Friday, January 4, 2013

Free Friday (1-4-13)

Today's Free Friday comes in the form of a Book Review.  I have just finished reading T. Thorn Coyle's "Kissing the Limitless" and I loved it.

I'll be the first to admit that while I don't have the collection that some Pagans do I think I have read my fair share of various books related to this spiritual path and I have to say that I am in love with T. Thorn Coyle's words (Yes, I have Evolutionary Witchcraft as my next book to read).

"We need to make magic from where we are, not where we should be. We can set ourselves up for failure because we are not honest about who we are right in this moment. Magic is simple. But to get simple takes a lot of practice, and a lot of presence."
On reading these words I was hooked on this book.  I think what I love most is that this book is more than the usual "here's how I do things and why" to this book, there is depth.  Coyle's education and experiences both shine through giving the reader a text that is both thoughtful, inclusive and based in actual experiences.  Yes, there is Feri influence but there is also Jungian psychology, ceremonial magic, thelema and many other paths explored throughout this work all of which combined creates a text that makes sense.  The fact that Coyle makes an effort to draw connections to various religious paths with what she is discussing is to her credit, too often authors focus only on a pagan or Wiccan perspective and it can take away from the significance.  The fact that it is pointed out that many paths follow a similar idea or practice adds credibility to the truth of it in my eyes at least.

The focus of this book is, as the title states, about getting your spiritual self organized, on track and moving towards a deeper connection.  Divided into 3 parts the book offers a variety of reflective activities as well as working activities that will help you move past barriers that you may have erected or hurdles that you're just struggling with. There is no rush to get through this book, it isn't a "here's your year and a day" program, it is something for you to work through and on at whatever level for as long as you need and Coyle emphasizes not rushing into the next step until you're ready.

This book is not meant for the dabbler, it is meant to assist you with creating a lifelong spiritual practice that will encourage your growth but that requires dedication and hard work.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Thankful Thursday (1-3-13)

Today I am thankful for:

  1. Frosty mornings that bring a quiet to the world and invigorate the body.
  2. Great friends who lift my heart with love and laughter
  3. Future plans to look forward to
  4. A break from school work
  5. A personal shift that has given me more strength and peace within myself.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Being in the Moment

Being in the Moment

I found this wonderful image on Pinterest and had to snag it.  It is now up on my monitor at work and is going to be put up on my monitor at home, my ritual area, on my phone, on the fridge, on my mirror - basically any place I will see it on a regular basis.  Why?  Because this simple act is so damned important to our everyday life and our spiritual practice.  How often are you actually 'in' the moment, fully present and fully participating with all your senses and being?  I've noticed that for me this is something I've lost some of my connection to.  With the frantic pace that I have kept up with school and work and life I've forgotten how to 'be' in a moment, to stop and appreciate it, to be fully present in it and how much that adds to the experience that is life.

Being in the moment allows us to connect on a deeper level and this deeper connection allows us to feel and be part of the magic of this world.  Developing this skill helps us with our spiritual practice, not just on a day to day basis but in our rituals and magic working also.  Meditation and daily prayer takes on a whole new level when we can be fully present in the experience, shut down our frantic minds and tune in to the world.  If we can't be in the moment, we can't effectively practice because we cannot truly tune in to the energies of the world around us and to our inner power and intent.

To be present in each moment is to better know yourself and to be comfortable with yourself.  How many people are comfortable alone in their own mind?  If we can master being alone with ourselves and yet feeling connected to the all we can deepen our connection with the all.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New possibilities

New calendar year and new possibilities.  For me this year is all about my connection with the divine and deepening my spiritual journey.  Which has left me considering some of the bigger 'principles' of my personal faith.  What I believe in and from there how I work that into my life.  I've never really sat down and written out what I believe before.  I've answered when asked questions but I've never tried to commit to paper in clear wording what exactly I believe.  So I undertook this task recently, I sat down and I put to paper what I believed, those principles that guided my faith, my practices and my life.  It wasn't an easy task - and I am certain that these things will change as I grow, learn and develop.  You see I don't feel that our faith should be rigid.  Should it have solid foundations, most definitely.  But I think we have to be willing to look at what we believe critically as new information, understanding and experiences come to us and adjust if we feel the need.

I have to say I highly recommend this practice to all.  Taking the time to think about what you believe, to write it out, to analyse it and see if it all works well together (no contradictions) is something that has actually had me connect with my path on a deeper level.

How do we go about doing this?  I'll admit, I was stuck to start with.  So I googled what other faiths believed and worked from there.  I looked at the principles of multiple different faiths (Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Wicca, etc) to get an idea of what 'topics' their principles covered.  Then I started to write my own ideas down for each of these.  When I found myself getting too wordy I stopped and reflected on how to say it simply, what the core of it all was.  Then I reread them over, did I repeat myself?  Did I contradict myself? Did I really believe that?  Eventually I got to a list of 15 principles.  As I said, this list will likely change in some respects over the years to come but I feel that I am on far more solid ground with my faith now than I was before because I have taken the time to understand why I believe it.

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?