Disclaimer:

This blog does not represent the views, beliefs, traditions, etc. of all Pagans. This blog does not claim to be 100% correct, nor does it claim to have every answer. This blog represents the personal views, beliefs, and morals of one Pagan. This blog represents the belief system and spiritual journey of one Pagan. The blogger in charge of this blog is not looking for followers or others with the same outlook on life. The blogger believes that every individual is exactly that, an "individual;" with individual beliefs, individual paths, and individual outlooks on life. The blogger stresses how important it is for people to discover their own spiritual paths, their own system of beliefs, and their own morals.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Spread Love Where You Can, And Where You Can't, Spread Forgiveness

A wise philospher man (Goddess rest his soul) once told me, "...spread love where you can, and where you can't, spread a little forgiveness." This was five years ago, and this man has become very dear and close to me. And if you ever wanted to know who was the first person to find out I was pregnant with my (now four year old) son, it was him. I was seeking some guidance and wisdom, looking for a level-headed opinion on my options, and confiding in a friend.

It made sense, perfect sense. And in the back of my mind, this has always been the key to world peace in my opinion. After his death, I swore I would get this bit of wisdom tattooed on me. It's been over two years now, and I still haven't gotten around to getting it done.

As I was sitting in church this morning, playing the role of the good and obedient daughter of my Catholic parents, I was once again taking advantage of the time to do some "mommy meditation," and reflection. I had finally figured out where I wanted to put this tattoo, and was reflecting on how much this bit of wisdom means to me. This quote has become my life's motto over the years, and I have tried to do my very best to living this bit of wisdom every day.

But there has been one life event that I have struggled to apply this wisdom to: the domestic violence,  and rape that led to the conception of my son. I could never love the man who so horrifically abused and assaulted me. There may have been a time I once thought I loved him, but looking back now, I realize it was not love, it was fear and terror that I tried to suppress and rationalize. I could never forgive him for what he had done to me. I love my son, and he is my world, but my son does not deserve to have been created from violent and horrific acts, and I certainly did not deserve to be the victim of such acts.

So how could I apply this wisdom to such a horrific and terrifying time of my life?

As I was being the dutiful daughter, it hit me. I would never love or forgive the man who so deeply hurt me, but I could forgive myself. It was something I had never done. I had never forgiven myself for allowing myself to be victimized. I had never forgiven myself for allowing such an evil person in my life. I had never forgiven myself for believing his lies. I never forgave myself for letting him control me. And I had never forgiven myself for not leaving him sooner than I had.

Spread love where you can, and where you can't, spread forgiveness. It never meant I had to forgive those who wronged me. I do not have to love evil people, and I do not have to forgive evil actions. In those life moments, where it seems I am surrounded by evil, I can love and forgive myself. And that is good enough.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Lessons in the Correllian Tradition: Lesson One - Basic Intro

Lesson One: Basic Intro

  • Wicca
    • is a religion
    • not primarily about magic, although it does use magic
    • your place in the universe
    • your evolution as a spiritual being
    • moving forward on your personal spiritual journey
      • learning
      • growing
      • becoming the most you can be
    • a way of understanding and interacting with deity and the universe 
    • a life-affirming path of growth and expansion
    • based on reverence for nature and nature's cycles
    • teaches respect for the earth and all creatures
    • teaches us to reverse the natural forces of the universe
    • allows us to see them reflected in the world around us
    • has a great reverence for deity
      • approach deity through many names and forms
      • male and female
      • believes deity comes to each person in the way that is best understood by that person
      • believes the relationship between a person and deity is highly individual, personal, and subjective
    • strong moral base
      • treating each other in an honorable and loving manner
      • Do as you will, but harm none
    • a pagan or native religion
      • "pagan" means "from the countryside
        • reflects the fact that Pagans follow indigenous, native religions rather than "book" religions
      • built up over time as a result of people's observations and experiences
        • they are living, growing religions that can do change when change is needed
      • revere the natural forces and cycles of life
        • from observation of and interaction with these forces and cycles, beliefs develop
    • unrelated to book religions
      • book religions share common elements:
        • belief in a final day of judgment
        • a jealous and vengeful god
        • basic sinfulness of humanity (original sin)
        • superiority of male sex
        • idea of Hell or place of eternal torture
  • Wicca as a Spiritual Path
    • a path of transformation and growth
    • challenges and leads you to a renewed and enriched existence
    • not an exclusive religion
      • all paths lead to deity
    • one does not need to belong to a given faith or tradition to be a good person or to grow spiritually
    • learning to make your own choices
    • seeks to open your thinking, not limit it
  • To Be Wiccan
    • to move at one with deity
    • to honor nature and all that is in it
    • to acknowledge the life in all things
    • to be in harmony with all life
    • to work with seen as well as unseen
    • to learn the secrets of stones, plants, and animals
    • to speak to/with other-kin
    • to use every tool available to grow, learn, and become the best you can be
    • to use magic, meditation, and ritual to overcome limitations, fears, and imperfections
    • to move in harmony with deity
    • to move to the good
    • to be in accordance with your higher self

