Just a few thoughts

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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hey guys, just a quick update and stuff

Some of you may know that we're having our bathroom remodeled, basically. It's been crazy here waiting and planning, etc. Anyway, I should be back to regular blogging this week. Please feel free to critique posts, send me comments, suggestions, etc.! I WANT to know what you think :) Also, please come check out my profile on Cheap Sally for the Bringing Home the Bacon contest! This contest, even without the potential money, would be like a dream come true for me, so please come vote for me! You can vote once a day for each person you vote for, and voting begins September 1st at midnight (just a few hours away!). I'll be back soon with new blogs! I have ideas, so I should have a few posted by the weekend.

Also, let me know if anyone is interested in the book review/writing blog, or a blog about the home and stuff (like homemade cleaners, cloth diapers and mama cloth, as well as how-tos for that, recipes, making a home binder, organization, etc.).

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Starting your own book

Some people say that you should wait before you start your book (whatever you decide to call it, BOS, Grimoire, etc.), but I disagree. So, this is basically a mix how I went about things and how I would recommend it be done for others.

Find a notebook or journal of some sort. Don't drop $100 on your first book, save your money for something else. Just buy a couple of composition book, spiral notebooks, a 3-ring binder, a journal, whatever. Decorate it if you want to, with whatever feels right for you, whether that be nature images, symbols, deities, etc. This is YOU book, do what you like with it. I personally had (and still maintain) two separate books.
I use one for recording things like my personal thoughts, tarot and rune readings, rough drafts of things, ritual and spell records, etc., and the other for correspondences, finished spells that were successful, my beliefs, etc. If you want to do things that way as well, that's fine, but many people also just keep it all in one book.

What I suggest doing, right now, is writing down exactly what you believe. I think I mentioned this in the past either on here or in a video... Write down how you see the God and Goddess, your thoughts about karma, death, the after life, morals for spells, etc. Anything you can think of that would be considered you belief about your spiritual path. I would also suggest writing down WHY you've decided to study Witchcraft and (if it applies) Paganism. I do this about twice a year still and I would recommend you do the same. It helps you see where you were and where you are now, as well as help you figure out what beliefs are probably here to stay. For a while, you may read things in a book and think, “Oh that makes sense!” and you start to believe it as well, so you write it down. But, two years later that belief may be different after you've formed your own opinion. Some people may totally know exactly what they believe right off, and very little if anything may change throughout their life. However, I think that most people undergo too many changes in life to not see a few things changes.

When you've written down your beliefs, it's wide open. Research all you can. Take notes, and when you find something that you think is important, copy it into your book. I would recommend having things such as: Correspondences of things like the elements, days of the week, moon phases, sun signs, moon signs, herbs and stones (if you'll be using them, and I suggest meditating with your stones to see what they're useful for for you, instead of just copying from a book), colors (if you want, though I suggest making up your own based on what you feel represents what); Sabbats if you observe them; Deities you've worked with or want to work with; successful spells; rituals; how to cast a Circle; calling quarters; information about any divination tools you use (such as tarot cards that are most meaningful to you or all of them, how your pendulum moves for answers, tarot spreads, runes, palmistry guides, etc.); information about the elements (particularly your own impressions), etc. Basically, anything that is useful to you for your practice. These are just suggestions to get you started. I personally have a page about the Circle, and rituals, and calling quarters, but I only use them every now and then and I've considered removing them. I also have a new section for DIY things such as cleaning products because I tend to weave in spells with my cleaning. And I have a recipe tab, for things I make around Sabbats and Esbats...

Do not try to cram a lifetime of information into a few weeks of study. It won't happen. Take your time learning as well as adding to your book. You have your whole life to finish it, if you remain on this path. I fully understand the desire to put as much information as possible into your book as quickly as possible, but it really isn't necessary. This isn't a race, it's a learning experience that takes a long time.

As for fancy, expensive books... I suggest taking your time with that, as well. Many of you may know that I received one as a Mother's Day gift from my husband this year. I still haven't written in it, but that's mostly because I do not have ink or a dip pen to practice writing with. I'm in no hurry, though, my current 3-ring binder is expanding all the time.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Guilt Free Brownies

I just did a video about this as well, so don't forget to checkout my YouTube channel. I don't update it as often as I do my blog, but I'm working on that. Also, before I get into this blog topic, send me suggestions for things you'd like to see!

Ok, so...no brownie is truly "guilt free," is it? I mean, it's a chocolatey fattening dieter's nightmare! WRONG! You want to enjoy truly guilt free food? Here's how: Love yourself. Be your own best friend. Stop treating food like it's a rewards and punishment system. 

