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Happy Birthday to Us – 25 years of magick!

September 17, 2022

I can’t believe it’s been 25 years! When D Blaze Johnson, C Lynn Carr, Maeve, and I first hatched the idea of starting a Wiccan coven in central New Jersey, after meeting for full moons in Conny Jasper‘s Milltown witchy store Salamander and Maggie’s land in Piscataway, the landscape of the pagan community was so different! Not the least of which was getting the word out– by flyer, pagan stores, and eventually Witchvox.

There were a few groups operating in northern Jersey — the Morristown women’s circle out of the Unitarian church, a Cristo Pagan group, and Green Man Grove, a druid group in New Brunswick. We had so much energy back then that we were hosting over 20 rituals a year plus monthly classes. At one point we had 23 members and our monthly public full moon rituals were drawing 50 people.

Memory: Hands of Change Retreat, Kateri Environmental Center

One of the things I’ve always loved about the New Jersey pagan community is how close and supportive it is. I love how we’ve come together every year for pagan picnics and festivals, like Pagan Pride, MPA Beltane, Caduceus and others. We even had an Ishtarfest back in 2003!

I’m also really proud that everyone pictured in this photo from over ten years ago is still a member of Hands of Change.

I hope to see some of you today at our 25th birthday celebration, psychic fair, and Mabon ritual on our covenstead in Old Bridge. Here’s to another 25 years of sharing magick in community!

Lammas and the Circle of Life

August 11, 2022

The word Lammas derives from the Old English phrase hlaf-maesse, which translates to loaf mass

In honor of the harvest festival, we will be breaking bread together, taking stock of the last two years, and making wishes for the time to come.

The full moon is today. As we go forward into the month, at the time of the waning moon, we release what is no longer needed. We also celebrate what we have in the full light of our lunar sister.

We call on the energies of Lugh, the Celtic craftsman god, whose name is part of the alternate name for this holiday, Lughnasadh, and Arianrhod, who is the Celtic goddess of the moon.

By celebrating Lammas as a harvest holiday, we honor our ancestors and the hard work they must have had to do in order to survive. This is a good time to give thanks for the abundance we have in our lives, and to be grateful for the food on our tables. Lammas is a time of transformation, of rebirth and new beginnings.

We also remember at the time of bounty those times of scarcity. Lammas is a time when the grain is sacrificed in order that the community may live through another cold season. The root of the word sacrifice is the same as the word sacred, and we honor the grain king that dies and is born again in the next turn of the wheel. We say that the forms pass, but the circle of life remains.

Unity at Imbolc

February 9, 2022

At our Imbolc ritual, we invited the goddesses Calleach and Brigid to join us and offer their words of wisdom. We drew the Lovers tarot card. Here are some thoughts from our inspired ritual team on this card and its significance at this time:

The Consummation of the alchemical marriage – {indicated by the Red Lion and the White Eagle} – requires a death of sorts – a Dissolution. 

‘SOLVE ET COAGULA’ means to separate and to join together.   The sword separates, and yet two dissolve and recombine to form a sweet elixir.  This implies a death of the ego on the path across the Abyss from Binah {the Great Mother} to Tiphareth {The Son/Sun}.  Binah compels form. And in a sense, the reintegration of forms requires a choice:  A union, creating something new.  In the card, the sword symbol is present in the form of the sword in the stone of legend. Here, the stone takes the form of the Egg of Creation – The Heart Girt with a Serpent.  The sword in the stone is also a symbol of the cleaving and then union of the male with the female – the black and the white – the active and the passive – projective and receptive.

In the legends the sword can only be removed by the true sovereign. But in those very same stories that sovereign ideal was sacrificed on the altar of creation; and pulling that sword from the stone was an act of choice.  There is a choice to be made.  Pull the sword from the stone and make the sacrifice of one option, as when one door opens and another closes.

