Day 1 & 2 of the #30DaysMagicalRoots Challenge

I’ve decided to follow along with this month long challenge by the good folk at Plentiful Earth. You can follow along on social media with the tag #30daysmagicalroots. It’s essentially daily prompting of simple things you can do to get back in tune with your magical/spiritual practice. Or, if you’re a brand new witch, a great month-long foundation of practices.

This post is a day late because I ended up celebrating Lughnasadh with the fam at their camp site, had a dinner with corn on the cob (yummmm!), then went swimming with the niece up until the sun set. So, happy belated Lughnasadh! I hope your day was as lovely as mine!

Day 1 DIVINATION
Use your favorite form of divination to ask “What should my focus be for this month?” Reflect on the themes of your divination reading. What answer speaks to you the most?

I pulled out my gorgeous Mucha Tarot deck and pulled VII The Chariot. I don’t think I’ve ever pulled The Chariot for myself in all my years of reading, so this was interesting!

This card speaks to victory, to being the conquering hero, or the hero who returns home to glory after a successful adventure. However, the keys to this victory lie in the balancing of our darker self with the light. Just as fear can either prompt us into preventative action or paralyzation, so too can joy provide us energy to continue reaching higher, or simply be complacent and lazy. The point is to continue to push forward, at a proper pace that feeds the drive for success, but also allows for proper resting time to renew that drive.

I feel this is a very appropriate card not only in terms of spirituality, but business, and well, life in general! Spiritually, I’ve been really wanting to get back into my craft, my practices. Business, I have a craft show on the 10th of August that I’m excited for, and then the building of a garden workshop so that I can have more room for the coming (crazy) gifting season. This card lets me know that success is possible so long as I keep things in check, make sure there are no overly hasty decisions, nor procrastination that turns into not doing anything at all.  This was the perfect card!

DAY 2 GROUNDING
Practice grounding today (and every day this challenge)! What is your favorite way to do this? If you have never done this before go to YouTube and do a search for grounding techniques.

I used to ground fairly regularly, especially before sleeping. A big reason for that was because I was dealing with a lot of depression for a few years, and quite a bit of anxiety. And as you all know, anxiety loves when you’re trying to sleep to rear its ugly head and torment you!

Thankfully, anxiety the last 2-3 years has been at a minimum, as well as the depression (oh, Sun, I really missed you during the long overcast winters of Vancouver!). That means that grounding has also fallen to the wayside.

I didn’t ground yesterday, but I did this morning, and it felt good. It felt like nostalgia almost. I like to visualize roots stretching out from my feet, sinking into the earth, and wrapping around rock and soil. I breathe up the Earth’s energies, filling my energetic body from toe to head. There is also another root that used to flow from the base of my spine, but seems to want to be the top of my head now, that allows the energies being pushed out by the Earth’s energies to flow into the ground as well. I simply breathe this in until I’m completely full of Earth energy, and I have become an extension of the Earth.

Now, tomorrow’s prompt is to center yourself. I realize that my grounding technique is also a centering one, so I will simply continue with the technique, and perhaps spend a little bit longer each day breathing in Earth.

 

For the rest of the challenge, I’ll be sharing about my experiences here and on Instagram, so if you’d like to follow me there too, you can!

The Hanged Man

The Hanged Man - Jamie Batrez

The Hanged Man – Jamie Batrez

The Fool’s Journey
Now the Fool has come upon a tree, intent on finding his spirituality. He sits down at the base of the tree, and days pass, people and animals move past him, the sun, moon, and stars cross the sky above him for nine days. He takes no food in this time. On that ninth day, with no forethought or logic to what he is doing, he climbs up the tree and hangs himself upside down.
His entire perspective of the world has changed, all that he knows he is is surrendered in the moment. This new perspective has allowed him to perceive his current state of hanging between the worlds of earth and spirit. He knows he will not be able to stay in this state forever, but he enjoys this moment of weightlessness.
When he finally allows himself to return to the earthly world, things will be changed for him. He will have to act on his knowledge and wisdom.

Meaning
Now is a time for rest, but only from action. We suspend ourselves upside down, and therefore apart from the world around us so that we can go inward to the infinite universe within each of us. Meditation, sacrifice, trials, prophecy, and selflessness; these are what we are facing right now in order for us to gain the knowledge, insight, and enlightenment that is needed at this time.
Just as Odin sacrificed Himself on the tree for the runes, great magical knowledge and ability, we must set ourselves apart and seek out the solutions to our problems, the price the sacrifice pays for.

