Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - On Being Solitary

Either by choice or circumstance many of us find ourselves alone at some point. My solitary path happens to fall into both categories.

Living a life attached to the military has afforded me the opportunity to travel and experience my country but it has also isolated me through circumstance, this is the lifestyle I love but as everything does it comes with its own set of pros and cons. I've spent a large chunk of the last two years alone. This hasn't been all for the worst. I've learnt I can rely only upon myself during the tough times and I've seen myself grow into a strong, capable and independent woman. All of which has been a boon to my spiritual practice. But on the other side I feel I've somewhat lost touch with the part of me that wants to share and engage with other spiritual souls. I've become so used to my own company over these last years that I am filled with confusion with the sudden desire to be with others. Though today it seems I could look to the horizon and not see another Pagan soul for miles. I know they're out there. They must be right?

My dilemma is that I feel I am finally at a place where I would value a group mind. I feel I have as much to offer as to gain. The main reason I have remained solitary and not sought out others is out of respect. What happens in twelve months when I have to leave? To me a group/coven should function as a family. The spiritual connection between members must be strong as should be their participation. I can't promise I will be there.

So far I have undertaken the majority of my studies alone, with the exception to the distance apprenticeship I began earlier this year. I'm comfortable in my solitude. Being on my own allows me immense freedom. I am free to read what I like, to work when I feel like, to contemplate in my own time. This has created such an intimate bond between myself and my spirituality. Would being a member of a group shift this? I don't know, I've never been part of one. Maybe one day. I've heard the saying when the student is ready the teacher will appear. Perhaps this is also true for covens.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Hekate My Queen

I'm one of those people who when feeling frustrated, anxious, or down like to keep themselves physically occupied to work the energy off. Tonight was one such night. I'll usually busy myself with scrubbing the bathroom until it gleams or vacuuming an already clean room but I just couldn't bring myself to that tonight. Hekate has been warning me that I'm on the brink of burning out completely and that I don't need to be doing absolutely everything I think I do. So heeding her voice I settled myself down to craft a candle dedicated to self.

   The simple act of sitting in silence, working my fingers over the bees wax, warming it with my body temperature and slowly rolling it calms me. I'm not worrying that I am putting 'negative' energy into my candle. I think about how I love to see my altar in the candle light. I love all the intricate shadows that play across the items I've carefully placed there, the light brings some into a  better view and hides others from sight as though they've crossed over the veil & exist only in essence. I sprinkle hand picked lavender over the wax as I roll. I allow the mingled scent of honey and lavender invade me and I give myself over to the experience.

I don't purify/cleanse absolutely every spiritual item I touch to be rid of 'negative' energy. On this night I allowed the act of creating something cleanse my emotions. The energy was transfered from the calming lavender and bees wax into me, not the other way around. I didn't want to do an injustice to my feelings and just get rid of them, I wanted to honour them and then heal.

I light the candle in honour of Hekate's guiding presence in my life. She is there even when I don't realise I need her so...

My Beautiful Queen
Burning torches held before you.
You lead the way
I follow in trust.

Benevolent One of Hearts
Who teaches with tough love
You guide me through
The depths of soul

Hekate of Darkness
Your moon is bare
I call to you
And you are there

Mistress of compassion
In your bountiful wisdom
My heart is full
Due to you

Blessed in Hekate
as are those whom she calls.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Lille bit of Self Love

Bees wax candle loaded with rose petals, rose quartz & pomegranate. 

Sometimes, like a lot of mum's, I have a habit of neglecting myself constantly. Just taking a small amount of time to roll this beautiful candle reminds me of the beauty that resides inside. 
Even when I forget...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Anointing Oil

I spent some time last night crafting an anointing oil for Hekate. I've noticed that I've been spending a lot of time meditating & performing alignments but not near as much time as I want on crafting things like oils, candles and tools. I really enjoys this part of Witchcraft so I though I would share a few pics I took while I was at it...

This oil was made from fresh french lavender I picked from my garden last night.

I have a ceramic tiled breakfast tray that I use whenever I am making oils or incense.

Charging on my Hekate altar.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - Listen... The Earth asks you to Awaken.


I have listened to the deep groan of the ancient land on which I live.
I have tasted her in her organic beauty.
I have smelt her soft lavender and eucalypt scent.
I have laid my hands upon her.
I have felt her vibrate between my toes in the grass.
I have pulsated along with her rhythm.
I have sat in silence with her.
I have cried with her.
I have rejoiced with her.
I have offered all that I am with her,
And she has released me...

Bright, hot energy flows within my spine, undulating and waking me from sleep. I feel it rise and greet my crown. I am filled with the ecstatic source until it over flows around me. I feel my energy shifting outside of the physical. I lay there unable to move as I am overwhelmed. When it eventually calms, it settles itself between my root and sacral. I am told this is my gift, for listening oh so intently every moment.

