#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!

It Doesn’t Always Work How You Think It Will

So it’s been a bit difficult lately in terms of my ability to concentrate. Which means meditating and trying to journey has also become difficult. I ground, center, and cleanse, then try to empty the useless thoughts out. Well, shortly after becoming empty, all the weird, pre-dreaming thoughts come into my head, without much notice from me until I’m almost asleep. I suppose it’s helpful that I can fall asleep more easily now, having sweet slumber come more readily lately is a blessing after the past year. I’m definitely grateful for that, make no mistake.

But back to that journeying I would like to be doing, she’s being elusive. Funny thing is, when I drew some cards yesterday before going Somewhere, I got these three cards: Seven of Bows – Clearance, The Journey, and Five of Stones – Endurance. Quite fitting, really, as yes, I began falling asleep with those weird, pre-dream thoughts during my attempt at journeying, and failing. Endurance to endeavour, indeed!

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The past few months have seen much less attempts at journeying, so I can understand why it’s been difficult for me to go back in. With that being said, I also know that even though there have been fewer attempts at journeying, I’ve had one foot in the Otherworld and one in this for quite awhile now. So, really, I am Somewhere else most of the time. I’ve been able to directly interact in both worlds quite easily while out and about on the forested trail, and even in my backyard, since it overlooks a swamp and there’s a plethora of plants, animals, and land spirits to connect with. It hasn’t required much effort to be in this state, other than allowing it to just be what it is. It’s been strange adjusting to this new way my brain likes to work, since like I said, I have less focus, and for a few months during the winter, I was having a really hard time remembering things.

Now, the memory has come back to an extent, much more manageable, but I don’t seem to be remembering all these little things like I used to be able to do. But I love that my brain is readily able to empty out without much effort as I’m going about in the yard, and there’s always this magick that seeps into the emptiness. I get to feel more wonder in the world about me now, and that makes me even more open for the interactions because I don’t get in my own way with those terrible thoughts they teach you are a part of being a grown up that nothing is “real”, it’s all fantasy and make-believe. Those thoughts are useless, and hinder. It’s about finding how these things are “real” and manifest for you. Even when they do pop up in my head, I take a moment to look at why I have them in a more anthropological fashion, and dismiss them.

What I’d also like to iterate is that most common of sayings, that anything to do with the spiritual, (in this case, journeying) is different for everyone. There are basic ways of teaching and learning how to do these (and many) things, but the continued practice will see it morph into what it needs to be for you at any given moment in time. This is probably why most of my magick and honouring kind of just flows from me, from the moment, from what feels powerful at that point in time. However, there are times when having that structure in place, the words or songs or actions repeated, are equally as powerful. It lends a prolonged focus to my workings as I have to prepare whatever ritual or working I need to do.

I know, I know, I seem to go back and forth on these thoughts, but it’s more of, I see that all of these things can work, in their own times. Structure really helps when you’re doing work in groups, structure can heighten it because there is comfort in structure. Yet alone, after having structure in place, after knowing why I do what I do, there is comfortableness which allows my actions and words and songs to pour forth and be equally well received. It is very much akin to creating any kind of art, sometimes you want to sing Mozart’s very technical Queen of the Night’s aria “Der Hölle Rache”, sometimes you just want to scat whatever inspires you in a sultry jazz song.

It’s important to not get hung up on any particular way or idea on what or how things should work for you. Be open and fluid, because that’s how the connections and inspirations from the Spirits and the Divine can flow in and through you. So for now, I endeavour to build up my ability to focus for more in depth journeying, however, I will also enjoy the walking in both worlds at the same time in my everyday life and what nourishment that has and continues to bring to me.

PBP – Going Inward

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Radiance by Brenda Lyons (Falcon Moon Studio)

It seems after the stormy year that was 2013, it’s time for lots of work and building and rediscovering all the things that have been accumulating within. I’ve been taking a fantastic course from Anni, called The Greystone Path. After having watched many of her videos on Youtube (Mirth And Reverence) had to sign up. She has such a warm and open way of discussing the whys and the reasons; how each of us will experience differently, and that all of it is valid.

