So much has happened since my last post at Mabon, I hardly know where to begin…
Good news first then. On September 30, 2012 I had the honor of being initiated into The Coven of Sangha-Sho. I had been going to group functions and studying with them for a year at that point, and this amazing group of individuals has truly become my Spiritual Family. I never thought I would become part of a coven, but this group is where I belong, and I have learned so much from them all…and will continue to do so as we continue on our journey together.
Now on to the bad news…Those of you who know me in my day-to-day life are aware that last fall my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. As it became evident that mom needed daily care, I took leave from work to care for mom so dad could continue working. Eating was difficult, the chemo was horrid, but seeing my mom – the strongest woman I’ve ever had the privilege to know – so sick and unable to do anything was the hardest.
I was away from my husband, away from my daughter, away from my grand-daughter, my friends and my coven-mates for over 2 months. I felt lost, alone and saddened by the course of events…and then it all got worse. The first type of chemo shrunk the tumor, but it had still spread to her liver. Since I’ve come back home, she’s gone through more chemo, and so far, no positive results to speak of. She has lost an excessive amount of weight and the prognosis is not good.
Now I am faced with more heartache as I tried to contact a relative that, I believed, I was very close to even though we’d been long out of touch. I thought they should know about mom’s situation so that they would have the option of talking to her. I was disappointed to discover this relative chose to reply to me via their spouse, and wishes to remain apart from the family, including me. I don’t understand why, well, I understand some of it, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I feel as though they have been ripped from me, and it hurts my heart.
Place my complete and utter displeasure in my work-life, and we have a complete picture of the heap of misery that is weighing on my chest. Which leads us to the Anais Nin quote in the picture I’ve placed in this post:
Life is a process of becoming. A combination of states we have to go through.
I feel as if this quote sums up the theme of 2013 as a whole, and not just for me, but for most of us. Yes, we go through a range of experiences that forge who we are every other year as well, but this year feels like a year of profound experiences. Great Joy, Great Sorrow, Great Upheaval. How we handle the various states we go through, both the pleasant and unpleasant, shall shape who we are to become. No matter how difficult things appear to be, I believe we all have the strength to endure…and when we feel we do not, we can find it by looking to the Goddess for guidance. We must make a point to be grateful for the blessing in our lives, to not take the joyful moments for granted and to cherish each of them.
I am going to do my best to acknowledge what I am grateful for on a regular basis. I also plan on posting here more… I know, I know, I’ve said this before….but I am trying! I think I will start with doing occasional Tarot card pulls, rune pulls or whatever kind of divination method suits my whim on any given day. So look for more from the Pixie! I also plan on posting happenings in my local pagan community.
As I leave you for today, I want you all to know that I count you among my Blessings. Many of you are dear friends, others I may not have met, but you have been kind enough to endure my sporadic ramblings and for that I thank you.
Stay courageous my friends, as you travel through your respective states, and continue on your path to Becoming.
This will be a short post, as I am about to leave for today’s Mabon gathering at the Covenstead. I have made a delightful looking cake for the festivities, and if it’s as yummy as it looks, I’ll be sure to post the recipe! ;D
I just wanted to pop in and wish you all, as the picture says *points to the left*, an Abundance of Blessings. May you enjoy all that is beautiful and loving and full of nourishment in your lives and relationships.
Take a moment today, and every day really, to be thankful for the good things in your life…as well as the things that may be a bit rough, for they have lessons to teach you, and we should always be thankful for wisdom.
That’s it for now my lovelies. Have a bountifully blessed day!
This is a very special day for me. I know, I know, it’s a very special day for pretty much all of those who are of a Witchy/Pagan persuasion…but for ME it’s is also the anniversary of my dedication to the God & Goddess. Not just any anniversary either. It was 9 years ago today that I knelt before my meager altar and dedicated my life to serving the Mighty Ones and all that that entails.
That may not seem super duper special to some, you may be thinking that #10 should be the one I get all excited about, but NINE is a very special number. It is a Sacred number. A number that represents Selflessness, Fulfillment, Universal Understanding, Interrelatedness, Compassion, Tolerance, Forgiveness, Creative Energy, Generosity, Humanitarianism, a Profound Appreciation & Love of Life and Justice…you get the idea. So, I’m thinking this may be a very good year for me, spiritually speaking.
The years since my dedication have been filled with many ups and downs (as is probably the case with most, if not all of you), but I am grateful even for the low spots. I have learned to learn…or at least TRY to learn from every experience whether good or ill. Overall, my life has grown so much richer. I have learned to find Joy and Wonderment in the littlest of things. I have learned to be tolerant of those I do not agree with…although, admittedly, some still get under my skin…it’s an ongoing transformation.
