Posted in Everyday Life, Goth, Hippie, witchcraft

A More Bohemian Witch Home

Yesterday, we explored the shops and sights of the historic St. Charles Missouri area. Despite being in the 90’s, it was a lovely day. On Main Street, there are dozens of shops featuring art, antiques, collectibles, clothing, and home decor, along with everything else you can imagine. We had lots of shops we really enjoyed, but 3 of our favorites were The Olde Town Spice Shoppe, The Enchanted Attic, and Joys Collective Market.

We stocked up on spices at Olde Town. The Enchanted Attic is a small metaphysical shop. We bought our share of incense, quartz, and sage bundles there.

What struck us about Joys Collective Market, and many other shops along the street is the bohemian flavor of the offerings. We could have spent lots of money at Joys, but kept it to a low roar. It appears that hippie clothing, especially peasant tops are popular right now. Glass art, which we just love, is really popular too. Especially witch balls, friendship balls, and hanging glass art.

What struck me was how much I loved the bohemian look it all created. This goes against the less is more, minimalistic approach we have been taking the past few years. There is still a bohemian/Moroccan/Gothic flair to our home, but not as heavy handed as it had been in the past. Yesterday, I started yearning for more of that look.

We talked about that fact yesterday. In the past, there were times that every surface of our home was covered in decor of some sort. Eventually, it became overwhelming, even stifling, and we decluttered, even before there was a Marie Kondo book.

But we feel like we went too far. We feel the need to go down to the basement, open up all the boxes storing treasures that we didn’t give away or donate, and bring back the bohemian vibe, stronger than it currently stands at our house. We understand the need to walk the fine line between clutter and style. Yet we want to enjoy more of the items that are important to us. It fits our style, our tastes.

I realized that it is true that having nearly empty counter, table, and other surface spaces creates “clean lines,” it doesn’t necessarily fit our style taste. So a happy medium is what I think we are looking to achieve.

More this:

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Less this:

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And maybe a bit of this:

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As I was finding the photos above (all courtesy of Google), I found lots of articles indicating minimalism is waning, and maximalism is on the rise. Maybe I’m not bucking the trend as much as I thought….

Thanks for reading, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on home decor!

Blessed Be!

Posted in Depression, Everyday Life, Hippie, Living Simply, Wicca

Hippie Wicca! Part II

75c8e6cc4b8e1108bfe2e86ab29a8b03Somebody left a comment on a past post the other day. The post was Hippie Wicca! from April. The comment led me to reread the post, which was basically the final post in a series of posts about losing my way spiritually, and what I went through to rediscover it.

I was thinking about that post this morning, early this morning about 2AM, which is just about the hour I usually wake up because of some nocturnal anxiety, and contemplate my lot in life. I couldn’t get back to sleep so I grabbed my iPad and read through Flipboard, which is my go-to news aggregator. As I read article after article about the sorry state of politics in the U.S., that post kept coming back into my mind.

It eventually dawned on me that I hadn’t taken Hippie Wicca far enough in my life. It’s true that I’ve settled into a hippie Wiccan mindset. I’ve been better at performing rituals, spells, and prayers. I’ve inched my way into some meditations, and I’ve resolved to learn tarot. I’ve become an earth husband at home, using homemade & green cleaning supplies. I make all my own body care products, I ditched liquid soap for bar soap, I have used only water to wash my face for the past year, and am in the horrid phase of water only hair washing.

I’m a happier person overall, but I’m still having anxiety & depression issues. That’s where I hope that more hippie will help. Politics has weighed heavily on me since Obama became President, with all the abuse he received. Now with Trump, that weight has grown dramatically on my mind. I read all the political articles, and I become incensed, and then I’m on to the next article. It’s a vicious cycle.

One of my grown children once imparted some advice to me. She doesn’t read much news, and it has helped lower her anxiety by leaps and bounds. It’s not that she isn’t aware of what’s happening in the world, she simply doesn’t seek it out, nor dwell on it.

So I started thinking about that this morning. She has a point. I’ve found myself reading articles and furiously writing comments, or ranting about them on Twitter or Facebook. I’m pretty sure more than 1/2 of my Facebook friends have stopped following me. And where has this gotten me? Waking up in 2AM panics, that’s where.

I made the decision that I’m going to unfollow most of my political accounts on Facebook & Twitter. I’m going to stay away from people who mostly rant about it constantly. My obsession with this, my hundreds of posts have done nothing but affect me negatively. You don’t change anyone’s mind, you simply shout out into the ether.