You are NOT going to gain 20lb overnight if you eat a brownie, or a hot dog, or a funnel cake, or McDonald's, etc. Sure, it isn't healthy, but you need to stop treating your body like it's being bad for craving things and listen to it from time to time. Would you tell your best friend s/he was going to get fat and that s/he is disgusting and needs to work out an extra two hours to burn off eating a candy bar? Yes? Well, seek therapy or something. No? Good, now apply that line of thinking to YOURSELF. 

You need to stop thinking, "I've been good,  so I'll take one bite of cake...just one, if I eat more I'm being bad..." and things like that. It isn't healthy in any way. If you're denying yourself things and thinking negatively about it ("I'm bad if I eat that," "I'm going to get fat," etc.) it isn't good for your self image and the like, which can have negative effects on other areas of your life. But, if you can give up all the unhealthy foods in the world and never look back, never miss them, etc., that's great for you! Many of us can not, though. And that's ok. It isn't great, but so long as you aren't spending every moment on the couch stuffing your face with soda, cake, chips, brownies, hot dogs, fast food, etc., it's not THAT big of a deal. If you're eating a fairly well balanced diet regularly and being somewhat active or more active, you'll be just fine if you eat that piece of fudge that's calling your name, or get yourself some cotton candy at the fair. Just don't eat it 24/7 because that's what makes it really bad.

So, enjoy your junk food every now and then and be happy about it! I'm sure some healthy food fanatics would criticize this, but I really don't care. I eat well, but I also allow myself to have cravings and indulge now and then. I've struggled with eating disorders in the past and I know from personal experience that it's no way to live. So if you want a really "guilt free" food, learn to love yourself and be happy. Know that you aren't going to gain a ton of weight by letting yourself have something unhealthy now and then.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Invoking Deities & How I View Gods and Goddesses

Please forgive me if I've done a similar post in the past, but the way I think to explain how I view things tends to change from day to day, so this will probably still be a little different lol.

First, I want to briefly explain how I view the Gods and Goddesses out there. If you ever watched HollyDaisyRose's YouTube channel (Sam now has a new channel, but I forgot what it is...Witchontherocks, maybe?), my beliefs are similar to hers. I believe that the divine spring from one source, THE Source, a supreme God, the energy of the Universe... Whatever you want to call that. 

I believe that they were created by humans calling on certain aspects and naming those aspects (Aphrodite, Isis, Ishtar, Hekate, Hades, Zeus, Pan, etc.) of The Source. I believe that because of human emotions and needs and all those things, these aspects of The Source were given faces, names, histories, etc. and eventually, because of humans believing in them so strongly, sort of came into being. Basically, humans created them, is what I believe. You know how hypochondriacs think they're sick so strongly that they become sick? Or how some people are convinced so thoroughly that they're being haunted that they manifest a poltergeist or whatever you want to call it? I think that individual deities came into being in a similar way.

Now, I'm not saying that they are NOT real, because I believe they are. I'm just saying that I think they are facets of The Source, but not separate from It. I believe they can take a form in visions or something and reveal themselves to humans in a way that is most appropriate for each individual, so everyone will see each aspect of Deity/Divinity/The Source differently, but they will be similar because of the aspects they represent. I hope that makes sense...

Now, as far as invoking Deities is concerned, you probably realize by now that I don't do things the way many books suggest. I've tried it, it didn't work for me. I personally just find that praying/talking/calling out to the particular Deity you're asking assistance from is sufficient, at least for me. I don't do anything elaborate, I simply meditate and clear my head of everything else and focus solely on the Deity I need, letting an image form in my mind, or hearing them respond, whatever comes naturally. I tend to "fly by the seat of my pants" during rituals and the like. I think that the energy from The Source is present everywhere, including within each of us, and that once you have realized that, felt a connection, etc., it's easier to connect with The Source through a certain aspect, without much or any formality. 

When first starting out, I do think that the formality of going through planning and executing a ritual (or 50 haha) or spell, etc. can be beneficial. It helps keep you focused on the task at hand and helps to break down any barriers that your conscious might have up that would prevent you from achieving your goal for the occasion. If that's what feels right for you, then by all means continue! I do believe that it's equally helpful to try different things, though. Even if you don't actually adopt a certain practice, sometimes it might spark your creativity and give you an idea to try.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Spells and the like for the home

I asked in one of my groups on another site if anyone else keeps things like cleaning recipes in their BOS (or whatever they call their Book) because I'm working on adding some to mine (laundry detergent and the like) and so far everyone has either responded that they only keep certain things in their BOS, or they keep things like that separate from their BOS, but do keep it in some sort of similar book. For me personally, I think they're important for my practice, and therefore belong in my  BOS. I tend to weave spells into my cleaning, and empower my cleansers like I would a candle, oil, etc. for regular spells. 

I personally think it's a great way to work spells for the home, but everyone believes and practices differently. I tend to focus a lot more energy on my home than spells for anything else, and for me, this is a simple way to do that.