It very much seems that I need to get my butt in gear, to begin something (as is very much the point of the spring season, no?), I’ve been feeling that for quite some time, and this course seems to be very much what is needed. Although it is slightly geared for newer folk, with explanations into things which (for me at least) have been studied, the inner work has been fantastic. She has us creating or working with an already established an inner landscape in meditation, exploring the Elements at this point, as well as what is already within our own selves. The course is one of being very much mindful of thought and action, which has already been quite a focus for me lately anyway. Of course, I highly recommend it for those who are really looking to delve much deeper, and to really solidify their own practice as Anni provides small rites to perform, making it easier to start small and build upon the foundation, figuring out what works for you and doesn’t along the way.
As an aside, although it is more Wiccan based, it is highly open for your own interpretation if you don’t necessarily follow a strict Wiccan path; it’s all about what works for you to open up to the Divine, however you see it.

 

Because of Anni’s wonderful reminders that all experience is valid and of worth, a lesson I keep revisiting while learning to really trust myself and my spiritual experiences is that there is validity in my interactions with Other in just the mere fact that I learn more about myself, and continue to grow. At this point, whether the interactions have all been from Other, or just in my head doesn’t matter because the insights have been perfect when I received them. I also think that this whole notion that what I experience could be just me imagining or Them actually interacting with me, is a very interesting and mysterious piece of the whole that is my spiritual experience.
Strangely enough, it’s in the moment that I feel I’m just making it up, and only in retrospect, through the lens of memory that certain experiences seem more real, more vivid. As time goes on and my ability to let go of control to allow things to happen as they will in meditation, the more I see where my hand has guided something, and where it has not. Although the doubt is still strong at times for me as we have yet to live in a culture that raises people to accept that there is this solid, real spiritual side to things, the doubt does play an interesting role in it all. We do live in the scientific age which has us questioning everything, looking for hard evidence, proof that what we experience is real. I don’t think this inquisitive head-space is a bad thing, I think it’s good, it’s why we have begun freeing ourselves from forced religion and aristocracy (though we’ve still such a long way to go before we’re done as other things have stepped in to replace them).

In this long, meandering post, I guess in the end I’m going inwards, have been incredibly introspective, focusing on specific roots I will be sending down to begin really establishing myself in the life and spirituality (which are very much one and the same) I wish to have at this point. I’m certain this idea will change with the seasons as I learn and experience more (a constant endeavour). What works for now may not work later, and that is when those things will be thanked, cut, and burned to make way for whatever I wish to cultivate next.

Pagan Blog Project – Q is for the Quill

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Q seems to be a letter of communication for me, as it has again brought me a subject that requires words. Writing is a most important human development, allowing for our ancestors to speak to us through the ages, so long as their etchings have not been destroyed with time, or by others.

The act of writing, especially on paper, forces us to slow our minds, slow our thoughts, and ensures we take the time to write out what we really mean. This is part of the reason why I journal in a paper and pen way, as well as write out rituals or spells. I don’t want to rush through the processes, and as far as ritual or spellwork, I don’t want to be able to easily Google something and copy and paste. That doesn’t make for good magic, even if I do put a lot of effort into the act of it.  Finding your own words, your own rhythms, adds another layer to your magic weaving as you take out the time to focus on the precise words that convey the thing that you would make manifest.

The other part I adore about writing with pen and paper is the fact that it’s meditative, introspective; the movements of the pen soothing. It allows for me to let out ick energies, running from my mind, through my head, neck, arm, hand, fingers, and through the tip of a pen. I send out the jumbled thoughts in my head, where I can re-read it later and sort it out. I can realize that I don’t really feel the way I did in that moment, or that I don’t want to feel that particular way, so I get to think about it, look at it from a different perspective, and change it.

