Self-Loathing

You know when it is really bad and you can’t see past all the things you have done wrong, or you haven’t listened to, or you didn’t get done? Those times when it seems like you are more of a burden and create more of a hassle for others than helping and taking care of yourself and your business? Yeah, me too.

When it seems like just emptying the dishwasher and making dinner are taking up so much energy there isn’t anything left to do what you wanted to get done. Last night didn’t see me clearing away space in front of the altar or getting my mediation/exercise space cleaned.  In fact it barely saw me feed the dogs and go upstairs. I did write some on my book, and then I read a little. I felt it was an accomplishment this morning to get up with enough time to shower. Yep, we all have those days, me included.

Since it was one of “those” day, I decided to count the things going right.  By the time I arrived at work, I was in a good mood and ready to talk with and help the teenagers who come through my life every day. While I am not infallible, and I have the same kind of days as everyone else, sometimes the fact that I got up and got to work on time, are enough to reset the day. Try to remember to count the small things: a shower, a matching outfit, you brushed your teeth, traffic was not bad, or you listened to your favorite podcast when it was, those are all wins, give yourself credit for them.

Hubby and I have agreed on a night out to dinner and a shopping trip to his favorite lingerie store. I have made sure this evening looks different, to help reset tomorrow.

Today’s tarot card: king of cups –

The personality of the King of Cups is a combination of the positive water energy of the Cups suit and the active, outward focus of a King. He is wise and understanding, with a deep knowledge of the world that comes from the heart. He is a teacher and way-shower who guides his students with loving attention. He cares about others sincerely and always responds to their needs with compassion. He heals with a gentle touch and a quiet word. He is calm and relaxed in all situations, seeming to know intuitively what is called for at any moment. Others turn to him for advice because they know he will listen attentively. There is always a peacefulness around him that others respond to. He is tolerant of all points of view and shows patience in the most trying circumstances. He gives others freedom to grow and develop in their own ways without asking anything in return.

In readings, the King of Cups asks you to take the kinds of actions he might take. For example: responding calmly in a crisis, using diplomacy rather than force, reaching out to help, or accepting a different point of view. This King can also represent a man or woman who acts as he does, or an atmosphere of caring, tolerance and understanding. In a reading, he tells you that his special energy has meaning for you at this time. Let yourself be inspired by this King in whatever form he appears in your life.

 

Meditation

We all know we should, even if it isn’t part of a religious practice, it is now common knowledge that meditation, or purposeful breathing, is a practice every person should put into their day for at least 15 minutes.

The Mayo Clinic says “The emotional benefits of meditation can include:

Meditation is a simple practice in its purpose.  It simply helps us keep grounded and do a check in with ourselves. We can stay present better, our minds don’t wander as much or worry as much if we meditate.

However, the practicality of incorporating meditation into the busy lives we all have is not quite as simple.  One would think, given that I am a practicing pagan/Wiccan that I would make this a part of my daily life.  The truth is I am also a full time High School teacher, a mom of 4 boys (2 of whom are at home still), and a wife. What that means in reality is that when I have 15 minutes, I don’t sit and meditate. I have it on my planner as a daily practice, but I haven’t been able to check it off in weeks.  I have three apps on my phone, two of which remind me I need to do this; I simply snooze them.

I am very aware that I need to get this practice back into my daily routines.  My feelings of being unsettled, ungrounded and flighty would all go away.  I also know that to do this I need to spend about 5 hours cleaning the space in my bedroom where my altar and meditation space is set up.  This has turned into the “house everything not in use” space for us. That alone is enough to make me give up.

This ties into yesterday’s post about everyday being a new day.  Today, when my husband goes to work (so really tonight), I clean my room until it is where I want it to be and where I need it.  My mental health isn’t horrid, but it is enough that it is beginning to wear on me.  When that happens, things slip and slide into oblivion.  I don’t want to clean, I don’t want to get off the couch, I don’t want to do anything.  This is a spot I have been in often lately, but I am working on it.

Today is the New Day/Fresh Start I was talking about yesterday.

A New Day, A New Start

Every day is a New Day and a New Start.  Never let yourself get so far down that you forget that the chance to start again, with a different attitude, even if it is to the same place, is literally coming in the morning.

This is something I have been reminding myself every day for the past few months.  Even as I pull tarot cards, sit at the altar, and continue on my studies at Sacred Mists, I find myself needing the reminder that it isn’t this way everyday.  I make myself feel better by applying for jobs I want, even if I’m not always qualified (who knows what may happen),  reading a new novel (or 20), and I have started writing again.

This isn’t just blog writing, but actually having a novel started.  I have several outlined, and have for years, but the one I started this weekend just took off and I love the concept and am excited to keep writing on it.  Right now it keeps me going through the days, even the down ones.

