Pagan Blog Project – week 14

G is for Going with the flow.

I had planned to do a brilliant post on something, but as it is I am still struggling with my neck problem and sitting for too long at a computer is excruciating.  That was when I got to thinking how life can just catch us out and all of our best laid plans fall by the wayside.
Being witches doesn’t excuse us from our mundane lives, in fact it is probably those mundane lives of ours that pay the bills and help us move forward.  When we become ill we can take as many remedies as we can, or have some friend send us reiki, or even do something else along the lines of healing; lets face it, there are no shortage of therapies about these days.   But then we get to a certain point and we hit a wall, we can go no further and we literally have to rest up.  This is very frustrating, believe me, I know, I’m there.  It is at this point when you begin to appreciate free movement, and just how much we rely on the Internet these days.

Way back when I first began struggling with my neck I vowed it would not beat me; I would still manage to get to do my blog posts and catch up with folks online and do whatever else it is I do online.  I managed for a time and felt quite smug with myself for achieving this, but then my neck problem deteriorated and I was unable to sit for more than five or ten minutes tops at my computer.  I tried using an old laptop that we have, but getting comfortable was still an issue.  There was nothing else for it, I would just have to sit it out.

I wasn’t very happy about losing days on end where I got no writing done, but the pain was – is – so unbearable at times.  I resigned myself to going with the flow, just letting life happen and relinquishing control over everything. I have to admit, I was very grouchy at first, being such a control freak means I hate handing over the reigns to anyone, let alone just letting life be.  At first I felt just as tense and sore and grouchy, but then I started to see life from a different point of view.  This enforced rest has allowed me to catch up with my witchy/pagan/spiritual reading and I am discovering so much – so much more than I would if I were writing blog posts and doing other stuff online.
I have also discovered strengths I wasn’t even aware of, which is really beneficial given my situation.  I have spent time meditating – something I never get round to doing as often as I would like, although I always vow I will do this regularly.
Going with the flow has opened me up to so many possibilities and has deepened my spiritual practice.  I discovered something about myself, which I believe I would never have noticed had I not been laid up one day twiddling my thumbs.  This situation has shown me a new way of dealing with stressful situations, calmly.

I have pondered about how we can get so caught up in life that we neglect to take time out for ourselves, even when we say we will.  We promise ourselves that we will do this, cast that spell, make that herb pillow/bag and so on.  Only half of what we want to do spiritually, witchily, ever gets achieved and we feel frustrated with ourselves.  Going with the flow when it comes to our craft not only opens doors that we may never have discovered, it also brings endless opportunities that we usually never have time for.  It allows us to be truly ourselves and shows us who we can be, if only we allow ourselves to believe.
Going with the flow brings us to places we might be too busy to visit – both physically and spiritually.  Going with the flow shows us the way to find those answers to those questions that we have struggled with for some time.
Going with the flow releases the stress from our lives and helps us come to terms with things we might otherwise struggle with.  It allows us to connect with our higher/inner selves and improve our lives, however we may need to.
Going with the flow isn’t just about taking time out from the hectic schedules we found ourselves in, it isn’t just about giving ourselves over to something unseen.  It’s about making a conscious decision to let the Universe – or whatever you believe guides us – show us the way.  Going with the flow is about letting go of negative thoughts and actions and harmful practices and having faith in what we are doing.  Going with the flow is a subtle shift in our consciousness that can lead us to being in the right place at the right time.

It’s all about possibilities and opening up to what is on offer, out there in the world.  So much opportunity and wisdom and potential that we might well miss out on, if we don’t just go with the flow.

Let go, relax, trust in yourself and truly start living.

Pagan Blog Project – F

F is for Familiar.

A familiar is a magickal helper most often associated with witches.  A familiar can be any animal, whether they be an animal spirit or an actual live animal depends entirely on the individual.  Until I got the cats that we have now I never actual had a familiar.  I had tried for a long time to meditate upon this and to work with guides and such to discover what my familiar would be, but always to no avail.
We had an old cat, a tabby called Tiggy, who died in 2006 and after that we got 3 kittens from an animal refuge.  One in particular has always been close to me and my husband – a semi-short haired cross tabby.  Tinkerbelle.  She is very fluffy and we hand reared her from 6 weeks old.  I thought she was going to be my familiar, but she’s only ever really curious about what I’m up to.
The following year we had an awful incident with our black tom, he was deliberately ran over by our then neighbours.  We got another tom soon after – the tom was our son’s cat and he wanted another cat pretty much straight away.
This is when we got our tom, Rocky.  It took him about a week to settle in but after that he made a beeline for my bed.  It was then that I noticed he would appear beside me whenever I was doing anything remotely witchy.  If he was outside he would come home.  If he was not in the same room as me he would just suddenly come in.  It became apparent that he is my familiar.  He sits beside me when I am doing any divination work.  He just has to be in the room with me if I am spelling.  He even does the same to my daughters whenever they are doing anything of a magickal nature.  He really dislikes men, except my husband and son, much preferring women and he cannot bear to be in the same room as any male visitor to the house.
Both he and Tinkerbelle have that psychic bond with me and my daughters too.


