30 September, 2012


Hey, Readers,

A simple title this time, for a topic that is anything but.

A lot of things I'm about to say are not things I was planning on mentioning anytime soon, but would eventually. But now, I have to. So keep quiet about it so it doesn't spoil it when I go to talk about it later. =)

22 September, 2012

Autumnal Equinox, N. hemisphere

Hey, Readers,

Today has been a magical day, that's for sure. Let me just share some highlights, leading up to where I am now.

17 September, 2012

Passing Familiars

Hey, Readers,

This past week, my Wiccan friend from church (who really needs a nickname if I'm going to refer to her online) told me that her familiar passed. For once, I actually do know how she feels. My familiar passed away two summers ago. Though they passed from this world in drastically different ways, the two--both cats, by the bye--had very similar effects on us. I sent my friend the link to the memorial video I made for Mystery, as an example of part of how I dealt with the loss. I also performed a ritual for Mystery, and since her passing I have still included her in several rituals, honoring her at Samhain and so on. I also still see her.

At church on Sunday, my friend did appear visibly distressed. It was easier for me, though, actually understanding. So many times we try to comfort friends when we have no idea what they're going through. I still don't know my friend very well, and I didn't know her Zoey. But I know what it must have been like, because of Mystery.

My friend said that what I said about Mystery in my video, how she came into my life around the time I started practicing and left when I had started getting back into it seriously, somewhat applied to her timeline with Zoey. She was going through a really hard life transition at the time, and Zoey was a comfort. We're not sure what it is about her path now that may parallel the reason Mystery left me, if there is a reason similar for her, but she does hope that, as I see it, Zoey was called back in order to help someone else who needs her more.

I made my memorial video for Mystery in order to help people know her more. I don't know much about Zoey, but at least you can know what I know, and keep her memory alive. Zoey loved to help my friend smudge the circle. She would follow her around the circle as it was cleansed. She was also quite selfless, always being there to comfort my friend. Even when Zoey was sick, I'm told, she would curl up on my friend's lap to comfort her. "Here she is comforting me, because I'm crying because she's sick! And I'm like, you're the one who's sick, I should be comforting you!" We hope Zoey is providing that kind of comfort for someone else now.

During the service, my friend had written in the Book of Joys and Cares to be read out loud to the congregation that the family cat had passed away. The person serving that day said "I don't know the cat's name, she didn't write it here, but I'm sure the cat was well loved and will be missed." An old man seated in front of us, who clearly didn't know he was so near the person whose Care was read, leaned over to the person next to him and said "The cat doesn't know it's name, either! Haha!" The next part of the service was the Silent Lighting of Candles, where we light a candle to mark a special event, remember a loved one, or "because we feel moved by a deep reason to do so." As we stood up, my friend tapped the man on the shoulder, and when he looked up at her, said, "Her name was Zoey."

I had been planning on lighting my candle for Mystery. I lit it for that man, instead. And for anyone who would see fit to poke fun at someone's loss. Perhaps people think a cat is not a significant loss, since most losses read to the congregation are of human family members and friends. But to us, whose lives have been changed and aided by these, our beautiful, magickal creature-friends... They are extremely significant.

Side Note: After that, I did spend a moment during our meditation manifesting a bundle of positive energy, both for her situation as well as for the man who made the comment, and for the congregation at large. I have always done this and felt that it works but it's only a feeling of mine. But my friend turned to me during a silent moment and said, "Thank you for the positive energy. I can feel that." I've never had confirmation like that, and she doesn't even know I needed it. I didn't know I needed it. But it helped. And so we help each other.

A candle for Zoey.
A candle for Mystery.
A candle for Ignorance.
A candle for Bliss.


11 September, 2012

So You're New to the Craft...

Hey, Readers,

This is my script to this week's video on The Pagan Perspective. It covers three questions: one for general advice for new pagans, and two from a new pagan about how to be a pagan and about the number of gods.

