Monday, December 31, 2012

Musing Monday (12-31-12)

Ponder this.  Just about everyone I know is looking forward to the new year with an excitement that I haven't seen before and it got me thinking about a few things.  Firstly, why are we so excited about it?  Is it some subconscious knowing that there has been a shift and that amazing things are going to happen?  Is it just the hopes of something better amplified by the fact that for so many 2012 was a shocker?  Am I just more aware of peoples feelings for the new year because I myself am really looking forward to the changes?  I haven't quite made up my mind on what the reasoning behind it all is, maybe it is a bit of all of that.

Secondly, will all this positive desire create the change everyone is hoping for?  If our energies can affect an outcome you have to wonder, are we going to create the change we so desire?  With so many people focused on 2013 being an amazing year will we in essence create our own vision?  Is 2013 be amazing simply because we desire it to be so?

(Source: http://thenextweb.com/lifehacks/2012/12/29/13-web-apps-you-need-to-start-off-2013-right/)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

New Year - New Blog

So with the new year peering around the corner I have decided that it is time to dip my toes back into this blog with some revamping along the way.  Sadly, I will not be participating in the Pagan Blog Project in 2013 - as anyone who has seen this blog can tell I just couldn't keep up with it this past year and I have my thesis to write in the new year so I will have even less time to work on extra items for an extended period.

With that in mind I've decided to set myself some blogging goals though.  To start with I've tried to assign a blog theme to each day of the week and I will attempt to post something on each week day.  I am toying with running an overall theme for the year (Deities, Alphabet topic choice, etc) that would run on a fortnightly or monthly basis, but I'm not decided yet.

I have moved my oracle readings and tarot readings over to a separate blog (there is a link on the right hand side of the page) so that they don't take up all the space here.  I would also like to do some more reviews of books and other items on the site as well.  This, I believe, will force me to critically engage a little more with things.  I would like to schedule posts for each of the 13 moons and the Celtic tree months also.

So there is my ambitious goal.  Hopefully, this place wont collect too much dust between the months of February - August as I complete my thesis.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Daily Draw


Message: Take some time to slow down, care for yourself and rejuvenate your vital energy.  You've worked hard, now is the time to pause, reflect and snuggle in with a warm blanket.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for:


  1. laughter and loving friends whom I trust to know the real me.
  2. the cooler weather
  3. finding out I am closer to finishing my degree than I thought
  4. my fears - which challenge me and force me to push forward.
  5. my life - while there are parts I'm not happy with right now I am truly blessed.
Have a Blessed Day All!

Daily Draw


Message: You are changing, this is a time for courage.  You are safe and being guided.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wellness Wednesday

The message today - it is ever so important to laugh, relax and let go.

In the past couple of weeks I have probably embraced the whole idea of laughing and letting myself be myself with friends and family more than I have in a long time.  I've eased up a little on the school thing and focused a little more on the whole having fun and living thing.   There are two things that happened recently that made me stop and realize the importance of this.  First, for the first time in a very long time I had a photo taken of myself that I liked.  It was with some dear friends on the girls day out over lunch with much fun and laughter - and all that came through in the photo.  Secondly, Last night, for the first time in a while the hubby and I got to spend time just being silly with each other (there has been a lot of stress lately but some big decisions were made that have eased the burden a little) and it made me realize just how important laughter is.

Daily Draw


Message: Things are changing, you are transforming.  Something you thought was dead is rekindling.  Embrace and emerge renewed.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

O = Open Dialogue

I can't put enough value on the importance of open dialogue.  Not just with others but with yourself, not just within your pagan group but within your everyday life.  But I have to wonder how many people actually practice this art.

As a concept this has been floating around in my head for awhile for a couple of reasons.  1) because I am amazed that I have the kind of relationship with my husband that means we can have open dialogue without the other blowing a gasket over something.  2) because I am studying a History of Religion class and the lack of open dialogue happening within is driving me nuts.  3) because I have had some pretty serious questions running around inside my head regarding my spiritual beliefs and practices.

Now 1 I'm going to leave alone - private matters not for public consumption but 2 and 3 are fair game.

2.  The lack of talk in my class.  To set the scene.  I'm doing my Masters in History online.  One of my electives is History of Religion - sounds like an awesome class with lots of potential right?  Sadly, my beliefs that this would eventuate have been shattered.  Logistically I understand that with only 6 students dialogue is possibly going to be somewhat less, but the amazing lack of dialogue is just depressing.  Throughout the course we are reading up on the various religions of the world (and thankfully they give equal tread to most of them) as well as looking at the Anatomy of the Sacred (an amazing book I highly recommend).  We have three discussion papers to do that explore ideas of: what we believe and whether it is possible to be critical about religion, sacred rituals and their purpose, and the murky grounds of ethics, evil and right and wrong.  All great areas of exploration that I could see resulting in some really interesting dialogue - yeah well, not so much.

The demographics of the group (4 Christians of various denominations, an Atheist and myself - a pagan).  Sadly, the Christians are all sticking together and failing to interact with myself and the Atheist, what is worse is that they are failing to look at any of their beliefs and practices in a critical or even analytical way (I'm not biased on this, the professor has actually called them out on it).  So while I'm getting some great dialogue from the Athiest I'm struggling to engage with anyone else.  I don't care if they want to sit there and tell me that they don't understand, think I'm nuts or challenge everything I believe - I just want them to actually think about it.  I have tried asking more probing questions about their own experiences and gained no response.  Overall, it is frustrating and disappointing and it has me wondering how many people really don't interact with their faith beyond following, by route almost, its doctrines and practices.

On the upside, it has answered that first question we were asked - can you be critical about religion?  Seems for a lot of people the answer is no, they can't be critical about their own religion.  And I guess maybe some of that comes from fear.  If you start thinking critically are you challenging your own beliefs and therefore proving that you don't believe?  Fear that you might find something you don't like and have to re-evaluate?  Or just fear, because your belief system says you shouldn't challenge.  Don't get me wrong, I am not saying what I believe it perfect, there is definitely a need to think critically, but it is the little things I really like about it - for example the fact that many practices emphasize the practice of  looking back and reflecting on our selves, our path and how we can improve it.

3. My own questioning.  If there is one thing I have taken from my History of Religion class it is the final recognition that I will never be Wiccan (its just too structured), in fact I described myself to the class as eclectic Pagan. I borrow from a bunch of pagan faiths, practices and pantheons.  Lets face it, most modern pagan practices do.  So now that I've sorted out where I put myself I started assessing my actual participation.  How much am I doing?  You talk to people who are out there on the full and new moons working their stuff, who go all out for the celebrations of the wheel, who do regular tarot and divination and reiki and mediation and on and on and you start to wonder if you're really dedicated to your own path.

