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The Difference Between Study and Practice

The definition of study according to Google is “the devotion of time and attention to acquiring knowledge on an academic subject, especially by means of books.” Of late, I’ve come to realize that my “practice” up until now hasn’t been much of practice at all.

I’ve heard so many stories of Pagans getting caught up in the study and reading of their path, and soon enough finding that the entirety of their practice is studying and reading. I was always so confused by this, as I’ve viewed so many videos where witches show off their expansive spiritual libraries and talk about the many books they have read. What was so wrong with all the study?

I have never thought of too much study/reading as a toxic situation. From learning how to read, books and sources of information, stories, muse ect. have always been an escape. You always take something from the things you read. The magic of reading the last page of a book and having the story be over was something I savored and enjoyed immensely.

Paganism was something I found through reading and searching for information. I remember clearly sitting in the public library reading a rare “Wicca for Teens!” book and being dazzled by what I was finding. It was the turning point, where I actually sat and realized what my path was. I went on an adventure, finding and buying any Pagan literature easily available. I read, took notes, and started a pretty impressive beginner library.

It wasn’t until now that I’ve really sat back and thought about what I was/have been doing since those many years ago. I can’t remember writing that many rituals, or even partaking in spontaneous ritual. I lit some candles, burn some herbs, laid out some crystals; but I had never really completed ritual that wasn’t with my old group where the rituals were already written and theoretically all I really had to do was show up and read some papers out loud.

It wasn’t that I was lazy, or didn’t enjoy the idea of ritual. I think it was definitely more of “Wow. These authors paint this incredible picture of ceremony, with lush imagery of Magic and Celebration. It sounds amazing on paper, but can I have these same experiences? What if mine doesn’t turn out like this?” Instead, (on an unconscious level) it was so much easier to live vicariously through the stores I found in books, on websites, and through the people around me. It was much more comfortable to sit behind the pages of a book and relish in the stories that Witchy So and So wrote about.

Now, I see how reading became a toxic cycle of self-doubt and jealousy. I’m left now with a ton of books under my belt and a lack of practice. My beliefs became a study rather than a practice. It’s here that I wish to move on from that. As any bad habit, breaking it takes a lot of work and introspection. I’m going through huge transitional periods of my life, but spiritually I don’t think I can progress without moving away from this.

My new mantra is “You are good enough. You can do this.” I aim to form a closer relationship with my deities and my craft. Although I will always enjoy searching the New Age section of Barnes and Noble and cuddling up with a good Pagan book and a chai latte, I vow to myself to start taking action and doing.

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The Witchy Blog Award :D

I’m delighted to announce I have been nominated for “The Witchy Blog Award” by my dearest friend Rachel! I’m so stoked as its super fun for me to view the responses of everyone who gets to do it!

The Rules:

Dedicate at least part of a post to receiving the award and share the award logo
Thank the blogger who passed the award to you
Answer the seven questions below
Nominate five Wiccan/Pagan bloggers (If you don’t know five other Wiccan bloggers, nominate as many as you can)
Notify your nominees of their pending award
Stop by Ayslyn’s Corner to add your name to the list of bloggers awarded (tab above)
Seven Questions: (You may customize as long as they are still Wiccan and Pagan related)

How did you “discover” Wicca/witchcraft/Neo-Paganism?
Do you grow herbs?
Are you “in the broom closet”? If not, share your coming out experience
What tradition do you follow, if any?
Do you consider yourself a witch, Wiccan or Pagan (or maybe something else?)
How much of witchcraft/Wicca are you able to incorporate into your everyday life?
Do you have a familiar? If you do, tell us how you meet him/her and how s/he takes part in your practice (if at all)
And now to answer the questions from above!

1. How did you “discover” Wicca/Witchcraft/Neo-Paganism? In the seventh grade I remember coming across it online and thinking it was really intriguing. I bought a couple of books and started studying but my path didnt truly kick off until I met my best friend Brenna (Rachel). She was older and had concrete experience and helped me figure out exactly what I believed, and introduced me to more people who shared the same basic belief.

2. Do you grow herbs? I do. Over the years I’ve slowly grown a plant or two and now I am finally at the point of having a small garden of about nine herbs that are solely grown for Magickal use.

