Peninsula Pagan Community

Welcome to the budding blog for Peninsula Pagans. This is intended as a fun and informative way to dispense information to those of the pagan path on the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. We can be found on WordPress here, on Twitter at twitter.com/PeninsulaPagan & our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Peninsulapagan/ (a leader site to the unpublic group Peninsula Pagan Community on Facebook), or also at ribbit@yahoo.com.

It is all important that we join together to sculpt and foster our local pagan community, from fostering our fledgling pagans to continuing education and sharing, to giving back to our local community.  Our community is filled with those of all walks and it is time for pagans to step from darkness into the light. I’m interested in facilitating networking and gatherings, hoping to celebrate with kindred souls and share in our sacred experiences.

In respect,

Peninsula Pagan

Pagan Blessings

blessing

How might a pagan bless things and why would they want to?

Everything we experience is energetic in nature and also all matter we encounter has a energetic fingerprint signature.  Energy, like water, is fluid and flows.  Energy can puddle in great concentrations, be collected, sent and received. When we bless something or someone we are intentionally adding positive energy to that thing.  We are capable of blessing others, places and things by using our intent.  Oftentimes, we intentionally utilize the energy of the gods and goddesses, the elements, in addition to our own energy to do so.

We can bless informally, as in a simple prayer or spell (god bless you or namaste’), or we may create a more profound direction of positive energy toward something by creating a complex ritual (like a home blessing, or a blessing for personal healing).  One can bless or sanctify pretty much anything a person wants to at any time.

Yet, in our energetic world, if we are attempting to cause a profound impact, I recommend becoming familiar with the elements and their associations so that you could utilize them as a positive force in your magickal toolbox.  The energy of earth is profound, and it is as just as deep and strong as the energy of fire, which is similar to but has a different energetic signature than the element of water, and just as potent and directive as the energy of air.  Each contains a gift of sacred knowledge and magickal ability because they inherently are provocative energy themselves.  They can facilitate change in ways different than we could of our own volition by ourselves (spirit).  By learning of their associations and strengths, and then blending those together we can create a powerful invocation of blessing.

You will find that those of the craft will establish a sacred relationship with these corners and their beings to deliberately align their work with them.  Once we have established a healthy working relationship with the elements, we can use the elements as partners to strengthen our work. We can invoke the element of earth by (seeds, crystals, stones, salt, cauldron, bones..) together with the element of air (feathers, incense, smudge, bells, wand, flags..), fire (candles, athame, sword, lamps, volcanic rock) and water (chalice, cup, bowl, seashells, salt, blood or wine.. water..) to bless many things.  While herbs and oils aren’t tools per se, they are often used to facilitate a blessing.  This is because each herb (and subsequently oil derived from them) holds an energy pattern associated with at least one of the elements in addition to the signature for life-force energy itself.

blessing candles

Blessing Candles: gently melt down tealights on a cookie sheet in the oven or on a coffee warmer, leaving the wicks in.  Add herbs, small crystals, &/or magickal sea salts according to your aim. Make sure to check elemental associations when crafting.

Oftentimes, old places or items have discordant energy attached to them.  One can clear these old imprints by cleansing them energetically (making them ‘neutral’), but to truly make the item whole again, it takes a blessing.  You must offer your love and support to the place or thing to raise the vibration of that place or thing.  You can invoke the strength of specific deities, incorporate the elements according to the specific need, and send your loving intent into that energy.

We often run about cleansing or purifying things to make sure our local environment is stable and void of lower/negative energies or entities, but folks- that’s only half of the picture!  I suggest wholeheartedly that you always bless what you have cleared.  If you cleanse a crystal, then bless it after. If you cleanse your home, bless it after. If you smudge a friend, bless them after.  Yet you need not cleanse a person, place or thing in order to feel entitled to bless it.

You can bless an area by combining your intent, energy, and action.  You can send a blessing non-verbally to the grouchy looking person in the grocery store that you passed in the aisle (‘may you have greater peace and the understanding you need’) by directing your intent toward their solar plexus, you can bless food and drink by holding love or healing energy into it as you make it or prior to consumption, you can bless an area by walking around and lovingly picking up trash and leaving your blessing of healing and balance in it’s place.

