The Pagan Experience: Personal Practice

I realize I’m posting the first two prompts of The Pagan Experience very close together, but who cares? I certainly don’t. I will write when I feel called to it for the blog. So that means I may not write for every prompt, in fact, for PBP, I have never written for the last month or two at the end of the years I did it because having to do ALL THE THINGS, as well as having SAD, which makes me want to do absolutely nothing.

Ok, so enough moseying around the subject for today! Also, why do I feel the need to explain myself? Note to self: just do stuff, you’re not a child, you don’t have to explain every detail of why you do the things you do in the way that you do it to anyone but yourself, if you’re so inclined. Love you.

Right. We’re truly on track for the blog now! This week is about favourite practices, could be spiritual, could be magickal. I’m gonna pick both.

For the magickal side, I don’t do a lot of spells, but I do move energy about when I need to. At bedtime, especially on nights when my mind won’t shut up, I clear out my body and brain of all the things I’m holding on to that don’t serve my purpose of sleep and rest. I do a cleansing breath thing, nothing I found in a book or online, just something that came to me organically. That’s probably one of my favourite magickal practices because it takes a few minutes, and then I can more easily fall asleep (which I sometimes have problems with).

For the spiritual side, one of my favourite things to do is offer songs to the spirits I work with. There was a lot of that in the summer with being outside lots. Apparently that’s where I feel most inspired to sing, and I can’t be upset with that inclination. At home there’s always people about, the house is rarely without at least two people in it (including me), and it’s not that I’m shy about singing, it’s that when you sing from the heart, it’s super personal, and these songs are not for human ears, unless I’ve worked on the songs, and am inspired to share. Also, the Man works nights, so the conduciveness of my singing at home just isn’t right at the moment. Most of the song offerings have been on the spot things that just come to me. Sometimes, it’s whatever song happens to be in my head at the time (moreso if I’m out in the woods and singing to the winds and the trees, and the land spirits).

So there it is, some favourite practices of mine. Nothing complicated, just simple things that resonate with me.

The Pagan Experience Looking Forward

Thanks to a few of the bloggers I read, I am now going to participate in The Pagan Experience, as a step up from the Pagan Blog Project. Now I don’t mean that in a negative light, it just feels like PBP is more for those starting out, the prompts emphasize the history, tools, etc. of Paganism and Witchcraft. While I like to go back every once in a while and give a thought as to why we use what we use, the power in tools of the tangible and intangible sort, I feel like it’s no longer the time for me to continue “starting out”. Also, most of the PBP posts that I’ve written in the past year and a half, perhaps more, have been more personal, less of that initial Learn. All. The. Things.
I’m still learning of course, but it’s much less about the books now, and more about the actual practice, the interactions that I have. Learning things by rote helps a bit, but can you remember all the things you had to memorize when you were in grade school? Probably not. What stays in mind are the experiences, things connected to emotions, and spirituality is abundant in the emotional department.

Alright, so to get to the point of this first Pagan Experience blog post, resolutions! I don’t really do them. I generally have things that I am always working towards anyhow, so I’ll share what the coming year will have in store for me.

1. Write. I need to finish the novel I began writing for NaNo. I’m still excited about the story, but I need to take some time to plan out what’s going to happen in each chapter till the end of the book.
I am also going to write short stories of erotica to publish on a fairly regular basis. I enjoy writing it as much as I love reading it, and sometimes, you just gotta write your own stuff to see what you want to see. I’ve already got a neat world I’m working in, and I’m excited to see where it goes as well. I think with this first story, there will be more, a bigger story that will be put out in instalments. It’s also going to be a way for me to sharpen my story writing skills so that the big stories I have to tell will be done so in a much cleaner way.

2. Redo my garden this year, cutting down some of the things that didn’t seem to work well, and what we didn’t tend to eat very much of. It will also be a year of knowing what will need to be better taken care of on this particular plot, now that I’ve gone through a growing season with it. And this year, I absolutely must remember to get my sister to bring some horse poop in the fall! (The poop is the most important goal, of course!)
I will also be making a bigger effort for herbs, both culinary and medicinal. Of course, it can all be used magickally, but you already knew that, right? Also, herbs and flowers in the garden keep pests away, so there’s also that.

3. Eat well, move more. Nothing specific. I’m not going to say I want to lose such and such amount of weight. I just want to take care of my body, which is something that’s already on my mind every day anyway.

4. Spiritually, I’d like to allow myself to just do things when I feel moved to. Not to just sit there thinking that there’s going to be too much involved. We do things when inspired because we are deeply moved to do it, ritual and celebration helps us to mark important things in our lives, and I need to do this more. I’m not saying I’m going to do ALL. THE. RITUALS. I am not a ritual kind of person. Only once in a while. No, if I feel like I need to bake something for an offering, or do a specific spell, or say a prayer in a more formal and marked way, I will do it.