This is Tinkerbelle, doing what she does best – getting herself into strange places.

This is Rocky, he had been following me all over the garden just before this had been taken.

And this is Bubble, Queen of the house and Lady of the sofa.  She is very Royal and if you touch her and you’re not a man she will complain loudly and spend the next hour washing herself in disgust.

Pagan Blog Project – E week 2

Emotions may not seem like a very pagan minded topic, but they shape who we are, what we do and how we do it.  Something that I noticed when I first came to my path was that I had a tendency to be a pro active witch when I was mad about something, or was desperate to chage something, thus my emotions were shaping my magickal life and workings.

As I got older and started to really get to grips with magick I was able to stop myself only casting when I was angry or hurt, thus controlling my emotions and not allowing them to run my life for me.  I have to admit it can be very difficult to control your emotions though.  You know yourself what you are capable of and what you will and won’t do when it comes to casting spells etc.  It’s so easy to get annoyed by someone and not allow the feelings of needing to retaliate overwhelm you. 

The obvious tool in controlling your emotions is to count to ten before taking any action or speaking.  This few seconds can often be all that is needed to let you think beofre acting/speaking and not doing or saying something you will later regret.  Sometimes a longer period of time is needed and you may find that a few hours, or even a few days are required before doing or saying anything.  I have been so guilty of this in the past, someone has really hurt me and before I have even had the chance to think about the situation I have zapped them with something, a classic example of letting my emotions rule me.

Emotions are very much part of paganism and witchcraft, in so much as we need to have a good handle on them and not let them get the better of us.  Controlling your emotions is every bit as important as grounding or casting circles, or whatever other techniques we deem important, but it is very often the one thing we overlook.

Emotions needn’t be our enemy, they can be our friend, our mood balancer, our guide to something feeling off.  If you aren’t already in control with your emotions, now would be a good time to work on them.

Pagan Blog Project week 9 – E.

E is for Eclectic, of course!

I love being an Eclectic witch.  It is who I am.  The word, eclectic means choosing something or doing something from/with a variety of different sources.  Being an eclectic witch can often be confused with having no real focus, but that really isn’t the case.  I have found that almost all of the eclectic witches I know have studied many different paths and forms of magick and witchcraft, making them well equipped to wander down the path they have chosen.

Eclectic witchcraft gives me so much freedom -if I want to swap things about for a spell I can, I am not tied to one tradition.  It literally means I can do things my way, work with the best bits of any tradition I have researched/studied/worked with before.  Basically that is how I came to eclecticity; I liked many different aspects of different traditions but couldn’t align myself completely with any particular one.  I felt frustrated and held back, but then I let go and it all made sense to me.

To some, eclecticity can seem really chaotic, there are no set rules other than those you impose on yourself.  You may celebrate one esbat or sabbat using a ritual from one particuar tradition, but then the next time round you may choose something entirely different.  Or you may choose something with aspects of all traditions, and that for me is the beauty of being an eclectic witch, you are living your own path, unique to you.  Nobody gets to tell you that it is wrong because nobody else is walking that very same path with you, your rules, your choices, your decisions, your own unique type of witchcraft tailored for you by you.

It’s a pretty awesome path to walk, your own, I highly recommend it.

Pagan Blog Project – second D post.

For my second post on the letter D I want to elaborate on my dream theory.

After my post last week I got to thinking about how I had barely scratched the surface of the subject of dreams. You could also be forgiven for thinking that I was dismissing all dream experts and claiming they do not understand the dreamer.  This is not the case.

The subject of dream interpretation is as deeply misunderstood as the subject of Astrology.  Both are very often the butt of jokes; people read their horoscopes but usually don’t take them seriously.  The same can be said about some people’s attitudes to dreams.  We have them, they are odd, but they are just a bit of fun and don’t mean anything.

I disagree with that attitude because I happen to believe that when we dream our subconscious self is trying to relay some sort of message to us.  Often when we are awake we are so busy that we barely take any notice of our inner voice and the messages it tries to get over to us.  When we dream we are receiving the inner messages that we need to deal with stuff that is going on, whether it be something huge, or something mundane.  Our inner selves know the answers to what troubles us and conjures up images and scenarios that will make us take notice; if we dreamt of nothing spectacular we would pay no heed to those inner messages and the solutions would go unheeded, hence the spectacular images and scenes we conjure up in our sleeping minds.