In my home I’ve blessed random objects (a coffee cup, a pen, a door knob, etc.) each randomly, trusting that whoever could benefit from that blessing will come into contact with it.  There’s a mug that is blessed with intent of joy, one for healing, a door knob blessed to impart greater safety as needed, a pen to bless with calmness and greater compassion.  Seriously, most things in my home have been bewitched by blessings, come to think of it.

If you’re unfamiliar with the habit of blessing things, people or places, I suggest it’s an incredible behavior to adopt.  By establishing this pattern of behavior, you will always be sure to leave a place with a more positive energy than you’d found it.  Go ahead and bless a random plate at a restaurant to invoke that the person who eats off of it will find greater clarity each according to his/her need or perhaps a grocery cart- that the person who uses it will remember that one item they habitually forget.  As you sit at an intersection waiting for a light, you could send your intent into the crossroad that whomever passes through it who could use more centering or more spiritual support receives it in the manner and timing which best suits them.

blessing bowl

Pagans tend to take their blessing more seriously than most. We often do so more formally by crafting a ritual incorporating those things which call to you to help empower your intent.  Whether hoping to promote a thought/idea or communication (air), instigate action or passion (fire), soothe or elevate emotion or intuition (water), increase or induce manifestation or practicality (earth) or any combination thereof, we can work in synchrony with the energies of the elements to get the job done more effectively. And, elements are an incredible way to make your blessing work more fruitful.

I use many oils, herbs and crystals in my work.  I use these because of the elemental associations they have. I notice that when I combine my intent with my energy, together with the energies of the elements, that profound things happen.  It only makes sense to me to use that potent combination to bless places and things when it intuitively feels right to me.  I know that you each have blessed things in your different ways, and I’d like to urge you to continue to do so.  I propose that by purposefully incorporating the elemental allies into your blessing work, the world will markedly be shaped by you in a very positive way.

In kindest regard,

Peninsula Pagan

Snow in Spring

snow

When we think on how the work or growth we do changes though the seasons, we notice the changes of  the seasons is like a changing of the guard; out with the old & in with the new. While spring is officially here- and knowing too that spring in March or April is not an uncommon thing in our area- we are given a fortuitous window for tidying up when snow is in the forecast once again.

In the winter we do our more contemplative, interpersonal work. We take time for ourselves to nurture our wisdom and well-being.  And, as spring comes, we let go of the themes of winter and plant new ideas.  But, have you really closed the doors to winter? Are old themes still rearing their head and refusing to be laid to rest??  If so, our current forecast is a golden opportunity for you.

While our weather temporarily returns to winter for the next couple of days, we are given the local energetic opening to really complete our winter themes and add closure to those last few items on the agenda that need tidied up.  To fully embrace the promises that spring brings, we have to let go.  It’s difficult to accept new gifts if our hands are already full!  We’ve got one more golden window to drop the old baggage for good: snow flurries in spring.  Capture the gift that it is. We’ve been given one last chance to heal the hatchet that refuses to be buried.

If it speaks to you, spend a moment doing some introspective work and take a look under your rugs, or revisit your emotional closets.  Reduce, reuse and recycle the wisdoms, themes and tools gained last year and through your winter. Distill your learning and experiences into wisdom.  Light a pyre to that which no longer serves you & give thanks.  Then, as the most recent snow melts, you’ll be more ready for the gifts that spring has to offer

 Sidebar- One fun idea that the witches will like is this:  given that this snow is wet and sticky,  it’s a great opportunity to make a snowman poppet. Place into it what you want to recede/banish, and then watch as it does so with the movement into spring.

Brightest Blessings,

The Peninsula Pagan

New Growth

Spring is officially here. Our daylight is now longer than our darkness.  With the changes of the seasons comes a change in attitudes and perceptions.  We spent the winter months holed up in our quiet spaces, enjoying our introspection and we went through periods of spiritual hibernation & physical slumber.  Now though, it’s time to turn over a new leaf.  The energy has shifted.  Can you feel it?  It’s time once again to grow. Let’s do it on purpose.

We both grieve and celebrate each passing year, as it should be. Each lap around the sun leaves us more experienced, more raw, and more honest.  There can be pieces of it we enjoy, and parts of it which leave wounds that will continue to weep as we heal them.  In our pain we are able to distill learning into wisdom.  We step back and reflect. This internal pontificating is necessary.  But, there comes a time to let it go and trudge forward. Gardeners know that pruning in spring causes more hardy plants.  As above so below…we follow this same template as well.  We must let loose the past to make room for the future. Which things in your life make the cut and which do not?  Pruning helps make healthy new growth possible. If you’ve not done this yet, now is he time to do so.

