Just a few thoughts

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

YouTube

Just in case anyone is interested, I have videos on YouTube now. Just click the link and come check them out :) Blessings!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Tools are not necessities

Whether you are just starting out, or whether you've been on this path for years, you don't need all the pretty, shiny tools. Your tools do not contain magick, they only help direct the energy you're sending out and manipulating. Some people even find them distracting and forgo using them altogether. I personally love my cauldron and my working candle (new addition to my collection, I might post a blog about that). Apart from those two things, I rarely use the tools I have. I have two athames (one tiny one, one pretty large one), a cauldron, a bunch of candles, some incense, some herbs, a couple of oils, a pentacle my husband made me, and a few other things. I'll post some pictures of my altars soon, once I take some new ones.

Sorry, I digress (sleep deprivation lol). The point is, if YOU feel better when you use tools, by all means use them! But, if you find yourself losing concentration and fumbling along when you use tools, take a break. It could be that you're just more comfortable without them, or you might just not have the exact tool for you.

One lesson that I've learned is that you should not get a tool simply because you like it and/or think it's pretty or MIGHT come in handy. Wait until you find tools that practically scream for you to get them and use them. If you just buy something because you think it's pretty or whatever, it's probably not going to get used as often as you may think. But if you wait until you find something that you feel an instant connection with, you will use it more than you think you will.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Matron Goddesses/Patron Gods

When I first began my journey, I really did not understand the significance of a Matron Goddess or Patron God. I was confused about how to figure out who s/he was, how I would know I had found the "right one," etc. For years, I just sort of "tried out" different deities to see if I found any alignments. I started with the Celtic Pantheon because I have Celtic ancestors and worked very briefly with Cerridwen. After the Celtic Pantheon, when I felt that my time with Cerridwen was over, I moved on to the Egyptian Pantheon, since I'd always felt a strong connection to it. I tried my damnedest to avoid the Greek and Roman Pantheons, since they seemed so common. But, early this year or maybe even sometime last year, I kept dreaming about Hekate and seeing her in my dreams, and it seemed that every time I searched for something online or in a book, there she was. 

After a lot of meditation and soul searching and asking for guidance, I finally figured out that Hekate really was sort of calling to me. She's been with me ever since.

I don't think that you HAVE to have a Matron/Patron deity, but sometimes it's nice to know exactly who you'll be working with and who is with you. I realized how strong my connection to Hekate was when I started realizing that every time I read about her, I got this warm, tingling feeling in my soul and body. It's like the love of a mother being showered on her only child. I can not even begin to tell how wonderful it feels to be connected like that. 

So you think you might have found YOUR Matron/Patron deity, but how do you know? Well, like many other things in life, you will just KNOW. There's no way to tell you what to expect, but you will feel a connection and they will just click with you and your soul. That's all I can think of to describe it. But you really will just know when you find them, or they find you. 

Just because you have a Matron/Patron deity does not mean that you can not work with other deities as well. There may be some things that you feel another God(dess) could help you with more (or differently) than you Matron/Patron. That's ok. You won't be struck down for working with other deities.

Throughout many of our lives, our Matron/Patron deities may change many times. That's ok, and even expected. The Matron/Patron deity you work with is probably in your life to help you through particular phases, transition periods, etc. and then you may find a new one. Embrace those changes and know that each new deity probably marks a new beginning in your life, or at least the beginning of a lesson that they will guide you through.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Typed vs. Handwritten BOS

A LOT of beginners (and even those who aren't beginning) wonder and debate about whether or not a typed BOS is equal to a hand written BOS. The ones who argue against a typed BOS typically use the argument that it's way less personal and therefore your energies don't transfer into it, etc. I disagree with that. I think that ANYTHING that YOU do yourself carries your energy and the like. No matter which way you decide to do your BOS, it's ok! You don't have to play by the rules of others because this is YOUR path and YOU make the rules for it.
I personally have a paritally handwritten, partially typed BOS. I started off writing EVERYTHING, even a huge list (about 5 pages in small print) of the associations of stones and crystals. It took me two days to do it because I'm kind of a perfectionist with things like that and I wanted it all nice and even, etc. I drew lines with a ruler to separate each stone or crystal and everything. After that, I started typing things that were not originally (I mean TOTALLY originally) mine, such as moon phases, deities, sabbat information, etc. Now, since I type way faster than I write (plus it looks prettier because my writing sucks lol), I'm considering switching to totally typed.
Don't listen to what other people say about it. There's nothing wrong with typing it if it doesn't feel wrong to YOU, and that's all that matters.

Karma, negative emotions and energy, and some other thoughts

Karma is very, very real. You get what you give. What you send out, emotionally, physically, spiritually, whatever, WILL come back to you. I don't know if I really believe in the three fold law or not, but I admit it's definitely plausible. I don't believe that it means you'll get what you give times three. I believe that it means you will get what you send out on the three levels it affects: physically, spiritually, and mentally/emotionally.

