Is It Okay…?

This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is about the questions people ask as they are becoming acclimated to a new belief system and/or faith.

Topic for the Week of 2/10:  from Jenni B – “Is It Okay…” in your path!
“The main questions I keep seeing in some of the groups I’m in are ‘is it ok…’ questions. ‘Is it ok to buy my own tarot deck?’ has been coming up a lot recently. ‘Is it ok to have a temporary altar?’ , ‘is it ok to keep my altar in a box/ cupboard /particular room?’. One that really boggled my brain recently was ‘is it ok to cut my own hair’ …??? It might be interesting to have the hosts answer the general question of ‘is it ok…?’ within their tradition. Most of the time people who ask these sort of questions in the groups will get the answers ‘yes if it works for you’ or ‘yes if it isn’t hurting anyone’. I don’t know if there is much difference between the answers people would get from the traditions represented on the channel but it seems to be a common anxiety out there for a lot of people. “

door

Is it okay to buy my own tarot deck?
Is it okay to not read reversals?
Is it okay to not cut the deck before pulling tarot cards?
Is it okay to not cleanse my cards?
Is it okay to have a temporary altar?
Is it okay to keep my altar in a box/ cupboard /particular room?
Is it okay to not have an altar?
Is it okay to cut my own hair?
Is it okay that I don’t feel connected to deity?
Is it okay to include personal items in ritual?
Is it okay to not chant, sing, or rhyme in ritual?
Is it okay to cast spells without intricate, detailed rituals?
Is it okay to not use candles/incense/crystals/etc in ritual and/or spellwork?
Is it okay to use plastic/glass/etc in rituals and/or spellwork?

I’ve run into all of these questions and many more.   The thing is?   I don’t see faith as rigid.  That is whether that faith is in tarot, in religion, in spellwork, etc.  It’s not rigid.

Yes, certain rules of nature are rigid.  Certain ethics (for me) are rigid.

But none of the questions above fall into those categories.  In every single case?  In my belief system it would be completely up to the individual and what feels right for them.

There is a massive amount of autonomy in my faith.  It’s about what feels right to you. What fits you.  For me that includes a good deal of respect for the earth, the green, and nature’s creatures.  For me, this involves strict adherence to my the directives of both my moral compass and my intuition.   If my gut says no?  Then it’s no.  Period.  Whether I wish the answer was yes or not, whether I feel like it should be yes or not, whether other people insist it’s okay or not.  If my gut says no?  The answer is no.

This goes beyond how I practice, where I practice, or what I use in my practice.  It goes into everyday life and everyday choices, because if I can’t trust my intuition in ALL times and ALL things, it won’t speak as loudly when I need it to.

So my answer to “Is it’s okay… ?” is two fold.  Do you feel that it is a morally and ethically sound decision?   And does your gut say yes?  Or no?

If the answer is no?  Then maybe it’s time to examine things more closely and figure out why.  Or maybe just take it as “no” and look for a method/path/way of doing things that fits better for you.

Dedication Rituals

This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is about dedication rituals, and honestly?  I had to look that shit up. Seriously.

Topic for the Week of 2/3:  Did any of you do dedication rituals, and what are your experiences and thoughts on them?

fern

Okay, so what I understand is that this is a type of ritual where you dedicate yourself to a specific deity/deities or a specific religious path.   Sort of like a baptism, but in relation to pagan beliefs, deity, or paths.

The closest that I have come to something like this was early on after I’d left my parent’s home and was living on my own, and had decided to discard the use of deity in my practice.   That summer I hiked up into the Olympic National Park via the Hoh Rainforest access point.

Deep within the forests here, I had stripped free of my clothing at a spot deep within the threads of the liminal spaces there and laid myself down upon the forest floor among the cedars, ferns, and moss.  In the deep, damp embrace of the forest, draped in the shadows of dense vegetation, I closed my eyes and sought the earth.

Like a grounding exercise, I threaded my energy into the soil beneath me like roots digging into the earth.  I let my energy expand and flow, opening myself up to the energies around me and connecting myself fully to the environment I was in.