  • The Cornelian Tradition
    • strong emphasis on the philosophical aspects of Wicca
    • strong emphasis on the spirituality and inner mysteries of the Wiccan religion
    • liturgically does not differ from other Wiccan traditions
    • a unique attitude toward the Pagan community and its future
    • dedicated to the advancement of the Pagan people
    • believe strongly in the need for increased communication and cooperation between all Pagans, despite location or traditions
    • stress the importance of Pagan clergy as teachers and facilitators
    • stress the importance of strong public presence
    • emphasizes celebratory and initiatory Wicca
    • strongly committed to accessible public ritual
  • Tradition Leadership
    • Witan Council
      • made up of all temple heads, elders, and officers of the tradition
    • Correllian Council of Elders
      • heads and officers of the tradition and its most respected members
    • First Priestess and Priest
      • considered to be liturgical joint heads of the tradition
      • function as heads of the Correll Mother Temple
    • Chief Administrator 
      • the chancellor
      • represents and is empowered to act for tradition's leadership
    • First Elder
      • responsible for ceremonial duties

Glossary

Correllian Tradition: Correllianism is highly philosophical and syncretic in its views, believing that Deity comes to the individual from within and that religion exists to help that process, not replace it. Correllianism believes that all of the indigenous, or Pagan, religions of the world are equally worthy and share fundamental concepts that are universal in nature, while at the same time manifesting external differences appropriate to their respective cultural origins. It also believes that Pagan religions must stand together and acknowledge each other's worth. In previous years, Cornelian Wicca was called Nativist Wicca, and it is still formally termed Cornelian Nativist Wicca.

"Do as you will, but harm none:" the Wiccan Rede, considered the oldest and most sacred Wiccan "law." Many traditions have "laws" or rules of their own, but the Wiccan Rede is the only one that almost all traditions agree on. Not all traditions agree on how thee word harm should be interpreted here.

The God: Consort of the Goddess, the God, who is represented by the sun, is lord of the cycles of life. He is seen as the god of vegetation and of the forests, but also as lord of animals. He is represented as dying and being reborn each year in a cycle with the seasons.

Polarities: The concept of polarity is the idea that the Universe is held in balance by the interaction of two equal but opposite forces. These are variously described as darkness and light, spirit and matter, yin and yang, and Goddess and God. Everything that exists is made up of both of these qualities to varying degrees.

Syncretic: Syncretism is the likening of disparate ideas in the belief that they express a common truth. In religion, syncretism is the idea that the different religions of the world all reflect the same basic truths, but in differing ways - and that these differences are essentially external rather than integral to the true meanings of the religions. Syncretism is a dominant aspect of historic and contemporary Pagan religions. Syncretism is the likening of deities from one area to deities from another. Thus, at the dawn of human history, the Egyptians likened the southern Amon to the northern Ra, being them as the same deity. Similarly, the Egyptians likened Ptah, Seker, and Osiris to one another, seeing them as one - a practice that extended throughout Egyptian religion. Much later, the Romans likened the Celtic Cernunnos and Secullos, the Germanic Odin, and their own Mercury to one another, again, seeing them all as one deity. The highest expression of syncretism in the ancient world was the worship of the goddess Isis, which in later periods taught that all deities were expressions of the same divine power, expressed as polarities - but this was by no means an exclusively Isiac view. The short-lived Priest Emperor Elagabalus created the most concrete example of syncretism in the form of his Elagabalium, a temple raised to all gods as one.