The choice should be made with devotion and avowal.  OPEN YOURSELF to second sight; the choice is yours.  Through that choice, we will attain UNION from that which has divided us.

Our vast universe consists of billions of stars, planets, humans, animals, countless creatures all of whom work together in one way or another to keep the world going. There is only one thing that is needed to make it work…UNITY. 

UNITY does not just mean being the same, having the same ideas or thoughts or agreeing all the time. For there to be true UNITY in any group or gathering or even family we need to equally share the give and take. Like the universe, there are too many individual beings for everyone to feel the same, think the same, believe the same things yet here we are, together, UNITED for one specific purpose.

After the long hiatus due to COVID-19, something many of us may still be affected by, we are now able to finally start coming together, UNITING us together for a common goal. Just as the sword divided the stone, social issues and a pandemic have divided us. It is now up to us to come together, like a wound closing once the blade is removed, and UNITE ourselves with the beauty and love that we all have in us. Making that choice to be one with each other, and one with Universe.

Charge of the Sky Goddess at Yule

December 21, 2021

Welcome, my children, each of you a glittering star, each of you the potential of the first moment of creation, each of you the dance of the sky and earth. We stand here together to welcome the Sun’s rebirth.

When you were first formed, you were one cell and you expanded from there, just like the Universe has expanded from one single explosion. That moment of joining of your mother and father’s cells was your own big bang, and from there you have become a universe of 30 trillion cells.

Altar & photo by Carol Boyer

So powerful you are, loved by a star, deeply connected to all that is, through the center of your head. Your pineal gland, a pine cone of Truth, is where Light illumines the illusion of the physical world and, glittering, shows you my face wherever your glance lands.

Find me here among the stars and in the center of your own mind. Look for me with your inner light, and I will appear in the deepness of the night. I am a star to guide your way. I am the warmth and joy in your heart that keeps you through the winter until Ra shows his true form at the height of summer. I am the abiding peace of the winter, when life stills and breathes, till it is born again.

It all lies inside your brain but outside your mind, where you may awake inside the dream, dance between the realms, and transcend all limitations.

Hear the Words of the Goddess at Samhain

November 8, 2021

The chill in the air feels like death, the time when the wheel turns, and the leaves fall. The whole world is going inside, going to sleep, waiting, waiting. The hustle bustle of the busy summer shimmers behind us, as we step bravely into the cold months, taking stock, letting slip away what is no longer needed, filling our larders with food to keep us going through the long winter months.

What you have been through was needed, was a tempering in my fire. You have only done what you had to do. Here you rest in the tapestry of life, seeing only the squares behind and guessing at the threads of what is to come. Prepare yourself now, for what is to come will be a surprise unimagined by you, a whole new way that you hadn’t expected but that you may embrace.

Drop the burdens now that you have carried, seeing the flaws in the world. There are no flaws, only facets of a gem that shifts and twists in your hand, catching the light. This is the mystery that you may have learned: all flaws are illusion, and there is only Love. Fear is illusion; sickness is illusion; time is illusion, albeit a persistent one. You have come here to rest in comfort at my hearth, warm and full of food and my love for you. Feel it now as you go forward, and be brave. I only ask that you slaughter what will keep you from thriving in the coming year.

Blessed Mabon!

September 20, 2021

Charge of the Light God, Belenus:

In the summer, I ride my chariot across the sky, heating the waters and blessing the fields. In the winter, you can find my light within, shining just as brilliantly as at mid-summer. This is one purpose of the colder months – to remember your inner Light. It is easy to forget during the bustle of summer activity, that truly your inner world creates your outer reality. Turn up the light now and see the world with fresh eyes.

Become aware of your southern neighbors in far off places such as Australia, South Africa, Indonesia and Brazil. They are stepping into the sunlight of springtime as you become aware of your own source of inner energy. They hold the sunlight for you as you hold the hearth flame for them in a continuous, interconnected dance. Whenever you feel your light dim this season, you may borrow a little sunlight from them, just as you offer it in your turn.