5. Sing more. I’ve been moved more and more lately to sing. Not as intensely as I have pursued it before, but music is calling. I often think of writing, but my best tunes come out in the shower and I forget when I’m done. Yes, I realize I should just bring my phone in and record. Welp, there’s a thought πŸ˜› Thank you, writing this post for making me think of that!

I think these are the basic things I am seeking to do this year. Nothing too crazy, just things that I feel are attainable, as I already endeavour to do them anyway.

PBP – The Pause

When it is Dark Enough - Kirsten Bailey

When it is Dark Enough – Kirsten Bailey

I have been mulling over what this lack of music in my life the past few years has meant. As you can imagine, first there was much frustration, feeling of failure, floundering in the “what the hell am I doing with my life” thoughts.

But now I’ve come to a place where I understand this is just a pause. A breather from all the work I’ve put in so far, and while right now, it feels like it has been such a long time, in the grander picture of a whole life and all the years I’ve spent perfecting my craft, it’s not very long at all.

I keep thinking that this is just a good night’s rest after a very long day. Yes, a day of much happiness, and near the end, quite a bit of frustration and some anger, but a long day of hard work. Now it’s just time for rest. I feel as though the pause may be coming to an end as I am feeling more and more a pull growing to get back to my work. However, the pull is not enough to wake me up yet.

And that’s ok.

Just as we experience fallow times needed for rest within our magical/spiritual practices, we experience it everywhere else within our lives. Everything cycles, and I have finally come to a resting period in a 21 year musical journey.

I have a feeling that whilst the music has had a pause, and my spirituality has evolved quite a bit in that time, when I find my voice again, the two will be heavily intertwined. Whether that means I am writing inspired pieces, or searching for operas heavily influenced by the Gods and Their stories, who knows. I am just allowing myself to be open to anything that comes in to move me.

 

As much as this pause has brought me frustration and anger at myself before coming to the conclusions I write about here, I have learned the hard lesson of allowing myself needed rest. Allowing myself to accept that I cannot possibly be working at this for every single moment. So I remain in this pause with more appreciation of it now, enjoying the rest, and beginning to look forward to the day when I begin singing again in earnest.

 

*This post and these thoughts have been quite influenced by Anni’s Greystone Path course. I am so very grateful for what it has brought to me, the realizations and discoveries of myself so far.

PBP – Longing for the Divine

The Soul of the Rose - John William Waterhouse 1908

The Soul of the Rose – John William Waterhouse 1908

This is why we search, why we struggle, why we (sometimes) leave what others have told us is the right way, to sometimes push those people away. There is a longing, and it brings us to a journey that not many will understand. We need to connect with the divine, to know the Gods, however we see them, to know the spirits of all the things that surround us.

I’m writing this because I recognize after all this time on my path, I still long, I still yearn for a life ever more so entwined with the divine, to live an enchanted life. It hasn’t waned at all over the years, in fact, each day it grows stronger. This burning desire pushes me forward, has kept my mind day in and day out ever on the fact that all of this life I am living is touched and woven with magic, with love, with Gods and Spirits; nothing is devoid of the spiritual, though we try really hard to drown it out with constant visual and audio distraction.

Each day I try to think of all the ways in which I could be strengthening this or that connection, and yet… and yet I keep being told that it all lies within my voice, within music for me.

Perhaps it is this terrible consumer culture I’ve grown up in that keeps leading me to want to have all the tools (more on the spiritual side than the physical, tangible tools), but I’ve spent basically my whole life honing this voice. That is my tool. I understand sometimes we need to step back, and for the last while, I really needed to. Now, there’s such a push, and each time I sing, each time I create a song or a chant, I am brought closer to Them. It reignites my longing over and over for the Divine.

Riding on the Path

The man and I just picked up our one speed cruiser bikes yesterday. I’ve been out once today and I believe I’ll be going out with him tonight before he goes to work. I’ve named her Mona… although her name just came to me πŸ™‚ I’m thinking she needs a bigger basket on the front end, and I shall be seeing about a basket for the back.
I wanted to go for a long ride yesterday, but there were a lot of people on the trail, and my muscles needed a little while to get used to it. We also picked up one of those non-powered lawn mowers for between the garden plots. Let me say, that although I had to get down and hand prune some of the bigger, thicker “weeds”, it looks much better now!
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So today, at lunch, I took Mona out for a ride. I didn’t expect to take any pictures, but I needed to when I got in there. It smells divine on this trail, so very sweet with flowers in some areas, then you can smell the river, and marshy, algae filled areas. It’s so very loud with birds now. Yesterday, a sweet rabbit didn’t want to leave the path until I got rather close (of course I went slowly).
This is past the bridge for the road that runs over the trail, where it starts getting much more wild.

