Monthly Archives: September 2017

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-22-2017

There is a 30 day Pagan journaling challenge for the month of September set up on Instagram and I thought it would be fun to do it – and would get me back into the swing of things as well.

And back into blogging here as I answer the posts. (I’m not much of an Instagram person.)

Today’s question is:

If money were no object, how would I set up my home to support my practice?

That’s easy.

First, I would move to someplace with more privacy: lots of land and no neighbors. Quite possibly I would simply buy land and have a house built.

The grounds would be set up with the quarters marked. A pond and waterfall in the West. Evergreens, holly, and boulders in the North. Wind chimes and flowers that attract bees and hummingbirds in the East. A fire pit (there are some really gorgeous ones out there!) in the South (and maybe a dragon statue).  I would also have an outdoor altar – most likely in a gazebo.

The house would be in the center.

As for the house itself…

I might have a room (or wing?) dedicated to magic, including a library, just so all my “stuff” would be in one place (likewise, I would have a craft room that not just held all my craft stuff but was a workspace as well).

And in the rest of the house, nothing would be hidden. There would be shrines to my deities in every room. (For instance, one to Hestia in the kitchen.)

Also, there would be a huge vegetable garden with a shrine to Demeter, and a flower garden with one to Persephone.

In short, every bit of the property and house would be designed with reverence for Nature and the Gods.

 

 

 

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30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-21-2017

There is a 30 day Pagan journaling challenge for the month of September set up on Instagram and I thought it would be fun to do it – and would get me back into the swing of things as well.

And back into blogging here as I answer the posts. (I’m not much of an Instagram person.)

Today’s question is:

If I work with cards, what’s my favorite deck and why? If I don’t, why not?

“If I work with cards.”

Ha!

I love Tarot. We’re not going to discuss how many decks I own, primarily because I don’t know. I do know that it’s a lot fewer than I used to have because I gave away a bunch that I wasn’t using and likely never would.

Each deck seems to have its own… personality (for lack of a better word). Here’s a run down on the ones that I use (or have used) the most.

Hanson-Roberts
A friend of mine dubbed this “The Cabbage Patch Deck” because he said that the people on the cards reminded him of Cabbage Patch Dolls.  Be that as it may, the deck is friendly and not overly “deep” as a general rule. It’s great for reading for the public, especially at a venue that isn’t a psychic fair. (I used to do readings at singles’ dances, which is a whole different kinda vibe.)

Robin Wood
I love the artwork in this deck, and it’s an easy-going, straight-forward deck. Also a good deck for reading for the public, in any venue.

Smith-Waite
It’s the classic Rider-Waite but with better colors. I could never connect with the original but this deck is sweet to use.

Enchanted Tarot
This is a fun deck with oversized cards that can make it difficult to handle physically. (I have small hands.)  The art style is a little bit different, but it’s fun to use.

Aquarian Tarot
This deck is a bit deeper – and a lot more blunt – than the others. It can also be finicky and temperamental to work with.

Morgan-Greer
Ha! What can I say? I love this deck. It’s in-your-face, no bullshit, take no prisoners, about as subtle as a nuclear explosion. Not usually good for reading for the general public because the general public doesn’t usually want to hear what it has to say.

And now for my all time favorite deck…

The Mythic Tarot
This deck is a little different, in that each suit tells a story based on a Greek myth, with each card illustrating a part of the story. This makes it great for learning the cards because it’s easy to associate what’s happening in the story with the meaning of the card. There is also an excellent book (real book, not just the little paper thing that comes with most decks) that comes with it that tells the story and how each card relates. This tends to be a very “internal” deck, dealing more with what is at work within the Querent, hidden aspects that s/he may not be aware of (or not willing to acknowledge). This makes it somewhat less than ideal for “light” readings for others, but if someone is sincerely looking for change, this deck can help point them in the right direction.

 

 

 

 

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-20-2017

There is a 30 day Pagan journaling challenge for the month of September set up on Instagram and I thought it would be fun to do it – and would get me back into the swing of things as well.

And back into blogging here as I answer the posts. (I’m not much of an Instagram person.)

Today’s question is:

What divination methods do I use? Why those ones?

Well, let’s see.

Every now and then I do some simple (yes/no) pendulum work, mostly because it’s kind of fun.

I have a set of Greek Oracle stones and I love them, but am still getting a feel for interpreting them – applying the meanings to my question and my life. (But with Apollo and Hermes both mentioned in a prayer to use with them, how could I resist?)

A long time ago I used to do a reading every morning before work, often by pulling a Medicine Card and sometimes a Sacred Path card to go with it. I don’t remember why I stopped and I should get organized and get back to doing it again.

And before that I fell in love with the I Ching, which I first encountered in a science fiction book, The Man in the High Castle, by Philip K. Dick (my all time favorite author). The problem with the I Ching is that there are so many interpretations of it, some easier to follow than others. (I recommend the one by Kerson and Rosemary Huang. It is hands down my favorite.)

