Thursday, May 26, 2011
I've been feeling very drained lately and while I know life, being life, the ups and downs are bound to happen. It's part of the learning and growing process and I'm ok with that cycle. That said, these days I'm working on trying to figure out what I need to do to help regain my energies and reinvogorate my practice.
For those of you out there who've struggled with this lull, what have you done that has helped you through it? I'd love pick your brains for some advice if you have some!
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
prompt: pagan pet peeves
While I’m am by no means advocating a negative community bashing session, we all have our pet peeves and sometimes it’s good to give them voice.
So that’s what I did. What are your pagan pet peeves?
Page notes: texture created from using tissue paper and modge podge. Star is bubbly because I used my heat embosser to dry the paint.
By the way… I can’t believe we’re at week 17 already!
Friday, May 20, 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
This week’s prompt: ethics
What ethical code guides your practice. Obviously the most common moral maxim that people in wicca talk about is:
An it harm none, do what thou wilt.
Do you buy it? What issues or benefits do you see from this statement? Or another…
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Sunday, May 15, 2011
While for me, this path is not just about magic, I have to admit to being fascinated by it. I have long loved everything and anything occult related. It’s what drew me here initially. If it weren’t for my love of the occult, I would have probably focused on becoming a yogi, not a witch.
That’s probably not what I’m supposed to admit to, is it? But fuck it. It’s true. And yet, for all of that, I’ve never been someone with any perceived natural abilities. I can’t make things move, I can’t read minds, and I can’t fly. Damn it!
However, I do a lot of meditating (any of you who read this regularly are probably very aware of this cause I like to talk about it a lot, I know) and since I’ve started meditating on a regular basis I’ve noticed an increased sensitivity to the world around me. This of course, with my Capricornian nature, has stirred my psychic ambitions. (It seems weird to write that I have psychic ambitions, but so be it). The more I meditate and read, the more I am convinced that we all have latent abilities in this sphere and it’s just a matter of awakening them.
So now I find myself wanting to jump ahead and know what those skills might be. And I also wonder if they were always there in my life, manifesting in subtle ways without my awareness.
For example, I have always been a good judge of character. That might sound like an idle boast but in fact my family and friends have frequently commented on my ability to suss out people who are untrustworthy. My mom has always said that if I didn’t like someone it, it was reason to give her pause because inevitably she would find out out later that my initial intuition was always right. Is this self-fulfilling prophecy (in that there have been some cases where this was the truth and has now been applied to all individuals to the point that people are looking for it? I don’t know. Maybe? Maybe not). If you want to know how I know these things, I couldn’t tell you. I don’t know why I react this way. After a lot of thought, I’ve come to realize that when I don’t like someone I’ve met, they take on a physical ugliness to me, be it in manner or gestures, usually in gestures. They won’t behave or look different than anyone else in the room but to me, their movements will become coarse and rude and I’m repelled by them. This might sound incredibly harsh, but it’s not because honestly, it’s rare that I react this way. I like most people, or feel neutral about them until I know either way.
I suppose in some way you could argue that this is a latent ability but I’m looking now to see if it’s related to something more. I’m curious to see how it will unfold further, if it will.
Another example of something that I learned and am relearning now: when I did yoga all the time in a studio, I started to notice that I could feel the air shifting with our breathing during savasana (the corpse pose at the end). I would lay there, aware of the way the air would shift up and down, usually in sync, at the end of practice, just a foot or two above us, like a wave of energy. Honestly, it freaked the fuck out of me and I didn’t quite know what to make out of it. It was fascinating but weird as a sensation. It was the first time that I knowingly felt energy in the world around me in such a tangible way. And often, after I finished a course like this, I would walk out on the street, covered in sweat and be approached by total strangers and invited out for coffee. For some people this might not seem that remarkable, but for me it was because I tend to have closed off energy and am rarely disturbed by the people in the city around me. So it was weird to come out of my practice, relaxed and calm, and realize that my openness in practice was opening me up to the world at large. Ultimately, as much as it intrigued me, I don’t think I knew what to do with it and eventually shifted my energies away from my yoga practice because I was finding it exciting and unsettling.
Now that I’m meditating and working a daily practice, I’m finding a very similar experience occurring again. At work students keep me busier than I’ve ever been because they seek me out more and more. In my friendships I’ve had to deal with a lot of “big confessions” lately and I find myself needing to draw some boundaries that I’ve never had to draw before, not always with welcomed reactions. Some days I’ll literally vibrate with energy and I feel like I am attracting people to me like flies to honey. And then I become overwhelmed and shut down, cutting myself off from everyone, usually the ones who deserve it the least being the ones who feel it the most.