This will free up lots of time for me to increase my time meditating, learning tarot, reading all those books I’ve been meaning to get to, and just spending more time being a witch. It will also give me more time for family, and friends.

I’ve changed the world in small ways. I’ve driven less, used less, recycled, reused, and repurposed. I have enlightened others about this, and have some happy converts. Those hippie-like changes I’ve made, and continue to make, do 1000 times more good than all the ranting on social media and to anyone who will listen.

More hippie, more Wicca!

Thanks for reading, and Blessed Be!

Posted in Everyday Life, Living Simply, Wicca

A Witch Finds Joy At Home

7a3322e96568e2934133adf7be8be21bI always enjoy the tales of people, especially fellow Pagans who find enlightenment and peace through travels to destinations that inspire them. I read a lot about people “finding themselves” on such journeys. While I have traveled a bit, I’m not a journeyman. I rather like routine, and traveling is the opposite of that.

However, the double edged sword for me has been that while I love being home, I have often felt a bit trapped at home, feeling that I’m missing out on something because I’m not there. For a good number of years, that “there” was a party, a tavern, or a social event that I attended with my own St. Elmo’s Fire type group of friends.

But that group of friends has disbanded. Some of us stay in touch, but when we see each other, it’s awkward. In the past we bonded over good times and booze. Now we have little in common, so the conversations are forced, often falling back to “remember when we….” There are friends from those days, who I saw nearly everyday back then, whom I haven’t seen in years. So were they true friends? Obviously not. Just people who felt an artificial close bond due to circumstances.

But old habits die hard for some, and I’m one of that “some.” While most of those people from the past were able to move on, I tried my best to hold on to the past, to the party all the time lifestyle. The problem was that most of the time I was by myself, trying to infiltrate the good times of other groups who happened to be at the places I would go. It was unsatisfying, to say the least.

Over the course of the last 13 years, after deciding to embrace Wicca and Paganism, I found a bit of diversion from my desire to keep the “good times” rolling. I looked deeper into life than the depths of a glass or beer bottle. The frequency of “going out” has dwindled. Some of the friends we did hang on to distanced themselves when they discovered I was interested in Wicca or Paganism.

So home became both a comfort and curse. We have a lovely home of many years, and it contains everything to make us happy. Yet, there were times where I felt trapped, those feelings that I was missing something once again bubbling up. So out we would go, trying to capture the fun of the old days, only to realize the next day that it was a futile pursuit.

These days, home represents many things. A comfortable shelter, an entertainment center, a magickal place, a temple of sorts, and a shield from the memories of days gone by that occasionally beckon. It’s a fairly goth place, decor wise. It’s also becoming more of a hippie place, with decluttering and banishment of chemicals for cleaning and body care. Sandalwood and patchouli hangs lightly in the air. Ok, patchouli sometimes hangs a bit more heavily in the air…. Our home, even after 20+ years is always a work in progress. Not construction wise, but because of the attempts to make it into something that staves off the call of yesteryear.

It’s taken me 50 years to become relatively comfortable in my own skin. It took embracements of Wicca, witchcraft, goth and hippie lifestyles, and time, but the transition is largely complete.

My wish for you, dear readers, is that you find that self love far sooner than I. I know there are many younger people that read this, and I’m here to tell you that it’s important to find friends that will last a lifetime, not only situational friends. Learn to really cherish your home. Fill it with items you love. Try not to spend money on decor that will bring you joy for years to come. Trust me, that $50 spice rack you just have to have for your kitchen, will eventually be seen by you as counter clutter, and will end up at Goodwill or a future garage sale. Recycled bottles work much better!

I had always heard the adage that happiness starts at home. It took me an incredibly long time, and bumpy journey to realize that is the absolute truth.

Thanks for reading, and Blessed Be!

 

Posted in Cottage Witchcraft, Everyday Life, magick, witchcraft

Witchcraft Authenticity

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In browsing the internet this morning, I came across this article about navigating your way through spiritual enlightenment. I’m usually wary of articles about how to be spiritual, but this one had an authenticity to it I found quite refreshing. In reading it, I first thought I was stuck between the healing and life purpose phases that the author describes, which deflated me quite a bit. I mean, I’ve been on this path since 2004! Certainly, I’ve made it farther than that.

As I read on, I saw the paragraph on grounding, and I realized that was the step that has alluded me. The author writes that this step helps to control your emotions, which is something that certainly would be useful to me.

