Thursday, April 4, 2013

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for...

  1. The ability to get together with great friends and discuss spirituality
  2. Having a supportive husband who is dealing well with cranky thesis writing me so far
  3. Sunshine and rainy days - yes I love them both equally and I'm one of those strange people who doesn't like too much sunshine.
  4. Tea, Hugs and Sleep - they make anything better
  5. Sleep - I just wish I could get more of it.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What are your tools?

What are your tools?

I've been thinking a lot lately about the 'tools' of my craft.  Its something I've contemplated on and off for quite some time and recently I did a huge cull of my props.  I'm going through a period of re-evaluating my beliefs and solidifying my practice and one of those aspects is looking at the tools I use.  I will admit that much like many who pick up this path (especially at a young age) I started feeling like I needed to have all the tools that the books said.  You know the kinds of books, they tell you how to set up your altar and give you a list of 20+ items that you must have in order to be a Wiccan.  Obviously I progressed past that point, mostly this is a part of growing up, partly it came from moving countries and having to get rid of a lot of stuff, and partly it was an extension of realizing I didn't want to be Wiccan.  I was a witch, but Wicca wasn't the specific path I wanted to follow.

So I moved forward, I didn't have all the paraphernalia but as I recently discovered when I pulled apart my altar and bagged up a lot of things to go to a gypsy swap I still have a lot of tools that I just never used.  There were tools I used to use, when I did more elaborate rituals on Full Moons and High Holy Days but I have moved away from elaborate practices in the past few months.  I have come to realize that I enjoy the simple yet meaningful in my spiritual practice as in my life.  I was trying to create these elaborate rituals etc (and sometimes it is fun and I may do it still occasionally) when in essence I felt more just making it up as I went along, doing what the moment and event moved me to do.  So I got rid of things

I had an athame that I sometimes used to cast circle, but most often I would cast through visualization alone.  Its a very pretty dagger and I will keep it because of that, but it is no longer a part of my ritual toolkit.  I had a chalice, it was a makeshift one that I'd always meant to replace with something prettier but that I never used, so out it went.  My little cast iron cauldron with my salt is still awesome, so it has remained in my home and will eventually reside on my ancestor altar as a place to put offerings (the salt is gone).  My wand - I had a beautiful wand, I never used it, I don't see myself ever using it, so it is gone.  I do have a selenite wand and a sodalite wand (both smaller than the size of my palm) that now reside on my new altar, they each serve a purpose and have special meaning in my heart so they stay, but I don't use them as wands.  I also got rid of my pentacle.

So what do I have now.  Firstly, I no longer have a large altar space in a separate room.  I have a small meaningful altar located in my bedroom and several shrines throughout the house.  What is on this altar?  I have my two crystal wands, an offering bowl, a candle, an oil burner (or sometimes and incense burner) my meditation beads and some crystals for the fey.  It is simple, what is there serves a purpose and provides a trigger for my practices.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Musing Monday

Not sure I can Muse today...too tired, too stressed.  I'm officially on the home stretch with my Thesis - Due July 14th and I am having a mild panic attack day about it.  This is probably made worse by the fact that I have only have 3 hrs of sleep as hubby and I went to a concert last night and then miss kitty decided that 4:45 was an awesome time to wake me up.

Then again maybe this is the perfect catalyst for some musing.  I'm feeling out of touch with nature at the moment and I'm sure that this is contributing to my general stress levels.  I haven't really been outside much in the last 2 months.  I sit on the deck some weekends while I study but sitting on the deck in our complex of town homes does not exactly constitute getting in touch with nature.  Basically my days consist of getting up, going to work and sitting at a desk for 9 hrs, coming home and making dinner then sitting at a desk for several more hours with a trip to the gym occasionally thrown in (I study on the cross trainer at the gym too).  So I'm not exactly getting a lot of down time to center and re-connect and I think its taking its toll.  Yep, I've even slacked off on meditating in the afternoons for 5-10 mins and grounding in the shower in the morning.  But as I sit here and think about it, I'm reminded (yet again) that I know these things help and yet I let them slip. I'm sure I'm not the only one guilty of this.  I know better, yet it is always hard to do better.

So here's my Monday musing - if you want to have balance in your life you have to create it.  Simple, obvious, something I am abundantly aware of and yet still constantly in need of the reminder.  So my goal - stop letting school be my life right now.