I sought what was real and true for me.  I sought direction and connection, and I found both.   I didn’t sleep, but I was there for a few hours, and once done I picked myself up and dressed, then set up camp for the night.

Is this a dedication ritual?  I’m not sure.  But it’s the closest I can think of to something that might qualify.

 

My Meditation Practice, and Some Advice for Beginners

This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is about a whole bunch of things concerning the new year, including goals and what I’m currently into.  I pretty much answered all this last week, so today’s question is coming from one of the Discord servers I am a member of instead.

Topic for the Week of 1/27:  What are some ways in which you meditate? What are some techniques and tips you could give to beginners? What helps you stay focused?

dog

I personally do not use music during meditation most of the time because I am an aural synesthete, so music can become extremely distracting and I don’t consider the “riding of sound” to be a meditation in and of itself (although, of course it is… it’s just not for me personally).

I do a variety of meditation techniques including incorporating it into my yoga/physiotherapy, body scans, five senses scans, guided meditation (primarily using the Calm app), visualization techniques, etc. (Not all at once, obviously.) It really depends on how I feel each day as to which one I use.

For beginners to meditation…

1) Start small. Five minutes a day. Ten minutes a day. It doesn’t have to be some marathon session. Just set aside those five or ten minutes and do it.

2) EVERYONE struggles with focus. Don’t try so hard to block everything out. Instead, consider yourself like a window screen. The outside distractions flow through you like a breeze but do not move you.

3) Again, EVERYONE struggles with focus. Our minds wander. It’s natural. One of the main purposes of meditation is to exercise your mind’s ability to find calm. You do this not by staying in that focused and clam state 100% of the time, but by bringing yourself back to it each time you notice that your mind has strayed. By setting aside what your mind has wandered to and coming back to center, you are essentially doing a mental push-up.

4) Try different types of meditation. Everyone is different. Maybe chanting helps you focus… maybe not. Maybe visualization is your thing… or maybe not. Maybe you need a guided meditation to assist in your focus, or maybe the guided ones irk you. It’s completely individual, so don’t be afraid to experiment to find what feels best to you.

5) Not everyone focuses on their breath. It’s true that it’s very common as a focus, but it’s not for everyone. I personally find that I have better results focusing on my solar plexus and how I am feeling there (which is what I consider the seat of the soul and definitely have fluctuations concerning).

For my own focusing challenges… I personally struggle with “I should be doing this right now” and the constant fidget to get moving again.  I deal with this by reminding myself that this is TEN minutes.  That’s all it is.  Ten minutes out of the thousands and thousands of minutes in a day.   Ten minutes to set everything aside and take a break.  It might be the ONLY break I get all day, so enjoy it while it’s there in my grasp.

 

Turning the Tables

This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is a bunch of questions the hosts have put together to ask the Pagan Perspective viewers.

Topic for the Week of 1/20: : Our turn to ask questions! This time last year, we asked our viewers some questions! They answered in the comments, or in video responses posted to their own channel. It’s been another year, so what questions do we have for our viewers now?

rich

Monday Questions from Rich

What are your 2020 goals? And what steps are you taking to accomplish those goals?

I have a few goals for this year.  The biggest of them is restructuring how I run the business so that I can spend the lion’s share of the year catching up on administrative tasks and all the crap I’ve been putting off because it isn’t a part of the business I’m enthusiastic about.

As for the steps I’m taking.  I’m still struggling with getting on track with this, actually.  I know it’s a one-step-at-a-time process, but I really feel as if I’m moving at a snails pace.  Then again, this month has felt very discombobulated in nearly all areas of my life, so why should my goals be immune to that?

Who are your favorite authors?

Rick Hautala, Dean R Koontz (early works), Laurell K Hamilton, JR Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Anthony J Melchiorri, Adrienne Lecter… to name a few.  Obviously, I’m focusing on fiction with this question.

What tarot deck are you vastly consumed by the artwork of or the concept of?

