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!

Posted in Depression, Everyday Life, Goth, Hippie, magick, Paganism, Spells, Wicca

Witchcraft Life – My Normal..

I haven’t written in a while. My apologies. The past few weeks, I’ve been feeling a little non-witchy, a little abnormal. This morning I seemed to have turned that corner. So I wrote this post as much for myself, as it is for you to read.

I live a magickal life. That’s magick with a K. If I lived a magical life, without the K, it would be like a Hallmark Christmas movie, and it’s certainly not. Like everyone else, I have troubles. I suffer more than I admit with depression and anxiety, and on a scale from 1 to 10 of where I thought I’d be in life now, I’m at about a 6. I’m not miserable on a logical basis, I just thought I would have achieved more, have more friends, and be, you know, normal. Am I normal? I’m not sure because…..

Because I am a witch. A witch! A Pagan! A Wiccan! I’m a strange mixture of hippie and goth. The hippie I get, but where in the hell did this goth stuff come from? I mean right now, I’m listening to the album, Chasing the Ghost by Collide. And I’m well over 50! What the hell? I believe in the God and the Goddess. I practice magick, I cast spells, and I believe in the power of magick. And I’m firmly entrenched in all this.

Admittedly, there are times I want to leave it all behind. You know, be normal! But then, when my mental dust settles I realize, this is my normal. No matter how I got here, or why I got here, this is my life. Every day, I am surrounded by essential oils, herbs, incense blends, dropper bottles by the dozen, gothic decor, altars, books, and the list goes on. The top two photos were the first two things I saw this morning. Even in the bathroom, I can’t escape my witchcraft trappings. It’s my normal.

There are times I’m really annoyed with some of my fellow witches. When I see people get on a Craft Facebook group, and ask if there is a spell to make them a vampire, or one to combat the dozens of evil forces around them, it drives me crazy. If you are constantly battling dozens of evil forces, you need to look inward.

But generally, most witches seem to have a decent grasp upon reality, which comforts me. Then again, the question as to what is reality presents itself. There are times that I come to the mental conclusion that the God and Goddess are archetypes, not actual beings. Logically that’s probably sound thinking I tell myself. However, when the chips are down, and I need to appeal to something larger than myself what do I do? I pray to the God and Goddess. So to me, they are real. And normal.

There are times that I think, “oh, this spell stuff is just silliness.” But again, when there is something I desire, or need to change, or happen, I’m at that altar doing a spell. A further benefit from knowing all this magickal information is the knowledge I’ve gained about herbs, essential oils, and how to use them for everyday situations. Personal care, first aid care, cooking, home care are ways I put this knowledge to use each and every day. That’s now my normal.

When you boil it all down, I’m not a lot different from a Christian who goes to church, and prays to his or her God, and uses prayer to ask God for things. That is their normal. I simply don’t choose to leave everything in the hands of the God and Goddess. I may appeal to them for some inspiration or guidance, but spells are my prayers. That’s my normal.

Am I normal in the eyes of those Christians? Probably not. But this is my normal, and I have to remind myself of it every day, and assure myself that it’s perfectly fine.

Blessed Be!

 

Posted in Everyday Life, Paganism, Wicca

Witchcraft: A Social Media Struggle

2E6CA851-4A18-4813-847F-9D3489B6208DSocial media is always changing. Something is hot one moment, then cold the next. The obituaries for Google+ have been around for years, yet it is still going. Perhaps not exactly the way Google imagined, but the people that use it really like it. You can count me in that group.

Facebook is the social media giant. All your “friends” are there, and most people think others are just dying to see photos of their kids, animals, dinner, or to read how great their lives are. Most aren’t, they are too busy posting their pics, showing YOU how great THEIR life is.

Because I’m a witch, I have often had two sets of social media. One for my mundane life, one for my witchcraft life. However, the last year or so has brought about some changes. Largely, I have abandoned my mundane Twitter and Google+ accounts in favor of the Pagan accounts. I use my mundane Instagram is only to follow my family and a few friends, but my witchcraft Instagram gets far more use. I have a Flipboard account under my witchcraft name, as I post a lot of links to articles in my Flipboard magazines. The only kind of blog I’ve ever had has been one devoted to Wicca/witchcraft.

That brings me to the biggie, Facebook. I have mostly stuck with my mundane account, while following a lot of Pagan/witchcraft Pages and a few groups. It’s a bit tricky, but you can hide the fact you belong or follow them from your timeline, but if you “like” something on an Craft (or any) page or post a comment in a non-closed group, people see it. Even if you belong to a closed group, a friend who might stumble across that group will see you are a member of that group. They can’t see what you post in that closed group without joining the group. But they do see you belong to a Pagan/witchcraft group.

About a year ago, I created a Facebook account for my witchcraft life. I was hesitant, since there is the whole “real name” thing. But I saw lots of other Pagans with their Craft names, so I went ahead and signed up. It was wonderful to openly follow Craft pages, join open and closed groups, and freely comment on posts. But I seemed always to go back to my mundane account.

But now I have a decision to make. In the year that I’ve had my witchcraft Facebook account, I’ve accumulated more friends than I did in years and years with my mundane account. My time is spent reading and writing about Paganism, Wicca, witchcraft, and other esoteric subjects. I still follow non-Craft pages and news pages, but the majority of time is spent in the witchcraft realm.

I am tempted to make that witchcraft Facebook account my default account. However, this has ramifications. I would miss some family related stuff, some local happenings, and it would kind of screw up Facebook Messenger. Then, there is always the possibility of getting booted out of the account due to the “real name” requirement.

The easy way would be to keep my mundane account as my primary, and occasionally check in on the witchcraft account. The thing is, I’m tired of the dichotomy, tired of leading these dual online lives.

Here’s something I’ve thought about this holiday weekend. I have X number of Facebook “friends” on my mundane account. Our phone didn’t ring this weekend. Not one of my “real” Facebook friends contacted us over the holiday. In fact, the same thing has happened on every major holiday this year.

Conversely, even though I have never physically met the people on my witchcraft Facebook account, I had some really great communication with quite a few of my friends there. I was able to comment on posts I liked, and contribute to some of the groups to which I belong.

I suppose this is bigger than social media. What’s really at play here is that Wiccan and Pagan no longer describes what I do, it describes who I am. And while I’d love to shout that from the rooftops at times, there are real life implications for doing so. My wife’s job, and the effect it could have on her friendships with our friends. I really don’t care that much about me, but she sees them on a more regular basis than I, and I know some would freak about it.

This is exactly the reason I’m always envious of young people finding their Pagan paths early in life. They can surround themselves by people who accept them for who they are, and adjust their life path accordingly. Finding this path in later life, as I did, creates complications. So I’m left to deal with stuff like this.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this subject. How do you handle this? Do you have dual accounts or have you thrown all caution to the wind? Please feel free to leave comments!

Thanks for reading.

Blessed Be!