Altar and photo by Carol Boyer

You have sown the seeds of your harvest this past season. I watch over you with love as you enjoy the bounty you require and deserve. Be you purified by the Light today at the time of equal days and nights. Store up what you need today to carry you through the longer nights ahead. And know that in the darkest days there is always the promise of more light to come.

Today we will find what we need and turn up the flame in our hearts and souls to carry us through the coming months. Whatever is happening in the world of form outside you, know this: I promise to always shine on you and in you. You can always find me no matter how dark the world may seem. I have always been with you.

The Goddess Selene Speaks

June 30, 2021

Behold the glowing Light, the sun at its height, the moon shining at night!

Here we are at Midsummer, gathered in our true form as energy, where you are closest to my own nature. The bright Light is you and you are it, electrons on the screen in front of you.

The sun plays tricks and stops with you, right now before it dives head first into darkness, inch by inch and day by day. Today is as much the day of Holy Dark as it is of Holy Light, which are forever in a dance with one another.

Litha 2021 Altar Designed and Photographed by Carol Boyer

The dance of green earth and night sky: the sun in its Chariot rides the glistening blue air in its daily travels and sinks below the horizon, not to disappear but so that you may experience His reflection in the moon’s mirrored surface.

The shadows cast by brightness are another kind of light, the illumination of the soul in its journey to perfection. The lessons this season are of the celestial bodies and the light they cast, you a brief speck in the oceans of their time, the vast expanse of their Universe.

And yet you matter in this instant as much as the Sun and Stars, fulfilling your purpose in your short human years as they do in their long epochs. For in your hands and heart the Light joyfully plays upon the strings of Planet Earth. And the shadows of your days flicker like candle flames, warming the empty cold expanse of outer space. Things so little and yet with such depth.

The stars are radiant specks to you, far away. So you are to us, radiant specks of indistinguishable time, forever part and parcel of the Universe outside of time where We live. As above, so below. As within, so without. As the future, so the past. A perfect reflection of indirect Light, the cascading God Force that enlivens every molecule of Creation. Not one atom is amiss, not one choice or action is wrong, but all part of the tapestry that always has been, is and always will be. For us, existing in one breath, the inhale and exhale, that encompasses the totality of all that ever will be.

From this long perspective, you commune with us today. Rest in knowing that all desires are truly met, all thought already reality. Step back from your human perspective and join the dance of the Cosmos in playful spirit and with open heart.

A Short Meditation in Honor of the Summer Solstice

June 22, 2021

I can’t help but associate Summer Solstice with freedom. This was the time of year when we stopped going to school and had a summer stretching ahead of us to do whatever we wanted. Even though many of us now work year round, there’s something delicious and open about the summer — wearing less clothing, being outside more, buying fruits and vegetables from farm stands.

This is the time of year that active, dynamic energy is at its peak, and the sun the strongest in the sky. It’s a great opportunity for us to feel powerful like the sun, allowing our rays to penetrate deeply into everything we do. Every time the sun is out, let it be a reminder of your own power and reach, of how your presence on this planet is an integral part of creation.

In the story of the Wheel of the Year, the God and Goddess are married and sitting on their thrones, surveying their domain. Take a moment to consider your domain and how you rule it. Sit peacefully for a moment and enjoy the world you have created for yourself. Let gratitude fill you.

If you’re looking around and not liking what you see, know this. Just as you created this life for yourself, you have the power to change it, to make different decisions, to choose again. The sun’s lesson at this time of year is that you are NOT stuck. Like the sun, you are all powerful.

This year summer solstice also falls on the full moon, a little extra light to clear our paths. The moon is like a mirror, reflecting the sun’s rays and illuminating what might have been lost in the dark. Now you can see clearly what might have been hidden previously. What do you see now, in the soft light of the moon’s glow?

