Posted in Living Simply, magick, Paganism, Spells, Wicca

Witchcraft Clutter

img_1509The other day we had some plumbing work done in our bathrooms. To prepare for that, we had to remove everything from beneath and on top of the vanities. I must say that it is truly amazing just how much crap you can accumulate in an under-the-sink cabinet, and how used you can get to a cluttered bathroom countertop.

After the work was finished, I cleaned the countertop, and stood back. I was struck by how good it looked, and perhaps more importantly, how great it felt to have a countertop with only a soap dish on it. Also, only about half of the stuff I took out from the cabinet needed to go back in. Forced decluttering, but the results were, for the lack of a better word, freeing.

After seeing that, I looked over at my altar, and saw a cluttered mess. Now, it can get that way during rituals or spells, but it doesn’t need to be that way on a daily basis. So I proceeded to tidy it up. I may not be finished, but I think it (pictured above) looks quite calming now.

We’ve been decluttering for several years now, and we’ve made some good progress. However, we still end up with cluttered countertops in the kitchen and on table tops. The kitchen is a problem spot for us. We need to steel ourselves mentally, and become ruthless in our elimination process. Those pesky, “we may need this someday” thoughts are hard to overcome, when you are thinking about getting rid of things you spent good money on at Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn. However, I’m not sure we need 30 martini glasses or wine glasses. Our collection of kitchen gadgets is impressive, but we use about 10% of them. We have 5 junk drawers with lots of those “we made need this someday” items.

Through the years, we were buyers, gatherers, and collectors. That spilled over to my witchcraft life. However, there are lots of things I keep that may come in handy in spells. Pieces of twine, ribbon, dried flower petals, dried herbs, finger and toenail clippings, empty bottles with lids, coins, keys, and other stuff.

So I’ve found there is a balance needed with clutter in witchcraft. I’m now striving for an uncluttered look on the surface, but behind those cabinet doors, there is a wealth of clutter in the form of witchcraft supplies. Twelve year old black pepper essential oil may not be very helpful medicinally (though it probably is ok), but it is perfectly fine for magickal rituals or spells. That bottle of nail clippings will come in handy for protective witch bottles, as will that jar of old nails, screws, razor blades, and old candle stubs.

Life is a balancing act, as is everyday clutter. Witchcraft clutter though, at least hidden behind closed doors or drawers, is a necessity.

How do you manage your witchcraft supplies? Do you keep lots of things, just in case you may need them? Leave a comment and let me know!

Thanks for reading, and Blessed Be!

 

Posted in Depression, Paganism, Spells, Wicca

Using Witchcraft to Banish Regret

093853EE-EB63-420B-AD2C-1FE3E42D7FC4It is far easier to preach, rather than practice. The old saying, “Do what I say, not what I do,” has been around for a long time, and has even more relevance in the internet era. I suspect there are lots of “internet experts,” who talk a mean game, but actually practice very little of what they counsel others to do.

In my blogs, I try to be brutally honest. I can’t imagine going on about stuff I’ve never done, or at least attempted to do. I do post about things I’d like to do, but haven’t quite been able to achieve.

At various times, I’ve struggled with my spirituality, depression, and motivation to do all the things I’d like to do or accomplish. But I’m getting better, and things like this blog, and the connections I’ve made with others through social media, who are in similar circumstances, have been of great help.

For the last few years, we have embraced decluttering. Much of it has been physical decluttering, but that has mental implications. Unburdening oneself of physical items, unburdens the mind. It creates a kind of zen calm.

I’ve been reading a lot lately about decluttering the mind of the past. Looking back can be enjoyable at times. It’s why we all take photographs. But looking back at past mistakes, constantly analyzing your life, mulling over your regrets can be extremely unhealthy.

Like a lot of people, I digitalized all my old photos. In doing so, I was able to relive happy times through photographs that have sat in the bottom of boxes for ages. However, another byproduct was churning up past times that led to memories that were not so good. Memories that led to a lot of “what ifs.”

So I’ve worked hard an not repeating that behavior. I now look at the photos as a snapshot in time, thinking about the joy of the moment in the photos, rather than using them as a means to project those what ifs and regrets.

My current life phase, which began about a quarter century ago, is my focus. And while my life does not reflect the hopes and dreams of my life prior to that, there is absolutely no way I can go back in time and change that. No amount of mulling over the past, wracking my brain with regrets will change anything in the past. So I strive to let it go.

Embracing Paganism and Wicca over a dozen years ago, showed me that I can move on from my past and embrace new ideas, new concepts, and even accept an entirely new belief system. Interestingly, I have never had a moment of regret when it comes to dismissing my birth spirituality, and adopting a witchcraft spiritual path. It demonstrates that leaving the past behind mentally is possible.

Witchcraft is a springboard to new heights, whereas mulling over past regrets and mistakes is a ladder to the depths of depression. Soaring metaphorically on that broomstick is the best thing I can do for myself. Staying open to new ideas and possibilities has lifted my spirit, and has served as a means of leaving the past behind.