The Stolen Child Tarot by Monica Knighton. This deck has started to actually overtake Tarot of the Hidden Realms, although at the moment they are about equal in my connections with them and preference for them.

What tarot deck do you love the concept of, yet find difficult to interpret?

The Wildwood Tarot.   I’ve written about this before, but it turns out the issue was the system attached to this deck.  After a few years intently studying this deck and the companion book, I finally cut off the titles on the cards.   Now?  It communicates beautifully.  Apparently?  It was the system that I was struggling with all along.

Do you craft?  What kind of things are you bringing to life as far as a crafting skill?

God yes.   In fact, I have so many different interests in the crafting department that I have a habit of overwhelming myself with projects and ideas.   I’m a jewelry designer and run a business with that particular craft which includes a variety of crafts including resin molding, dremel engraving, metal clay, wire wrapping, and more.  I also have projects that include nature photography, macro photography, fabric painting, scrapbooking/journaling, deck modification, etc.

What are some challenges that you are facing right now that you would care to share?  How are you doing with that?

My biggest challenge at the moment is the fact that intimidation and fear are holding me back and making me waver a bit concerning stepping forward into the goals and projects I had wanted to begin dealing with in the new year.    This involves not just my business, but also in the exploration of emotional depths that are new to me, and also the shadow work that I want to tackle.   I’m just having a hard time finding the “oomph” to push into these things as I’d like at the moment.

cutewitch

Tuesday Questions from Cara at cutewitch772

What are you reading currently, whether related to your spiritual path or not? Books, graphic novels, fiction or non-fiction?

I don’t read a lot of books cover-to-cover, primarily because I don’t really have the time for it.  Instead I mostly listen to audiobooks.   Since audiobooks are mentioned below, though, I figured I would add here the books on my nightstand that I am slowly working my way through, and that I occasionally use for stichomancy.

These books are “Why Can’t You Read My Mind?” by Jeffrey Bernstein, “You Already Know What To Do” by Sharon Franquemont, “Nocturnal” by Wilder, “I See You. I Am You.” by Casey Jo Loos, re-reading “Tarot Shadow Work” by Christine Jette, and “The Signature of All Things” by Elizabeth Gilbert.

What about listening to — audio books, podcasts?

Currently I am listening to “The Dark Bones” by Loreth Anne White.  I listen to a lot of mystery themed books on audiobook, and I recently was given a huge list of mystery podcasts to listen to as well, which I’m excited about exploring.

What books or other resources would you recommend to other people to learn about the path YOU are on?

This is a really difficult one, as I didn’t learn my path from books and I rarely read books about paganism or witchcraft. What I would recommend to learn more about my path, though, is anything that has to do with indigenous plants of the pacific northwest and their uses medically, in alternative medicine, and in folklore and magical circles.

What different subjects or practices would you recommend someone learn about in order to get a sense of the many things that may make up your personal path?

Botany in the pacific northwest, magical herbalism, aromatherapy and herbal medicine, Wicca (sans the deity aspect), Buddhist ideology, non-theist spirituality, grounding via the earth, energy work and clairsentience, animism, forest bathing, liminal spaces and physical hedge walking, forest Fae and the mythos surrounding them, as well as the energy properties and spiritual uses of stones and crystals.

What are you watching? Movies, TV, etc.

Emergence, Bull, Stumptown, New Amsterdam, Stephen Colbert, Shadowhunters…. That’s about it currently for stuff I’m keeping up on.  I have quite a few things I want to watch, but I don’t have a lot of time for that sort of thing.   I also like The Price Is Right, Family Feud, and America Says.

Tea or coffee, or both, or neither?

I actually prefer water and milk, to be honest.   But I do also drink herbal teas and hot cocoa.  I do not drink caffeinated tea or coffee, as my energy reacts unpleasantly to caffeine.  I also don’t drink sodas, because I find them too sweet and I find the sensation of carbonation to be unpleasant.

What area do you live in, and what season is it currently? How do the local climate, flora, and fauna influence your practice (if at all)?

