Magickal Methods- a practical approach

Pagan Pondering: “What type of Magick do you do, or use most frequently? What does ‘magick making’ look like??” Many of us are curious about magick & maybe have read about it, but….what is it like applied to daily life???

First let’s identify our parameters by defining magick for those unfamiliar. Magick is utilization of natural inherent energies directed purposefully toward a goal (differing from ‘magic’ which is sleight of hand trickery). It is neither negative/dark or positive/light, just like water or air can’t be perceived as dark or light. In this sense, magick is a noun…a thing. A type of living, vibrant, latent or potential energy, much like light, electricity, or magnetism.

By combining our intent (our ‘will’) we can effect a change in our energetic environment. In this sense we perceive it as a verb, we perceive that we are ‘doing/practicing magick’..all were doing is using our will & using magickal energies to do work. Some people call upon an aspect of deity to assist them, many do not. Manipulating energies is not inherently bad or good, is something everyone can do if they learn to do so effectively.  It is a very natural thing to do and most often, we do it without conscious awareness of it.  Those who practice magick are just doing it deliberately and mindfully, just as adherents of other faiths do when they pray for another or a particular situation- they’re sending energy outward for an intended effect. Sending energy does not involve Satan or devil worship or any such church-promulgated hate rhetoric or similar vilifying folklore.

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As each of us possess a life force energy, we all possess the ability to manipulate this energy inherently.  I’d propose that, largely, magick is who/what you are, is within you intrinsically like your life-force (God-Spark) animate energy & not just an act you do. That your own type of signature ‘magickal energy’ is inherently yours. It’s not something than can be ‘turned off & on’ but rather something you can deliberately amp up or ground downward.  In my experience its always there whether I perceive it to be static or active, but a type of energy neither created/destroyed and able to be combined with other things & shifted around. We shift things gently over time through magickal living in our day to day lives and we also shift things in more forceful ways deliberately through targeted spell work or ritual practice.

 

What does my daily magick look like? 

Daily magick is different from ritual or spellcrafting. It’s rather informal and unstructured, so here’s a random list of ‘daily-type’ things this particular magickal person does:

I write out intentions & have a charged manifesting box I add them to, I have a fetch doll I use that I made when the need arises, have a witch’s garden where I grow plant allies with a purpose and also as a celebration of life;  do crystal gridding; create magickal waters. I meditate in nature; talk aloud continuously with my guides/angels; have whimsical items in my home to welcome fae which share my residence with me; I bless things as I cook with them; use visualization daily; often send random blessings & healing energies to whomever/whatever I choose (always with the intent that it be applied in their highest good). I leave offerings to my perception of deity as a way of practical worship (honor life, rebirth & air by attending to the needs of the birds at my place for example; or collect items from the beach and make temporary altars of them to honor the ocean & earth; collect local seeds & spread them on sparse ground).

I say thanks aloud for beautiful clouds & serendipitous moments; & when I experience a bubble of unbound joy I purposefully send it outward….  When I shower I deliberately use essential oils and my purple-tinted shampoo, and visualize my energetic body getting a good once-over, too. I have charged color coordinated stones that are laid between my mattresses to help my energetic body clear/rejuvenate at night when I sleep, according to the chakra system and tailored to my personal needs.  I have tarot-type decks for spirit-led guidance & a pendulum I use for internal guidance when I feel compelled. I use this pendulum for also balancing my own energetic body, and have a separate one I use for balancing the energy of others and also locations which feel ‘off’ to me.

I love burning natural candles in my home & do so nearly every day, I frequently make my own as well.  I drink herbal teas as a sacred way to honor myself, often using those herbs & flowers that I have grown (sometimes I bathe in them too!) I listen to pagan music because I love it (Pandora);  I love & revere all aspects of nature;  have little mini-altars all over the place but not until recently did I realize that’s what they were….collections of things of a theme used to provoke me. I clean my home incorporating herbs, oils, waters & salts.

