Sunday, August 16, 2015
Why, with my 30+ years of experience with magic, ritual, etc. I haven't written a book or founded a tradition, or have dozens of former students and am running groups.
The answer is really simple: I work for a living.
Between work, chores, and owning a home this single witchy guy doesn't really have a lot of free time. If you look at dates on my blog, you'll see just how sporadic it all is. Sure, I have time to fart around on Facebook but that's done in 5-10 increments between doing other things around the house.
Add to that, I'm an introvert, and you'll understand that being around a lot of people just wears me out.
I barely have time/energy to have dinner with friends once a week. And they're all busy too, doing the same things I'm doing.
Yes, I'm still practicing my Craft and observing my holy days and meditating in private, but that's about it. My personal time is spent trying to recharge my batteries from the work day/week and that's about it.
I'm a little envious of the people who have the time and energy to be full-time professional witches. It sounds like a lot more fun than my drudging around the office trying to make other people happy enough to let me keep my job, paycheck, and benefits.
There are so many people in my situation that I'd hazard a guess that we're in the majority in the pagan community. I don't go to a lot of public events because if they're on the weekend, I'm still trying to recover from the work week and I just don't have the energy to spend. Yesterday after running some errands, I came home and had a 2 1/2 hour nap. I'm trying not to take a nap today because I've got a student coming over later, so every time I feel like I'm about to fall asleep I get up and go do something. But in all honesty, I just want to curl up with a good book and alternate between snoozing and reading. If I could have a super power right this minute, I'd change the world so that we had 5-day weekends and 2-day work weeks and keep our paychecks. Maybe then I'd catch up on my rest?
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Whether it's in life or inside a magic circle, time is definitely not constant unless you're counting, because life itself is a subjective experience.
In a nutshell, I've been kinda busy. Mostly with work taking up a lot of free time, and I've been doing a lot of soul searching. I've replaced the roof on the house, had to say farewell to my 14 year old furbaby, and been watching too many reruns of Big Bang Theory.
I've had a lot of changes in my perception of friendships lately, too. I'm noticing when I reach out and don't get responses, or if I'm the only person *ever* initiating conversations with friends. Am I being clueless and bugging people, intruding on their lives while they really just view me as a friendly pest? Would they even notice if I just stopped trying?
I'm turning 50 this year. While I don't feel the urge to go dashing out and buying a red sports car, I am noticing my awareness of my own mortality changing. I'm not sitting around in fear of it, nor am I embracing it. I do know that it's going to be here eventually, and I'm at that point where I want to maximize the positive mark I can leave on the world before I go.
It was never my intention that this blog have thousands of followers. In the pagan blogosphere, I'm an absolute nobody and that's been fine with me. So many people write better, more eloquently, on topics that they spend time researching that all I can do is read and applaud. The idea of becoming some form of "big name pagan" is just abhorrent. It's been a big part of why the blog has been so silent, but maybe now it's just time I use it as an outlet and stop trying to "measure up to the big bloggers", which I may have unconsciously been doing.
I've seen how the public treats its celebrities, and fame is both fleeting and unkind. The minute you're out of the spotlight, the false friends fall away and you're left wondering if any of your friendships were ever real. It's like that *being* friends with celebrities too. Before Teo Bishop "came out" as Matt Morrison, I thought we'd established a friendship. After his big reveal, he treated me like any other fanboy and stopped interacting with me. When he left paganism and went back to his "home" religion, he not only cut ties with me on Facebook, but I was blocked from even sending a message of support to him. Frankly, it was upsetting.
I think it's time I just stop wasting my time chasing after people who make it clear they don't want to be friends with me. No ill will of course, but I've got more productive things to do with my time and energy than spend it on people who don't make time for me, and blow me off repeatedly.
I've got stories to tell, songs to write, plants to nurture, and spells to cast. I'm not going to waste time attempting to make other people happy, the real magic is only going to come from a happier me, so that's what I need to focus on. Life should be fun, and I haven't been doing enough of the "fun" things in life.
Peace out, witches.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
I watched it a few times, because it made me laugh. But then it got me thinking…
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
I woke up from a wild dream this morning featuring a fictional character I’m developing, and he was sitting in a coffee shop across the street from an evangelical church. The church was having one of those big “stir everybody up” sort of sermons about the evils of homosexuality and liberalism, and my gay pagan character shifted into Oversight to watch the energy build, and then began siphoning it away to use for his own purposes.
As I was showering and getting ready for work, I started thinking about the possibilities involved in actually doing what the character in the dream was doing. Salvaging psychic/magical power out of something like that, passing it through a filter to neutralize the intent that generated it, and directing the energy into something positive for the earth, or for society.
Let’s face it, most churchgoers today don’t believe in psychic power or energy except as something devil-related and while they may generate a lot of it, they don’t send it anywhere. You’d have to be detached enough from your emotions to effectively filter it, and make it “neutral” energy, but in theory it should be possible. And wouldn’t that be kind of a riot? Using the energy people like Westboro Baptist raise in hate to fuel magic to do some good in the world just seems deliciously ironic to me. Maybe a little wicked, too.
