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30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-30-2017

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 simple but profound thing have I learned as I’ve walked this path?

Wow. What a question. So many things… I’m not even sure where to start.

Maybe because I’ve been on this path so long that I barely remember what it was like not to be on it.

Maybe because so many of the things that I learned felt less like learning and more like remembering, or like recognizing a truth I’d always known but had never seen put into words.

And maybe that is the most profound thing that I’ve learned: to trust my own knowing, to listen to my own voice, and to follow my own truth.

 

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30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-29-2017

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 advice do I wish I’d been given when I first became Pagan?

Write it down!

Write down every stage of your journey. The books you bought, the books you read, the tools you use, the words you say (or think) in ritual.

Write down everything. No matter how mundane or unimportant it may seem, write it down.

Then when you’ve been on the path for a decade or two or three, go back and read what you wrote and remember the witch that you were then, all wide-eyed with excitement.

Remember what it was like when everything was new and you were caught in a web of wonder, of feeling “Yes! This is right! This is exactly right!”

Yeah. I wish someone had told me that someday I’d wish I had written it all down so I could look back and recapture those moments.

 

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-28-2017

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 could ask my hero from my tradition three questions, what would they be? How do I think they would answer them?

I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to do this one. I don’t have a tradition, exactly. I’m a solitary. A highly eclectic solitary Pagan witch, primarily Hellenic, with a dash of Druidry, a bit of Buddhism, and a dab of Tao. And a smidgen of Qabala, too, probably. And, yes, I’m primarily Hellenic, and there are lots of Greek heroes, but I don’t feel particularly close to any of them.

So I was pretty stumped, until every Pagan page and group on Face Book suddenly blew up with the news that Raymond Buckland had passed through the veil today.

And that… changed the tone of this post.

I don’t consider Raymond Buckland to be a hero, exactly, but he (along with Scott Cunningham and a few others) was an important part of my early days on my path, so I’m dedicating this post to them.

As most know, my first book on Wicca was Scott Cunningham’s The Truth About Witchcraft Today.

I’m not sure what the second one was, but early on I came across Buckland’s Complete Book of Witchcraft (otherwise known as “The Big Blue Book,” and “Uncle Bucky’s Big Blue Book”) and it, too, became one of my early guides in learning about what witches are and what they do.

I still have my copy of it. It is one of the books (along with Cunningham’s books and a few others) that I just can’t bring myself to let go of.

I also have a DVD of Buckland – and one of Cunningham. I think I might watch them on Samhain.

 

 

 

 

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-27-2017

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:

My favorite item on my altar is… I got it…

That’s easy.  My athame.

Well, okay. One of my athames. (I seem to have a thing for knives.) My first one, the one I use the most (when I bother using tools at all these days), and most definitely not a traditional blade.

It’s a Depression Era glass cake knife, and I got it at a flea market (in Hazen PA) long before I’d ever even heard of Wicca (let alone the rest of Paganism). It was the last weekend of the season and the guy let me buy it for way less than he had it marked for. I’m pretty sure I ended up paying $7.00 for it. It survived about three moves, wrapped in light blue paper towels held on with a rubber band, before I started on this path and “knew” that that was why I had bought it all those years before and carried it along on so many moves.

It’s strange. I never held it like I would a normal knife when using it for a ritual. And when a friend used it (with my permission – we were doing a house blessing for his new apartment) he held it the same way I do, and afterward he commented that it seemed to want to be held that way.

(I also have a really old black-handled paring knife that I use in the kitchen, and I do a lot of kitchen-witchcraft, so I think it probably also counts as an athame.)

 

 

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-26-2017

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:

My most memorable experience during a working is…

Heh. Okay, well…

Not really memorable in a magical, mystical way, but very, very memorable nonetheless…

It happened when I was just starting out. I had self-dedicated a while back but was finally setting up a permanent altar, and part of that involved consecrating the tools, including a besom.

Now, I was on a pretty tight budget so my besom was one of those little craft brooms (about two feet long or so) that you’re supposed to decorate and hang on the door.

At the time, being new, I was following a ritual I’d read in a book, and part of it was to bless your tools with each of the elements, including passing it through incense smoke and a candle flame.

I don’t know what those brooms are made of, but let’s just say that they should never be passed through a candle flame.

I made a mad dash from my bedroom to the bathroom, my broom flaming like the Olympic torch. I threw it into the tub and turned the water on, then set about repairing the damage: getting rid of the smoke smell before my roommate got home and trying to salvage what was left of my ritual – including mending the circle I’d just burned through.

I learned some good lessons from the incident, though.

One: be careful with candle flames.
Two: double check instructions against common sense.
Three: it’s okay to make mistakes and laugh at yourself.

 

 

 

 

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-25-2017

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 greatest wish/dream for my life? How can I begin to work toward that?

Well, that’s easy.

I’d like to be independently wealthy so I don’t have to work outside the home and can embrace my not-so-inner hermit and never leave the house. (Unless I want to, of course.)

Okay, so that is wildly unrealistic, unless I win the lottery (which means I’d have to remember to actually buy a ticket).

So, other than that, I would need to find a work from home job that pays well.

Or invent something really awesome.

Yeah. I should probably petition Tyche and start buying lottery tickets.

But on a more serious note, as long as bills get paid and the dogs and rats and people have food and there’s money left for fun stuff (like books and herbs and crystals and crafts and…)

Well, then, I’m happy.

And isn’t that the greatest wish of all?

(Okay, I’d still like to be independently wealthy so I never have to leave the house.)

 

 

 

 

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-24-2017

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 regularly do shadow work? If so, do I record it? Why or why not?

Not really. I should, though.  I used to, but, like many things, that has kind of fallen by the wayside.

Now that my attention has been turned to it, however, I can see that I need to get back to it. I seem to have been losing my grip on my shadow self and I’m not liking what I’m seeing when I take a look at how that is affecting my outer self.

Do I record it?  Bwahahahahaha!  Er, sorry, but that… Um… yes.  No.  After all, this is the person who still doesn’t have a Book of Shadows after all these years. Apparently recording things isn’t something I do well.

I should start, but part of me wonders why.  I’m not in a coven and have no one to pass it on to. Still, there’s a part of me that wants to have a Book of Shadows. And a Grimoire, although I really don’t do written (planned) spells very often.

But that’s a topic for another time.

 

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-23-2017

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:

How do I see shadow work? Do I see it as a useful practice?

I’m going to answer the second question first.

Yes, definitely.

Shadow work is difficult and uncomfortable. It involves looking for (and looking at) the not so desirable aspects of yourself – the parts of yourself that society deems “bad” or “shameful” or “sinful.”

And once you find them, identify them, name them, shadow work means accepting them and integrating them into the rest of yourself instead of keeping them locked away in the shadows of your subconscious.

So why is it important to do that?

Because when you acknowledge them and bring them into the light and embrace them they begin to lose control over you.

The Devil card in Tarot traditionally shows two figures, chained, their chains held by a devil. The Devil is those parts of yourself that you refuse to acknowledge, but which are there, in the background, pulling your chains and making you dance to their tune.

Personally, I prefer a different drummer.

 

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.

 

 

 

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.