When dream interpretation books are written they cover a few basic symbols – usually those with universal meaning – and then the author adds their opinion on to it.  For instance, if someone dreams of a chimney it generally represents some form of release.  But if you search online and in different books the meaning can be anything from general release to escape, sexual release, release of tension and so on.  This can cause the dreamer confusion and is partly responsible for why the subject of dream interpretation can be the butt of jokes.
If you write your own dreams down and then pick out the meaningful – meaningful to you – symbols, then spend some time pondering on what those symbols represent to yourself, you are half way to interpreting the dream.

Recently I dreamt of a chimney.  My mother was in the room with me and there was also a nurse.  The nurse reached into the chimney and closed a little door and then turned to me and said something.  What she said was personal and the meaning of the dream is very personal.  If I had looked this dream up online or in a book I would not have got the same interpretation.  Obviously because it was my dream I was able to attach the significance to it, I was able to attach a situation to the dream and make it fit.  That it is how the cynics believe we come up with answers to dreams, and maybe in the case of my own dream they may have a point.    I have spent many years researching my dreams and their meanings and deciphering the hidden messages in the dreams of friends and family.  I always make it clear that the symbols in dreams mean different things to different people and that my interpretation is just my point of view, given the images presented to me.  I explain how I do the interpretation and encourage the person to have a go themselves, and usually the interpretations are similar.

The only complaint I have ever had using this method came from a woman I was friends with a few years back.  She was anxious over her dream meaning and asked me to interpret it.  I did and she didn’t like what I told her.  The gist of it was that the symbols she was dreaming about – repeatedly, by the way, – were predicting she was going to find herself in a highly embarrassing situation resulting from her loss of self control.  She dismissed my interpretation as rubbish and chose to accept what another person had said.  I shrugged it off – you can’t please everyone – and forgot all about it.  About a fortnight later I heard about this very same woman having a melt down in a shopping centre after she had endured a highly stressful shopping trip with her child.  She had shouted at her kid, screamed in frustration and then slumped to the ground and wept uncontrollably.  By all accounts she felt really foolish and was really embarrassed at what had happened to her.
Her dream had warned her this was going to happen, she chose to ignore the message, but it still happened.  She avoided me for quite some time after that, which was silly really, but her choice.  The lesson here is that we may not like the message we are receiving but that doesn’t mean it won’t be the right one.  That is also why I always encourage folks to interpret dreams for themselves, that way they will maybe pay more heed to what their inner self is trying to tell them and avoid situations like that very public melt down.

Learning the basics and adding your own personal meanings to symbols can give a person a real in depth dream interpretation.  I have done exactly this and have found that this method gives a more accurate reading than just sitting going through a book, or online web page would.

F is for…. Pagan Blog Project F week 2

…….Fairies.

Good?  Bad?  Neutral?

I think Fairies are creatures that live in nature, like other nature spirits we only get to see them if we let go of all of the stresses and strains of the modern day world.  I think they are neutral, I think they are neither good nor bad, they just are.

The word fey – what fairies are often referred to  – originally meant “fated to die”  which is totally unrelated, apparently, to the fey folk.  But maybe this goes along way in explaining why so many people feared fairies in days gone by.

There are many different descriptions of fairies.  Some have them looking similar to the Elves, tall and willowy and ethereal, whereas others describe them as small, human like creatures, or even tiny human type butterfly creatures – I’m trying to paint a picture here, these aren’t the exact words used.

There are so many stories and myths and legends surrounding fairies that several blog posts could be written on them, and still it would only be the tip of the iceberg.
In Britain it is believed that the fairies originated from heaven when Lucifer opened the celestial gates.  It is said that they came down with the Demons.  It is also said that God declared that those who had fell from heaven had to remain there.

The pictures below depict the different viewpoint people have of fairies.
 

People see fairies in different ways, from small, cute childlike creatures, to large wisps of energy and everything in between.  I’m not keen on dismissing a person’s opinion on how a fairie should look, or how we should spell their name, we each of us view the world through our own individual eyes and we see things differently to each other.  Even when we are in agreement with another our view point is slightly different.  People will post on their blogs about the Fae and the opinions and experiences will differ vastly, but they aren’t wrong.  There is no wrong or right way to view them, they appear to us how we are comfortable in seeing them and at the end of the day that is all that matters.
 

C is for…Pagan Blog Project week 5

Commitment.

We may often question our commitment to our craft, and this is quite normal.  Over the years I have questioned my commitment to a path that has not always been an easy one.  But each time I have questioned this path I have found that my commitment has grown, as has my knowledge.  The act of questioning my commitment has actually made my commitment to my path stronger, and in my opinion this is a normal and healthy.  I have found that I have grown each time I have faced a crisis of my faith.

