Category Archives: Pagan Blogging Project

Journey on Darkness

As many of you know, three nights ago was a rather historic night, astrologically speaking. It was a dark moon and an excellent annular eclipse. I am rather disappointed that us in the eastern United States were not able to see it, but I still acknowledged it.  Okay, witch confession time… I have never done anything for the Dark/New Moon.  I honestly did not know what to for a Dark Moon.  I hate googling things to determine what I should do. I have been trying to make myself work more off of instinct and less off of what the books tell me.  So I decided that I would do something for this very epic night of darkness.

So, for inspiration, I decided to go on a spirit walk. I have walked my development hundreds of times, I would much rather walk a forest path or somewhere more wild, but it just isn’t possible in this area.  The most wild places are parks which close at dusk. So, my spirit walks often happen along the sidewalks and shadows of my suburban development. So I donned by bone choker and kicked off my shoes and set off into the night.

Given the conditions of last night, I was thinking about darkness. How it applies to me and what darkness means to me.  I spent nearly two hours wandering the streets.  A lot of things occurred to me on that walk and I had a bit of an experience that was very eye-opening for me.  I already had the idea in my mind that darkness is a very important concept. I could get into a big discussion on duality, but I assume most of you agree that without darkness, there is no light, so I will spare you that chat.  So the main question that popped into my head that night was “What is my darkness? How does it apply to me?” I received an answer and then some.

I achieved a bit of a journey state on my walk. I was aware of the development. I could hear the cars rumbling on the highway, the train whistle and people sitting on their porches as I walked by. I was aware of them, but they seemed so far away.  I felt very different too. I have never been in a moving journey state. Hell, a lot of the time I struggle with a motionless journey.  I was rather excited, but I forced myself to focus on what I was experiencing.  It didn’t feel the same as other journeys either.  I was not me.  To be honest, I felt like a caged animal.  Some great wolf struggling against unseen bonds. I wanted to be free. I wanted to run, to hunt, to breed, to eat. It felt like pure survival.  I spent nearly an hour like this, slinking around my development in the dark.  At first I was confused as to why I was experiencing this.  Never before had I felt like this on a journey. I felt like i should have been scared, but it just felt right to let this out and experience what I could.  As my feet brought me back onto my street, I came back to the surface.

Once I was almost fully back into this world, I understood. My brain put all the pieces together in one big revelatory explosion.  Darkness. I am amazed I never even thought about it before.  Darkness is not evil, that I knew.  To me darkness is that primal side. That deep, instinctual part of us that most people hide away and keep under strict control. It may sound simple, but I had honestly never thought about it before. I realized that this side of my is critical to my spirituality.  Working with that darker side. The instinct and the primal energy are not things to be controlled.  This sort of thing should be worked with and worked into your craft. I did an entire ritual completely off the cuff (off of instinct) and it felt more powerful than half of the ones that I had planned for days ahead of time.   I think that we can learn a lot from tapping into this instinctual side of ourselves, and many of the great witches out there are already able to do so.

So I performed my ritual in darkness, it didn’t feel right to light a candle when I was honoring the darkness in all of us.  I finished the evening with a more traditional journey.  When I was done, it was probably 1 or 2 in the morning. I came back into the house ravenous. So after a quick snack and a small rest I went to bed to dream about all that I had learned that night.

Definitely a profound revelation for me.  Like I said before, this may seem simple, but it had never occurred to me before. It makes so much sense that I almost facepalmed at my own naivete.  It also made me realize how much more I have to learn about myself and the path that I am walking.


Initial Work

For my second I post, I decided to write about the first ritual that I ever took part in. I still remember almost every detail, it stands out so vividly in my mind, and I think this was what really pushed me down this path.

I was a junior in High School. I had a small group of friends who were exploring the path. There was myself, Wolf, Bear, Owl and Nymph (all people have been given names to avoid incrimination).  We all got pretty close junior and senior year.  Nymph came up with the idea for this ritual. It was a beautiful summer night so we spent it outside in her parent’s yard.  Owl was out of town at this point in time so unfortunately she was not a part of this ritual.