Pagan Blog Project – Q is for Quiet

Poetry - Alphonse Mucha

Poetry – Alphonse Mucha

This year has been one of much thought, and separating myself from the world it seems. There is much hermit-like behaviour, although I do try to take the doggy out for daily walks. Even then, I don’t want to be around others. I think part of that is just because I miss living in the country (well, a very small town really) where it’s rare to come across other people when you’re out in the woods, or walking back roads, or on trails. I used to do a lot of magic crafting outside, but here in a city, I can’t focus properly out there, worrying about noise and prying eyes.

But back on topic, sometimes we need to be quiet. Sometimes we need to be alone as much as possible. I’m happy when the Man is home from work and we hang out, but that’s all I seem to need lately in terms of interaction. There has been a lot of meditation, and puzzling, and thinking of the things that I need and want in my life. I think this quiet has helped focus my attention on finding those things out. I’m still figuring it out. It’s good to have little outside influence on important things at times, to figure out how to be more true to yourself instead of others’ ideas for you.

Quiet is good for reflection, which a lot of people try to avoid at all costs these days. I think it’s part of the reason it seems harder to learn something, to keep something in my head, because I don’t think about it afterward, I just go on to the next piece of information that intrigues me. This is why I believe being a spiritual person helps. There seems to be a push for spiritual people to allow for time that needs to be spent in meditation, or focus on particular things. Time should also be spending time journaling, and generally paying attention to ourselves, our thoughts, and things that keep popping up in dreams. This can be a difficult thing in a world that is loud, loud, loud. Loud in more ways than just what we literally hear. There are loud sights everywhere in media and all forms of advertising (neon lights?), loud thoughts other people tell us to think, loud pressure to live a very particular way in a narrow little box. It’s overwhelming.

As much as I sometimes feel bad about not being out in the world with people, I seem to need the quiet and solitude at this point in my life. It’s a difficult lesson to learn how to say no, people enjoy telling you that you’re selfish when they hear that word directed at their requests. Alas, if you constantly pour out all you have to everyone at every whim, then you have nothing left for yourself, and nothing good to give.

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

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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

The Yggdrasil Blanket

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It’s all done. Has been for about two weeks. This took so much time, but I am very happy it’s done and that I have it now to send me off into sweet dreams, or revealing some messages I’m being sent.

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There has been some serious increase in the amount of meaningful dreams I’ve been having, and a decrease in not so nice dreams.

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I also am one of those people who like to meditate laying down, so this is just a perfect blanket all around!

Pagan Blog Post – K is for Knitting

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As with most things, knitting can be a magical pastime. As you knit, you weave in the energies you wish whoever will use the item will be surrounded by, especially if it’s a blanket or sweater that can enfold someone inside it.

Right now I am knitting a blanket for our bed, putting in my magic of love, comfort, rest, protection, and a link to the world tree, Yggdrasil, while dreaming. I will post pictures later when it is finished.

Weaving and fiber manipulation of all sorts has long been a traditional woman’s craft and magical craft, as again, much love and energies are generally poured into said craft as most things take at least a few hours to create. This leaves time for quiet meditation, contemplation, and focus on the magic you wish to put in.

Think of the usual handmade sweaters, booties, and caps that are gifted when someone has a baby. How about those new mittens mom or Gramma would knit you each year as the weather turns cold. It is the warmth of love and the wishing for us to remain safe and healthy that we feel when we put on those mittens, or think about our favorite scarf when we were kids.

The High Priestess

The High Priestess is a strong, mysterious woman who is connected with her inner, deeper self. When the Fool comes along, the Magician has made him aware of his apparent skills, the High Priestess shows him to look deeper within himself to find his hidden skills. She challenges you to go deep within yourself to become more connected with yourself and confident in what you have to offer the world.
She is connected with intuition, psychic abilities, dreams and powerful emotions. She shows that now is a time in your life when the veil between the natural and supernatural worlds has been lifted. Instincts and natural timing play a big part when this card shows up in a reading.  It is also a good time to focus on your mind power, meditation, intuition, divination and creativity to challenge and focus yourself.

Sources:

  1. Aeclectic
  2. Discover the Meaning of Tarot