Separately from these, I find making music soothes me and use it as a means of informal worship to ‘all that is’; read metaphysical books; research extensively; and have constructed my own personal grimoire– a collection of my magickal learnings over the years, to use as a tailored reference book for myself. I’ve a cupboard of random things collected in as a personal apothecary (from cascarilla powder & dirt from Death Valley, to pussy willows, glitter, and a bottle of bubbles for blowing). I use these items often on a whim as inspired, or other times as part of a pragmatic approach to effect an energetic shift in spell crafting.  Sometimes I whip out a circle & scry for a while, sometimes I create sacred space & make a poppet. Sometimes I’ll write down things I’m ready to let go of, make a fire & light those up as a form of release (either in a cauldron or outside at the firepit). I have created and use talismans programmed to do certain things for me/my family, and also amulets (usually of the mineral kingdom) used for protection.  I find the Solar Sabbats holy, frequently celebrate the cross quarter Sabbats, & routinely honor monthly Esbat.

Mind you, these things aren’t cleanly labeled and obvious in my life, however to the magickal practitioner are notably present.  They are part of who I am, because I create the space for magick in my life and create things specifically for the purpose of doing magick. I participate each of these day-to-day  routine things without really thinking too much about it. I’m a bit eclectic that way. I like finding excuses to celebrate and explore things and do on both large and small scale helplessly.  I find deliberately celebrating life & honoring creation is a great way to honor that universal energy that created us, even as we all argue about who/what it truly is.

Even after all of this, this ‘daily life’ list doesn’t include any specific description of what I do when I set out to specifically, and purposefully, ‘do magick’.

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Magical Practice…

‘Doing magick’ is called ‘practicing magick’ for much the same reason as ‘practicing medicine’ is referred to as such- it is a practice, an art, a craft of the witch, a skill which is honed through deliberate application and study, observing and measuring outcomes and adjusting accordingly over time.  It’s a passion & is work.  It takes organization, effort, & focus. It is specific to a task at hand, a specific situation ‘I will’ to change and is what I’d call ‘active’ magick. It is spell casting as practiced in witchcraft, and btw is independent of any specific religion.  Pretty much everyone who practices magick keeps written track of what works for them & what doesn’t over time. This deeply personal and detailed record is called a Book of Shadows.

A BOS is not unlike a journal in which a person writes their home-brew recipes and journals trials, errors, and results of different batches and different combinations of ingredients. By recording your method (using the scientific method, actually) and your results, you hone in on what works for you. Know that what works for me may/may not work for you.  There isn’t a right or wrong, but rather a more effective/less effective- for you personally.  As ALWAYS, take which aspects of methods which jive with you and leave the rest.  Your work must be authentic if you’re seeking authentic results. You will find there are different ways of doing magick. ..cauldron magick, wind magick, time magick, plant magick, ocean magick, solstice magick, moon magick, candle magick, blood magick, sex magick, etc. .. it’s endless and the sky is the limit, really. You’ll have to see what pulls you. I suggest you keep track of it in a BOS so that you can more easily see patterns, & too recommend that you use a 3 ring binder because you’ll be adding to it & adjusting it quite a bit.

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Here’s how I go about ‘practicing magick’ deliberately..how I cast a spell (using ‘candle magick’ as an example):

1. I get a specific targeted goal (singular, not plural) in mind & plan out what is appropriate for the specific task at hand using my intuition, my guides &/or reference books.  I use herbs, oils, crystals, candles, incense & symbolism figure out who/what to invoke… according to their correspondences & my intuition. I’ll aim to incorporate the five senses & also the five elements…from stones, feathers, shells, chimes, to flowers, seeds, blood, ice, old photographs, taglocks, etc.  (NOTE: Be mindful not to include the kitchen sink- often simpler is better)

2. I cleanse & ground myself, collect items needed & charge them up/program them, then link them all together so that they work harmoniously toward my goal & then often leave them on an amethyst slab or pentacle to soak…

3. I write out my incantation on a blank sheet of paper (a script usually written in rhyme). Once satisfied I rewrite the finished draft onto a blank BOS worksheet.