The above was written during a light meditative/trance state. I have been working with Earth for over a year now. While traveling through my shadow, my Earth, I slowly became grounded. In discovering the essence of Land I discovered the essence of self. Where I come from. I built a foundation of self. I understand myself & I know where I want to take myself spiritually. Experiencing a Kundalini awakening wasn't something I was expecting. We have all read stories of Kundalini going awry & causing havoc. At least I have. Having this energy awaken within me worried me immensely! What was I going to do? I only had a rudimentary understanding of what Kundalini was taught to me by my Reiki teacher. In the end I had to pull upon the strength I have built within myself to understand that truly this would not have occurred had I not been ready. I finally feel as though I am home.....

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Guided By Intuition

Recently my intuitive sense has been increasing exponentially. I have been on this crazy ride the last four months has seen me almost turn completely around in my thought process. I usually question everything, and by everything I mean down to the teeny, tiny, minute detail. It was frustrating, headache and heartache producing stress.

I honestly admit that I don't know when I changed my mind, I don't even know how it happened but I find myself now in the experience instead of thinking about the experience. What is even stranger still - I'm enjoying the freedom. "You are free," is a phrase that has been re-occurring in my meditations, my dreams, day dreams, random signs (actual signpost signs that have been popping up everywhere) & song lyrics. I had no idea what it meant - to be free. Spiritually free, free from constantly trying to 'understand' the 'reason' behind everything I saw, touched, did, it was exhausting me. I ended up after 13 years of spiritual searching with nothing. A clean slate. Feeling that loss was such an extremely emotional moment in my life. In my grief over my perceived loss of all that was spiritual I didn't see it coming - that moment where I didn't have to think, where I could be in the moment without my mind trying to control my experience.

It is happening over and over again, everyday. My intuition is sneaking through in small moments throughout the day, "don't cross the road yet," a car will pass whose driver didn't bother to indicate. Someone calling on the phone, or knowing who is standing at my door before they knock. A song on the radio. Understanding the sunrise. All these when written down in text will seem insignificant to most but to me they show me how different I now am. How open I am to experiencing myself for the first time. I understand now why I need to be bare. I never would have accepted these experiences fully in my past. They would have been stripped until they no longer existed.

I can feel myself opening up. I know that in the coming months I will be moving away from my shadow work. I feel blessed to have entered and explored the very the depths of myself, my own underworld. I can feel the shift, subtle as it may be at the moment. The shadow work within my root chakra was the building of a foundation of myself. My intuition tells me it's time to move on from my Root and into my Sacral. In shifting above I carry within me an understanding of why that foundation is so important. My gift from such intense journeying through the underworld and back is my intuition & my willingness to trust it... I am free!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Rite of Her Sacred Fires

For those of us here in the Southern Hemisphere, yesterday we celebrated Samhain. Coincidentally this year it fell near the date as Sorita D'Este's annual Rite of Her Sacred Fire in honour of Hekate.

This was the first ritual that I have performed for Hekate and I have to say that it was amazing. I don't know how other people feel but every time I physically feel energy moving through me it's as though it is the first time. I never expect it, and then all of a sudden the palms of my hands are warming and throbbing and they begin to channel energy. I don't know if this is solely due to having being attuned to Reiki, where the energy is directed through our hands or if it is simply natural for my body to channel energy in this way but it was an intense and exhilarating experience.

The Rite itself was powerful and incredibly moving. I am thankful that I spent weeks reciting the Greek passage so that the words flowed naturally from my lips without stalling. I may have mentioned before that I am not a ritualistic person by default. The vast majority of the rituals I have done, mostly in my early practice, felt flat because I felt uncoordinated and disconnected. I left the rituals mostly for spellwork and then eventually I left them behind as well in favour for spontaneous spiritual reflections, meditations and occasional offerings on or around the Sabbat dates. In thirteen years I can count the amount of rituals I've performed on one hand.

I was determined to take part in Sorita D'Este's rite though! And I am very glad that I experienced what I did. It has opened me up to offering my time and devotion to Her at least twice a month on the Full and Dark moons. Most of my practice has consisted of meditations and inner work but I feel as though I am ready to step up a level and take my inner work to create physical work. Hekate seems to stir inspirational and devotional feelings in me. And it seems natural and alive even though the concept of deity is something I have struggled deeply with before. I am learning to let go of my thoughts to let my heart flow.

My offerings to Hekate were three skeleton keys that I tied with coloured ribbons during the ritual corresponding to Her three realms of Land, Sky and Sea. I spent the better part of yesterday crafting two sets of prayer beads, one set being bracelet size and the other consisting of 113 beads of Black Agate, Garnet, Amethyst, Moostone, Onyx and Hematite which I dedicated to Her. I'm a big fan of prayer beads especially when they are made by my hand. There is a meditative state that comes over me as I string them that carries over to my prayers.

