Still Alive

And slowly getting back into the swing of things.  As usual, the spring and summer see me away from the computer more and more.  It seems that blog projects are not the pull needed to keep me at the keys.

Lots of old projects have been seeing the light of day again, and there are always the little ones running around and being kids.  I am slowly starting to work writing back into my daily routine again.  Hoping to start taking university classes in the fall.

I will probably take a few days in the coming weeks to try and get caught up with the YT Pagan Challenge.  There were a few spring topics that I did want to cover.

Anyway, I’m just checking in and saying hi.  Best get back to writing the old novel.

The Way It Should Be

Very poignant thoughts. I couldn’t agree more, and I’m not a capital ‘P’ Polytheist.

Caw, Motherfsckers

Once upon a time, yesterday in fact, there were two chiefs. The elder was a priestess of Oshun, and the younger a priestess of Yemaya. They agreed to confer, with students observing them, on a subject in which they had not reached total agreement. What matters to this story is not the matter on which they disagreed but the manner in which they did it:

Priestess Younger brought forward her well-researched explorations of original lore, along with resources to share for others who wished to follow the threads she had found. Priestess Elder brought forward regional variations she had found and the historical context borne of her lifetime of experience.

Priestess Younger said, “This is my Work, here and now. I want to pay you respect because I know that it is the Work you have already done that makes mine possible. I wish you continued success in your own…

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Witchy Wednesday – Spells

Do you perform spells on a regular basis?

An interesting question for this week’s (probably a couple week’s ago now) Witchy Wednesday.  The over all answer is no, I don’t cast on a regular basis.

When I was younger, I tended to believe that spells were a somewhat last resort when everything else you had tried had failed.  It’s not what I would tell others when they asked for advice, but it was a weird standard I held myself to.  I collected research, spells, rituals, lore, etc, but I rarely used any of it in a practical sense.

Then came my Saturn’s Return, and I turned away from the Craft pretty well all together.  I still considered myself pagan, but in the small ‘p’ sense where I just didn’t want any part of spirituality or the like.

In the past few years, I have been slowly working my way back into my Craft, and really, until this year, I haven’t felt the need to cast anything.  Life was pretty easy, and aside from wishing that I could twitch my nose and clean the house, or chant an incantation that would put my kids to sleep at night, I didn’t really have a lot of need for spells. I did keep up on my meditation and grounding skills because they had fallen by the wayside, but that was really about it.

Then recently, a group of friends and I began creating large workings to help influence change in the world.  There are places outside our lives that need our power and our skills, and that work really gave me a sense of purpose with my spells.  And as sometimes happens, the more you cast, the more you see instances when you should.

I have a few spells for the spring lined up for myself, and then through the summer, I will probably do some more charitable/empowerment workings for causes that are important to me.

Maybe ask me again in six months if I cast on a regular basis, and the answer might be yes.

Next week I will be jumping on the topic of Spiritual Practises.  Might be a short one.  Cheers!

Witchy Wednesday – Divination

Today’s Witchy Wednesday catchup (or YouTube Pagan Challenge Off YouTube), is about divination.  Do you use it, and if so, what types?

Divination is one of my favourite tools in the Witch’s arsenal.  I have tried my hand at most kinds.  The ones that I have developed a talent for are dream interpretation, tarot, dowsing, and scrying.

As a kid, I had wicked nightmares paired with sleep paralysis.  I also grew up knowing that prophetic dreams run in my family, so when I was about 12 or so I decided that I would take control of the runaway train that was my subconscious mind, and I studied lucid dreaming.

The first part, of course, was to be able to take control of nightmares.  It’s not an easy skill to master, but it does work.  My key was always “pinch me”, since I don’t feel pain in dreams, it helped alert my conscious mind that what I was seeing and experiencing wasn’t real.

I kept a dream journal for a while, but I find that with dreams, the message is something that is pretty immediate, and once deciphered, is really no longer relevant, so I fell out of that practise.

My mom had a tarot deck while I was growing up, and since I was always a bit of an art nut, I was drawn to cards with pictures on them.  It has taken me a while, but I feel I know them pretty well — upright anyway.  This year I am learning reversed card interpretations as well.