If you enjoyed this introspection, please join us for our Litha ritual on Sunday, June 27 at 4 p.m. EST in virtual sacred space. Information on how to attend will be posted in our Facebook group, Meetup and emailed to our mailing list. You can join those through the links at the bottom right of our website,

Bright blessings!

Message from the Goddess at Beltane

May 2, 2021

We call upon Rhiannon, the Faerie Queen, at Beltane this year:

Photo by Celeste Horrocks on Unsplash

Rhiannon, great Queen of the Faeries,
Who grants sovereignty to the ruler of the land,
And to the internal workings of our hearts.
Golden Goddess of Springtime,
Call our spirits out of the slumber of winter
With the melodies of songbirds and
The rowdy kaleidoscope of blossoming impudence
That nudges the dead in their eternal sleep.
I call you, Lady of Wisdom and Rebirth,
To guide our transformation as we emerge again Rhiannon
From our cloistered hibernation as the monarchs we were always meant to be.

Photo and altar by Carol Boyer

Hear the words of the Goddess, the dust of whose feet are the hosts of Heaven:

The veil between the worlds grows thin once more. The elemental spirits peek out from behind trees, under rocks, through puddles and streams as Springtime brings new growth in a riot of color and a cacophony of life. Through the wildness of the teaming world, I am here with you, shimmering between the air waves and dancing through the night sky as the holy dark within.

Sing with me of new life, of hope and expansion, of venturing out from your needed cocoon that this last year has gifted and enforced in the timelessness of a sneeze and the length of a mountain’s days.

You will begin again, stepping into the world, free and unfettered by all the skins you’ve shed and words you’ve heard. Here is the silence and the ringing of eternity, right here in this space of sacred Now.

This is the breath between two laughs. A yawn in the vast reaches of time, where the fairies experience the physical world through dreaming your bodies, and the ancestors remember a time when they walked the earth.

Here you come to experience the illusion of your world and the reality of mine. What you think you know, begone! Learn again today of what your spirit sings to you. Experience the world as my people know it: A vast and beautiful realm of joy and play.

We come today to dance with you in celebration of this season, in the freedom that you have learned in your captivity… if you were lucky. Take all you need today to go forward in the ways of men and gods, that you may know the truth of your own nature where all the world’s a stage and you its players.

Theme 2021 – Regeneration

January 21, 2021

Cycles are the natural way that the world expresses itself – the seasons, life and death, even monthly hormonal expressions. So too are epochs expressed, and every day I thank the gods that I was born at this time and place to experience the miraculous changes in our world today.

Astrologically, the planet Saturn will be in Aquarius, which began with the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction at the Winter Solstice, through March of 2023, an event that psychic Michelle Whitedove calls “the dawning of the Age of Aquarius” and that spiritual teachers have been referring to recently as “the Great Awakening.”

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

While there have been a few Great Awakenings in history, never before have they been focused on care for the planet we live on, Mother Earth. This is something we as pagans have always been aware of, our interconnection with the biosphere we call home. Finally, our time on this planet has become a necessity, as the world slowly wakes up from the Great Pause.

In honor of this grand cosmic event and the shifting of energy, Hands of Change’s theme for this year is “regeneration.” Last year, the Great Pause, was about old things passing away and the in-breath that humanity took together before embarking on our next great experiment in evolution.

The Hindu god Brahma teaches us that the three million years of human experience is the blink of an eye to the gods, and so the change of an age is not a day or even a lifetime but perhaps hundreds of years. Nevertheless, Saturn’s march through Aquarius is a momentous time, a time of rebirth of many outdated ways of thinking and doing.

Photo by Aarón Blanco Tejedor on Unsplash

How do we navigate this change? That is the question we will ask over and over in the coming year as we continue to meet and pray virtually in our Friday night Wiccan Prayer Gatherings, for esbats and sabbats, and in our Hands of Change virtual community on FaceBook and YouTube . Please connect with us as we explore what regeneration means in light of the big changes coming this year.