Blessed Samhain

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - Embrace the Darkness

A Catch Up Post for the letter E:

Darkness... Through conversations either read or spoken in person, I have found that most people fall on either side of the 'barrier', either they wish to only acknowledge themselves as participating in the 'love and light' or they have themselves been through an underworld experience.

I usually sit back and don't offer my own opinions on the subject unless asked, not out of fear per say but rather out of privacy. To reveal ones journey through the dark is very intimate. To me the darkness is necessary. A year ago I was at a point in my life where I was frustrated and desired to move forward spiritually. Only I didn't realise that the only way my desire was going to come to fruition was to understand myself, who I truly am, deep down in the nitty gritty of it all. It would require I journey to the Underworld.

Our shadow is an aspect of ourselves that will only present itself when the time is right, when we are able to deal with whatever lurks deep within us with honour and respect. This though does not indicate that the journey will be easy just because one is ready for it. The dark can be disorientating and frightening but for all of that, it is a part of who we are. I know people who believe that to be happy (or at least present to the world the illusion of perfect happiness) that their life must be filled entirely of the everlasting pureness of love and it's (apparently obvious?) counterpart - the light. Love exists in darkness. It may very well bring on the most intense feelings of love and connectedness that exist, it may not obviously present itself though as it is self love that is sought there.

I am recently coming out of a period of deep and very meaningful shadow work that was undertaken over a period of about year or so. I will say that that time was well spent. No I didn't feel waves of joy emanating out from my fingertips or spend endless hours drawing white light into my body (not that that is a bad thing I just preferred to embrace my underworld experience for what it was). My journey to healing was through confrontation. In order to heal past hurts, those of others but honestly most were self inflicted, I had to stand infront of a metaphorical mirror almost every minute of every day I spent in the shadows. I confronted my true feelings about myself and my feeling about past, current and future relationships with myself. I haven't always been my best friend. In fact if I spoke others the way I once spoke to myself I wouldn't have wanted anything to do with me! I had to teach myself the art of letting it go. That was one of the hardest things I learnt to do and it took the longest. To open up and be vulnerable, even when we are alone can be one of the most terrifying experiences we can go through if we haven't already cultivated a strong sense of self. And that is exactly what one eventually achieves through shadow work. After years of suppression my emotions rose slowly to the surface, one at a time. Once I had handled those first issues others quickly followed. There were many times I cried as to the purpose of having to sift through all of my emotional and psychic detritus but it is on the other side that I see clearly now. Through all of my yearning to expand my spiritual self it would not have been at all possible for me to advance spiritually without shedding what I no longer needed (or wanted) in my life. I could not grow if I continued to put myself last, if I didn't speak or treat myself as a worthy person. My inner dialoge was a dreadful learnt behaviour I was still carrying around since childhood. A sacrifice of myself was required. What is it that they say - no pain, no gain. I intimately understand that for my desire to be fulfilled I could not carry so much excess baggage (ie: shit!) along with me.

In the darkness our biological senses take over, our hearing is sharpened, the sensation of touch is heightened, our sense of smell is potent. To be in the dark we lose our ability to see, our outward/external experience. We then are able to hear our internal voice clearly. Without anyone to reflect back to us we can release our ego. The one thing that holds us back. Once we shed our ego we will no longer need to 'see' when we return as our internal 'vision' will be what guides us.

While my post here is titled Embrace the Darkness I'm in no way suggesting that it's beneficial to immerse yourself entirely for all eternity, in the shadows. Finding our own sense of balance, that is individual in experience can only lead to a well grounded person who knows exactly who they are is a blessing! You can't live your entire life in the light, you will eventually burn, but you can't huddle yourself away, alone in a cave. To achieve true balance is to experience time in both worlds. Walking the veil between life and light and darkness and death is the path of the Witch, one who will also be awaiting their rebirth. And that is the cycle of a life well lived!

- Hekate, my Lantern in the Dark. She who guided me into the depths of the Underworld and whose fire burns for my return to above.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Without A Path

For the majority of my Pagan life I have considered myself pathless. I began like the majority of teenage seekers with Wicca. I dove wholeheartedly into the beliefs and practices with seemingly unending enthusiasm and dedication of devoting all of who I was into being the best darn Wiccan I could have been. I loved the 'balance' of deity, God and Goddess. For the first time I felt as though, as a female, I was being represented equally. I struggled with my connection with the Goddess aspect that Wicca had presented me with though, I never stopped feeling like I was trying to force myself into a tiny box with a 'Ship To Nearest Goddess' sticker slapped on the side. For years she would remain a faceless archetype to me.

