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 Hippie, Wicca

Hippie Wicca!

IMG_2379This will be the last post regarding the direction of my witchcraft spiritual path. As I alluded to in my post on the 17th, despite what spiritual path I may envision for myself in my mind, when the rubber meets the road, Wicca seems to be the best fit for me. As I said, it is the cream that rises to the top.

Over the course of the last few days, I’ve been reading a lot of the Wicca and witchcraft books I read when I started in 2004. And to be honest with you, Scott Cunningham still resonates deeply with me, 13 years later.

One Cunningham quote that really stood out for me was this:

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I remember reading that all those years ago, and was kind of surprised by it at the time. I had always associated witchcraft & magick with the supernatural. And here was a well known Wiccan author telling me that magick is natural, of the earth, of our own ability to somehow peacefully move energy about, in order to create change. No lightning bolts from the deities, nobody granting us the ability to do so. Just us and nature.

There have been so many times that I’ve lost sight of that. I can get caught up in sigils, light and dark deities, left and right hand paths, and a possible supernatural realm, that I  forget that I’ve surrounded myself with crystals, stones, essential oils, herbs, and resins. All naturally occurring items that can aid in that energy movement.

Then there is the great outdoors. Yesterday was a lovely day outside. What did I do? Sit inside working on technical rituals and reformulating my path. Things that needed to be done, but not necessarily just then. I suspect Cunningham would have gone out and sat under a tree.

Scott Cunningham, was not the only author whose works called to me. However, he was the author who provided a genteel Wiccan practice. A practice that I happily followed for four years, before thinking there were surely better, or more sophisticated ways to be a witch. I was truly joyful during those early years. Sure, I might have not gotten every technique correct, or done everything exactly so. But you know what? There is no exact, correct technique. Every author whose book you read, every “expert” on the internet have their own way of living as a witch. If you learn the basics, get familiar with all the tools available to you, then it is time to put your own spin on a magickal path.

So I’ve chosen to try to rekindle those early days. My Wicca may not be Raymond Buckland’s, or Janet Farrar’s, or anyone at Patheos Pagan’s portal, nor is it exactly Cunningham’s Wicca, but it is the Wicca I feel most comfortable with, and one that I can live on a daily basis.

The early days were played out in a hippie/earthy way. I grew up in the 60’s & 70’s, and embodied a youthful hippie life, until I went to college and became an 80’s Me Generation dickhead. But Wicca brought back those early hippie days, and truthfully, it improved my life. So the goth me will get set aside, and I’m letting the hippie back in.

So that’s it. My last flip/floppy post about my path direction. Done. From now on, it will be musings about Wicca, magick, everyday life, and witchcraft. The drama ends here.

Thanks for reading, for watching this public mental battle play out. Hey, at least it goes to show I’m not one of those self-proclaimed “experts,” who claim to know everything there is about the Craft, and exactly how you should do things. I’m struggling right along with everybody else.

Blessed Be!

*The photo at the top of the post is my minimalistic Wiccan altar set up. It’s been a long time since I had an altar without black candles! I’m going to do a self dedication, or rededication, at the new moon.

 

Posted in Goth, Hippie, Wicca, witchcraft

Witchcraft Philosophy vs Practicality 

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Lots of highfalutin rhetoric in the post on the 14th. I was reading that post when I woke up at 2:30 AM, thinking it felt like I had been asleep for days. In actuality it was 4 & 1/2 hours. I’m pretty sure I was a vampire in a previous life…..

Anyway, as I read that post, I was thinking back on this past couple of weeks. I’ve been under the weather for over a month now. I’ve spent the good part of a day in bed several times over the last 10 days.

It’s been a frustrating time. It has brought on a couple of near emotional breakdowns. Not really from the illnesses themselves, but the frustration of not being able to get well, and feel like I’m a part of the world.

So I was contemplating the spiritual actions I’ve taken over the course of this illness. They have included:  reconstruction of my Wiccan altar and a formal ritual, with a circle casting, a magical working to drive away my illness, complete with prayers to Isis & Osiris.

I began meditating again, in full force, using guided chakra cleansing for healing, and meditation designed to connect with your Goddess. You go into that meditation without any particular goddess in mind, and see who comes to you in that meditation. The goddess that came to me? Hestia, virgin goddess of hearth & home.

I’ve also listened to hours and hours of New Age music, specifically that of the healing and relaxation kind.

