#30DaysMagicalRoots Days 8 & 9

Whew! What a busy week! A few days of solid preparation before the craft show, then the craft show, then decompressing after the craft show… All of that with a visit to family as well. Just busy! So I’ll catch up today with the Magical Roots challenge in a couple of posts.

Day 8: Meditation
Write a short meditation to practice on a regular basis. (Bonus if you record an audio version of this and share it!)

This is a meditation I’ve done before on quite a few occasions. Its purpose is to clear out a lot of my brain chatter so that I can focus better on whatever task I have at hand. I’ve used it before writing (anything, really), singing, being with people, journeying to Otherworlds. Pretty much any time I need some clarity and not be bogged down by the plethora of thoughts that like to fill up my head.

Clear Out Unhelpful Thoughts Meditation

Sit with your feet flat on the ground, eyes closed

Slow your breathing then begin to either breathe very deeply on each breath or perform the 4 in, hold for 4, 4 out, hold for 4 breath. Repeat until your heartbeat slows, and you get that tingly feeling; then continue to breathe deeply at a natural pace.

Imagine yourself walking a forest path. You can hear water flowing beside you to the right, but you can’t quite see it through all the lush foliage and well-established trees lining the river.

Keep walking until you find a little clearing between the trees. You can see the water now, from the path, flowing swiftly over well-rounded, and colourful stones and larger rocks.

You now walk to the water’s edge. You see there’s actually a bit of a dock that sits atop the water. Lay down on the dock with your head just above the water. Slowly let what hair you have dip into the flow, let it float beside your head, following the  current. Continue until the back and top of your head is submerged.

You can feel now that not only is the water cool and refreshing to touch, but it also seems to be taking away some of the stress and tension attached to your hair, wanting to pull more from the crown of your head.

Slowly allow the water to seep into your skull, and wash through all the nooks and crannies that need clearing out. The stress and fear that doesn’t help you, or hinders you from doing things you need and want to be doing. The sluggishness of procrastination, the random things that seem to fill your head whenever you want to really focus on an important project or issue.

The river seems to run as swiftly as it needs to, with as much force as it needs to in order to carry away the thoughts that don’t serve your purpose well.

You stay here, allowing the river to pull out all the hindrances in your head until there is nothing left but a cleared mind ready for whatever task you want to set it to.

Thank the river for its help. I like to imagine offering a leaf, stone, feather, or another natural gift.

Slowly open your eyes, breathe deeply to focus on your body once more and anchor yourself in our world. Now get to focusing on that task!

 

Day 9: Daily Practices
What are some quick & easy practices you can incorporate into your daily life to help you connect with your Craft and your Gods? You can find some ideas here: Ways to Live a More Magical Life and here: 15 Ways to Do Witchcraft Every Day

These are some of the daily practices that I’ve done in the past. And actually, doing this challenge has made me see that I actually do more than I think I do on a daily basis!

Stir love and luck into the food I feed my family.

Thanking the spirits of the food I eat for sustaining me.

Wish safe travels on my husband-man whenever he leaves, usually asking my gods, but also the universe.

Light candles for others to focus my well wishing upon them everytime I look at the candle.

Feel for the energies and spirits of any natural place I visit, usually saying hi, and complimenting the beauty I see.

I sing songs to Lake Huron when I visit the beach. I’ve done this with other bodies of water, but I visit Lake Huron the most, obviously 😛

I also sing songs to forests, and other natural places, actually.

Yep, in going over the things that I still do regularly, I am more active in my witchiness than I thought! ❤

 

You can follow along with the #30DaysMagicalRoots Challenge over at Plentiful Earth!

Tea for Forseti

Forseti

Before I get into this lovely tea, yay for light boxes! I was going to list this yesterday, and what happened? Well the clouds decided to make it super dark out ALL DAY. Which isn’t very long seeing as I’m in the Northern Hemisphere! So I broke down and finally made a light box… which admittedly took like 5 minutes to build… yep.

