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Self Exploration

Lose Yourself #WednesdayWisdom

“You better lose yourself,  in the music,  the moment, you own it. You better never let it go. You only get one shot. Do not miss your chance to blow. This opportunity comes once in a lifetime.” Eminem  (aka: Marshall Mathers)

I love this song. It is in your face, it is infectious, and it has a powerful message.

Every moment is an opportunity to push past your fears and do something remarkable.  Even if you’ve screwed up in the past. Hell, especially if you’ve screwed up in the past.

I  know, my wisdom has all been very similar lately. But, y’know what??? It’s because the message is important. There’s something to be said for letting go…for pushing outside of your comfort zone…for losing yourself in the music, and/or the moment.

Now that I think about it; losing yourself in the moment, dancing to some fantastic music…TRULY letting yourself go can even lead to a trance state and spiritual experiences (Here’s a brief explanation of Ecstatic Dance, it can be pretty amazing)

So, go ahead. Lose yourself, in the music. Right frikkin now. I’ve even included the music for you. If for some reason you’re not an Eminem fan, go ahead and pick another song….but….I’m not sure we can be friends anymore. 😉 LOL  (I’m kidding!…sorta…)

Never Doubt The Shawna #WednesdayWisdom #NeverDoubtTheShawnaYes, I know this sounds like I’m totally full of myself and like I’m all sorts of cocky and arrogant about my ability to impart all the answers in life. Trust me, that’s not really it…just hang with me for a bit and see if I can get across what I mean.

Once Upon a Time, there was a little Pixie who always had inklings about things…and who was also pretty damn smart to boot. The trouble is, this Pixie did not trust herself to listen to her inklings…in fact, she often would run swiftly in the exact opposite direction, often resulting in a whole heap-o-misery.

She had (and still has) an amazing friend who always told her she should “trust her gut”, because her instincts were good, and perhaps things would start to go her way if she would only go where her gut was trying to lead her. MANY years, and MANY mistakes later, the Pixie figured mayyyyyybe it was time to try this whole following of the gut thing…I mean, it couldn’t POSSIBLY make things any worse than they were…right???

So, she would follow her gut…at least more often than not…and things started to go a bit more smoothly. Little by little the gut was listened to more and more. Then the Pixie became involved with a coven and began to work through all of her issues with insecurities, and actually began sharing little tidbits and insights with others….and ya know what? She was pretty freaking insightful! She started out a little tentatively with her advice…but, she eventually became aware of when it was truly a message that was to be relayed due to her abilities as an Empath and/or as a conduit for a message from the Divine.

This very thinly veiled story is, of course, autobiographical and chronicles my journey to trusting myself, and the information that lies within…whether that information has been acquired through academic study, life experience, Empathic ability, connection with Spirits/Ancestors, or Divine Intervention – the fact of the matter is: it’s correct, and is being shared for a reason. There is a phrase that has started being spread throughout those in coven, and spilling over to those without: Never doubt The Shawna. Seriously, folks are saying it…granted it’s not multitudes or anything, but still, it’s folks. lol

Anywhoooooo, here’s the part where I give YOU a bit of the stuffs that comes outta me, because y’all need to hear it. YOU can do the same thing. Yup, you can. You too have a gut that gives you inklings and nudges you in the right direction…BUT IT WON’T WORK UNLESS YOU LEARN TO FREAKING LISTEN TO IT AND THEN FOLLOW THROUGH!!!! OK, perhaps the caps were going a tad overboard…but I really don’t think so. You need to hear and heed this message. I am not wrong about this. It can be so incredibly hard to listen….especially because sometimes what your gut is telling you seems absolutely freaking NUTS. You might listen to it and think “NOPE! You’re wrong Mr./Miss Gut. There’s no F-ing WAY that is the course of action I should take. I don’t see how it will work, let alone lead to what I want.” Well, you see, that last bit is the kicker: It may not lead you where you WANT to go, but it sure as hell will lead you where you NEED to go.  (Pop Culture alert!) It’s kinda like what Idris (Who is actually the TARDIS) says to The Doctor in the episode of Doctor Who entitled “The Doctor’s Wife”:

I always take you where you need to go. #WednesdayWisdom #NeverDoubtTheShawna #DoctorWho

So, I guess what I’m saying is this: listen to your inner TARDIS…it will always take you where you need to go.