4. To this sheet I add the list the tools/items to be used for my BOS. (After the working, I can edit this preliminary draft to what actually occurred & later record my results) The BOS sheet will ultimately have the name of the spell, my incantation, an ingredients list, a record of who/what is to be invoked, a date/time of the working, a timeline for expected results, current lunar cycle & will in the future contain a description of the spell results. I will commit the procedure to memory before doing the working.  I restate for emphasis- it’s important to remember to give the spell a time frame within which to work.

5.  From there I write an ‘objective’ statement of my intended outcome onto a seperate piece of charged & charmed natural paper…written in current tense in black ink & it’s a condensed version of my verbal incantation spell.  This slip of paper is separate from my BOS worksheet that I use as a log, and is something I generally burn in ritual. Sometimes it’s a statement, sometimes a crafted sigil, but it’s always short, sweet and directly to the point. It’s often a focal point in my work but is not a necessary component of candle magick, per se. It’s just my preference.

Sometimes I seek the ‘proper timing’ for a working, other times not. But when I decide to do my work, I’m always psychologically ready.  When ready, I grab something to pour into my goblet (always, often wine) & an offering (sometimes..) get to work!

6. I create my sacred space by cleansing my work space, tools, myself & the items I’ll use. Sometimes I cast a big circle, other times I’m rather informal about it.  Note: The circle separates the magickal from the mundane, is a protective barrier which prevents untoward intrusion, & creates a ‘space beyond space & time outside of time’..a void in between worlds, and is where magickal work occurs.  I always use a form of incense to aid me to clear energies (white sage, copal, lavender/sandalwood etc.), and usually anoint things I work with using sacred water or oil.

7. I call the corners & invoke spirit as warranted (think angels, guides, totems, ancestors, Goddesses, God’s, guardians… whomever I feel appropriate at the time but alway unfailingly inviting Sacred Hecate, Queen of Witches & Goddess Triformis).  I do a prayer of protection, re-center myself & make sure I have everything I need with me. I light my working candles, then ring my bell- it’s a personal preference to do it here at the beginning of my ‘work’.

8.  I use mantras/motion/drumming/ TM to deliberately put me into a state of hypnosis or altered awareness (mugwort, etc. can help here, too)

My spell candle(s) is inscribed, anointed with oil, & frequently rolled in herbs as I work with them & connect with them to get me in the zone & begin to raise power in conjunction with them. If you use invoking/banishing pentagrams you could do that too…

9. I place my prepped candle in the center of my altar & light it (I suppose the spell has officially ‘begun’ at this point). I raise energy about it and through it, linking myself to it and the elements.

10. As I raise energy I can focus on my sigil & place it’s energy into my work, can recite my spell aloud & sometimes I recite my objective outcome statement repeatedly as a mantra in my head or aloud… seriously do anything you feel is ‘right’ in the moment to add to the energy you are raising. Dance, yell, spin, rock back & forth, visualize continually the energy raised & let it pulsate between your work & your core, building & spinning deosil. Belly-breathe into it!  I often add extra herbs to my flame, or roll them up in my small paper & tie it with knots using colored string accordingly… This swirling energy that you’ll tangibly feel is called a ‘Cone of Power‘, is shaped like a cone or witch’s hat & is the vortex of your infused magical energies.  Some perceive it as a wall which grows in height as you build it…. whatever works for you.  One need not be skyclad or hop around a field on a broom to have energy, raise it, and direct it purposefully btw.

11. Once I’ve got it as high as it will go/complete as it can be, however I choose to do it, & have expended all frenetic yet focused energy that I’m able or willing to generate, I let it go. I do this by burning my objective statement that I was fixating on & it’s released as it finishes burning. I direct the built energy outward, sometimes in a specific direction…but usually trust it to go where it needs to without further input from me. As it let’s go I often feel the release as a gush of energy, not unlike wind.  Some people clap or make a loud noise, ring a bell or state ‘So mote it be!‘ as this occurs…to each their own!

