#31DaysofWitchcraft Prompt 1-3 (non)VR to Heather Carter

Heather Carter on YouTube put together a series of prompts titled #31DaysofWitchcraft that she’s been working her way through since the beginning of May. I really like this idea, but I can’t handle the responsibility of any more daily posts, so I thought that for the next few weeks, I would do one (or a few at a time) for the end of week “My Pagan Perspective” posts. This is the first installment!

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1. Is your witchcraft secular, spiritual or religious? How does this influence your practice?

My witchcraft is a blend of secular and spiritual.  I revere the energies of the elements as well as those of creation, evolution, and balance.   I incorporate these into much of my ritual witchcraft. At the same time? Much of my spellcraft is based not on faith but upon the secular qualities of the ingredients incorporated into the spells.

A secular example, I might imbibe  a cup of mint tea with magical intent for healthy digestion before giving it to my sister when her stomach is upset.   The magic is there within my will and my intent, which are pushed into the brew when it is made for her…. but, it is boosted by using the right ingredient for the purpose, which leans the ingredient into the energy of my intention.

Which is different than say… as a spiritual example, where I might plan a ritual that involves inviting the elements and those energies I revere into my ritual and my spellcraft, pulling them in to include them for not just their blessings, but also their power to be lent into my intent.  This is a conscious act to include a spiritual aspect that is not present in the first example.

2. Do you work with any specific deities as part of your practice? Why, or why not?

Nope.   My sister and I were raised Wiccan, and in that practice we included the god and goddess into our faith and our witchcraft.   But once I moved out of my parent’s home, the deity aspect was the first to go for me in adjusting my practice to better fit me personally.

It’s simply not an aspect that has ever really connected for me.  I don’t deny the concept of deity, only that it’s not a part of my own practice.  I’d never say “there’s no such thing as Loki, or Diana, or…. any of them” because honestly?  I don’t think that’s true.   I just know that for me, it’s not what feels right.  For me, a much better fit are the energies of creation, evolution, balance, and the elements.

3. What area of your practice are you currently focusing on, if any?

At the moment I’m pretty much in a “comfort zone” of sorts.  I have my divination practice and clients.  I have my daily devotionals and day to day spellcrafting.   But honestly?  I’m not researching or digging at this time.  A huge majority of my witchcraft (and pagan path, for that matter) is instinct and intuition.

When something strikes my interest or curiosity, I delve in and sate that need to know, and may or may not incorporate something into my path if it resonates strongly with me.   But there’s very little “study” going on… and other than my studies in plants?  There never really has been.  I’m comfortable.  I’m happy.  And I’m not looking to really “fill in any gaps” or change my path to something else as I don’t feel any lack of satisfaction in relation to the path (spiritual or witchcraft related) that I’m currently on.

 

Witch For A Day… What?

Today’s prompt is brought to you by one of the Discord servers that I am a member of.  Just as a side note… the reason I do not link these Discord servers is because each server has their own rules about if you’re allowed to share them publicly and how, and it’s a pain in the ass to look it up for each one so I just don’t share them.

On to the question… “How do you feel about “becoming a witch for a day” type of videos?

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Okay, so first… I’ve never actually heard of these videos, so I’m not speaking from a place of experience.   That said?   I do have some thoughts on this type of thing.  General thoughts and concerns, yeah?

To me, it sounds a lot like “religious tourism”. And, even though witchcraft is not actually a religion, but instead more of a practice? It feels a bit disrespectful.

I also don’t really think anyone can get a taste of what it is to be a witch in a day, or a week for that matter.  Although many incorporate witchcraft into their religion and beliefs, just being a practicing witch on its own even without religion added in still carries with it a great deal of information, belief, and nuances that you just cannot connect with in a day.  It takes time and practice and learning to find and develop these things and find what is right for you.   Witchcraft “tourism” just doesn’t give someone an opportunity to find that direction and necessary depth that would give a true experience.

I also feel that it seems a bit like “lets participate in all the witchy stereotypes for a day just for fun”…. which could definitely be harmful to the reputation of witchcraft in society as a whole.  Witches and witchcraft have trod a long, hard road to pull themselves out of a place in society filled with fear and persecution.   Taking the risk of replacing that with scoffing and disrespect seems a dangerous gamble to take.

Gender, Identity, and Paganism

This week’s question from the Pagan Perspective YouTube channel is about gender, as well as how gender factors into your pagan practice and beliefs.

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Topic for the Week of 10/7: 

Part 1 from Jack Place:Your thoughts on transgender people and the difference between bio sex and mental sex.

Honestly?  I don’t really care.  I’m Pansexual and see people, not gender.  My only issue is when it comes to pronouns.  I really hate the whole pronoun thing, because there is so much room for confusion, mistake, and accidental offense.

Part 2 from MintyDandyDannie: Supposing that there is a third gender as many believe and feel, how would you react? Would it still fit in with your current beliefs? Or would it create a need for movement? How do you feel about the concept of a third gender that is not related to male or female in any way?

For this part of this week’s question, I think need to start out by explaining why the second part of the question is phrased as it is, and why it would even matter.