What the heck, embrace the wicked wonderfulness within and see what happens.
Sunday, January 26, 2014
- Planning the space: Assuming all of your ritual “stuff” is set up and in place, you have to decide where the circle boundaries are going to be. If you’re working with others, discuss the boundaries before beginning in case some of them can’t perceive the energy well enough (yet) to keep from crossing the circle. Because things come up unexpectedly, always plan where a temporary door into/out of your circle may need to be. Due to the layout of my living room, that can only be in the South or Southeast, for example.
- First breath, Ground and center: Take a deep breath, let the tension flow out of you down to the center of the Earth, and as you inhale focus on your heartbeat to make you fully present in your head with the energy of the Earth filling you up.
- Second breath, Open to the sky: Make sure your crown chakra is open to the moon, the stars, the sun and breathe that stellar energy in to mix with the Earth energy in your solar plexus.
- Third breath, Turn it up: Basically, as you inhale the third breath picture the Earth and Stellar energies making you glow brighter and brighter, then set your breathing on automatic and keep that image in your head.
- Anchoring the circle: Choose your starting point. I like starting/ending my circle in the North, because that’s the direction of Earth for me and that’s where all things come from. You may choose something different, and if it works well for you that’s fine, but you have to start/end casting the circle in the same place, or it isn’t a circle at all.
- Begin casting: I’m going to remind you that you’ve charged yourself up with energy, so here’s where you start using it. Keep in mind, that while you’re casting the circle you are still also charging yourself up so you shouldn’t feel depleted when you’re finished.
- Whether using your hand or a ritual tool to direct the energy, start a stream of energy flowing to the starting point and leave it hanging in mid-air as you move your hand to draw the line of energy, and step to the right. Go all the way around the room, maintaining the flow of energy from the earth/stars into your body, down your hand, and into the circle.
- Tie it off: As you’ve moved around the room leaving the energy for the circle behind you and replenishing yourself from the cosmos, you will come back to your starting point. I like to draw that last bit of the circle into an infinity loop, the final stroke of which will connect it to the point I started from. In my mind, this keeps the energy moving while I am not the source of it.
- Finishing: By the time you’ve tied off with your infinity knot, you should feel the change ripple through the space like the rings on a pond after tossing a pebble in.
- Break it: Yep, some people cut the circle with an athame and declare the space open, letting the energy disperse.
- Suck it up: Some people are more comfortable drawing the energy of the circle into a tool for “storage” to be used in the next ritual.
- Earth it: Some folks will uncast the circle directing the energy into the Earth.
Saturday, January 11, 2014
Grief and depression can have a negative impact on your immune system. Physically, you need to also make sure you're eating nutritious food with good vitamin content as well as staying adequately hydrated and getting enough sleep.
Sunday, December 29, 2013
- You have any secret self-description that basically amounts to “Chosen One”.
- You refer to non-pagans as “mortals”.
- You believe that only you (plus perhaps a chosen few) are holding back an extra-dimensional invasion of evil magic alien beings in flying black saucers.
- You think that your spiritual evolution (or lack thereof) is unaffected by the health of the very real body you live in.
- You think that you have “conquered” any emotion.
- You tell people that you’re the reincarnation of any famous person.
- You count goldfish, crystals, and infants as members of your coven.
- You spend so much time telling others how to live the perfect pagan life that you don’t ever meditate or so much as light a candle yourself.
- You spend so much energy criticizing others you have none left for your own growth.
- You tell people you’re cavorting with faerie lords by moonlight when you’re really just drunk off your ass and trying not to fall down in the dark.
- Your list of problems is longer than your list of skills or accomplishments, and you blame your lack of spiritual progress on being a sensitive empath.
- You author a blog or host a podcast that no one reads or listens to, and you think you are an important voice in the community without being able to use two and too correctly in a sentence.
- You insist that although on this plane of existence you’re on permanent disability, in another reality you’re the queen of everything and so people should feel privileged to kiss your ring (made from an old coat hanger) and bring you offerings of food.
- You insist that everything, in all its forms, is for the greater good. That’s just twaddle and you know it. Sometimes things suck.
- You insist that only the darker side of life is powerful. Twaddle again, life isn’t monochromatic. It’s a freaking rainbow, deal with it.
- Make friends you can trust and be honest with. Good friends are going to tell you when you’re edging too close to the line of professional nutbag.
- Regular spiritual practice. The simplest acts, like meditating daily and journaling privately, can help you stay in touch with reality.
- Get off your butt. Go outside and garden, go for walks, volunteer at something that helps others. Getting outdoors in fresh air, interacting with non-pagans and getting away from the computer will help keep you grounded.
- Eat healthy. I’m not saying you have to adhere to some strict diet, but keep the processed foods & sugars to a minimum and eat fresh fruits/veggies and you’ll stay grounded more solidly with less effort.