Of course this is all just self doubt - and one should never judge by the standards of others, you just don't know what the whole situation is.  But I do have to acknowledge that sadly if something has to give in my life to the pressures of the moment it is my spiritual practice.  Why is that?  I think it comes down to the sad reality that while it helps fulfill me and make me happy it doesn't help pay the bills and it doesn't cost me money that is wasted if I don't do it and so it is the easiest thing to push aside.  And while I acknowledge that really is not the best way to live life, I acknowledge that it is also the realities of living in society.  Does it mean I value my path less?  Does it mean I am not dedicated to it?  These are the questions I'm dialoguing with myself at the moment.

Tarot Tuesday

And for something a little different today I present "The Tarot Game"


I found out about this on Aeclectic Tarot  and decided to purchase it for an upcoming Tea and Tarot night tomorrow.  There will be a range of people from those who know the tarot well and those who are in the various stages of learning it and so rather than making it perhaps a little intimidating by getting those who aren't secure in their knowledge to do readings for others I thought it would be fun to get this game and allow everyone to do readings for themselves based on their own level of expertise.  I think it will offer a great way to get to know people better also (assuming you have a group that is willing to get a little personal). It can also be used as a personal meditation tool as well which I will play with at a later date when I have more time (laughs)

So I will be 'test driving' this tomorrow night, I'll come back here and update how it all went.

UPDATE:

After having had the pleasure of playing this now with a group of four other lovely women I have to say I definitely recommend it as an alternative to a typical tarot reading and a way to get the know the cards.  So here are some notes/opinions:

  • The instructions are a little vague on the whole use of real decks...but you can figure it out pretty quickly.
  • The descriptors of the 3 levels is a little misleading (really I take it as pick a level from 1-3 based on how deep a reading you want/are capable of doing).
  • Play this with people you know and trust - some of those questions can take you to deep, dark, and just damn personal places so you want to be able to feel comfortable voicing your answers and having others question and prompt.
  • As a meditative tool/way to learn to do your own readings it looks like it has a lot of potential.
  • The activity cards are interesting, though sometimes perhaps a little odd/irrelevant.
Overall, I'll play it again - both with a group and by myself.  I think you get as much out of it as you put into it.

Daily Draw



Message: Keep Silent - keep your news or new adventure to yourself, stay silent and under the radar and allow it to manifest.  To speak is to diminish its power.  You are capable and intelligent enough to ride this momentary withdrawal and will emerge stronger and more radiant.

Monday, October 1, 2012

O = Oracle Cards

Okay, so anyone familiar with this blog knows that I use oracle cards (yes I know, I've been slack on those posts lately too) :)

I know some people don't like to use Oracle cards - they find them a little too restrictive in meaning, that they don't draw on common symbols and imagery to convey the message but rather use words.  Or they simply prefer to use other methods.  For myself, however, I find that they are a great tool.  The fact that I can simply draw a card each day for guidance is something I enjoy.  Yes, I acknowledge that you could also do this with Tarot - but for me I find that and understanding of the tarot becomes easier when you can do a spread to get more detailed guidance.  Even my runes I often end up drawing several of to get the complete message.

Picking the Decks:
I pick my oracle decks much like I do my tarot - they need to call to me.  There needs to be something in the imagery that draws me.  I don't look at the words on the cards, I look at the visuals and whether for me they tell a story, or that they tug on that inner core where intuition and gut feeling lies.  I have tried it other ways.  I've purchased decks before because I thought they sounded cool, they were cheap or I've liked some of the artists work and each time I've quickly ended up passing the deck on or selling it again.

Getting to know your decks:
Obviously with messages written on the cards it is easy to take the words as the only way to understand the message coming through but there is more to it than that.  If you're lucky you'll find your deck accompanied by a great book that offers further depth without being prescriptive.  ( I know some people just cringed at the idea of using 'the book' but lets face it, if you're a novice, getting to know the deck or a little unsure its a great way to start.  And sometimes I've been amazed at how accurate it all is).  Of course as with all card readings take the time to analyse the pictures first and see what you get from them.  In fact do this before you consult the book.  Just try and find the story and symbols in the work, how does it make you feel, can you see some of yourself in it?  Then link it to the words on the card.  And Finally, read the book if you wish.

Record your readings:
I think this is invaluable.  You will begin to find patterns.  Are you pulling a certain card on a regular basis?  If so, perhaps there is something you're failing to address.  Is there a pattern or connection between the cards you are pulling?  I know there have been weeks when I've felt like my cards are a 2x4 to the head from the universe to let me know that I'm simply not paying enough attention or that I really need to listen to their advice.

And of course, my decks


(Source: http://www.worldoffroud.com/books/faeriesoracle.php)
(Source: https://www.mysticearth.net/store/home/php?cat=406)
(Source: http://www.blueangelonline.com/shadows.htm)
   

N = Nurturing our Creative Selves.

I have a few friends who claim to have no artistic ability, I have a few friends who have an amazing talent and can produce sketches that would rival any photograph and other amazingly crafty/artistic items.  Myself, I sit possibly somewhere in the middle.  Many years ago I began working on my sketching skills, but I let it slide - I let the creative side of me fall by the wayside to the demands of University and then work.  I'd try tapping into it every so often but I'd quickly loose interest.  It didn't help that, as stated above, I had some friends with amazing talent that made anything I did look like a 2 year olds finger painting.  I was incredibly insecure about what I produced, and being a perfectionist, I didn't want to produce something that was less than perfect.

It was only in 2007/8 that I really came to understand the nature of art and the importance of nurturing our creative side.  More importantly, I learned that by creating I was tapping into that spiritual core of myself, the inner child, the subconscious and that the work I produced didn't need to be worthy of the Louvre, it just had to come from the core.

Art is a great way to tap into our own inner selves, it is a way to express those parts of ourselves we don't consciously recognize (there is a reason its used in therapy).  Through art we can channel the divine and the divine within ourselves.  So what if your work is abstract, or it doesn't live up to another's standards?  If you can look at it and see yourself, see how you felt, see the divine, see the magic within it then you have achieved something truly great.

There are numerous mediums you can choose - art is a broad field.  I personally like to play with photography, sketching, painting, polymer clay and collage.  I have just started to delve into the world of watercolor.  I'm not a master at any of these, but every piece I produce holds a special place in my heart.  It talks of my journey, my feelings and emotions.  It helps me to look back and connect with myself. 

So let yourself go, embrace your inner creative selves, and work in an artistic medium - you'll probably be surprised by the results.

Meditative Monday

Maybe what I should be meditating on today is why I have this inability to keep up with my blog :)  Once again it appears I have taken on too much in my life and that sleep is most definitely taking the brunt of the damage.  Of course this begets a cycle of lack of sleep --> tiredness so can't concentrate --> causing lack of school work --> resulting in crammed deadlines and the complete ignoring of anything non-school related --> resulting in a very unbalanced life and lots of stress  --> which of course leads right back to lack of sleep.

I know people who have kids, go to school, work full time, and somehow still manage to find time to play sports, get crafty, go to church/practice a spiritual path etc.  How the heck do they get it all done?