My eventual withdrawal from Wicca was solely due to my beliefs moving in a different direction. I wont say that it was a simple process but I think I may have stayed there two years longer that I really should have, attached to the label of Wiccan rather than to Wicca itself. What would I be if I was not Wiccan? Simply referring to myself as a Pagan seemed like I would be stepping out into an abyss. There's too many Pagan paths! Where will I go? Who will I be? The sheer though of being out there in this huge void surrounded by so many possibilities was very overwhelming for me. I had it down in my head that the next decision I made had to be 'The One', you know the Path that I would faithfully and joyfully walk until the end of my days. What can I say, I was young - well younger than I am now at the very least. I look back on my 21 yr old self and I am perplexed about the amount of pressure I placed upon my shoulders. I see now how only a few short years can made such a difference not only in ones personality but in our level of spiritual maturity.

Because I had placed so much upon a label to define who I was going to be it led me to a four year period where I endured major spiritual confusion. At the time it felt like I had so many opportunities presented before me. A few months went by where I was leaving it up to 'fate', but me being me I became bored of just waiting around for something to fall in my lap so I went back to my roots and became a pro-active seeker! During this time I looked into many different paths such as Kemetisism, Asatru, Shinto and Buddhism, various Feminist spiritualities, Pantheism, Gaianism, various re-constructionist paths, Hedge Witchery, Hoodoo, Shamanism, and Witchcraft. Some I stayed with longer than others, never finding a perfect fit. I was trying to piece it together myself but I felt like I was never quite in sync. I was still searching for The One.

Around about a year ago, I came to a point where I just stopped searching so hard for a particular path altogether. It took a time for me to realise that "The One" never even existed.
I can be a bit slow sometimes. What was there however, was a young woman discovering herself! By throwing myself into so many different areas of study I had openen up myself to exploring, well myself! By jumping around so much I know know where I want my feet to land, so to say. I will not use the term eclectic to describe myself, but I did bring along with me small pockets of belief or practice that has combined into a very personal spiritual practice (see no path!). I spoke in an earlier post about how I feel that I am at a crossroads. At this very moment I am actually enjoying being pathless. I'm enjoying standing in the crossroads! OMG For me it has been a very liberating experience, especially during the last month or so. I'm an oddball I suppose. I have no desire to move anywhere anytime soon. What will be will be I suppose. Currently I share devotion between two 'Celtic' Deities, Gaia, though I am no longer solely dedicated to Gaianism, and Hekate, who is receiving most of my attention as of late. At the moment I would describe myself as a Pagan and a Witch. I still have the twinge every time I say that to add something extra to my 'label' but I know now it's unnecessary. I'm a student in a Shamanic Witchcraft course which I am absolutely enjoying!!! Who knows where I will be next month or in a year. Spirituality shouldn't be forced it should flow naturally. Lesson learnt! A little late but I got there eventually.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - Devotional Artwork

Being a Panenthiest at heart dedicating time to deity devotion is new to me. Previously what I would consider a showing of my devotion to the Universe were simple moments of recognising nature surrounding me. Feeling the Sun's heat on my skin, the breeze in my hair, the moonlight filtering gently in through my window. These moments keep me connected to the pure centre of my belief but Hekate requires more from me. After laying before her offerings of pomegranates, honey, flowers and herbs I decided that if I was going to make offering to a God that I should go large (A3 sized!) and devote my time and energy into one very large devotional artwork that would not only be in service to her but would also give me time to know Her more intimately.

I had a design in mind when I started but after a few disastrous attempts it wasn't coming together. I just wasnt feeling it. Usually creating artwork induces a meditative state within me and I had to let go of my ego (that wanted something very specific) and I allowed my hand to just flow over the paper. I relinquished all control over the piece and the result was something that is not only better than what I had originally planned for but a piece that it imbued with personal meaning and Divine inspiration.

I am not an artist by any means but I have placed a pic of my artwork here so others can see that you don't have to be of artist quality in order to devote artwork in your practice. Maybe you're good at pottery or excel at sculpture, knitting or sewing. I have learnt that the medium really doesn't matter as long as the creation and offering is heartfelt.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - Crossroads

I have found myself standing at a crossroads many times in my life. It can be an unexpected and confusing experience when you believe you are traveling steady along one road only to blink and find yourself alone and staring down multiple paths when you didn't even realise they existed a minute ago.

But for the first time I find myself at a spiritual crossroads with no idea which road I should be turing to. Am I still Gaian? Am I devoted to Cernunnos and Danu? Have I indeed been claimed by Hekate as she insists I have? Is there a way to blend the three paths together?

Hekate's association with crossroads has not escaped my attention. In fact She is the reason I find myself standing there alone now. The reason I am standing alone is because that is where my fate ultimately lies - with myself.

