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 Depression, Energy/Vibrations, Goth, witchcraft

Gothic Witch: Getting Real..

5899c095f774c4b387045440c7de16f8Yeah, the hippie Wiccan thing backfired. I completely went the other way. I simply found that trying to be all “blessed be” hippie was more of a public image than part of my internal make-up. Putting on one face for others, while harboring a darker mindset seemed crazy, considering I’m already doing that in real life, by concealing the fact that I am a witch to most who know me.

So why have I tried so diligently to project that persona? There are many reasons really. I’ve always put on a pleasant face to the public. My parents didn’t exactly teach me to do that, but their actions did, so I just seemed to follow in their footsteps. My father was a genuinely nice and caring person, so it came naturally to him. My mother had her demons, yet projected a polite persona. I inherited a few of  my mother’s demons, which I hate to admit, but indeed, I must.

I’m always shocked by people who air their displeasure with situations in public. I have family members who seemingly have no reservations letting everyone know they are unhappy with something or someone, even to the point of making everyone in the room uncomfortable. It seems their feelings trump everyone else’s feelings. I can’t imagine doing that.

To a fault, I’ve been a people pleaser. I try to make everyone comfortable and happy, often to the detriment of my own health and happiness. I’ve written about the fact that I believe I’ve experienced illnesses after the December holidays because I spent so much of my personal energy making sure everyone was having a good holiday. By January, I was so energy depleted that my immune system was compromised, and I spent a month or more paying the price.

Truthfully, and I will write more about this in the future, I discovered psychic vampirism back in 2007, when I began exploring my gothic tendencies. I had an immune system breakdown, which landed me in a rheumatologist’s office. I credit both his advice and medication and Michelle Belanger’s book, The Psychic Vampire Codex: A Manual of Magick and Energy Work for my recovery.

I continue to occasionally suffer from immune system problems. I can point directly to stress as the main trigger for the onset of the disease. Often, it happens when I’ve put myself out there for others, while forsaking my own physical and psychological needs.

I’m straying from my intended post here a bit. What I’m trying to say is that it’s time to embody and project my true self, especially in my online witchcraft writings, in which I try to be brutally honest. If I can’t be honest in a relatively anonymous forum, when can I be?

I have days when I’m a real hippie. I dress like a hippie. But most of the time, my mind, my interests, and my actions point to goth. A gothic outlook. It is ultimately what keeps me sane and healthy. This mindset takes me in a different direction from Wicca.

There’s no definitive conclusion here. I simply felt that I owed you, the reader, the truth. I know it flies in the face of my “Hippie Wicca!” post.  But you might have noticed that I’ve not written (except for the horror movie post) since I wrote the Hippie Wicca entry. I started half a dozen posts, along the hippie witch lines, but they just fizzled out after 300 or 400 words. Those drafts just felt forced. Conversely, this entry just flew out my fingertips. That alone speaks volumes.

More later.

Blessings!

Posted in Depression, Hippie, Wicca

Wiccan Musings – Turning the Page

13741327_1771138426432309_1873677800_nMarch is over. Thank the Gods. I’m not exaggerating when I say that March was a horrible month for me personally. I was sick for nearly the entire month, which led to problems with depression, which led to a chain reaction to problems in every other aspect of my emotional, physical, and spiritual life. I was in a dark place, and am just now scratching and clawing my way out.

I thought going spiritually darker would help, and it has not. I thought diving into my gothic side would help, and it hasn’t done the trick either. I think that simply forging ahead in my own, usual hippie/bohemian/slightly goth way is the only way to fight out of this.

Being on the mend physically is helping. Had anyone noticed, I went a bit dark for awhile on my Twitter account, but have rectified that nonsense. I’ve decided to stick with my longtime Craft name, Patchouli Sky, which is a name, that to me, connotes joy, happiness, and hippiedom.

I have this problem that when I get sick or depressed, I tend to move away from witchcraft. Logically, I know that is precisely when I should lean on it. I mean, witchcraft is a healing art, and I don’t take advantage of it for myself.

Conversely, I’m the first person to the spell book when other people need healing energy. The downside of being an empath is that one often cares more about the well being of others than we do for ourselves. Many empaths I’ve communicated with have self esteem issues, and perhaps that’s why we don’t deem our own well being to be as important as that of others. Lots of psychology going on there….

