Wednesday, June 29, 2011

pagan art journaling {week 22}

Summer is here and this week’s prompt: the element of Fire

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For me, fire isn’t an element I spend a lot of time with, which is odd considering how much of my chart is actually in the element of fire (I’m all earth and fire baby).

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And yet, I love fire. I love watching fires, I love the energy of fire, I love that it brings things to life and makes things active. Maybe I am just scared of getting burned…..

Monday, June 27, 2011

etsy artist feature: Wytche Hazel

You know how there are just some things that stir up all your deep fantastical imaginings of witchiness?

Well these scrolls evoke me most cherished, romantic visions of Belladonna, stiring the cauldron and writing up spells for her neighbours:


Wytche Hazel
 Seriously, don't you agree? Don't they just make you want to come up with a spell or secret doctrine to hide away on them? To break out the calligraphy pen and give learning how to write calligraphy style another go round, even though the 20 or so times you've tried before you've only ever ended up with inky fingers and messier writing than your own handwriting?

Or is it just me?

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

fairy glen for your backyard

Ok this morning I skipped my morning practice and headed online. I know... my bad. But well, yesterday I was up WAY too early and today I was feeling the sleep deprivation. Whatever, even a girl with a daily practice skips a day now and then...

And my oh my, am I ever glad that I did because it gave me some time to catch up on my google reader!

Need I say more?

No wait? You want better details and links? Here goes:


Centsational Girl


On Centsational Girl's blog, she has a post on creating these glowing globes for your back yard out of 2nd hand light shades and white holiday lights.

She gives other ideas on how to use the globes, namely for Christmas decoration and in and about your home, which are all lovely alternatives. I liked the idea that she tries to use flea market/2nd hand store goods. A bit of up-cycling goes a lont way!


Embracing My Goddess-Self
 But when I saw Tereza's post on her fairy garden...

Well, what can I say... I was immediately sold and started contemplated the possibilities for pairing the 2 ideas together to create a magical fairy glen.

Now the question that remains is this... can I sell the idea to my husband for our new home?

Oh yeah, did I mention that we just signed for a house and it's being built, which means that I have an ENTIRE year to obsess about home decor ideas?

Yeah... maybe that's why I woke up so early yesterday: I was too EXCITED!


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Wednesday, June 22, 2011

pagan art journaling {week 21}

Sorry to post this so late… busy last night buying a house.

This week’s prompt: when the going gets tough, how my path helps me

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For me there are the obvious things I’ve mentioned a million times but also it helps me keep things in perspective by remember how everything is interconnected.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

etsy artisan feature: velvet pumpkin studios

Velvet Pumpkin Studios
I've been avoiding my pagan scrapbook lately, mostly due to lack of time, but also because I just haven't felt like my pages were "witchy" feeling enough, which is why this week's etsy feature is this lovely antiqued scrapbook page.

She's got others, check her out here!

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

pagan art journaling {week 20}

Prompt for this week: things you want to learn



There are a ton of things I still want to learn but for this page I opted for one thing in order to be reasonable and measurable to some extent. I'm not avidly striking out to learn this skill by a given time, but I am slowly working on it in general, in my daily practice.






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Monday, June 13, 2011

Aradia's Cauldron: the Facebook Page

So I've decided to give Aradia's Cauldron a facebook page. For those of you who are interested in joining me there, please do. I'm even creating a facebook profile for those of you who might be game to be facebook friends. I'm not sure about the profile page per se, but I'm hoping to use the facebook page a bit more informally, to have conversations with others, to share links I like, etc, etc...

Hope to see you there!



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5 pagan practice things to do while on a work trip

Home again, home again, jiggety jig!

It's been a long week. I attended a conference for work all last week and my mind is currently whirling with information related to work issues. While away I struggled to keep up my morning practice and I'll be honest, I only managed to keep up a minimal practice.

Here are some of the challenges I noticed:

  • knowing what to pack for a realistic practice on the road
  • the ethics of lighting candles and incense in a non smoking hotel room
  • vertigo during meditation in high level buildings
  • privacy (roomies/neighbours)
  • time constraints
I know that other bloggers out there have created beautiful travel altars. As crafting as I am... well this just wasn't the case for me. I kept it simple. My suitcase contained the following extras:
  • small tea light candle (red)
  • incense matches (frankincense)
  • matches
And that's it. Everything else was done via imagination/visualization whilst looking out over the ocean from my hotel window.

