Posted in Paganism, Wicca

Wicca 24/7 So Far, So Good!

img_1703As I wrote about a while back, I am doing everything I can to fully immerse myself in my Wiccan path, doing my best to completely let go of ego, and follow the God and Goddess. Part of that has been forsaking my mundane social media accounts, and concentrating only on the one’s connected to witchcraft. I thought I’d do a short little update on this last day of 2016.

My Wiccan Twitter account was already my go-to Twitter acct. I love my Barefoot Pagan account, and all the people I follow and who follow me. I know there have been lots of instances of negative behavior on Twitter, but I have to say that the witchcraft/Pagan community I’ve managed to cobble together is great. Positive, helpful, interesting, and welcoming. I think because of that, I get followed by a lot of non-Pagan people, who find a warm, welcoming place in my neck of the woods.

Facebook has been interesting. My Wiccan FB account is comprised of probably 90% Pagan/witchcraft friends, pages, and groups. Talk about near total immersion in the witchcraft realm! What I’ve found is that the witchcraft community I’ve found there is extremely friendly. I have had ten times more interaction with my friends there compared to my now defunct mundane account.

A couple of witchcraft community Facebook observations. The witches there love their memes and artwork just as much as every other Craft community to which I’ve ever belonged. I have left a couple of groups because nearly all the posts were art and memes, with not much discussion at all. Most witchcraft groups are very active, and it’s not unusual to see 100+ replies to each post. So far, very little drama except in a empath group, of all things! I left that group.

Also, in the FB groups I’m in, experienced witches are very gracious and helpful to those new to the path. That, my friends, doesn’t happen on all social media, trust me. So I love that about Facebook witches!

I’m also still hanging in there with my Google+ account. It seems there are fewer of us everyday, but there is a tight-knit group hanging on.

All in all, I’ve found this to be a very rewarding experience, this witchcraft immersion. Because of that, it’s easier to continue on my quest. Thanks to all my Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and WordPress friends!

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year

Blessed Be!

Posted in Paganism, Wicca

A Healthy Witchcraft Balance

29311419523_9ec3811388_cIf you follow my Twitter account, you might have read about me ditching my mundane Facebook account, and going all in with my Pagan account. I thought that was going well, but apparently Facebook didn’t seem to think my real name was my Craft name. So, instead of getting into a big thing, I decided to simply go back to my mundane account. I did have fun with the Pagan account, and had lots of people friend me.

There were drawbacks. When it is almost all witchcraft all the time on Facebook, you run into some, well, interesting stuff. I saw more people who were haunted by demons, wanted spells to make their hair grow fast, spells to have all sorts of fantastical things happen, and lots of people thinking witchcraft was a lot like a Harry Potter novel. And oh, yeah, there was also a guy who believed he was a 245 year old vampire & witch. It became a bit overwhelming.

Conversely, my @barefootpagan Twitter account is comprised of a good mix of lots of Pagans, Wiccans, witches, druids, PLUS a great mix of other people too. It is a joyous place to spend time, and it is where I devote most of my social media time.

(A break in the action for a bit here, I dodged some missionaries coming to the door. Ugh.)

I took this quick discovery of my not-real-name by the powers-that-be at Facebook to do some thinking about creating a healthy mix of mundane and magical life. I decided to leave my Pagan Google Plus page. It had become a breeding ground for Pagan and witchcraft art, with very few links to actual content. I am going to open a G+ account in my real name, and follow some of the stuff I really enjoyed on my other G+ account. Some may be Pagan related, but not the majority.

I also deleted my Pagan Instagram account. Again, it was filling up with much the same art I was finding on G+, AND lots and lots of Pagan accounts selling witchcraft supplies. In fact, I would venture to say that at least 50% of the people following me were accounts linked to Pagan businesses or Internet shops.

So, I’ve decided channel my Pagan efforts into my Twitter account, and this blog. There is plenty to discover on Twitter, and I have found many wonderful Pagan and witchcraft blogs via my blog here at WordPress.

There are times when I get overwhelmed, and even a bit tired, of writing and reading about Paganism and witchcraft. It is a big part of who I am, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I think that taking these measures will create a healthy balance.