Struggling to find the key to managing it all.  Maybe the key is that you can't manage it all and I have to realize that things need to be dropped...but that's a whole other set of issues.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for...


  1. The local Starbucks (although I'm not a huge fan of their coffee) - who rescued me from my oj instead of milk in the coffee disaster today.  Any coffee was better than none.
  2. The fact that I managed to get more than 3hrs of sleep last night.
  3. The start of fall weather - I love this time of year.
  4. Music
  5. The fact that my body seems to have established an auto pilot mode to drive me to the gym in the evenings instead of home.

N is for Nautilus Shell and Spiral journeys

The Nautilus shell is probably the most well known spiral symbol we can think of.  Over 500 million years old they are amazing examples of sacred geometry. As the body of the Nautilus grows it moves from one chamber to the next within its shell sealing the old behind it.  A shell can have as many as 30 chambers within it.  Each spiral of the Nautilus shell grows larger by Phi (the Golden Ratio that is the building block of the universe).  Each revolution is the completion of a cycle.


Sacred Geometry is a reflection of the universe and the dynamic inter-connectedness between ourselves and the natural world. The spiral is a common element in sacred Geometry.  It can be found in the symbolism of numerous cultures throughout the world.  Much like archetypal figures it is a universal symbol that finds its way into cultures everywhere.  They appeal to us on a core/base level.  There is something appealing about the elegance and beauty of the spiral that we all feel connected to.

The Spiral represents a journey, the movement through stages (much as the nautilus moves from chamber to chamber) in your life in order to grow and continue  your cycle.  The spiral is life's journey - it is found in nature, in the universe, in our DNA.  It is also a highly useful tool for meditation.  For myself, when I want to take a dedicated journey in a meditative state - I visualize myself spiraling down a set of stairs into my deep conscious in order to access that part of myself.  Another meditative technique is to visualize a spiral (or actually print one out) where you can begin at the center and work your way up through the spiral, pausing, reflecting, taking the time to appreciate the changes that take place with each turn, taking time to look back and view the spiral you have just walked.  Its a great way to view your journey so far, as well as what may lay ahead.

Daily Draw(s)

Ugh - I have been struggling with sleeping lately which has left me pretty much functioning on basic levels only so I've been quite lax in all things, including these daily draws.  So here is yesterday's and Today's draw

Wednesday:

There is a creativity in you wanting to get through - sacred magic that you need to embrace and let the work flow.  Become a crafter of creative magics.


Thursday:
You must take the chance - allow uncertainty into your life instead of taking the 'safe path'.  Something scary but great is coming your way.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Daily Draw


Now is a time to go underground, to stay within yourself and develop your ideas and your plans without announcing them to all.  Be still, be silent and wait, and when you finally step forth your beauty will shine bright.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

M is for Meaning


For such a simple little word there is so much significance to understanding and applying it. It took me a very long time to try and come up with something to write for my second M post - so long in fact that I believe I am now ridiculously behind on the alphabet. But last night, just as I was drifting off to sleep it came to me. I should write about the importance of meaning. Now, as with all good ideas that spring to life in those brief moments before you finally fall asleep they didn't get much further beyond that initial thought (or it if did I don't remember) and so I apologize that this post will probably be quite disjointed as I'm not entirely working with a plan here.

What does it mean?
How often do we ask ourselves this question? I especially see this trend a lot among those who follow a spiritual path of any description (but mostly non-mainstream). The desire to understand why a series of events has taken place and the importance of said events to our lives. Now there is a long discourse I could go into here about how this is all a part of the human condition. How we are creatures with the desire to know, to attempt to understand the world and our place within it. This is after all why we have religions and spiritual practices, it is all a part of our need to figure it all out. But I'm going to leave that discussion there for now because its long winded, involves a lot of referencing and honestly I don't have the time or resources right at this moment to get into it. If people are really interested I'll recommend some books. They'll make your brain turn to mush but they're great.

So on to my point. We strive to find meaning in our lives, its natural, its instinctive and it makes us feel less small. But is it always necessary? Does everything have to have a significance? Does it have to be something that was intended, or caused, or part of a bigger picture? Does shit just happen? At what point do we draw the line between acknowledging the pattern of things and the possibility that the energy in the universe can be affected by our manipulations and surrendering to the idea that sometimes stuff just happens?

Assigning Meaning?
This is another idea I've been pondering. Who gives something meaning? Why do we give it meaning. This is particularly potent I believe in our practices. We assign so much meaning to certain colors, symbols, events, words etc but how often do we stop to think of why we do this? Are we just doing it this way because the book says so, because your friends all do it that way, or is it because to you there is a significance, a special meaning that clicks inside your mind and that radiates with that inner power?

From that point, does something gain meaning and significance because enough people have dictated that it is to be so? If it appears to be generally accepted that a particular color has a certain meaning yet this doesn't resonate with you should you be forcing yourself to accept the meaning of others or your own? To my mind, working with things that hold meaning in your own mind is of far greater power than attempting to fit into the beliefs of others. However, there is argument too for the idea that if enough people focus on a particular meaning than that has power too. See, no easy answers.

Just the pondering of my somewhat caffeine deprived brain this morning.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for...

* the ability to catch up with wonderful friends and laugh
* my wonderful husband, who gets me
* the ability to take life's experiences as understanding the learning and growth that has come from it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wellness Wednesday

As I've been feeling a little off this past week with one of those annoying dry throats that wont go away - but seems to only be present when I'm at work (Obviously I'm allergic to work) I thought today's Wellness Wednesday could use some info on battling colds, flu and other nasties the natural way.

Peppermint oil - okay I love this stuff.  It is my 'go to' for so many things.  I use it to combat headaches mostly (I'm a migraine sufferer) but it is also great for clearing up the respiratory tract as well as an awesome way to cool off on a hot day (peppermint oil infused spritz, or a few drops on the back of the neck).

Eucalyptus - now this one seems to be most peoples 'go to' for any kind of winter nasty, and I know that it does work, but I'm allergic to the stuff (nasty migraines ensue) so I can't really speak from personal experience here.

Feverfew - as the name indicates its a great one for helping take down those nasty fevers.

Ginger - in tea it is great for heating you up when you've managed to stay out in the nasty weather long enough to get a chill.  It is also a good one to include in meals on a regular basis.

Garlic - I eat lots of this on a regular basis, I add it to meals and any recipe that actually calls for it has the amount doubled.  It is great to help keep you healthy.

Yarrow Flowers - will fight inflammation and can help make you sweat out that nasty stuff :)

Marshmallow Root - great for coating a raw sore throat.  (As is slippery elm bark)

Thyme - helps to loosen up all that gunkiness sitting in your throat.






Daily Draw



"You must shift the focus from the old self, for that self has fallen away and died, and here you are, anew"


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for...

1. For the cooling of the weather - I'm not a high temperatures girl.
2. For having caught up with great friends in the past week.
3. For kicking my own ass back to the gym
4. Love, in its many shapes and sizes
5. The inner strength that allowed me to end up on this path instead of somewhere truly dark.

