29 June, 2012

Good Questions!

I responded to a girl on tumblr looking to talk to someone about Wicca, and she had some good questions. I didn't think to keep them for my records until now, so for reference, she first asked what Wiccans believe about the afterlife (which I said varied by individual but the common belief is Summerland and/or reincarnation), why I chose Wicca/paganism, and how long I've been practicing.

Second part of my response, which is all that came back to me because I answered her in two parts:
And I've been practicing officially for about eight years. The exact date is debatable. Started studying around age 12. By then I had realized Catholicism (how I was raised) wasn't answering the questions I had & didn't agree with my ideas, so I was looking for the name of what I believed. My cousin & the TV introduced me to the idea of Wicca, and when I looked into it I realized it fit. I studied for several years before I felt comfortable saying I was Wiccan, but I'm nearly 22 now.
New question:
Ah, I see. Thank you so much for answering those questions. What did you find interesting about Wicca so much at a young age? I must admit, I’ve been learning about it for a couple years myself.
My response:
Wow, good question! I don't think I've been asked that before. I've always thought perhaps too much about things, but what I was interested in then (and still am now) were a few main things. In Wicca and much of paganism, men and women are equally important. That's a big deal. Also, I didn't see why I couldn't talk directly to God, and Wicca and paganism are a lot about direct connection and personal experience. And it's very much my own path, not following someone else's way, which suits me.

28 June, 2012

Late Starts

My house is noisy. All day long, someone is either blasting music, watching TV way too loud, speaking loudly, or otherwise preventing me from being able to do sound-sensitive things. For me, such things include recording videos, watching videos (though this is easier because I can use headphones), reading, sitting down to concentrate on anything, meditating, and definitely doing circle. I don't need complete silence, but I'd rather not have some action movie shooting off in the next room or have people talking while I'm trying to invoke. You know? You know. I'm sure you do.

So, once again I was planning on waiting until people went to bed to have circle tonight. I haven't had a waxing moon circle in a while and there were some things I wanted to address. However, my mother is home from the hospital now (which is good news!) and she stays up about as late as I do and then yells at me to go to bed, which is what just happened about five minutes ago. It's nearly 3:00am. I could very well do circle NOW, since I've had to wait until the wee hours before, but I AM tired and wanted to take a shower first, and we do have to get up and do things tomorrow.

So I still don't know yet whether I will shower and/or do ritual after I get offline.

Tomorrow, I'm not sure of all the things we're doing, but I need to get a few more supplies for my jewelry because we have a craft sale this weekend that I have to stock up for. My cousin (the only other Wiccan in my family, with whom I have never done anything because she moved across the country years ago, around when I began practicing, unfortunately) asked if I could make her a Tree of Life pendant (she was looking online and found one but would rather pay me than a stranger) and I've been wanting to try it, so she gave me the boost I needed to do it! I really like how my first one turned out and now she wants one exactly like it, so I need to get more stuff in order to make even more to sell at the sale and on Etsy. I'm hoping those could become a big seller, like my Beady Buddies seem to be doing right now but they only cost $2.00. =)

Anyway, do you ever have to postpone rituals or do them VERY LATE or very early, or in some way wiggle your schedule around it, in order to have the conditions you feel necessary? I bet having my own house someday will help.


23 June, 2012

Cornucopia of Thoughts

Hey, Readers!

It's strange to write that greeting now, knowing that there actually are people following this blog. Hello! I am honored by your presence. But don't worry! I won't allow your being here to make me worried about how much I'm (not) posting. This blog is still, largely, for me. Just the things I am willing to share with the world.

I've done a lot of journaling lately, and some of the things I wrote about ARE things I will write or make videos about at a later date. But for now, I kind of feel like they're in flux, and should therefore wait until some time has passed for me to write on them.

Interjection: It's 2am here and my friend just texted me a quote from Frost. I love my life. =)

Anyway, instead of writing fully on individual topics right now, I will jot down a bunch of spirituality-related thoughts and connections I've been mulling over in one of my favorite forms: the bulleted list.