When I arrived in the room (non smoking), I quickly realized that I wasn't sure how kosher it would be for me to light my incense/candle. Would a fire alarm go off? Would work be charged for "smoking" in a non smoking room? Would my routine be potentially interrupted if I attempted to light the candle/incense? Since I wasn't sure, I opted to light the items symbolically! It was a bit odd but worked nonetheless. At the end of the day, I decided that it was a good exercise in honing my visualization skills!

Next up... vertigo. I was on the 8th floor and while the vertigo wasn't terrible, it was there. As soon as I started to create a magical space for my practice, the energies in the room, the new space, and the disconnect with the ground all seemed to throw me a little off. It wasn't anything major but I did have to sit down for a few minutes after practice to ground myself in a way that I've never had to do at home. It was an interesting experience to say the least!

I was lucky because I had a room to myself but I did have to wonder what my neighbours heard through my thin walls (I could hear them talking... even though it was a nice hotel). So I kept things down, mostly out of courtesy, but also out of the personal desire for privacy during practice. The last thing I wanted to do was to draw attention to myself in a foreign land! (Yup, I was visiting you folks below the 49th parallel). A discussion with friends about travelling and practice led us to agree that if you have to share a room but still want to maintain your practice in privacy, one option for privacy might be to get up earlier and use the washroom for practice. Not ideal by any means but an option for consideration. Alternatively maybe you can find a quiet space in the area that would suit your needs).

I didn't have a lot of time, so I chose to abbreviate my practice while away. Instead of 30 mins, I took 10, even 5 at times. It was enough to keep me in touch with my spiritual self, but didn't become overly taxing in terms of my busy schedule. Perhaps daily practice on the road means reducing your practice to meditation, or taking a walk in nature. Maybe it means a quick libation. I know that for me, being fluid in terms of my expectations on the road really helped.

What about the rest of you out there, what do you do while traveling?



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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

pagan art journaling {week 19}

No pictures today witches! I'm away at a conference at the wifi hates me here! So instead, we're doing things a little different. This week a prompt only:

Creating sacred spaces.

Update with pictures


What is a sacred space to you? How do you create it? Where do you create it? Can it be anywhere? Is it all nature or are there a few elements that need to be added? How do you create sacred spaces in the modern world or in an urban setting?



This morning as I write this, before beginning my practice in my hotel room, I'm thinking a lot about this idea. My tealight votive is about it for paraphernalia to help create a sacred space. Though who knows, if I'd had more suitcase space....

What about you?

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Thursday, June 2, 2011

doing the work

I have a sneaking suspicion that this is going to be my broken record, the subject that I harp on again and again, but since it is something that I am currently quite passionate about and am striving hard to manifest in my own life, I cannot help but want to talk about it.

Claim your path. Do the work, develop a practice, and make it yours.

Some of the podcasters I like to listen to have been talking about "Doing the stuff" lately (this is one link of many who are part of this discussion), and I couldn't agree more with them.

After all, how the hell are you ever going to be any good at things like magic if you don't take the time to hone your skills? How are you ever really going to have a relationship with the divine if you don't take the time to get to know them? How will you know yourself enough to live a life of spiritual intention if you don't spend time getting to know yourself and contemplating what your spiritual intentions are? How can you ever hope to notice the cycles of the world around you if you don't go out of your way to observe them?

Seriously? I'm not asking the question to be rude or confrontational. Because honestly, these are questions that I ask myself on a regular basis, every time I fall off the wagon and let every day mundane (muggle) life draw me away from my practice. And it's harsh but honest, and it keeps me in check. These questions keep me doing the stuff and developing the path that I am commited to following.

I agree that we can all be pagan and there is no such thing as being pagan enough. But I do think there's something to be said in terms of qualifying our practice in regards to Sunday or Holiday Paganism (to borrow a Christian term) or Armchair Paganism (to take from Pop Culture). Because there is a difference. It doesn't matter if you're 101 or 1001... if you're still stuck in your armchair, you're not going to get as much from your craft as you could.