Daily Draw




"It has come time to completely involve yourself - you have been holding back, only going so far with a new project, with a commitment to yourself, always pulling back at the last moment from taking the step."

Hmm...I believe I'm seeing a large 2x4 to the head with all these cards this week.  Obviously the universe seems to feel that I'm procrastinating and not taking that leap that I keep saying I'm going to take.  I know it is fear that is holding me back.  Maybe this time I'll head the signs and take the steps...

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Daily Draw



"There is such a challenging choice to be made at the moment...So Choose. Act. Get clear, stay open and calm, and the decision will come.  But the choice, this card insists, must be made - no more compromise on this."

This card is all about the tough choices - needing to choose a path instead of trying to do it all - don't I know about this in my life.  I'm also an amazing procrastinator and I think this plays a part here too.  I need to recognize that those things left behind will do just fine without me.

Interestingly enough a second card dropped out of my deck while shuffling that I didn't even notice until I moved my keyboard and found it sitting there.


"A deliberate effort to move away from naval-gazing and procrastination by self-analysis will transform into a determination to become through doing, and thinking, and being, and sharing and insisting on the new realities truths for you."

A double kick in the pants maybe?  Or a clarifier as to which area of my life the first draw is referring to.  There is definitely a need for me to take a dive here - I know the plunge will be worth the reward, but still I procrastinate and am perhaps in a little fear also.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Daily Draw




"You must take a great journey upstream to find the place where you will prosper and flower and grow into Dragonhood - you will be most prosperous, most successful, and most importantly, a great mentor when that climb has been undertaken.  Begin it now."

Time to move on, I've had a few doubts lately about decisions I've made but I think the main focus here is that as hard as the journey can be I have to keep moving on.  I have to step out of the shallow waters that I've been swimming in and head on my own journey.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Meditation Monday

Thought to ponder today.  How do you balance having what will make your soul happy and doing what will pay the bills?  For me more specifically, the balance between knowing you have responsibilities to pay the bills etc and therefore must work a job that sucks the soul out of you and doing what you love.

I hear a lot about how you should follow what makes you happy no matter what - but how does one honestly do that, especially in today's economy.  At what point does the practical and the desired balance out?  I hold it as highly important that I pay all my bills and have the ability to do things I enjoy in life, in order to do that in this economy I have to work a job that pays the bills over one that I am passionate about.  Is this selling out?  Or is it be sensible?  Are they opposing ideas?  I have previously in my life managed to have both - to be working the job I love and have the financial security, but my current location doesn't allow for that.  So I give up what I love for what pays the bills.

I guess the point is it actually makes me a little mad when I get people telling me that "If I just focus hard enough and put it to the universe I will be able to have both."  Sorry I call BS on that.  If we all got what we wanted just by putting enough thought into it there would be a whole different world out there.  And besides, the people who usually tell me this are living lives I would not want to emulate.  I don't want to be dependent on someone else to pay my bills, I don't want to have debt, I don't want to lose my house.  I do feel a sense of social responsibility to actually go out and make a living and pay my way in the world.

I'm not doing what I love right now - but I'm working towards it.  I'm getting my Masters and we are moving countries in 15months.  Its a long term goal, its a practical goal.  My life isn't overly balanced right now because of it, and there are times I rant and rave and gnash my teeth over that, but it is the way the world works.

Daily Draw



It is time to rediscover something once discarded.

This one always challenges me - because I deliberately don't reflect on what parts of my childhood I actually do remember.  I think the drive here is twofold.  First, that there are happy memories in the past and its worth recalling them.  Second, that embracing the inner child is also important.

Friday, August 17, 2012

M is for Meditation, Movement and Music

Today's M post encompasses three things.  While I am aware that I could have divided them each up into their own posting for me each of them is linked to the other in ways that make sense to put them all together in this one post.

(Source: http:.//www.transformingourselves.com/Meditation.html)
Meditation: There are probably more forms of meditation out there than I can even hope to be able to rattle off here and so I am not going to try and summarize them all - if you're really curious Google it, I promise you you'll find lists at least a page long.  What I want to talk about is some of the less traditional ideas that tend to pop into peoples heads when they are presented with the term meditation.

When someone says the word meditation the majority of people are probably envisioning a period of time spent sitting or laying down in a quiet area while some generic (and often quite shockingly bad) music involving the sounds of nature plays in the background. (On a side note, why is there so much water involved in these tracks?  I mean I get that water is soothing, believe me I'm a water baby, but really doesn't it mostly just mean that inevitably your meditation is probably cut short by an overwhelming desire to pee). While I do meditate in this manor from time to time I find that it isn't necessarily the best method for my intended outcome.

I have a set pattern of imagery that I follow to make it to a desired location in my mind from which point things take their own separate paths...for me this is more a matter of training my mind that this sequence of images will trigger a relaxation into a deeper state of consciousness.  There is a journey I take down a spiral staircase, through a certain hall to a particular door and from their out into a field - once I reach that field my mind goes where it wants/needs to.  This is generally how I meditate.

When I'm working the type of meditation about I actually dislike having any music playing, I find it is more distracting than helpful, that is just me.  But that is not to say that music isn't an important part of the meditative process for me.  I have many forms of meditation I partake in that are based solely on music.

(Source: http://davidreiley.com/interests.html)
Music: I love to work with music, not just in my spiritual practices but in my study and writing as well.  Music is an amazing trigger for the mind.  When I study I play particular songs (they have to be without lyrics), these songs become a trigger for what I am reading and when I hear them again later they make the recall of the knowledge easier.  When I write I am inspired by the music, what I'm writing reflects how the music makes me feel.  When I'm meditating I become one with the music - it takes me on the journey and brings me back.

What kind of music do I listen to during meditation - that really depends.  I can range from Tool to New Age depending on what I'm doing as part of the meditation and the focus.  Tool is generally great for dance meditation.  I might listen to chakra balancing music while going for a walk Generally something soothing and mellow goes on while I'm meditating with Mandalas.  Meditative art can be accompanied by just about anything depending on the mood I'm in.  No matter what though, unless I'm actually doing a meditation such as described above music has to play a part.

(Source: http://sparkleampow.wordpress.com/tag/movement)
Movement: Obviously I'm generally not big on the 'meditation while standing still'  idea.  I'm just not a sit still kind of person, and I'm also someone who needs to emote through her body, hell I even talk with my hands, I simply need to move to express.  So I don't do a lot of sitting meditation.  In fact my most regular form of meditation is probably either swimming or walking  (and hey, if you can combine your spiritual practice with staying healthy why not).  Swimming and walking is like breathing for me, I don't think about the actions involved and so they are perfect activities in which to loose myself to the depths of my mind.

