Wednesday at the Library

I had a conversation with a few of my fellow pagans the other day – we met at the library and drank tea while recommending books for each other – and it was really amusing to see how varied our beliefs are.

Some accept without a blink another pagan’s claim to having dragons constantly in his vicinity, without the slightest bit of proof, but argue adamantly that anyone who claims to be a god spouse is delusional.

Others roll their eyes at the dragon claim, but stubbornly cling to the idea of ‘free will’, without taking into consideration that beings who have existed for millennia could be able to maneuver mortals into situations they wanted regardless of what said mortals want.

Some think that the deities are pure good and love who would never hurt a mortal for any reason whatsoever – and others think that deities are capable of emotions and actions that could conceivably harm mortals, including their worshipers.

Most people find it difficult to make concrete plans for longer than a week – too many variables pop up to derail those plans. Longer periods of time? Forget it! Rare indeed is the person wise enough to be able to take the possibilities into consideration and come up with a plan that works. We don’t think in long terms. Most of us look back and are amazed at how far from our first life plans we have gone. I once aspired to live in Maine, be a writer, raise Maine Coon cats and Appaloosas. Assuredly I do none of the above now, and never set foot in Maine for more than an afternoon.

We ascribe our inability to make long term plans to the Powers, and that’s a mistake, in my mind. We can’t imagine what their end game looks like. We can’t conceive of the maneuvering that has gone on and continues to go on, the alliances formed, the  positioning of mortals who agree to serve them and the mortals who don’t even know they exist. What are their goals? Who knows? Certainly not us, pieces on the board that we are.

One of them said that he was a mortal son of a deity, that that was his UPG, and that no one could contradict him. Yet when asked for proof of his claim, he simply repeated that his god told him this and that was the end of it. He also claimed to have children on the Astral Plane. I suppose it’s a measure of our gullibility (or our acceptance) that we just nod and move along when one of us makes a claim like that. I myself prefer some sort of proof – sometimes even a shared gnosis will do – but proof is scarce on the ground for pagans. I suppose it is for any religion.

Which camels do you swallow without hesitation, dear readers? And at which gnats do you strain?

Winter Solstice

img_4052I live far enough south that winter has many forms for me. One day it can be 70 degrees outside the next 20 with snow and ice. A few days later everything has melted as if nature forgave herself the violent storm with that soft kiss reminder of spring. There are times when I miss the harsh bite of a true northern winter. No sunshine for days, the darkness and the bitter cold that is relentless. It would be preferable at times to this mercurial Janus- faced version we enjoy.  It makes it hard to embrace Winter Solstice. It feels as if nothing really dies they are just playing dead.

It is a strange mental cheat to not really feel winter.

Every year Coyvere and I host a Winter Solstice party at our house. Last year we did a meditation to the Goddess Nyx (if interested he and I write for another blog/pagan e-zin at Spiral Tree ) This year we are looking at Persephone, one of my favorites. I’ll share once I finish the ritual I’ve always been an 11th hour kind of gal.

Dark mother of Night Nix, Inanna, Erishkigal, Persephone, Cailleach, Kali or perhaps Hel

she has many names.

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The Dark Goddess or mother – she invites us to turn inward to look deep within the self – to go beyond the surface of ego into our wounds, our broken and ragged bits, to embrace them rather than fight or ignore them, for it is from these places 135590_1738610914206_4546916_owe grow.

This is the time of year to embrace the cold and the broken.

Give yourself permission and the time to be static in the dark.

Heal. 

Emerge renewed with the spring.

Enjoy your pomegranate seeds.    

 

“Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world. All things break. And all things can be mended. Not with time, as they say, but with intention. So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally. The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.”

L.R.Knost

Now you see me – now you don’t!

Our Path is called a practice because we constantly seek to learn and grow as we go.  We walk the Wiccan/Pagan/Heathen Path because we desire freedom with few binds and some guidelines.  We value our solitary path while knowing there is a larger web and ability to join with and practice with others now and then.  In that vein, we constantly seek new ideas, ideals, and knowledge.  Knowledge is our friend, a constant companion and one that can be elusive at times.  I recently had the honor and privilege of doing an online class for Psychic Defense with the lovely Thenea over at Magick From Scratch.  If she offers the class again (which we did via Skype) and you have the means, I definitely suggest it.  I learned a great deal from her, and even more about myself.

One of the techniques and exercises we practiced over the four weeks was disguising our energy and ourselves from those who may direct an attack our way.  Those attacks, by the way, are not always as easy as you may think or see in popular fiction (be it in a book or on TV/Movie).  And the disguising yourself can be much easier than you may think.  We practiced disguising ourselves in the Astral, but we also practiced one for our physical appearance.  The latter is the one Hope wants me to share a bit more about.

The technique is available over on Thenea’s blog (linked above) but my experience is the one I’m going to focus on.  Never have I actually tried to work a bit of magick or glamor with others watching.  So that class was a first for me.  I physically directed my energy to work through the process of creating an image to superimpose over my own, after gaining the permission of the energy I was using.  I chose to go with Medusa as she volunteered.  But I created a semi-cartoony version of her energy.  Instead of the beautiful woman with snakes for hair, I had a single cobra head with a woman’s body.  If you’ve seen the cartoon Ninjago, think of the serpentine…s-l1000That’s closest to what I did.

Being Medusa, though, I gave her a green-gold skin tone with lovely scales.  Once I settled the image over myself, I looked up and my hubby, sitting at the other end of our joint desk, had a bit of a yellow-green haze over him.  It wasn’t a huge difference, but enough that it was as if I were looking through a haze of energy.  Something else I’ve never actively done before either.  Thenea said she was able to see a bit of difference as well, though I don’t know exactly what she saw.  Just that my image over Skype had changed as well.  I do know that once I removed the glamor/costume as it were that the haze was gone, so “something” changed with the work.

The process was straightforward, and as I mentioned there is a post already up to walk you through it with sample images over on Magick From Scratch.  If you are wanting a line of defense to shore up against psychic attack, check it out and practice.

Back to that word, practice.  The only way we can hope to gain mastery and prepare ourselves for what may come is to keep working and learning new things.  That’s what the course I did last month was for me.  Reminding me of what I know about defending myself and learning new techniques to do more.  It was also learning ways to determine if a string of bad luck or other malaise is just life throwing curve balls or someone actually breaching defenses.  It is not the only working I’ve been doing to improve my skills and continue to learn, grow and evolve on my path.  It is, however, by far one of the most interesting things I have done lately.  And a reminder that sometimes we really do need to go to others to shore up our knowledge and well of experiences to keep feeding our spiritual needs and practices.