The questions:
from CulainRuledByVenus
--I just uploaded a video directed at people new to Paganism, and now am wondering how you too would address them. Considering the broad spectrum of all that it is, implies, entails, and even all that it is made out to be by those who misunderstand and misrepresent it, I'm asking for your thoughts on this in the spirit of general advice and suggestions. I had suggested that newcomers should gather many perspectives about it, and thought "What better accommodation than the Pagan Perspective?"
Thank for reading,
from mikilee2290
--i need help being a pure pagan. i been raised in a christian family, and im only 12, and i wanna be pagan, but was never taught how. can you help me?
--how many gods are there

08 September, 2012

VIDEOS: Lily Dale Assembly

Hey, Readers,

For those of you who also like to be viewers, here are the two videos posted on my channel from my trip to Lily Dale, New York! We went on 18 August, 2012 and I posted the videos later, but didn't link them here until now.
Me, outside the Healing Temple in Lily Dale.

Me, at the beach in Lily Dale.

Oh, and here's a bonus picture of me with Raymond Buckland's Corvette. =)
Buckland's Corvette and me in Lily Dale. <3

I've said I would possibly blog more about the trip later on, but I haven't yet. Perhaps in the future! Until then, please enjoy the videos.


04 September, 2012

No-Show Witchcraft

Hey, Readers!

Some people like to wear no-show socks. Some people like no-show deodorant. Me? Well, I enjoy those things, too, but something else I don't tend to show much of is my spellcrafting or much of my practice.

This post is both an update to the last post about my "blue moon" ritual plans being cancelled, and an attempt to address something that a viewer pointed out which has also been an ongoing struggle of my own. I refer to the practice of sharing our personal practice online, and the connected suspicion that if we don't show it, maybe we're not really doing it at all.

Uncommon Species
Of the almost 300 videos on my YouTube channel so far, I have 54 in my "Religion-related videos" playlist at the time of this blog post, and some others are probably also related to my spirituality but not enough that I put them in the playlist. Of these 54 videos, I can count FOUR demonstrations and TWO celebrations--videos where I show an event I'm attending (a drum circle in 2008, and Pagan Pride in August 2012). There are also several videos where I explain, in words, something I have done previously or the way I normally do something (like grounding/centering) without actually showing me doing these things. Of these videos, I can count somewhere around FIVE. I know that on paganperspective I have done at least two demonstrations, one showing how I would do a "love spell" to draw love to me, and the other was some energy work that I have an extra video from on my channel. So as you can see, showing myself doing spellcraft is not common, but I have shown some things, and other things I am alright with explaining in words.

The rest of my practice--the other drum circles I've attended or held in my backyard or living room with family and friends, the first group practices I did way back in 2004-2008 when I was starting to study Wicca, each time I cleanse crystals by the full moon and the sun, walking meditations, dreams, shadow work circles, elemental meditation circles, my Litha ritual this year, little spells here and there for energy or healing or protection and so on, or the simple offerings and crystal cleansing I did for the "blue moon" this past week--is not shown. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist, of course. It only means that I don't show it to the whole world. Many of my rituals are done outside in the middle of the night, so recording wouldn't even be practical if I wanted to record them. I think everyone understands that not every moment of any YouTuber's life is shown in videos. Even the Shaytards, who have posted a video every day for years now, leave out some moments. So I think people know that just because I'm not showing my craft does not mean it doesn't exist, especially when I do talk about a lot of things afterwards.

A Personal Choice
Despite this probable understanding, I do struggle with what to show and what not to. From the beginning, I did not feel it was right to record myself performing a ritual. Something like that is personal, and having it recorded feels to me like I'm only doing the ritual to show it to others, which is not the case when I'm working. I don't even show my altar set-ups, because whenever I go to take a picture, I have this feeling of "So you set this up just to show other people?" I enjoy looking at pictures of other people's altars, and people have asked to see mine, yet so far I have not desired to show my personal practices. I talk about them pretty openly, but SHOWING them is different for me. I did, however, take a few photos with my cell phone of what I did for my Litha ritual this year, planning on sharing it later on down the line, or maybe even next year. I need a buffer zone for sharing things, to a point where I feel it's been long enough that it won't affect my feelings about what I've done. I need and want that personal time with it. It's for me and my connection to the Universe. Yet, I enjoy connecting to other people. So I do have some pictures stored away that I may share at some point, and I do plan on showing my "Craft Room" at some point in a video.