Dance and hooping are two others forms of meditation I love.  I can loose myself to the music and the movement and allow my body to express what my mind is exploring.  Basically, you can trance and let go allowing you to reach that inner child.  So for me the three M's of Meditation, Movement and Music go hand in hand with each other.  They are all part of the process of tapping in to that inner self.  I think it is important that we don't feel stifled by the general pre-conceived notions of what meditation is and allow ourselves to think 'outside the box' (I hate that term but can't think of an alternative right now) and embrace different ways of working with the idea of meditation.

Film Friday



Okay, so why the somewhat blurry sunrise photo taken from the office window?  Because it serves as a reminder for me that even when I'm caught up in the mundane humdrum of work stuck inside an office artificial light and air conditioning there is an awe inspiring world out my window that I need to make and effort to get out in.  That it is important to take a moment to step back and re-balance ourselves and remember we are still part of the world despite how cut off from it we feel inside our little office spaces.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

L is for Listening

How often do you truly listen?  I mean really listen, as in shutting your mind and not just your mouth and opening your whole being to take in the world around you?  I know I don't as often as I should and it is something that I'm working on now.

For me meditation usually has a goal in mind, not necessarily a guided goal but I generally am trying to achieve something, a connection, a message, something.  Listening for me is something different.  I have no agenda, I am not trying to 'hear' anything, rather I am trying to 'listen', that is I'm trying to shut my mind off and become completely aware of the world around me, of the way it sounds.  Its a pretty amazing experience.

When we open up ourselves to really listen to the world we perceive our place within it in a different light.  I've come to realize more deeply how connected everything is.  I have also come to see the depth and the darkness and the light and the energy and the potential for awe and terror.  And as you develop further and open more you begin to 'hear' things, things that may not make sense but fill you with a feeling of something beyond words.

I try to make time to listen most nights before bed, when the world is somewhat quieter and I can let my mind relax because I know I will be sleeping after.  It takes some practice, but it is well worth the effort.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

L is for Lughnasadh

Since I'm so far behind that my L catch up coincides with Lughnasadh that is today's topic.

Lughnasadh (or Lammas) is the first of the three harvest festivals.  It marks the mid point of summer and celebrates the first harvest and the hope for continued fertility throughout the harvest season.  Where I am (California) it is a little difficult to get into the celebration of the mid point of summer.  When it seems that temperatures are only just starting to get ridiculously hot it is difficult to picture an end to the summer months.  But the nights are cool and the crops appear to be in abundance while my plants bring forth new growth once more and it all makes me smile to see the wheel turning. 

Some background: The festival is named after the Celtic god Lugh and the games that took place were dedicated to his foster mother Talitiu - who is said to be a linked to the idea of an earth mother goddess.  This is the time that signals the beginning of the shift to those shorter days (I see this each morning as I now begin to arise before the sun at my regular time) the sun is still strong but we can really begin to notice the length of days becoming shorter.  The general focus of activities at this time of year are on fertility in the coming harvests to ensure a plentiful season and the honoring of the god Lugh.  Corn is one of the main crops for this time of year and as such corn dollies can play a role in your celebrations.

As we move into this 'harvest' season we move towards an time of the year for inward reflection.  It is the perfect time to consider looking back on what we can 'harvest' from the lessons we've learned this year.  It is also a time to reflect on our place in this modern world and the connection that we share with it.  It is so easy in these modern times to loose track of the cycles of the season, and especially the idea of the harvest.  Unless one is fortunate enough to have their own gardens to tend (which sadly I do not) the importance of working with the land, of the teamwork that comes between us and nature to reap the fruits of the earth, is lost to a modern world of grocery stores.  Lughnasadh is a perfect opportunity to take time out and honor the work that goes into producing your food and to try and tune in to the season at hand.

That being said, what are my plans for this Lughnasadh...well my house is currently home to three adult house guests so I've lost all my ritual spaces and I'm also playing hostess, so I think my celebration will be put off  until the weekend when I can finally claim my home back and get it feeling like my sacred space again.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Meditative Monday

Yes, I know - a very long hiatus...life was kicking my butt.  But I'm trying to get back on track now.

Once again - words of wisdom from www.marcandangel.com

Leave enough time for fun. – Sometimes you need to take a few steps back to see things clearly.  Never let your life become so filled with work, your mind become so crammed with worry, or your heart become so jammed with old hurts or anger, that there’s no room left in them for fun, for awe, or for joy.


I've been feeling this one a lot lately - how little time I really leave myself for fun, hell for anything other than work and school.  I'm not living life right now and it frustrates and saddens me, but its also a really hard trap to work yourself out of.  SO that is my goal for the next two weeks.  I have a break from classes for two weeks so my goal is to try and establish some form of routine that incorporates things for me that will also allow study time.  We'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Daily Draw



"You are changing and showing more of your true self.  These changes will be empowering, often they will at first make us fragile and vulnerable.  Those who are no longer meant to be in your life will quietly, and some loudly, depart.  Do not worry, just keep on becoming.  And be for now in the best company of all, your own."

Monday, June 25, 2012

Daily Draw



"...take back your own gifts and incorporate them into your life, yourself, every day, every breath.  You will be healed when you finally embrace all that you are.  For then, beauiful one, you will be in your true form, and have many abilities.  You will be whole."

Meditative Monday

I'm putting a link here today, I feel that all 12 points are important and should definitely be contemplated.  I do so love these guys work.

12 Habits Standing Between You and What You Want

I am guilty of all of these - sometimes more than one and once.  Perhaps one of my worst acts is (7) Dwelling on things you've lost - or the past in general.  It is hard not to.  I've had to make up a little mantra that I say over and over until my thoughts stop dwelling.  (10) Is another big one, I am so overly critical of myself.  I hold myself up to impossible standards sometimes and I am never satisfied with the outcome that I get, I always feel that I can do better, if only I'd tried more.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Meditative Monday

"Harsh words can hurt a person more than physical pain. – Taste your own words before you spit them out.  Words hurt and scar more than you think, so THINK before you speak.  And remember, what you say about others also says a whole lot about YOU."
(Source: http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/06/13/15-relationship-truths-for-tough-times/ )


True words that come at a time when both sides of the message are needed.

We try to brush off the words that others throw at us, to say "oh well", but it is easier said than done.  Words have a way of creeping in under your defenses and eating away at your idea of yourself.  Enough words, and you begin to ponder if the issue isn't the person saying them but yourself.  It is oh so easy to lash back, to get angry and point fingers, to lay blame at the feet of all and none at ones own.  What we hurl at others or what we say of others behind their backs is a reflection of our own issues, and that goes for the way we respond too.  One should not allow someone to walk all over them, but sometimes it is best to simply state your peace and walk away from it all.  There is no point in engaging in verbal warfare.  Take claim of the things you may have said or done to cause pain to others, see that they too have their own to claim and leave it at that.