I guess my purpose in this blog is simply to say hi to the new followers, to remind both you guys and myself that I am here. That I haven’t abandoned either of us and that there will be more of this.

My next post I am hoping to share some of the cool research I’ve done on a few of the Gods of the Aztecs and Egyptians.  Time for a fresh start!

 

Finding Myself

When I started this last year I had big goals and felt like I was in the right track to achieve them. As we can all see that was not the case. Somewhere along the way I found that I was losing myself in the bog down of all I had decided I wanted to do. With that came the cease and desist of everything.

When I get tired, frustrated, or overwhelmed I just shut down. My dear friend Lilyth can tell you about this as well as we are very similar in these things. We both went through some ups and downs and when she posted on her blog a few days ago I realized that I missed doing the same. With a little downtime and me time, before having to go back to work this evening, I wanted to check in.

I am still here. I have new goals and priorities this year, and a weekly posting is one of them. I learned that daily postings were overwhelmingly hard for me, so instead of giving up, I’m being more realistic.

If there are specific topics you would like me to talk on, please drop me a comment and I will see what I can do. Thanks for hanging with me as I come to terms with who I am.

Fire Magick

As Fire is both destructive and creative it its nature, it is easy to use, but must be treated with respect. The qualities most often associated with Fire Magick are:  Brightness, Thinness and Motion. It is considered to be continuously Active, with a mode of On all the time.  From the beginning fire has been used to warm our homes, cook our food, ward off darkness, to light our path both from man-made and the sun and of course it fuels the passions within.  We use it in modern times to bring us closer together, to sit within the warmth it provides and bond. Unlike the other elements Fire does not come from a natural state. Fire only happens when it is consuming other elements. Fire is the element of transformation.  It takes the energy of what it is consuming and converting it to another form: heat, smoke, ash, and light.

You can feel this power in its various manifestations on any sunny day, when the Sun warms and lights your way.  When the logs crackle and the smell of smoke is coming off of a burning fire, the manifestation is often comforting. When you gaze at the flame of a fire or candle and you lose yourself into the energy being emitted.

While fire has a destructive aspect, we can control that aspect, and it is in that control that we are able to gain benefit from the element’s energy.  A lit candle helps to limit the power of the flame, as well as call it forth. In addition, candles can add color magick, however that is in another post. While we often rue the destructive nature of fires, especially when they are within the limits of a city, we need to be able to see the positive aspects of those we can.  Often forest fires help to clear the underbrush and make way for those things that have been dormant to come forth from the Earth.   Thinning forests to create new spaces for those things that have not been able to grow for many years.

 

Often times herbs or flowers will be added to a bonfire or a hearth fire as added magick. Fire is often the only way to add those things to the magick we are using.  We need the consuming factor of the fire to be able to access the correspondences of the herb or flower we are using.  Fire is a powerful tool, an instant way to get the will and energy into the world.  As an active element it is an almost instant magick tool.

I use fire magick, in both my hearth and through candles almost daily.  Candle magick (as you know from a previous post) is my favorite for a variety of reasons.  Fire is my personal element and I am very much aware of that.  I feed my fire element daily and I work within my will and intent using candle magick.  I keep my home warm as well as protected using the hearth.  In the summer I am a Sun Worshiper.  I am a Leo by birth, and I have fallen into the path of the Sun and Fire with a whole hearted love.

What element speaks to you?  I will be discussing them all… don’t worry 😀

Pagan, Wiccan or Witch???

Today I wanted to share a little more about some of the things I do on a daily basis (or as close as possible) regarding my beliefs and practices.  However, I realized that before I delved into that perhaps a discussion and personal breakdown of the concepts out there was in order.

Often the three words above are used synonymously.  While most of us who live the life understand those outside don’t know the difference, there are those who become highly indignant or offended when someone refers to them as one of the others. While I am not one of those, I felt that, before I could begin talking about my own practice, I need to clarify what each of them entails and holds.

First, let’s start with some simple definitions (from The Celtic Connection):

Wicca:   A modern Pagan religion with spiritual roots in the earliest expressions of reverence for nature. Some major identifying motifs are: reverence for both the Goddess and God; acceptance of reincarnation and magick; ritual observance of astronomical and agricultural phenomena; and the use of magickal circles for ritual purposes.

Witch:   A practitioner of folk magick, particularly that kind relating to herbs, stones, colors, wells, rivers, etc. It is used by some Wiccans to describe themselves. This term has nothing to do with Satanism.

Pagan/Neo-Pagan/Paganism:   General term for followers of Wicca and other magickal, shamanistic, and polytheistic Earth-based religions. Also used to refer to pre-Christian religious and Spiritual belief systems.