Until now I have considered my life to be a product of my own hand. Spiritually speaking this view has become blurred around the edges. Hekate's arrival in my life forced me into a period of deep introspection and confrontation of every aspect of myself. It is because of Her that I know myself more intimately and have cultivated a intense trust in myself spiritually. Her arrival was unexpected and She immediately placed me in the crossroads. It took me many months to understand why I was there. Looking back I now see a slow stripping away of everything I once believed that left me bare. I was going through so much internal confusion during that time that I was contemplating leaving any form of spirituality behind me forever. Through my pain and frustration I found that I needed to process who I was to be able to redefine who I am becoming now.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - Crafts of the Witch

I thought I might do a post on some of the Witchy crafts I have done throughout the years. I really enjoy being able to put my little stamp on things that I use. My Witchy collection is a combination of bought products, things I have made or altered myself, commissioned artwork or artisan crafts - mostly from etsy!! Oh how I love that site!

This was my first attempt at sculpting with clay. I remember searching for weeks for a statue but I couldn't find one that I loved so I combined a few different elements of different statues that I liked into this one. I wanted to make it as simple a process as I could so I used air dry clay and loaded a moonstone inside her. She is a generic representation of Goddess energy.

I also made four small statues, again from air dry clay (knowing me I would start a fire if I placed them in the oven!) They represent to me different aspects of Goddess/Womanhood. During the time I made them I was delving into the Divine Feminine.

I've found working with clay is a really cathartic experience for me. Apart from the statue based upon Venus of Willendorf I sat in a light meditation and allowed the remaining three to be formed organically.

This is my eucalyptus wand. I found it on the ground after the tree had shed it's bark and lopped itself of some branches (as eucalypts do)

The tip is a beautifully shaped natural quartz point
and further down I placed an amethyst point. Compared to other wands

I have made this was the most simple but I absolutely adore it. It has a light energy and I use it mostly throughout spring and early summer rites.

I made this pentacle using left over decorative wooden stems and ribbon.I hot glued the five points together and wound the ribbon after it dried .

In the centre is a removable ammonite pendant that is wire wrapped with copper. I wasn't planning on making it but I hate seeing leftover craft supplies sitting around for too long lol.

It's one of my favorite craft projects I have done. Simple but effective.

My Book of Shadows has been upgraded as of Christmas (thanks to a surprise gift from my hubby Yay!) I'm now using a beautiful leather tome that I have transfered most of the info from this one on the left. This Book I made from a plain purple yearly planner. I removed the planners pages and inserted art paper binded with scrap booking posts. I used gold paint for the decoration as I love the colour of the gold with the natural colours of the ammonite (hot glued) in the centre. I am using it now for all my handwritten spells, rites, correspondances and recipes.

This is a meditation table I hade from one of the small tables that spin around. I painted it a deep purple - representing spirituality - and decorated it with a small pentacle incense burner I never used and wooden cut outs I found in the scrapbook isle at my local craft store.

I also made the table underneath (covered with cloth) which is an inexpensive plywood undecorated table. I painted it in a lighter purple with a silver triquetra in the centre.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Lammas 2012

Lammas Blessings!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - Bleeding is Sacred

There are a lot of people, men and women, who feel very uncomfortable with blood. Seeing blood, smelling blood and talking about blood - and as soon as menstrual blood is mentioned it’s all over! We have been hushed about this beautiful and powerful aspect of womanhood. Our conversations are whispered or our questions go unanswered.

Now I am obviously going to talk about menstruation during this post so if you’re squeamish I’ve just given you fair warning :)

When I first began my menarche (first blood) I was told by my mother that this is the ‘curse’ of women. That every month I was going to bleed and that I absolutely had to keep it a secret because it was unclean and inconvenient. Feminine products were hidden and secreted away when groceries were brought inside lest the men see (gasp!) I basically got the idea that while bleeding was normal it certainty wasn’t to be desired, let alone be seen as a beautiful, creative, natural and powerful aspect of womanhood.

I am 27 now. I have carried and birthed three beautiful children, all boys, who each helped teach me the mysteries of my own feminine body. There is nothing like conceiving and nurturing a child in your womb to turn your thoughts to the power of your own creative force. This is not only mentioning the obvious physical forces but also the inner forces - our emotions. Emotions hold great power, anyone who has ever felt the protective force of parenthood or cast a spell while their emotions were running high can understand how powerful an aid they can be for a Witch. Our emotions are governed by the ebb and flow of our hormones, which are linked to our menstrual cycles, our physical ebb (bleeding) and flow (ovulation). This is only so for women. Men hold themselves stable after reaching maturity. Even in advanced age a man can sow his seed (so to say). Our creativity, our sacredness lies in our changes.

