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 Goth, left hand path, witchcraft

Polishing My Witchcraft Path – A Journey

8d2d8af208fa60baa28c3bc381547932It’s no secret to anyone who has read my blog that I have struggled with my spiritual path. In fact, I decided to walk away from the blog for a bit to quietly contemplate what it was that A) I really wanted in a path, and B) what path could I realistically live, on a day to day basis. The two can’t be mutually exclusive. You can have grandiose plans to celebrate a path daily, or envision a path you might like to live, but actually doing so is often a difficult task.

When I weighed those factors, and I looked within to see what was really there, these descriptors came to mind most often:  Witchcraft, Wicca, Left Hand Path, New Age practices and a goth outlook. Some thoughts on that follows:

Wicca is a distinct path, albeit fairly eclectic these days. It’s probably a disservice to the Wiccan religion to stretch it’s description to encompass all those aforementioned practices. It is, however, the foundation upon which my path is built. That is why it is so difficult to move past that witchcraft path description.

Witchcraft is, of course, a practice, using magical techniques to effect change. A witch need not be religious at all to practice witchcraft. Or a witch could be a non-Pagan and practice witchcraft, such as a Christian witch. That seems like a difficult dichotomy to traverse, but I know people do it.

Moving on to the Left Hand Path, a trickier subject. I was pulled toward that path, beginning in 2008. I’ve had forays into chaos magick, Luciferianism & to a far lesser and shorter experience, Theistic Satanism.  I’m well aware that the mention of the latter two are of concern to some. Please understand these paths have nothing to do with evil. Unfortunately, there are those who use those paths as an excuse for hatred and criminal behavior, which I find deplorable.

I find that Luciferianism is a path of empowerment and of nonconformity. To be honest with you, I’m rather tired of all the “experts” telling me how to be a Wiccan or what I might be doing incorrectly. It sometimes seems that some people who have come to Wicca from other religions have brought along their concepts of dogma, hierarchy, and non-individualism.

Chaos magick is intriguing because it offers the opportunity to practice all paths. Essentially, the premise of chaos magick is to have no belief until you find a certain belief beneficial. Then you adopt that belief system, use it until you have achieved a desired result, then cast aside that belief. The belief system you choose can be an established one, or one you invent. The system itself is secondary to your belief in the system.

A motto used in chaos magick is, “nothing is true, everything is permitted.” Belief is fleeting, but can be used when necessary to affect the mind to achieve a desired result. Then the belief is discarded.

The primary difficulty of chaos magick is deprogramming the mind. Absolute belief is only necessary for a specific purpose. Most people need a belief system, which is why chaos magick is so challenging. It is said that this path can cause mental breakdowns.

The last practice I mentioned was New Age. Many witches will say that New Age practices aren’t part of witchcraft. However, actions speak louder than words. Reiki, meditation, mindfulness, incense, crystals, stones, herbs, essential oils, and so many other techniques used by witches bleed over into New Age practices. I’m listening to New Age music as I write this.

I also mentioned goth. The word conjures up images of angst ridden teens wearing black. I get that. But I, and legions of others, see it having by a deeper, more far reaching meaning in the witchcraft world. For me, witchcraft bubbled to the surface the fact that I am an empath. I absorb the problems of others. I am entrenched in the darkness of others all the time. If I can’t live with that darkness, if I’m always fighting it, I will lose my sanity. So I embrace the darkness. So much so that it bleeds over into my life, in my tastes in art, decor, sex, literature, music, and life outlook. I see the beauty in aspects of life often avoided by others at all costs. If I struggle to be in the light all the time, depression is sure to ensue.

I’d like to say, and often have said, that I’m a carefree hippie. I dress like one. But the fact of the matter is that I need to embody the goth outlook on life to survive.

So where does this leave me? The one certainty I can point to is that I am, and always will be, a witch. It is where the universe has seen fit to place me. To paraphrase Fairuza Balk in the film The Craft, “I am the weirdo.” It is the perfect path for expressing my uniqueness.

Secondly, I’m firmly, and irrevocably entrenched in a goth outlook and lifestyle. I simply need to stop questioning and doubting it. It is what it is.

As far as what kind of witch I am. Well that’s a bit more difficult. I’m not strictly a chaos magick witch, but I do use some of the techniques of that path.

I would say that I’m a Left Hand Path witch. I am largely outside conventional societal norms, and my path is free of dogma. I, unlike a growing number of Pagans and witches, have no desire or need to be “the same as everyone else.”  I will tell people who ask that I’m Pagan, but I’ll keep the witch part to myself, thank you. To me, that seems to give me a degree of empowerment.

It’s taken 13 years, and a lot of personal emotional carnage to arrive at this destination. Interestingly, blogging has been somewhat detrimental to getting here. There are times when I’ve blogged, I’ve held back, wanting to appeal to the greatest number of people, while worrying that I won’t be perceived as fairly “normal.” I’ve finally come to the conclusion that there really is no normal in this world.

I’m contemplating a reversion to a Craft name I used when I was practicing chaos magick. Having a bit of Latin in school, I found Nocturnus Veneficus appealing and rather appropriate. It seems to reflect what I’ve laid out here better than Patchouli Sky. I’ll think about it.