 

Sometimes You Gotta Say "What the F*ck" #WednesdayWisdom #ThePixilatedPathSo many of us go through our lives and are hesitant to truly live them. Have you ever regretted: NOT kissing the boy that was standing in your doorway, NOT asking for someone’s phone number (or giving them yours), Not applying for that dream job, or any other number of things? I’m pretty sure you have…and you know what? That’s OK, but I’m gonna tell you this: KNOCK IT OFF, ALREADY!

I spent many years of my life afraid to do the things that I wanted to. Yes, I’ve always had a spontaneous streak, but when it came down to doing something that was important to me, I’d generally chicken out and regret it later – often for years (Yeahhhh, that boy standing in my doorway…I didn’t seize the moment and kiss him. Even though every fiber of my being was screaming at me to do so, I chickened out and kicked myself for it for ages. Y’know what? Turns out he was WAITING for me to do it. *sigh*).

I very rarely ignore what my heart wants these days, and I am much happier for it. If nobody is getting hurt, why not chase that rainbow? You might end up having a life changing experience. I mean, much like Miles says to Joel in Risky Business (Yes, another pop culture reference. Get used to it, they are my life, lol) “Sometimes you gotta say “What the Fuck”, make your move. Joel, every now and then, saying “What the Fuck”, brings freedom. Freedom brings opportunity, opportunity makes your future.”

These words always stuck with me and, eventually I learned to live by them most days. Saying this cherished little phrase in my head lead to my relationship with my husband, the purchase of our house, the opening of my now defunct business (hey, I gave it a shot), life-long friendships with people I met online and decided to meet in person, even my decision to join the Coven of Sangha-Sho (albeit a “WTF” guided by the Divine, lol).

If you’d like a more eloquently stated version to print out and post at work, or on the fridge or something, try this quote by Goethe.

Plunge boldly into the thick of life, and seize it where you will, it is always interesting. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

However you want to phrase it is up to you, but I advise you to start saying yes to the things that tug at your heart strings. Life is one hell of a ride when you start purchasing those “WTF” tickets! Sometimes things don’t work out as you’d hoped, but at least you know you tried. If you never try, how will you know how splendid your world can be??

The #ForesightFriday 411 for 7/26/15 - 8/1/15This week I’m pulling a card from my “Secret Language of Animals” Oracle card deck…because that’s what nudged me the most this week.

And our card is *drumroll, please*: White Rhinoceros

The White Rhinoceros

Key words for this card are: Stability, Confidence, Steadiness, & Abundance

What this LMOUS (Land Mammal of Unusual Size 😉 ) is telling us: This coming week is a time to breathe deep and reconnect with the earth. Stand outside with your feet firmly planted upon Mother Earth while feeling the warmth of Father Sun upon your face. Take the time to feel their power…their constant, powerful presence…and how you are not only connected to them; but how you are connected to all things THROUGH them.

Take time for inner reflection, and realize your innate awesomeness. Replenish your spirit with the abundant energies of the Earth, while nurturing it with the simple – yet powerful – energies of the Earth Sun and Water. Stand proud, in quiet confidence, and know you have within you all the tools you require to get through this week, and all the weeks that follow.

Be sure to communicate with those you trust regarding your needs…but don’t be surprised if a seemingly unusual partnership pops up. They may not do things the way you do, but their gifts shall compliment yours, and anything resulting from you knocking your noggins together shall be Epic!