In many pagan practices (such as Wicca, for example), there is worship of the God and Goddess.  This includes mythos that follows the wheel of the year where the goddess and god are intertwined from conception to birth to growth, to adulthood and conception again, rinse and repeat.  In these religions, adding in a third gender could, I suppose, upset the balance.

Obviously, as I’ve mentioned this before, this is not my path.  My path deals with nature, the elements, and the energies of creation, evolution, and balance. There is no deity.

Yes, there is a yin and yang to the balance of all things, but although it is often “classified” as masculine and feminine, it has nothing to do with gender.  Those terms are used for in discussion of these energies more due to “stereotypical stereotypes” than accuracy. (And, isn’t that one hell of a term?)  All people and all things have both the “masculine” and “feminine” energy within them.  The terms are archaic, and yet it is because they are archaic that they are universally understood when used… and thus continue to be used.

In my tarot practice (both in reading and teaching), as well as my practice as a whole, I have moved to using the terms “projective” and “receptive” (or yin/yang depending on the situation and usage).  I think this better expresses my perceptions without confusing things with the mention of gender.   If there was a third gender?  That gender would also have projective and receptive energies within them, just as everyone and everything else does.  Therefore, it would really have no effect at all on  my beliefs or practice.

 

My Morning Routine

Being that I’m away from home for the week this week, I figured today would be a nice day for some nostalgia.   Well, nostalgia concerning my normal routine, that is.   So I thought you might like a peek at my regular morning routine.

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I usually work on the farm at least six days a week, and I wake up VERY early each morning to head to the farm and get there by 5am for my shift.  I very literally pick my ass out of bed, put on  my crappy tattered farm clothes, grab my keys, a handful of protein bars, and my phone, and head out.  I don’t bother with a shower or brushing my teeth, or even combing my hair.

My shifts on the farm are usually between 4 to 7 hours in length depending on what needs done that day and if the owner needs any extra help.

Once I get home, I immediately toss my clothes in the washer and hop in the shower.  I do all of my washing, flossing, tooth-brushing, plucking (because I do not grow enough hair on my face to bother shaving), hair combing, other intimate grooming, etc in the shower.   I get out and apply lotion, then apply emollient bar to the various scarring on my body to keep them supple so they don’t crack.  Deodorant, ear cleaning, all that good stuff comes next.

I then get dressed and spend about 30 – 60 minutes on the floor doing yoga.  Once this is done, I move to my altar and do my daily devotional.

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What is a Daily Devotional?

Every morning I stand before my altar.  I take a few minutes to center and ground myself, and then I light the candle on my altar.   I touch each of the corresponding spheres on my altar as I go through this invocation in my mind (obviously, I can’t speak these aloud).

Energies of the North, Earth, and Body… I welcome you
Energies of the East, Air, and the Mind… I welcome you
Energies of the South, Fire, and the Inner Spark… I welcome you
Energies of the West, Water, and the Emotions… I welcome you

I then touch the Gaia statue and continue…

Energies of creation, evolution, and balance… I welcome you

I touch my father’s kila and the mirror of my grandmother and continue…

Beloved ancestors that wish to bestow love and wisdom… I welcome you

I light incense.   Usually this is a combination of Nag Champa and Frankincense. I then stand before my altar and take a minute to center myself again so that I am not distracted when I decide to continue.  Gratitude comes next…

Thank you for this beautiful new day and all of the opportunities it presents to me to improve myself and the world around me.

Thank you for my safe and secure home, my beautiful and loving sister, my trusted friends, my lovely Luna, and my beloved partner.   Thank you as well for the love of my mother and loving care others around me.

Please guide my feet along today’s path so that I may…. (changes from day to day)

Examples:  Enjoy the day to the fullest, have safe travels on today’s journeys, have a productive day filled with accomplishments and small pleasures, etc.

I then pick up my daily draw deck for the month and I begin to shuffle.  As I shuffle, I am requesting…

I ask that you provide me with a positive message to carry with me throughout my day and foster perspective.

I repeat this as I go through riffle shuffling then switch to a seesaw overhand shuffle until a card falls out (or jumps out).   Sometimes more than one card comes out (as you’ve seen in my daily posts).   If it is more than two cards, I will put them back and ask for an answer that involves less cards.

Once I have my card of the day before me, I will take a moment to sink into the image and really -feel- the card, then return my attention to my altar to close things out with…

Please accept my gratitude as I strive to learn from your messages and follow your guidance.  Today, and Every Day.

I then blow out the candle to close things out, and snuff out the incense.

From there, I will go to the bed and lie down with my legs up the wall.  I will settle into a piriformis stretch position, and then meditate (usually to the guided meditations provided in the Calm app on my phone).

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Once my meditation is done, I will then head out of the bedroom and feed Miss Luna, get my tea made (complete with collagen peptides added), make a couple pieces of toast with peanut butter, and get my probiotic yogurt out.  With tea, toast, and yogurt in hand, I then sit down to take my morning medications and eat.

From there, my day diverges into whatever else I have to get done or do throughout the day, any other shifts I need to work, business tasks that need completed, etc.  But, my mornings up until that point?  They’re pretty much the same every day except Saturdays.