I live in the pacific northwest.  Specifically, in the peninsula area of Washington State of the USA.  It is currently winter here, and we just had what is very likely the only snow that we’ll have all year just last week.  It’s already melted away.

As is obvious by my previous answers, the flora of this region are very strongly incorporated within my practice, which includes a good deal of herbalism and plant energy, and a lot of bonding with the rainforests of the area and the liminal spaces found there. I have a special connection with cedar trees, sword ferns, and lichen, as well as damp earth.

Do you grow plants — either indoors or out — at all? If so, what kinds?

I grow plants indoors year round, and most of them are rotated out regularly as I am often rehabilitating plants that are in need of some TLC and have been brought to me by others.  I nurse them back to health, and then give them back.   Permanent residents in my home include a medium sized peace lily plant, a couple of Christmas cacti, and a crapload of aloe plants.

Outdoors in my personal space, I grow plants on my balcony including flowering annuals, a lilac tree, herbs and ivy, as well as cultivating a healthy diversity of indigenous ferns, lichen, and mosses.

Outside of my personal space, I work for a farm that grows raspberry, corn, and pumpkin crops.  I also work part time in a (primarily) advisory position for a local nursery where I am responsible for monitoring plant health and teaching employees how to best care for the plants, and handle pests and disease. During the summer months, I also “moonlight” from time to time for a local landscaping company when they need extra help.

What kind of music do you listen to? Do you think it’s influenced by the music you were exposed to growing up?

I listen to just about anything but country music, as the twang in country music makes me twitch.  My current preferences seem to rotate around a blend of indie music and k-pop featuring male vocals.  I have gone through phases in the past where I’ve enjoyed classic rock, 80s alternative, techno / electronica, dance, 70s rock, and a variety of other venues. I also very much enjoy classical music, especially where the cello is featured prominently in the pieces, as well as crooners of the 50s and 60s.

I don’t think my preferences really influenced at all by what I was exposed to growing up, but has a good deal to do with my synesthesia and whether I find a song pleasurable or unpleasant in relation to my synesthesia reactions.

Do you use music in ritual and other spiritual practice, even if it’s not “Pagan music”? If so, what kind of music and how is it used?

I don’t.  Not that I haven’t and wouldn’t be willing to under certain circumstances, but I don’t want the distraction of music during my spiritual practices, and due to my synesthesia, music is very often a distraction beyond just background noise that most people find it to be.

Yucca

Wednesday Questions from Yucca at Magic and Mundane

What is paganism to you?

The basis of my existence.  I’m not entirely sure how to explain this, but it is the foundation upon which how I see the world and how I see that it works.  A basis for reality as I know it.

What is your vision for the role that paganism will play in your life in the future?

The same.  I grew up in a faith that didn’t quite fit, but was close.  And when I struck out on my own I honed that path to the one that fits for me.  I’m very comfortable in my path and happy with it.  I’m open to adaptation and adjustment as new ideas and experiences shape my view of both the world and reality, but I doubt sincerely that I’m going to be making any major life-altering changes in this area.

What would you want to see Paganism becoming both in society, but also as a community? Where would you like to see it going or see happen?

Acceptance has been a slow thing coming concerning religious diversity in the world, and to be honest… also in the pagan community.    In both cases you have those that insist that their way is the only way, and wish to force others into boxes that do not fit them.  I would like to see this become less and less of an issue over time.

Meghan

Thursday Questions from Meghan aka. Subirasri

What does being Pagan bring to your life?

Refreshment of my soul and a depth of connection with nature.  Being pagan is that “good morning” stretch and deep breath of air outdoors on a crisp morning after a long, cozy sleep under warm blankets.

What spiritual goal do you have for this year for yourself?

I would like to do some work with the shadow that I encountered last fall, although I’m not sure if that’s a spiritual goal so much as a self-care goal with a spiritual aspect.  I would also like to find the pathway that will allow for contact, communication, and a chance to get to know my guides… as opposed to ignoring their presence and allowing them to just “do their thing” in the background.

What progress would you like to see the Pagan community make this year?

I answered this above in the Wednesday questions, but I would very much like to see more acceptance of diversity.

