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.

 

 

 

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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.

 

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-12-2017

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 favorite types of spells to do?  Why?

I mostly do protective and blessing magic.

Lately my most used spell is probably the freezer spell, used to “freeze” people who are causing trouble for you.

For those who aren’t familiar with it:

Write the person’s name on a small slip of paper. (If you don’t know the exact source, just write “The one(s) causing trouble for me.”) Fold the paper with the name on the inside and put it in a small container of water (a small pill bottle will work, or even a sandwich bag). Seal it up and put it in the freezer. (I add a pinch of salt for purification.)  I don’t usually use a verbal component to my spells but feel free to make up something of your own along the lines of freezing the person out of your life.

As for whether or not I have a favorite type of magic… Not really.  I just use whatever is on hand or whatever seems appropriate.

Sometimes that’s candle magic.

Or Fire magic (burning away something that I want to banish).

Or Air magic.

Or Water magic. (Like the freezer spell, or “flushing” a problem away.)

Sometimes Earth magic.

Sometimes I’m a kitchen witch and enchant food as I’m cooking it. (I’m still looking for away to banish calories from cookies and chocolate cake, though.)

In short, I use whatever is necessary to get the job done. (I’m a practical witch.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-11-2017

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 one issue within the Pagan community annoys or angers me? Why?

This is a tough one for me.

For one thing, it’s hard for me to pick “just one thing” – whether it be one thing to write about or do or study or… Yeah, the whole “one thing” thing just doesn’t work for me.  (I’m not undecided; I’m just decided on too many things.)

For another thing, I’m a solitary, and a hermit, so I’m not really very closely connected to the community in a physical sense. There is a local(ish) coffee night but it’s a social event (and I haven’t gone for a long time.)

What that all means is that most of my interaction with the Pagan community is online, either through Face Book groups or through reading the articles on Wild Hunt and Patheos.  Between them I see a lot of issues that annoy me to one degree or another, but because I’m not actively involved in the community they don’t really affect me all that much.

But one thing that I’ve noticed really does irritate me, and that’s the “dumbing down” of Paganism. People new to the path join Face Book groups and start asking questions.

Now, asking questions is a good thing. That’s a great way to learn. (The only way to truly learn, actually.)

But the questions that they are asking are… Well, let me just give a few examples.

“I’m new to the Pagan lifestyle. Where do I learn about it?”
(Um… You’ve already learned about it. Now go read. Practice. Read some more.)

“What deities should I worship?”
(Which ones call to you?)

“How do I set up an altar?”
(Are there not something like seventeen million books and websites and what-not on this subject?)

In short, newcomers want everything handed to them on silver platter, already chopped into small easily-digestible bits of information.

Then there are the things like people claiming that they are half-fae. Or thinking that their favorite pet is their familiar. Or that every bird, bug, and flower they see is some sort of sign.

Yes, I’m a Pagan and a witch. Yes, I believe in gods and goddesses and magic and other realms of existence. But I also believe in being grounded in the reality of the plane we live on.