Life force is held in our blood, it is essential to support our bodies. Our blood supports us and has the ability to support and nurture all of humankind. We are all here due to the sacred birthing endured by a woman. The first mysteries of womanhood were centred around our cycle - Birth, Life and Death. Pre-Menstrual, Menstrual and Menopausal - and now as a Pagan woman I see in myself the metaphor of Maiden, Mother and Crone. These sacred cycles are universal experiences for us, we can relate to them.

Today our cycles are different to that of the ancient women, for many reasons - medical, our expanding locations and distance from other women. These situations have had a negative impact but they don’t have to spell the end to our mysteries. We can do what humans have always done throughout history. We can adapt. In the western world it is only our biological processes that are acknowledged with our spiritual selves an almost completely foreign language. This creates fractures in who we are as women. If we dismiss all but the physical knowledge then we shall never understand what it means to be women. We will lose our sacred connections to the Earth and when that leaves us we will be barren - a body with no soul.

How many of us take modern medicines to ‘deal’ with our menstruation? How many of us regulate our cycle or prevent pregnancy by taking the pill? (I do) When it comes to timing our menstruation how many of us have tried to alter our bleeding? Only a fraction of women bleed on a 28 day regular cycle. I am fairly certain that many who will read this post don’t have a precise cycle. While the pill is a modern marvel and has given women the freedom to enjoy sex without the consequence of an undesired conception, I don’t feel that we have to necessarily lose everything we naturally are. We have cycles of our physical senses and hormonal fluctuations. These are all natural and normal! These occur even while on medications. I have no issues with taking medications, for some women they have been very beneficial. My only concern is that we may lean to far in that direction and forget what we are. Some of us use medicines to ‘relieve our symptoms’. Pain, bloating and PMS - also known as the ‘bitch’ stage - (a term I find very degrading) Have we taken the time before hand to notice our bodies? Have we stopped to appreciate the way our bodies ready themselves for the next bleeding? Do we understand the reasons for these changes? Before our bleeding time all of our physical senses become heightened - touch, hearing, taste, smell. If we are experiencing this heightened awareness (or unawareness) and have not the time or understanding to process what we are feeling then yes we will become irritable - it’s a natural reaction to our flowing hormones and overload of our senses.

We bleed, sometimes in rhythm with the Moon, sometimes not so. We need to find that balance between medicines and within ourselves and not try to push our bodies to conform so much. Our bleeding is primordial and is our intense connection to nature. Our communion with the Moon is intensified as it pulls upon our bodies as it pulls upon the oceans. Our womb is an ocean of blood so it is not unusual for us to feel the pull of the Moon’s energies upon us physically, psychically and emotionally. Ultimately we belong to nature. If we remove our nature we are doing ourselves great harm.

It’s not only our physical senses that ebb and flow, but our psychic abilities are as well - we are a lot more than just our physical self. This sacred monthly cycle can heal, it has the ability to inspire. With our flow we hold potential within us. This experience belongs to us women. Our bleeding is our creation. I wonder how many of us lose ourselves in this sacredness. How many of us take time to explore ourselves during our menstruation. How many know what they are truly capable during this time? In the sacrificing of our blood we can be honoured with an increase of psychic ability. During these days we are able to enter easily into altered states of consciousness, have the gift of foresight, the ability to discern between illusion and truth, prophetic dreams and increased intuitive sensitivity.

Use your Moon-time to express yourself and revel in your femininity! Perform a spontaneous Moon-time rite centred around your bleeding! Take a ritual bath! Create art (yes you can use your menstrual blood if you so wish), make love, make offerings to Goddess, yourself and all that is feminine by pouring your blood upon the earth, meditate and journal. Record how you feel during certain points of your cycle - note when your intuition peaks and use this time to your advantage! Dance naked to enchanting music. Don’t worry if you think you cannot dance. Use music that evokes great emotion within you and allow it entrance you, to carry you away. The most important thing is to take time for yourself. Even 10 minutes!

Menstruation is a perfect time for rites of healing. The releasing of our blood can be a very healing experience, strip your wounds bare and use this time to rid yourself of any negative thoughts and feelings about your body and your bleeding. When we bare ourselves we are presented with an opportunity to truly heal. I experienced an extremely distressing and physically traumatic first birth that was healed by re-connecting with my body during menstrual times. The subsequent births of my younger two were extraordinary because I had taken time and learnt to trust my body, it’s rhythm and its powerful process of Birth.

When I speak of our power as menstruating women, I speak of the inner self. Power that lies within - the desire to understand ourselves and to experience the entire spectrum of womanhood. We are a symbol of life and death. I dislike the terms of light and dark. I feel that they do a deep injustice. The emotions of anger need not be consumed in darkness as the emotions of love should not be held solely in the light. All of our experiences and interactions in this world, righteous or not, are the sum of our power. Our mysteries are entangled in the web of life- as are we. These are the Divine powers of a woman.