Don’t Be A Dick

So Heather Freysdottir, Jolene Dawe, and Beth Lynch all wrote some pretty awesome stuff about community work assumptions concerning Godspouses, as well as Heather and Beth revealing something fantastic about themselves. I’m right on board with these ladies.

It’s not that our communities don’t need people willing to serve the actual community of humans, it’s that just because someone may be in close relationship with a God (especially Godspouses), does not automatically make them beholden to a human community’s spiritual needs on a personal level. Unless someone specifically says that they are doing certain things for the human community, don’t assume they’ll do something for you that isn’t already being offered, and don’t expect that they have to just because they are close with a God and you might be trying to seek out or get confirmation and you asked really nicely, pretty, pretty please?

Let me say this, and I am trying to say this in the most polite, frithful way that I can: some perfectly legitimate Godspouses/Beloveds/Consorts don’t do any spiritwork, aside from their relationship with their Beloved. In fact, the only thing that those persons can chat about with other Lokeans might well be their personal, intimate relationship with their Beloved. The fact that it isn’t easily apparent to someone on the Internet does not meant that the person does not serve the community in one respect or another. If I could namecheck the person (and I will not unless they give me permission to do so), their Great Work might well impact the whole damn world. If someone’s Work is say, environmental research, perhaps instead of thinking that said spouse doesn’t serve “the community” – which is a statement akin to “won’t someone think of the children!!11!!!” in the sense that usually when it comes out of someone’s mouth, they’re not really thinking of the children at all, but I digress –  maybe we should be considering that the Powers’ perspective of “the community” is the whole damn world.

Lesson to be learned: don’t be a dick. Just because some people speak about their experiences in one capacity or another doesn’t necessarily mean that they are open to serve you.

Also in these posts are things about accepting that the Gods wish to experience human lives with chosen people, and that some of us are not only ourselves, but smaller parts of Gods. I’m really happy Heather and Beth revealed these things about themselves, we need to be much more open to different experiences and realities. Whether or not you believe it to be true, doesn’t make something less true and valid for the person who experiences and believes it. The Gods are capable of things very much beyond what we humans can do, why not this? We need more information on the roles the Gods can play in our lives, not shaming, name calling, and general jerkiness when you hear something that seems way too out there from your perspective. We’ve lost too much knowledge our Ancestors had before the conversions.

We as humans constantly seek out new experiences, why would the immortal Gods not seek that out too? Why would the Ones we know have even bothered interacting with us in the first place if They weren’t curious, interested, seeking more knowledge and experience?

So as much as we don’t need to believe that everyone claiming they’re (insert deity or spirit here), it’s not up to us to validate them anyway. The same goes the other way, you don’t need others’ validation in what you do/are/experience spiritually, or any other way for that matter. Unless you’re murdering kittens. Don’t do that.
So if you don’t really think someone is the real deal, move on. What effect does their spiritual life have on you anyway? Especially when it’s someone you only know online and from a distance?

Lesson to be learned: don’t be a dick! Move along now.

PBP – 7 Witchy (Pagan/Polytheist) Questions

This was originally posted on YouTube by Ember HoneyRaven, and I just watched Beth & Jo’s response to it and decided to make my own video! Woooow. Everyone is starting to get on the video wagon… which I definitely don’t think is a bad thing. We need to get out there, Pagan folks!

Also, I’m posting this a day early because I want to! 😛

 

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 – In The Broom Closet

The Crystal Ball - John William Waterhouse

The Crystal Ball – John William Waterhouse

Moving back to a rural farming town in Ontario, where most people are some form of Christian, or at the very least, haven’t had much exposure to other non-monotheistic religions (not even mentioning anything that lies under the pagan umbrella), I’ve had a while to think about how being of a completely different, non-mainstream religion will affect me and the people I am in contact with.

As much as I find so much joy in my path, so much spiritual nourishment, it’s not something I will likely be shouting out to anyone in earshot. That’s not to say no one knows, that people who are not in any way pagan don’t know, they do. I am in the closet, but the door is wide open. In fact, there’s a window in here, and actually, I wouldn’t call it a closet, more like a huge room brightly lit and full of talismans, herbs, trinkets and many a witchy thing. It comes down to being very selective of who gets to really know about it. As much as I am a performer (hello, wanted to be an opera lady), I am such an introvert and non-people person. In fact, I would say I generally don’t like most people, and that’s fine with me as it takes way too much time away from things I’d rather be doing than if I were trying to be friends with everyone I meet. I am a lady who just wants to go outside and do things quietly, well, I may be singing while I do it, but very much alone. That’s kind of how it’s always been for me. I was a kid who would spend most daylight hours out in the woods alone, apart from when my sister would want to come and play, exploring, finding things to collect, climbing trees, getting sap in my hair. And that just suits me fine.

