Reminders…already

Today was the first day back to the real job, no students yet, but here I am, fixing up the classroom and getting ready. I teach at a school that is on a 4×4 block, meaning I have all new kids tomorrow, and new classes. So daunting to have two first days in a school year, but I’ve doing this for 7 years now, and getting used to the daunting is old hat.

What I am also used to is the apathy and blah I feel when it is time, after the break, to come back. This has, unfortunately led me to already not follow the routine I am setting for myself. Yep, I had a whole plan for 15 minutes of meditation this morning, and I hit snooze instead. Day 1 is a fail…good things tomorrow can be a Day 1 again. Cause wow! Anyone else ever have this issue? The desire, the want is there, and then you follow through with nothing.

I am the person in control. Brendon Burchard calls it command, my cards tell me I am the Dreamer of my Dream. Whatever you want to call it, it simply means that the choices we make in our lives we need to own. THIS choice, right now, is mine to make, and how I make it will effect the rest of my day, my energy, my week maybe. So make sure you are making the right choice when you are presented with them. I am going to…or at least try, from now on.

My reading today was a reminder that I need to be taking control and wrangling the feelings, the blah, the maybe tomorrows out of the way, and to command that which is mine to command, the Dream.

Today’s The Universe Has Your Back card: I am the Dreamer of my Dream

Intention: I am in control of what I do, and the choice I make

Personal Reflection: “So here it is again. I know why. I didn’t do any of what I promised myself or the Universe I would do this morning. I was lazy yesterday and didn’t follow through on things I needed done for today. That led to me not being able to do some of the things I needed this morning. While everyday is a new one, clearly my energy responded with the cards that I needed. I am the only one in control and I need to get through my head. If I’m serious about change, I need to take control and mean what I say. Set the routine and follow through, do not get derailed, do not get lazy. I have control of the dream, and I need to make it happen, not let it die.”

Create Your Own Reality…and then live it

Often times we are told how we should live, where we should work, what is right for us, without anyone checking in on what it is we want. We allow others to create the reality that we live in, with little or no input from us. This is often the case with those who follow a “different” path in religion or beliefs. It is difficult when one does not “conform” to the holidays or the calendars of the societal norm. As we approach the season of Yule, I am often reminded of how intolerant and selfish others are. They focus on their wants and needs and they don’t create a space where everyone can feel accepted or wanted.

As we move forward in this time of year, a time often for reflection, and for growth, it would do us all good to look at who we are. Are we who we want to be? Are we allowing others to define our reality, or are we living what is expected of us? Are we choosing to the be best we can be, to be accepting of those around us, or are we falling into the same shellfish category that has put us in someone else’s reality as it is?

I am working on me. I am learning how to navigate the world outside of me in a way that allows me to be the best me I can be, and to not fall into other’s reality. I will do things my way. It isn’t that I won’t listen to the ideas of others, or incorporate them, or compromise. What I won’t continue doing is following meekly, allowing myself to be hidden or pushed off because someone expects something different from me.

This will partly include new clothing integrated into an already eclectic wardrobe. Pieces that fit who I am, and who I want others to see me as. So this weekend is purge the closet, keep what I want, shop for what I need. This will also include the continued cleaning of the house, and the making of candles. Those two things have actually been going well.

I will also be getting back here, and making the time daily to create space for tarot (which I miss tremendously), for personal study of the things that interest me, and for my own spiritual and emotional growth. This time of reflection is over, it is time for action. I am not going to stop being me, simply because others aren’t ready to see.

Here is my final thought…create your own reality, be you, and live where you want to be. Don’t let others dictate that.

Tarot today: Ace of Swords

“As the great bard said, there is nothing either good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.”

Core Meaning: An opportunity for a new way of thinking

I don’t hand pick these for the topic of the day. I always do a single card draw to help my day through. I did this draw after I wrote the post. This card is a gift. Be careful with it though, for it represents a new way of thinking, but if mishandled can disappear in a second. Take this time to reflect, to look for the opening, to act wisely, and to create that reality.