So here is Forseti’s Tea! When deciding what ingredients to blend for Him, I thought of what kind of mood I would need to be in to make decisions, to use good judgement  in my life whether it’s deciding career moves, or mediating between people, or anything else that has many sides to the problem that needs to be factored in so that I can make the best decision for all involved.
And this tea was created.

Chamomile to calm the mind, though not quite enough to make one sleepy! Lemon and lemon balm provide a boost to get your thinker a thinking, whilst lavender and fennel allow purity and clarity of mind. It’s quite a lovely, gentle tea.

 

If you are looking for another Deity’s tea, check out my Devotional Teas section.

Njordr Tea

Njordr.jpg

A seemingly simple, yet pleasantly deep cup of tea.

Inspired and imbued with the Lord of the Sea’s energies, this tea can be drunk by the sea on a brisk day, or when you imagine the rhythmic waves crashing on the shore! Share a cup with Njordr, or simply offer it up to Him. Can certainly be enjoyed without any other purpose than enjoyment too!

Black tea mixed with fennel and cloves.

You can find the listing here, and check out my storefront here.

A Month for Baldr – I – Introduction

Ok, so here it is! I’m going to be doing the meme that Beth and Nono are doing for Odin and Loki, and just as an overview, here are the questions of that meme:

1. A basic introduction of the deity
2. How did you become first aware of this deity?
3. symbols and icons of this deity.
4. A favourite myth or myths of this deity.
5. Members of the family – genealogical connections
6. Other related deities and entities associated with this deity
7. Names and epithets
8. Variations on this deity (aspects, regional forms, etc.)
9. Common mistakes about this deity
10. Offerings – historical and UPG
11. Festivals, days, and times sacred to this deity
12. Places associated with this deity and their worship
13. What modern cultural issues are closest to this deity’s heart?
14. Has worship of this deity changed in modern times?
15. Any mundane practices that are associated with this deity?
16. How do you think this deity represents the values of their pantheon and cultural origins?
17. How does this deity relate to other gods and other pantheons?
18. How does this deity stand in terms of gender and sexuality? (historical and/or UPG)
19. What quality or qualities of this deity do you most admire? What quality or qualities of them do you find the most troubling?
20. Imagery that reminds you of this deity.
21. Music that makes you think of this deity.
22. A quote, poem, or piece of writing that you think this deity resonates strongly with.
23. Your own composition – a piece of writing about or for this deity
24. A time when this deity has helped you.
25. A time when this deity has refused to help.
26. How has your relationship with this deity changed over time?
27. Worst misconception about this deity that you have encountered.
28. Something you wish you knew about this deity, but don’t currently.
29. Any interesting or unusual UPG to share?
30. Any suggestions for others just starting to learn about this deity?

_________________________________________

And now for an introduction to Who Baldr is!

Baldr is widely known as the slain God. Light, and pure, and full of goodness, written lore has left us with a few versions of His death. Either Loki tricked Hodr, Baldr’s blind brother, into shooting mistletoe at Baldr and killing him; or in Saxo’s version, Baldr was merely demi-god, and was defeated by Hodr (also mortal in this version, and not the brother of Baldr) in battle over the hand of Nanna.

Unfortunately there isn’t much more written about Him outside of His death. There  is the Merseburg Incantations, or charms, however, which mentions Baldr, also referred to as Phol in the charm:

Phol and Wodan were riding to the woods,
and the foot of balder’s foal was sprained
So Sinthgunt, Sunna’s sister conjured it.
And Frija, Volla’s sister, conjured it.
And Wodan conjured it, as well he could:

Like bone-sprain, so blood-sprain, so joint-sprain:
Bone to bone,
Blood to blood,
Joints to joints,
So may they be mended.

And that’s pretty much it as far as written lore about Baldr goes. It’s unfortunate in a way because I wish we had written lore about all the Gods, even local land wights that were worshipped before we discovered the Gods. Alas, that is not the case.
The other way I see this, however, is that it provides me with a fresh perspective of mostly my own, without a million opinions and misinterpretations of His history and Who He is (well, if we’re talking lore, Who He was about a thousand years ago, since worship was no longer happening widespread for far too long).