I am looking forward to my 9th year of Witchdom (yeah, I said ‘Witchdom’…I like the sound of it, lol). I will strive to make it a year filled with the best aspects of the number 9, and I will continue to live the values of 9 in the years that follow.
Interesting tidbit that I read recently about what the Apostle Paul had to say about the “Nine Fruits of the Spirit”. Paul and I disagree on the whole “Spirit vs. Sinful Nature” portion of Galations (along with some of the things he says are sinful, ie: witchcraft & sex), however, I believe the Nine Fruits are something we should all attempt to incorporate into our daily lives and Spiritual Practice.
The Nine Fruits of the Spirit are:
May your Harvest of these Nine Fruits be Abundant on This and All Days.
Blessed Be )O(
Faith is one of those words that tends to be associated with organized religions. Mainly because these tend to ask you to believe in something simply because they say so. The first definition for Faith in the World English Dictionary is: “strong or unshakeable belief in something, esp without proof or evidence”. Well, I’ve never really been someone who believes something just because someone says it is so (go ahead, ask my Mom, lol), so this type of blind Faith never really appealed to me.
I do, however consider myself to be a person of Faith. Some may think this doesn’t reconcile with being pagan, as we follow the changing of the Seasons and the cycles of Life/Death/Rebirth…which are things that there is much proof and evidence to support. So where does Faith come in? It comes in the form of other definitions of the word.
Heading back to our handy dandy World English Dictionary and going a bit further down their list of definitions we come across “any set of firmly held principles or beliefs” . This fits nicely! Pagans do have firmly held principals. Ask any one of us and I’m sure they’d be happy to let you know what they are (Or just check out a facebook, twitter, or G+ feed…I’m sure there is evidence of these strongly held principles and beliefs all over them! It can’t just be me…can it??).
My favorite definition though is “complete confidence or trust in a person, remedy, etc” . Yes! Trust. Trust in the Goddess, in Ourselves, in the Universe…THAT is what Faith means to me. When we trust that listening to our inner dialogue…our intuition, will bring desired results, good things tend to happen. I trust that whatever has been placed before me on my Path has been placed there for a reason, either as a Blessing, or a Lesson.
Trusting ourselves is the hardest thing for most of us. However, the realization that deity and divine energy reside within us makes it much easier. It’s something I have recently begun to have more of… Faith in myself, that is. This Faith is an extension of my Faith that the Divine within me will only direct me where I need to go. Things only tend to go wrong when I don’t trust my gut and, out of fear, choose to do what is easier or more within my comfort zone.
Embrace your belief in the Divine spark within, and in doing so, live a life of Pagan Faith.
Embracing Change…Sounds like a reasonable thing to do, right? After all, the only true constant in life is change. I have to tell you though, it is much easier said than done.
I’ve personally struggled with change throughout my life. You see, I’m a Cancer with a moon in Scorpio…this tends to make me relate to situations with a great depth of emotion. Letting go and moving on when change occurs?? Not so easy, lol. Over the years I have come to realize that some people and some situations are only meant to be with us temporarily. We have lessons to learn from everyone and every situation, whether pleasant or not.
“Meet this transient world with neither grasping nor fear; trust the unfolding of life, and you will attain true serenity”. ~ Bhagavad Gita
I’ve learned that whenever a change occurs, it’s best to feel the feelings, reflect and then look to the future. Whether it’s loss of a friendship, a job, a coven member striking out on their own, a death (friend, family, pet, beloved celebrity, etc…), or finding out you’re rather unexpectedly about to be a Grandmother [Yes, Dear readers, this Pixie is going to be a Grandma come the end of June!], take some time to breathe and focus on the change(s) and no matter how many negative thoughts come flooding at you, search until you find a nugget of positivity. Cling to this nugget, or “Happy Thought” and let it fill you up and help you to fly out of the doldrums and into the next exciting phase of your life.
How does this relate to us as Pagans? That’s simple…it relates to EVERYTHING. Life is Change, and we spend our little Pagan lives celebrating it. The Wheel of the Year, The Cycles of The Moon, Maiden/Mother/Crone, Life/Death/Rebirth, all of these are things we learn about and can talk to people about, and mark on our calendars (mostly). We don’t truly “get it” though, until we can apply the same reverence to the changes we can’t plan for.
A prime example is the loss of a job. As difficult as it can be to be out of work, it can also be an enormous gift! It can wake you up to the fact that you needed some “down time” to save your sanity, or the “wake up call” to get you to pursue your dreams that you were to chicken to go after while you were stuck in the safety of your day job.
“Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.” ~ Buddha
I’ve plopped two quotes in this post, and I urge you to jot them down and keep them somewhere they are easily seen. I think they are both fabulous reminders that it is in our best interest to do just as the title of this post says, and Embrace Change.