This past month I’ve neglected a lot. Our home, my wife, myself, this blog, my Wiccan path. If I had to use one word to describe my March 2017, it would be despair. But it’s a new month, and it’s time to turn the page and reconnect with the world.

Thank you for letting me purge this morning. I hope you have a beautiful April!

Blessed Be!

Posted in Depression, Energy/Vibrations, witchcraft

Raising Vibrations, Witchcraft, Serenity

It seems almost paradoxical, yet when your inner dependency on form is gone, the general conditions of your life, the outer forms, tend to improve greatly. 

Things, people, or conditions that you thought you needed for your happiness now come to you with no struggle or effort on your part, and you are free to enjoy and appreciate them – while they last. 

All those things, of course, will still pass away, cycles will come and go, but with dependency gone there is no fear of loss anymore. 

Life flows with ease. 

~Eckhart Tolle

There is about a million ways to interpret that quote. I think it has to do with your expectations, and depending on circumstances to be just as you want them to be. It’s about letting go of those expectations, not counting on them, and finding happiness with what comes. And perhaps those things will come to you easier than you ever imagined. Yet, one has to realize that these things come and go, there is some sort of cycle, but if you have no concrete expectations, you will not feel sadness when these things go away, and you will not live in fear of them disappearing while you have them.

I’ve been noticing that much of my interest, and what I read about these days, is energy. The philosophy of life, of how energy, my own feelings, my own vibrations and frequency affects my life.

I’ve spent an inordinate amount of time over the years trying to define my Pagan and witchcraft path. Gothic/hippie/light/dark/Wiccan/just a witch/chaos practitioner, and on an on. That’s a whole lot of energy wasted. Worse yet, it doesn’t really matter. How I practice, how you practice, how the “experts” tell you to practice, it’s all a matter of personal preference. Every witchcraft author has their own spin. There are more offshoots of witchcraft than you can count.

At this point, I’m not sure what I am. The other night, with my arthritis flaring like mad, I asked the God and Goddess to help me out. I had a small (think tiny), informal ritual, said some blessings, and gave my thanks to them. This is not how I normally think. Witches do spells, they don’t count on the deities for help, they don’t really pray, they do magick. But I didn’t have the energy to do any magick, so I tried asking. Yesterday, things had improved. Did the deities do that? Was it simply mind over matter? Did I raise my vibrations by thinking positive? I can’t tell you. I just know that it worked to a degree.

From this point on, I’m just going to call myself a Pagan and a witch. That is enough definition. I am going to explore energy vibrations, frequencies, and how it affects me. I’m probably going to step foot in New Age territory a bit, or even a lot, and I know that just disgusts some witches.

But here’s the thing. So far, in thirteen years, I haven’t found serenity. I’ve found a spiritual practice I’ve enjoyed at times, but I’ve also had plenty of Dark Nights of the Soul. A lot of that had to do with how I took criticism of others, based on their writings. I’ve eye rolled new witches who wanted to know if there was a spell to turn them into a vampire. I’ve wasted so much energy on stuff that was so far out in left field.

Some may say that the quest upon which I’m embarking may qualify for a bit of craziness. Maybe, but it seems to be working for a lot of people. If it is just mental, that’s fine, because if I can find serenity though energy workings, so be it.

There is a lot of upheaval in the world right now. U.S. politics scare the shit out of me. I’ve wasted a lot of energy on worrying about that too. So, it seems to be a really good time to work on centering myself, and rising above all the crap.

The bottom line is that while I enjoy being a witch, it has not given me the strength I had hoped it might, and I am going to explore further to see if I can find some help.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think, or if you have any reference suggestions on the topics I’ve discussed here.

Blessed Be!

 







Posted in Depression, Paganism, Wicca, witchcraft

Never mind – A Witch Freaks Out 

So yesterday’s post might have had more to do with frustration, anxiety, and my immune system crapping out on me with another arthritic flare-up. It was one of those posts you write, then sit on a day or two, reflecting on your feelings, then usually end up deleting. Ugh!

Thanks to all the people who DM’ed me on Twitter! I was amazed at that, and yes, you talked me down off the roof. Blessings to you guys.

I bare my soul here, and on my witchcraft Twitter & Google+ accounts. Honestly, I really think I would have to hold back if I simply used my mundane accounts. As many pointed out to me, this is a form of therapy, as well as exchanging ideas with like-minded people.