Someone's opinion of you should not matter.  It does, I know.  We are raised to believe that what others see in us is the standard by which we should judge ourselves.  But I think we have to work on making our own opinion of ourselves the more important one.  Not in an arrogant way, but in a way where we can be comfortable knowing that some people will not like us.  That our priorities are important to us and shouldn't be pushed to the side in favor of another's.  That we are important and worthy of our own time.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

K is for Kismet


Kismet


Kismet – meaning roughly fate or destiny.

There are a great many theories out there regarding the idea of fate and destiny.  It isn’t a simple matter of those who believe in it and those who don’t, there are varying degrees of belief too.  It is something I have had numerous discussion with myself over, uncertain where I truly stand on the matter.  Perhaps it is best to start with some definitions.

From dictionary.com
Fate:
  1. Something that unavoidably befalls a person
  2. The universal principle or ultimate agency by which the order of things is presumably described
  3. That which is inevitably predetermined.

Destiny:
  1.  Something that is to happen or has happened to a particular person or thing.
  2.  The predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events.
  3.  The power or agency that determines the course of events


So, were we to take this from a more literal perspective of definitions 3 and 2 than one would have to say that the idea of Kismet does exist.  There are things in life which are inevitable, death and growing older, for example.  These are things we cannot avoid, they are the natural flow of events and are therefore predetermined to happen.  This literal meaning is usually not what people are referring to when they discuss the idea of Kismet or Fate.

Usually the notion of Kismet is linked to events that people look back on in hindsight and see a pattern that appears to dictate that an event was ‘fated’ to happen.  Is this idea simply viewing the world through a lens that wishes to give greater meaning to events in our lives than actually exists?  Are we trying to make ourselves feel better by not acknowledging that a set of coincidences took place that just happened to work out in our favor in the long run?

If we believe that things are destined to happen then who do we place the burden of those decisions on?  Is there a force beyond our comprehension that has dictated a series of plans for our life  and we are just there for the journey?  If that is that case, then does anything we do impact this path, is it set in concrete that no matter what avenue we appear to be taking we actually have no choice.  Is it a case of a predestined outcome that we will reach no matter the journey?  Are there several key events that ‘have’ to happen in our lives but we get to ‘choose our own adventure’ to get to that point?

Or, as some believe, are we the ones that chose our path for this lifetime?  Did we pick what lessons we wanted to learn this time around and our journey is preordained by ourselves?  This is a hard one for a lot of people to deal with I think because it implies that one chose the crappy things that happen in ones life.  I think many find it far easier to place the blame for all the stuff they don’t like on a greater force so that they don’t have to comprehend the possibility that one might actually choose to suffer and sacrifice for the greater learning to be gained from it.

I personally find it hard to believe that there is some path that has been chosen for us that we are to walk in this lifetime.  While it is all well and good to say ‘but this is obviously what I was meant to learn this time around’ I think our ‘soul/essence’ whatever we wish to call it has a little more say in the process than that.  I cannot see a greater force sitting on high dictating that this lifetime I will learn the importance of patience, perseverance and friendship.  So I tend to lean more towards the idea that we have picked the path before us to an extent (I do not believe we mapped it all out and are simply following that map – there is a disconnect that occurs when our soul is overridden by our physical existence that seems to negate the point of creating a roadmap).  We have chosen certain lessons and experiences that we want to partake in and are birthed with the potential for this course of action to take place.  But, we don’t always get there. 

I think we have to take a certain level of responsibility for the destiny/fate that we have chosen.  As we progress through life our soul is overridden by physical and social experiences that create a being we believe to be ‘us’.  This being is capable of allowing us to lead our lives with little or no relation to the experiences that our soul chose.  It is only if we strive to beomce conscious of the inner voice, the one that tells us where to tread if we but listen, that we can tap into a conscious understanding of what our destiny for this lifetime is meant to be.

Tarot Tuesday

The Fool


(Source: http://amethysttarot.com/interview-with-the-steampunk-tarot/#)

Generally speaking the fool is about the beginning of a journey - the start of new things, infinite possibilities.  With this thought comes the idea of a warning, of keeping your surroundings in mind lest one step off the edge, fall and end up looking like a 'fool'.  It is about keeping perspective and some reality around you while following this path.

The journey is usually something that is anticipated with some enthusiasm and a feeling of being free.  It is a childlike excitement, one that must be tempered with wisdom from some source (a friend, your inner voice, etc).

Of course as with all readings of cards one must take into account the question, the surrounding cards etc in making an interpretation, these are just generalities.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Meditative Monday


As we grow up, we realize it becomes less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones.

I can't say how important keeping this in mind has been of late.  I have always been a loner child - circumstances, behavior whatever the cause I have never had a great many friends.  I don't trust easily and therefore I don't build friendships easily.  I am not a social butterfly, it really isn't in my nature.  In the past couple of years I've tried to branch out on the friend thing.  I had gone through a serious case of depression and I felt that I needed to stop hiding in my cave and start forcing myself to make friends.  Some good came from this.  I did indeed meet a handful of amazing people who I truly hold as friends, people who I know I could tell my darkest secrets to and not be judged.  Sadly, I have also met with a lot of pain, and a lot of stress.  Trying to keep up friendships that aren't genuine is tiresome and really not worth the effort.  At some point you realize that you're putting far more into it all than they are and that, if not dealt with quickly, can lead to messy situations.  I am learning that my time is valuable, that I am valuable and that if people can't meet me half way on the whole friendship thing, then they aren't worth it.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Film Friday

Maybe more aptly called Feather Friday today - had to share the beautiful feather that was waiting for me at work today.  Opened the blinds to the front office door and sitting in the road waiting for me was this gorgeous feather...it feels special already.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

K is for Keeping to a budget.

Most of us are not going to have an endless supply of finances that enables us to buy every shiny new object that catches our fancy.  If we desperately want a ritual item we have to save up for it, budget it in and really challenge ourselves with regards to wheter it is something we 'want' or 'need'.  But there are other ways to get the objects we want for our path.

One person's junk is another one's treasure...this saying definitely holds true I believe when it comes to kitting oneself out with the various paraphernalia that tends to be associated with the pagan path.  Most people find themselves searching for certain objects that the wish to use as part of their practice.  Many of us I am sure began our studies thinking that we had to have the greatest thing purchased from the local new age store generally at a quite exorbitant cost.  It isn't until later that we begin to realize that the best tools are things that we either make ourselves or find some other way.

Now not all of us are skilled enough or have enough time to devote to making our own tools so we are left having to purchase them in some way.  This does not have to require a great deal of money though.  In fact if there is one comment thread I've noticed among my pagan friends its that we're all thrifty little buggers who with a bit of creative thinking and ingenuity have managed to come up with wonderful ritual/spiritual items without it costing an arm and a leg.

Please don't think that I am not advocating the support of ones local new age/pagan/alternative store - I'm not.  I do realize how important it is to support local business of any kind but that being said it isn't always practical or fiscally possible, especially in today's economy.  This is where thrift stores and yard sales become a witches best friend.  You can usually pick up some amazing deals on items that you wouldn't have found anywhere and I find that when you do the object ends up having more meaning to you for the process gone through to achieve it than anything you order online.