3. Are you “in the broom closet”? If not, share your coming out experience No, I am not in the broom closet. My coming out experience was very odd. At first, I never even mentioned it, I just started doing. Of course, my parents were worried about what I was doing but didn’t really say anything about it until I erected an altar. They were disappointed, as their religon taught them that what I was doing was wrong. They even made me speak to a pastor about my religious choices. After awhile, they just ended up getting used to it and slowly became more supportive. I’m happy with how everything played out.

4. What tradition do you follow, if any? I currently don’t have any affiliation with a tradition or group. My spirituality has become a more solitary path of Celtic Polytheistic Witchcraft. Although I do a majority of my workings alone, I do sometimes gather with friends for the sabbats or occasional magickal working when it will be a benefit to us all.

5. Do you consider yourself a witch, Wiccan or Pagan (or maybe something else?) It’s hard for me to adopt labels as I tend to change how I perceive my beliefs quite often, but currently I would consider myself a Pagan Witch. My path started with Wicca, but I dropped the term as my path grew into something more wider and complex.

6. How much of witchcraft/Wicca are you able to incorporate into your everyday life? Most of everything I do somehow ties back into my spirituality. It is the most important aspect of my life, so even when I don’t mean to, my craft reflects in a lot of my actions. I also don’t believe that it’s hard to “incorporate” it into my life when I see the simplest of actions as sacred and meaningful. From a rain storm to holding a door open for someone, you can find spirituality in almost everything and I think that’s kind of what Paganism is all about.

7. Do you have a familiar? If you do, tell us how you meet him/her and how s/he takes part in your practice (if at all) I do not have a familiar, my golden retriever is way too insane to ever participate in my rites, but that doesn’t stop me from loving her!

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Finding My Restart

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In my last post, I addressed the fact that I probably wouldn’t be posting much until after this school year was over, but due to quite a bit of reflection over the past few days I’ve felt the need to concise my thoughts within a blog post.

As I previously noted, this year has been an almost absolute spiritual drought. When you begin to lose yourself, its hard to venerate with a spirituality that’s heavily based on finding yourself. The belief has and always will be there, but the actual practice has been almost nonexistant and when not its been dry. I spent a good portion of discovering what I believe in with the near constant reassurance of a group of pagan friends. Since our group disbanded its been hard to work through a lot of my spiritual turmoil. Its not a good excuse at all, but, having the support of spiritual people makes working through problems a lot easier.

In almost every attempt at “picking back up where I left off” I’ve failed miserably. A few years ago I was at what I would consider the high peak of my practice. I was so sure of myself and my craft. It was lovely. Feeling like you have a pretty solid direction was always the best feeling, but for a while I haven’t really felt that. Over the past week I’ve come to terms with a lot. Basically, I realized that trying to continue from where I left off a while ago wasn’t the best option. I never had an extremely stable solitary practice, so trying to build up on a weak foundation would be meaningless.

In conclusion, I’ve decided to essentially “restart” my path. I need to go back, visit the roots of where I started to learn, and work through the rocky parts in order to define what it is I really practice. I’m determined to work through all of the issues I had/have even if it takes immense hardwork and reflection. I cannot live without my practice. The Craft has helped me through so much, and has ultimately brought me to a stronger connection with what it is that I believe. The connection itself has not faded all the way yet, but if I continued to live the way I was who knows what would have happened. I’m happy I’ve come to terms with a bit of it, or at least have developed plans on how too.

I’m ready to utilize my summer vacation away from school and negative people to revamp my path and rediscover myself and my spirituality. Just like so many others, I need this.

I plan to update you all on what I do, and will continue to use this to better organize my thoughts on everything that will be occurring in the upcoming months. I hope to consistently bring good news, and be completely honest when it isn’t so good.

As always,

Merry Meet, Merry Part,

and Merry Meet Again!

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Removing Yourself from a Negative Situation

If you have ever had to leave something that you enjoy doing SO much, but you know it was for the best, you know how I’m currently feeling. It sucks.