Alduin

Friday Questions from Alduin Royeau

What pagan based practice do you preform to protect yourself and family from sickness such as the flu?

I don’t have anything that is targeted directly at the flu or colds, things like that.  I do regular cleansing, and I have wards in place for negative energies.

What do you think a Pagan based Ghost show would look like?

Probably people helping spirits with closing out their unfinished business so that they can move on.

Are you able to see, hear, or smell things from the other side?

I cannot.  Apparently, if last fall was any indication, I do have some latent mediumship ability, but it is unexplored.

Using Visualization in Spellcraft

This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is about visualization and how it’s used in one’s practice and in everyday life.

visualization

Topic for the Week of 1/13: Although the word makes us think only of vision and our sense of sight, the practice of visualization involves any and all senses, not just sight but also scent, sound, touch, and even taste…”

There are multiple questions included in the continuation of the topic for this week, so I am going to break those questions up below, because I think it’ll be easier to answer that way, rather than taking the whole thing on at once.   So…

1) Do you practice this skill or use it in your path?

Oh hell yes.  All the time.  Anyone that reads a book and imagines what’s going on in the book in your head, or writes fiction, or daydreams about this or that is doing visualization.

In spellcrafting, especially, it is an extremely valuable tool used to set intentions and direct energy into those intentions.

It is also an excellent method of meditation.  One of my favorite meditations when I was first starting out at meditation was to visualize peeling and eating an orange, as it is one that has a very distinctive and strong ability to incorporate all five senses.

2) What do you actually DO when you ‘visualize’ something?

Visualization triggers the parts of the brain that have to do with receptors for each of your senses.   So it’s not just “thinking” about doing something, but awakening those parts of the brain that register sensation and… well, playing with them.

3) Do you find that it comes easily to you, or do you struggle with it?

I’ve been doing visualization all my life, both in my practice and path, as well as in the day to day.  So it’s not really something I think about anymore, to be honest.

4) Are certain inner senses easier to use than others? For example some people may find inner sight difficult, but hear things easily, and so on.

Because of my synesthesia, the hearing one always feels a bit weird because with visualizations it doesn’t always kick in as it does with actual auditory input.   But other than that… not really.  I would say that visualization-wise, my sense of smell is the weakest.

5) What do your physical eyes ‘see’ when you visualize something?

They don’t.   I don’t hallucinate when visualizing.  Whatever I’m visualizing plays out in my mind, not in the physical world in front of me.

6) Do you have any tips for others working on this skill? For those who struggle, what are other things that can be done instead?

I think a lot of people don’t realize that creative writing is a type of visualization.  That reading a work of fiction is a type of visualization.   They think that it’s some esoteric skill they can’t tap into, but have been doing it all along and not realizing it.   Use those ways of visualizing that are familiar to you and take steps to begin reaching beyond them.

Instead of reading a book, make up a story in your head.  Pay attention to what you’re doing in your head beyond just producing words, yeah?  Do you see your character doing those things?   Can you feel what that character feels?   That is visualization.   Practice and pay attention, yeah?

7)  Does struggling with visualization prevent growth in our practice?

I believe it could.   Without visualization, the energy placed into intention setting wouldn’t have the same kind of -drive- behind it.  That drive is what pushes the energy forward into creating the results you seek, so I sort of wonder if spellcasting without it would even work?   I’m not sure, as this isn’t a problem I deal with personally.

 

Playing Favorites

So, Pagan Perspective is back online after their winter break and did new videos this week, but I felt very uninspired by the topic, which is about looking back at 2019 and ahead into 2020 and what our plans are.   I’m a bit burnt out on the whole transition from 2019 to 2020.   It seems to be all that’s focused on at this time of year from YouTube videos to writing prompts, tarot prompts, journal entries, etc.

So… I decided to do a different topic for this week.  Namely, since a few days ago I focused on what my favorite Major Arcana card in the tarot is (The Hanged Man), I thought today I would focus on a similar question.

