Recently, my friends encouraged me to set up a Patreon account to share my process in writing, illustrating and for teaching about magic. Patreon is working well for all kinds of magical and creative people to support and learn from each other. One of my perks for patrons who invest in my work is the opportunity to see the rough drafts of chapters and sketches of illustrations from the books I am working on. Below is an example of an excerpt from a chapter on the witches sabbath that I wanted to share with you at Patheos because now that it is September we all should be getting ready for Samhain and Halloween rituals otherwise it will sneak up on us!
The Witch’s Sabbath
There is a place and time that witches fly their souls to where they do all the things they love best. It is a sort of heaven if you will. In this place the witches from past present and future dance, chant, feast, make love and merry with their brethren human, fairy, animal, and plant. The witches sabbath isn’t for everyone most the time, but on Halloween it seems like most anybody who loves sensuality and a good party can partake even if only in imitation.
There are many ways to get there, the main just being bringing it here on earth. The prime way for most witches is to gather in a natural place, provide food and wine and dress up or down as the case may be to dance and frolic and celebrate even when there isn’t enough to celebrate about.
Those who find they cannot meet up with others due to location, legality, and logistics will shed their mortal skins and fly their spirits there. The historical record recounts witches slathering their bodies head to toe with noxious greases called ointments full of nasty ingredients whether real or fantasy is unknown. Most witches today will partake of nothing more than a little wine and some herbal supplements in conjunction with various forms of trance meditation.
However, it isn’t always so simple. A lot of things hold people back from experiencing the ecstasy of the witches sabbath. Not the least of being a sense of shame that they shouldn’t because the natural simple pleasures of life are heavily restricted and contradicted in modern life. If these joys aren’t considered morally wrong to enjoy by the over-culture, they are considered commodities you must pay for and earn.
It is hard for a witch to let themselves experience joyful abandon when they haven’t allowed themselves to believe they should. If it’s not an issue of feeling the right, it’s an issue of believing it’s possible for your soul to meet other souls and dance. As much as a witch may want to go, they may hold themselves back because it’s not reality. Why belief is such an issue in witchcraft and not in many of the mainstream religions I cannot say for sure. Perhaps it’s because witches dancing is featured in so many fantasy films. However, the witches sabbath is as steeped in myth and history as much as any world religion’s spiritual realms and ritual enactments. Giving oneself the gift of such spiritual freedom as experiencing natural joy is a process of self reflection often called shadow work.
Shadow work is often misidentified as feeding all the things that trigger you so they are happy and go away. To me, it is more like you figure out what is casting shadows upon your hopes and desires and help them get out of your light. Often times they are things you don’t need to keep around and keep addressing over and over.
Shadow work is rooting out all the sources keeping you away from your best self. It is a never ending process as we are complex beings with souls as deep as wells. Part of the rebellious spirit of witchcraft is in the rejection of shame and control on things we know objectively are healthy human behaviors: being merry, making love, and being close to the land.
Witches have the sabbath now, on earth and in the otherworld and do not put it off to another time. They do not wait for a reward in death, but instead treasure this life as a blessing and reward in itself. I invite my witch brethren to enjoy the best things in life with others willingly participating to feast, dance and make merry on holidays, at the full moon and anytime you feel the call!
To become a patron and get involved with the great community happening at Patreon, you can visit my page.