Maybe it can be argued that these crises are sent to test us and help us grow, but usually at the time we feel anything but happy about them.  We may be left wondering why we question something that we claim to believe in so much, but without them we can end up stuck in a rut when it comes to our spiritual beliefs and this in turn can lead to us letting our actions and commitment to our craft slide.

This happened to me last year after going through a really difficult time.  I found that I could not really focus on my practice and felt less inclined to want to bother with it all.  I felt very blah about the whole spiritual side of life and was actually ready to give up on it all.  Then one day I stepped out of my front door and the beauty of my surroundings enveloped me so much I felt Mother Nature had touched me.
From that point on I was determined to commit myself to my practice and beliefs.  I wanted to do something that would help me and so I devised a blog challenge, just for myself, called 366 Days of Witchery.  So far this challenge has helped me refocus my commitment to what I feel is important in my practice, it may not be to everyone’s liking, but I have found it has helped me enormously.

Commitment is vital in this practice, without it you will feel unfulfilled.  Your path probably won’t lead you anywhere and you will probably feel like giving up on all things witchy.  Commitment is therefore vital.

Goddess Of The Month – Brigid. Pagan Blog Project B week 2

The Goddess month of Brigid runs from January 23rd to February 19th and takes in the Sabbat of Imbolc.  Brigid is associated with healing, physicians, agriculture, learning, inspiration, poetry, divination, prophecy, occult knowledge, abundance and fertility.  She is also associated with livestock and domesticated animals.

As the Goddess of regeneration it is quite fitting that Imbolc falls during her month.  Imbolc marks the early spring, a time of rejuvenation and regeneration.  This month we can look to areas of our lives that are becoming stale and rejuvenate them, calling on the Goddess for her blessings and help.
We can perform blessings for our pets, or livestock if we keep it.

The one thing I always do, if not at Imbolc, then usually before the end of February, is to sow my seeds for the garden.  I think that the energies are just right for successful growth at this time.  We can also plant seeds of inspiration now, we can ask that Brigid bless our ventures – and our actual seeds.

There are so many possibilities this month, let Brigid shower her blessings upon you.

B is for….. Pagan Blog Project.

Week 3 of the Pagan Blog Project and we are onto our first B post.


B is for the Celtic Tree Month of Birch, which ends today.  The Celts celebrated thirteen lunar months, all named after trees.  The current month, Birch, ends today. 


The current Celtic tree month is Birch/Beth.  It runs from December 24th to January 20th.  This is a time of rebirth – in keeping with the winter solstice, which is the time of rebirth – it is a time for looking forward, to the growing light, very apt at the beginning of the year. 


 Traditionally we work for creativity at this time.  Fertility is a focus during this month also, but it doesn’t necessarily mean we are working for getting pregnant.  It can represent the birth of new ideas, the planting of seeds for new ideas in our minds and out in the world.  


Protection magick is also highlighted during this month and I always think it is a good idea to redo any long term protection, such as elementals that you may have in place, or guardians.  It is said that magick performed during this month is quite potent so now would be a good time to spell for positive changes in your life, or for spellwork aimed at shifting problems and so on.

I’ve heard it said that these beneficial energies are only present around the time of the tree month’s full moon, but I don’t believe that.  I would imagine that the energies are more potent at this particular time – as with any kind of energies – but the month as a whole will have the specific energies stated.

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Pagan Blog Project, week 2. A is for……

………….Akashic Records.

Let me first just say that I have very limited experience with this subject and that my view point may not be the same as anyone else’s.

I have chosen the Akashic Records for my second week on the Pagan Blog Project, firstly because I was struggling to come up with something as a topic, and then secondly I thought it would be a good way for me to get a handle on the subject and maybe really pique my interest.

So what are the Akashic Records?

It is my understanding that they are a huge storehouse of information, like a massive library or a super computer with all knowledge.  This can be found in a non physical plane of existence which we are able to access  through deep hypnosis or meditation, or by astral travel.
When we access the Akashic Records we are not just getting a psychic reading, but glimpse into our soul’s path and destiny.  Each and everyone of us has access to these records as we are all connected to the universe.  But sometimes we let our lives get so busy that this connection is badly interrupted and we have no clue about the records, or fail to gain access to them.
The info that is stored in the records isn’t just about the past, present and future of the universe, they are also about our soul’s mission and the direction we are heading in.  It is therefore important for us to soothe our busy minds and learn to relax enough for us to be able to gain access.

On a personal level I have felt all at sea for a very long time and it is only recently that I have reconnected with my spiritual self.  I am really interested in learning how I can gain access to the Akashic Records and see where I am headed.  It may be fun to let our path take us where it will, but sometimes it is important to know where we are headed too.  This post has inspired me to look into the Akashic Records in more depth and learn how I can access them myself.  I feel a need to know where my life is headed and have drifted aimlessly for far too long.