In this week's art journal prompt, I asked: what do you want people to know about your path? And my answer was this: that it requires serious levels of commitment and self-discipline. It requires that I do the work. Often without support systems, often at odds with the materialism in the world around me, often despite my own personal laziness and apathy. Because more often than not, I am my own worst enemy and as a member of a "fringe" religion, I don't have the benefit of mainstream culture keeping me accountable or reinforcing the value system I've "created" for myself. (Which sounds like a lot of big pompous words to just say that sometimes this path is a bit more challenging because it isn't necessarily aligned with what the world around us is doing and how our society is encouraging us to live).

But more importantly, a Mystery Tradition, by it's very nature requires a great deal of inner work in order to understand it. No one expects a yogi to reach enlightenment without yoga and meditation. So why do so many modern pagans expect to being able to do magic and understand the divine without doing the "pagan variation" of the same things? Exercise and contemplation (or rather, if you will, practice and meditation). If we can't discipline our minds enough to focus our will on the intent of a spell, how will we actually create strong and effective spellwork?

And more importantly, beyond the magic, how do we complete the "Great Work" of our Mystery Traditions if we don't understand what the hell that means?

Don't just take my word for it. Pick an area and focus on it, work it. Get to know the feel and shape of it. Study it like you'd study a university subject. Be dedicated to learning your craft on a daily basis (or at least somewhat regular basis). Be it doing the sabbats and moons, or meditating daily, or taking time to observe the lunar cycles... start small and build up. Don't try to do it all at once because that's a recipe for failure. But pick one thing, get that down, then add another.

At this point in my practice (in loose, ambiguous terms that you can read between the lines of), this is what my daily practice includes:

Prayer
Meditation
Exercises
Dream keeping
Paying attention to lunar cyles through the horoscope
Study
Weekly Classes
Art Journal
Journaling (reactions, thoughts, questions, emotions, etc)
Tarot

Not so daily:

Puja
Rituals

On average, I spend at least 30 minutes a day devoted to my practice if not double or triple that. If you'd asked me in August last year if I'd be capable of that, I would have emphatically denied my ability to be that self disciplined. I am not good at self-discipline and never have been. But I started slowly. I have a buddy system. I am accountable to others when I fall off the wagon. And all of these things are things that help me stay focused. And it's been worth it. Because trust me, if you don't know it already, this path is amazing in terms of what it can bring into your life. In the few short months (since Sept 2010) that I have been doing the work... my world has been turned upside down, inside out, and the things that I have learned about myself and the people in my life have been phenomenal. I returned to this path after years in academia feeling jaded and wanting to believe but having a hard time reconnecting. Now I don't just believe. I know again.

And knowing is half the battle!

:P


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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

pagan art journaling {week 18}

Holy crap, we’re at week 18. That’s pretty amazing. The time has flown by so quickly!

This week’s prompt: what i wish others knew about my beliefs

We live in a world that can have a lot of misconceptions about the various paths that we’re traveling, so if you could, what would you want others to know about your path?

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There are a lot of things that I wished people understood about my path. First and foremost, that it requires a lot of self discipline and hard work from me. Sometimes at levels that the people around me struggle to comprehend. My husband, for example, will ask, when he’s feeling a bit neglected, can’t you just play hooky and come for breakfast, or skip circle and spend time with me? For him, missing church is like that. For me, missing my daily practice or the full moon ritual… well it potentially throws things off balance for me. Which means that I tend to have a hard time getting back to the meditation mat because I’m not self-disciplined by nature. It may not seem like it because I’ve been diligent about doing each week, but really, I’m thrilled that I’ve been so good about keeping on track with things!

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And the most important thing that I want people to understand about my path is to judge me by the way that I act, not my beliefs. Because even if you don’t agree with them, I’m sure you can see that I live life ethically and with integrity. I’m a good person who is socially responsible and who strives to be as honest and as non-hypocritical as possible. In fact, I wish that people did that for everyone. Regardless of all the other stuff that tends to come in between, it’d be nice if we judge people on their actions because words and beliefs don’t always measure up.

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There are a lot of other things that would be nice for people to know, but these are the ones that are most important to me. At least for now!