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:

minimalist-home-decoration

And maybe a bit of this:

BAROQUE MIX 1

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 Hippie, Wicca

Hippie Wicca!

IMG_2379This will be the last post regarding the direction of my witchcraft spiritual path. As I alluded to in my post on the 17th, despite what spiritual path I may envision for myself in my mind, when the rubber meets the road, Wicca seems to be the best fit for me. As I said, it is the cream that rises to the top.

Over the course of the last few days, I’ve been reading a lot of the Wicca and witchcraft books I read when I started in 2004. And to be honest with you, Scott Cunningham still resonates deeply with me, 13 years later.

One Cunningham quote that really stood out for me was this:

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I remember reading that all those years ago, and was kind of surprised by it at the time. I had always associated witchcraft & magick with the supernatural. And here was a well known Wiccan author telling me that magick is natural, of the earth, of our own ability to somehow peacefully move energy about, in order to create change. No lightning bolts from the deities, nobody granting us the ability to do so. Just us and nature.

There have been so many times that I’ve lost sight of that. I can get caught up in sigils, light and dark deities, left and right hand paths, and a possible supernatural realm, that I  forget that I’ve surrounded myself with crystals, stones, essential oils, herbs, and resins. All naturally occurring items that can aid in that energy movement.

Then there is the great outdoors. Yesterday was a lovely day outside. What did I do? Sit inside working on technical rituals and reformulating my path. Things that needed to be done, but not necessarily just then. I suspect Cunningham would have gone out and sat under a tree.

Scott Cunningham, was not the only author whose works called to me. However, he was the author who provided a genteel Wiccan practice. A practice that I happily followed for four years, before thinking there were surely better, or more sophisticated ways to be a witch. I was truly joyful during those early years. Sure, I might have not gotten every technique correct, or done everything exactly so. But you know what? There is no exact, correct technique. Every author whose book you read, every “expert” on the internet have their own way of living as a witch. If you learn the basics, get familiar with all the tools available to you, then it is time to put your own spin on a magickal path.

So I’ve chosen to try to rekindle those early days. My Wicca may not be Raymond Buckland’s, or Janet Farrar’s, or anyone at Patheos Pagan’s portal, nor is it exactly Cunningham’s Wicca, but it is the Wicca I feel most comfortable with, and one that I can live on a daily basis.

The early days were played out in a hippie/earthy way. I grew up in the 60’s & 70’s, and embodied a youthful hippie life, until I went to college and became an 80’s Me Generation dickhead. But Wicca brought back those early hippie days, and truthfully, it improved my life. So the goth me will get set aside, and I’m letting the hippie back in.

So that’s it. My last flip/floppy post about my path direction. Done. From now on, it will be musings about Wicca, magick, everyday life, and witchcraft. The drama ends here.

Thanks for reading, for watching this public mental battle play out. Hey, at least it goes to show I’m not one of those self-proclaimed “experts,” who claim to know everything there is about the Craft, and exactly how you should do things. I’m struggling right along with everybody else.

Blessed Be!

*The photo at the top of the post is my minimalistic Wiccan altar set up. It’s been a long time since I had an altar without black candles! I’m going to do a self dedication, or rededication, at the new moon.

 

Posted in Goth, Hippie, Wicca, witchcraft

Witchcraft Philosophy vs Practicality 

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Lots of highfalutin rhetoric in the post on the 14th. I was reading that post when I woke up at 2:30 AM, thinking it felt like I had been asleep for days. In actuality it was 4 & 1/2 hours. I’m pretty sure I was a vampire in a previous life…..

Anyway, as I read that post, I was thinking back on this past couple of weeks. I’ve been under the weather for over a month now. I’ve spent the good part of a day in bed several times over the last 10 days.

It’s been a frustrating time. It has brought on a couple of near emotional breakdowns. Not really from the illnesses themselves, but the frustration of not being able to get well, and feel like I’m a part of the world.