As many of you probably know, my Pagan friends and I created The Circle of Towering Trees many years ago. I was about thirteen then. I am sixteen now. We were young, basic in our Craft, and felt compelled to start a group in veneration with the Gods and Earth. We were pretty smart for our age, and learned so much together. It was early in our summer vacation, and we had the WHOLE summer to work on things and plan for the Sabbats.

We came together as a group, and our future seemed bright.

And for a while, that’s exactly what it was.

We started off doing rituals on the Sabbats and having tarot nights, both of which went pretty well. We were gaining a lot of knowledge, and we were doing it fast. It was late in our Summer vacations by then, and we all pretty much knew what we wanted out of the group.

First off, we knew we didn’t want anyone claiming leadership in the group. We were teenagers, and finally finding freedom through spirituality, we were not looking to be contained.

Secondly, and finally, we didn’t want any negativity. We were all going through things at the time, and I think, consciously or unconsciously, we wanted the circle to be an escape from all of that.

For a while, we were seemingly succeeding. We had a few AMAZING, really empowering rituals. For a while, it was amazing. Fast forward about a year and a half.

I can’t remember exactly when it started getting off track. It started with minor conflicts, and issues between members (myself included). I was a freshman, and my fellow circle members were seniors. It was near the end of the academic year, and they were preparing to leave for college. At that point, as well as I can remember, we were all pretty much burnt out.

Rachel was getting sick and tired of planning everything. In the beginning, we didn’t want leadership. But as everyone grew busy, it seemed we pinned all of the responsibility on her. She was writing everything, and when she begged everyone else for input, we seemed to get too distracted to give her any.

Around that time, my own spirituality was crumbling. It was probably one of the lowest points of my life, and I was ceasing to provide any real effort in the circle. The rest of the members seemed particularly interested in other things, and the circle was nearly done.

We had one last sabbat ritual to partake in before most of the members left. Midsummer, the summer solstice, where it is said that if you stay up on Midsummer’s Eve all night until dawn on Midsummer, you might get visited by the Fey. We planned an all night spiritual workshop, where we would work on a variety of topics until the Solstice Sun touched our town. On paper, our Midsummer celebration sounded like perfect. We were also excited to welcome our new member, Shelby, who was going to take part in the Midsummer festivities.

Midsummer came, and it was nothing short of a disaster. All of our plans seemed rushed. Half of the circle was bitchy, probably from sleep deprivation and confusion. Our plans came crashing down, and only three of us were actually up when the sun rose.

We were all pretty upset. We had planned a whole celebration, and things weren’t going right, again. We were pretty much done. We probably would’ve ended the circle right then and there, but we didn’t want Shelby to miss out on anything. So, Rachel, Shelby and I walked to her back yard with a few tools and held a faerie ritual.

You know how sometimes, when the mood and ambiance are absolutely perfect, and you seem intune with  everything? That’s how the ritual was. We invoked the Fey, danced, made music, burned incense, and let the Solstice Sun bathe us in positive energy and wash away the negative thoughts we were feeling. It was probably the best ritual I’ve ever done.

Silly us. We seemed to think that because of our new member that maybe everything was going to start working out. The ritual filled us with hope of a brighter circle future. We were forgetting that only half the circle was present, and that the ritual was an escape, not a solution, to the problems we were having.

For the rest of the actual year, we still had hope. Half of the circle was in college so there was no time for conflict. And, we had yet another new member, Aleks, join us.  We were happy, as we thought we finally had everything circle related under control.

But, as the college year ended and our college students returned home, we realized just how wrong we were. It took a few weeks for the usual conflicts to arise, and we were back to feeling uncomfortable with each other. We celebrated Beltaine, and it was just a big mess. We were rushing, not feeling. For some reason, we were still determined to hold on to the Circle of Towering Trees.

All of a sudden, the gossip, slander, negativity, and conflicting energy became worse than ever before. From Beltaine all the way until recently, there were major arguments and confusion. Nobody knew what to do about anything anymore.

I found myself in constant conflict with a member. Circle drama was just becoming too much, and I wanted it all too stop.