 

Have an awesome week, guys! 😀

 

Bob Kelso & Teddy Roosevelt Have a Message for You #WednesdayWisdom #ThePixilatedPathYou’re probably wondering what the HELL these two men (one of whom is a fictional character) could possibly have to tell you, jointly, that is somehow relevant to anything, let alone your life.  Well, I’m gonna tell you!

First, let’s replay a little scene from the NBC sitcom Scrubs and see what Bob Kelso – Chief of Medicine has to share:

Dr. Kelso: You are going to shut your damn yapper and listen for a change, because I got you pegged, sweetheart. You want to take the easy way out with the surgery because you’re scared. You’re scared because if you try and fail, there’s only you to blame. Well, Missy, let me break this down for you, Bobbo-style. Life is scary. Get used to it.
J.D.: [Narration] And then it seemed like Dr. Kelso wasn’t only talking to her.
Dr. Kelso: There are no magical fixes. It’s all up to you. So get up off your keister, get out of here, and go start doin’ the work.
Nell Goldman: What if it’s too hard?
Dr. Christopher Turk: Yeah, what if it’s too hard?
Dr. Kelso: Turkleton, I have no idea why you’re chiming in, but I’ll say this to both of you. Nothing in this world that’s worth having comes easy.

Now let’s take a look at something our 26th President had to say that relates to this:

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.” – Theodore Roosevelt

They both boil down to something that popped out of my mouth in the car this evening when talking to a friend of mine who had a bit of a rough day “Nothing worth having is ever easy”.

It’s true. Relationships are difficult. Giving birth to your children is difficult. Work is difficult (that’s why it’s work, lol). Spiritual growth and development is WICKED DIFFICULT. All of these things are encapsulated in this little thing we call: LIFE…and we all know that life is downright f*ing difficult.

The point that I, the fictitious Chief of Medicine at good the ol’ North Hollywood Medical Center, and a former Commander in Chief are trying to make is this:

If you’re skating through your spiritual practice or any other aspect of your life with great ease, then chances are pretty damn good that you are not creating a very fulfilling life for yourself. You need to put in the work, learn the hard lessons, feel ALL THE FEELINGS, suffer losses, and face unpleasant truths about yourself and others. Only by experiencing the hard times can we experience the good with gratitude. Only by accepting, learning from, and learning to deal with – or even love – those aspects of ourselves that we once found frightening, freakish, controversial, etc. can we become more at peace and loving with ourselves, and are then able to place our True Selves in service of the Divine – resulting in a much more intimate and fulfilling spiritual relationship.

So what are you waiting for? It’s time to get to work. 😉

Express Your Spirit #PaganBlogProject #PixiePicADaySelf-Expression occurs in many ways. Some write, some draw, some paint, some become actors or comedians, some create jewelry…the list goes on and on. While creating, in whatever medium is preferred, we tend to infuse much of our Ego into our work. This is sometimes referred to as Expressive Egoism.

Some may think expressing one’s Ego is a bit narcissistic, but that’s taking Egoism up a few notches to Egotism (That “T” makes a difference!). Which would be like going from being concerned about one’s own welfare to being utterly self-absorbed and primarily worried about yourself… Expressive Egoism is pretty much an exploration of self, and we should all do some of that every now and then.

“In reality, my art is a confession made of my own free will, an attempt to clarify my own notion of Life..at bottom it is kind of an egoism, but I shall not give up hoping that with its assistance I shall be able to help others achieve their own clarity.” ~Edvard Munch

This all sounds quite serious and fancy-schmancy, but in expressing ourselves we can also discover things about ourselves, our surroundings, and our lives (both Spiritual and Mundane). Time to push the seriousness slightly to the side, because I’ve decided it’s time to have some fun with it.

Anyone who follows me on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook knows I’ve had a thing for participating in Photo-A-Day challenges. Well, I thought it was about time there was one that allowed us to express a little bit of our Spirit as well as the Ego. I will admit, I should have come up with this during a “C” week, you know, good ol’ creativity, but I didn’t think of it until this week. SO, you will notice the first 6 days are kinda missing. Whoopsie! Next month will have ALL days included and it will be posted early, so we can all look forward to it.