I don’t have a lot of things that I collect anymore — when I was little I collected all kinds of bits an bobs, but being a bit of a nomad in my adult life has necessitated that I have considerably less stuff.  Tarot decks are really the only thing I still collect outside of photographs.  Here are some of my beloveds (not all, because some were still packed from our trip when these photos were taken):

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© Andrea Crossett

This is my Robin Wood tarot deck.  An oldie, but still a classic, and I love it.  Very similar imagery to the Rider-Waite, but with a bit of a Pagan twist.

© Andrea Crossett
© Andrea Crossett

This is the Sacred Circle tarot.  This was my very first deck, and while I never really connected to the images in the cards, I hang on to it for sentimental reasons.

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© Andrea Crossett

This is the DruidCraft tarot.  Also one of my favourites.  Alas, it isn’t used as often as I would like because the cards are gigantic.  The art is still beautiful, though, so that makes up for it.

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© Andrea Crossett

This was my second ever tarot deck, The Pagan Tarot.  The images are very different from the Rider-Waite, and tell the tale of a modern Pagan/Wiccan seeker’s journey.  This deck makes me feel very nostalgic about my own beginnings as a young Pagan.  While I don’t connect well to the court cards, I still use it roughly once a week or so.

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© Andrea Crossett

And here is one of my absolute favs (tied with my mom’s old deck), the Shadowscapes tarot.  The artwork is amazing, and the cards are shockingly accurate.  I had been following this artist for years before she started work on her deck.  I remember the announcement when she began work on it and the year I spent on the edge of my seat.  I use this deck almost every day.

The other two techniques for divination I use are dowsing with a pendulum, and scrying.  For scrying I usually use water in some form, be it condensation on a window or a glass or a dark bowl of water.  I’m a bit out of practise, but the more often I meditate, the easier it is.  I have a small piece of labradorite that has some beautiful patterning that I will be making use of as I get back into the practise of scrying.  It’s set into a pendant, so it is also travel sized!

My first pendulum was a “toy” that my mom helped me to make when I was about 10 years old.  It was a lead fishing weight on the end of a piece of white string.  It always worked for me, and it was usually pretty accurate.  Great for an either/or type question or decision that needs to be made.

My current pendulums are crystals of varying sizes and a lovely handmade one that is made from a seashell.  The lead one has been passed  on to my daughter.  She is still a little young for it, but she likes to have something special that is just between her and Mommy.

Next week, or this week if I find the time, we are talking about spells.  Until then, folks!  Cheers!

Witchy Wednesday – Magic

Hey folks!  This week we are talking about Magic.  I don’t use a ‘k’ in the spelling because I think it’s silly.  I will tell you that it took a seriously long time to train myself not to, though.  And I still sometimes slip.

I wasn’t feeling all up to writing out my thoughts today since I have other projects I am working on, so get this … I made a video instead.  Can you say multitasking?  Coffee makes me superwoman, I swear (we were out of coffee for a lot of this week – horror, I know it).

My views on magic are pretty much as I stated in the video.  I don’t worry too much on the hows or the whys.  I’ve practised for a lot of years, so I have a system that works for me.  Though, I am always up for trying new techniques if I feel they will be able to fit into my current practise.  I tend not to go for a lot of high ceremony – I’m a Witch.  I do down and dirty.

Without further ado, here is my epic video of my own self painting a box!  Enjoy.

Next week we are talking about spellwork.  Interesting.  Until then.

Witchy Wednesday – What Does Early Spring Mean to Me?

Here we are at our second “What does this time of year mean to you?” instalment of our Witchy Wednesday catch-up and YT Pagan Challenge off YouTube.

Right around now is just past Ostara, which we were travelling for, and mixed with an early Easter with relatives.  It was nice.  Littles were sick, so there was less exuberance than there might have been.

Today is April 1st – and while I don’t mind the day itself (it’s actually pretty sunny today), I despise April Fool’s Day.  I really wish it would just go away.  The art of the prank died a long time ago, and people being childish and dishonest in the attempt to make a “joke” is about as funny as listening to my kids cackle about how funny the word “butt” is.  Actually, it’s less funny because at least with the latter, I get to listen to kids laughing.  Child laughter is the best.