I have loved being part of a group, and I suspect I will be doing that again when opportunity and time to devote to it arises. But I doubt you’ll find me leading a local ritual open to the public. I’m a person who does not like to bother others as I wish not to be bothered. I also like the idea of people going by my house maybe seeing me do something “weird” (possibly could be referring to wyrd) in the garden, and wonder what that’s about… I like that mystery. Mystery is good. Mystery is part of my path. To outsiders, why shouldn’t I be mysterious? Those who know what to look for will spot the clues.

Writing here, although it hasn’t been incredibly revealing of even my specific beliefs or practices, is my little soap box, I guess. But really, it’s more about documenting things that pique my interest, or a revelation I’ve had (albeit in vague ways). I am not really about human validation of my spirituality. I listen to my Gods, my Ancestors, and Others Who I continue to build relationships with; I ask Them for guidance, for Their insights, for Their needs to direct my actions. Basically, I’m just going about my own business, I know what I’m doing, and when I swerve a little, They help to put me aright, even if I’m oblivious that I’m walking the wrong way. And who’s to say that there is a wrong way? But I digress.

 

Thankfully, in the end, I’m not keeping myself out of sight in that capacity because I fear for myself or loved ones should people find out about it. Generally, those who find out have been quite blaze really about it. People my age (and younger I’ll assume)  tend to be more of a “whatever” attitude when it comes to those things because it doesn’t affect them. It’s kind of an interesting thing when you get a lot of people who are generally super self-absorbed that they just don’t really care what others are doing around them. I’m cool with that.

As for older than me folk (especially old enough to be my parent and beyond), it’s not something I bring up. Especially when I know they’re pretty into their own faith (which is most likely the one that thinks all others are misguided).

I suppose you could say it’s sad that they are allowed to be passionate and speak about their faith, but that someone like me who doesn’t follow that mainstream spirituality has to be on the quiet side if they don’t want any trouble from others about it. I could be loud and out there about it, sure. But I don’t believe that’s my spiritual work. Sure I get upset at the ignorance people more often than not show, but I am not a confrontational person. You can’t teach someone about things grander than their own narrow world view when what they’ve been taught is to be unaccepting, or intolerant at the very least, of views that are so different from their own. It’s my way or the highway.

Unfortunately the whole two sided, good vs evil, black vs white, right vs wrong  is still too dominant in the mindset that’s been brewing, at least here in North America. I’d rather just putter away in my garden, making magick, offering to the Gods, Ancestors, and Spirits, perform my rituals and nourish my spirituality and spiritual relationships than worry about other humans who should be figuring things out for themselves rather than making it all about everyone other than themselves by judging everyone else and seeking constant validation.

Connections

I recently had one of those long talks with my love that inevitably come up when things come to boiling point. Don’t worry, we’re generally not a yelly couple, things just need to be understood, and explanations for actions actually discussed.

So in this conversation, I had said to him that with my spirituality, all things are touched by it in my life. All thoughts generally go back to what the Gods are trying to teach me through whatever I am experiencing at the moment and how that ties in with all the things leading up to that point that have the same sort of lesson attached to it. Then that gets used after the lesson is learned in how I view the world and my actions. All things are very connected for me, and all things affect the smallest actions to the largest.

However, my love said to me that for him, he feels he knows there are connections, he can see how one thing can be connected to another, but he can’t actually see them for what they are, that he knows he is missing something.
Is this the thing that separates spiritual people from the non-spiritual?

I know I’ve read that there is some chemical or link in the brain that’s thought of as what makes the difference between those who believe and those who don’t… could the thought pattern of that brain anomaly be just the ability to see the connections between all things, the microcosm and the macrocosm?

There is always a lesson to be learned, always something to be pondered.

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.

Another Turn Around the Sun

Cold_Cast_Bronze_Pagan_Wiccan

Well, it’s been another year of my life… and what a year it’s been! I am so thankful for the sun and warm weather after the past winter. And while I didn’t necessarily enjoy the winter very much, I am thankful for the experience and the being forced to deal with, well, shit. Not to say that it’s over because I think now I am to look at it from a bit of a distance, as a whole, and delve into the spiritual Work that needs doing. There’s a reason why these things hit us hard, and I have a feeling it’s ultimately going to shape my path.

Look at me, all serious! Well, honestly, things are getting serious. I feel as though I’ve only been standing close to the fence after jumping over it into paganism as a fresh teenager; never daring to really walk in the shaded forest beyond. It’s definitely scary, sometimes shockingly so. But I am glad for it.
image

These beautiful flowers came in today from my lovely parents 🙂

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.