Posted in Wicca, Everyday Life, witchcraft

Invigorated Witch!

Guys, I hate it when I don’t blog for days & days. Probably like many others, there are times when I don’t really have anything profound to say (do I ever, really?), and I don’t want to waste your time. Other times I really do have something to say, but I’m just too lazy, or I write until I run out of steam, and it is added to the growing list of drafts.

I’m probably more invigorated about Paganism than I have been in a long, long time. I need to start writing more about that. I find myself inching further and further out of the closet, and posting about Paganism on my mundane Twitter and Facebook accounts. I don’t know if I will ever be ready to be as honest with everyone I know, as I am with you on this blog. A degree of anonymity is empowering.

So hopefully, you will be reading more from me. But today I wanted to touch base with you, and thank you for reading my stuff. I so very much enjoy the interactions we have, and am honored you take the time to read and comment.

Enjoy this sunset photo I took the other day with the cloud shelf!

Blessed Be to you all!

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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 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 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!

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