And (this really was a valuable nugget someone brought up) this is not leading two lives. Rather, it is about sharing an interest, a lifestyle, with those that understand and can relate. If I posted witchcraft related stuff on my mundane social media accounts, it would largely fall on deaf ears. Here, and on my other Craft accounts, I have a community of fellow Pagans, witches, and those who may just simply be interested in those topics.

I may get frustrated with my path. I may have periods of disinterest or inactivity. But I think I would miss it dearly if I walked away from Wicca. Honestly, it’s tough being on a self starter spiritual path. Mainstream religious people have entire congregations to give them support. Most of us do not, which can make it difficult to stay the path every single day.

So disregard my last post. I was going to take it down, but I think it can help others see that even someone who has been on this path for over a decade can freak out about it every so often.

So I beg your indulgence, and appreciate you being here. And again, thanks to those that contacted me. It was so kind of you, and you led me to the light!

Peace, and Blessed Be.

Posted in Depression, Everyday Life, Paganism, Uncategorized, witchcraft

Wellness & Witchcraft Life

mind-body-spiritThis is a companion piece to my last post, with a plan of action to bring more joy and happiness into my life. Hope it helps others too!

Depression and anxiety are unfortunate companions to a lot of us. The causes are many, and often the causes can’t be pinpointed at all. Nonetheless, anyone who suffers from these, and other similar mental health issues knows the pain and exhaustion that results from the struggles.

Frankly, I’ve surprised myself as to how open I’ve been about my personal struggles with depression and anxiety. There is no doubt that they have changed the course of my life, generally not in a good way. I can’t help thinking that if the internet had existed when I first experienced life altering anxiety, I might have found the strength to overcome it, or at least control it better than I did. When we write about it and chat about it online, it gives us a certain degree of empowerment to battle the disease.

Becoming a Wiccan helped me with my depression by giving me that aforementioned empowerment in my life. While it taught me that I could have a degree of control over my life through ritual and magick, it also gave me the God and Goddess. Through high school, I followed my parents’ Judea/Christian religion. It was fine, but in the end, I never could really connect with that God. But becoming a Wiccan in my early 40’s gave me deities that seemed alive. They offered guidance with love, joy, sorrow, life, death, enjoyment of the home and hearth. I was guided through them to learn about herbs, essential oils, gardening, and loving myself. These deities didn’t require me to obey them, nor did judge those who didn’t believe in them. They were simply there, and offered hope.

Unfortunately, I’ve managed to find a downside of being a witch in regard to depression and anxiety. Those who practice Wicca or witchcraft know that these paths take up a good deal of our time. Most mainstream religious folk tend to go to church once a week at the most, and that’s about it. We witches have altars to attend and rituals to prepare and perform. We perform magick through spells, which requires finding or writing the spell, obtaining or gathering all the needed elements of the spell, then taking the time to do the actual spell work.

Because we don’t have a house of worship, witches tend to spend a lot of time reading the writings of other witches, and communicating through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and many other social media outlets. Because we don’t have a central religious text, we also spend a lot of time educating ourselves by reading books, websites, and blog posts.

All of this takes time away from other aspects of life. Activities such as socializing, spending time with family and friends, exercising, and even just being outside suffer. Additionally, there is the work of keeping your witchcraft path under wraps, if you feel that is necessary or imperative. That, in itself, is hard work.

The result is that we insulate ourselves to a degree, and that can ignite depression and other mental difficulties. I’ve come to realize that the scales have tipped too far toward spending time on witchcraft activities, compared to taking care of my mundane needs. I’ve spent a lot of summers over the past 13 years behind my desktop, or doing rituals and spells, rather than being outside. And we all know the psychological benefits of getting outside in nature, exercising, and freeing up our minds.

So I’ve decided to work at balancing that scale. My first step has been running and cycling. We have had some ridiculously warm February weather, and I’ve been able to get out and cycle and run quite a bit. This, in itself, has improved my mental health.

My wife and I are starting to look for activities that take us out and about. Spring and summer offer lots of outdoor opportunities, all of which we’ve basically ignored. There are activities that can be part of a magickal experience, such as visiting botanical gardens, exploring cemeteries, and spending time in wooded areas. I hope to devote more time to gardening, which has been often left in my wife’s hands. I’m sure she would appreciate the help.