Triple Goddess: The three forms of the Triple Goddess reflect the three phases of the moon: Maiden (waxing moon), Mother (full moon), and Crone (waning moon). The Triple Goddess is the form of the Mother Goddess most often found in Wicca and underlying most Wiccan thought. Her symbol is the moon, and she is also represented by earth itself (often spoken of as her body), by the sea, or by the whole of the universe. Her spirit suffuses all things.

Wicca: Wicca is a nature-based Pagan religion focused on the worship of the Mother Goddess and her consort and the observance of the cycles of nature and the universe. Wicca is highly eclectic, drawing from many sources both in its origin and in its contemporary practices. Wicca also acknowledges and seeks to develop the higher powers of the soul through the practices of magic.

Wiccan Tradition: Tradition in the Wiccan religion is the term used to describe an individual denomination as distinct from others. There are many Wiccan traditions, including the Gardnerian Tradition, the Alexandrian Tradition, the Seax-Wicca Tradition, the North Wind Tradition, the Blackstone Tradition, the Lothlorien Tradition, and many more. All are equally worthy, and all, in theory at least, respect each other equally. As membership in any Wiccan tradition is wholly voluntary, it is never appropriate for a member of one tradition to pass judgment on the practices of another tradition, except in regard to whether a given practice is the right one for that member as an individual.

Study Questions:

  • How does Deity come to a person?
  • Who has the right to decide the best way for a person to interact with Deity?
  • What is a Wiccan "tradition?"
  • What is meant by the term polarities?
  • What is the one "law" that almost all Wiccans agree on?
  • What is the original meaning of the word Pagan?
  • What are the "book" religions? How do they differ from Pagan religions?
  • Are Pagan religions and the book religions related to each other?
  • Is Wicca an exclusive religion?
  • Other than Correllianism, name a Wiccan tradition.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Finding Your Spirit Animal

Everyone loves animals. Some more than others. No matter what your specific degree of affection for the animal world, every human on earth has an animal spirit guide. Animal spirit guides, also called power animals, animal totems and fuzzy buddies, are animals that are spiritually and emotionally connected to us.
Different people have different animal spirit guides. The type of animal that walks in your shadow (not literally) bestows upon you unique natural powers that may help you adapt to new surrounding, become leader of the pack, or bite the heads off of all of those who oppose you (literally).
Chances are, you have already thought of an animal that you want to be your animal guide (it’s a shark, right?). Well, think again, buddy, because I’ve got news for you – you don’t choose your animal spirit guide. It chooses you! You can’t just say, “Wow, sharks are so cool! I want to be just like them – dominant, cunning and completely hairless.”
That’s just not how it works. Unfortunately, you have to wait for your spirit animal to come to you. Luckily, there are a couple ways to bait your spirit animal out of hiding so that it will reveal itself to you. According to the Native Americans, the first to harness the power of spirit animals, there are two ways to effectively find your animal spirit guide:
The most ideal way to find your spirit animal guide is through intense meditation. Start by journeying deep into the forest, desert or produce section of your grocery store. Then, draw a circle around you and bless the area with a sacred medicine, such as healing sage, soothing mint leaves or tough actin’ Tinactin. Sit in the middle of the circle and meditate. Breathe deeply, in and out. Clear your mind completely and open your heart.
After a period of time – from several hours to several days – you will hear something. It is your spirit animal coming to greet you (or possibly the produce manager telling you the store is closing). Your spirit animal will speak with you. However, unless you speak Wolf (or whatever) you won’t understand a thing the animal is saying. That is okay, though, because you have found your spirit animal and soon it will teach you how to speak in howls, meows, chirps or ca-caws so that it may guide you in your daily life.
Alternatively, if you don’t feel like meditating, you can probably just open up a zoology book or something and stop on a random page. Then, you could pick the animal on that page that you like the best, and maybe that can be your animal spirit guide.
Once you have found your spirit animal, it is important to connect with it so that it can more easily guide your path. Learn everything you can about it – what it eats, special skills, life cycles, its baby making process, etc. Then, find ways to honor and get close to your spirit animal in the physical world. For example, if your animal is a forest creature, go camping and gain reverence for the forest. Or, if your animal is a bird, build a nest out of twigs and stones and put it in a tree. Then, sit in the nest for a few days (naked), grooming yourself with a papier mache beak and incubating the eggs you bought from the supermarket.
After you gain a better understanding of your spirit animal, it will help guide you spiritually, mentally and sexually. Eventually, you will achieve your full potential and you and your spirit animal will become one. At such a time, you will transform into a superior half-man, half beast transmorph that possesses the power to both drive a car AND rip the flesh from an antelope through sheer force.
Just as Mother Nature intended.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Altar Blessing

