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!

Behind…always

Do you ever feel like you are never going to get everything on your list done? Like, there is so much on any given day, and whatever doesn’t get done rolls to the next day, but there is already a list there that would have taken the whole day?  I am in that spot.  I do not feel like I am ever going to get caught up or have everything done.  

It seems the dishes are a twice a day chore, which then takes over the spot of something else…and the accomplishment of getting the kitchen all done a few weeks ago, yeah well it is now in the same state as it was before I started.  So, when I wanted to be cleaning another room, I am back in the kitchen re-doing that.

In addition, I brought home real work, not Sacred Mists or housework, but actual essays that need to be graded, and some lesson plans that need to get written (I don’t see any of this happening).  So I am behind in work, home and play.  Feeling completely overwhelmed and like I can’t begin to take a breath, I want to just quit. Yep, you read that right, I want to quit.  

However, that is not really an option, obviously.  I am going to take the time to write the blog, meditate and re-center/ground and then take that energy and begin tackling everything that needs to be done.  I can only do what I can get done, and I need to focus on the fact that I am trying.  I will light a candle, start the diffuser and keep myself sane (I hope).

What do you do when you are overwhelmed?  Do you ever want to just quit?  Don’t!  Remember you are not alone in that.  Come visit and leave a message if you feel that way.  We can talk through it.

Seekers Need to Choose

As a mentor you learn that your guidance comes by helping your seekers on their path with your experience. You can’t force them onto your path. You might give them things that you’ve found helpful and useful, but they have to walk the path they are on.

As teachers we try to force kids to learn what we have been told to teach them. They don’t get to choose what they want to learn. We say here read this, learn this and be on our path of learning. We don’t say what would you like to learn and how can I make sure you get the necessary skills.

The problem is what we try to force them to learn can be uninteresting and disengaging to them. Occasionally  we hit a gold mine and they are all right there, and then for that brief glimmer you can see it…the learning, the engagement, the joy. It warms your heart, and then the next moment all that is gone.

Today I asked my kids if they could study anything what would it be? History of gangs, being a nurse, animation, professional …(insert sport).  So now I have a starting point, somewhere to connect Martin Luther King, Jr. to what they want to learn. A place where what I need to teach, meets them on their path.

Like those I mentor in Wicca and at Sacred Mists, teaching is a passion. When I lose my kids and I lose myself because of disconnect I come back to what I know best and who I am. So looking at my students as seekers changes how I approach them. Yesterday was a challenge. Today was a beginning.

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.

When You Fail

I don’t mean make a mistake and see it and move on, rather stop all things that are helpful or important and just…well FAIL! I did this last week.  I just didn’t do all the things I had been.  I didn’t work out, I didn’t meal plan, I didn’t write blogs, I didn’t cook dinner, I didn’t work on my personal or spiritual studies, I didn’t move.  I came to work, worked, and went home and well…sat.  Why?  I seem to have lost the motivation I had.

What caused me to lose the motivation?  Was it that I’m tired (because I am)?  Was it that I have a small infection somewhere in my body that is causing me to be more tired than normal (because I do)? Was it simply that it seemed like I was the only person in the house who cared to be doing anything (because it did)?

It could be any or all of those.  Do they really matter?  Nope.  In reality I didn’t do it simply because I didn’t do it.  There are always excuses that can be made, but the simple truth is that I didn’t get off the couch and do any of those things.  Some of them could have been done from the couch and I just didn’t get the computer out.  I sat and played games on the iPad, which has the blog app right on it.  I still didn’t open it.

So what happens now?  Do I keep beating myself up and letting it just roll into a big downward spiral and then life looks like it did a few months ago?  I could.  It would be so easy to just drift off into what I have always done.  That’s the easy thing to do.  It’s familiar, it’s comfortable and it has worked in the past.  Well, it has appeared to work in the past.  In fact though, it hasn’t worked.  It has left me feeling unfulfilled, like I’m letting myself and my family down and like I just don’t care. So nope, I don’t let it continue in this fashion.

Today is Monday.  It is a reset day.  Today I begin again. Daily, you can begin again.  If you feel like you totally failed one day, or one week, or even one month, well they all start all over again.  So just choose today as your start over date.  Today I will be blogging, meal planning, working out and just moving forward in the fashion that I want to move forward in.  It doesn’t matter what everyone around me is doing.  I need to do these things for myself, and for my family. My path of walking, the one that I follow for myself is one of constant work.  There is always something to be studying or to be learning about the Earth, about magick and about those who are part of Sacred Mists, so failing isn’t really an option.  There are people all over relying on me.  Time to pull myself out of the muck and put myself back on the path.

What do you do when you need to reset?  How do you gain your motivation back?