Topic for the Week of 1/6: What is the card that you identify with most strongly from the Minor Arcana?  And, if it is different, what is your favorite card from the Minor Arcana?

Two of Pentacles

This is probably not surprising, but in the Minor Arcana, I associate most strongly with the Two of Pentacles.   I struggle with finding balance, and when I look at the imagery on most two of pentacles, that’s exactly what I see.   I see an eternal juggling of responsibilities, as I seek a balance that works for all.

The relationship and identifying I feel with this card isn’t surprising.  I hold down between three and five part time jobs depending on the season, plus run a home business.  I’m on my building’s administration board, and in a long distance relationship that requires my time and attention.  Add into this family responsibilities, medical responsibilities, and all the other things that make up a life as well as my own personal self care?   It’s a lot to keep in balance as the needs and responsibilities for each element are constantly changing.

Sometimes it feels like juggling and sometimes it’s even fun, other times it feels overwhelming, but it is a never ending task, which is what I see the infinity loop around the pentacles as being a symbol of in the card’s imagery.

Ten of Swords

Unlike in the Major Arcana where my favorite card and the card I identify strongest with are the same card, in the Minor Arcana this isn’t the case.

In the Minor Arcana, my favorite card in a tarot deck is the Ten of Swords.

This is because I appreciate a good warning that something’s coming that’s really going to hurt. I do predictive readings, and to me? That’s what this card says most often. It says, “Take a breath and keep moving. This shit is really going to hurt.”

It can also often feel a bit like compassionate understanding that sometimes to move through something or move on from something? It has to hurt… and that that’s natural and okay.

Self Doubt in Practice

Pagan Perspective is still on their holidays break (or at least I’m pretty sure that’s what’s going on there), so there’s no new question to work with again this week.   So this week, I again decided to snag a question from one of the pagan/witchy type groups I’m a member of on Discord and use that instead.

CoprinopsisPicacea

Topic for the Week of 12/30:  About what in your practice do you tend to doubt yourself? What form does this doubt take, and how do you respond to it?

Even though I have an education in botany, and I am very versed in how to handle and work with plants and the like that can be dangerous and/or poisonous…. there is still doubt in myself in this area.  I do use ingredients from such organisms in my spells and castings, sometimes pretty regularly, and there is an inherent danger in this not just from the potential of the obvious physical contact, but the releasing of spores, trichomes (these are the hairs on certain plants), or saps among other things.

Because of this self-doubt, I am extremely careful in my handling of any and all parts of such plants and organisms.  I take extra time and extra care, as well as extra precautions  and safe-guards to make sure I don’t accidentally end up hurting myself or anyone in my home during or after this part of my spellwork.

How this self doubt manifests is a good thing, and I hope that I never lose the self doubt involved in this practice, as it ensures that everyone I care about is safe. I can only hope that anyone else out there incorporating these dangerous and poisonous ingredients in their spell craft is just as careful.

 

#IAmAFortuneTeller (non) VR to Mary-Grace Fahrun

Okay, so the Pagan Perspective is definitely on a holiday break.  So, I decided to do one of my (non)VRs today in place of a response to their regular videos.

One of my favorite content creators, Mary-Grace Fahrun, did a video on YouTube at the end of November about how she uses tarot and about the stigma behind the use of cartomancy for predictive readings. She included a tag for responses, and I very much enjoyed her video and wanted to do a response.

glass

Like Mary-Grace, I grew up with cartomancy. In my case it was Lenormand cards, then playing cards, and then tarot. In my experience, Lenormand in particular is all about handing you a roadmap of potholes along your path.

I don’t know where the judgement against predictive readings stemmed from, or why it is so prevalent among modern day readers, but it is very prevalent and highly frowned upon by a large majority of card readers out there.

Somewhere in my teens was when I ran into this issue.  I was told that 3rd party readings and predictive readings are ethically wrong, and for a while I fought against using the cards in that way… but honestly? I gave up on that rather quickly.

Interestingly, I am not as strong at reading the past as I am at reading the present and future.