Nymph coordinated what everyone should bring and planned out what we would do.  We brought food for an evening picnic and baked a loaf of bread special with flowers and cloves of garlic baked into the crust.  We set up an altar on an old cable spool out in her back yard. We draped a red cloth over the spool and set up a pentacle of green ribbon then put a bunch of candles over it to light our work as the sun went down.  Nymph acted as high priestess while Wolf, Bear and I worked as back up and were the hands for her.  It was a nice rite that we had written together before hand. It was a simple ritual, mostly for honoring the nature spirits around us.

I remember watching as Nymph started the speaking portion and watching the candle flames bend in her direction. I remember giving the bread as offering along with a helping of all of our food. We then closed the circle and danced around the fire for a bit. When we got tired we collapsed onto the lawn. We laid down into a circle with our heads in and relaxed in the cool night air. The trees and air were glowing with fireflies. I remembered watching the trees glitter as I laid in a haze with my friends nearby.  We meditated deeply together and spent most of the rest of the night there on the grass, just being in nature and with each other.

This was the first and last group ritual that I have ever been a part of.  It really was the start of my path. I had never done anything quite like that before that point, and I think that is what propelled me on further.  It was extremely meaninful to me, and I look upon it as a kind of initation for me.  Since that point, I have grown away from Wolf, Bear and Nymph and I think they have grown away from the craft, but I always look back on that night very fondly. For them, this was a phase. For me, it was the start of something amazing.  You all have read where I am today, and now you know where I started.


Inspiration

One time, when I posted one of my PBPs on the facebook group, I was asked where I get my inspiration from. I decided that this would make an excellent blog post and since I am in need of an I post, here it is. Inspiration.

I am an artist. I use a lot of my artwork as a form of meditation and release. The artwork page of this blog is not extensive. You can hit the deviantArt link on the side to see all the artwork that I have posted on the interwebs. There is more but I have to photograph it. I will be doing that over the next couple weeks. Art has become a very important part of my spirituality. We all like to express ourselves in some way and my art is the most important outlet.  In the past year, my art has gone to the side to make room for school, and I am positive that it will do so even more when I get to Vet School, but I do what I can when I can.

So, now to the question. Where do I get my inspiration? What is the spark that lets me create the things that I create?  The short answer is that there is no simple answer.  My inspiration comes from various sources. Dreams, journeys, sometimes i just wake up with an image in my head, and then there are some that are my own take on other artworks that I have seen. Some inspirations comes from nature and some from ancient works.  It really is just a giant, messy hodge-podge of sources.  I don’t even remember the inspiration for some of my works.

I do see certain themes to my work though. It really depends what I was in to at the time. There are a lot of pentacles in my work, those started in a more wiccan phase of my path and I found that it was a design that I liked, so they continued on. I have not done another pentacle in a very long time.  I also had a tribal section, and I do not remember what triggered that. I did the boar when I was working with Boar to heal myself and that was inspired by pictish designs.  The small amount of work that I have done recently has been more spiritual to me. There is Cernunnos, who was really the biggest step down my current path and a lot of the artwork recently has been along those lines. Skulls, labyrinths, Awen designs, leaves, herbs.  My artwork has become more earthy as my path became more earthy. My inspiration now comes more from my dreams and journeys than it ever has before.  I find myself now with more designs and images in my head when I wake up. I will hopefully have time to get these down on paper now that I am not in school and have a regularly scheduled job.

I also find that I have more ideas for more physical works now. A lot of my work has been sharpie and pencil and paper. I have a desire to do more woodworking and more stone work. I love the choker that I recently made, and Cernunnos is probably one of my favorite works that I have ever done.  I have also had dreams of decorated skulls. I would love to do some art work with bone, but that is significantly harder to do. We will see what comes out of this summer. It is my last big chance to do fun things before I go off to school, so it should be pretty good.


Healing: My journey

So this is pretty late, I know. And it is only one H post. But since this is pretty important to me we are going to call this my H section.  I also still have no idea what to write about for I. I am open to ideas. Also, I know that I said there probably would not be blogging until after I got back from school and camping. Well I am slacking and instead of packing my shit, I decided to blog on this beautiful Beltane.

With my journey down a more shamanic path, I recently decided that I wanted to attempt a healing.  My journeying has been getting better and I wanted to attempt the next step. Healing seemed like that logical next step.  I have always been pretty good at other methods of healing and one day I want to be  a professional healer. I am, after all, going to vet school. So this is why I decided to try this new-to-me technique.

