Posts Tagged With: New Age

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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Update: 6/16/2014

sunsetHello my dear readers.

Although I haven’t exactly accomplished too much since my last posts, I felt as it was my duty to update my blog like I promised myself I would. I feel like blogging can be an extremely reflective, meditative experience and I often find myself coming to conclusions or realizations whilst typing away.

Although I’ve had a sorta stagnant start to my summer vacation, there have been a few spiritual and/or positive events that have surfaced. First came with getting out of school. This year was so stressful, and I’m very proud of myself for remaining afloat and receiving good scores. I’m excited for next year, but I refuse to rush this summer as I need time to relax and refocus. School tends to suck a lot of spiritual mojo from my life, so three months of good vibes is much needed.

Second, I’m feeling my connection with the Celtic healing Goddess Brighid surface again. On and off I’ve felt her presence, but after a pretty spectacular meditative healing experience I definitely feel Her near. Ever since starting my path I’ve longed for a name, an image, any sort of direct personification of the Goddess to be my patron and finally seeing results made the journey worthwhile. I hope to work with Her more over the summer and find out for sure what role She plays in my life.

Third, I’ve received some really good news! Rachel is coming home for the summer! For a long time, I’ve felt surrounded by a few immature friends and its becoming quite tiring. I’ve missed Rachel dearly, because shes always been somebody I know I can rely on and for sure shes my closest friend. I can’t wait for the regular sharing of stories to occur.

In hope for a positive, enlightening rest of my vacation, I’ve formulated some goals that I hope to accomplish by the end.

One goal that comes before all else is to find out exactly what it is that I need from my path. I hope to find a restart and release all of the information or old practices that don’t serve me anymore. I need to find what rings true to me, and stop living so vicariously through others. A few other goals I have are getting my drivers license, going on a few adventures, and just kind of becoming free.

As always,

Many Blessings to You and to Yours.

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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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