I’ve spent a good deal of time talking to the God & Goddess, you know, the Wiccan kind. My theory is that witches don’t ask deity to answer prayers, rather we perform spells. But I did ask for strength to heal. These are the two recitations I said, and continue to say each morning & night:

May the power of the One, the Source of all creation, all pervasive , omnipotent, eternal; may the Goddess, Lady of the Moon, and the God, horned hunter of the sky; may the powers, Spirits of the Quarters, rulers of the elemental realms; may the powers of the stars above, and the earth below, bless this place, this time, and I, whom are with you.

Lady and Lord, Earth and Sky, the Laws of Nature I will abide. Thank you for allowing me to understand your ways. Thank you for the strength and guidance you give me each day. Accept this token of thanks, for it is given in perfect love and perfect trust.

Decidedly Wiccan, wouldn’t you say? So what gives? I write a whole post about being all Left Hand Path-ish, devoted to Lilith, and being goth. But then, in practice, during a most desperate and stressful time, where do I go? Right back to Wicca, that’s where.

Obviously, this is where my spiritual trust lays. When shit gets real, I’m not invoking Lilith, or relying on the LHP. And the meditation & chakra thing? More hippie than goth..

In life, there is the philosophical, then there is the practicality of living life everyday. It appears that there is a part of me that craves the darkness, perhaps even needs it at times. Yet, when spirituality is put into action, when something needs to be dealt with, its back to the hippie Wiccan.

So which witch am I? You might say these are different aspects of my psyche. While that may be true, doesn’t actual witchcraft practice demand a choice? Doesn’t one aspect of deity need to be chosen and honored daily?

Perhaps Hecate should be my patron deity. I’m at the frigging crossroads enough!!

The one thing that does occur to me is that I might be having difficulty separating lifestyle from spirituality. Obviously, I have a duality of goth and hippie going on, and I think that’s ok. Simply two aspects of my personality. But when it comes to putting spirituality into action, Wicca appears to be the cream rising to the top.

Maybe the true test is to think about what spiritual direction I would choose on my deathbed…..

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 Wicca, witchcraft

Wiccan Roots Run Deep

C4unZCuVMAAJIarIt’s been almost half a month since I last wrote. I needed a bit of reflection time away from witchcraft. I had reached burnout stage earlier in the month, as witnessed by my “I’m gonna walk away from all this” post on March 8th then, deciding against it a couple of days later. Apparently the mental stress affected my physical health, as I had a flare of a recurring immune system problem, followed by an upper respiratory cold, which is just now subsiding.

In the middle of all that, I did plan on walking away from it for an extended period of time. In fact, I went through all my magickal supplies, and purged a lot of garden grown dried herbs. Many were old, and probably didn’t hold much magical power anymore. I had dozens of empty glass jars, and they all got recycled.

In the above photo on the left, you can get a sense of what it was like prior to the purge, and the photo on the right was taken today.

 

Interestingly, I felt a lot better after decluttering my supplies. I knew it needed to be done, but I hate to toss magickal stuff, even if it is time to do so. I began reflecting on the decision to leave Wicca behind, and I realized that I was leaving a path that had defined rituals, which helped keep me focused on witchcraft spirituality. The move to cottage witchery without Wicca had left me a bit lost, and it was so easy to blow off anything to do with witchcraft for days upon end. I hadn’t done that since I started in 2004!

I also decided to go back to the basics and start casting circles. I hadn’t done that for quite some time, but it really is the preferred way to do workings in Wicca. First, I had to reassemble my altar, which had become a table for candles. I decided to go with a simple, decluttered altar. Today I started consecrating tools, dressing & consecrating new God and Goddess candles, and burning home-made incense for the first time in ages and ages. Below is a photo of today’s working in progress.

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I’ve got some work ahead of me. I need to assemble a standard ritual for myself, deciding on what circle casting and quarters calling I want to do. I have always used the Egyptian pantheon, specifically Isis and Osiris in my rituals. I’ve long been interested in a shift to the Celtic pantheon. I’m also ready to move away from black candles for awhile, but white and black pillars are all I have right now. One step at a time.

So it seems I’ve come full circle. The structure of Wicca is important to me at this time in my spiritual life. I was floundering a bit, and this seems to be the best solution.

I promise that this will be the last of my dark night of the soul posts. I hope to lighten the mood considerably. If I do attempt to move to a Celtic pantheon, that in itself should be good for some laughs….

