Posts Tagged With: Paganism

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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