So while I don’t have overly much to write about Him here, I kind of get to be introduced to many of the things that aren’t known about Him as o/Our relationship progresses. It is exciting 🙂 Along with this, is the fact that it doesn’t seem that many people are involved with Him, or at least nothing I can really find much of online. It’s interesting, to say the least.

But back on topic, other than this, I don’t have much to add here. I wrote about how He is with me the other day, and only time will show me what kind of Person He is as we unfold to each other.

A Month for Baldr – 3 – Together

Your relationship with your devotional topic.”

I was thinking, haven’t I already talked about this yesterday with the “how” post? Well, yes and no. I talked about how w/We’ve been doing over the past few months, but not necessarily what o/Our relationship is.

As much as I want to talk about those more intimate details, I don’t tend to publicly. And as much as I adore reading about others’ very personal journeys with their own Gods, I just have a hard time showing that to others. I realize this is the internet, there can be trolls, and there is a certain amount of anonymity in writing online, but it’s still hard.

And yet. There is so much to be gleaned for me, personally, as I’ve said before, in writing for others. Things you have to figure out to make coherent for others to read that also allows one to see much deeper into things than would normally be seen. So let’s begin…

Baldr is sweet, He is warm, He is joy and appreciation of all aspects of daily life as well as spiritual life. He is often on my mind, and whispering in my ear, guiding me to find gratefulness for everything I can do, everything that makes me happy. He feeds off of that, and the light that He is glows in me, making me brighter, as my own merriment returns to Him, shining back at me through Him.

He is open and accepting. He is good for the cuddles. He is goofy and makes me smile, even when other people look at me funny. Honestly, I sometimes feel like a school girl around Him, but one that doesn’t have to admire Him from across the hallway. He is always there, there aren’t very many moments when I don’t feel Him around me, even if that’s all I get is the sense of His presence and no more. I think about the past couple months when I tried to keep away from Him, thinking I wasn’t “ready” for some reason or other, and He was still there. Always on my mind. Always keeping Himself tangible in some way.

Our relationship makes me excited, and it also has really made me see how other I have become from the general populace. Yet there is no loss in that for me. I don’t want to waste my time doing things I don’t enjoy, that don’t nourish my soul. I don’t want to do what women are “supposed” to do, going out, gossiping, and talking about things that don’t really matter. I find I can’t talk to a lot of people anymore about what’s going on with me because most people don’t understand, and especially as someone with a non-mainstream spirituality, would likely see me as a bit nuts. It’s lucky that I do in fact do a lot with my day with gardening and making things, otherwise I’d have nothing to talk about with pretty much everyone I know, as I’m the only polytheist/much woo in my life person I know outside of the internets.
That being said, I really don’t mind. I like that my days are filled with things that matter to me, truly, and on a deep level. I like that I don’t waste away much time on things that are incredibly trivial and don’t contribute anything at all to who I am as a person and the life I make for myself. I like that Baldr can be part of so much of my life because I’m outside of the regular people life.

And I think He’s happy He’s got more of me to Himself than would normally happen were I to live an “ordinary” life.

Pagan Blog Project – O is for “Over Those Tree Filled Hills”

image

Over those tree filled hills
You’ll find most magnificent peaks
Crushing Earth moved together
Forming stark heights

Snow-covered rock
What once was the core of terra
Now sun bathed
Against the twinkling of night’s stars

There You stand
Laughter in Your eyes
Light dancing on Your skin
Hand out for me to take

We run, we dance, we fly
Above this valley You share with me
Of eternal blooms and nourishment
We shall want for naught

As You sing magic into my soul
My fear falling away
My awe of You expands
Mine own songs find my lips

– Miaerowyn

Wisdom

Kathy Fornal

Kathy Fornal

I’ve been musing the past little while on the fact that our modern culture allows for us to be impatient jerks in everything that we pursue. Even in religion, which is something that takes a lifetime, and which can take on so many different forms for every individual. One person will not be a master of all spiritual practices, it’s just not possible. They will not be a master of all the knowledge that is bestowed upon us by Them either, our brains are much too small and self-involved to truly understand it all; and of course, our lives much too short. They can tell us all there is to know, but that does not lend to actual comprehension and wise use of said knowledge.