Of course purchasing items this way does sometimes take some thinking outside the box.  When it comes to candle holders, bowls or chalices and the like things can be pretty straight forward.  Most of us realize that if something is plain, a little worn, or not the right color there is generally something we can do to fix that.  Of course it isn't every day that you're going to go thrift shopping and pick up a goddess statue, or and old cauldron and so we have to think a little differently here.  Goddesses  - it is easy enough generally to find some nice ceramic statues of women in various forms that could become your representation of the maiden, mother, crone etc.  Maybe you found a stag or a hare statue that could represent your deity, or something else that is relatively mainstream but symbolizes something to you.  Cauldrons don't have to be cast iron (depending on what you're doing with them) you will probably find some great candle holders that look like cauldrons or other containers that have a similar shape.

This kind of shopping comes in handy too if you are trying to be subtle about your beliefs.  One can easily have on display a group of statues of women in different guises as the maiden, mother, crone aspect.  Or cauldron's as candle holders.  A stag as your masculine energy, or a statue of a young couple for Beltane, the possibilities are endless.

Now as for making things, well that can get as simple or as complex as you would like.  Polymer clay is a wonderful medium - you don't have to be a sculptor you just have to be willing to get your hands dirty.  You can make some amazing items either for spell work (amulets etc) or even your own statues and BOS covers.  Painting or drawing is also an option - why not get some canvases and create your own mural or focal point for meditation.  If you can't draw/paint there is always collage - how many of us have created or seen peoples wonderful 'Full Moon' boards that are used for inspiration.  Now some of this can get expensive if you hit up Michaels or somewhere similar, but you can find supplies at dollar stores, thrift stores or other discount places.  Runes can be made with glass pebbles and a paint pen (if you don't have access to something to cut and carve wood). You can make offering dishes out of terracotta plant dishes that you paint.  You could use some glass paint to create your own candle holders using cheap plain glass ones and a stencil or free hand drawing.  There is, once again, an endless list of ideas.

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for the blessed life that I have had.  Yeah, I've had my share of shit (abuse of every kind etc) but in the grand scheme of things my life is truly blessed.  I have had the ability to gain an education in a field of study I love, I've had jobs that I've been passionate about and that have allowed me to impact the lives of others, and even when I haven't had a job I loved I've at least been blessed to be employed in a crappy economy.  I've had the privilege of living in three different countries and I have made dear friends with people from all over the world. I have found my soul mate - the person who makes me complete. My life has been rich and wonderful.  It may not have always been where I wanted to be or doing what I wanted to do, but overall I have been blessed over and over with a life that has flowed smoothly and granted me some amazing experiences.


Monday, June 4, 2012

J is for Journey to the Dark Goddess

Ok, I'm behind on my posts and playing catch up for PBP so here, finally, is my second J post.

Today's post is about a book, not just any book, an awesome book.  I am in love with this book.  I had read a couple of articles by the author previously and it made me want to own this book to the point I had it on order ready to ship the day it was released and I have to say I have not been disappointed thus far.



Journey to the Dark Goddess: How to Return to Your Soul by Jane Meredith is definitely going on my 'to recommend to others list'.  The writing style is easy to read and truthful, there is no BS but there is also such power in her words.  I was reading the intro of the chapter "Preparing for Descent" and I could feel the dark mother talking through the words.

This book isn't just about Shadow Working it is about embracing and working with the Dark Mother, of learning to let her into your life in a partnership and the benefits of such workings.  The activities that are given include some of my favorite spiritual practices - but most importantly she encourages you to explore it all through crafty/artistic activities - something I believe taps into our subconscious far better than 'talk'.  

Better yet, the journey is explored through various mythologies, the story of Inanna, Psyche, Persephone are all explored throughout the various journey stages.  The connection is made that myth is a teacher, a link to the human subconscious and universal conscious that is so important to understand.

I am working through the book still - exploring deeper.  I may choose to journal some of that journey here, I don't know yet.  There is definitely a certain power to owning your experiences by voicing them, but the experience will dictate whether it is suitable for public consumption.  I will update more on the book as I journey through it though.

Meditative Monday

Here is my question to ponder today - How does one fit it all in, and where does the time all go?

I ask myself this question on a daily basis almost it seems.  Where does time go?  It is June already and I don't recall much of this year - seems I've spent a great deal of it in a haze of work, schoolwork and other commitments.  So that begs the question, how do we fit it all in?  Or better yet, how do we learn to accept that we don't have to fit it all in?  I have too much on my plate - I've cut a lot out of my life in the past month because I was overwhelmed, yet I still have too much going on.  Yet how does one begin to cull things that seem to be necessary?  How do you define what is necessary?  When does stopping something become what is good for you and not just you giving up because it is too hard?  There are so many factors to consider in this.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Today I am thankful for:


  • A roof over my head
  • The ability to pay for my schooling
  • Having a job
  • The experience of having lived in 3 different countries
  • Supportive Friends

Daily Draw


From the Book:
"there are place you must go where you have feared exploring, that you must go deeper, dig down, down into your own self, and explore alternatives in the world.  In your own deep darkness there are secrets for you - can you bear to look?"

Personal Interpretation:
I'm getting a thread here this week - a drive to tap creative energies for exploration but also a call to reach out and invite the dark mother into my life.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wellness Wednesday

Welcoming Home

I've been thinking a lot lately about the positive influence a welcoming home can have on the body and the mind.  You see we are moving in about 18 months.  Not just moving, but moving overseas.  So we will be giving up our home - hopefully to some wonderful tenants that will rent her and look after her (because we can't sell for what we owe, but that is a whole other story).

Yet, despite knowing that my home will not be my home for much longer I am still driven to make it what I envision it to be.  I want to finish painting all the walls, put up artwork and inspirational quotes and turn it into a wonderful welcoming sanctuary.  This has confused me a little as 1. I've never really been a make it homey person, and 2) My logical side of my brain knows that its financial output that we wont get to enjoy.

So why so driven?  I think it comes down to the need to have a sanctuary.  A place that I feel good to go home to.  My life is so stressful with school and work that I need to come home and feel like this little part of the world is all mine, it reflects my personality and it offers me a warm embrace to soothe the tired body and mind. I don't think we can underestimate the impact that this type of environment can have on us.  I think I'm just experiencing it for the first time.  My childhood was such that the house I grew up in was not a home, then we moved around a lot when my parents split and I never really had a home.  In fact I don't believe that until now I have ever lived in one place for longer than 3years.  We are going on four in this house.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Daily Draw



Your third eye is awakening and spiritual messages are coming through.  Open yourself up to them.  You may find these messages coming through in the form of artistic endeavors.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Meditative Monday

Source: http://www.marcandangel.com/2012/02/23/40-photo-illustrated-questions/
 
Taken from Marc and Angel Hack Life - a wonderful web page of inspiration and thought provoking goodness.  The whole series of 40 questions really got me thinking.