  • I made a video on magick and coincidence (oh, that reminds me, I'm behind on linking videos here, too) in response to a question that an atheist asked me, which lead to conversations with two other atheists, one of whom I've commented back and forth with before.
    • The new one lead me to thoughts about questioning, proof, and mostly, Nature. The crux of my little discovery through this discussion, which I have told no one but my journal yet but will elaborate upon at a late time, is "Nature is Diverse." Sounds obvious, doesn't it? It should.
    • The one I talked to before lead me through this new discussion to one main lesson learned: When we way that our paths are about taking responsibility for yourself, your actions, and your beliefs, we mean it. It is not my duty to convince someone of anything. If someone wants to believe, of course they can get help from others, but ultimately it's up to them. No one can expect us to make them believe. Even if I could, I wouldn't do it. It's a personal journey. It's your responsibility.
  • I love when the backwards tab actually takes me back to the main bullet. I really like bulleted lists, though I know that normally none of the bullets should be this long. They'll get shorter.
  • My friend is still reciting poetry at me via technology and it's wonderful.
  • I definitely want to do a video about sharing our rituals/altars. I have this weird back and forth going on in my head where I like seeing other people's altars, but I feel strange stopping in the middle of getting ready to do ritual to take pictures. It feels showy to me, even though I don't think that about other people when I look at theirs. Anyway, video on that sometime later.
  • Speaking of, Midsummer was nice. I didn't get up at dawn like I wanted, and I couldn't have a fire and no one would come over if I invited them anyway, so I did a small thing on my own at the lake which I think was rather lovely. And I DID take some pictures, just in case.
  • Many of us "modern pagans" view sacrifice as giving of ourselves. A layer of my skin has just been sacrificed to the sun, literally, so why not make it concrete and actually offer that? Out with the old, in with the new. I just wish it all came off in bigger pieces, like when my gecko, Kitty Lizard, sheds.
  • I met a couple pagans at the craft sale we did last weekend!
    • I was selling my jewelry and a girl wanted a pair of earrings I had made with pentacle charms. She was with her aunt, who said, "I would love to get them for you but I know your mom will have a fit." The aunt then told me that she and her husband had a pagan wedding and it was hard to get the family there, let alone buying the girl pentacles. The girl asked me what they were--she didn't know they were a symbol of anything. Just stars to her at that point. I told the aunt to send me a message on Etsy & I'll make the girl the same pair of earrings with another charm. I hope she does.
    • But also, that means there are other pagans somewhere nearby!
  • The pagans I know IRL can't celebrate with me, and that makes me sad. My cousin lives across the country and I'm not sure she practices regularly. My friend G lives a ways away and is hard to get hold of. And my ex-boyfriend and his fiancee say they're pagan and make a big deal of talking about it but I'm not even sure they actually practice. Last I knew, my ex wanted to be pagan but knew nothing about it and I was supposed to teach him but at the time the breakup was recent so I didn't want to, and now his fiancee doesn't let him near me, so of course they can't come over to celebrate.
  • After reading The Spiral Dance I really desire more personal community, face-to-face. I'm not going to run and jump into the first coven I meet, of course. But it would at least be nice to have a small group of people I could celebrate sabbats with. Those feel like community times to me. Family times.
  • Anni is leaving YouTube/PaganPerspective and I'm going to miss her because she is one of the best things ever.
  • I want to travel and meet all my YouTube people. Everyone from PaganPerspective (Anni, Charlie, Bren, Cole, Rich, DR & Feather, Eric, Erriender, Waide, Liz, Yucca, Pat... so many current and past!), Tya, Sayge, James, Jody, Amanda!, and the list just goes on. I need time and money, please.
  • I need to spend at least one year of my life living in the southern hemisphere. I am continually embarrassed at how much I don't know is opposite down there. I knew the seasons/sabbats were, but someone recently mentioned that the moon phases are, too, and I just never knew that. I think living a turn of the wheel essentially on my head would be a good experience. Again with the time and money, please.
  • I would love to teach. I feel too young, but at the same time I know that the little bit I have learned in the past eight years can help others. Besides, we can learn together.
  • I need to make my witchy t-shirts! I didn't get approved to sell them on the site, so I want to make my own, by hand, and sell them directly through my Etsy along with my other stuff.
    • I want to make stencils first, so I can just trace & decorate each shirt and they'll all be unique but more uniform than if I free-handed each one over and over. It will save time and sanity.
    • Ideas for shirts have been to make ones with my face (which I will not attempt by hand, thank you), ones with phrases about "cute witch" (I thought "PROUD TO BE A CUTE WITCH" or "I'm a CUTE WITCH"), my quote about balance, "YOU DON'T GET IT," quotes from my Shit People Say video, etc.
  • I bought magnet sheets so I could make magnets with my artwork, but I haven't done that yet because I don't know what to put on them. I also haven't told anyone or asked for suggestions.
  • If I cleansed a space with my besom the way I swept the barn today, it would take a lot longer.
Now I'm getting away from the thoughts I already had and reminding myself of other things, so I'll stop there. I'm glad I remembered to add the broom one, because I did have a long conversation with myself about that earlier. Even mundane tasks become magical explorations for me.