So I grounded myself for a long time, knowing that this was going to be the longest journey that I had yet taken part in.  I set myself up like I normally would for a working of this nature. I dressed in loose clothes and donned my bone choker. After a deep meditation, I started the drumming track and the journey. It started much like any other journey but when it came to applying my actual intent, I received an answer that i have never received outright before.  A resounding “No.” I thanked them and then ended the journey in confusion.  I wasnt angry, just confused. So I pulled out my animal oracle and asked why I had been refused when I tried to heal someone.  The answer was two-fold.  First, the person that I was trying to heal was not ready to be helped. He is not open to help and he needs to work on the problem himself.  Secondly, I was told that I need to do some self work before I am ready to do a healing of this magnitude. I have to heal some of my own wounds and deal with some of my own issues before I am able to heal someone like this.

This was pretty profound for me. I decided that this will be a personal goal for me. I want to be able to perform a healing. That being said, I have to heal myself first. So I am setting upon a series of journeys to do just this.

I also am doing a little bit of crafting to help the process. I made a choker to wear for healing work. It is made of hemp and has seven wood beads. Each bead has a sigil drawn onto it. This was my first time that I have used sigils and I find them quite effective.  It took a bit to get them right and to set aside my neuroses in order for me to just let them flow. Drawing them on the beads led to a bit of cussing and frustration in the beginning until I got into the swing of it. Once I was relaxed and refocused on my purpose they flowed pretty easily and feel very nice. So I completed those a couple of days ago and set them on my altar along with the piece of turquoise and the hemp to make the choker.

So last night, I crafted the necklace. The weather was not cooperating for my Walpurgisnacht plans. We had some sever thunderstorms, but I found a clear spot to go and at least meditate outside and make my offerings. The rest of the night was inside at my desk. I stated my purpose and began making the choker. I used a medium weight hemp and some macrame to craft it. With every know I tied my intention. This was my first time using knot magic, but I found that I liked it.  I strung the beads and worked them into my intent with some words. I bound the whole necklace with one final knot and a binding bead.

Once I was finished, I took the necklace on a journey with me. The results were astounding. I am very happy that I did this and I cannot wait to see where I go from here.

I am glad that I got a chance to blog again before I went camping.  I have a super busy next couple of days. Now that this is done, I am off to start packing everything. I will be altarless for two weeks. Wierd. I will get more posts out to you when I get back. I have a couple ideas for some things.


Garb

For this week’s Pagan Blogging Project, I decided to post about a topic that was inspired by my friend over at The Crossroads Companion. He posted on twitter a while back asking what people like to wear while they work their magic. I thought it would be a good blog post and an equally good conversation.
Let’s start with what I like to wear to ritual clothes-wise. I am sure that we all prefer to go skyclad whenever possible, but it is rarely possible for this witch. I have spent my entire life in northern Ohio where is the weather is as far from predictable as one can get. I also rarely work in places where there is no chance of being discovered, and explaining why I am sitting naked under a tree is not something that I wish to do. When I am in my room, I work skyclad. But I would so much rather have to put in clothes and be able to go outside. So when I sit in a park or in the yard, I often wear simple things. I enjoy the ribbed cotton tanktops (wifebeaters, I hate that name for them) and a pair of loose but comfortable pants, usually cargo pants for the added benefit of lots of pocket room. I like things that will not restrict my movement or make me overheat. I am a hot-blooded individual, and when I am working I tend to get even hotter, so the tanktop and pants work out very well for me. Color really makes no difference to me. I often wear a black tanktop but that is just because I have the most of those.
As far as other adornments; it really depends on what I am doing. I have a silver ring that has ogham on it. It is my Druid ring that I made in an art class. I used to wear that a lot for ritual, but I have lost weight since I made it and it now is extremely loose. I have a tiger’s eye point that I associate with Old Hornie, but that is usually more every day wear than ritual. My absolute favorite thing is my other necklace that I made, but it doesn’t like to be talked about much, so I will leave it out of this. I do have a full length black cloak that I bought a few years ago. It is a beautiful, deer suede thing with a Celtic knot type clasp. Sometimes I wear that for added “witchy” feeling, but that is another thing that tends to draw unwanted attention if I am working somewhere that I might be seen.
I have a couple ideas for things that I would like to make for wear during workings, but I haven’t had the time or money to do that of late. I am happy with what I have and I find that what I wear does not much affect things for me. I have worked to make my spirituality a part of my every day life, so what I wear does not have a big effect on me.