Alrighty, in my last post I went over the basics of what divination is, as well as some fairly standard divination practices. This week, I’m going to share some less than commonly practiced forms…just for fun.
Amniomancy is divining the future life of a child by examining the caul (membrane material from the amniotic sac) covering their head at birth. The diviner examines the color and condition of the caul to interpret the baby’s future. If the color is vibrant it suggests the child will have a vibrant life, the opposite is predicted if the color is muted.
Ailuromancy is predicting future events, such as the weather, by observing a cats’ movements and/or jumps.
I’d love to find more info on this one that explains what certain movements are said to mean…my cats have been known to do some pretty odd movements. It’d be nice to know what they predict! lol
Cromniomancy is the art of divining with onions, and is known to have been performed throughout Europe, Africa and northern Asia. Why onions? Well, the whole “sphere within a sphere” composition of the onion was seen as a symbol of eternity and spirituality, so much so that the ancient Egyptians sacred oaths by placing their right hand on an onion, much like many place their hands on a Bible.
Trying to choose between lovers? Try carving their names on separate onions, and see which suitor’s onion sprouts first…the first to sprout is said to be the one most worthy of your affection.
Answers to Yes or No questions can be attained by carving the words “yes” and “no” on two separate onions and planting them. The one that sprouts first is your answer.
Gyromancy is a method in which a circle is drawn on the ground with letters of the alphabet drawn around the perimeter. The diviner then either spins around inside of or walks the circumference the circle until they stumble or fall across the edge, and takes note of the letter at that location. This is repeated until an intelligible message is formed, or till they are stopped by madness or death. The dizziness experienced by spinning/circling is ensure randomness as well as induce an altered state of consciousness.
Kumalak is a method involving, of all things, sheep poo (“kumalak” means sheep dung in the Turkic languages). 41 dried pellets of sheep poo are put on a cloth on the ground, and touched to the readers forehead one after another to open their Third Eye. The reader then chants incantations repeatedly to coax a spirit to present itself, and to give them insight by orchestrating the division of the pellets into various positions on a grid for the reader to interpret. This method has been used for centuries in the regions of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, and Siberia. (I don’t know about you, but I won’t be using trying this one anytime soon.)
Oinomancy sends shivers down my spine! This kind of divination conducted by examining wine (What can I say, I like wine). Oinomancy was once performed by a priestess of Bacchus known as a Bacchante.
Various Techniques of Oinomancy:
- Wine is spilled on cloth/paper (Nooooo!!!!) and predictions are made by studying the stains.
- Boil or soak cloth/paper in wine, and then study the appearance/condition of it.
- Studying the sediment at the bottom of a glass or bottle of wine.
- Studying the wine itself (ie: color, taste, body, etc.)
Annnd I’ll leave you with this one, which I admit, made me giggle a bit. And yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like…Rumpology!
Rumpology or “Bottom Reading” (Yup…Bottom Reading) is done by examining the various nooks, crannies, crevices, dimples, moles etc. of a the querent’s bum. Much like one would examine and read the palm of the hand.
I also don’t think I’ll be starting a Rumpology practice anytime soon. Believe me, if you lived with my husband, you’d learn to keep your face away from that particular region. Unless, of course, you happen to own a gas mask.
Divination…what is it exactly? If you ask someone who either doesn’t know much about it or believe in it, they may call it “fortune telling” or “hocus pocus”. If you check the dictionary, you’ll get: “the practice of attempting to foretell future events or discover hidden knowledge by occult or supernatural means”, which I like better. But to get to the best definition, in my opinion, we need to examine the etymology of the word and derive our own from that.
The online etymology dictionary has the word origins of divination listed as: “late 14c., from O.Fr. divination (13c.), from L. divinationem (nom. divinatio) “the power of foreseeing, prediction,” from divinatus, pp. of divinare, lit. “to be inspired by a god“.
Combine that with the etymology of the both the adjective AND verb divine: [adj] “c.1300, from O.Fr. devin, from L. divinus “of a god,” from divus “a god,” related to deus “god, deity” .
Mash all that together, what do we get? How about this: Using supernatural insight, inspired by the Divine, to discover a possible or foreseeable future. Yeah, I like it!
So, that’s what it is…now, why do we do it? Because either we, or whomever we are divining for, are seeking Divine Guidance. It is not about seeing what will happen, it’s about seeing what could happen. It can show us that we are on the right track…or if we see something we don’t like, it gives us the opportunity to change the course of future events, or to prepare for the things that we cannot change. Just think about Charmed. When Phoebe got a premonition that so-and-so was gonna get fried by a demonic fireball, it was not always a foregone conclusion.