I kept going back to the life purpose step. At first, I thought that meant I should have discovered some fantastic purpose to my life, something that is life-shockingly amazing. Upon further thought, it occurred to me that rather than find some new life purpose, witchcraft has given me a way to strengthen the life I was leading.

I’m a stay-at-home husband. In the past, that’s been difficult to convey, because it flipped societal norms. Yet, it frees my spouse to concentrate on a job that is stressful, but lucrative. So, I had to reshape my ego to fit into a plan that was right for us.

What has escaped my logic until now, was that witchcraft strengthened my ability to take care of our family. In the past, I was looking at witchcraft as some kind of personal enlightenment, affecting only me. The reality is that most of what I have learned as a witch has practical use on a day to day basis.

I learned about clearing the space of our home, whether it be from residual anger from some disagreement, from lingering illness energy, or just setting a mood of serenity. I learned all about essential oils. At first, I used them just for ritual, but quickly found their usefulness in both household and personal care situations. I was able to rid our home of nasty chemicals, in favor of herb and oil creations. It led to a safer home, and to less money spent on cleaning, health, and beauty supplies.

I could go on about the multitude of connections between keeping a healthy and happy home and the Craft. But let me cut to the chase, and tie this in a bow that supports the title of this post.

At times, I’ve struggled with the validity of witchcraft and magick. I’ve seen magick work mostly on small problems, but I haven’t deluded myself that magick can supernaturally bring you everything you desire. It won’t miraculously cure severe illness, or fix a broken bone. It won’t bring you boatloads of cash, or never-ending happiness or joy.

What witchcraft will do is give you a direction, a pathway to leading a better life. If you choose it to, it will show you some kind of divinity, often it being whatever kind you are able to wrap your mind around. Be that thinking the the deities exist, or that they are simply a part of you. With magick, you can direct your emotions, your mind, your actions to solving issues. Secondly, it is absolutely useful for day to day applications, such as the ones I previously mentions.

I’ve come to accept that I need a belief in the gods and goddesses. It helps me make it through life. Do they actually exist? For me they do. You have to make up your own mind. Witchcraft has shown me that while the deities are there, they do not guide your life, like Judea/Christian belief. That is where magick, and directing your intent come in. Witchcraft is you taking charge of your life, and using various techniques in which to aid you through the business of daily living.

In days gone by, witches were the healers of communities. They learned the properties of herbs, oils, stones, and other natural elements. Their magick was the ability to use that knowledge to aid themselves and others. Sometimes we expect too much of the Craft, thinking it will do more than the universe allows. But if you bring it down to a personal level, you can realize that it is a path, sometimes a spiritual path, that helps you live a better life. If that’s all it is, isn’t that enough?

Posted in Goth, magick, Wicca, witchcraft

Black Candles & A Shout Out

I’d like to take an opportunity to publicly thank the folks at Soma Luna, one of my go-to Pagan/witchcraft supply businesses. When the goth in me awoke after I had been practicing witchcraft for a few years, I was interested in buying some black pillar candles. In looking around, I found most black pillars were only black on the outside, not throughout. Soma Luna, who make their own pillar candles, have the color throughout the candle. I ordered some, they were promptly delivered, and I was very happy with them. We have been buying candles and other items from them ever since.

Recently, I had a problem with a purchase. I wrote to them, they responded, and after doing some research on the item, they graciously offered to replace our purchase!

One of the things I enjoy about using Soma Luna is that they are a small business specializing in items that are important to me and other Pagans/witches/seekers. They are now strictly an online business, but previously had a store in Bloomington Indiana. That’s relatively close to us, and I’m sorry that I never got the opportunity to visit the store. With Amazon killing off small businesses left and right, it’s nice to support a small business. I’m happy Soma Luna is still going strong online.

I’d like to thank Lulu at Soma Luna for helping us, and I highly recommend this company to anyone needing Pagan/witchcraft/occult supplies. If you sign up for the monthly newsletter, there is usually a code for discounts. There is also often a monthly drawing, from everyone that orders something during the month, for a free gift. We actually won a few years back and got a great pair of Thoth bookends!

I have no affiliation with Soma Luna, I simply wanted to thank them for their great customer service, and recommend them to my readers.

Blessed Be!

*Photos above are those black candles in action on our altar.

 

Posted in Energy/Vibrations, Paganism, witchcraft

Ecstatic Witchcraft

Back on December 2 of last year, I wrote a blog post entitled, Earthen Polytheistic Witchcraft.  In it, I mused about the fact that I had let several spring and summer months go by over the period of years, hibernating in the house, watching the world through our windows. Obviously the onset of winter had me realizing what I had been doing. I spoke about spending lots of time doing assorted witchcraft type of things instead of getting outside and experiencing the natural world.

