be well. May you find the light of your own true nature,
Love, Light, and Joy,
P.S. Our nonprofit passion project of the past year is realized and for sale. It’s a perfect gift for cat lovers and our way of giving thanks to the millions of black cats who have suffered because of superstition and wrongful association with Satan. Check out Black Cats Tell All: True Tales And Inspiring Images on Amazon or Barnes and Noble
Bye bye summer. hello autumn. The autumn equinox, otherwise known as the first day of fall, arrives on Friday, Sept. 22 in the Earth’s northern hemisphere. Since I haven’t blogged in ages, I’ve created a visual bounty of original graphics to share.
What You May Not Know About The Autumn Equinox
is that our friends in the southern hemisphere are celebrating spring. In both cases, the sun will be shining directly on the Earth’s equator, bringing equal amounts of daylight and darkness. Almost. This year, the sun will rise at 6:43 a.m. EDT on the equinox and will set at 6:52 p.m., giving us 9 minutes more of day, but who is counting. The long and the short of it is, the days begin to shorten.
“Equinox” comes from the Latin words “equi” meaning “equal” and “nox” meaning “night.”
The Autumn Equinox is also called Mabon. It’s the pagan origin of thanksgiving and also known as the Second Harvest Festival, Festival of Dionysus, Wine Harvest, Cornucopia, Feast of Avalon. The festival symbols of pumpkins, gourds, pine cones, acorns, grains, corn, apples, pomegranates are as popular in our culture as ever. Pumpkin spice coffee anyone?
It’s a wonderful time to pause and give thanks for whatever abundance there is around us. No matter how dire circumstances can be and they are for millions around the world, there is something and someone to be grateful for.
What do you most love about autumn?
The full moon near the autumnal equinox is normally called the Harvest Moon or corn moon named for the bright moonlight to harvest the last crops of the season. The full moon came early this month so the harvest moon will be on the next full moon on Oct. 5. Every full moon of the year has its own name(s) and the classic song Harvest Moon by Neil Young is fitting.
In astrology, the Solar Return is the exact moment the sun returns on our birth day but it may or may not be your birthday. Depending on the year, it could be the day before or the day after. Our solar return isn’t just about making birthday wishes but a powerful time of exploring themes and issues in the coming year. The new year isn’t in January but really from solar return to solar return.
It feels like I’ve been away from this blog for a year and while it’s only been a couple months,
it’s as been my longest break from blogging in 8 years. Geez, I missed my blogoversary but all my energy has gone to completing my Black Cats Tell All: True Tales and Inspiring Images book.
Ironically, this time last year, I was in the thick of crowdfunding the project and early stages of development. Apparently my solar return was yesterday and I celebrated the completion of the book by writing the acknowledgments page.
Find out when your real birthday or solar return is this year or next with a handy calculator ASTROTHEME.com from I was thrilled to find free transits or planetary influences and other goodies that far outweigh basic horoscopes.
For all my fellow Leos, have a sunny solar return! Nothing feels more Leoish than sunflowers and this was a fun photo quote to create. I’ve never met a Leo who wasn’t creative. How do you express your creativity?