Have you ever thought, "Why me? WHY is this happening to ME?!" Well, I'll tell you why. Life is a bitch. No one dies a virgin because life screws us all. Bad things happen to good people everyday. But that's a good thing, in some ways. Think about it this way: Would you REALLY enjoy the amazingly good moments of your life if you hadn't ever experienced a bad time? I doubt it. Another possible culprit for "suffering?" Karma. Think about all the times that you've been in a really crappy mood and lashed out at other people, or just generally sent out negative energy in a bad way (I'm not talking about meditating or something to chill until all those bad feelings are gone, I'm talking about just being generally pissed off and not doing anything good about it). Maybe when something negative comes back to you it's karma's way of returning to sender.

I have lost count of the number of times that I've genuinely thought that I hated my life and wanted to die. I'm bipolar, and I've been suicidal and would have killed myself if someone hadn't intervened. I was also a cutter for about 11 or 12 years. I started young (when I was about 9 or 10). Lately, I've thought a LOT about my life. Maybe it's because I'm revamping my BOS or something, I'm not sure. But I've been spending a lot of time thinking about me and my life and I've learned some things. Since I started paying attention to my thoughts and making an effort to be positive as often as possible, and release my negative emotions in a good way (such as through journaling, meditation, turning on Family Guy and grabbing a beer while surfing the net, etc.), my life has been lighter. It literally feels like this huge weight has lifted from my life. 

If I could only give you ONE piece of advice for your life, it would be to make yourself think positively as often as you can. Try affirmations, they have really helped me and I've seen amazing results (maybe I'll post a blog about my first REAL attempt at affirmations, later). The power of your mind, your thoughts, your emotions is astounding. You will not believe the changes you'll see in yourself until you experience it. I know I didn't.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Using the Material of Others: Is it a bad idea?

Personally, I don't use many people's materials, but I've found two things that were suggested by other people and they've worked for me. Other than that, I don't use things other people wrote, mostly because I know that it's better to write your own stuff.

But is it really bad to borrow things from other people? Well, that depends. It's not really bad to try it, but it's not really smart to continue using something when you know it doesn't work for you. You can always try tweaking it to suit you better, to see if that makes it work for you. 

It pisses me off so bad when someone who is Pagan takes on that "holier than thou" attitude and basically tells another Pagan that they're doing something "wrong." So long as you're doing what works for YOU and rings true for YOU, who gives a rat's ass where the info came from?! I guarantee that most Pagans will be able to find at LEAST one other Pagan who does something similar or believes something similar. It's not a crime to use things that other Pagans created, especially if they published it. Don't let any self righteous fundie tell you that you're doing something bad or wrong because Paganism doesn't have "rule book" or leader, etc. You have to do what works for YOU and screw what other people say about it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I can't make you a witch

Ok, so you want to be a witch. Awesome! Oh, you want me to make you a witch? Sorry, it doesn't work that way. Nobody can make you a witch but you. No coven High Priest(ess), not you witch mother/grandmother/etc., not the author of any book, no one. 

Becoming a witch is a personal journey. Sure you might have a teacher (like a High Priest(ess) or someone who has been practicing for years, but they can only help you and guide you along your path based on what THEY know. Every witch is different and the practice of every witch is different. If you put 10 witches together in a room and asked them about their personal beliefs, the tools they use, their altar setup, the deities they align with, etc., you'll probably get 11 different answers. 

If you really think you want to be a witch, here's my advice: 
Go to your library and check out the books on witchcraft, borrow them from witches you know, or order some from Amazon or Ebay (you can find amazing deals online). If there's a local coven, talk to the High Priest(ess) and ask if they offer classes. If you don't know about any local Pagans and witches, check out witchvox.com and you might find some in your area. There are plenty of websites that you can learn from, also.

But, no matter where you get your information from, keep in mind that those are the beliefs of other individuals. It's perfectly fine to take what you read and apply it to your own practice, but you don't have to go strictly by the book with everything. You should read everything you can by as many authors as possible so that you can find out what is really true for you. Whatever you read, don't take it as the one and only way. There's a lot of information out there from so many different perspectives, and the important thing is finding your own truth and forging your own path in life.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Witchcraft is NOT a Religion

Maybe I'm the only person who thinks about this type of thing, but I'm hoping that I'm not.

I've noticed a lot of people saying that witchcraft is a religion, but that isn't true. Witchcraft is a craft, a practice, a skill, etc. Anyone from any religion can become a witch, even atheists can be witches. See? You don't even need a religion to be a witch!

I think that a lot of people are interchanging the words "Wicca" and "Witchcraft" or something like that. Some people seem to think that all witches are Wiccan and all Wiccans are witches. That isn't true, either. Wicca IS a religion, and many practitioners use witchcraft, but not all. Those two words are far from interchangeable.

Another reason some may mistake witchcraft for a religion might be because a lot of us (witches) tack on the term "witch" when giving our religious affiliation. For example, when I'm asked about my religion/spirituality/path, etc., I typically say that I am and Eclectic Pagan Witch. I do that because I'm not ashamed of being a witch, but also because witchcraft is incorporated into my religious practices.

Witchcraft is not a religion, but it can be incorporated into religious practices (again, by anyone of any religion). Spells are basically ritualized prayers. It's a petition (usually to a higher power/to higher powers, but sometimes just to the energies of the universe) for assistance, such as for protection or healing. Basically, saying that your religion is witchcraft is like saying your religion is prayer. Neither are actually religions, but both are incorporated into many religions and religious practices.