I’m Better!

Yes, that’s right, I have finally kicked the nasty creep and crud. That means we should be getting back to regularly scheduled blog posts and some interesting information.

Today I wanted to discuss altars. What an altar is, what is can be used for and why you might have one, no matter your beliefs. Merriam-Webster.com defines an altar as:

1: a usually raised structure or place on which sacrifices are offered or incense is burned in worship —often used figuratively to describe a thing given great or undue precedence or value especially at the cost of something else sacrificed his family life on the altar of career advancement

2: a table on which the eucharistic elements are consecrated or which serves as a center of worship or ritual

So…with that as a working definition, do you have an altar without realizing it? Is there a table or countertop in your house where you have things you value or that represent your faith? If you answered yes, you have an altar, whether you realized it or not. Often times we have more than one without even realizing that is what we are creating.

I burn incense on the table next to my altar. The only thing I burn on my altar are the candles associated with the magick I am working or the meditation I am focusing on. I am also, not a big incense person. I have more of a tendency to burn a candle (which I make), with a scent that works for me. So, I do differ from the working definition in that way. Candles just make me happier, so that is what I use.

My main altar is in my bedroom. It is the one that I change with the Sabbats or the celebrations in my life. The one the crystals, and the table cloth change regularly, that I do my magickal workings at and that I do my meditations close to. However, I have several scattered throughout the house. The top of the china cabinet in the dining room is full of crystals that have been placed as I felt they were needed, along with totems to my spirit animals. The bookshelf in the family room has a shelf that is slowly getting taken over with the things I feel need to be in there for us to be more centered and family oriented. My husband started one without realizing it on his dresser, as we collected things he wanted and felt drawn to.

Altars are simply places we put those things we value, that show what it is we hold as a belief and a trust within ourselves and our faith. So, do you have one or two?

Today’s tarot:

Three of Pentacles: You’ve mastered one phase of your chosen career and you’re looking forward to the challenges of the next. The praise you receive makes you work harder than before – use it as inspiration Oaks you work your way toward your goal. Expect a nod from this higher up the food chain but not much more than a grunt from those below; you can’t impress everyone.

Key Words: Recognition, Hard Work, Skill

I Did It!

Merry Meet!!

I hope your Monday is going well.  Over the weekend I managed to get the meditation/altar/exercise space cleaned and I sorted through all my clothes and got rid of 4 bags of stuff.  I am sure there is more I can do, but for now it is a start.

Everything isn’t all organized yet, that’s for the next couple of evenings when hubby is at work.  However, there is a start, and clean space on the floor, which means I can at least keep moving, get grounded and return to a state of being me. This is important!

In addition to the hours spent getting that space cleaned I managed to go look at some open houses for ideas on flooring, run to Costco and spend too much money.  On Sunday we even managed to run up to the wineries and grab our quarterly boxes, as well as find some bubbly for Mother’s Day.  All in all not a bad weekend.

I ran a diffuser with grapefruit and clary sage mixed while I was cleaning.   Grapefruit essential oil helps remind us of those life-giving and inspiring moments of our lives. Letting your toes soak into the ocean, sipping coffee on a quiet morning, landing a job or getting on a plane to an exotic location. Grapefruit’s unique properties uplift, revive and inspire healthy lifestyles (Eden’s Garden).

Clary sage is considered to be one of the top essential oils for hormones, especially in women. Many claims have been made as to its benefits when dealing with cramps, heavy menstrual cycles, hot flashes and hormonal imbalances. It’s also known for its ability to increase circulation, support the digestive system, improve eye health and fight leukemia. Clary sage is one of the most healthful essential oils, with anticonvulsive, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-infectious, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also a nerve tonic and sedative with soothing and warming components (draxe.com/clarysage).

The delightful blend of these two oils made for a perfect place to keep busy and stay focused.  I felt like I was moving forward and not stagnating, and that I was helping not only myself but my husband.  I watched The Matrix trilogy and kept that fighting, never give up mindset through the whole of the weekend.

