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New Year’s Day 2014

I’ve burned away the things that I don’t want to be a part of my life anymore – I wrote them on small slips of paper and fed them one by one to a candle flame in a small cauldron on my altar.  (Don’t worry – I had a bottle of water open and within reach – the element of Fire and I occasionally have issues.) Part of today will be spent meditating on the things that I want to draw into my life to replace the things I burned away. (Nature abhors a vacuum – if you banish something you need to replace it or it will sneak back.)

I’m also starting some new traditions this year.

One is an idea that I got from Face Book – a gift jar.  Throughout the year, whenever something good happens, write it on a piece of paper and put it in a jar.  Then on December 31 open the jar and read them as a reminder of the good things in your life.

(I have done something similar in the past – when I feel stressed and hounded by negativity I keep a Gift Journal.  It’s just a small notebook in which I write at least one “gift” each day.  It doesn’t have to be something tangible – it can be a beam of sunlight through clouds, something someone says, the caress of a breeze, anything that gives your spirit a boost.  The point is that “energy flows where attention goes” and it’s so easy to only focus on the negatives and not see the positives.  Change focus, change events.  As within, so without.)

I’m also doing a challenge (along with some friends) to spend time every day doing something creative.  For me this means something in addition to writing, which I do just about every day anyhow.  I’m hoping that this challenge will result in some finished cross stitch projects this year.  (And also a start on a Book of Shadows – or at least my CookBook of Shadows…)

Part of that creativity challenge will involve crocheting my way through the stash of yarn in the basement. I’m not sure how we came to have so much of it, but I think that it’s time that it gets turned into afghans and donated to charity: a homeless shelter or domestic violence shelter.

And, of course, there will be my ongoing work of becoming more focused on my spirituality on a daily basis, making it part of my daily life.

May all of you have a year filled with blessings.

So mote it be.

Book of Shadows

I don’t have one.  I have been on this path for 25 years or more and I still don’t have a Book of Shadows.

Why not?
Because indecision may be the basis of flexibility but it is also the bane of progress. In short, I can’t decide how to organize it, and my perfectionist streak wants it to be done right, not just done.

I do know that it is going to be in a three-ring binder instead of a journal-type book.  (So why do I own so many journal type books, including ones that actually say “Book of Shadows” on them?  Um… Good question.  Probably for the same reason that I own enough spiral bound notebooks to stock my own office supply store.)

Why a three-ring binder?  So that I can organize it and find what I’m looking for, and so it has room to grow and still stay organized.

Because my non-existent Book of Shadows has grown.  When I first started it was a “Manilla Folder of Shadows.”  Then it was “A File Cabinet Drawer of Shadows.” Then it became a “Box of Shadows” which at least had the right initials.  That, however, quickly became an “Overflowing Box of Shadows,” which grew into an “Overflowing Box of Shadows with More Scraps of Paper Crammed in Along the Edges.”  And so on.

I know what sort of sections I want, and three of them are spells, prayers, and rituals, but that’s where a large part of the problem comes in:  what distinguishes between the three?  When does a prayer become a spell and when does a spell become a ritual and when does a ritual become a prayer?

For instance, if I make an amulet of protection, and I do it inside a circle and I ask a deity for assistance… is that a spell, a ritual, or a prayer, or all three?  Which section does it belong in?

Another thing that has held me back is the fact that I have lousy handwriting. (There’s that perfectionist streak again…)  That has been more or less circumvented by the existence of computers, so it isn’t really an excuse anymore, although I do really love the idea of a hand written Book of Shadows.

And at this point, I’m wondering if it is worth it to create one.  So much of what I do is informal and spontaneous, not to mention second nature to me, that I wonder if I would even use one.

And yet, I still love the idea of having one, although I don’t know why.  Maybe just for the creativity of it?  My current plan is to use scrapbooks and make a “Scrapbook of Shadows.”  (Which, of course, gives me the excuse of finding the perfect paper for each page…)

I think I’m going to make making a BoS one of my goals for next year.

If anyone reading this has one, what is in it and how is it organized?  I’m open for suggestions.