Like I said, there are some videos that do show or explain bits of my practice, though perhaps they are too rare for people to take note. Even when I've done demonstrations of spells in video, the one on paganperspective was for demonstration only, going through the motions. I did it again afterwards with my energy actually into it. I didn't feel comfortable actually performing it on camera, but I wanted to show my process to show people how I do it. In my flower affirmation video, I was actually collecting the flowers I wanted and then releasing them, so that was as close to showing real work as I got with video, though to me it was much more informal and therefore did not bother me as much to show it. And with my Doorknob Spell, I would show that, but it was just a story about what happened years ago! If I still had the dry erase doorknob hanger, I would gladly demonstrate, but I think that one's pretty self-explanatory as a story. In my Samhain Ritual video, I talk about what I did with the UU club. It wasn't appropriate to record the actual event, but I didn't mind at all telling my viewers the specifics, and I do plan to share the notes of the ritual at some point so that others may use it if they like.

Finally, I come to the most recent, my Pagan Pride 2012 video which was recorded at Cleveland Area (Ohio) Pagan Pride on 25 August. We got there just in time for a public ritual of sorts, and when it began I gave the camera to my friend so that he could record some things while my other friend and I participated in the ritual. It mostly consisted of dancing, and the video shows just a little of us greeting the elements while the leaders of the ritual did the actual calling. I thought since it was public anyway, sharing a bit would be a good opportunity for others to see. Several people commented on the fact that they don't usually see me participating in ritual or actually doing any working, so it was nice to see. And one person voiced my thoughts that I have long since ceased worrying about--whether anyone else had been wondering if I was "all talk."

I don't blame anyone for wondering it, necessarily. I have sometimes wondered if people thought that about me. But as I responded to the comment, my personal feelings are still more important. I do show some things, and I share a lot of things in the form of stories and explanations. I do not feel as though I am in any way coming off as fake. But I have wondered if some people think so, because there are quite a lot of pagans on YouTube who show themselves doing various things pretty frequently. Perhaps I am a minority, but I don't mind it.

More of the Same
While I do not personally feel that I am doing myself a disservice, I do think maybe it's important to share the videos I have done that show or demonstrate things, and to share why I don't show more. I really appreciate people's videos that show me how to do things, like make offering stones or black salt, or when Dancing Rabbit demonstrated Starhawk's salt water cleansing. So why don't I do more of that, showing things that I do? People have asked me to show how I cleanse stones, and I keep meaning to and just haven't yet. People ask to see my altars, and again, when I get to showing my witchy room, I will show my general, simple set-ups. But generally I don't show more because 1) I don't feel like I know enough or know something better than anyone else, that I should make a video about it, or 2) it feels too personal and I don't want to betray that, or 3) I feel that it suffices to point you to someone else, because that's where I got it anyway, so why should I redo it? I hold no specific authority just because it's me doing the video.

I'm going to continue only showing what I feel is appropriate (by my own standards) to show, and I am going to continue enjoying what others feel like sharing. Nothing will change, but maybe it does good to explain.


01 September, 2012

"Blue" Moon Cancelled Plans

Hey, Readers,

One of the most difficult things about being a solitary practitioner is really sticking to a schedule and making sure you get things done. Especially when life is so busy, it's hard to plan something and actually do it. Distractions happen, things come up, things get in the way, and it's easy to just give up because you're not answering to anyone else. This month, I had the opportunity to dodge that issue because my Wiccan friend from church invited me to her house for a "blue moon" ritual. (Of course, this is not a real blue moon--it's what people popularly call a blue moon, the second full moon in a month. A blue moon is actually the fourth full moon in a given season of the year; there are normally three per season. The next actual blue moon takes place next year, in 2013.) We've been talking about this for weeks, and I was excited to get to experience a small group ritual with people who identify as the same religion as I do. I've done simple things with folks of other pagan paths or other spiritual paths, but this friend and her children identify as Wiccan.

