Pagan Blog Project 2014
Posts created for the Pagan Blog Project 2014
The power of the mind is an amazing thing. It’s something that is very important for magic workers and divination workers to keep in mind as they do their work. The mind can cause things to happen by changing the way in which we react. Our emotions can overpower our thoughts, but our thoughts can also overpower our emotions and physical reactions.
For instance, a year ago I was diagnosed with a digestive disorder that left me unwilling to eat eggs. Let’s just say that the eggs didn’t like being in my stomach and were pretty definite about it. My hubby and I have considered experimenting with pasteurized eggs, thinking that the pasteurization process might make changes that kill whatever it is that I can’t eat. But the simple thought of eating eggs as just eggs makes my mind remember the physical sensations from when I was eating eggs before – and it wants no part of that reaction again! So without eating anything, my stomach was upset, and I had to take measures to calm it down. All because my mind associates eggs with nausea.
The same thing can happen when you’re doing magic or divination. If you’re not careful, your past experiences can affect your work. If you’re trying to make a change in your situation, and there is something about your mind that is resisting the change – be careful to address that first! The same thing can happen when you’re doing divination. If you see something in the cards that has a specific negative, or positive, association for you then you need to be aware of that and make sure that you’re reacting to the reading, not the association.
There is nothing that I know of that can take the place of taking the time to recognize and understand your reactions to things. Taking this time can significantly improve your ability to do magic or divination!
This past weekend, I was pleased to attend a devotional to Ma’at hosted by T. Thorn Coyle of the Solar Cross Temple. Solar Cross hosts devotionals most months and I’ve recently started attending. The devotionals cover a range of different Pagan orientations. Solar Cross itself is rather eclectic, with members from a variety of pagan religions, and the devotionals reflect that.
May’s devotional was a traditional Kemetic ritual designed to honor Ma’at and performed by members of the Kemetic Temple in California. The ritual was very well done, and even included a traditional prayer sung in Ancient Egyptian!
Before this devotional, I had only known of Ma’at in her role of judging the weight of the hearts of the dead to determine what their afterlife would be like. In this devotional, I learned that there is so much more to Ma’at!
In addition to Ma’at the Goddess, there is Ma’at the principle. Ma’at is the balance by which we strive to live our lives. It is the understanding that we all play a part in the bigger picture, and when we play our part well we can effect positive change on others around us. In the same way, if we are particularly negative, it has effects beyond ourselves and can bring negativity to those around us.
One of the priests said something particular interesting. He pointed out that Ma’at weighs our heart against a feather. To live in Ma’at is to live with a light heart. So all those things that we do that weigh down on us, or make our heart heavy, are things we should address. Either we find a way to feel light of heart while doing them, or maybe we don’t need to be doing them.
You’ll often hear that the best tools are those you made yourself. To some extent, I have to agree. There’s just something about using (as a tool, offering or decoration) something that you’ve made yourself and are proud of. I don’t believe that you have to make all your tools, but making at least some items that you use in your practice has great benefit.
I’m a creator .. I like to make physical things. It’s probably as a result of my job, which is mostly cerebral and conversational. Over the years I’ve learned to make toiletries and soap, make paper, knit, crochet, weave, spin yarn, brew beer, and a host of other hobbies that I’ve dabbled in. When I do a ritual, a spell, or my daily practice with items that I’ve made myself, it adds to the rite. Some of it is that it helps me to evoke the appropriate feelings and emotions because of my intention in creating the item; some of it is the energy and emotion that I put into the item when I was creating it; and some of it is the simple fact that I created something greater from raw materials.
For instance, for a while I used an oil that a good friend of mine and I created together for my Kindred offerings. These are offerings in my private ritual that I give to the gods, the fae folk and nature spirits, and to the ancestors. The offerings are supposed to be a welcome, a gift to a traveler who graces my door. When I use the oil, I remember the feeling of companionship, of love, of community that I felt when we were creating the oil … and it brings those emotions to the rite. I’ve since run out of the oil, but I re-used the bottle and created a new blend along the same lines. Keeping that piece of it continuous – using the same bottle – means that I still think of that time whenever I use the oil, and the emotions are there again.
Another item that I’ve created and use is a small shawl. The yarn was spun at the Goddess Festival while walking between, and attending, rituals. The festival took place in a camp in the Redwood forest, among a group of women who were kind and helpful and generous. Using the shawl reminds me of the feeling of standing in that forest, and looking up – almost forever – to see the tops of the trees. It was truly a place out of time. Using the shawl, or even just touching it, helps me to return to that mental space and focus.
No matter what you can create … draw, write, sing, paste photos from magazines onto a box … anything, you can create items for your Craft. Put your time and effort into the items. Think about what you want to feel when you use them. Put some energy into making them appeal to you in all the ways possible – visual, tactile, aural, whatever is appropriate. Charge those items with energy and emotion, and use them! You’ll find it much easier to bring back those emotions, to re-create that mental space, if you create something that you can use.
[This is a post for the Pagan Blog Project – click here for all PBP 2014 posts]
Breathe, it’s one of the most important thing that we do with our bodies. It’s how we get oxygen into our lungs and thus into our body, and how we get the toxic gasses back out of our bodies. It’s also one of the most important things we can do for our focus and meditation. If you do magic, it’s also super useful and important for your magic!
By taking good, deep breaths, we can increase the oxygen in our bodies, and thus the oxygen in our brains and muscles. This allows us to think better and move better. We can also use our breath to direct and control the flow of energy. If you’re trying to change your aura, or create a shield, or send energy to someone or something, your breath is a great way to direct that energy!
Here’s some quick and easy exercises to help you manage your own personal energy levels.
To increase your energy level:
1. breathe in for a count of 4, making sure to expand your use your whole torso – fill your belly and lungs with air. See the energy of the world flowing into you. You may perceive this energy as golden, or green, or just as warm breath.
2. hold that breath for a count of 2, that energy, in your body and let it flow through you
3. exhale slowly, through a count of 4, letting the stagnation and stale energy out
4. immediately repeat step 1
To decrease your energy or stress levels:
1. breathe in for a count of 4, feel the calm and peace of the land flow through you
2. breathe out for a count of 4, letting your excess energy, or stress, or whatever you’re holding in, out
3. hold your breath for a count of 2 to let the energy totally flow out of you
4. repeat from step 1
* this is the first post of the Pagan Blog Project 2014 series. To find out more about the Pagan Blog Project, go to paganblogproject.com *
King Arthur, of the Knights of the Round Table, is a mythological character that may, or may not, be based on a real person. As with any myth, there are different renditions of Arthur. In general, Arthur is seen as a great King who fought against the evil of the land and brought a time of enlightenment to the Land. He often begins life believing that he is a commoner, but is really of royal blood. In many of the stories, Arthur was found and trained by a wizard, or druid, named Merlin. Other stories say that Merlin was his advisor in later life. Some people believe that he never really died, but passed from this world to another to return when he is needed.
The story of Arthur has been re-created in modern literature and film with a book series called “Avalon High” by Meg Calbot and a movie loosely based on the book, as well as a TV series, “Merlin” that follows the potential young wizard as he develops a relationship with Arthur. There are a significant number of credits to the character of King Arthur in IMDb.
In most modern re-tellings, Arthur is a Christian, but it’s possible that this is due to the bias of the re-tellers and the environment that they are working in. In spite of this, Arthur is often revered, and even worshiped, by pagans today.
I am just beginning on my journey into Welsh magical systems, and many of the leads that I have been following seem to lead to Arthur and the mythical land of Avalon with which he is associated.
I look forward to the journey, and understanding both the mythical Arthur and the Kindred that is Arthur.