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, 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, Goth, Wicca

A Witch’s Graveyard Lament

goth-10I’ve written about how I’m generally a barefoot hippie, but yet have some definite overtones of goth in my soul. I’ve said in the past that I discovered the goth lifestyle several years into my witchcraft path. I found a name that went with my outlook on life, and some of my interests and practices. I don’t think goth is something you adopt, rather it is inherent in your soul.

In discovering the goth online community, and many goth witches, I found out I shared many of their traits and interests. I also found out that, for me, seeing the world as a goth, in shades of sepia, helped me with my depression. Constantly fighting off the darkness in search of light is exhausting. When I came to relish the darker side of life, the light came easier.

I’ve written about my struggles with depression. It’s something I’ve dealt with since my early teens. It really took hold in college, with the lovely added benefit of acute anxiety. Ultimately, it cost me a normal life. It contributed to a divorce, job and social status loss, and eventually loss of self esteem. The ship has righted to some degree, but the life I have now, shaped by depression and anxiety, is far from the one I had envisioned for myself.

Witchcraft helped me quite a bit. Frankly, fuck all the fundamentalists who condemn the path as evil. It brought me an empowerment and a greater degree of confidence. It also, in this age of social media, brought me to a community of witches, Pagans, and those who support the choice of someone to call themselves a witch.

When I was into my goth phase pretty deeply, I used to visit cemeteries quite a bit. Something about the quiet solitude was comforting. During a very melancholy period, I wrote the following poem while sitting among the grave markers. I don’t believe I’ve ever shared this before, and reading it now is fairly disturbing to me. But I think it shows what the depths of depression can look like.

A Witch’s Graveyard Lament

i feel it all slipping away
the lust for living has been replaced
by sadness and gloom
the blankets of grass that covers the graves
seem to beckon with a strange comfort

the bright shades of life have been replaced
by tones of sepia and grey
there is no point of each and every day
so why should I endure the pain

it’s a life wasted that I’ve carved
the music has become ethereal
i’ve found a bond with the misunderstood
the outcasts, the loners, the night ones
with our white faces and our sad eyes

i see the darkness of the early morning
and the pitch black of deep night
as sleep is no longer my friend
the bed has become my tormenter

no one knows the depth of my feelings
the clues I keep closed in my mind
but there are signs all around
no one really bothers to look too deep

i’ve made some acquaintances with those
who rule the underworld
the ones who could be my eternal friends
they have taken prominent places in my head

i feel the descent starting
i don’t know if i can stop it
do i want to?
would anyone really care
i fear relief would quickly replace grief

i feel it all slipping away

Posted in Depression, magick, Wicca

The Moon, Wicca, and Me

Last night we were on our way to have some cocktails and dinner. We left the house around 4 or so, and headed east. Moonrise yesterday was at 3:42 PM, so the nearly full moon loomed large in the waning light of the afternoon. It was quite a sight.

I mention this because the moon is very inspiring to me. As a kid, I was really interested in astronomy. I read lots of age appropriate books in grade and middle school about the science, and learned to love the night sky. I always felt drawn to the moon, probably due to its proximity to earth, and how easily visible it is.

When I began my Wiccan path, I came to realize how important the moon, and astronomy itself, is to witchcraft and magick. Read any book about Wicca or witchcraft, and notice how much the moon is mentioned. The phases of the moon are factored in when determining when to perform certain spells. Waning and waxing are important. The new moon signals new beginnings, and is appropriate for magick that draws things toward you. The full moon is thought to be a time when magick is most powerful, and the waning moon provided a good time to work spells that rid you of anything unwanted.

In my life now as a Wiccan, the moon is a steadying influence upon my mental connection to the path. There have been times when my faith in the path has been shaken, when doubts enter my thoughts. But honestly, when I walk outside in the still of the night, look up and see that shining celestial body, something happens to me. All the wonder of the Wiccan path comes flooding back to me. It sounds rather hokey, but it’s the absolute truth.

I’ve come to realize that the phase of the moon is a powerful force in my life. I feel mentally strong from the new moon to the full moon. And since I’ve been tracking this, I’ve noticed that when I do have some serious bouts of melancholia, it tends to happen during the waning period of the moon.

I’d wager that there are spells, magick, herbs, stones, and essential oils that protect you if you are adversely influenced by the waning moon. I’m going to look into that. If you are reading this, and know of anything like that, I would love to hear from you!

Because things sometime come into my life at the right time, I came across the following at Sage Goddess’s Facebook page this morning. Here’s a link to her website and blog. Thanks for reading, and Blessed Be!

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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 Depression

Social Media, Depression & Persevering

2a6389981e3f2809a530cd447138925cThis is a snapshot of my life: Last Sunday, after being hounded with numerous reminders that my prescriptions were ready at the persistent pharmacy, I went to pick them up. I was in a fine mood on the way, waited my turn to pay for my drugs (antidepressants, ironically), got back in the car and drove off. A few blocks from the drug store, it hit. A blast of immense sadness. I decided to drive a bit before heading home, hoping it might pass. I knew it wouldn’t. I felt myself shutting down, and driving slow, which I do when consumed with depression.

I took the long way, on side streets, so my 5 MPH under the speed limit driving wouldn’t get me honked and screamed at by other drivers. By the time I got home, getting out of the car was a chore. I went inside, put on a happy face for my wife, and went downstairs to watch a spring training baseball game. Luckily, I was cooking a slightly complicated dinner that night, and in doing so, I managed to emerge from the earlier funk.

That was a anomaly. Normally, that depression will last for days or weeks. To be clear, I’m talking about a really severe period of depression. I don’t ever feel that I’m totally free of depression. I’m awesome in covering up everyday sadness, it’s the crushing kind that people can spot. And people wonder why I am so attracted to the Goth subculture….

I tell you all this as a reference point. Suffering from daily, and sometimes heightened depression can really screw up perseverance and continuity, especially in social media. I love communicating through that medium. It helps me stay connected even when I don’t feel like actually talking to anyone. My problem has been that I will hit the depression skids, and I want to walk away from something going well, and start something else. It’s a character flaw created by melancholia.

I’ve started dozens of blogs, all with fantastic intentions. I had one a couple of months ago that had a decent following. Then one day, boom. I deleted it. Next day I was devastated I did that. Right now I have two blogs I’m juggling, and I’ve made the decision to stay with this one. This morning I spent a bunch of time changing the theme, adding widgets, and connecting it to other social media outlets. I wanted to put lots of effort into it so I would think once, twice, and three times before I chucked it.

I’ve also had similar experiences with Twitter and Google Plus. To my credit (yes, I’m patting myself on the back), I’ve stuck with these for a decent amount of time. Twitter is approaching 5000 followers, and G+ is, well, it is what it is. I hope that Google stays with G+, but I have my doubts. I do really, really like it. Instagram is more like a hobby. I’m not that committed to it, but it’s a nice pastime.

Persevering and staying committed to anything while slaying the depression dragon on a daily basis is challenging. I thought I owed this explanation to those who might have invested time in reading a blog I’ve begun, then watched it become abandoned. I hope that being able to lay bare my soul here might go a long way in keeping me here. That is my full intent. Stability is the golden egg, and I am determined to achieve the goal.

I’ve decided to write more about depression in this blog. Not all the time, but I have found that posts on depression are very popular. I’m not alone in this, and I think people are comforted by knowing that others are in the same boat as them.

Blessed Be!