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?

Ritual Drunkeness

Maenad with Pan

Sometimes, in order to let go of our “real-world” mindsets, we witches use substances such as alcohol and entheogens. These enable us to get past our socially-minded constructs and get into contact with our purer, more intuitive mind, and therefore, the other realms, spirits and the Gods, as ritual helps us in sober states to achieve this. Ritual can be greatly enhanced, and the connection with Them stronger without our reality-based minds constantly intruding in on our spiritual mind.
For me, a bottle of wine does the trick. Within the first few sips, I feel my socially trained “me” drifting away, and the spiritual, “true” me coming through, making herself known. We know that most intoxicants get rid of our inhibitions, and it is quite true, and within witchcraft, it is quite a good thing (although, only if properly used: I never get drunk out of my mind; a bottle will allow me to be free without the feeling like I’m going to be sick, that I’ve poisoned my body). I feel, for me, that I can call upon the powers within me and without, without being world-weary, without thinking of how crazy all this is, how crazy magic and the Gods seem to be.

There is some mainstream thoughts that whilst doing spellwork, or ritual, one must be sober, and connect with the spiritual mind and world as such. While I agree, that perhaps group/coven work may be a little controversial with taking mind altering substances, I mostly practice alone at the moment, and with the right people, I believe it could be a powerful experience. I’m also not one who really follows others’ views, unless I have verified for myself that they work for me. The thing about being a witch is that our beliefs can be based on what we, ourselves, experience first hand, as it should be. What works for one will not always work for everyone else, which is why the big religions are losing such favour. Despite the fact that they fill you with fear of nasty after-lives, it’s all spectatorship, never direct involvement, and the thought that what is good for one, is good for all. How are you to be moved with deep, spiritual feeling without participating, and Hel, without figuring out how you can improve your connection to your beliefs by finding out ways to enhance the connection to the Divine?

If using substances can enhance (not hinder), then use it. But, and a big but at that, you must find the balance of the ecstatic feeling brought on by substances, and pure, destructive drunkeness in order to truly be able to use it properly to connect with the Divine. Know what your limits are, if a few sips is enough, then it is enough. If a puff is enough, then it is enough. Do not take more, lest you should experience something you are not prepared for and may be quite damaging.

The Hierophant

The Fool continues on his journey, but has now been struck down by fear and doubt. Is his idea going to work? What if all he’s worked for is taken or lost? What if it all is just not good enough?

The Fool, in his panic, finds himself visiting a holy place to find some peace from these fears and doubts. He sees the Hierophant, and asks him how to overcome his negative thoughts. The Hierophant tells him that he must either abandon all that he fears to lose in order for it to hold no power over him, or realize that he will still have the experience and new knowledge if what he fears comes to pass.

When you pull the Hierophant in a spread, the spiritual is being brought down to earth, peace and harmony is being strived for. With the mix of spirituality and earth, the focus is on education, religion, marriage. He may appear in your life as a mentor of some sort, someone who you really respect and look up to.

Whether or not the Hierophant physically manifests as a mentor in your life, the focus is on learning, gaining knowledge, and knowing that whether or not we lose what we’ve worked for, we have the experiences and lessons learned from what we’ve accomplished.

Sources:

  1. Aeclectic
  2. Discover the Meaning of Tarot 

Cleaning As Ritual

Today was a day to clean here for me. The dishes like to pile up even though there is only two of us living in this house, and unfortunately, I get to be the one that washes them (the man gets to come home and put them away).

So what I wanted to write about today is something I’ve been meditating on for the past few months (albeit, still having a hard time truly putting to good use, lol): cleaning as a magic(k)al ritual or daily practice.

besombroom

The word “ritual” is described in the dictionary as follows:
1. an established or prescribed procedure for a religious or other rite.
2. a system or collection of religious or other rites.
3. observance of set forms in public worship.
4. a prescribed or established rite, ceremony, proceeding, or service: the ritual of the dead.
5. any practice or pattern of behavior regularly performed in a set manner.

History and Origin
1570, from L. ritualis “relating to (religious) rites,” from ritus “rite”. The noun is first recorded 1649. Ritualistic first recorded 1850.

The word “rite” is described in the dictionary as follows:
the performance of ceremonial acts prescribed by tradition or by sacerdotal decree. Ritual is a specific, observable mode of behaviour exhibited by all known societies. It is thus possible to view ritual as a way of defining or describing humans.

History and Origin
early 14c., from L. ritus “religious observance or ceremony, custom, usage,” perhaps from PIE base *re(i)- “to count, number” (cf. Gk.arithmos “number,” O.E. rim “number”). Rite of passage (1909) is translated from Fr. rite de passage, coined by French anthropologist Arnold van Gennep

My lovely dirty dishes, and some bubbles in the sink.

Most of us by now have performed at some point, or quite regularly, a ritual bath. It symbolizes cleaning our bodies and our minds in preparation to commune with our gods, or to have quiet time by ourselves to meditate and cleanse and wash away the physical dirt and emotional dirt.
It’s like brushing your teeth. You do it everyday to make sure that there is no buildup to cause cavities or other nasty mouth related maladies. There is a constant inflow of “dirt”, and if you don’t take care of it, there can be some serious repercussions.

Now translating this to an everyday integration of magic(k) in your life is quite simple, yet a lot of us continue ever to be armchair pagans, not employing this mindfulness and spiritual association in our realities. Again, this is something that is incredibly simple. When washing my dishes, I imagine that while I’m watching the dirty water go down the drain, all of my worries are going with it; the clean dishes giving me a clean slate. For those of us with a hard time keeping the whole house clean, I really do find that a messy house makes me tired, and after it has been cleaned, I feel such an enjoyment that I’ve done work to make my surroundings beautiful and enjoyable. I’m not embarrassed to have people come in, and it makes me feel more in sync with the energies that are now flowing easily through the house rather than having a hard time concentrating on the important things in life instead of wishing the messiness in my house would go away.

Now that is just a simple way of being mindful and magic(k)al when you are just living day to day and doing a mundane thing. There are obviously a lot of spells and chants you can do while cleaning to make it even that much more effective. It’s all a matter of how much you want to integrate your spirituality into your everyday life, and seeing the magic(k) in the mundane. You can bless your house, ward of unproductive or malicious energies, make spiritual room for abundance, love, luck, prosperity. It’s all up to you what you decide to make of things that are less than exciting that must be done.