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Resting Witch Face

Meditation.  You’d have to be living in a bubble somewhere not to have heard about the importance of meditation for your physical and mental well-being.  Seriously, you can’t swing a dead rutabaga without bashing into a book on meditation, seeing a YouTube how-to video or a hearing about it on your favorite talk show or radio program. Meditation this and meditation that.  So, why the constant media bombardment and why am I writing about it here? Because all of this hoopla is correct. Meditation is vastly important. Not only for your physical and mental health but for your magickal health as well.

Cultivating a meditation practice affects your magick in several ways. First, and foremost, it makes a healthier and happier witch.  Meditation relaxes you, allows the cares and worries of the day to be carried away on your focused breath.  Relaxation fights dis-ease, aids in the fight against depression and anxiety and brings you mental clarity.  Mental clarity is essential in defining your Will, that which allows you to manifest the changes you wish to make in your world.

Secondly, it teaches focus and discipline, two vitally important skills to have as a magickal practitioner.  Without proper focus your spells and workings can fall flat, lacking the steady influx of energy vital to take them to manifestation. A good meditation practice teaches you to quiet your mind and to focus singularly for long stretches at a time, a requirement for adept spell work.

By disciplining yourself to maintain a meditation practice you will find that the discipline you need to move forward in your Craft becomes more effortless.  If you’ve already been maintaining a sitting practice of twenty minutes a day , adding 15 minutes or more of magickal activity – a must in my book for flexing your magickal muscles –  seems like child’s play.  Your newfound discipline can even be the catalyst you need to get off your now healthier butt and play in the moonlight more.

Last, but not lacking in importance, meditation allows a deeper connection with all that is, the Universe, your deities, your spirit guides, all of it. Quieting your mind gives those that wish to impart their wisdom, give you much needed answers, or just chat, a chance to get through. Meditation clears your mind of extraneous thoughts and quiets both your conscious and subconscious mind. This quiet cultivates the proper reception in our minds for communicating with those on much higher frequencies as well as allowing us to feel the more subtle astral vibrations associated with those on a different plane. Meditation opens us, clears us of ego, then offers up our quieted minds to bring us closer to our Gods, aid us in finding out more about ourselves spiritually and magically, and connects us with the vastness of the Universe. When we are connected, all things are possible. Imagine what that can do for your magick!

The next time the “M” word comes up and the verbal debate on just what it is and how to do it ensues, just smile and nod.  You now know how wonderful meditation is and the many benefits it can offer you.  So what are you waiting for? Take a seat, put on your resting witch face, and prove to yourself and the masses that meditation can make you the person, the magickal practitioner, the witch, you always knew you could be.

Namaste and Blessed Be!

 

 

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A Bad Case of the “Have Tos”

Once again I find myself driving home from work with a zillion thoughts zinging around in my head.  As I drive I’m mentally preparing a list of the things I have to do that evening, that week, that month.  There are the usual mundane things I have to do – laundry, housework, meal planning, yard work.  If that wasn’t enough to do, there are items that I have to do concerning my spiritual practice.  I have to get ready for Full Moon.  I have to write ritual for Hekate’s Feast. I have to work on my page and my blog. I have to, I have to, I have to.  Wait!  Oh no! I’ve caught a bad case of the “Have Tos”.

The “Have To’s” is an insidious little virus, infecting us all from the moment we are born until the day we move on.  We can’t seem to get away from them, all those pesky things we think we “have to” do. They hound us, wake us from our slumber, give us anxiety when we can’t get them all done. But do we really “have to”? Think about it?  Who is demanding that we “have to” do anything? What do we truly “have to” do?

Okay, I am not advocating that you stop doing everything.  Yes, there are those things we should do in order to take care of our well-being and the well-being of those we have chosen to place in our charge.  We must eat, drink, breathe, love, work in some fashion to feed ourselves and provide ourselves and our charges with shelter, and, eventually, die. That’s it. Really. Everything else we do is a choice.

Yes, a choice. The way you eat, drink, keep fit physically (or don’t), your spirituality, are all choices.  How, who and when we love are all choices.  Where and how we live are all choices. Even how we die can be a choice, though it is an inevitability.   When we understand that these things are choices we begin the eradication of the dreaded “Have Tos”

“But I have obligations,” you say.  “What about those?”  Just think on it for a moment.  What are obligations?  They are those tasks that society, family, or ourselves have placed upon us to perform.  But you as an individual have a choice as to whether or not you wish to accept that task.  You can choose to go your own way, behave how you wish, society be damned.  Or you can conform to keep the peace, the status quo.  That’s okay. It is your choice, either way. Truly, it is.