 So, here it is *points all Vanna White like to the lovely pic below*.

#PixiePicADay #MarchPixiePic

How does this work? Well, basically:

  1. Choose your apparatus of choice! (camera, phone, tablet, etc…)
  2. Check the Monthly list for the daily prompt (The number corresponds to the date of the month)
  3. Take a picture based on the prompt for the day. (Today’s prompt is: Your Sign. Interpret that in whatever way floats your boat) Keep your subject within the overall theme of the challenge which is Expressing Your Spirit!
  4. Once you’ve taken your picture, share it to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with the hashtag #PixiePicADay (This way everyone can easily find others that are participating!)
  5. Check out what other’s have posted. It’s always interesting to see how others have interpreted the prompts.
  6. Have Fun, and be sure to check back for Next Month’s List!

That’s it! Easy Peasy! Now get out there and get to Expressing that Spirit!

*Runs off to take today’s Pixie Pic!*

P.S. Don’t worry if you miss a day! You can either skip them all together, or post your pics and add the hashtag #catchingup. The whole point is to have fun. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Delving into the Dark Side...I Hear There's Cookies!

I’ve been thinking about this a lot this past week, and frankly, I think the Dark gets a bad rap in the eyes of many in the Pagan community. I’m not just talking about hexes/curses here (they are a part of this conversation, but I’ll get to that later).

I’m starting off by what many seem to forget as being part of the “Dark Side” of Magick: The Shadow Self. Shadow work is diving deep within yourself and facing all the things your Ego has shoved below the surface as a coping mechanism. A lot of this shoving of nasties into the boxes of our mind occurs when we’re growing up because we’re just not emotionally equipped to deal with them yet…others get shoved in along the way because we think we’ll be ridiculed, or embarrassed if others don’t see the quality in a certain aspect of our personality. These mind box dwellers are our fears, our rage, our unbridled lust…anything your Ego may have seen as a sure sign you would be marked an outcast by society and/or your peers. Huge Props to Carl Jung for introducing this portion of our Psyche to us *Insert Old School Arsenio Hall Dog Pound woofs and fist pumps here*.

Personally, I’ve been delving into this dark, sometimes murky, place within myself for most of my life…which is probably why Hecate was destined to be my Main Goddess-Squeeze (yup, just called Hecate my Main Squeeze, it’s ok, She digs me. 😉 ). Walking a torch-lit path of Self & Universal exploration that has lead to more periods of transformation than I could shake a freaking stick at, and I know there are more to be had along the way.

“Enlightenment is not imagining figures of light but making the darkness conscious.”–Carl Jung

Here’s my Pixie Geek Epiphany on the subject: Even Yoda knew that Luke must face his own Darkness when he sent him into the cave on Dagobah. When Luke asks him what’s in the cave, The Jedi Master replies “Only what you take with you”. Which turned out to be the fear of and anger towards Vader…and that he may destroy himself in the process of destroying his enemy. (I also believe this scene embodied his fear that a great Darkness resided in himself as well).

Yoda says “Fear is the path to the Dark Side. Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate leads to suffering.” This is correct…if all of these feelings go unchecked. However, if you acknowledge them and then set them aside –much like we’re taught to do with thoughts of “what should we have for dinner” during meditation– we are then able to focus our energy on what needs to be done. Luke had to accept and acknowledge his darkest fears in order to be able to effectively channel that energy into fulfilling his destiny along the Path of Light: Restoring Balance to the Galaxy. (I think this is something Luke discovers and fully processes between episodes, and is echoed in Luke’s attire in Return of the Jedi. As the “white knight” of the story, he now wears black.)

And now we get down to the nitty gritty that’s bound to get some people’s knickers in a twist: Curses *Dun Dun DUNNNNN!!*

I’ve been reading a lot of opinions on the subject and decided to have a little “Witch Chat” with a friend, let’s call him “M” (for Magnificent!), who is quite skilled in this arena and see what insight I could gain from his experience. I found that much of what I had discovered through my research coincided with his hands-on knowledge.