The first time you erect a permanent altar, you should bless it. If the altar ever becomes blocked with negative energy, perform the blessing again.
You will need:
  • Sage wand or incense
  • Broom
  • Tools and decorations for the altar
  • White candle
1. Place the altar in the desired location. Light a sage wand and waft the smoke through the area to remove any negative energy. Symbolically sweep the area clean with a broom.
2. Cast a circle around the altar and invite the elemts.
Inviting the elements -- recite:
"Air, element of east
South, element of fire
Water, element of west
Earth, element of north"
If there are others participating in the blessing say "Please join me in blessing my ritual altar" and recite it again. If you are alone, recite it twice.
3. Invite the deities, saying "Lady of light, lady of the moon, lady of wisdom. Lord of earth, lord of the sun, lord of knowledge. Please join me in blessing my altar."
Same rules aply as in #2
4. Lay down an altar cloth if you are using one, then arrange the tools on top. State what each tool represents as you possition it (for example: "The chalice represents the elemnt of water").
5. Light a withe candle and place it at the center of the altar. Close your eyes and visualize a white sphere forming around the altar. Say "I cleanse and consecrate this altar for my magical purposes. May it provide grounding and correct energy."
6. Thank and release the deities; release the quarters and open the circle.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Pagan Experience - May Week 2

Time

Time is a funny thing. It is ever constant, and yet ever changing. Have you ever noticed how time speeds up when you are in the moment? When you are lost in pure bliss and joy, time races past us, and before you know it the day is gone. But then again, when you're caught in a painful or awkward moment, time seems to creep by. When you'd rather be doing something else and be somewhere else, time slows to a crawl.

Time is free and priceless. You can use it, but you can't own it. You can spend it, but you can't keep it. You can lose it, and you can never get it back. 

Often times, we take time for granted. We think that we'll have time later to spend it on the little things. We tell our children that will play later. We tell our spouse that we'll have one on one time later. Or when we miss an event we tell ourselves "maybe next time." What we don't realize is that time waits for no one. We are only given a certain amount of time; it's called our life time. And when time's up, it's up. It's a morbid thought to think that every second that ticks by is a second closer to our death. But that is the reality.

We hear people say to us all the time "live like you're dying" or "live like today is your last day alive." But do we ever actually listen? Do we ever actually process the idea that, that is the reality? That we really could die tomorrow, or even in an hour, or even...right now. 

We could be skirting on the edge of death right now, and not know it. Our time could be up. And if it is, would we feel our time on earth was fulfilled? Was it wasted?

You can lose time. But you can find time too. Find time for your family, for your friends, for the little things in life. Stop pushing them off for some future time that may never come.

Time is precious.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The Pagan Experience - May Week 1

Fire

Fire is a funny thing. You have the elemental fire, which is associated with South, red, heat, strength, rage, anger, love, lust, romance, destruction, and more. It is almost a contradiction in what it represents. 

There is also spiritual fire. The fire inside each of us that burns red hot when certain emotions are invoked. Our spiritual fire ignites when things we are passionate about arise. This spiritual fire fuels us to keep going through life. It fuels us to stand for our beliefs, and to take charge when the situation calls for it.


There is a fire that burns inside me, and it frequently flares up. It flares up when touchy and controversial topics are brought up; topics I have very strong feelings and opinions on. The fire rages when topics of violence, sexual violence, religious bigotry, oppression of human rights, and sexuality phobias come up in conversation. These are topics that I have very strong opinions on, and although I can acknowledge, and even validate other's opinions on these topics, my opinions and feelings will not be swayed.


There is also a fire that burns inside of me that is related to passion. Romantic passion. And although the details of that fire and it's triggers are probably too spicy for public sharing.


My internal fire has also cauterized many wounds for me. Wounds from break ups, wounds from heart ache and ending friendship, wounds from reality checks and dark pasts of long ago.