12. I let the candle burn down as I regroup & ground…I tend to sit with it in gratitude. Some people release the corners & give thanks at this time, but I do that once the candle has spent itself (I prefer smaller candles😊)..feels more complete to me. I ring my bell signify to my subconscious mind that its time to return to normal time and space, to help snap myself back into my body.

Once my candle is out, I offer explicit thanks to each spirit/thing that aided me, release the corners, cut the circle & imbibe. Seriously, I take a swig of something (wine/juice/alcohol) from my goblet & have a bit of chocolate (either just a pinch of cocoa power under my tongue or a bit of cacao) always on hand in a container on my altar for that purpose. You see, it usually takes a bit to get me regrounded & this helps me. This is the time for clean up & airing out the work space…it’s closing shop.

13. Having done that- it’s time to LET IT GO. I walk away, redirect my energy elsewhere, I distract myself with something else & don’t look back. I don’t ruminate on it, overthink it, don’t doubt. I know that as I will it, so mote it be in confidence.

At a later time I return to finalize my worksheet to add to my BOS…and usually again after I’ve noticed the spell has run it’s course.

That’s it.  May sound complex but it’s not. Figure out a goal, write it down, gather things/spirit to aid the working, light a candle, throw all appropriate energies into it & build it like a bonfire, then release it.

I don’t have all the answers & I am far from expert, and like you, I am learning. I will likely feel novice even after I’ve reached some degree of competency but there is no end to learning and no end to mastery. If I happen to be a chapter or two ahead of you I’m happy to share & encourage you along. If you are a chapter or two ahead of me & have something to share with me I’d humbly receive it from you in gratitude. I do notice the coveting of hard earned knowledge is common with this path. Admittedly some things are to be left unsaid & need to be experienced first hand. But too, sharing safely is empowering to everyone & I’m happy to contribute as I’m able.

 

Hope this helps & Blessed Be!!

)O(

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Religious Erections

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https://www.onenewsnow.com/ap/united-states/arkansas-new-10-commandments-monument-at-capitol-destroyed

Religious Erections: Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

I’d understand the ‘Ten Commandments’ being placed on government property if the United States were a Jewish Theocracy, but it’s not. We have a secular government in the United States, by definition & in practice (usually).  Yet in Arkansas, the religioulus subverted democracy to impose their beliefs onto the public again, and this time their efforts were torn down within 24 hours. Michael Tate Reed understands that people have rights, but beliefs do not.  Tate is a Christian man who has dismantled this golden calf twice now. He knows that the separation of church & state is important in the US & is committed to it. Admittedly, many a proselytizer could learn much from him.

Remember when blacks began asserting themselves in the 20’s & whites subsequently began erecting civil war monuments to subtly remind them of who was in charge?? This seems like a parallel & the Christian way today to remind people who it is that lines the pockets of our government. I wish more Americans were ashamed of this…  Either way, erecting religious murals on tax payer property, & separately, by giving the impression that those beliefs are ‘government sanctioned’, are both vehemently anti-American behaviors.

In the interim while it gets sorted out, it would be nice to see an addendum added to every Ten Commandments monument on public property across the US to include the explicit punishment listed for breaking the Abrahamic playbook: “death”, “death”, “death”…. for it would serve as a quick reminder that these rules are neither Christian nor do they represent the morals or attitudes of the vast majority of Americans.

We Peninsula Pagans appreciate that spirituality minded folk on the Kenai Peninsula are capable of sharing our public property without need to sabotage one another or our US laws. We are as bothered by Christmas trees as Christians are bothered by Halloween… we play along & put up our Yule trees in celebration of the birth of the sun, & Christian families share candy with our kids on the doorsteps of their homes in generosity toward ancestral spirits & tradition. Reciprocity is important & respectful.