Creating a personal connection with our soul and body - these are the Mysteries. There is no hidden knowledge scrawled in ancient tomes. The knowledge is held in the experience. The discovery of oneself and the truth that -

We ARE Sacred, We are Divine and so is our Blood.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - B is for Belief

I thought I would write a post for this week of the letter B on belief since they can be the cornerstone of spirituality. I have always thought that it is to my advantage that I have allowed my spiritual beliefs to remain fluid. I view the progression of my beliefs to be a beautiful journey, one I definitely have not finished. I have considered myself for the last 7 − 8 years to be a Panenthiest - a belief a cosmic energy exists and interpenetrates every part of nature and timelessly extends beyond it. This may change and it may not. My panenthiestic belief has the opportunity to extend towards atheism or Deism depending on my future spiritual choices.

There are reasons - valid reasons as to why I naturally lean towards atheism. I have a tendency to believe science trumps religion. Yes I am one of those ‘people’ in the science vs religion debate. But I am also a spiritual seeker. I love being able to look up at the sky and understand the information we have learnt of our tiny local and know that ultimately I have no understanding of exactly what I am viewing at the same time. That experience enhances all of the intricacies of the Universe. There is no separation between us, Earth and the Universe. We are all composed of the very same Universal elements. Spirituality comes as easily to me as my thirst for scientific knowledge.

My head tells me that while it is in the realm of possibility that creator Deity exists, it is also very probable that it does not. That we are a cosmic ‘accident’ and products of evolution. That there is no reason for our existence. That any Deity perceived is of our own creation.

My experiences tell me differently though. I certainly was not looking for Deity and when they did present themselves, I ignored them. Yes I straight up ignored them in the same way I do when I’ve had a weird dream. I stood up, shook my head and completely forgot about it. That didn’t stop them from continuing to contact me though. I was quite happy on my journey thus far. I still felt an absence of something I couldn’t place my finger on, but I was happy.

There are a lot of things I believe in such as energetic healing, reincarnation, soul ascension, cosmic energy, auras, but a belief in Deity is far more complex. This is something that is outside of myself, that operates autonomously. It is outside the scope of my knowledge yet in the realm of my experience. Once I accepted those experiences (and it took a long time, years in fact) my life began to change, and quickly.

So now I am at a place where I am trying to form my beliefs with an inclusion of Deity - a concept that I still have much difficulty wrapping my head around. Some days more than others. And I’m not going to lie. It hasn’t been an easy process for me and has led to inner turmoil and self-doubt. Why are they? Where are they? What the? But it has also given me a gift - the reason and meaning behind faith.

I wasn’t raised in religion. My parents remain without spirituality in their lives. I also was not raised in knowledge of science. I was left to explore and study under my own devices. The only other spiritual person in my family was my Grandmother. Having immigrated from Japan after World War 2 she kept her religion close. I spent the majority of my childhood with her and observing what it is to truly live your spirituality. My Nana didn’t deal in pompous rituals or nor did she speak frequently of her religion. Instead I witnessed her devotion and prayers in the light of the rising Sun every morning. Whispered so that only she and Deity would hear. It was a personal communion, sacred and beautiful. I saw her tending to her garden daily, a manifestation of devotion and energetic communion with the earth. She was an animist, as are many Japanese of Shinto belief. Deity, herself and the Earth were one in the same to her. She knew how to make that garden thrive using learnt knowledge and Divine guidance. I was never able to tell her how much she influenced the person I have come to be but I can take what she unintentionally taught me. Belief is personal and precious. Spiritual belief is something to be lived and not preached. Trust yourself and have blessed faith and you will be fine no matter what.

My beliefs are fluid and change because I change. I have evolved throughout the years and so have my beliefs. If they didn’t I would be very worried for myself. There is nothing wrong with being confused, I often find myself confused. My mind will wonder outward and I find myself thinking about the entire scope of human belief and our place in the Universe. In these times I just need to remind myself that I am so small and the Universe is so large, there is no way that I am going to be able to understand every aspect of it, and I’m not supposed to. It’s okay to feel one way one day and the opposite the next. Soon enough thoughts will merge and a new belief will be formed and later on new thoughts will eventually shift it around a little. Belief doesn’t have to be stagnant. I think too many worry that others will think of them as having no substance, I know, I’ve been there. But if beliefs don’t flow, if they don’t change then it means that I am not growing. Staying still scares me more than the conflict I am experiencing now.
In the end our beliefs are as important as we want them to be. I’m not finished becoming whoever it is that I am turning out to be.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - A is for Australia

We have a different experience of Paganism here Down Under. Not only are our natural flora and fauna noticeably different from the rest of the world but our seasons for the most part do not fit within the traditional European Pagan Wheel of the Year, though we do recognise these four seasons in the Southern Hemisphere as they were brought along with the Europeans who colonised Australia. Here they 'begin' (according to our calendars) on the first day of the month:

Summer - December - February.
Autumn - March - May.
Winter - June - August.
Spring - September - November.