I believe this is why I’ve become so much less concerned with hiding my Craft path. Outwardly labeling myself as “Pagan” has been freeing. Let people think what they want past that, as I owe them no explanations. Just writing that word in various bio’s is empowering.

From reading lots of blogs and being present on social media, I know a fair number of Pagans and witches struggle with depression. I’m not an expert by any means, but I would urge you to lean on your magical spirituality, hold tightly to your path less traveled by others, open your mind even further to the possibilities of the future a belief in witchcraft affords you. Use divination, meditation, tarot or other means to look to the future, while leaving the past behind. Accept the possibilities and power of magick, even if you have some doubts about the logic of it, and use it to channel energy to propel you to a promising future. Use it to banish the guilt or regrets of the past. Use it to power your here and now.

The path and practices of witchcraft are tool of empowerment.True witches know that we can’t make a pot of gold or a job suddenly appear. But we can use our knowledge of manipulating energy through magick to empower ourselves. That, in turn, can lead to other great things happening in our future. Stop asking others for power, and create your own. Witchcraft puts the power in your hands, not that of a god or goddess, not of others, but your hands. Use it to banish the past, and to give you hope for the future.

Blessed Be

Posted in Everyday Life, Living Simply

Decluttering Tips That Helped Us

tumblr_np68itTQI81ux2o26o1_400I came across this article about decluttering, detailing why it’s difficult to part with things, even if you don’t use, or even see them, that often. We have accomplished quite a bit of decluttering over the past few years. Getting rid of some stuff has been easy, some not-so-much. I thought I would throw in my two cents as far as tips to make it easier for anyone struggling with the process.

But I spent so much money on that. One of the biggest hurdles is thinking about the money you spent on the stuff you should declutter. Let’s be honest here. If you have stuff squirreled away in boxes, drawers, and closets that you never see or use, you already don’t care about the money you spent. If you are really fretting over it, have a garage sale. Otherwise, donate it, and write it off your taxes if you can.

Clothing. Other than the money you spent on clothes from which you should divorce yourself, the second hesitation is: “I might wear that when I get back in shape.” If it’s not couture or some absolutely beloved piece of clothing, chances are that if you do get back to that size clothing, you will probably be happy about losing weight, and you will want to buy some new stuff. Plus, is that jacket with shoulder pads ever going to be in style again??

Photographs. Many people have their “treasured” photos stored in boxes. When was the last time you looked at them? It took me the better part of two years, but I scanned in every photo we had in boxes, albums, and drawers. I won’t lie, the process of doing so is tedious, but many of those photos hadn’t had eyes laid upon them in over 20 years. Having photographs in boxes under the basement stairs isn’t doing anyone any good. Now that I have them on the computer and online, I look at them all the time.

I threw away the photos after I scanned them in. Many people my age were aghast at that, but younger people said, why wouldn’t you? My kids have grown up in the computer age, and most of their photos were shot using a cell phone camera. Their photos are all on the computer and online. They have no hard copies, and don’t think twice about it. I have them on my hard drive, on a back up external hard drive, on another external hard drive, and on Apple, Google, Flickr, Amazon, Photobucket, and One Drive. They are safer than they were in cardboard boxes.

Paper. Anything paper got scanned into the computer and tossed. Ticket stubs, programs, newspaper clippings, kid’s “artwork”, receipts, and anything I thought I might need in the future. Obviously, you want to keep certified copies of birth/death certificates, and other extremely important documents. But you would be surprised at how few of those there are.

Music. We had a fairly large collection of CD’s. I spent months ripping them into the computer and onto iTunes. To be honest, I’ve rarely listened to them since. We just find streaming more convenient. I felt like I wasted a lot of time, and I wish I had been more selective. Would ever want to listen to that White Snake or disco CD again? My wife put her foot down on throwing out the CD’s themselves. I acquiesced, realizing we all have a limit on what we will part with.

Those were the hardest things to deal with. Clothes, photos, music, and paper stuff. Obviously, there are junk drawers, unused kitchen items, glassware, dinnerware, and other things to deal with. But emotionally the things I covered above were the most difficult.

Lastly, and this helped us a lot, we would visualize the house giving a sigh of relief when we got rid of all the stuff we decluttered. These things were occupying air space, weighing us down emotionally, and weighing the house down physically. Our home is an extension of ourselves, so if it is cluttered and weighed down, so are we. And because I’m an extreme animist, and think that everything has some kind of spiritual essence, I thanked everything we gave away or tossed. All those items meant something to us at one time or another, and I just wanted to thank them for bringing us happiness or joy when they did.

We don’t have a minimalist home. We like our eclectic decor, so there is a bohemian/goth/hippie/witchy vibe to our home because of our stuff. But the stuff that was “stored” no longer served its’ purpose sitting in boxes, so we either gave it another life through putting it online or on the computer, or donating it to someone who might love it just as we had at one time.

Hope this helps someone who is thinking of purging their stuff.

Blessed Be!