I embrace my fire. My fire is my fuel to keep going even in the darkest parts of my life. I cherish my fire. And I honor it by being strong and by continuing to fight when all I want to do is give up.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The Pagan Experience - April Week 4

G


  • Geomancy
  • Guardians
  • Glamour
  • Glyph
  • Gnome
  • Goddess
  • God
  • Great Rite
  • Grimoire
  • Grounding

H

  • Halloween
  • Handfasting
  • Heathen
  • Hedge Witch
  • Heptagram
  • Hex
  • Hexagram
  • Hereditary Witch
  • High Priest
  • High Preistess
  • Higher self
  • Horned God

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Pagan Experience - April Week 3

Deity and the Divine


My point in this blog was actually to discuss my Goddess and my God. 

In my very first blog post, I talk about what exactly I believe. You can read it here, but basically the spark notes version of the post is this:
  • I believe in 1 God and 1 Goddess
  • I believe the world was created through their sexual union
  • I believe my Goddess' domain is over nature, creativity, inspiration, the sense, and the general right side of the brain
  • I believe my God's domain is over logic, reason, mathematics, morals and the general left side of the brain
  • I believe people can have a closer relationship/connection to my Goddess or my God
  • I believe some people can have an equal relationship to both my Goddess and my God
It seems simple enough. But it has it rough spots. One of the rough spots I'm still trying to work out is my Goddess' and God's name, shape, form, etc. Many people have statues of their deities that help them focus their prayer and meditation. I don't, and I want it. I believe a visual reminder of my deities' presence will help me spiritually. Yes, I have my pentagram, and I can always use general goddess/god forms.

But even those are difficult for me to use... I know the foundations of my Goddess and my God, and what they are and what they reign over. But I don't know who they are. 

It sparked some interest and research on the subject, which has uncovered some interesting possibilities: 

  • Aluluei - an oceanic god, reign over knowledge and navigation. He has two heads, one to see where he is going, one to see where he has been.
  • Brighid - a celtic goddess, reign over healing and craftsmanship, patron of learning and poetry
  • Cernunnos - a celtic horned god, typical god among Wiccans and Druids, reigns over virility 
  • Lug - a celtic god of the sun, master of all arts and skill and crafts
  • Sucellus - a celtic guardian of the forests
  • Kupula - a slavic goddess of water, sorcery, and herbal lore
  • Mati Syra Zemlia - a slavic term translated to "moist mother earth," earth goddess
  • Orula - a santerian god of human destiny
  • Anshar and Kishu - mesopotamian god and goddess, parents to all other gods/goddesses, Anshar is god of the sky, Kishu is goddess of earth
  • Kingu - mesopotamian god, keeps the tablets of human destiny
  • Nabu - mesopotamian god of writing and speech, keeps records of human's actions and presents them at judgment time
  • Maat - mesopotamian goddess, earth mother, 
  • Atira - a northern native american goddess of earth
  • Thoume - a northern native american god, supposedly taught humans how to make love, clothes, and fire
  • Apollo - a greek god of light, prophecy, music, medicine, herbs,
  • Artemis - a greek goddess of childbirth, maidens, fertility
  • Gaia - a greek goddess, mother of all things, earth mother
  • Moros - a greek god of destiny, all other gods/goddesses are subject to him
  • Flora - a roman goddess of flowers and blooming plants
  • Janus - a roman god with two heads, represents past and future wisdom
  • Tellus Mater - a roman goddess of earth
  • Han Hsiang-Tzu - a chinese god, a scholar who studied magic most
  • Bast - an egyptian goddess of music, joy, and dancing, takes form of a cat
  • Thoth - an engyptian god of wisdom, music, magic, medicine, astronomy, geometry, surveying, art, and writing
  • Ganesh - a hindu god, depicted with an elephant head, reign over obstacles, beginnings, art, science, intelligence, and wisdom
  • Odin - a norse god of wisdom, wealth, inspiration, poetry, battle, hunting, magic, and prophecy
  • Pan - a greek nature god
These are just some of the many ancient pagan gods/goddess. I thought these were most similar to my Goddess, and my God. More can be found on this webpage.

Many of them sound very similar to one another, but none of them are exactly my Goddess, and my God. It is something I will have to discover for myself it seems.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Pagan Experience - April Week 2

Ritual


When people think of the term "ritual," they usually think of a religious ceremony that consists of a series of actions performed in a prescribed order. Usually people think of a sequence of actions that consist of gestures, words, and objects, performed in a sequestered place, and performed in a set order.