This one in particular resonates with me at the moment as I battle with the balance of work, life, school, spirituality etc.  It seems that despite my best laid plans things get out of control.  So what word best describes the way I spent my month...unmotivated.

I need to find my motivation, find my drive and a big part of doing that is finding time for me.

J is for Journaling



Many of us I am certain have used a journal at some stage in their lives, it is an important part of our learning process and it is always interesting to look back over the years at how we’ve changed. 

I have been a sporadic journal keeper throughout my life.  I go through phases where I keep one and phases when I don’t and it has been interesting to look back at them.  Journaling isn’t just for teenage dreams and angst; it is an important spiritual technique also.

Throughout your spiritual practice you may find journaling to be beneficial in a number of ways.  Firstly, in simply tracking your journey in life – part of our spiritual growth is to better understand ourselves and so simply keeping a standard journal that you can look back on plays an important role in that.  You can also keep a dream journal – I am terrible at this, I recall my dreams no problems but I don’t have time to write it all out first thing in the morning as I’m usually jumping straight in the shower.  I tend to ponder my dreams in there but the benefits of dream journals are many.  It can train your mind to recall dreams, you can use it to create your own dream dictionary and it is a great way to tap into your own meanings. 

You can also keep and Oracle/Tarot/Rune or general divination journal – a way to record your drawings and to perhaps cast for a week and return and record events at the end of the week.  It gives a great deal of insight into your journey. 

Keeping a journal of your spell work and rituals (which I’ve seen called your Book of Shadows and Book of Mirrors) is another good way to track what works for you and what doesn’t.  This type of journal can be quite complex with recordings of hours, moon phases, moods, etc or it can be as simple as you make it.  This is especially a good idea when we consider that oft times it takes time for magic to work.  We can work a spell and forget about it before it actually comes to fruition and this is a great tool for looking back and tracking the spell.

The journal that I currently keep I found the idea from in a book on Wiccan Wellness.  I liked the idea so much I ran with it.  Essentially one divides the journal up into three sections. Body, Mind, Spirit.  When you journal each time you write an entry in each section.  The categories are pretty obvious.  Body deals with how your body is feeling that day, Mind deals with your thoughts etc and Spirit deals with your spiritual aspects and connections.  It is a great tool to look a little deeper than the usual gloss over for me, it forces me to go deeper.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Daily Draw

Firstly, life has been a little crazy so...

The last two days have been the following cards:

About - reclaiming your health and physicality, your passion and desires.






About - being cautious who you let enter and influence your life.




Today's Card:


This one is about finding something that was lost - taking hold of the good memories of the past and letting them cheer your present, something that will make you feel loved.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Tarot Tuesday


The Tarot Spread

What is a Tarot Spread?
A spread is a pattern in which you lay out your tarot cards for a reading.  Each position is assigned a category designed to help give clarity to the question being read.  The idea is that by seeing where the card falls we gain a better understanding of the particular meaning of that card.  One can also look at the relationship between cards within a spread to gain further clarification as the ‘story’ is laid out before you.



How many cards are there in a spread?
You can have a spread that ranges from two to all 78 cards, though most commonly the spreads involve between six and 15 cards.

What are some of the different spreads?
 Some of the most common are the Celtic Cross, Three Card Spread, Five Card Spread, Ellipse Spread, The Mirror Spread, The Mandala Spread, Zodiac Spread,



The Celtic Cross:
The Celtic cross is made up of 10 cards.  Six cards make the circle cross and four make up the staff.  The cross section is made up of two separate crosses, the smaller cross in the center (The heart of the matter) and the larger cross (you past to present, conscious to unconscious)   The Staff relates to your life outside of the immediate situation.
Card 1&2 relate to the immediate situation – the present (card one) and the challenge (card two)
Card 3 provides your foundation, the root of the issue/question.
Card 4 is your recent past
Card 5 is related to the outcome, the potential development.
Card 6 is your immediate future
Card 7 is your inner feelings that are affecting the situation
Card 8 is external influences that are affecting the outcome
Card 9 is about hopes and fears or an overlooked factor.
Card 10 is the Final outcome



Friday, May 4, 2012

Intellectualism , or stepping beyond the 101.


I apologize, this is going to be a rant - so if you do not wish to read it, move on now.

I have grown absolutely frustrated and infuriated by those who do not approach this path without a willingness to apply a little intellectual discernment to their practices.  I understand that in the beginning everything is new and shiny and generally you are so wrapped up in attempting to find out about it all that you pick up books and things from the web and devour them with a ferocious appetite but at some point you have to let go of the mere intake of "knowledge" and challenge what you are reading, critically analyse the data and apply your own common sense and ingrained spiritual knowledge and come up with your own understanding and path.

There aren't a lot of advanced wicca or witchcraft books out there - because you can't find that in a book.  You can buy all the 101 books you want, it usually shouldn't take long before you reach the conclusion that it is all just a regurgitation of the same ideas perhaps with a different gloss.  So move beyond it people, challenge what you're reading, form your own ideas.  Explore other paths, pick up books on topics that help make this spiritual journey, these aren't books that are going to have a pretty witchy title and spoon feed you information, they are books on psychology, on energy work, on mysticism, on mythology that will challenge you to better understand yourself and the world around you.  They will motivate you to explore your path, to attempt to connect to the universe, to feel secure in your own knowledge and practice because you've taken the time to understand yourself and the world.  They will open your eyes to connections you have not seen.  Then take this and work with it, meditate, journey work, hell just somehow open yourself up to the answers that are waiting for you in the universe.  You want an answer to something, observe nature, watch people, really SEE the world and you will find it.

We follow a mystery tradition - that involves practice, it involves exploring the dark depths of ourselves, it involves coming to terms with our position in the world and the universe and how we view magic and deity and energy and this cannot come from merely reading books and not thinking.  Maybe I've just reached a point in my journey where I crave something deeper but I get so frustrated at those who profess to walk this path but who refuse to think for themselves.  We do not hold a book as gospel, a sacred text that one should follow - there are some great books out there I acknowledge that - but take the information and think about it critically, process it through your own belief system and your gut instinct of what feels right or wrong, or makes sense.  Anyone can write a book, it doesn't mean that they are right.  Engage your brain!  How I could go on about all the crap that cycles around about the 'burning times' by witches who haven't got a clue what the history of the period is because all they've done is read some revisionist new age crap about how it is the witches holocaust etc etc without looking into the history of the period.  Or those who profess the roots of Wicca go back to medieval, ancient or neolithic times, utter crap!  Wicca is a modern tradition (and there is nothing wrong with that, just don't make it out to be something it isn't).

I have nothing against those who seek answers, who ask questions as long as they are willing to take that information and use it as a springboard for exploring their OWN thoughts and ideas.  It frustrates me to see constantly people asking for a spell for this, how to do that, what this means without putting effort into finding the answers for themselves.  How is someone else's view of deity or magic going to get you anywhere?