PBP – In The Broom Closet

The Crystal Ball - John William Waterhouse

The Crystal Ball – John William Waterhouse

Moving back to a rural farming town in Ontario, where most people are some form of Christian, or at the very least, haven’t had much exposure to other non-monotheistic religions (not even mentioning anything that lies under the pagan umbrella), I’ve had a while to think about how being of a completely different, non-mainstream religion will affect me and the people I am in contact with.

As much as I find so much joy in my path, so much spiritual nourishment, it’s not something I will likely be shouting out to anyone in earshot. That’s not to say no one knows, that people who are not in any way pagan don’t know, they do. I am in the closet, but the door is wide open. In fact, there’s a window in here, and actually, I wouldn’t call it a closet, more like a huge room brightly lit and full of talismans, herbs, trinkets and many a witchy thing. It comes down to being very selective of who gets to really know about it. As much as I am a performer (hello, wanted to be an opera lady), I am such an introvert and non-people person. In fact, I would say I generally don’t like most people, and that’s fine with me as it takes way too much time away from things I’d rather be doing than if I were trying to be friends with everyone I meet. I am a lady who just wants to go outside and do things quietly, well, I may be singing while I do it, but very much alone. That’s kind of how it’s always been for me. I was a kid who would spend most daylight hours out in the woods alone, apart from when my sister would want to come and play, exploring, finding things to collect, climbing trees, getting sap in my hair. And that just suits me fine.

I have loved being part of a group, and I suspect I will be doing that again when opportunity and time to devote to it arises. But I doubt you’ll find me leading a local ritual open to the public. I’m a person who does not like to bother others as I wish not to be bothered. I also like the idea of people going by my house maybe seeing me do something “weird” (possibly could be referring to wyrd) in the garden, and wonder what that’s about… I like that mystery. Mystery is good. Mystery is part of my path. To outsiders, why shouldn’t I be mysterious? Those who know what to look for will spot the clues.

Writing here, although it hasn’t been incredibly revealing of even my specific beliefs or practices, is my little soap box, I guess. But really, it’s more about documenting things that pique my interest, or a revelation I’ve had (albeit in vague ways). I am not really about human validation of my spirituality. I listen to my Gods, my Ancestors, and Others Who I continue to build relationships with; I ask Them for guidance, for Their insights, for Their needs to direct my actions. Basically, I’m just going about my own business, I know what I’m doing, and when I swerve a little, They help to put me aright, even if I’m oblivious that I’m walking the wrong way. And who’s to say that there is a wrong way? But I digress.

 

Thankfully, in the end, I’m not keeping myself out of sight in that capacity because I fear for myself or loved ones should people find out about it. Generally, those who find out have been quite blaze really about it. People my age (and younger I’ll assume)  tend to be more of a “whatever” attitude when it comes to those things because it doesn’t affect them. It’s kind of an interesting thing when you get a lot of people who are generally super self-absorbed that they just don’t really care what others are doing around them. I’m cool with that.

As for older than me folk (especially old enough to be my parent and beyond), it’s not something I bring up. Especially when I know they’re pretty into their own faith (which is most likely the one that thinks all others are misguided).

I suppose you could say it’s sad that they are allowed to be passionate and speak about their faith, but that someone like me who doesn’t follow that mainstream spirituality has to be on the quiet side if they don’t want any trouble from others about it. I could be loud and out there about it, sure. But I don’t believe that’s my spiritual work. Sure I get upset at the ignorance people more often than not show, but I am not a confrontational person. You can’t teach someone about things grander than their own narrow world view when what they’ve been taught is to be unaccepting, or intolerant at the very least, of views that are so different from their own. It’s my way or the highway.

Unfortunately the whole two sided, good vs evil, black vs white, right vs wrong  is still too dominant in the mindset that’s been brewing, at least here in North America. I’d rather just putter away in my garden, making magick, offering to the Gods, Ancestors, and Spirits, perform my rituals and nourish my spirituality and spiritual relationships than worry about other humans who should be figuring things out for themselves rather than making it all about everyone other than themselves by judging everyone else and seeking constant validation.

Pagan Blog Project – K is for Kin

victoria_family_tree_1901

I’ve been Told recently that I need to connect with my ancestors, which is very fitting as I’ve been dealing with death related things this past winter. Ancestor veneration has never really been a part of my practice as as a younger person, I’ve been interested in all the shiny things that a witch does, not the hard things, not the really important things. Not the things that aren’t as pretty on the outside. Don’t misunderstand that I’m saying that focus on the shiny pretty things as a witch are not honourable pursuits, that they aren’t important either, it’s just I’ve been basically practicing 101 things for far too long. I have been a bit stagnant, at least up until the past few years with being in the community and part of a coven. Those shiny things tend to be on the surface because they attract the eye, but when the shine wears off, there are amazing things to be found beneath, the well of our spirituality is as deep as you’re willing to swim.

After receiving my Message, I set up a little ancestor altar, a glass of water, a candle, and flowers that I’ve been receiving either from nature or as gifts from family (very fitting, those gifts). It’s funny how lately since I’ve been knitting so much, I’ve watched quite a few episodes of Xena, and in them, there have been quite a few mentions of how those who are in the Elysian Fields can feel and hear the thoughts of them made by the living. All things are so very connected, and the messages are there if you can decipher them, although they usually tend to be pretty clear.

Although when I first put up the altar, I thought of my recently dead, the ones whom I actually knew in my life in my family, someone has been making herself known, who I did not know living. I feel like she’s from my mother’s side, and along with the communications I have with my Deity, she seems to be making her opinions very clear as well.

In practice though, how can we know where to go if we don’t know where we’ve been? A revelation I’ve had recently since starting on this journey is that we are our ancestors, they are us. I believe in reincarnation, that our souls choose lives and situations to live in and learn from. So with that in mind, my thought is that our ancestors are previous incarnations of us, that they are the remnants of what our soul was at that time, but that they are all connected by our living self, the active soul in us right now while we live. This also goes for our descendants, as I don’t believe time is actually linear. Time is linear for us, because in living bodies, we experience our bodies to grow, produce, die, and decay. Not that every single one of my ancestor is a previous incarnation of just my own soul, as there are obviously many souls, and my soul definitely does not inhabit all 7 billion people on this earth at this moment, or even a majority.

So while I’m tending my relationships with my ancestors, I’ve realized I need to tend my relationships with my living kin as well. Especially those like my grandparents, who are much closer to being part of the ancestors, so why not tend those relationships, that the links will be strong when they pass, and the spirit part of ancestral work with them can begin? I’m not saying that anyone should work with all ancestors though, or work for relationships with living kin who have not exactly been kind to you. That just seems quite counter-intuitive. Generally the ancestors want to work with us to be remembered, to help us in this lifetime to be the best incarnation with what we’ve been given as they didn’t live their lives for naught but us to be ignorant to the bricks they’ve laid down in our ancestral path.