I kept encountering different versions of a quote…that quote got me thinking, so I decided to see if I could track down it’s origin. I was finally able to attribute it to Z. Budapest (Now, whether she was the FIRST Witch to say this, I have no idea, but if anyone happens to know, I’m all ears!)

If you cannot hex, you cannot heal. If you cannot curse, you cannot cure.” – Z. Budapest

This idea intrigued me, and does make a certain amount of sense. Basically, if you don’t know the ins and outs of how hexes and curses work, how can you effectively counter them? Think of it in terms of another sort of healer: The Doctor (and, unfortunately, I do not mean the one that get’s to fly around in a blue box through the whole of time and space…*sigh*). For a physician to be able to cure their patient, they must first understand the disease and how it works. This knowledge comes as a result of much study, both from books, and in a lab. Studying how a particular virus reacts with this, that and whatever. These diseases are also generally studied on lab animals to test treatments. While this is the ‘darker side’ of the medical world, it is generally thought to be for the Greater Good of humanity.

Staying with the physician angle, the phrase “First Do No Harm” comes to mind…Sounds a lot like our own Wiccan Rede, right? This widely used nugget of wisdom, thought by most folks to be part of the Hippocratic Oath, was actually coined by Thomas Inman around 1860. Regardless of its origin, it is held in high regard in the medical community, and seems to be a rather sound ideal.

Here’s the thing though, a surgeon must cause harm in order to heal their patient…you heard me right they MUST cause harm in order to heal. They have to cut through layers of tissue, and sometimes remove organs or masses.

A curse or hex can be used in the same manor. A localized strike to eradicate the cause of a malignant situation. I also believe that, much like surgery, all other options–both mundane and magickal– should be considered heavily before easing on down the cursing road.

“We all need to look into the dark side of our nature – that’s where the energy is, the passion. People are afraid of that because it holds pieces of us we’re busy denying.” ~ Sue Grafton (Mystery Author)

My wonderfully insightful conversation with “M” also brought up the notion that most people, including most “regular folks”, curse one another rashly & irresponsibly on a daily basis. Think about it…a great many things have escaped our lips in the heat of anger when someone cuts us off in traffic. As Witches we realize that “thoughts are things” and we (hopefully) carry that practice over to our mundane lives. Understanding the Power that resides within your words and actions helps us to better choose the appropriate time and place to wield it.

My Mother ingrained the phrase “There’s a time and a place for everything” into my consciousness at a very young age, and I think it also applies to the act of Cursing & Hexing. One could even say that, on occasion an act of “Compassionate Cursing” may be in order. Alright, yes, I see the confused and perplexed looks on many faces, so let me explain what I mean.

Contemporary Thelemite Ryan Murray points out in his lecture “Curses, Hexes, and the Magical Destruction of One’s Enemies, that Aleister Crowley defines Compassion as “A rooting out of the weeds and a watering of the flowers”. Which is to say we feed and nurture the beautiful, while destroying that wich sucks the life/beauty/energy out of that which is beautiful (Murray uses the term ‘Vampiric’, which seems to bring the point home quite well). He makes the point that a Compassionate Gardner removes/destroys the weeds because, if allowed to remain, the Gardner would eventually have no flowers, fruits or vegetables because the weeds will have taken over. (I have had this happen…it’s not pretty, lol)

In a Magickal context, there may be things/situations that act as weeds in our lives, sucking the nourishment from the very soil that surrounds us (or someone we wish to help) while overtaking us as we become weaker (What can I say, I love a good analogy!). In such situations, when we’ve tried everything else –weed blocker/mulch/crushed stones (which equate to protection Magick and mundane avenues in the “real” world) it may become necessary to take on the role of the Compassionate Gardner, and eradicate the problem swiftly, and deftly…with the least amount of upheaval to the garden as a whole, in order to save it and help it to thrive…and to regain Balance. (Oooooo, there’s that dreaded “B” word, showing its bumpy self in yet another post!)