We are hopeful that our local Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly will soon figure out that we are all Americans, equally. Arkansas seems to be grappling with the same dichotomy so it’s not an uncommon misunderstanding.  America is built of people’s of all faiths, approximately 313 to be exact, and each perceived as valid by their adherents. None of us have the legal right to lay claim to any piece of taxpayer funded property or time to further our religious agendas. They’ll come around one way or another…

Peninsula Pagans do not condone vandalism by the way, but neither do we support the current religious entitlement problems our citizens are wrapped up in.  Erections in public aren’t something the public should be required to see, especially righteous ones.

Thanks for sharing 😊

Changing of the Guard

Here in Alaska we have three seasons; summer, winter and breakup.  Autumn is my favorite, but it whips by in a flash.  One day the world is on fire with orange tundra, red fireweed stalks and yellow leaves, but upon the first deep frost most becomes naked overnight. It shifts from brilliant to seemingly barren and it leaves a void.  It reminds me of the moon that was just there the last time you checked, but now it seems irrationally missing.  The stillness of it.  …things seem that they aren’t always what they seem…

I’ve decided time is fluid, in that it flows like water or air. Moving at differing rates and changing sometimes imperceptibly until much later when it takes you by surprise.  But that is the way of life isn’t it?  I can jog up to the top of the stairs and muse upon how strong I still am, until 3 seconds later and my heart rate and muscles tell remind me I’m not fit any more. Expectations and reality are different. It takes me by surprise every time.

This pattern repeats itself in the life experience of the sacred feminine. She too has three seasons and their arrival and departure can be just as abrupt. I remember playing as a little girl in the mud, often half clad. Tadpoles and fish hearts moved within my palm and it was impossible to count all the wishes upon a ‘blowflower’. I sang as loud as I wanted to in the shower.  My experience was as exciting or mundane as I allowed.  But my intrigue for this world and the next never waned.  I was innocent and unafraid. As I got comfortable with understanding my environment my body shifted.

Imperceptibly at first until the first bloody rude awakening.  I was disgusted and found the process so crude.  Frustrated that I was now trapped into a 28 day ‘Groundhogs Day’ scenario seemed limiting.  Over time, though I realized it for the gift that it was.  This season of my life was a gift, even if it was a gift I’d not expected.  Able to experience passion and romance, pure unadulterated fear and raw love in a way I couldn’t have known otherwise. I realized the depth of my emotion had doubled, but birthing a child pulls it all into focus. Blood again. Life blood.  Such power it takes to bring the nonphysical into the physical, and only a woman can do it.  Is there a mother who ever thought “I’ve got this, no big deal”?  I doubt it.  It’s unnerving holding that much power.

The shift into the season of the mother is just as abrupt and again, we feel grossly unprepared for it’s gifts and ill-equipped to receive it’s full blessings with grace and dignity.  Some of us step into the role willingly in the spirit of adventure, others are pulled into it as a consequence.  Either way the movement is there, flowing as fluid and adjusting only as a yoni is capable.  There is nothing as fierce as a mother’s love, of this I’m certain.  I’ve come to appreciate it’s gifts and I can only sit back in awe as the people I’ve created grow and realize their potentials. It’s humbling and I admit to basking in the splendor of it.  It’s funny though, that after the lesson is learned you are forced to move on.  Do you think the trees really want to let go of those leaves in the fall or are they sad when it happens. Does it hurt when a seed’s shell rips apart as it sprouts?  Can they appreciate the process??

Today is the day of my Croning. Again the changing of the guard has crept up on me.  I look into the mirror and am startled by the grey hair that is framing my changing face. How inconsiderate. I thought blood suddenly running down my legs in school was a mean trick, only to have that topped by the pain and blood and gore of childbirth. Suffering such indignity in the beautiful process often opens us up to the reality of the power within.  You’re so alive and naked there’s nowhere to hide. Might as well own up to it.  Build up, release, and start from scratch again. Repeat. Own it.