Now I turn it over to you. I just hit 20 followers on here and I know there are some readers who don’t follow (this honestly made my day the other day). So what do you guys wear for ritual? Clothes? Jewelry? I’m curious to know my peers’ opinions on the matter.


Friends and Fellowship

So I am cheating a bit. I did not do a PBP post last week or last night, so I am going to kill two birds with one post. Its cheating, I know, but this is my blog and I do what I want. So here goes.

I am going to chat about Pagan fellowship tonight.  I have spent pretty much all of my practice as a solitary.  I do have my dearest friend Liz over at College Witchery and we have worked together some, but our college lives keep us pretty well apart. I am not saying that being a solitary is bad, but it does get lonely. I know what a good majority of us have felt this at one point or another.

There are a lot of complaints out there about the internet and modern paganism and fluffy bunnyism and all of that.  I know that some sites out there ( I am not mentioning any names) have made us all rageful from time to time and we can get sick of people spreading shit on the internet.  This is all true, but there is another side to that coin.  We now have access to pagans from all over the world. We have whatever knowledge that we have the patience to find. There is lots of bull to dig through, but it makes the discoveries that much more satisfying when we do find a good article, or an excellent blog. I think that, in the end, the internet was one the best things to happen to Paganism.  My buddy over at The Crossroads Companion just wrote an excellent post on this topic.

I really should thank Liz for a lot of what I have learned. She convinced me to start a blog so many years ago, and she convinced me to join Twitter this past year.  My blog is definitely not the best place to go for information. I am still young and stumbling my way through learning what I want to know. The blog has been a great way to meet people.  I met several Pagans who stumbled across my blog, and liked what they saw.  I also found other blogs which have taught me a lot and made me some friends.

Twitter was possibly the biggest shift for me.  I fought it for the longest time, but now I am extremely happy that I jumped on that bandwagon.  I creeped on some people whose blogs I followed and had chatted with through blog comments.  I made a few fast friends and then met some more random people, and I have never looked back.  I have learned so much from the people I now call friends, and I consider them my teachers.  I am not sure that I would be where I am now if it was not for their help and influence.  I have gotten dream interpretation help, pointers and so much more from them. I have even discovered more blogs to read and have had some awesome people ask me to be a tester for their products. Overall, my experience with twitter has been completely positive.

As I said, the internet is a great thing for us. We can learn so much form our peers as long as we have the clarity of mind to discover the true gems out there.  Being able to find like-minded people and form friendships is a wonderful thing.  I think that the internet is the easiest way to form fellowship with pagans in this day and age.


Earbuds

So for this weeks Pagan Blog Project post, I was at a bit of a loss as to what to write about. So, the other night I went for a bit of a Spirit Walk under the full moon and I asked for some inspiration with some things. The original intent was not for blog inspiration, but I got that along with some other things. So here is this week’s post.
I’m today’s day and age, we are always wired. I love that we have the opportunity to get music from any artist we want through iTunes. It is great. However, I think that many people get too wrapped up in music. I have done it myself. I wake up, I put some music on. I walk to class, I put my earbuds in. It is really great walking to the beat of your favorite songs, but I feel like doing that too much can be detrimental.
I have recently forced myself to put my iPod away some more. To listen to nature as I walk. Anyone who has been to Findlay knows that it is flat as the tundra, and the winds there blow strong and almost all the time. So I have learned to listen to the wind. I think that putting my earbuds away, and listening to what is going on around me has helped me to connect better.
I try to meditate more often to the wind and birdsong than to music. My meditation has become much better under a tree listening to the sounds of nature. I have even gotten better at tuning out the sounds of the city around me and tuning in the natural sounds.
I think that we could all learn some more from putting away our headphones and listening to the world around us. I challenge you to go out and try it. For a week, go without your headphones and just listen to nature. I think that a lot of us could grow from it.