This evolution towards awakening, as much as I embrace it, is coming with it’s own challenges. And I’ll be honest, I’m not always sure I’m up for the challenge. I go from wanting it all now, to feeling overwhelmed by the shifts that are manifesting in my life. And, in it all, the universe, in a moment of perfect synchronicity gave me the following:
“spiritual growth is not a competition or a race. The various grades are intended as periods of time wherein the elemental composition of the initiate’s psyche are explored and equilibrated. […] Patience, diligence, and endurance are necessities on the magical path. […] the Great Work is not accomplished overnight. It requires long-term commitments. Sometimes, the work of an initiate will feel like ecstasy, while at others it will seem like drudgery. […] The Divine Union comes in small increments and gradual stages, like the careful and painstaking process of alchemy. Over time these flashes of insight will ad up and constitute real and lasting psychic growth.” (Cicero 247-8)
For someone who has been spending too much time lately wondering about how these various new awarenesses will translate into unlocking some latent ability I may possess, these words were so fitting that I was once again reminded that the universe gives you what you need, when you really need it, if you’re open to seeing it for the gift it is.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
This week’s prompt: dreams
I don’t know about the rest of you out there, but I’m a big dreamer. In fact, I’d venture a guess that I might dream (and recall my dreams) more than the average individual. My husband, friends, and roommates have all commented on this. It’s not unusual to hear me saying… “I had the strangest dream last night.”
At this point in my practice, I’m actually trying to remember and interpret my dreams. Because I have some dreams that seem mundane and meaningless and others that seem quite prophetic in nature. It’s those prophetic dreams that I wanted to pay tribute to in this art journal page.
Monday, May 9, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
are you in or out? and why? would you want it to change or are you happy the way things are?
I went home for one of my little brothers’ wedding last week and returned Monday. What does this have to do with this page? Everything? Nothing?
I’m a wee bit jetlagged, really emotional right now (watching my brother get married = me crying like a baby) and returning home means that I am now homesick again. And all of these elements combine to make me think a lot about what family knows and doesn't know about my path. I've written about this before in relation to my inlaws but I've never really talked about what this means in terms of my own family.
My brother's wedding actually made me think about this a lot because as I watched all the wedding shenanigans, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I actually know about my brother and what he knows about me.
I come from an open family and I'm super grateful for that. But I also come from a family that is terrible about keeping in touch and as such, don't tend to know a lot about the ins and outs of my relatives daily lives. However, given that I am 7, 12, and 14 years older than my brothers (first marriage child), I probably wouldn't necessarily be any closer to them even if they lived next door. But this creates a weird dynamic of knowing and not knowing one another. I know their past, but they don't really know mine. I tend to be the story keeper (combo of being the eldest, the girl, and the one who is a busybody and asks questions) and I'm the one who can tell you the whys and wheres of the family history. I can tell them about how they got that scar, or what their baptism was like. Hell, I can even tell them about their parents marriage. I know their likes and dislikes from childhood but as adults, I am completely clueless.
But more significantly, being so much older than them, it means that while I know their past, they don't know mine. Their ability to explain there wheres and whys of my life is substantially less than mine.
They don't know what my spiritual path is, other than their big sister is a bit hippy dippy and once upon a time talked about something called about worshipping nature. Given that we come from the west coast, this isn't really that unusual. But they don't know why I'm a vegetarian or how that ties into my spiritual choices. And it's not because they would judge, it's just because I'm older and these are narratives that I've not shared with them. Which got me thinking about the things I do and don't share with others.
When I was younger I wore my spirituality like a banner. I boldly proclaimed my beliefs to anyone who expressed even the remotest of interest in the subject. As time has gone by, I've tempered my outspoken nature. Partly because of circumstance but mostly because of maturity. Now I don't feel the need to proclaim my self and project a persona in the way my insecure younger self did. And that has come with a realization of its own: my spirituality is mine, and mine alone.
I want to talk to like minded individuals but I don't feel the need to prove anything to anyone in the ways I did when I was younger. And this has influenced how I feel about the broom closet. I'm neither in nor out of the proverbial closet. If you ask, I'll tell. Depending on who you are and what your beliefs are, I may temper the bluntness of my disclosure but I don't hide in the broom closet when questioned. On the other hand, I don't volunteer the information either. My closest people know, but the rest are oblivious. And because I work in education and feel that my job as a teacher is to be a neutral transmitter of information (inasmuch as anyone can be neutral), I like it this way.
Back when I was serving you Starbucks coffee, it didn't matter that I was a Wiccan and you knew it. But as the college teacher to your child, you might now want me to be so open about this side of me. And I respect that and would even demand that to some extent of my own child's teachers (one day, when I have a kid). So my feelings about the broom closet have changed over time.
I guess that as I get older, not only has my need to be share changed, but also my motives for sharing. If you see me for who I am and how I live my life, I don't particularly care if you know the ins and outs of why I live my life the way I do. Not knowing the ins and outs of my little brother's life didn't change the fact that I was an emotional mess over watching him get married, nor did it change the sheer amount of love I have for him and how proud I am of him for being the great person he is. He is funny and caring. He is a good person. Beyond that, what else is there to know (ok, I know there's more, but I'm making a point here...). And the point is this: he lives his life with integrity and respect others, and that is all I really need to know about his spirituality. Likewise, I want to be seen for my actions, not my beliefs because I think that they speak louder than anything else. I've known too many people who have proclaimed their faith loudly, only to turn out to be very hypocritical in their actions. For me, as long as I live in accordance to my principles, I don't know that it's that important to be out there for all to see.
If my 21 year old self could see me now....