Here I am again, a little unappreciative of the process of the changing of the guard, a little blind to the miracle that it all is, not fully able to get a bead on the gifts that come with it. Today’s indignity is being laid skyclad on a slab unconscious as the hands of strange men move across and inside my body.  They’ll pull my universe, my womb, out of my vagina and plop her into a cold silver sterile pan to be whisked away. The dichotomy of being a wombed-one without a womb…is this another joke?  I wonder what barren will feel like. It is that stillness of the soul again?  I’ve experienced emptiness and loss, will this be the same?  No doubt I’ll feel both violated and liberated at the same time.  This is a pattern which repeats at each changing of the guard.  I’m just wise enough now to learn to go with the flow rather than to resist it.

This time I’m here at the seasonal change by choice, backed by circumstance. The crone’s children can survive independent of her.  I know that the crone is no longer distracted by the monthly cycles of life.  I’ve paid attention long enough that I know what Luna is doing because I feel it in my bones, I don’t have to look at a calendar or wait for the pelvic ache to warn me. I look back and see that I’ve been through phases of learning, and through phases of having knowledge, and now possess the wisdom distilled from the process. I’ll not have tampax in my bathroom drawers anymore, any more than I’ll have sippy cups on the coffee tables.  Nah, I’ve been there done that.  And, since I’m comfortable, It makes sense that I’m going to birth anew reality again.  It will be full of gore and beauty.  Fully alive with nowhere to hide.  Blood yet again.

I’m leveling up and surveying my surroundings.  I have a garden full of powerful herbs that I’ve loved and grew from sprouts- and I know how to use them, cupboards full of potent supplies and have already collected all the tools I need.  I’ve birthed my grimoire and she’s beautiful and amazing.  I’m proud like only a mother can be. I realize that croning is a process, as I’m sitting in my power now and able to sense bullshit a mile away.  Drama makes me queasy these days, so I reach for a glass of wine without flinching. My role is to continue to distill knowledge, collect and dispense wisdom.  Like a toddler learning to walk, I’ll be a bit unsteady but not nervous about the process. No, leaves aren’t afraid of falling, or seeds afraid of sprouting, or the feminine afraid of bleeding.  There is no moving outside the cycle and the crone is one who has learned to cherish the seasons. She knows in her bones and blood that there is a reason for everything.

I’m curious what being a crone will be like. I’ll have more time to journey and am looking forward to the new depth I’ll find.  Today is my ‘day the frost came and took the leaves’. It’s startling and looks oddly desolate from this side of the fence because I don’t belong on this side of the fence anymore. I’ll never be the damsel in distress again, and I’ll likely never participate in the mommy co-op network of parenting that occurs either.  Thank God and Goddess because I’m out of fucks to give.  I get to focus on me. Only me.  I can walk in the woods alone knowing I’m the most potent thing there. My ass will fit just fine in my seat of power and that it will be an increasingly comfortable fit. I’m excited to see how the healer part within me will dispense grace and the witch will dispense wrath lol. Capable? Yes. Willing?  we’ll see.

I don’t know what it will feel like in the next season tomorrow. But I know it is going to be powerful, true and raw.  As always, there will be blood but I’m not going to apologize for it.  Oddly, I’m good with it.  It’s literally life after all. I’ll be fully alive and wild with anticipation. I’ll grow my hair long so that it can be wild, curly, and unruly in the most witchy way…perfect for me.  I can feel the shackles loosening like leaves dropping to the ground already.  Grace will come and the gifts will unfold with them but this time my arms will be open wide.  I’m fearless and have earned the right to be. My eyes still twinkle and my hair may whiten, but each day I’ll more alive, more powerful, more authentic. I celebrate the changing of the guard today and can feel the electricity buzzing around and through me.  I plan to spend a lot of time enjoying my new season. It’s going to be the most fulfilling one yet!

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/

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