YouTube Pagan Challenge – Week 10

I chat about moon phases and how that affects my practice.

 

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The Pagan Experience – B is for Baldr – The Road So Far

Ha, I just realized my title is akin to the Supernatural season finale/premiere title. Now I will proceed to sing “Carry on Wayward Son” by Kansas for the rest of the day. You’re welcome if I got that awesome song stuck in your head too 😉

In the spirit of sharing about the Gods I work with, I will speak a bit of how things are developing with Baldr. I want to share because writing these posts are always good for self reflection. I know I could write for myself in a journal, which I do anyway, but writing for an audience always requires for decent explanations that bring not only understanding to the reader, but to me again as well. Not all the things can be kept fresh and poignant in one’s mind after time has passed.

So, I haven’t really talked about Him much to anyone. It is still pretty new, but It’s amazing I’m coming right out of the gate and putting this up, in public even! Bear with me as I deal with my shock at myself! :O
Now, forgive me for perhaps becoming shy about discussing it, like I said in last week’s The Pagan Experience post about Who I work with, sharing the Who is a bit difficult for me, especially here on the interwebs since this place is known to have many trolls and assholes in general.

I ended up having a few readings done (well, the first one is how I found out Who was hanging around). The readings have said that magick was coming for me this year, as well as Baldr. And so far, that has held very true, which is what I want to discuss with you today, dear gentle reader!

The first thing that has come from this is regular divining on my part. Baldr has come through very clearly with my tarot cards. Communicating with Him has been quite unlike any attempt at communication I’ve had before. I’ve also done readings for myself for some things, and again, what comes back has been unlike any attempt at reading for myself I’ve done before. The only thing that ever seemed to be truly accurate was my new year readings I’ve done for each month of the year for the past I don’t know how many years. Other than that, I would get myself in those silly read and reread, and get ridiculous cards that just don’t make sense to me. Reading for yourself is just, sometimes you’re simply too close to see the big picture clearly (and that’s not just in divination).
Needless to say, if ever I had doubts about how people can be in contact with their Gods and Spirits, they’ve been thrown out the window. Of a very tall tower. Atop a cliff that drops hundreds of feet to the ocean.

Right now, this is what w/We’ve got for communicating because, for lack of a better analogy, I’m not quite wired up right, yet. I also feel like w/We are both going slowly about this. While of course I sometimes become impatient, I usually quickly remind myself that I also kind of want to relish this. I don’t want it all to happen in the blink of an eye. I want to learn, to really grasp what I’m doing, I want a solid foundation in this, not only o/Our relationship, but what I’ve been learning, and what I have yet to learn. I want to really know Him, I want that to develop naturally. There isn’t a rush on either end of this thing.

What has also come about is some interesting dream things. Not dream work or dream travelling, yet. Those things are to come, but for now, He’s asked me to begin a simple practice every night. I light a candle in my dark room, and breath Him in for a few minutes. Very simple. Right up my alley. Part of this practice came about because I was experiencing some really nasty dreams (not nightmares, but non-consensual sex things). I was already breathing in cleansing breath before bed anyway to clear out all the day’s thoughts for me to be able to fall asleep better. He suggested adding His own energy as an element to this practice.
Well, guess what? No more icky dreams. However, my dreams are different since I began doing this. Very different indeed. The feel of them is, I don’t know, more immanent? I’ve always been a vivid dreamer, I remember dreams I’ve had as a child all the way through to now. I’ve also been able to control dreams when they became not so nice for a very long time (I even remember the first dream I did this in, I believe I was five; there was a mustard incident in-dream, and I wanted to clean it badly enough that I made myself do that in-dream).
But back to my dreams right now, I don’t know. They’re just different. They’ve even shown some things that I don’t feel are visions of the future, but like a path the future could take me on, I guess? What I do understand and undoubtedly feel to my very bones is that I’m protected. Even though the dreams have seemed to be in a twilight, and interesting dark things sometimes happen, I’m not ever in danger.

I’m sure I’ll find out what the dreamy time things are about in time, though. He’s let me know that they’re where I’ll be travelling with Him when the time comes. The wait now is for my nightly practice to establish itself firmly, and through that, letting Him in little by little. The course this is all taking seems planned out, which I can appreciate. I’m not a fan of not planning, I usually only like spontaneous things if I’m the instigator or if very few people are involved. It’s kind of nice that Someone else knows what the plan is, as adults, we rarely get led onto adventures, or have true surprises (a big reason why I hate knowing what people are gifting me beforehand), so I am enjoying everything as it comes, though I have a feeling that it won’t always be without stresses and tests.

Of course, I sometimes want things to happen quicker, to get to where I’ve been hinted to w/We’re going, and then I ask if there’s anything else I should be doing. Nope. Just keep on with what’s happening now. Gotta build that strong foundation. Can’t have your house crumbling down at the slightest tremble of the earth.

Well, dear gentle reader, that’s kind of where it stands (well, not as of now, because when this is posted, I’d have already written this a week early, who knows, I could edit it in the interim with some amazeballs thing, though I don’t quite think so :P). Stay tuned for the continuing adventures!