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These flowers love this area. They’re along most of the trail, dark purple and light, pink, and white.
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The Saugeen River, with its brownish water. Don’t worry, it’s quite safe, much tubing down the river to be done in the summer. Although, not sure how warm it will be since this past winter was so terribly cold.2014-06-09 123

Taking a moment for a drink, and a picture.Β 2014-06-09 124

This is farm country too, and a large farm or two can be seen while travelling.2014-06-09 125

This is the section of the path near the end that I like to call the Sun Path. As you can see, there isn’t enough growing on either side of the path for much shade to be given as there is farmland. I thank Sunna for her warm light as the breeze passes by me. That’s the nice thing about biking, it may not be breezy out, but you can make your own if you keep on peddling.2014-06-09 126

Looking back from the end of the trail. It didn’t feel like it took very long.Β 2014-06-09 127

The rolling hills of Southwestern Ontario.

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These beautiful birch trees sang to me on my way back home. Then I realized I should be singing too. A song of greeting to the forest land came to me, and I sang it a few times on the way home. Perhaps with all these songs coming to me, I should be getting them recorded. It seems things always come back to that, but I am being truly inspired by being out and about, as they say. (I am Canadian, you know, it works well for me πŸ˜‰ ).Β 2014-06-09 129

PBP – The Love of Green

This morning, I luckily got out in time before a downpour to check on my garden. I had noticed yesterday that there were seedlings above the soil, but it was much too humid and hot to bother with staying in the direct sunlight to take pictures. This morning, after off and on downpouring yesterday, and rain through the night, it was much more pleasant to walk around in the sun to check on things. I guess I won’t be needing to do much watering for a little while.

As I was walking around a few days ago, I noticed at the back of our property, just behind the fence that houses a swampy area beyond it, there is a grapevine happily growing away, attaching itself to the fence and the pine tree that stands behind it. I was shocked for a moment, as I have been thinking of grape growing, but didn’t know how it would do in my climate, and there it was, just doing its own thing all by itself. I’m thinking I may harvest some leaves for dolmades at some point. Yum. We’ll also have to wait to see how the grapes turn out. I wouldn’t mind using them for food, but would love to make some wine if I think the grapes would make a decent one.

Apparently there are grapes growing in the back yard :D

Apparently there are grapes growing in the back yard πŸ˜€

This cattail stood the test of this long, frigid winter and hangs out, wafting in the winds. I wonder if the fibers have been used to make yarn before? Must Google.

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This lovely, red branched bush is producing flowers, it looks like they will become berries later in the year. Before we moved out west, these bushes had not been on the property, so it’s a new addition, as well as some ferns that have made their way to the fence.

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These beans are coming up quite well. There’s a strange uncertainty that happens when you plant all your seeds, and then there’s nothing left but to water and wait for them to turn into seedlings. I thought a lot about the seeds not producing anything, that all my planning and hard work digging out the plots would all be for naught. It might yet be for naught if some freak weather happens, or some pest or animal comes in and makes a meal of my young plants. Alas, only time will tell.

Bean

Kentucky Wonder Bean

These willows are providing much for me this year. I’ve always had an extreme fondness of Weeping Willows, they were one of my most favouritest trees to climb when I was a child, and now they quietly watch as I putter in the garden. I tell them my secrets.

Weeping Willow

Weeping Willow

This is the delicious Swiss chard coming up. I decided I wanted colourful veggies, and so I picked out Rainbow Swiss Chard, along with some rainbow mixed carrots. Next year, I want purple cauliflower.

Rainbow Lights Swiss Chard

Rainbow Lights Swiss Chard

My potatoes are finally starting to show their sprouts above the dirt. The red more than the Yukon Gold at this point, but I am excited.

Norland Red Potato

Norland Red Potato

This flower, which loves growing around here as I see it on the hiking trails all summer long, has graced one of my garden paths since we can’t get the ride-on mower in there. We’re planning on getting a non-powered push mower with a basket on the back to do the paths and a very steep hill that I’m thinking may eventually house some flowers.

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This rhubarb slowed for a while after I planted it in ground, now more leaves are starting to pop up, so I’m quite excited for rhubarb pies!

Rhubarb

Rhubarb

The onions just kind of shot up over night two nights ago. One day, there were a few little spikes of green coming out of the soil, maybe half an inch long, now there are many, even up to three inches above the soil.