And speaking of favorites, my favorite divination method is far and away the Tarot.

Why Tarot?

The answer to that question is probably as individual as each reader, but for me, Tarot bridges the gap between the conscious/intellect and the subconscious/intuition. The individual cards have meanings, yes, and those meanings are reflected in the artwork on them. But those pretty pictures give my mind something to look at and think about while my subconscious finds the answers – and then those pictures let “knowing” find expression in actual words.

 

 

 

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-19-2017

There is a 30 day Pagan journaling challenge for the month of September set up on Instagram and I thought it would be fun to do it – and would get me back into the swing of things as well.

And back into blogging here as I answer the posts. (I’m not much of an Instagram person.)

Today’s question is:

What Pagan book am I reading now? What’s it about?

Well, this one’s easy.  The truth is… I’m not.  Nothing has really caught my fancy lately.

Why is that?

I don’t know.  I think it’s because the readily available books seem so… superficial? I’m looking for something deeper than what I’m finding and I’m not sure that what I’m looking for is actually out there.

I also want something more… accurate. (For instance, “Mabon” is not an authentic name for the Autumn Equinox, despite what is written in countless books.)

I think the last Pagan book I read was Alaric Albertsson’s book To Walk A Pagan Path, so I might look into more of his books.

And somewhere in this disaster of a room I have a Diana Paxson book or two.

And some books on Greek deities and modern Hellenic practices. (One of which I’ve started multiple times and have barely managed not to hurl across the room due to poor editing. Maybe if I read it with a highlighter and a red pen in hand I’ll do better?)

 

 

 

 

 

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-18-2017

There is a 30 day Pagan journaling challenge for the month of September set up on Instagram and I thought it would be fun to do it – and would get me back into the swing of things as well.

And back into blogging here as I answer the posts. (I’m not much of an Instagram person.)

Today’s question is:

Do I change my altar for the season? Why or why not?

That’s a loaded question!

I wish I could say yes, but I can’t.

I always want to, and think about it, but time has a way of doing weird sneaky things around me so I never actually get it done.

Plus…

I have a confession.

My altar is a mess.

Somehow it always ends up as a “magical dumping ground.”  Anything and everything with any sort of connection to my religious or magical practice ends up on it.

I almost never work at my altar anymore and it’s kind of a chicken and the egg sort of situation.

Do I not use it because it ends up being used as a magical dumping ground in between uses?

Or does it end up being used as a magical dumping ground because I don’t use it often?

Things to ponder…

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-17-2017

There is a 30 day Pagan journaling challenge for the month of September set up on Instagram and I thought it would be fun to do it – and would get me back into the swing of things as well.

And back into blogging here as I answer the posts. (I’m not much of an Instagram person.)

Today’s question is:

What is my favorite Sabbat? Why?

Imbolc.

Yes, you read that right.  Imbolc.

Not Autumn Equinox (even though fall is my favorite season) or Samhain or even Yule or Beltaine: Imbolc.

Why?

Because I like beginnings, and Imbolc is all about beginnings.

In my personal tradition, it’s the start of spring. (If Yule/Winter Solstice is “Mid-Winter” then it can’t also be the first day of winter. That falls to Samhain (“Summer’s End”) which makes Imbolc the start of spring and Ostara “Mid-Spring” and Beltaine the first of summer and Litha “Mid-Summer. Then the fall harvest season starts with Lugnassadh, then the Autumn Equinox (which really shouldn’t be called Mabon but that’s another story for another time) and finally Samhain, the final harvest.)

So, anyhow, Imbolc is the start of spring. The days are noticeably brighter than they were at Yule (although it’s not exactly any warmer here in Western Pennsylvania).

Still, Imbolc is full of possibility. The days are longer, and there’s a sense that spring, although still hidden, is coming soon.

Imbolc is also a weather marker. Also known as Candlemas, there is a rhyme for it:

“If Candlemas day be sunny and bright
Winter will have another flight.
But if Candlemas day be cloud and rain
Winter has gone and will not come again.”

(Unfortunately I don’t remember the source. I think maybe I read it in a Witch’s Almanac but I’m not sure. Or maybe The Pagan Book of Days.)

There’s a song called “Rolling World” that expresses it perfectly for me:

“All life in the earth begins to unfold as the waxing light is seen.
Each seedling will sprout into its own self to inspire us to be truly free.”

 

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-16-2017

There is a 30 day Pagan journaling challenge for the month of September set up on Instagram and I thought it would be fun to do it – and would get me back into the swing of things as well.

And back into blogging here as I answer the posts. (I’m not much of an Instagram person.)

Today’s question is:

What is my favorite myth from my tradition? Why?

This one is a little tougher that it looks like it should be.

As much as I love the Greek deities and their myths, I can’t pick just one of them, so I think I’ll detour to the north and pick Blodeuwedd’s story.