You will advance and you will learn and you will grow, season by season. Given this, you may as well decide intentionally where in your life your new growth will be. Spring is the time to plant your seeds.  I challenge you this spring to begin growing deliberately. Since you have no choice but to move forward, will you be determined enough to progress on purpose? This life is yours after all, you might as well be a conscious creator of it.

We’re here to live the most meaningful life we are able.  We are to use our strengths to uplift both ourselves and others. Stagnation has no place in those of magickal means!  I propose that this spring you balance the scales between ‘what you choose to do’ and ‘what happens to you’.  It’s spring, so plant seeds of growth and change (Ostara!!).  Continue to nurture your budding idea and follow it through to see it’s fruits.  It’s in the sharing of your fruits that others benefit from your efforts as well. When they bear witness to your growth and wisdom, they are empowered themselves. So, plant your seeds for you, knowing that the fruits of your labor will likely be shared. In this way our blessings multiply and continue to give.

seed

Each year I set about learning or doing something intentionally to foster my growth.  I toss out to the universe to aim me toward what will stir my soul in the most potent way for a year.  I’ve committed a year to crystals, a year to meditation, a year to energy healing, a year to writing a book…each time I set a goal and followed it through. I set the intention that my aim is straight and true, that all will occur in the right timing for the right purposes.  My annual focus project doesn’t feel like an assignment, nor a chore to be crossed off a list. In fact, it resonates so deeply that I can’t help but gravitate toward it with childlike wonder.  I’m in my bliss exploring it.

Last year I learned herbology as I’d decided to learn of the many health and magickal uses of the plant kingdom. I gathered plants in the woods, attended talks & walks with others, read botany books, grew strange and wonderful things in my greenhouse  …all in the spirit of exploration and fun.  I had no idea that in the end I would wind up with a legit apothecary in my home chock full of things for spells, poultices, teas, tinctures and such. Last fall I planted deliberately a witches garden that will come up this year when the snow recedes. Once winter hit I headed to the secondhand store and grabbed up a food dehydrator, knowing full well that this year I’ll reap the bounty of what was sown last year. I know my learning on the topic will never cease, yet the culmination of my efforts have already begun to be apparent to me.

This year is another theme of ‘self care’ for me.  I’ve decided to foster my creative side by learning a new musical instrument (ukulele this time), my analytical side by learning a new language (Latin), and my physical body by learning yoga (getting stiff as I age!).  Chances are good that these combined will be easily more than a one year project, but that doesn’t matter much.  It feels good to grow. Each of these new things I add to my bag of tricks I do for myself with only myself in mind. Yet I am aware that the skill set I adopt will become an inherent part of me, and as such, will undoubtedly benefit others. Someone will need an odd herb and I’ll have it to gift, someone will need healing and I’ll be able to offer it, someone will want to learn to meditate & I will teach, someone will need to laugh and I’ll drag out my uke and sing the Scottish Drinking Song at the top of my lungs.  It’s give and take until all returns to it’s source. And I’m good with that.

My life isn’t my own.  And, I love that it isn’t.  We’re all dynamic and part of a whole. We are all intimately connected. When I heal, I help you have the courage to do the same. When I’m challenged you shelter me in turn. We know full well that the rule of three will keep us rebounding into the future but that isn’t what inherently drives us. We are intrinsically community-based and we seek what betters both ourselves and our brethren.   When I become learned on a topic, my education is an asset to our pagan community. I learn and experience specifically on purpose and my life is better for it. I honor life itself in this way. It makes no sense to not take advantage of all that I have within my reach for the betterment of myself and others. And, You could do the same if you like…

This spring, make a point to be deliberate with your thoughts and your actions. Choose what to prune, take a sip of strong whiskey, then just do it.  It will heal, trust me.  If you need help with it, I’m here (and, I have whiskey too lol ).  Ask aloud to that which you hold sacred “What could I learn or do this year that will cause my spirit to soar?  What is the best way for me to go about expanding my experience intentionally?”  Then listen, and laugh at how easily the answers come tumbling in so clear that you probably should have been able to guess them. Create a target, mark your aim. Now is the time to sew your seeds of growth and change.  Plan to tend your new project for up to a year.  Be overt in your stretching of your own boundaries. I thank you for it. I benefit from it. I truly, sincerely do. We all do. Thanks for your bravery, and thanks for being deliberate.