Today’s tarot: Three of Pentacles – keyword: planning

The three of Pentacles signifies a culmination of your efforts – your planning, hard work and dedication have paid off.  But the journey continues.  what hidden surprises await you as continue forward? There is nothing to fear as you continue forward, for this card shows you are on the right path!

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.

 

Anticipation and Anxiety

Oh yes, the two of them go hand in hand, especially when the wait is prolonged or we want something badly.  One of the things that I am working on now, within my own path and my own life, is controlling the anxiety that goes with the anticipation.  

Anxiety can be crippling.  It can cause heart palpitations, sweating, shaking, headaches…all of which can be dealt with fairly easy.  However, it can also cause complete shut down for some.  The fear of not knowing, literally paralyzes them.  Keeps them indoors, creates scenarios that they can’t deal with.  

There are things that can be done to mitigate some of the crippling anxiety that happens. Deep breathing, slow inhales and exhales, that bring a sense of calm to you.  You can take it further and do a full grounding.  Grounding is giving yourself a connection to the earth, in Wicca/Pagan practices it is a connection with Mother Earth.  You give her your anxiety and she gives you back peace.  When you have this sense of calm within from your deep breathing, feel your feet push the energy into the ground (grounding used to be called earthing), and let go, feel the earth push back the peace and calm.

You can also meditate, if you have some more time.  Take a few minutes, put on soothing music, or find a YouTube or amazon meditation channel, spend some time within yourself, finding the peace that lies at the center.  Meditation is good for everyone at some point, but during a high anxiety time it is one of the best ways to resettle yourself.

Scents also work well.  Candles or diffusers that have a lavender scent to them will help your nerves. As will Vetiver (placed on a cotton ball and applied to your pulse points).  Other scents that work well in a diffuser are Bergamot, Chamomile and Frankincense. All of these are going to help with anxiety and to calm your nerves.

What do you do to help your anxiety when you are nervous or anticipating something?

What Is Your Role?

“The seeker sets the goals in response to their own needs, their own inner calls.  Mentors provide the perspective of long experience and study, help seekers understand obstacles, and make suggestions for further progress.”  ~ Judy Harrow, Spiritual Mentoring: A Pagan’s Guide

When reading this originally it resonated so deeply that I immediately highlighted it and wrote notes on all the people in my life I wanted to send it to.  I even sent it off to the Principal of a new type of school, as he doesn’t have teachers, only mentors.  It resonated with his vision, with my own beliefs, with those of so many people in education that I know, that is made my worlds meld.

This book is required reading for one of my lessons at Sacred Mists.  I am working on my 3rd degree Priestess course and my own personal callings have now been completely melded.  I am going to be saving money to start school online (as I mentioned when I began the blog) to be a pagan spiritual counselor and teacher.  I cannot even begin to describe the contentment in my soul when I began reading this book.

As a teacher/mentor I am always a seeker.  I think that is one of the most important things to know about those who have a calling for this life.  We never stop learning, about ourselves, others, things that interest us.  In addition, we want to share the knowledge we have and the experience we have gained.  We have a knack for it, and we look for those we feel we could help.  The nice thing about that is the energy we put out often draws in those who need us the most.

As I am reading this book, I am not even opening my lesson.  I don’t know what questions will be asked of me, or what I am supposed to be answering.  I don’t feel the need because this book resonates within my soul, within my energy and completes me in a way that I never expected.  I know the answers will simply be there when I need them.  The knowledge is now attained and I don’t need to worry.

I am also looking at my teaching for this year.  Am I truly doing what I am being called to do?  Am I applying this the way the students need?  The answer is no.  Not with my younger classes.  I can see what they need, but they can’t.  It makes it difficult when they don’t know what they need.  I am doing my best, and I am going to be looking at things with new eyes as I continue through the book, and even read it a second time.  How can I apply these to where I am and the students I come into contact with daily.

I need to view them as seekers, even if they don’t really know what they are seeking.