Why?  Because she is the epitome of “I don’t have to be what you want me to be.”

For those who aren’t familiar with her story, read on.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Blodeuwedd was the wife of Lleu Llaw Gyffes.

He was cursed by his mother (Arianrhod) first that she would never give him a name (which she was tricked into doing) and then that she would never give him weapons (which she was again tricked into doing).

Furious at having been twice tricked, she cursed him that he would never have a wife of any of the races of the earth.

So his uncles (Math and Gwydion, both powerful magicians) formed a woman from the flowers of oak, broom, and meadowsweet, and breathed life into her.  They named her Blodeuwedd, which means “Flower Face” and gave her to Llew as his wife.

Lleu Llaw Gyffes spent a fair amount of time away on business, and Blodeuwedd grew lonely.  She fell in love with Gronw Pebr, a neighboring lord, and they conspire to murder Lleu, which was much more difficult than you might think, as he could not be killed during the day or night, nor indoors or outdoors, neither riding nor walking, not clothed and not naked, nor by any weapon lawfully made.

Blodeuwedd tricked Lleu into demonstrating how he could be killed, so at dusk, he wrapped himself in a net and stood by a riverbank, with one foot on a cauldron and the other on a goat.  While he was in this position, Gronw threw a spear forged for a year during the hours when everyone is at mass.  (It’s that last bit that makes me want to dig deeper and find an older pre-Christian version of the story.)

But Lleu wasn’t killed, just transformed into an eagle. His uncles coaxed him down from the tree he was perched in, nursed him back to health, and sought revenge on Gronw and Blodeuwedd.

Gronw ended up dead, but Blodeuwedd was transformed into an owl.

“You will not dare to show your face ever again in the light of day ever again, and that will be because of enmity between you and all other birds. It will be in their nature to harass you and despise you wherever they find you. And you will not lose your name – that will always be “Bloddeuwedd.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So there’s the short down and dirty version.

She wasn’t given a choice, and rebelled against the role assigned to her by the patriarchy.

From Damh the Bard:
“To many Blodeuwedd is seen as a betrayer, but not to me. She was conjoured by Gwydion and Math to be a wife for Lleu Llaw Gyffes, so she was a trapped woman, and we all know that this is NOT a good idea….”

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/kQwkekR1ORE&#8221; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen><!–iframe>

 

For the first part of the story:
Oak, Broom, and Meadowsweet

 

 

 

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-15-2017

There is a 30 day Pagan journaling challenge for the month of September set up on Instagram and I thought it would be fun to do it – and would get me back into the swing of things as well.

And back into blogging here as I answer the posts. (I’m not much of an Instagram person.)

Today’s question is:

If I were to take a pilgrimage, where would I go and why?

This one’s easy!

Greece.

More specifically, Delphi. I want to visit Apollo’s temple there.

And Delos, the birthplace of Apollo.

And the Acropolis and the Parthenon.

And…

Yeah, I’m pretty sure you’ve figured it out. I want to visit the temples of the deities that have meant so much to me for so long.  I think it would be overwhelming – in a good way.

 

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-14-2017

There is a 30 day Pagan journaling challenge for the month of September set up on Instagram and I thought it would be fun to do it – and would get me back into the swing of things as well.

And back into blogging here as I answer the posts. (I’m not much of an Instagram person.)

Today’s question is:

Are there any courses that I’d like to do in the future? Which ones and why?

Aside from the herbalism courses mentioned earlier this month, I keep thinking about maybe getting involved in either ADF or OBOD.  Right now, though, I really don’t have time to take on something new.

Why?

Because I think it would be interesting to see the similarities and the differences between Druidry and my path.  (Taking one of their courses is something I’ve actually been kicking around for several years.)

 

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-13-2017

There is a 30 day Pagan journaling challenge for the month of September set up on Instagram and I thought it would be fun to do it – and would get me back into the swing of things as well.

And back into blogging here as I answer the posts. (I’m not much of an Instagram person.)

Today’s question is:

What are my least favorite types of spells to do?  Why?

I don’t think I have any. If I don’t like it or don’t feel like doing it, I don’t.

Why?

Because there’s no way I’m going to be able to focus my intent on something like that, let alone raise energy for it.

For a more specific answer I’m going to say binding spells, as in, a spell to bind someone to me.

For one thing, that’s a bit unethical as it interferes with the other person’s free will.

And for another, even if the other person agrees and wants the binding, well… They can be devilishly hard to undo.

(I once knew a woman who had done a binding spell on her boyfriend. She later broke up with him and he began stalking her. I was still a new witch at the time so didn’t know how to help her. These days I’d have a variety of things for her to try.)

And that’s about all I can think of. There aren’t any types of magic that I’m particularly adverse to, although I suck at sigil making.

But if one method doesn’t work there’s always something else to try.