What stirs your soul and how will you choose to grow??  I’m looking forward to bearing witness to it.

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Peninsula Pagan Community blog can be found on WordPress at  https://penpagan.wordpress.com/

What to do on Ostara?

The cornerstones of Ostara are growth and balance.  This sabbat represents the rekindling of life within the Earth and the renewal of fertility of our spiritual selves. It is the vernal equinox, a day of equal light & dark, but also the middle of the three spring holy days. While Imbolc marks spring’s first breath and Beltaine is about springs height & power,  Ostara is about both growth & balance in between.

During this day of celebrating new life, we often plan an activity or walk outdoors. I look for signs of spring, hoping to see the first pussy willows! In effort to bring back balance and renew life, many of us celebrate Ostara by getting ready for growing season by ordering from seed catalogs, craft magickal eggs (dyed, with fortuitous symbols or drawn sprouts), planning our orders for chicks at the local feed stores, or by creating an Eostre altar (eggs, bunnies, cocoons, butterflies, bird’s nests, pastel colors, lambs, honey cakes, sprouts, lilies, daffodils..you know, that which was pilfered for the Christianized holiday of Easter ..and chocolate, don’t forget the chocolate!).  We’re all pretty used to the process of decorating eggs, but have you considered making a charm out of a hard boiled egg? You can decorate it with symbols or write the idea you would like to manifest on it, energize it and eat it.

eggs

Ostara brings us the new promise of life (resurrection of the sun/son), as it represents the union of the fertile Goddess and the God, the creation of life via blending earth matter and spirit.  Therefore, this is a time for planting new ideas to be born. Witches often utilize the time to cast spells for growth, from careers to families, or anything they wish to expand. Our equinox is 2:28 am our time on Monday March 20, to be exact & from that moment on, we will experience more daylight than darkness. The energetic momentum pushes forward to Beltaine. A grande idea is to plant a seed along with any magickal working you do on this day to grow your spell.  You can use this renewal energy to fuel any new project or goal, really.  You could even charge up a bottle of water or oil (three days, from either side of Ostara) to use as ‘growth’ water for spells for the rest of the year..

Likewise, you can perform a ritual to seek balance in your life, and honor both dark & light. This is the first of the four solar or ‘cross quarter’ sabbats that focus on balance and extreme.  Most perceive it as a balance of night & day but one would think of it as a balance of the universal & concrete, masculine & feminine, or balance of physical & spiritual as well. Given as above, so below, we should intentionally seek to rectify balance on this day. One could perform a cleaning ritual to cleanse your home of negativity or head out toward the highway or a park and pick up litter…either way make a point to lose the remains that you no longer benefit from. You could also light both a black and a white candle to meditate. Another good Ostara ritual releasing ceremony by creating an effigy of the dark half of the year and imbue it with the characteristics of this last winter that you’d like to leave behind then drop it in a fire or the nearest watercourse.

Obviously, if you attempt all of these things you’d be too busy to enjoy any of it.  Pick something that jives with your soul and leave the rest.  What about me? I’ll get the offspring off to school, then smudge my house followed by a good airing.  I grew and dried some sweetgrass so am excited to try it out as well. Then I’ll be sewing seeds in my little heated greenhouse for my summer gardens (it’s my meditative space) & head outside if there’s time after I’m finished. Generally, I’d go along the highway and clean up trash.  This year the snow is too deep to do that yet. I’m not too into honey cakes (honey is expensive) but I’ll aim for a carrot cake for dessert.  The kids will appreciate that since it’s the first day back from break.  If nothing else, we could roast a peep in the fireplace at some point (sidebar- they make pretty good s’mores).

If any of you can think of a park or area we could clean up we could all rendezvous on Sunday the 19th and make a project of it. I always am sickened by the trash that is revealed in the melting snow but am not sure where would be a good place where the debris is exposed. I’m happy to give our planet some TLC and every spring it’s sorely needed. Even if we delay the project by a month I’d be happy to facilitate it. Thanks for letting me know your thoughts!

Brightest Blessings,

The Peninsula Pagan