So, as you can see each of these has some overlap, and yet is unique in its own right.  I will try to expand a little bit in regards to Sacred Mists as a school as well as to my own practice.  I want to start by saying that one of the things I like most about Sacred Mists, is that while they do follow a traditional Celtic base, they allow their students the freedom and flexibility to follow their own beliefs as well.

Now, on to a deeper definitions so to speak.  Wicca:   A modern Pagan religion with spiritual roots in the earliest expressions of reverence for nature. The Modern Wiccan Tradition is attributed, usually, to Gerald Gardner.  He was initiated into a traditional coven and then began supplementing with other “non-traditional” belief systems (Free Masonry, writings of Alastair Crowley and others).  While he claimed to stay true to the traditional pre-Christian beliefs, he supplemented the traditional pagan beliefs creating Modern Wicca.  Some major identifying motifs are: reverence for both the Goddess and God; acceptance of reincarnation and magick; ritual observance of astronomical and agricultural phenomena; and the use of magickal circles for ritual purposes. All of this holds true for Sacred Mists as well as within my personal belief.  In addition, the Goddess and God are embodiments of all Goddesses and Gods as well as Mother Earth and Mother Moon. So there isn’t any single deity focus.  All historical beliefs and “religions” are called upon depending on  your need, desire, want, area of focus.  Celtic, English, Norse, Egyptian, Japanese…all Gods and Goddesses become available to you. 

Witch:   A practitioner of folk magick, particularly that kind relating to herbs, stones, colors, wells, rivers, etc. So this is where it can get sticky.  There are many Wiccans who use natural items in their practice, but don’t necessarily consider themselves a Witch. I, however, am not one of them.  I use stones, candles, water, food, herbs, colors and even nature itself on a regular basis in my daily practice of the craft.  I am a Witch and I will stand by that.   It is used by some Wiccans to describe themselves. This is often where those who practice, or don’t, get offended.  There are many Wiccans who are not Witches, and there are some Witches that are not Wiccan (that is their belief is not necessarily that of following the Rule of Three, or of staying within the boundaries of “white magick”).  This term has nothing to do with Satanism. The last sentence is by far one of the most important.  There is nothing Satan related in Wicca or Witchcraft.  One has to believe in the conventional idea of “Satan” before there can be any relation to him. This is not to say all Witches are good and work only for the good of all.  There are many who practice beyond the scope of what is Grey or White magick.  However, their belief is that what they are doing may be the right things. 

Pagan/Neo-Pagan/Paganism:   General term for followers of Wicca and other magickal, shamanistic, and polytheistic Earth-based religions. Here are all the sticky widgets.  You DO NOT have to be Wiccan to be Pagan.  There are many other traditions that you could follow that make you Pagan.  Often people will refer to themselves as Pagan as general term that allows those who aren’t sure of the definitions to understand they don’t follow a modern religion.   Also used to refer to pre-Christian religious and Spiritual belief systems. The link here is back to the Nature Based Religions and Beliefs.  Those that are not necessarily monotheistic and have no single deity that is worshipped. 

I hope that these help you understand some of the overlap as well as some of the differences.  I think these are important to see and be able to reference prior to reading about specific rituals, practices or ideas.

 

Keeping Track

So life happens and then well life happens.  In all of that sometimes you forget the things that are important that don’t seems quite as important.  Exercise, eating healthy, getting your thoughts in order and written down.

So now I am trying to catch up.  I have some papers to finish grading, some meal planning and grocery shopping to do, some cleaning that didn’t get done.  In addition of course, the dogs need cleaning up after and the rest of the house needs to be picked up.  There is stuff to list on eBay and a few small things that need looking at.

I did manage to get my Third Lesson in my Third Degree at Sacred Mists turned into my grader, which is very exciting as I loved that lesson.  Lesson 4 is going to take a lot of research so I am reading over the questions, have a few books to dig into and a lot of internet time to get started on. I do love the history questions, and they are so important to where we are now as a practice, but sometimes it is hard to get through.

I am not sure if I am on track to actually start my next step in the summer like I thought.  We are buying a house and taking a rather fun vacation (as the oldest child at home is going into the Navy), so money may not make it possible to start the next step until the fall, however it is still my intent to get a degree in spiritual mentoring. Sometimes we have to prioritize differently than we originally planned.

What do you do when things get out of whack?  I still have my planner and I love it.  I have ordered one that looks just a little different but from the same place (personal-planner.com).  I love that I can customize.  I still have some more to do when it arrives, but I am set for what I need/want it to look like.  It will have all the spaces I need.

My favorite planner stickers right now are the Grumble and Kind (Grumble and Kind).  They are fun and whimsical and the shop owner is an amazingly talented and responsive woman.  I have several others as well that I will detail this week.  I am excited to show off some of the planning when the new planner arrives.

How are you doing?  What stickers are you using?  I have a lot to show you this coming week and I can’t wait!