Anyway, that’s my story today, and I’m sticking to it.

Blessed Be!

 

Posted in Everyday Life, magick, Paganism, Wicca

Witchcraft Living: Sharing Experiences

13ff8fe7-3c0f-40ad-b99f-f1659a6e9b80When I started down the Craft path, I viewed witchcraft as an activity. Something you visit on a regular basis. Perform a ritual, cast a spell, do some reading, then move on with your day. When I started, most of the websites, and books, to a large extent, focused on the “how-to” of witchcraft. Honestly, once I read about a half a dozen books or so on Wicca, I could pretty much predict what would be the general outline and contents of the next book.

After several years of practice, my interest turned to the practical matter of being a witch. How do I incorporate this into my daily life? Because it became more important to me than something I just did upon occasion. Rather, it became who I was, an inseparable part of me. So how do I live a Wiccan life?

What I discovered was there weren’t many resources from which to draw information about day-to-day witchcraft living. The book market obviously was geared to the beginner, or to the various paths of Paganism or witchcraft practice. Most of the blogs and websites concentrated on spells or technical aspects of witchcraft.

Thankfully, I sense a change in the air with regard to discussions of living as a witch in today’s world. There’s no doubt that there are a lot of us out there. Some of us are way out of the broom closet, some halfway out, and some have yet to grab the door handle. Most of us are armed with books and websites giving us the technical information, so now we want to discuss how to make it a part of our daily lives.

My last post about how to handle social media as a witch was really popular. I was absolutely blown away over it. But after thinking about it, I realized that there are just a lot of us who want some input, and discussion, on how to handle life as witches. Most of us use social media, so we are interested in how others deal with it. The people who read that blog post were simply interested in how others dealt with expressing their Craft or spirituality with others via something we all use nearly every day.

My interest in cottage witchery came about because I wanted to find a way to incorporate witchcraft into daily life. Rather than set aside time to specifically do rituals or magick, I found that I could infuse magick into cleaning the house, cooking, doing laundry, and other mundane tasks.

Social media has made me a better Pagan and Wiccan. Through this blog, Twitter, G+, Instagram, and a few other avenues, I get to share thoughts and ideas on witchcraft with others, while learning so much from others. Honestly, when I first started on Twitter, this blog, and other social media sites, I felt I was simply talking at people. Through our mutual interests in Paganism and witchcraft, I am forming bonds with more people than I ever imagined. We are communicating with each other!

I think that has become the centerpiece of this blog. Sharing our experiences, letting each other know about our social successes as witches, or the bumps in the road. I think it makes us better at our Craft, and more importantly, better human beings.

Thanks for reading, and happy witching!

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!

Posted in Depression, Everyday Life, Paganism

Widening Horizons

UnknownI love my Pagan and Wiccan life. I love communicating with all the Pagans, Wiccans, witches, druids, and occultists on my social media sites. We have a good time comparing and contrasting the way we live our paths on a daily basis. I do not have anything to sell, or anything to promote on my Twitter and Google Plus, or this blog. I’m simply here, and on those sites to talk to others, connect with other people who share the same interests, get some news, and learn interesting things about other people, and subjects that I also find interesting.

Like any other fairly well-rounded person, I like talking about many subjects, not only those related to Paganism. I’ve found kinship online through some of the discussions of depression and anxiety. There are a lot of us out there who unfortunately share those maladies. I used to talk about politics more, but I find that often leads me back to depression, so I have been keeping my distance from that arena.

But I also have interests in science, nature, hippies, goths, ghosts, vampires, things that go bump in the night, social media, computer & internet related stuff (on a fairly simplistic level), herbs and essential oils, simple living, making my own cleaning and beauty products, the environment, home decor, decluttering, television, old movies, horror movies, nostalgia, baseball, my current celebrity crushes (much to my wife’s eye rolling) and other various topics.

At times, I feel like I’ve narrowed my focus on social media a bit too much. While I know it will always be tipped toward Pagan topics, it would be nice to post something about an off-Pagan-topic, and not have it sit there like a bump on a log. Believe it or not, there are times that I just get tired of talking about Pagan stuff. What I don’t want to do is flame-out on Pagan overload, and walk away for stretches of time. Balance, balance, balance!