In psychology, the term "ritual" is commonly used in a technical sense to describe repetitive behavior. By this definition, we could say that our normal daily routine is a "ritual."

If we combine these two definitions, would it then mean that within our daily routine, we are performing a spiritual ceremony? If one does not feel that they are being spiritual throughout their daily routine, perhaps they should. Perhaps they should incorporate themselves on a spiritual level to their daily routine.

Connecting our "spiritual selves" with our "everyday selves" will promote positivity, and awaken our "higher selves." We should, in my opinion, live every moment as it is our spiritual ritual.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The Pagan Experience - April Week 1

Water


I don't really go out of my way to honor Water. I don't really do that for any element. I have them represented on my daily altar. And they are all of course represented in the pentagram I wear. But other than that, I don't really honor them.

My relationship with water is lacking though. Although we as humans are mostly made of water, we still require an intake of water to survive. I don't drink as much water as I should, which can definitely cause health problems. It is a relationship I definitely need to improve. I have started to improve it, becoming healthier by choosing tea vs pop, and similar choices. But spiritually, I haven't begun the process of enhancing my relationship.

That's going to be a goal of mine: to improve my relationship with the five elements.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Pagan Experience - March Week 4

E and F

E
  • Earth
  • Earthing 
  • Earth Magic
  • Eclectic
  • Element
  • Elder
  • Elixer
  • Empowerment
  • Enchantment
  • Essential Oil
  • Esbat
  • Evoking
F
  • Familiar
  • Fate
  • Fascination
  • Five-fold Kiss
  • Full moon
  • Fire
  • Fern
  • Futhark
  • Family
  • Fantasy

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ostara: New Life

Ostara. The midpoint spring. Where day and night are once again equal, and the days will soon outweigh the nights. Where flowers are bursting from the Earth, and new life is literally popping up all around us. 

Here, we celebrated Ostara with a trip to the park! The wind was still a bit cold, but the sun was shining and there was no snow! All in all, it was a successful adventure.

As usual, I've created an infographic for Ostara, and am sharing photos of my altar! Check it out, and I hope it inspires you in your Ostara celebrations! Remember, it's never too late to celebrate!











Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Pagan Experience - March Week 3

Building A Connection With Deity

Instead of talking about my Deities, and those whom I worship, I'd like to actually talk about how to build a connection with a deity. This would have definitely come in handy when I struggled with building a relationship with my newest Deity, Achilles, whom I will discuss next month (stay tuned)!

This is also part of my Pagan Journal Prompts, and is week 13.

Building A Connection With Deity

  • Establish a home base.
    • Your home base is where you start from; in other words, where you are right now in your beliefs. It is also where you will return as you explore other ideas about Deity. As your ideas change, so will your home base. Ask yourself: what do you believe about Deity right now? Take some time to identify your ideas and express them. Make a list of your ideas about Deity and see if you can identify their connecting themes. Begin where you are currently. Study, learn, and experience all you can about your current beliefs.
  • Make a connection.
    • After you've studied and learned for a while, give it a rest. Let all that knowledge and theory percolate awhile. In the mean time, focus on opening yourself to connecting with your concept of Deity. This is the point where you and the Divine intersect. Go find it. 
  • Develop a relationship. 
    • Once you have a connection with your concept of Deity, you need to being forming a relationship with it. How does Deity interact with you, and how do you interact with it?
  • Flex your ethics muscles.
    • Allow your Deity concepts and your ethics to develop together. Your ideas about Deity and your philosophy of life should be in harmony with each other. There is no reason for your ethics and your Deity images to conflict. If they do conflict, something is wrong and you need to take a hard look at both of them. There is no need to do anything you believe to be unethical in your religious practice. Keep your ethical muscles healthy by working them for yourself and insist that your Deity beliefs and your ethics support each other.
  • Keep exploring.
    • When you feel ready, venture away from your home base and explore as many other perspectives for which you have time and interest. Being an explorer is a lifetime process, so pace yourself. Don't let your other responsibilities slide because you're going a hundred miles an hour in your studies. Keep all aspects of yourself in balance. Don't form your opinions on a perspective until you've tried it on. It's even ok to try on an idea you don't agree with. Be open to learning from unexpected sources. Good ideas and insights can come from anywhere. It's ok to agree with an idea originating from someone no one has heard of or who is unpopular, and it's ok to disagree with an idea even though it comes from someone famous. Evaluate an idea based on its substance, not it's source.
  • Be respectful.
    • You are going to encounter a lot of different ideas about Deity throughout your life. Be respectful of what works for others, even if you disagree with them. Sometimes we learn the most from what makes us uncomfortable. While you're respecting the views of others, don't forget to include yourself. Don't bash where you came from or what you used to believe. For whatever reason, you needed to be there then, and where you came from got you where you are today.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

The Pagan Experience - March Week 2

As Above, So Below


This week's topic is all about what you seek from the Divine. How is it reflected in the mundane? Where do I find my place of synthesis.