So I was contemplating the spiritual actions I’ve taken over the course of this illness. They have included:  reconstruction of my Wiccan altar and a formal ritual, with a circle casting, a magical working to drive away my illness, complete with prayers to Isis & Osiris.

I began meditating again, in full force, using guided chakra cleansing for healing, and meditation designed to connect with your Goddess. You go into that meditation without any particular goddess in mind, and see who comes to you in that meditation. The goddess that came to me? Hestia, virgin goddess of hearth & home.

I’ve also listened to hours and hours of New Age music, specifically that of the healing and relaxation kind.

I’ve spent a good deal of time talking to the God & Goddess, you know, the Wiccan kind. My theory is that witches don’t ask deity to answer prayers, rather we perform spells. But I did ask for strength to heal. These are the two recitations I said, and continue to say each morning & night:

May the power of the One, the Source of all creation, all pervasive , omnipotent, eternal; may the Goddess, Lady of the Moon, and the God, horned hunter of the sky; may the powers, Spirits of the Quarters, rulers of the elemental realms; may the powers of the stars above, and the earth below, bless this place, this time, and I, whom are with you.

Lady and Lord, Earth and Sky, the Laws of Nature I will abide. Thank you for allowing me to understand your ways. Thank you for the strength and guidance you give me each day. Accept this token of thanks, for it is given in perfect love and perfect trust.

Decidedly Wiccan, wouldn’t you say? So what gives? I write a whole post about being all Left Hand Path-ish, devoted to Lilith, and being goth. But then, in practice, during a most desperate and stressful time, where do I go? Right back to Wicca, that’s where.

Obviously, this is where my spiritual trust lays. When shit gets real, I’m not invoking Lilith, or relying on the LHP. And the meditation & chakra thing? More hippie than goth..

In life, there is the philosophical, then there is the practicality of living life everyday. It appears that there is a part of me that craves the darkness, perhaps even needs it at times. Yet, when spirituality is put into action, when something needs to be dealt with, its back to the hippie Wiccan.

So which witch am I? You might say these are different aspects of my psyche. While that may be true, doesn’t actual witchcraft practice demand a choice? Doesn’t one aspect of deity need to be chosen and honored daily?

Perhaps Hecate should be my patron deity. I’m at the frigging crossroads enough!!

The one thing that does occur to me is that I might be having difficulty separating lifestyle from spirituality. Obviously, I have a duality of goth and hippie going on, and I think that’s ok. Simply two aspects of my personality. But when it comes to putting spirituality into action, Wicca appears to be the cream rising to the top.

Maybe the true test is to think about what spiritual direction I would choose on my deathbed…..

Blessed Be

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 Everyday Life, Goth, Hippie, Living Simply, Paganism, Wicca

Oh Dear Gods, Resolutions! Egads!

lens_cornelis_-_tanz_der_ma%cc%88nadenSo yesterday, out of the ashes of another boozy holiday, a different me rose like a phoenix. It isn’t necessarily a “better” me, just one that is perhaps more focused on what’s important. As I indicated yesterday, I changed my social media accounts. I went full on witchy. What had happened on my mundane accounts was a devolvement into awful political discourse. It has become increasingly crystal clear that the round and round arguing only served to aggravate everyone involved, and was without purpose. I’m not going to stick my head in the sand, but I’m no longer going to be the person who constantly harps on it. Honestly, I would much rather hang with other Pagans and witches, discussing spirituality and magick.

In the past, I’ve stayed away from New Year’s resolutions. They so often fall by the wayside. This year, I’m not waiting for New Year’s. I have a few things in mind. First, I want to be kinder to myself. Mind, body, and soul. That involves a dedication to meditation, to reading more books, to eating better, and ceasing to beat myself up over what I don’t like about my life. Accepting the things I can’t change, and working to better those that I can.

Secondly, extending more kindness to others. Becoming a Wiccan all those years ago went a long way to improving that, but there is always room to be a better person. More time with my grandchildren, and more quality time with my wife. More kindness extended to strangers, and to my friends. I know for a fact that that kind of thing comes back to you three and four fold.

