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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.

 

 

 

 

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30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-10-2017

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 Pagan authors are…? Why are they my favorites?

Scott Cunningham.  He was my first, and I love his gentle soft style. I think I have just about every one of his Pagan books and they are the ones that never seem to be up for shelf-purges. He passed through the veil far too soon.

Trish Telesco. Another down-to-earth writer. (Urban Pagan was one of my favorite books way back when.)

These days I’m looking for more traditional and less fluffy writers, though. And less “how to” and more… in depth explorations of spirituality and living life as a Pagan.

Alaric Albertsson’s book To Walk a Pagan Path is excellent and I want to get some of his other Pagan books.

It seems, though, that the longer I walk this path the harder it is to find authors who don’t set my teeth on edge. (I’m even pretty sure that if I’d go back and reread Cunningham or Telesco that I’d get irritated.)

I’m getting more discriminatory in my reading, I suppose, and there are some things that I really don’t like and are automatic turn offs.

I’m not a fan of books (or traditions) that are strictly Goddess-oriented. Yes, I understand that there’s a reason for them, but they don’t feel any more balanced to me than Christianity does.

Another turn-off is books or writers that are all fluffy and white light. You can’t ignore the dark. If you do, it eats you up and eventually controls you. (The Devil card in Tarot comes to mind.)  You need balance. The autumn equinox (no, it was never called Mabon*) is coming soon – a good time to reflect on said balance.

Anyhow, I guess I don’t have any favorite contemporary Pagan authors.  I’m going to have to remedy that.

 

*(The autumn equinox may actually never have been anything special to the ancients, either.)

 

 

30 Day Pagan Journaling Challenge 9-9-2017

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 top three resource books? Why?

This question is a lot harder than I thought it would be when I first read the list of prompts. I haven’t bought any new Pagan books in ages and rarely refer to the ones that have been sitting on the shelves for years.

Why is that?

I think it’s because after a while you stop relying on books and start relying on your own intuition and knowledge and observation and understanding and…

Still, there are some things that it’s good to have a reference for, so I think I’m probably going to go with books that I used a lot – and still do pull when I need to find something specific.

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem, and Metal Magic by Scott Cunningham

The Complete Book of Incense, Oils, and Brews (also by Scott Cunningham)

Aw, heck. Just books by Scott Cunningham. I just looked through his bibliography and I’m not going to try to pick a third.

Why his books?

Well, because the first book on Paganism I read was his book The Truth About Witchcraft Today. It’s what led me home.

And because his style of writing is approachable and… soothing somehow.

Will my list of books change?

Probably. I have some books on Hellenic practice that I need to read – and a list of some that I need to get. And I have a friend who is into more traditional witchcraft and she has some recommendations for me.

But for now, I’m sticking with that list.

 

 

 

 

 

Dream Analysis

Every so often I see posts on Pagan groups asking someone what their dreams mean.

First of all, not all dreams have meaning — some are merely “housekeeping” dreams, in which your subconscious clears away the debris of the day. (Mine tend to be really amusing and silly.)

Others are your subconscious’s (or Higher Self’s, whatever you want to call it) way of getting a message to you, and in that case, you are (usually) the best analyzer of your own dreams.

There are a lot of books out there on dream symbols, all of which are interesting but none of which is entirely accurate.

If you want a book on dream interpretation I would like to recommend Sacred Sleep: Dreams and the Divine by Scott Cunningham. Among other things, it teaches you how to construct your own dictionary of symbols that have personal meaning to you. After all, just as one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, one person’s dream of cats may be reassuring while another would find it terrifying.

(I have a feeling that most of the following ideas came from that book, but it’s been so long since I read it that I’m not 100% sure.)

Start keeping a dream diary. If you have a dream that you remember write it down as soon as you wake up.

Write down everything that you remember about it — inside/outside, weather, lighting, colors, other people/animals, what sort of place, as well as what happened and what was said.

And the setting. I will sometimes have a series of dreams set in the same location and just that setting clues me in that it’s a dream that I need to spend some time thinking about.

(That said, I find that the “important” dreams tend to stick with me: I still remember a setting for dreams when I was in high school — a dusty road through a town, but the buildings were just facades, like a movie set.)

Once you’ve written down everything you can remember, start to free associate the images in it. Record those results under the dream entry, then try to piece together an overall theme or meaning.

Don’t worry if nothing comes to you. Sometimes it takes a while, so be patient. If it’s important, the message will get through to you one way or another.

And, yes, sometimes it’s hard to pin down a meaning by yourself. Sometimes you are just too close to the situation and are either resisting the meaning or simply unable to see it from where you are. (This applies to Tarot readings and other forms of divination as well.) In that case, it’s helpful if you have others that you can present the dream to, just to see what they say.

Especially people who know you well.

After all it’s not for nothing that the words above Apollo’s oracle at Delphi were “Know thyself.”