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 – It’s Been Four Years

I got a little popup on my blog’s dashboard today that said it has been four years since I started this blog. Wow. I’ve looked back through my posts a couple times over the years, to see where I’ve been and where I am now… I can see the transitions between the research loop that can happen when really starting out, I remember the books I was reading back then (struggling to get out of the 101, yet also reading some essential books that I’d never read before). I see where I began to focus my attentions, where I’ve been Guided.
I also see where I’ve lost interest in what others are doing and saying at the moment, instead being more interested in what’s happening for me, my Gods and Spirits. It seems that sentiment also ripples out into my everyday life that isn’t much concerned with the spiritual. I wouldn’t have it any other way because I do the things that I want without a thought of what countless other people think (who ultimately have no idea what would work for me, what nourishes my spirituality).

These past four years have seen much change in the way I practice, believe, and have focused most of my life around my spirituality. I have been fortunate in the past two years to have experienced some less pleasant things that have helped me to also keep one foot here and one foot Elsewhere. As much as being depressed and floundering for over a year sucked, it was incredibly transformative, and I have begun to see where my road could be leading for future endeavours.

I thank my Gods and Spirits for sticking with me through it, and helping to show me things along the way so that when I look back at it now, I see the grander picture, where it was all leading me towards.

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 – J is for finding Joy in the Journey

We spend so much time fantasizing and trying to achieve this end goal, the reason why we’re doing all this stuff that we probably aren’t exactly enjoying, or find difficult, or don’t quite understand, yet are still doing it anyway. Well, you may say, but we need that goal, that image of what we could be on that pedestal to know what we have to be doing to get to that end.
Yes, having something to guide your path, to drive you forward through some of the more unpleasant things is good… But we need to be ok with that end goal changing, evolving, being in constant flux. We need to be ok with the fact that our goals, needs, wants change from day to day. What seems like a fantastic future today, may be trumped by another tomorrow.

You always hear about living in the “now”, of being “present”. I think this is essential, as while you’re working towards your goals that always change, you make the best of what you have right now. Find joy in the things that may seem pointless, boring, tedious, etc., on your path right now, so that you can become the spiritual person you envision in the future.

We need to be actively involved, enveloped, engrossed in the work that is put in now, in order to forge those strong connections through our actions, through our work. See through your inner child’s eyes when you discover something new in your practice, when you experience something you haven’t before. Be that child that would spend hours drawing, or singing, or dancing, all for the sake of doing it, of creating, for the love of it, and for becoming better at it.

In the past few years, all my goals have changed, over and over again. As children we’re asked what we want to be when we grow up, and then we must focus all our energy getting there. Well, we aren’t who we were as children. We become more and more complex as we age, layer upon layer of what it means to be ourselves is added, and brings its own influence. I think the ultimate goal is to just be a better person than we are now. Be a better spiritual person than we are now, adding as we walk along this path. Continue to figure out what is important to us and work with those things.

I think people just need to remember not to hold on too tightly to ideas and fantasies that are just simply not meant for who we are in this lifetime. The Gods will let us know which way to turn as we walk along our paths with Them. Just keep your heart open and They will show you. Be fluid, and enjoy the learning of your true self along the way.

Change on the Winds


I’ve been feeling kinda strange lately. A little restless, and feeling like things aren’t going to be as they are for much longer. I also feel a little hesitant to usher this change in without making a fuss about it, as I am often likely to do. I do know that I get in my own way when it comes to progress in my life. I’m a Taurus, I’m stubborn. Just my way. I even remembered the tarot spread I pulled at the Gregorian New Year when 2011 came in, and the cards told me of a big change that I was not so willing to accept. Le sigh. I also have a strange suspicion it will be good for me, alas, I will still fight it. It’s too much work, I’ll whine. I know it.

My plans for my music career are always changing, one minute I’m getting the degree, next I don’t want to. As for now, it’s a money issue, however, I want to at least take some of the courses next fall. On a good school note, however, I feel much more relaxed this year. I’m not allowing myself to worry about things I don’t need to (which is basically everything but theory).
Then the plans for what I want to do with music are finally more solid… opera chorus in the winter, wedding ceremony singing in the summer (as here there are only 4 operas a year in the fall and winter seasons). Even have a few of my friends at school who will accompany me or join me in duet work.

As far as spiritually, I feel I’m growing right now. Slowly, still in a cocoon, still not out and really into it, but close. Still fighting against the idea that I “need” certain things to practice and have a fulfilling practice. It’s falling away though. Am on a mostly daily practice lately, and it feels right.

And how are you, my lovely reader? What is this autumn blowing your way?

And The Work Begins!