Intuition is intuition, and that information is going to come through whether I want it to or not. So I had a good look at my own moral compass and values and decided that for me? Both 3rd party and predictive aspects are a part of it, or I don’t read cards… because it just comes naturally. And I sure as hell am not hanging up my decks!!

I honestly do not understand why it is considered taboo or why people look down their noses at readers that do fortune telling (predictive readings, telling the future, etc).  I’ve had people say it’s about clients seeing the predictions as written in stone, or taking away choice, etc.  But the fact is?   That is in the presentation, NOT in the predictive aspect.

Doing predictive readings requires the responsibility and sensitivity to make sure those you read for are aware of the fluidity of the future, and how even just having the reading can have the possibility of changing the results, because knowledge is power.  It requires empowering people, so that they can build the future that they want, and be prepared for what is coming.

Any tarot reader, no matter the type of readings they do, has the ability to take away people’s choices and diminish their power.  Not just during predictive readings.  You are tapping into their needs and wants, desires, fears, and the depths of their psyche.  And that requires sensitivity and respect and a sense of responsibility.

So yes… I am a fortuneteller.  I am not ashamed of that.  It’s how my intuition works and fighting against my intuition or ignoring my intuition’s voice is just… not the path for me.

 

Impact of One’s Path

So… I think that Pagan Perspective is taking a week off this week, as there’s no new question to work with.   Due to this, I decided to snag a question from one of the pagan/witchy type groups I’m a member of on Discord and use that instead.

sun

Topic for the Week of 12/16: How has your religion impacted your overall well-being? Has it changed how you see the world and other people?

The first part of this question is immeasurable for me. I get a great sense of peace and overall well being from connecting with nature, and the communion of that practice. It is a part of me at my very core, a part of not just who I am but of my internal makeup and my soul.  Because of that, it’s impossible for me to differentiate myself from that enough to really clearly delineate my path from myself and my well-being.  They are simply too integrated to be able to separate them.

I also can’t really say if my path has changed my outlook on the world or other people, as I’ve been (essentially) on the same path my entire life.  Yes, I transitioned from Wicca to a non-theistic Paganism when I left my parent’s home, but not a lot of my inner beliefs really changed in that shift, as I never really connected with deity in the first place.

What I can say is that the deeper I go into my spirituality, the healthier my emotional and mental health become… which in turn improves my outlook on just about everything.

 

Show and Tell – Heritage and Inheritance

The Topic for the Week of 12/9 from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is not a question at all, but rather, it is an encouragement to “Show and Tell”.

I thought for this I would like to show what my mother gave to me when I went to visit her over the week of Thanksgiving.   She really took me by surprise and I was hugely honored to be given the gift that she gave to me while  I was there.

The box of cards pictured in this post are my great-great-grandmother’s divination cards.  Or, rather, the last set of divination cards she owned before she passed away.  In her lifetime, she had gone through a number of decks, but if I understand correctly, she always burned them when they were replaced by a new set.   This set was the set that she used in the decade or so before she passed.

Interestingly enough, there is a spell of some kind cast on this deck.   I could feel the energy of it when I held the box in my hands, and the shift of that magic in my sliding open of the box (which works like a drawer) and found the two cards concealed in the bottom.

I asked my mother what she knew about it, but she didn’t know anything.  She has never even opened the box. This means that my sense of that energy was correct and those cards slid underneath the box’s “drawer” are indeed a part of the spell cast upon them.

While going through the drawer where these cards were tucked away, my mother came across an old deck of the Gypsy Witch Fortune Cards.

Interestingly, she thought this deck was mine, as it was the first deck I was ever given.   But, I have my deck already.  And L has hers as well.   This mystery deck was tucked deep in the back of the drawer, under the box of my great-great-grandmother’s cards, and also contained a small lock of hair.    These were given to me as well.

I have brought both of them home with me and carefully wrapped them up (boxes and all) in a silk scarf that used to belong to my grandmother.  At the moment, that bundle is sitting on my altar in place of the hand mirror I had been using as a representation of my ancestors.   I feel extremely honored to have been given these gifts and I cherish them more than I can possibly express.