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 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.