Early spring in Calgary is different every year.  Some years it snows, some years it’s cold and clear and frozen, and some years, like this year, it is warm and sunny.  This is the time of year when winter is finally giving up its dying breath.  It snowed last week.  This week, it rained and the temperature rose to 20° C.

It will be another few weeks, possibly a month, before the trees begin to pull out of their winter slumber with gusto.  One thing I will give this town, once spring begins, it busts out all at once.  Seemingly overnight the trees will be green and full of flowers, and the grass will have shed its tan winter coat for bright new green mantle.  That is about my favourite time of year.  That and the first real rainstorm.

We are just back from the coast, and I have to say, I miss it already, and my mind is swirling with plans to try to get us back there on a permanent basis.  For now, I need to remain patient — like the trees basking in the early spring sunlight.  Jump too soon, and an April snow will freeze off all your tender new shoots.

Biding my time.  That is what this time of year means to me.  Next up in our catch-up list, we talk divination techniques.  Sweet!  Expect lots of photos!

 

 

Witchy Wednesday – The Sun

Let’s talk about the sun.  It’s great, isn’t it?  It’s breathtaking when it rises, beautiful when it sets, it makes you warm, it makes things grow, it will burn you to a crisp if you’re out in it too long … ok, well, maybe it has it’s downsides too.  This week’s Witchy Wednesday catch-up post from the youtube Pagan Challenge list is all about the sun.

Me, I love the sun.  I love spring and summer, and longer days, and evenings spent out in the yard enjoying cool drinks, good food, and good company.

The Sabbats are all solar festivals, all about the changing year, and the growing and declining sun.  Litha has to be one of my favourite Sabbats, with its flowers and berries and wine and warm sunshine.  That said, I don’t think that I really see the sun as a god or a reflection of a divinity in itself.  Not in the same way that I see the moon as a reflection of goddess energy.

For me, I think of the sun as more representative of humanity and the human condition.  When I was first starting out, the Wheel of the Year tale that I learned used symbols of agriculture and community, and life growing and changing with the turning wheel.  It was an incredibly romantic image that stays with me even as my views on the Wheel and the stories associated with it have evolved to include different imagery.

When I think of the sun high in the sky, I still think of people coming out of their houses, apartments, whathaveyou, to drink in the rays and the life it provides. I think that the sun can represent humanity in other ways as well. When highly focused, it can start a fire that engulfs all in its path.  When distant, it can allow cold and disease to creep in and suffocate life. I think we can all think of instances when this is true of our collective attention.

And if I think about it, it also reinforces the Witch’s connection to the moon, with hir being one to step outside of mainstream society and into the hidden and divine realms.  Think I may have to meditate a bit more on that one.  I feel there might be a story there waiting to unfold more fully.

Next week (or more probably tomorrow since I am a couple of weeks behind), we talk about the end of March and what it means to me.  Cheers!

Witch Wars: The Fight to be Right – Circa 2006

Ten Years on, and I’m sad to say that this article is still entirely relevant. I think that the only thing that I would add is that I have removed myself completely from the scene. While there are times that I do feel bad that I didn’t stay in it to provide some manner of ally to the Seekers, I still believe that the best way to deal with Defender Trolls, is to disengage. The wealth of knowledge has grown exponentially in the last ten years. eBooks are a fraction of the cost of their paperback cousins. And only speaking for myself, if fate draws you to my inbox, I still happily answer all the questions I can.

A Less Travelled Path

Some Thoughts on Community

A community is something that most of us strive for. The gathering of souls of a like mind is a very powerful calling. Even those who are not converts from a monotheistic, congregation-style religion seem to seek the simple joys and socialization of worship with others. With the advent of the World Wide Web, that desire can be fulfilled in the space of a nanosecond, and you can find what seems like the whole of Pagan society at your fingertips.

Yet, for all the romantic ideals of people coming together for a common cause and enjoying the company of fellow Pagans, there comes an undeniable truth, that Pagans, just like any other group of people, come in all shapes, sizes and opinions. For those unaccustomed to having their own ideas challenged, the world of Pagan internet forums and email groups can seem like a barrel of…

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