I am definitely not claiming that I don’t have the propensity of being impatient and thinking I deserve everything I can dream of having just because I can think of it either. I can be very selfish, and a big, whiny baby about not getting what I want. And a big problem of mine is not continuing practices when I don’t get right away what I imagine is the big reward at the end of my spiritual path (though, there really is no end, is there?). In these cases, I have to remind myself that if I got the big reward, what else would there be to keep me going?

The last six months have been quite momentous for me, mostly with inward things. I think a big part of it was something physical that happened to me shortly after Samhain, I won’t go into details, but it nevertheless took a psychological toll on me. I became a hermit for over two months, had sleepless nights, and was deathly afraid of death. I literally couldn’t go anywhere without thinking of the many ways I could die out in the world; falling on the skytrain tracks, accidentally walking out in front of traffic… I won’t continue on because I’m past it now, but still sensitive to it.
Then around Yule, things started turning around because I made myself go out and enjoy Yule with my cov-family. Things were still dark for me, and there were a few more sleepless nights afterwards, where I could only go to sleep after the sun came up.
During January/February, there were preparations for initiation, and my 102 group I was studying with had to put on an Imbolc ritual for the trad. It was fun, and I quite enjoyed coming up with a celebratory ritual with my fellow students, and now trad-mates. Then there was serious mental preparation for my initiation, which I got sick for, and the night was moved.

Since then, there’s been a lot of inward work. The happiness of being initiated as a witch, and into my fantastic coven; pondering the implications of covenhood, degrees, and that sort of thing. And lately, there’s the realization and acknowledgement that I could possibly be comprehending the knowledge that I have been cultivating. Let me just say that I realize I am just at the tip of the iceburg here, but there is progress. Progress is good.

A big flashing sign to me that there has been growth in my spiritual path is that I feel that I have been given the keys of understanding when it comes to certain information. While most things are out there in the open for all to see, it doesn’t mean that I truly understood the implications they had for me. I find that the things I read in blogs and in books I now understand and they hold meaning for me, where before, I was reading them to make myself feel like I was advanced because I was reading what others, whom I admire, (and who have probably been more dedicated to practice and research on their paths) were reading or commenting about.

There are also some other potentially huge things happening, however, I need to wade my way through them before I decide whether or not to divulge.

Would you like another drink?

Well hello there! It’s been a while. Well, come on in and let’s chat!

There are some changes on the wind… my man and I are going to be starting a YouTube news channel!! I’ll be updating links and such when we begin, which is hopefully next week. Unfortunately, it won’t really be pagan bent, but that’s what I have this blog for!

In other news, I am getting over a cold… yes, a cold… in July. Oh well! I have the luxury of resting and staying home as home is where I work from! 😉 I am on the mend now, feeling better and less cloudy in the head.

In more magical news… I was reading Sarah’s latest blog post… and I had a realization of my own. I’ve written about this before, but it hasn’t been as clear to me as when I read her blog… Alcohol, nummy, nummy alcohol is my key to connection with the divine. I’m not talking about being incredibly, senselessly drunk… I’m talking about two or three glasses… a warm, happy, and almost always, spiritual tipsy-ness.
I find I struggle with the “doing” bit of this path. I’m a very internal, constantly thinking, observing, analyzing type of person. I do create physical things when inspired… I find that other than the ritual with my coven and trad, the same set up of ritual doesn’t work for me when I’m alone. I suppose some of that has to do with the fact that it’s obviously about the HPs & HP and the group working together to raise up the energies, creating circle. For me though, my energies, my circle is up as soon as I start feeling tipsy. Everything is sacred in that time… the time spent with friends, the time spent with my man, getting frisky. (Considering who my patron Deities are, the friskiness is not a huge surprise!).