This past weekend, I went to Pagan Pride with one of my friends and we met up with this Wiccan friend of mine and her kids to hang out for the day. One of her daughters got a new wand, which was going to be charged tonight along with whatever else we were going to do. I really had no idea what was being planned, just that something little would take place and probably a bonfire. Anyway, as you can tell from the title of this post, our ritual didn't happen at all. I texted my friend today to see what was going on, and she said we'd probably do something around 8pm. A little later she texted me that another person she invited couldn't make it so it might just be us. I was at work so I didn't respond until an hour later, when my shift ended, and then I didn't hear back from her for hours. While I waited, I did finally make myself a pair of ear cuffs to get me started on making some for my Etsy, so that was good. Then, past the time that I would have had to leave to get to her house by 8pm, she finally responded because she had just gotten my texts, letting me know that an illness she's been dealing with on and off came back and she doesn't feel well tonight, so we'll plan something for next month. The good thing about working every other weekend means that, at least for a couple cycles, the new and full moons line up with my weekends off of work! She said she still has to charge her daughter's wand, though, or they wouldn't hear the end of it. =) I told her to charge it up and get some aura healing going so she can feel better quickly and see me at church on Sunday.

I had hyped myself up too much for the ritual not to do anything--after all, I made new "earrings" for the occasion!--so I decided I would at least charge some crystals or make some offerings or something. But, of course, there is another obstacle for me. I still live in my mother's house, and the people who live here make noise. It's difficult for me to do any kind of ritual in my room with the background noise. I was going to go outside, but I was busy working on some things and then it was too dark and people were still awake and bustling about. I ended up watching videos and answering messages for hours. I was also texting my friends who have recently moved, and my boyfriend who just left for graduate school today, a couple hours away. I couldn't bring myself to end the conversation because I miss him. But I did have him place the rose quartz chunk that I gave him near the window, so when I charged my "matching one" (they're natural, so of course they are not identical, but I got them as a pair and charged them as a pair before giving him one), his would also be charged tonight under the moon. My beautiful, accepting, atheist boyfriend happily complied. I'm so glad he's supportive.

So long story short, it's a quarter to three o'clock in the morning on September 1st, there is a full not-really-blue-but-periwinkle-or-Alice-Blue moon outside in the sky, and I am writing this, still trying to decide what I will do. I should at least charge my stones, but will I clean up my craft room and do it indoors, or go outside in the front yard or field? Is it cold out there? Is it nice enough to bring my yoga mat out to meditate for a while? I wanted to walk to my two trees to make offerings, but it's dark--should I brave it under the moonlight, as an exercise, or wait until morning? Both? What do I want to get out of tonight, and how should I best go about it? I think I shall go outside, but then what shall I carry? I can't bring many things on a walk, but I need salt and water, and those are easy enough. I don't think I'll bother with a smudge stick and lighter. Oh, good golly, Miss Molly, and WHEN am I ever going to finish that car protection charm? Tonight? Perhaps. I probably should, but...

So you see, the big issue here is that I could easily not do anything. I don't have a friend waiting on me to arrive. I don't have a whole group planning what we'll do. It's just me. Me and my Universe, my gods, my trees, my moonlight, my crystals, my path. I like it, but I also dislike how easy it is to walk away. How easy to crawl into bed, and okay, maybe I read Drawing Down the Moon, but that's still not DOING anything for the observance. It is very easy not to hold yourself accountable. Thus, I write about it, so I will feel compelled to tell you later on whether I did something. Though I have always hated feeling like I've done something just for the sake of telling others. My path, after all. Just mine.