I wrote about the concept of moving away from formal, rather antiseptic ritual, and adopting a more earthy, shamanistic, polytheistic approach to Paganism and witchcraft. This post came to mind recently, when I realized I was beginning to fall into the same behavior. We’ve had a few wonderful days outside, between monsoon rainy days, and I’ve spent them…yep, inside.

So I’m heading that behavior off at the pass. I began to do some research into shamanistic Paganism and witchcraft. I found two books that appear that they will be helpful finding my way.

The first book, Wild Earth Wild Soul: A Manual For An Ecstatic Cultureappears that it will be more of a Pagan related book, about breaking out of our domesticated lives and rediscovering the earth and our relationship with the land. The second book, Ecstatic Witchcraft,  brings witchcraft into the mix.

I just started reading Wild Earth today, as I ordered that as a Kindle Book. I think that book will serve best as a table setter to Ecstatic Witchcraft, which is being delivered tomorrow. Both books are rather well reviewed.

Obviously, I know about shamanism, and have read about it in the past. There was a period of time when I was looking into Celtic Reconstructionism, and its’ concept of Land, Sea, and Sky appealed to me so much that I have a section in my Book of Shadows devoted to Celtic Recon rituals.

I guess the appeal is getting my hands and feet dirty, not needing a lot of tools and spells, but being able to channel witchcraft through my relationship with the earth.

There is a part of me that feels like this may draw me back into a more natural Wiccan path, and yeah, probably will bring about the re-emergence of hippie me. Honestly, I’m not going to force it any particular way, rather I will let this guide me to where I should be.

Thanks for reading, and blessings to you.

Posted in Paganism, Wicca, witchcraft

Witchcraft Side Effect: Losing Friends

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I’m hoping this will never happen to you, that all your current friends are open minded, and they will be excited that you are going to start practicing witchcraft. But you may be surprised by the reaction of some of them, and you should be prepared for that unfortunate witchcraft side effect.

I started practicing witchcraft after 40, so I was stealth about it. My assumption was that long time friends who knew me as a cynical, largely non-religious person probably wouldn’t get it. Most would think I was nuts. So, other than my wife, I told no one. Except bookstores and Amazon, when I was buying all those witchcraft books!

We redecorated our house, and I set up an altar in a bedroom. When I wasn’t there, my wife showed some of our friends the new decor, and boom, there’s the altar. They asked about it, and my wife casually said I was interested in Wicca. Oh boy.

This reverberated though that friendship circle. At one of our next get-togethers, I could tell there was a different vibe between them and myself. Eventually, a few of our “friends” in that circle stopped inviting us over for parties. The girls all got together as usual, but when it would be couples, we were left out of some gatherings. I vividly remember one time we all were together after that, religion came up, and one person said, “well, he’s apparently a Wiccan now,” in a definitively condescending tone. After that, I didn’t want to be around them either.

Their loss, right? Yes, but that was our social circle, and at midlife, it’s hard to develop new ones. After that, Wicca was never mentioned again around the remainder of the group. Now, over a decade later, I people generally know that I’m Pagan (it says so on my Facebook page), but we leave it at that.

I’ve often said that I am jealous of those that come to Paganism or witchcraft early in life. Those people get to build a life around their path, and friends that they make are often aware from the start that their new friend is a witch. The generation of younger people who come to, or are born into Paganism tend to be very open about it. Because of all the information out there about our paths, today’s youth is much more open-minded, for the most part.

However, there are plenty of exceptions, there are employers scouring your social media, and religious zealots who want to save you. A witch fights a battle against stereotypes, drummed into the public’s head by TV, movies, and churches. Face it, there are lots of people who think of Fairuza Balk flying in a window in “The Craft” when they hear the words witch, Pagan, and Wiccan.

It’s funny how mainstream people love movies like “Practical Magic” or all the Harry Potter movies, or sit and watch TV shows like Buffy, “Charmed,” “The Good Witch,” or the dozens of others, yet look down upon people living a real witchcraft life, with none of the theatrics you find in TV or movies.

So take this as a caveat. If you are new to, or interested in witchcraft, there will be people who don’t like it. Some friends who you might have thought were open minded might surprise you by their reactions. There is a good chance you will lose a friend or two. Hopefully, this won’t happen to you, but I think it’s best to be prepared for the possibility.

I wish you the best.

Blessings!