And now, we are here. Rachel and I  have decided to remove ourselves from the Circle. Not out of spite. Not with the intent to be malicious. I just wanted out. I’m finding now that my friendships with the remainder of the circle are better. I’m no longer worried about any group rituals failing, or having to deal with stress of trying to make something work that just wasn’t. I’m happy now, and surprisingly stronger in my spirituality. Don’t get me wrong, I love The Circle of Towering Trees. I love them SO much. I’ve shared more moments with those people than anybody else in my entire life, and I have no regrets. We are all better friends now, and even going on a camping trip starting Wednesday! I’ve released myself from the negativity, and I’m just running on positive mojo. I’m ecstatic, more in tune with everything, and free. I am finally free.

You are all amazing people. And, I wish nothing best for the Circle, my readers, and anyone else involved in my life. I’m really grateful for how things are going right now. I encourage anybody else who feels currently attached to a negative situation, to let go. Don’t let a negative situation bring you down any further. Rise up to the occasion, and fight negativity with positive energy.

I love you all. Thank you for reading. Merry Meet, Merry Part,

and merry meet again.

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A New Tarot Deck!

Today I got a new Tarot deck. It is called “The Original Rider Waite Tarot Pack”. It is the original version of the Rider Waite deck. It has a vintage style to it, which is amazing. It doesnt have the obnoixious yellow coloring in it that orignally made me not connected to the Rider Waite. Its SO beautiful and has the old fashioned look to it, while looking like a new deck. The set came with a smaller version of “The Key to the Tarot” by A.E. Waite and a fabulous box. Pamela Coleman Smith did such a great job with this deck. Im really connected to it and I reccomend it for any beginner in the Tarot. I will keep you all updated about how I am doing with this deck via WordPress and Youtube. Blessed Be! 🙂

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My New Pentacle!

I went to Ren Fest today with Rachel and Morgan. While I was there I bought a pentacle necklace that I am in LOVE WITH IT! Its called “The Goddess Pentacle”. Its floral, and the Earthy Goddess Mojo energy it has is breathtaking. I jsut wanted to make a vid and show a picture of it.:) Blessed Be!

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REN FEST!!!

Hey Everybody! I am SO excited and I have to thank Rachel! WE are going to the Michigan Renaissance Festival this weekend! I jsut got payed forty dollars, and I am hoping to buy a HAND FORGED pentacle necklace there. There are also a couple tarot card readers there that I really want to meet. I will be making Youtube videos! Anyway, I jsut wanted to let you guys know about it, considering that the festival seems to be SO deeply routed in Paganism. Blessed Be!

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A New Oracle Deck!

Hello Everybody! I am SO excited today. One of my great youtube friends sent me an oracle deck that I recieved today and I thought that I should tell you all a little bit about it. The deck is called “Archangel Michael Oracle Cards” by Doreen Virtue. They are AMAZING cards with great messages. They are obviously centered around the archangel Michael. There beautiful cards! The backs have an amazign picture and the deck is gold edged. Each one of the cards has a beautiful painting. I would defitnly reccomend checking this deck out. Blessed Be!

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High School, AMAZING!

Hi everybody. Today was my first day of high school and it was AMAZING! I dont know why I was so nervous, but I am VERY happy! This is going to be a great year and I owe SO much to Lugh. He really is helping me already! Thanks Lugh! I am sorry this is so short, but I just wanted to update you all! I always wanted to give thanks to Lugh. He is a great God to work with. His power is AMAZING! Blessings Everybody and thanks for your support!

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First Year of High School, Fastly Approaching

I thought I would do post this because I wanted to help some of my nerves. I am starting High School next tuesday and I am VERY nervous! Mainly because now that I am ALL that way out of the brrom closet, im afraid that I will be bulleyed even more than last year for my beliefs. Yesterday I did a ritual with Rachel and Morgan. We made and burned sachets, and made and painted clay tailsmans which we empowered to help us through the school year. My tailsman is empowered for an array of protection throughout the year, and I am really hoping that its power will last for at least the school year. I am going to be going through my school supplies and empowering them for luck, and possibly setting up a small Crystal Grid in my locker if my friend Jessica allows me too. I know this was kinda short, but I thought a nice update post might be nice. Blessed Be!

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