I want to continue to simplify my life. This year, I made great strides in that area. I largely ditched shampoo, shifted from chemical laden soap products to simple bar soap, detoxed our cleaning supplies, went to water-only face washing, using only carrier oil and essential oils for moisturizing, and deodorant. We decluttered, and continue to do so. I’ve stopped comparing my life to the lives of others. If we are happy, that’s what’s important.

I know we could do more. Even though we recycle religiously, we could bring home less plastic from the store. We could eat less meat, and probably buy fewer unnecessary items than we do. Change is difficult, and changing behavior of 40+ years isn’t as simple as I thought it might be.

Lastly, I am going to allow myself to move between mindsets without all sorts of self analysis. I’m not sure how it’s happened, but I’m equal part barefoot hippie, goth, Wiccan, chaos magician, devotee of Hestia, chaste Goddess of the Hearth, devotee of Dionysus, God of religious and sensual ecstasy and madness (a particularly fun devotion!), and countless other deities and aspects of their personalities. For better or worse, the sum of all parts make us whole. Understanding why is, at least in my instance, best left to the deities.

So that’s it. Most of my “resolutions” are things I’m already working on. A few are new, and some are just a further embracement of current practices.

Thanks for reading! I love that people find what I ramble on about here fairly interesting, and am truly grateful for your feedback and comments. It makes my heart sing.

Blessings to you all.

 

Posted in Everyday Life, Goth, Hippie, Living Simply, Paganism, Wicca

A Wiccan Pledge

img_1879This morning I had to drag my butt out of bed, and I’m sitting here feeling unwell. Through whatever set of circumstances, Christmas, and the few days preceding it have become synonymous with a drinking fest. Apparently, I’ve fully embraced Saturnalia.  But this is payback day. It’s the day I try spend recovering, and consider the option of rehab…

These are also the kind of days I look at my life and think about how I can improve it. Today’s epiphany is not a new one, rather one I’ve had several times, and failed to successfully act upon it. It’s a revelation that is difficult because it involves ego, and we all know how strong ones’ ego can be.

But this morning I had a discussion with my ego, and we came to an agreement. We decided that he was going to take a backseat to my true self, since he’s been driving the bus for over half a century. The ego has been suppressing some character traits for most of my life, and other interests that have developed along the way.

I’ve decided to lose myself in my spirituality. The days of witchcraft being second fiddle to other interests are ending. This is going to begin with all my social media accounts that disguise the fact that I’m a witch. My personal Facebook page will become dormant, and I will attend to my witchcraft page. My ego would have me come out as a witch, blazing with both wands to all my friends and family, but that really serves no purpose to me. Besides, I always feel so much more free to express myself without worry about how my friends and family will take it.

I plan to fully embrace my interests, no matter how strange they may appear to others. I enjoy aspects of a hippie, goth, barefoot, and bohemian lifestyle. That may be an odd mix to some, but I am ceasing to care. I’m crushing any male superiority aspect of my ego. Personally, I found Wicca appealing because it elevates the importance of women. Women give birth, they provide life and nurturing. Women should be worshiped as they were in ancient times.

Most importantly, I am ending any doubt in my mind about the validity of Wicca, witchcraft, Paganism, and the existence of deities. I’ve spent far too much time mentally challenging myself, only to find myself appealing to deity when the chips are down. It’s easy to question when you don’t have a need for the gods and goddesses, but you simply can’t have it both ways. Either they exist or they don’t. From this point forward they exist for me, no questions asked.

This is a total deconstruction of myself and my ego. The person I was yesterday will cease to exist. My remaining years on this planet will be devoted to my spiritual path, and to who I truly am, and what makes me truly happy. It may seem daunting to others, but I think it’s the only path to true joy.

My spiritual path has become the gateway to many of the things I’ve grown to cherish. It has opened my eyes to the hippie and goth within. It has given me the courage to forsake societal convention, and to live a simpler lifestyle without wanting what I don’t have. It’s time to give it my full attention.

Happy holidays & Blessed Be!