- Cut back on the fiction. Really, reading is fun. It should be. All work and no play makes a dull pagan, but overdosing on fiction is a fast route to living in fantasy land.
- Be creative. Learn to cook something new, knit or crochet, sew, paint, draw, sculpt… something that engages your right brain actively and creates something physical. You get to use your creative juices for something constructive this way, without it dragging you into nutbaghood.
- Get some counseling. Hey, reality slips for everyone sometimes, and if your friends are avoiding you or telling you you’re nuts, get a professional opinion. Worst case scenario, you’ll get some therapy or medicine to help you with a serious condition, or they’ll say you’re fine and not to worry so much.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Soak light blue thread in the potion. Bless and consecrate it.
Take a hat that has a band of fabric around the inside of it. Purify it.
Sew sigils for mental clarity, focus, insight into that band using the herb-infused light blue thread. Bless and consecrate the hat.
There, now you've made a thinking cap.
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Sunday, August 25, 2013
Sunday, August 4, 2013
Sunday, July 14, 2013
- Don't form energetic attachments to public figures.
- Don't form attachments to anyone in order to avoid disappointment.
- Love everyone indiscriminately.
Sunday, June 16, 2013
1 honor or respect felt or shown : deference; especially : profound adoring awed respect
Friday, June 14, 2013
Honestly, it's an old and trite conversation that anyone who's been around the pagan community more than 10 years has heard before, although perhaps not with this much vitriol. Generally we have these sorts of conversations while trying out someones latest batch of home-brewed mead or something. It's right up there with the same tired old "what is a pagan, really these days?" conversation that I'm not going to get into.
So here's my thinking on the subject, do with it what you will.
For "cerebral pagans" who intellectualize everything and analyze everything, it's a perfectly fine conversation to have, speculating on parallels. Anyone can see that in many ways Superman is the Heracles mythos revamped for a more modern era. Still, it's a fun intellectual exercise, but not really the basis for a serious philosophical approach to the pagan mysteries.
For a hard polytheist, it's a borderline insulting conversation. Frankly, I can't imagine how ticked off I'd be if I was a hard polytheist who worshiped Thor, seeing the comic books, cartoons, and movies basically making a mockery of my personal deity. If Christians started seeing Jesus action hero figurines, and Jesus comic books where he's less than perfect, portrayed as having faults, and showed his bare bottom, they'd probably be incensed. Making a mockery of someone else's sacred and holy god/tradition/thing is just enormously assholic.
If the conversation were a little different, where Superman and the other comic book heroes were likened to heroic archetypes instead of gods, maybe the whole thing wouldn't have gotten quite so explosive. But I think it's too late to interject a note of reason into the larger conversation stream, unfortunately. I almost wasn't going to comment on it at all, really.
But on the way home from work tonight, I was listening to National Public Radio as usual, and the most interesting story was running. It totally made my inner music geek sit up and squee with delight. Story link is here: Playing Mozart
In the story, people were talking with excited reverence about seeing, touching, and actually playing Mozart's instruments. The real deal from the 18th century. It made me realize that these people, while not worshiping Mozart as a god, were treating his instruments as almost holy relics. This was literally the high point of some peoples lives, and I don't blame them for their feelings at all. I mean geez, Mozart touched those!
In the story, there was a comment made that struck a huge nerve with me: "They're quieter than modern instruments and produce less brilliantly colored tones. They force the audience to lean in to appreciate them."
Maybe we, as a pagan community need to remember that sometimes the louder and more flashy things aren't as precious as something that requires our energy to pay attention to. Open all of your senses and revel in the glory of a sunrise, the next time you're up that early. Give your first sip of tea or coffee in the morning all the attention of a devout monk in a cathedral listening to the Pope for the first time, and really enjoy the experience in all of its minute details. Maybe by living a more reverential life, we can more easily treat each other with reverence.
But what do I know? I'm just a guy whose first word was "Batman", after all.
Peace out, Witches.
Monday, June 10, 2013
So become your own role model. Establish your own parameters for what a “good” pagan is, and then figure out how to live up to it. Routinely (at least once a year) re-examine what you're doing and how happy it's making you, to see if you need to tweak something to be happier and more fulfilling. Don't be shy about asking for opinion, but don't take anything someone else says as gospel. See how you feel about it, internalize what works for you and get rid of the rest. Don't be a sheep, be a nice independent goat.
And don't put other pagans up on a pedestal. They're human, just like you are. Celebrate their wisdom as part of the tribe, but don't pretend they're some Catholic saint, because they're not. Expecting them to be is really unfair. I adore Selena Fox, I celebrate the marvelous hard work she's poured into public paganism and the amazing strides she's made for all of us over the decades. That lady totally found her passion and dared to make it a reality. But she's human. She laughs, she gets sad, and I'm sure once in a while she even has moments where she loses her temper, or farts or something. I would love to meet her, and some of the pagan authors I admire, but only because I think we'd have a great time hanging out, not because I think they're going to poof me into some neo-angelic being with their presence.