Enough. I'm going to watch some My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic now. Oh, that reminds me, after making one of those connections with the atheist conversation, I watched an episode wherein Twilight Sparkle, the resident magician unicorn of the group, tries to find scientific evidence for Pinkie Pie's intuition. The practitioner of unicorn magic is a scientific skeptic. Take that, expectations and stereotypes!

Good night, thanks for reading, and Blessings~

11 June, 2012

Christian Day knows I exist.

One of my viewers just commented on my “SHIT PEOPLE SAY” video asking me if I knew that Christian Day just shared it on Facebook.


My first thought: oh shit, now someone famous in the pagan community knows I exist and I barely know enough about them to form an opinion, oh shit, what. WHAT. WHY.


Turns out, I have Jason Philip to thank for posting it first, because it appears that Mr. Day (“The World’s Most Famous Warlock”) linked it from him. So thanks, Jason! I don’t know who you are either, unfortunately! Also, Christian Day thinks I’m in high school. Just like everyone else. I LOOK very young, but I’m 21, and I made this video during my senior year of undergraduate school but have since graduated. I’ll be 22 this summer. =)

At least Lecia knew I was in college at the time! But yes, I have since graduated, still look young, and yeah. Some people actually make snide comments about lineage, especially to us solitaries. What can you do? Make a video about it so people know they’re not alone. Basically. =P


07 June, 2012

Salt Burns

Dear Readers,

I think I gave myself salt burn during my esbat ritual. I'm not entirely sure, but I woke up the next morning with these little marks on my fingers and no idea how they got there!

I didn't put out any flames with my fingers, I didn't touch any flames with my hands at all, and I didn't touch any hot metal. So the only think I can think of is that I got salt burn from consecrating all the crystals/items I was cleansing because I had water left on my fingertips when I pinched the salt. I would be surprised if that were the case, because normally you need ice for that, but hey. It's the only explanation that makes sense. I'm writing this blog a good three nights later, and by now the marks are gone.

I'm probably going to do a video at some point, not about my ritual, necessarily, but about sharing our rituals/how rituals went. It's a strange subject for me, so I think it's worth sharing some thoughts. I don't know yet how much I will say, as is the nature of the strange subject, so I can't promise anything. We'll see.

In other news, I'm almost done reading The Spiral Dance. I'll read the final chapter tonight (this morning) before bed. Right now I have to post some things to my Etsy and finish watching this episode of Without a Trace first.

I hope you all had an enjoyable esbat, whatever you did, and I hope you're enjoying the summer, any nice weather that's come your way, and all the fortunes your life holds.


02 June, 2012

Candle Gazing

I started reading Starhawk's The Spiral Dance after I got it a short while ago. I haven't read every day, but I try to read whole chapters at a time, plus her notes from the ten- and twenty-year anniversaries, so I get the updates right after reading the chapter, to better remember.

Today, I read chapter seven, and I might begin chapter eight before I go to bed. But I decided that instead of diving right into chapter eight immediately, I would stop and do one of her easy little suggested activities. The simplest one I can think of, besides grounding and centering which I've done for years (and her definition of centering differs from mine), is candle gazing.

The goal of candle gazing is to increase your focus and concentration by gazing at a candle flame for five to ten minutes without letting your gaze un-focus, or go blurry, crossed, fuzzy, or double-visioned. So I lit a candle, sat comfortably on my futon, and settled the candle in front of me.

At first, I thought it might be difficult. Thirty seconds seemed to take forever and I thought "I'm going to do this for five minutes?!" But it's really not difficult. You just have to LOOK. After a while, it was tempting to shift my focus and scry in the flame--it kept moving in such interesting ways I had never consciously noted a flame moving in before, and I watch flames quite a bit. But after a while, I was sure it had been five minutes, and my gaze hadn't lost focus. I determined that this was probably not a necessary skill-builder for me, and I know I have pretty good concentration, but I still think it's good to test those basic skills every now and again.

I tried doing some other focus exercises with it, then, focusing on a specific size of flame or quickness, playing with wax and heat, and dropping an energy ball onto it. There were varying degrees of success. I doubt myself, suddenly ask myself "What on Earth am I doing?" Even after eight years and several obvious successes, I still occasionally doubt my ability to repeat a feat. Still, the next thing I knew, half an hour had passed.

Get a candle and a comfy spot and try candle gazing for yourself. You don't have to do it a lot if your concentration is already good, but it's worth flexing those muscles and maybe developing some more.