The infection of the “Have Tos” is not just contained to our physical life, but infiltrates into our spiritual and Witchcraft practices.  Please, leave the “Have To’s” outside our circles, covens, and groves because once they get in, they are a bitch to cure. Those “Have Tos” fog our senses and cause us to forget why so many of us chose our paths to begin with. Catch that?  Chose our paths. We shouldn’t “have to” honor the Sabbats or follow the moon cycles. We should want to.  We don’t “have to” meditate, commune with nature or honor our Gods. We choose to, desire to, are happy to.  As Witches, Wizards, Druids, or Pagans we have the power to choose how we practice, when we practice and why we practice.  It really is that simple.

The “Have Tos” is a horrible infection but it can be cured with time. To do so we must desire to unlearn years of programming and prescribe ourselves a big dose of Free Will. You remember that? The Gods gave it to us for one reason, that we may choose our own destiny. Yes, the cure can be painful. Sometimes the choices we make may hurt ourselves or others and could be downright dangerous or horribly wrong. But we learn and grow from our mistakes, healing ourselves with each freely made choice.

Curing ourselves of the “Have Tos” does not mean we will never do things we don’t truly want to do. It just frees us to choose the how’s and why’s we are doing them.  Society will not crumble because we choose not to mow the lawn today, leave a job you hate, don’t go to that family function for someone you detest, or run yourself ragged with your perpetual list of “have tos.”.  Once we are cured, freed of the “Have Tos” we become happier, more relaxed and, ultimately, more productive members of this society and the world.  So what are you waiting for? Take the cure.

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Summer’s Ripening

Our coven had a beautiful Summer Solstice ritual this past week. Our theme for the ritual was “Becoming”.  We asked each other how has what you planted at the Spring Equinox helped you to become who you are today?  As things are want to happen, this planned ritual evolved into not only our becoming, but our ripening.  How I love that word.

As witches we can’t stay green forever.  We need to learn, grow, advance, ripen or we shall merely rot on the proverbial vine,  But how can we gauge where we are in the process? How can we identify if we are green, ripe, or somewhere in between? I’d like to share my thoughts on this.

A green witch is a newbie, a beginner.  This does not imply that the witch has just found the Craft, but may also designate one who may have been practicing for a few years but has never moved past the beginning phases.

The beginner, the green, unripe witch does only basic work. They feel uncomfortable delving into shadow work and the mysteries. Ritual work is minimal and why they may follow the cycles of the year they are doing so rote, without actually delving into why we do so, they neglect to learn about their meanings, their core.  Spell work is their main focus, but the outcomes are hit and miss.  They understand that they need to do more, may even want to do more, but lack the proper instruction and/or motivation. While many may feel the lack of instruction others are perfectly comfortable with the level they are at. This is not necessarily a bad thing.  If you are comfortable at this level, then stick to it. But when has witchcraft ever been comfortable?

Next we find the burgeoning witch, the witch that is in the process of ripening but still has time on the vine. The majority of witches I know are in this stage.  Here, we are constantly learning, taking in the nutrients of hard work, dedication and practice.  We are delving into our shadows and dealing with the crap that is holding us back from reaching our potential.  We are understanding that the mysteries take years, decades to understand, if we ever truly do. Spell work is done when there is a need, not just for the sake of performing a spell and when we do so it is with the knowledge that our skills, through years of hard work and trial and error, are such that our outcomes are 98% favorable (sometimes what we want the Gods know we don’t really need).

In this phase we may begin to share our knowledge with our covens, circles and groves. We may become teachers, priest/priestesses, and counselors. Still, we require the support of our sisters and brothers in the craft to aid us in moving into the more advanced aspects of our journey. Trance work, thought forms, advanced sigil magick and divination work all are made easier when the witch in this stage leans heavily on her/his guides and magickal families to aid them on their journeys into ripeness.

The ripe witch, the crone, the sage, the adept, is what we all aspire to be and desire to emulate. The ripe witch is the one we all seem to go to with our questions, our stumbling blocks, our magickal failures as well as successes. They have mastered themselves, have delved into their shadows and come out whole.  They “know” without seeming a “know it all”. A ripe witch is one that has done the difficult inner work, has delved beyond the veil and back, has a deep relationship with their chosen deity(ies). He/she understands the web of life and how each and evert action we make affects us all. They are simply themselves, strong, capable, bad ass witches.  They live their magick each and every day. They ARE magick.

Where am I on this journey? Somewhere between burgeoning and ripe, I think.  I do know that there is so much I still need to learn and experience, so many of the mysteries I have yet to delve into.  My inner work is on-going and my skills can always be improved.  No matter where I may be on this adventure we call witchcraft, this is the path I wish to be on. But today I will just enjoy the summer sun and then, one day, I too shall ripen and become the adept witch I know I can become.

Blessed Be!