I guess I’m just realizing that living a magickal life doesn’t have to mean sitting behind a screen, in front of an altar, or doing spells or meditating in a darkened room. Of course this has always been the case, as many witches would be quick to tell me, but sometimes I just need to be hit over the head with a ton of bricks…

Life is all about balance. My balance has been off for some time, and I hope taking this advice to myself will help restore that balance.

Thank you for reading! I’m sure many of you have thoughts on this, and have been able to find your balance. I’d love to hear from you!

Blessed Be!

Posted in Depression, Wicca, witchcraft

Witchcraft & Raising Vibrations

img_2136I think we’ve all read accounts of witches identifying as “white” or “dark” witches. I’ve really never given that much mind, as I had always connected those terms with magick. And I don’t think there is white or dark magick, I think there is just magick. It’s up to the practitioner as to how to use it.

But thinking about that recently, I wonder if those witches might be referring to their basic outlook on life, and how that is expressed through their magickal practice? In those terms it makes more sense to me.

I bring this up because I am making a huge attempt at changing my life outlook. I’ve written about my depression in the past, and to a large extent, that has shaped my life. It has been more-often-than-not, the filter through how I view life. I’ve often called it a “sepia-toned lens.” This outlook is why a goth path has called so loudly to me. It’s not that goths are depressed all the time, rather for me, it was a lower expectation of constant happiness and joy. For me, it took off the pressure to be happy all the time.

I will say I love the goth side of my life. However, it had become increasingly apparent to me that the scale was tipped way too far toward the darkness. I was having trouble finding the light.

So for some time now, I’ve been wearing the white witch hat. I have been trying to increase my personal vibration by embodying the traits and practices that feed a higher frequency. I started this quest about 6 years ago, but got sidetracked. At that time I purchased Penney Peirce’s book Frequency: The Power of Personal VibrationI found it to be very informative, with lots of practical advice. But at that time I just wasn’t ready.

But now, with a gaggle of grandchildren, I feel it’s time to change. If I were to stay mired where I was, I suspect that there would be many more years of self-loathing or pity, which I would simply be bringing on myself. I would be missing the joy of those children.

Coincidentally, I came across the chart I’ve used above on this really great Twitter account. It actually reminded me to pull out Ms. Peirce’s book and read it again. It’s also a great pocket guide to the feelings and goals that one should reach for in order to raise vibrations.

This takes work. Other than specific frequency techniques from the aforementioned book, I’ve made some spiritual and life changes that I’d like to share with you.

First, I’m treating my spirituality as a religion. I call it Wicca because I worship the duality of the God and Goddess. At times I become more polytheistic, but ultimately I respect that duality. I’ve also taken hold of the Shamanistic aspects of Wicca, and am trying to be more mindful to connect with the earth. With dirt, grass, trees, and stones. There have been far too many periods of time where my Wicca lived in the second story of our home..

Secondly, I have taken a page from chaos magick, and embodied the paradigm of a joyful person. This has been expressed through social media too. Those who follow me on Twitter, know that I try to post a daily greeting with some sort of positivity. I have become a “blessed be” Wiccan. That used to drive me crazy when people said it, but you know what? It feels good to say that to others. It expresses my appreciation for whatever involvement they have in my life.

Thirdly, I’ve changed my musical choices. I listen to a lot of Pagan music. Also, lots of comforting New Age music. Those bring me joy and peace.

Fourth, I’ve been coming out of the broom closet further and further. While I love my dedicated witchcraft Twitter account, I have been adding some of my Pagan & witch friends to my personal account, and posting Pagan related content there. Every personal social media account of mine now identifies me as Pagan, interested in earth based spirituality.

I understand that talk about vibrations and frequencies can be interpreted by many as New Age. I know that it bothers many Pagans to be called by that term, or say that witchcraft is New Age. I don’t think witchcraft itself is New Age at all, but I do think that a large majority of today’s witches use some practices that are shared with New Age practitioners. Hey, I think whatever works for each of us is useful.

So that is what’s going on with me. I’ve been working hard on this, which has left me little time to write lately. I hope to post more often from now on.

Thank you for reading. If you have any thoughts, suggestions, or experiences to share, please leave a comment. Thanks so much!

Blessed Be