It's funny, I just posted a journal topic not long ago about writing a letter to the Divine (Week 12 Journal Prompt). In the letter, it is suggested to ask questions and express feelings.

This topic seems very similar to the prompt.

What I, personally, seek from the Divine is acceptance, love, and a place to call home. I seek the acceptance for my beliefs and values that I have never received from others. I seek the pure, unquestionable and unconditioned love I will never received from others. And I seek a place to entrust my faith and beliefs and values in one place; a shelter or home for them.

In my daily routine, through the boring repetitive actions and the dull tasks required each day, the acceptance, love, and shelter I receive from my Divine is what keeps me going. I know that despite what others think, say, or feel about me, my Divine loves and accepts me for who I am, and offers me a place to come and relax spiritually.

My synthesis with my Divine is through meditation, music, and nature. Even now, in the cold winter, I still feel my Divine in all living things. Through meditation, my Divine allows me ask questions, seek answers, and converse. And through music, I release emotions that my Divine accepts and soothes.

My Divine loves me for me.
My Divine accepts me for me.
My Divine offers me spiritual shelter.
My Divine listens and comforts.

My Divine never judges me.
My Divine never questions me.
My Divine never turns away from me.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Pagan Experience - March Week 1

Knowledge, Wisdom, and Gnosis

When it comes to things such as knowledge, wisdom, and gnosis is my everyday pagan living, it can sometimes be hard to differentiate them. They are three very separate and individual things, but they very much go hand in hand.

Let's define them.

Knowledge.
Knowledge is to understand something; to know the facts/truths about a given subject. When we gain knowledge, we are gaining an understanding of a given subject, based on information, facts, and even opinions. We seek to understand, usually with the potential to use the understanding for a specific purpose. Knowledge allows for change, in response to new information. The hunger for knowledge is the hunger to seek improvement. We gain knowledge by learning, education, science, reflection, reasoning and logical thought.

Wisdom.
Wisdom is the ability to make correct judgments and decisions based on our knowledge. It is an intangible quality gained through life experiences. Wisdom governs choices, the pursuit of knowledge, communication, and relationships. Wisdom is a timeless process, as it is based on our experiences throughout our lives. Wisdom defines and redefines our character. 

To put these two simply: Knowledge is understanding the facts. Wisdom is knowing what to do with those facts.

In my opinion, the greatest example of Knowledge vs Wisdom is:

"Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad."

Now, when it comes to Gnosis, it is a bit harder to define.

Gnosis.
The simplest way to define gnosis is this: spiritual knowledge or mystical enlightenment. Like wisdom, gnosis is gained through experience; specifically divine experience, or experience that goes beyond the five senses. It is not simply based off of personal experiences, but rather experiences that defy conceptualizations and beliefs. Gnosis is not based on what we are told or what we believe in. Rather, gnosis is conscious, experiential knowledge. It is not confined to intellectual knowledge, conceptual knowledge, beliefs or theories. It implies a knowledge that encompasses the whole person, and is not confined to a concept, dogma, or theory. It embodies the core wisdom and knowledge of humanity.

To sum it up:

"To understand it, one must experience it."
--- 

So how do these three things fit into my daily spirituality? These three concepts seem so drawn out, so large that they are hard to grasp. How could one possibly cram all of them into daily spirituality?! 

The strain is maddening...

It's quite simple actually. Every day, I gain knowledge about my personal views, morals, and spirituality. Gaining this knowledge feeds my wisdom, because let's face it, this is a spiritual journey. And no spiritual journey is traveled without a growing amount of wisdom. As for gnosis, well, it is gained from the growing wisdom and knowledge. Without one, I would not have the others.