Sorry this was so long. It was a post that came tumbling out this morning at 3AM, and after polishing, ended up at a length I don’t normally create.

I’d be happy to hear your thoughts, and I hope you will continue to enjoy the blog. Sorry for the disruption in posts, but sometimes you have to step back and take a breath.

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 Goth, Wicca

Shedding Light on Gothic Witchcraft

img_0410Lately, I’ve gotten this feeling in the pit of my gut that I’ve been too much of a New Age hippie, and not enough of a witch. I’ve fallen into that “get off my lawn” kind of mentality, where I dismiss, with a wave of a hand, some of the other magical aspects that others experience, or yearn to experience through witchcraft. Perhaps too much light, and too little darkness for me.

Witchcraft, like anything else in life is a balancing act. I wrote about that recently. But I think it’s inherent for me to find the balance between light and darkness. I uncovered my goth qualities, interests, and practices a few years into my witchcraft life. They are all still there, demonstrated in tastes in art, literature, sexuality, decor, and an overall sepia-toned mindset. I’m feeling the need to tilt the scale more toward this aspect of my psyche.

Depression is a real thing with me. What I’ve learned about my melancholia through witchcraft is that too much light is not a good thing. Constantly pushing away the darkness, always seeking the light in every aspect of life will trigger depression for me, because there is always the crash.

I can tell my mood is descending. It became evident to me when I began railing about the guy, in a Facebook group, who thought he was a 200+ year old vampire. Obviously, he’s not, but if he wants to live in that perceived reality, and it makes him happy, then who am I too ridicule him? There have been other clues that I’m on that melancholic slippery slope, and I need to put on the brakes.

Less sunshine, more moonlight. Less Blessed Be, more Darkest Blessings. More Lilith, less Hestia. So if, in the coming days, weeks, or even months, it appears that I’m deeper into ritual, spells, and the darker aesthetics of witchcraft, you aren’t imagining things.

And honestly, I think people like to read about those aspects of the Craft. For instance, I touched lightly on the subject of sexuality, and how it is influenced by witchcraft, and that proved really popular. Without looking, I don’t remember if it was in this blog or my last one. I was fairly PG on that post, but I think people want to talk more in-depth about that subject.

Witchcraft can be all green and light at times, but there are aspects of the Craft that are a bit darker in tone, and whether all witches will admit it or not, that is part of the appeal of the path. So perhaps a deeper exploration would be fun.

Let’s see what happens….

 

 

Posted in Goth, Wicca

October, Gothic Witch Rebirth!

img_0808Well, it’s October. Every year, starting about late August, you will see the “dreaming about autumn and October” posts start going viral, especially from those in the Pagan/witchcraft community. I try not to get caught up in it, because I see that as wishing my life away. And conversely, about February, you will see the “spring is coming” posts begin to appear. We all tend to like new seasons, but seem to have enough of them when a seasonal change is somewhat in sight.

I enjoy October, November and December. I like it even more since 2004, when I began my Wiccan life. Wicca reawakened my hippie side, but it also brought forth my goth side. My surroundings at home, my taste in music, films, literature, and art, now heavily reflect my goth personality. So obviously, the ambiance of October appeals to me greatly.

Every year, by the end of the summer, I find myself feeling decidedly less witchy than any other time of the year. There are so many diversions in the summer, which tend to steal away time for witchcraft related activities such as rituals, spell work, and meditation.

But with the first hint of cooler nights, leaves turning and dropping, and the appearance of pumpkins, I’m reinvigorated. Recently, I tried using tea lights as God and Goddess altar candles, and that didn’t sit well with me. Just wasn’t feeling it. So a couple of weeks ago, I ordered my favorite black candles from Soma Luna in Indiana, and now, as October begins, I’m back to my customary gothic altar.

Clothing wise, and politically, I default to hippie. However, since about 2006, my mindset is uniquely goth. It is strongest in the months of October through March. By April, I’m ready to shed a bit of the darkness, and let some Spring light in. Well, not in the master bedroom. With heavy velvet black-out curtains, light rarely finds it’s way in our most gothic of rooms….

So happy October everyone! I know all my witch friends are excited, as we look forward to Samhain. Just be careful, all the vampires really like this time of year too!

Happy October, and Blessed Be!

Posted in Everyday Life, Goth, Hippie

Grunge, Goth, Hippie Witch

The other day I noted on Twitter that I realized I had worn the same pair of jeans for 10 or 11 days. I wondered out loud if there was such a thing as a grunge, goth, hippie. What’s funny is that I saw those jeans hanging on a hook later, and I thought, “yeah, hippie grunge part was pretty darn accurate. A far cry from the days in the 80’s when I found myself in Brooks Brothers in downtown St. Louis… Damned Brooks Brothers always wanted to push those vests on you. Hated vests on suits…

Then this morning, I walked by the jam-packed altar, which had a lot of stuff on it because I used it for a ritual the other day. That altar screamed GOTH!

So yeah, I guess there is such a thing as a grunge, goth, hippie witch. The evidence is below.