Thanks for reading, and Blessed Be!

Posted in Cottage Witchcraft

Cottage Witchcraft

Harvesting oregano from the gardenI think my blog post from yesterday confused people as much as I was confused when I reread it later in the day. I wrote that early in the day, having come off the day before, when I found out that I need a crapload of dental work done on something I thought was already rectified. Choose your dentist wisely people!

Anyway, my post was just supposed to be about finding more ways to raise my level of energy, or vibrations, whatever you want to call it. But as I’m known to do, I went a long way around the barn to say that one sentence…

This morning I was reading one of my books, Progressive Witchcraft, which I love, and was struck by the fact that there were so many “rules” in Wicca. Obviously, I’ve known that, but for the past few years I’ve basically been doing something I like to call, ‘Wicca, My Way.’ In other words, I’ve been ignoring the fact that Wicca is really a ceremonial witchcraft path, and I’ve not been very ceremonial in my practice. Yet, I still called my practice Wicca.

That’s clearly not the case. Wicca is not anything you want it to be. It has guidelines, and generally accepted methods of practice. I’m not doing the path justice, and conversely, it’s not providing me with what I need at this point in my life.

My lifestyle is simpler, greener, and more relaxed than it was when I started down the witchcraft path 13 years ago. Ironically, much of that came as a result of Wicca. I’ve always been a type B person, but at this point in my life I’m even deeper into that B. I don’t have a lot of interest in elaborate rituals and complicated spells.

I’ve written in the past about cottage witchery. It’s a broad term, that seems to include kitchen, green, and hearth witchery. Basically, it’s witchcraft that centers on the home, and since I’m home the most, take care of the cooking, cleaning, and most things connected with our home, it seems to be a perfect fit.

I believe I do a lot of the things connected with the path. I make great use of essential oils, herbs, crystals, and stones when it comes to cooking, making my own cleaning supplies, personal care supplies, and minor health issues. I do have to credit my wife, for she has the green thumb as far as gardening and growing herbs. To be honest, I probably need to read some more books on the path.

As far as magick and spells, most of my workings are folk magick. Making magical sachets, essential oil blends, and herbal remedies. Judika Illes book, Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells is a great reference for folk magick. Most of the spells are based on low, or folk magick. Once you have the ingredients, the spells are simple in nature.

So, I’m going to stop identifying myself as Wiccan. Cottage witch certainly seems more fitting, basically describing what I do on a daily basis.

Hopefully, this post makes more sense than yesterday’s convoluted offering. As always, thanks for reading, and leave a comment if you’d like! I love hearing from you guys!

Blessed Be!

*Pictured above are herbs drying in one of our windows. Very cottage witchy, huh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Depression, Paganism, Wicca, witchcraft

Never mind – A Witch Freaks Out 

So yesterday’s post might have had more to do with frustration, anxiety, and my immune system crapping out on me with another arthritic flare-up. It was one of those posts you write, then sit on a day or two, reflecting on your feelings, then usually end up deleting. Ugh!

Thanks to all the people who DM’ed me on Twitter! I was amazed at that, and yes, you talked me down off the roof. Blessings to you guys.

I bare my soul here, and on my witchcraft Twitter & Google+ accounts. Honestly, I really think I would have to hold back if I simply used my mundane accounts. As many pointed out to me, this is a form of therapy, as well as exchanging ideas with like-minded people.

And (this really was a valuable nugget someone brought up) this is not leading two lives. Rather, it is about sharing an interest, a lifestyle, with those that understand and can relate. If I posted witchcraft related stuff on my mundane social media accounts, it would largely fall on deaf ears. Here, and on my other Craft accounts, I have a community of fellow Pagans, witches, and those who may just simply be interested in those topics.

I may get frustrated with my path. I may have periods of disinterest or inactivity. But I think I would miss it dearly if I walked away from Wicca. Honestly, it’s tough being on a self starter spiritual path. Mainstream religious people have entire congregations to give them support. Most of us do not, which can make it difficult to stay the path every single day.

So disregard my last post. I was going to take it down, but I think it can help others see that even someone who has been on this path for over a decade can freak out about it every so often.

So I beg your indulgence, and appreciate you being here. And again, thanks to those that contacted me. It was so kind of you, and you led me to the light!

Peace, and Blessed Be.