Dutch Onions

Dutch Onions

I’m singing blessings to my seedlings each night as I water them. It puts me in a trance, and then I just hum the tune as it now holds the power of the words to be sung with it. So far, the land seems to be happy with my endeavours, and I’m making fairly regular offerings.

It is so incredibly good to have dirt beneath my finger nails and staining the bottoms of my feet again. Playing in dirt releases chemicals that makes you kind of high, and rightfully so.

She Moved Through The Fair

What’s this? I’ve sung again? I thought I’d sing a love song, and since it’s the season of the Dead, it’s a sad one.

I thought I’d do a song before I begin NaNoWriMo on Friday. What’s NaNoWriMo? If you don’t know already, It’s National Novel Writing Month. I’ve been itching to write a story or two for some time now, and I’m feeling pushed. Writing has never been my thing, I have some pretty great ideas for stories, but I am a singer, my creativity has always come out best that way.

However, with all the hoo-haa of this year, lots of things have been changing or coming to light for me. That, and it’s a bit of a dedication to my Lady, considering what the topic is and all. I may or may not try to do something with it after I go back and edit and whatnot, but who knows!?

So if you are Wrimo-ing this year, add me as a writing buddy! I’m under the same name there, Miaerowyn.

 

While things have been quiet around here for a little while (for reasons), they will continue to be so during November while I furiously type away. I may or may not write about what’s been going on, I haven’t decided yet. Suffice it to say, this past year has had me deep in Shadow work. Most of the time I’m ok with the fact that I’ve been in darkness, just because I know eventually I will be able to really appreciate the happy times more, that I will be stronger, and more focused. I also know there’s a lot of learning and work in this, but that definitely does not make it any easier. I suppose after Who came to me last year, I’m not surprised everything has changed.
I’ll leave it at that for now, I’ve got a curry dinner to make. Hope all is well for you out there, this season.

Hail to those who have passed this year, Hail to the Ancestors, and Hail to the Gods!

Pagan Blog Project – N is for New Perspective

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The last few weeks has been full of preparations to attend the Sunwheel Pagan Arts Fest in Alberta, and helping some friends during an emergency. In the past few weeks of finishing the blanket, I had contemplated selling pagan themed knit blankets online.

The weekend and few days before travelling to the Fest, I had fallen in a terrible dark place that I couldn’t seem to climb out of. Something became clear from it, yet even after that realization, I still was full of despair.

I was hoping for lots of sun in Alberta, and boy did I get it! It was very hot, and the moment you began to move, you broke out in sweat. But I asked for it. The very first night, I walked on glass then fire. Being told to write down something that we wished to walk over through fire, it took me a minute to realize the all encompasing problem I’ve had the past 9 months… fear. It was at first fear of death, which mellowed into just an overall fear.

Well, I walked some of it out over the fire… then I sweat it out over the weekend, enduring the fire of the sun, and the fire of alcohol. As much as I was dreading going the day before, I am so thankful for having gone with some of my trad and coven mates, and making friends with fabulous people.

So, what’s this new perspective? It’s this: I need to sing. I have to drop all of these other ideas of doing something else for a living/career. There’s a reason why nothing else sticks. Being surrounded by amazing and talented people like Chalice and Blade (who also happen to be friends), Heather Dale and Ben, Sharon Knoght and Winter, and Vanessa Cardui along with her posse…. I realized in creating and performing my music in a pagan sphere will give me what I need as a performer (the ability to control my schedule), and as someone who wants a house, a garden, and children one day in the not so distant future.
I’m not going to have to worry about some other prima donna soprano ready to take my place every time I need quiet and home, and having a very difficult time trying to find a spot in an opera when I’m ready to go back in.

Now I’m writing these songs that have broke through the distraction of fear, and researching how to do what needs doing leading up to being a pagan musician.

Hail the Sun!

Game of Thrones

I have to admit it… I’m obsessed right now with Game of Thrones. The season ended, and I got the books on my Kobo. I read the first in two weeks… the fastest I’ve ready anything that big before (seeing as my man takes the Kobo to work with him during the day).

So… then I wanted to sing the theme song, cuz I thought it’d be fun… here it is! πŸ˜‰
I’m going to continue tweaking how I record because this white noise just won’t do… It irks me to no end, but oh well for now! πŸ˜‰

Willow’s Song

So… I’ve been getting a lot of comments about how I should be a pagan artist. It’s been pulling at me for a while now… I’ve thought about it over the years… I’m not sure!! I would totally love doing it though… but I also wonder about my love of singing opera… can I do that too?

Anyway, here’s what I’ve been doing today πŸ˜‰ I need a better, tiny room that doesn’t have a lot of white noise… but I still think it turned out well πŸ™‚