Even within these stated seasons our experience of the weather patterns can be vastly different. During the Summer months the southern states of Australia experience intense heat and high levels of humidity. The Sun is bright, beaches and parks are full of people reveling in Summer delights. Fire danger levels can rapidly rise into the gauge of catastrophic while the northern states experience torrential rains and are under threat from cyclones, all the while blasting their air conditioners against the heavy humidity they are experiencing. Winter in Australia can go from the snow capped peaks of southern New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, to the dry, calm season of the tropics. All of this while Central Australia is in a seemingly perpetual drought.

Many native Aboriginal people had their own seasonal calendars. In the Northern Territory the Jawoyn people recognised six seasons. There is a small pocket of Australia in the region of southern Queensland, Eastern New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory, and Victoria where the seasons do stay within the European paradigm.

The majority of Australians are descendants of immigrants (as I am) or have immigrated here themselves. I don't know how other Australian Pagans feel about their placement in this country but I sometimes feel as though I am stepping where I ought not be and at other times I feel such a connection to this land that is as strong as a mothers love for her child. I don't know if this comes from knowing that in the history of our world that we are still very new people to this land and she is not yet accustomed to us upon her. The Aboriginal people have walked upon her for 40,000 years and our footprints are still barely visible.

I've been trying to transform my spirituality to have a strong basis in the land that I live and that I love. This is the main aspect that drew me to my previous path of Gaianism, which I still base my beliefs upon. But I still also look to my ancestry for guidance as well. My relationship with Cernunnos has morphed unconventionally into my offerings to him being of gumnuts, eucalyptus leaves, and organic bush honey.To me this seems like a perfectly natural direction, though others may disagree. Regardless he seems to enjoy them. If I leave offerings outside for any reason I make sure that they are left under a native tree. I have beloved wand of eucalyptus that I crafted myself. The energy of using tools crafted from native materials has greatly enhanced the rituals I have performed when I commune with the Earth. While I believe that all the continents of the Earth, the Seas and the Sky are intrinsically connected there is something special about creating a connection with the red land beneath my feet.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

I've decided to join the Pagan Blog Project to help me into a routine
of regular blogging.

Each Friday for the next year I will be blogging on a different Pagan topic.

Pagan Blog Project ~ A is for Altar

I think it is no secret that I adore my altar space. It is still my sacred little corner and the one place I make sure is tended to daily.

Alongside a shift in my path there have been changes to my altar. Some new additions and some items have been removed.

My previous altars were mainly constructed for Gaia/Gaianism and my interest in the Scared Feminine. Now I find I'm decorating to represent myself, my interactions, beliefs and spiritual relationships, more so than any specific path.

I consider myself at this moment to be path free. My altars are reflecting all the internal changes I have been going through the last year. One huge difference is my growing relationships with Deity, or Deities to be exact.

This is my current set up of my main altar. I have statues now for both Danu and Cernunnos. I couldn't part with my smaller statues so they are on there until I can find a safe place for them to go. I still intend to use them in smaller altar set ups for rituals and meditations.

My new wand was a surprise Christmas gift from
my husband. To say it's absolutely beautiful would
be an understatement! The handle is a Blesbok horn I believe and it fits surprisingly well in my small hands.

I still use egg cups to hold my elemental representations. Once I've found something I like I usually don't change it, that is why my altar set ups usually look very similar to one another. I have an incense burner and oil burner (holding a soy wax melt I made) on either side of a really pretty ceramic flower candle holder. The amethyst point represents my spiritual self.

In between the egg cups is a new 'All' candle representing a great cosmic energy that pervades all of the Universe. The silver bowl to the right contains a spell at the moment and the one on the right is my cleansing bowl.

The tiny LEGO helmet is courtesy of my three year old lol.

This is my Hecate altar. I have an iron key and skull in front of her
picture.There is also a bottle of perfume there as well that I like to wear
when I commune with her. It's quite small but Danu and Hecate
prefer to be kept separate from one another.

Hecate is quite new in my life and her appearance was completely 100% unexpected. By the time of her arrival during one of my meditations I had become no more comfortable with my conflicting thoughts about the presence of Deities around me. In comes Hecate who quietly stated that my trouble with Deity is entirely my problem to deal with and that she's not going anywhere whether I believe in her or not. Her altar is the one I tend to the most.