Aaaand, moving on…
Some common forms of divination are Astrology, Geomancy, the Tarot, the I Ching, and direct psychic means (such as clairvoyance and clairaudience).
Astrology uses the position and movement of celestial bodies as indicators to what will/is happening in our daily lives.
Geomancy is divination by means of interpreting markings on the ground, or patterns made by handfuls of items scattered on the ground. Most definitions use soil, rocks and sand as examples of what is scattered…but all I ever think of, when I read about Geomancy, is the scene in Willow when the wizard “consults the bones” by shaking them like Yahtzee dice and scattering them on the ground to seek an answer.
The Tarot is a set of 78 cards used in divination. It is used by the reader to connect to the the subconscious mind (or Universal Consciousness) in order to to answer questions, predict future events, or to understand past and current events. The deck is divided into The Major Arcana and The Minor Arcana. There are 56 cards in the Minor Arcana which are categorized into four suits: Wands, which symbolize action; Cups, which symbolize emotions; Swords, which symbolizes intellect; and Pentacles, which symbolizes material concerns. The remaining 22 cards make up the Major Arcana, which depict archetypes and elemental forces.
The I Ching is a bibliomancy (divination using books) method using the Book of Changes (or “I Ching”). The book is organized into an 8×8 grid of 64 hexagrams – called Trigrams – representing the states and the dynamic relationships of the eight elements (each of which is represented by a hexagram). The eight elements are: Qian (Heaven); Xun (Wind); Kan (Water); Gen (Mountain); Kun (Earth), Zhen (Thunder), Li (Fire); and Dui (Lake).
Using the book as an oracle consists of the seeker asking a question, opening the text to a seemingly random page, and then reading the text associated with the hexagram on that page.
Using Direct Psychic Means for divination is different for each person who has these abilities. There are many ways in which people can gain information. A few example are: Clairvoyance (seeing/visions), Clairaudience (hearing/listening), Claircognizance (knowing), Clairsentience (feeling/touch).
True divination is more than just “going through the motions” of a divination system such as the Tarot, Runes or Astrology. True divination is when the reader interprets things, not just by what the tools of the system suggest, but by their ‘intuition’, by their connection to Divine, and the one they are divining for. And, now that I think of it…sometimes these ‘tools’ are not even used. Sometimes we receive messages without the use of tools…things just ‘come to you’. So, with or without the use of tools…
Well, I’d say “Stay tuned for next week’s post” but this was was a wee bit late. So stay tuned til this Friday when I’ll have more stuffs to share.
While pondering what my topic should be for this week’s Pagan Blog Project, one word kept creeping into my mind: Bonds. I wasn’t quite sure what my brain was driving at, so I just kept going about my week. I revisited the task a few days ago and there it was again: Bonds. OK, I guess I need to write about Bonds…but I had such a raging head cold the thoughts just weren’t able to form completely. Today, however, my head is a bit more clear, and the musings are coming through…with the help of some well chosen quotes.
“Nothing is more exciting and bonding in relationships than creating together” ~ Stephen R. Covey
This quote seems very appropriate if one is discussing the importance of a Coven. One must already feel some kind of bond to join a Coven, but the energy created, magick worked and lessons learned while working together can forge Bonds between it’s members that are stronger than steel. Connecting through shared personal experiences is powerful…connecting through shared energy and communing with the Divine, is life affirming and changing at the same time.
“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life. Rarely do members of one family grow up under the same roof.” ~ Richard Bach
This quote truly speaks to me. My “true” family is made up of so many I have met over the course of my lifetime (and perhaps a lifetime or 2 that came before). There are some blood relatives included in this, but beyond them are people with whom I have shared some of the most spiritually meaningful experiences times of my life, as well as some of the most trying. From friends that I’ve met online only to meet in person and find that we are truly cut from the same cloth, to long lost friends from school that turn up once more and turn out to be far more important to my life than I could ever have imagined they would be.
The Bonds we make throughout our lives are important, ALL of them. Even if something happens to remove someone from our lives (ended friendship, divorce, death, dissolved coven, etc…), we must honor the reasons we were bound together in the first place, because it is a part of our journey, and helped to create the people we are today.
We as humans are communal beings…we live to be connected…not always with other people, but with something. There are some who live without human companionship, but are truly fulfilled by their relationship with Nature & the Divine. As long as we have made a vital connection with something/someone, we are generally content. A life without a vital connections with Divine, Nature or Humanity can be a desolate existence and, in my opinion, quite unhealthy.
So, go forth my Pagan friends! Create, Cultivate and Nurture your Bonds with your friends, family, coven/community members, animals, the Earth and the Divine. It’s what we’re meant to do.
Big Blessings of Bonding Bliss,