If you make your own cleaners, and you're a Witch, try empowering your next batch of cleaners, adding a little blessing, or something and see how things work for you. Who knows? You may find it useful, but you'll never know until you try.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Be careful what you wish for...

I can not stress enough how important it is to pay attention to exactly what you're saying in your spells, and always remember to focus on your goal as much as possible, visualizing the end result as clearly as you can manage. It's true that your intentions are more important than the actual words, but it doesn't hurt to be careful with your words, as well. Trust me, I know lol. 

I recently did a spell and two days later, all of a sudden it started working and oh boy did it work, much better than I ever thought it would. I was looking for a small boost, just a little help, with accomplishing something, and then all of a sudden I was working on the task my spell had been for with such vigor that I've only slept a few hours in the past 3 or 4 days. Granted I'm an insomniac as it is, but this is a bit unusual even for me, and I've hardly been doing anything except working on the thing my spell was for, day and night. It's crazy, but I'm so happy with the results. I may share that basic spell format since I found it in a book and tweaked it a lot.

Just remember that words DO have power, and you should carefully consider every aspect of your spells before you cast them, because sometimes your results will amaze you by biting you in the ass later when you can't sleep and have to care for a 3 year old lol. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Smell the Roses

Make the time to go outside. If there's a stream, river, lake, ocean, any body of water near your home, take a walk by it. Take a few moments to feel the wind on your face, the earth in your hands and under your feet, feel the calming lull of the water, and the life giving heat from the sun. Meditate on the elements for a while and see what you discover about how you can incorporate them into your life and magick. Don't overlook the simple things. It's a cliché, but stop and smell the roses now and then. Mother Nature has a lot to teach us and offer us, if we'll only make the time to listen and receive. If you want to be a Witch, you need to familiarize yourself with the elements and how their different energies feel to you.

You can learn about these things from books, but it's more important to experience them yourself, because you can't learn everything from a book. Eventually you have to do something.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Devil & Freddy Krueger

Ok, I'm showing my uber love of Wes Craven and Robert Englund with this, but that's ok I guess lol. Sorry if this doesn't make perfect sense. I'm trying to get it typed out before I totally lose these thoughts. I'll try to answer any questions, though. I know I'm not a Christian, and I doubt I have any Christian followers, but if any happen across this blog post, I mean no offense.  This is just a thought that I had and nothing more, not intended to undermine anyone's beliefs, so I apologize in advance if it does cause any offense to anyone. It was not intended.

I was thinking about a few things when I was reading a book the other day, and this idea popped into my head after my thoughts began to wander. I started thinking about the whole "good vs. evil," "God vs. The Devil," thing and how we're moving out of the Piscean Age and into the Aquarian Age (or we're already in the Aquarian Age, but some Piscean ideas are still around, etc.) and what that means based on some things I've read, and a whole host of other things. One idea about the Aquarian Age is that the concept of "The Devil" may nearly cease to exist at some point, since it was a concept created during the Piscean Age and it will no longer be useful in the Aquarian Age.

Everyday I can see more examples of how this is proving to be true. A lot of people I encounter are thinking of "The Devil" in a more metaphorical sense, and less in a literal sense. That made me think about Freddy Krueger. Once the children stopped believing in him, he lost power and eventually ended up using Jason to gain back some of that power, blah blah blah. That's not the point, though, the point was that he LOST his power when people STOPPED believing in him.

I feel that believing in something gives it power. A teacher (Pagan teacher, that is) of mine once said that you can make a deity out of anything. If you believe strongly enough that your doorknob is a deity, it becomes your God. I believe that to be true. I think that deities were created by humans for their needs, such as fertility. Eventually they took on names and people just began to call on those names for what they needed. When a huge group of people begin to believe in something, it gains power and practically becomes  a living being.

Take hauntings, for example. If a family is being plagued by a spirit or residual energy in their home and they begin to believe in it, fear it, etc., it gains strength and sometimes the activity increases. I feel that something similar happened with the concept of The Devil. I won't go into all the history and all that, you can read about it in countless sources, and there are several versions to the story of how the Devil came to be.

My point for all of this rambling is that I believe things like "evil," and "The Devil" have gained power because of humanity's strong belief in them, but over time, if that belief decreases or ceases to exist, then those things will have a fate similar to that of Fred Krueger: Loss of power. If people stop dwelling on the bad things in the world, and focus on the positive, on helping others, etc., I believe that those bad things will slowly begin to dissolve and fade away. Many people don't believe that world peace is possible, but I think that someday it will be. That is basically the point of all this.

I apologize for rambling so much, but it's very hard for me to properly organize my thoughts right now. The temperature here has been unbearable and our house didn't get below the mid 80s all day. That makes it hard for me to think clearly.