“The more we deny that we have a dark side, the more power it has over us.” ~Sheryl Lee

Whether or not you wish to explore what can be achieved by tapping into your own ‘Dark Power’, Your Dark Side should at least be confronted, and integrated into the “whole” of your being, in order for you to be able to realize your full potential in both your magickal and mundane life.

My purpose for writing this post was not to start a heated debate on “Light” vs. “Dark” Magick…mainly because Magick is Magick. It has no color, it just is. When I was younger, I used to think in absolutes. Things were either right or wrong, black or white, this or that, but I have come to firmly believe that the Monkees were on to something when they sang “Shades of Gray”. My purpose was to get you to think, to question, to explore, and to challenge things you thought you knew…or to simply see another point of view in an objective manner.

Oh, and the cookies?? Turns out they were actually Nuggets of Wisdom in the form of quotes…So, I guess all those T-shirts were mistaken 😉

Life is About Balance

 

  Awareness, it’s a word that’s tossed around a lot these days. Usually it’s used in conjunction with the latest popular cause, but what does it mean to us as Pagans? Well, I kinda think it’s a HUGE chunk of what we’re all about.

As we go along our respective Paths, we must become “Aware” of a great many things. We must become aware of Our Surroundings, Ourselves, Universal Energies, and the Cycles of Nature.

So what does it mean exactly…to become aware? It is taking the things you know (or think you know) to a whole new level of understanding. All of those Oprah “Aha Moments”, those would be moments of gaining awareness with a nice catch phrase. 😉

Now here’s where I ramble a bit (I know how y’all love it when the Pixie rambles, lol). Let’s break down those few broader categories I mentioned previously.

Awareness of Our Surroundings:

This goes way beyond “I’m standing on the corner of 31st & Elm ST and it’s raining.” Being aware of your surroundings includes the moods and behaviors of those you come into contact with, as well as an understanding of how your words and/or actions may effect them. It is being able to sense the overall “mood” in a room, or even an area outdoors. It also goes to practical things, like knowing which way you’re headed by being able to use the path of the sun. Paying attention to, and understanding the moods of pets and wildlife. In other words “being in tune” with the people and nature that are all around us. If you are plugged into your surroundings, things tend to go more smoothly and things are less hectic…at least in my experience. If I am feeling out of touch, well, then I truly feel lost…I become discombobulated (<= love that word!) and things just become chaotic. Once I take a moment to ground and center myself once again…things become much clearer and I am a happy Pixie once more.

Awareness of Self:

This is perhaps the most difficult for many. It involves delving into One’s history and exploring even the nasty bits, learning from every incident. Understanding why we did what we did, and hopefully to know we have grown since then. It is to be mindful of our thoughts, and our words, as well as our body language. It is knowing that every thought, word, or action we think, say, or do will send ripples through the Universe….creating some kind of change. Whether these changes are for good or ill, depends largely on the intent of the original action. Being self aware means accepting responsibility for the changes we help to create.

Awareness of Universal Energies:

As Pagans/Witches, we know that all things are connected. True awareness of this connection is where the Magick happens! Knowing which phase of the moon will give your spell the most mojo is powerful! I personally believe that you can work any magick at anytime, it’s all in the wording….you just have to be able to mold your words and intent to fit the energies of the moment. Ya just gotta tune in. 😉

Awareness of the Cycles of Nature:

Birth, Death, Rebirth…The Wheel of The Year, these are things that we  have a fairly simple time understanding on an academic level. Being aware of them, however, comes from the core of our being and is an ever evolving process (much like self awareness).

OK, so I’ve gone on and on, and have probably told you things you already knew…but who knows, maybe you (or I) simply needed to be reminded to be mindful. If that’s the case, then this was a useful post after all.