Thursday, January 16, 2014

Thankful Thursday

This week I am thankful for...

  1. Warm days full of sunshine
  2. Having not caught the various bugs currently going around
  3. My new dishwasher
  4. The cat finally sleeping most nights on the her blanket on the bed instead of me
  5. Spending time with my hubby

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The 13 goals of a Witch

A little discussion on the 13 goals of the witch and what I think they mean.

  1. Know Yourself: it is vitally important that we learn to know ourselves, not just our strengths and weaknesses but who we are, how things affect us, how we learn, how we think and so forth.  I believe that a spiritual study is very much linked to a psychological study, in order to fully embrace our spiritual path we must know ourselves completely, we must take those journeys within ourselves, play with our inner child, to communicate with our higher selves, to understand the balance and interconnectedness between the three selves.
  2. Know your Craft: In life you never stop learning, as a witch you should also never stop learning, but you also need to remember that learning is not just reading but doing.  You cannot be a witch by reading a bunch of books and never putting anything into practice.  You must support your training through action.  If you do not practice how can you know what works and what doesn't?  What one person claims to be the truth may not be so for you, by taking the knowledge you gain and applying it you deepen your understanding of the craft and your own beliefs and skills.
  3. Learn and Grow:  This is tied in with Know your craft, learning is essential to growth.  That having been said, learning is not just taking down information as dictated, it is about critical thinking.  Too often I have seen people walk this path who claim beliefs and knowledge and yet when questioned are unable to explain why.  As witches we need to be able to know the why of things, how they are connected etc.  Debate is a good thing, healthy debate challenges you to think for yourself.
  4. Apply Knowledge with Wisdom: I’m probably reiterating a lot from the past two points here.  It is not a sign of wisdom to claim knowledge blindly, restating what someone has said or written without understanding the content or having applied any critical thought to the idea yourself is the opposite of both knowledge and wisdom, you are a sheep who follows along with the crowd.  
  5. Achieve Balance:  Now this is one I struggle with and work on repeatedly, sometimes I’m better at it than others.  Life is balance, we see that every day in the world around us, and our lives should also be balanced, we should balance the spiritual and the mundane.  We should balance our spiritual study, it is very tempting to dive head first into all the new and shinny things we want to learn about and thus burn ourselves out and master nothing.
  6. Keep your words in good order:  Words have power, power we often don’t even understand, and not just the words we say, but the words we think.  For a witch your words are vitally important, they are a reflection of your intent and your true self, it is one of the reasons I believe we should write our own spells, prayers and rituals – because they then come from the heart and the intent within us, they don’t have to be perfect, rhyme or be full of flowery language, they just have to reflect our intent and self.  We should also be careful with promising too much, with saying we will send energy etc and then not doing so – if we give our word we need to ensure we follow through.  Finally, words can be harmful, especially to ourselves, our negative thinking can wear us down and block our energy centers, it is important that we become aware of the negative voice that lives inside and that we learn to deal with it – not by ignoring it, but rather by tackling it head on, dealing with the issues it is stemming from and letting go and moving forward.  
  7. Keep your thoughts in good order:  Similarly to what I stated above, thoughts can be detrimental and we have to watch those negative thoughts in order to keep ourselves balanced.  We also have to be weary of our anger and how we hold on to resentment.  Our thoughts have power, they have an energy and where we direct that energy is where it goes.  Too often we spend too much of ourselves being angry, being hurt, being resentful and it drains us.
  8. Celebrate life: It is so important that we take time to connect and to experience, to dig our toes into the sand, to lay upon the grass or to smell a flower, we should delight in the wonders and beauty of life.  To play and enjoy like this is to engage our lower selves, the inner child, sticky one and it enriches our lives.  We should also take the time to celebrate the many moments of note in our lives and the passing of those we love through the celebration of their lives.  We are here to experience and we should revel in those experiences.
  9. Attune with the Cycles of the Earth:  Given that our belief system is based on an agricultural and lunar cycle witches usually celebrate the changing of the seasons and the cycles of the moon.  However, given our modern society it is difficult to tune into these things – fruits and vegetables are available all year round, and artificial environments created through central heat and air and lighting make it difficult to sometimes notice the changes in the seasons.  This is where taking time to be outdoors helps, noticing those little things such as the sun rising later, the leaves changing, flowers blooming etc – this is how we feel the changes. 
  10. Breath and Eat Correctly: Breathe is important, it is our life source and through it we can control ourselves.  By breathing deeply and calmly we can control our fears or anxieties, we can feed our bodies so we can maintain exercise and we can nourish our mind.  Through breath we can also raise energy and align ourselves.  Because of this mastering breathing correctly is a vital skill to a practitioner (well to everyone really).  Food nourishes our body, gives us energy and connects us to the energies around us and for this reason it is important that we eat foods that are good for our energy sources, with sufficient healthy energy we are better able to accomplish our desires.  
  11. Exercise the Body: Not only is exercise good for you, it is a way to connect to your body, to raise your energy levels and even to connect to the Limitless.  Through the movement of the body we can worship, through exercise we can remove stresses, engage our muscles and experience the world through action.  By partaking in fun activities such as dance, hooping, playing in the park etc we can engage our inner child.
  12. Meditate:  The mind is one of our greatest tools, through it we can achieve almost anything.  What is important with meditation is to remember that it isn’t just sitting chanting Om or listening to a guided meditation, it can encompass things such as art, dance, yoga, walking, Tai Chi, etc, the key is to let the mind go, to not think and also not force something to come through.  
  13. Honor the Goddess and the God: What I call the Limitless resides within all things, it is neither male nor female, human nor animal, nor plant it is the energy that exists in all.  That said, we should learn to recognize and honor this energy in all its manifestations.  We should care for the earth and each other; we should take care of ourselves as well.  I attempt to be mindful of how I interact with the world around me and I understand the presence of the Limitless in all.  I believe that we are all made up of the same energy, however, I also believe that we have free will and choices to make that affect how our lives go, the lessons we experience and how we interact with the world.