So tomorrow, it’s back to school! Not that I actually have classes tomorrow. The music department cancels classes on the first day to have an assembly and figure out when each student is going to have their private lessons. Anywho, so I’ve been kinda trying to figure out what I want to do with the singing. It’s been leaning towards being in an opera chorus (as you know if you read the last music-related post). However, I’ve been thinking lately too, and this is an old idea, but I was also thinking of doing wedding ceremony singing. Not singing at receptions, but just at the ceremonies. I like the idea of working for myself (I did it for a while last year when I was dog-sitting in Ontario). Also, I get to make people’s special days more special with the awesome powers of music! And cuz I’ve been taking classical training, I can pretty much do any sort of style too because along with classical pieces, we have to do folk/musical/contemporary pieces as well, and work on just being able to sing well without putting a specific style on it. Anywho… just an idea for now. I’m going to let this year happen and get through it before I make any decisions, but I don’t think I’ll be getting the Bachelor’s degree as honestly, it’s really only good if I want to go further and look into the more academic side and get into teaching (which is totally not my bag). What I really need is the voice lessons (obviously) and the ability to sight read and pick up languages quickly, which are things I do well already, not that I’m trying to toot my own horn, lol, but I know what my strengths are, and singing is one of the only things that I will openly say I’m good at 😛

On another note, I will also be attending a Wicca 101 class with a local group! So excited to see what comes of this! I never thought I’d ever want to really get out there in the Pagan world, always figured I was a solitary witch, but lately, I’ve been feeling such a need to get in contact with others. The class I think will be good for me as I really need to start practicing more regularly, and having to do some Pagan homework (whatever that may be) will be wonderful 🙂

Scratching

I feel as though I’m only scratching at the surface. For having been on a pagan/witchy path for so long, I feel like I’ve gotten almost nowhere. I will say, I am definitely not the fluffy witch I once was, I feel more informed, more aware of the depth that is spirituality. I do realize I am still young, that I haven’t exactly experienced an incredible amount of life yet, therefore have not gained much in the way of insight and wisdom. I also realize that at this moment in time, I am going to school for music, which takes up basically all of my time, energy, and focus. Though I often think of incorporating little daily practices into my life, I suffer from all or nothing syndrome, it’s gotta be big and all out or it’s going to be nothing at all. I feel as though the biggest hindrance is my perception that my practice has to be a certain way, that it has to be grand and elaborate, and I must get all these fabulous items that cost a fortune.
I understand that this may make it seem as though I’m all about the material, tangible things, and perhaps I am, I am a Taurus after all! I feel like I really need to realize that right now, at this point in my life, my focus will be on music, that my studies and practice in my spirituality will only go so deep. Perhaps to truly delve into this, I need to wait until my other personal wells are dug, that it will all progress gradually when the time is right for me. It might be that once I am completely immersed in music, when I am making a living of it and living the music that I can also achieve a deeper connection to my spiritual path; more and more, I believe for me, they are connected.
I also feel as though I am lazy… or perhaps, afraid to get in too deep. Again, the all or nothing comes in. I shelter myself in my laziness I suppose, from really achieving anything, or failing at anything. Sigh. It’s something to work through, to work with, and conquer.

Knowing vs. Doing

My wonderful private voice lesson teacher iterates almost every weekly lesson I’m with her: “We know this intellectually, but putting it to work physically is a completely different thing.”

I think this transcends all subjects, all interests, therefore, I am writing this here in my blog about my spirituality. I’m always feeling as though I should do something spiritually. I’ve read and read about rituals, spells, meditations; you could call me more of an armchair pagan than anything else, really. I do perform rituals, I have done spells, I have called upon the Gods in dire situations; however, I feel as if there is so much information, that I am always thinking: is this right? Is this exactly what I’m supposed to be doing?

I feel a frustration with myself. I should be doing what I feel is “right”, I should be working with the spirits of the land, the wood, the herb and the Gods themselves to know what is right. I should be practicing, doing little things, building upon my knowledge by my own experiences. My brain is overstimulated by information of other people’s experiences. I thirst for knowledge, constantly seek it out, however, is all that I have learned in a text based fashion good? Is it a good thing to know so much, but have limited experience? To have that nagging scholar in the background of your mind telling you this is not how so-and-so said this should be going, that’s not how they said those Gods would react, etc.

In my voice lessons, I am proud to say that since starting school in September, I have become an immensely better singer. There are so many things I have learned and put to use. Though I have been singing since I was quite young, and actually thinking about how I was singing for a tad shorter while, what I have learned from someone who has had a professional career singing classical music has been invaluable. There have been quite a few things in this semester alone that she has told me about how to execute proper singing that made sense to me thinking about it, but I haven’t been able to put to practical use until a few months later when things finally clicked.

So, spiritually, in my practice, how will I know if I don’t try. But I don’t try because I fear it will be wrong. A horrible cycle, I know. Perhaps it is time I found myself a teacher, someone I can experience things with, talk in depth about what I’ve read and experienced myself. I suppose in the end, with or without someone to guide me, doing is key. Feeling unsatisfied with my practice will only be remedied by actual practice.

Perhaps during my break from school, I should start daily practice. While I was in my living arrangement woes a month ago, scared for my animals, my things, I prayed to the Gods everyday. It came naturally, I didn’t think about whether or not it was wrong, and I felt their power surrounding me and protecting my loved ones. Now that the fear is gone, my mind has taken over once again. It’s time for a change.

How have you overcome the fears of practice?