So here’s my plan. On Twitter, I’m going to change my name back to my Twitter moniker, “Barefoot Pagan.” Both Patchouli Sky and Patchouli Autumn are Craft names. Barefoot Pagan is a broader in scope, perhaps less polarizing to the non-Pagan community. I’m coming back to this blog, “Barefoot Pagan Life” because I feel it lends itself to a broader array of topics. Basically, how I see and live life as a Pagan. And we Pagans do live in a world where we experience the same stuff as non-Pagans.

Google Plus is an interesting contrast. I think that it is much more niche oriented than Twitter. It is more topic centered, so when you find a group of people who share your primary interest, you have a smaller, more intimate community with which to communicate. It is way less populated than Twitter, so one tends to stay within the community in which you fit the best. But I will try to branch out as much as possible.

Right behind my family, Paganism & Wicca have been the most important things in my life for the past 12+ years, and it will continue to be that. But like everyone else, I do have other happenings and interests, and I’d like to talk about that stuff from time to time.

Thanks for reading, and as always,

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!

 

Posted in Paganism, Wicca

Choosing Witchcraft Over the Mundane

IMG_0904Recently, I began dismantling my social media life. Not my witchcraft social media life, but my “real life” social media life. I’ve juggled my “real life” and my “witchcraft life” for a long time, and frankly, I’ve spent too much time doing so.

The first casualty was Facebook. I still am on Facebook, but I’ve stopped following most all my “friends,” and only have a core of about 10 people who make it through the filter. I have, however, stopped posting altogether. I got tired of posting stuff that was currently topical, and having no responses at all. But post a picture of the cat, and people are falling all over themselves to “like” or comment. At this point I’m mostly using it as a news aggregator, a portal for witchcraft pages and groups, and seeing family posts. I realize that if people I know stumble on Pagan or Craft groups to which I belong, they will see my name, but I’ve completely stopped caring about that.

Yesterday’s social media casualty was my mundane Twitter account. Not my Craft Twitter, but my personal one. I kind of tried to morph my personal Twitter into my Craft Twitter, but I found myself so hesitant to post about witchcraft and other personal topics, it really handcuffed my posts. My witchcraft Twitter is actually more representative of who I am than my “personal” Twitter account. So instead of trying to maintain both, I opted for @barefootpagan.

I also have my Google+ account, a Flipboard account, and a few other minor accounts. Those are all Wiccan related.

Looking at this situation objectively is proves to be eye-opening. My life is a witchcraft life. For the longest time, I thought there were two aspects to my psyche, but there is no longer a dividing line. I’m simply a witch. It’s taken me 12 years to get to this realization, but there it is.

My witchcraft social media is my absolute freaking lifeline. I’ve mentioned a lot on Twitter about my depression, and communicating with other people who share my interests help keep me on an even keel. The positive posts from Pagans, witches, Wiccans, and others who are sensitive to these issues prove to be personally empowering and encouraging.

The question becomes this: Am I living in a fantasy land? Is it strange that I have limited interest in communicating with my non-witchcraft friends, and prefer communicating with people I’ve never personally met? Perhaps, but there’s real cerebral value in opening oneself up to others who totally get you.

There are some actions I need to take on a social level. I’ve never attended a designated Pagan event. This summer, I hope to find a few that I can attend to get my feet wet. I believe my wife will be open to it, as she has lots of fun in visiting all the Craft and New Age shops we encounter on vacations. The other day, she asked if she could have a particular stone to take to work to give her empowerment. She’ll end up Pagan yet…

I love being a Pagan and a witch. I’ve enjoyed it since 2004. There have been set-backs, friends lost, times of doubt, and some residual loneliness, but the benefits outweigh the negatives.

I would be absolutely more than interested in how other Pagans, witches, and Wiccans deal with all this! Do you feel you have two separate lives, or do you keep your witchcraft close to the vest? Or do you feel empowered or brave enough to let your Pagan flag fly? Has your path caused a chasm between you and your non-Pagan friends? How important is your Pagan social media to you? If you are so moved, please leave a comment. You might help me and others with your thoughts.

Thanks for reading, and Blessed Be!