Since beginning to make alcohol as well, I feel even more connected to this substance. My home-made meads and ciders make me feel a lot different from what buying the alcohols at the liquor store make me feel. When I buy the liquor, I feel slow, fuzzy; kind of like the lights in my brain are being turned off until it’s empty. With my own alcohol, all the things that worry me fall away, I’m inquisitive, sharp, feel connected to my true inner self and my Gods. I feel as though I am a conduit for Their inspirations to fill and affect the world around me. I offer Dionysus and my Gods my drinks, I burn incense, have deep conversations with my love, weaving the magic that bonds us together.

I am inspired on alcohol, I will usually feel like I need to have ritual, although when I do end up having ritual, it’s still not right. I realize now that for me alone, ritual is not what works for me. I do not feel connected to my Gods when I do it, so why do I keep trying to make it work? Because that’s what I think I’m supposed to do. Even though I am participating in a Wiccan tradition, my personal practice is not so structured, and dare I say, Wiccan. My beliefs generally follow along with Wiccan beliefs, but I cannot pretend that outside of group ritual, the practice of that kind of ritual (mainly) works for me.
I’m not entirely sure spells are my bag either. That’s not the way I make magic. The only spell that’s ever really worked has been the love spell I cast which brought my love and me together. Perhaps then, I realize now, love is where my magic lies. Which, if I think about it, makes too much sense. I wouldn’t say I’m a hopeless romantic, but love, for me, is the greatest purpose.

So there it is… I’m a bit of a Maenad (though definitely not as crazy and drunk, and I won’t be ripping any bulls apart with my hands), structured ritual isn’t my personal bag, and my magic is love.

Being sincere

Over the past few weeks, I have been doing spells and workings for other people, mostly in the healing department. What these workings have made me come to realize is that I haven’t ever put as much energy into workings for myself as I do for others.  So I have been asking myself, why?

I think this just goes along with the whole problem most people have in mundania: we are horrible at helping ourselves. When someone else is suffering, we step up and give, give, give; when we are suffering, it is ignored, pushed aside, thought little of. I believe that if we admit we need help, support, whatever, we view ourselves as weak and incapable of being a “good” human being. This is why I think this “I/Me” world of today where our neighbours are no longer the people we can rely upon, there is no more sense of community, even within our own families, is really killing us. We need to realize that we are a creature that NEEDS community to survive properly.

Although we live in a more national, or global community, we rely on farmers to provide us with food, to provide the materials needed to make our clothing, we rely on the carpenters and builders to build our homes, to make them safe, we rely on the people working in the stores to sell us the goods that we need. We need these people. We cannot do it all by ourselves. Think if you had to raise your own sheep, grow your own food, build your own house all on your own. Would you survive your first year? There’s just too many skills out there for one person to possess them all.

But getting back to workings for myself… I seem to not give myself enough credit that within me is a deep power that can truly affect my world for whatever reason I might need. I also find I feel more or less silly when I ask my deities to be there with me and hear what I need. I feel like I am being selfish, if that makes any sense at all. I’m sure there are some of you out there who have to deal with this too. We are very much told never to be selfish, that it rots you away into a lonely, evil person in the end. However, how can we give of ourselves when we receive nothing? When we ask for nothing, we get nothing. The Gods may know our minds, but like that old saying, they “favour the bold”.

So be bold to ask when you need it! And even when you just want it sometimes. This path is not one of abstinence, chastity, going without to feel like you’re a “good” person. This is a path of enjoyment, experience, appreciating what you have for the time you have it. I feel it does one no good to not have something one desires for the sake of feeling “unselfish”, all that does is make obsessions over the things you want, perhaps even constantly thinking of how much you want so much but “aren’t allowed” to have it because to have things would make you self-absorbed and not mindful of anyone else.

Get the things that you desire! But always balance it with helping others when the time comes. Be open for giving and receiving; if there is not an even flow of both, you will either have nothing to give, or be completely full and stagnant.