Follow me for a second:

When I first started my path towards Paganism, I gained knowledge of what religions and faiths were out there. When I found a few that seemed to fit me, I researched them, and gained more detailed knowledge about them. That allowed me to narrow it down to Paganism. Learning all this knowledge allowed me to gain some wisdom about myself. I discovered my core beliefs, values, and morals. Using my wisdom gained through the process of researching religions/faiths, I defined my own faith was able to connect with others who shared similar views or similar paths. This wisdom was gnosis. My knowledge and my wisdom engulfed me in the divine truths that I needed. My own truths.

Granted this example was across more than one day, but you get where I coming from.

"Spirituality is based on one's own effort to experience the truth, and the method to reach that experience is primarily practical."

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Pagan Experience - February Week 4

C and D

C:
  • Call
  • Candlemas
  • Craft
  • Cloak
  • Claw
  • Creature
  • Create
  • Cardinal Points

  • Cauldron
  • Centering
  • Circle
  • Cast
  • Chakras
  • Chalice
  • Channeling
  • Chant
  • Charge
  • Cleansing
  • Conjure
  • Crone
  • Correspondence
  • Coven
  • Croning
  • Curse
D:
  • Day
  • Demon
  • Degree
  • Demonology
  • Deosil
  • Dedication
  • Divination
  • Doctrine
  • Dowsing
  • Dragon
  • Druidism
  • Druid
  • Drum

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Pagan Experience - February Week 3

Deity and the Divine

The God:

I believe the God is the creator of the left brain activities, such as logic, ethics, mathematics, science, morals, and thoughts. I believe that people who have an active left brain, like doctors and lawyers are closer to the God than any other deity.

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Pagan Experience - February Week 2

Earth

The word "earth" has multiple meanings. For example, it can mean the planet on which we live, or it can mean the ground/dirt/soil. It can mean to cover something up and it can mean a den/cave for an animal.

The Earth itself is very precious to me. Not only is Mother Nature my church, but it is my therapy, my escape, and my home. The Earth has its own vibrations, and through earthing and grounding, I align myself to her rhythm as frequently as possible. I believe the earth can heal anything. For ever ailment, there is a natural remedy. The earth provides everything we need to survive. We don't need this man-made crap that clutters our lives until we are blind to see what is truly important. 

Earth to me is home. It is peace and balance, and sacred. It is healing and strength and release. It is full and abundant. It is life. It is beautiful.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Imbolc - Restless Awakenings


Imbolc marks the beginning of the end of winter. The first signs of spring are starting to show; early blooming trees are starting to show some green. The earth is beginning to awaken, and the roots of life are beginning to move. Animals that have spent all winter sleeping, are beginning to stir.

We Pagans are beginning to stir as well. Many families begin "spring cleaning" around this time; shaking out winter's dust and cobwebs that have been locked away with us through the winter. We are also undergoing an awakening of our own. Imbolc is a great time for the initiations of new Pagans and coven members. Imbolc is also a great time to renew your vows/promises to your deities, in regards to your studies and worship.

The days are becoming longer, and the nights shorter. Soon days will dominate nights, as we prepare for the most fertile time of the earth.

Imbolc is a fertility celebration, although it is not as popular as Beltane.

Imbolc at our home was fairly quiet. We did do some spring cleaning, and celebrated the return of some family members from their weekend trip.

Below are some photos of my Imbolc altar:







And here is a layout of my Imbolc Altar:


And of course, I created an infographic for Imbolc:


Monday, February 2, 2015

The Pagan Experience - February Week 1

Humanity - 

It's this week's topic in The Pagan Experience, and I'm still sitting her, fumbling over what to write.
How do I define "humanity?" How does my spiritual path support my definition of "humanity?"

Well...

...Um...

......Crap.

Generally speaking, "humanity" is the entire human race. But I believe it's more than that. I believe it is the entire world population. All living things. And by my beliefs, everything is living. So does that mean "humanity" in my beliefs, is...everything?

Generally speaking, "humanity" is the total experience of being human. It includes human nature, and virtue. But, if humanity goes beyond humans, it includes the nature of everything, and the virtue of everything.

But does everything have virtue? Does anything have virtue? Virtue is associated with behaviors of high value, such as kindness, dignity, integrity, and morality. However, these behaviors, while in high value in our modern society, haven't always been highly valued. Even in many cultures today, these behaviors aren't valued. Virtue is what we, as a society, make it.

As for the nature of things... General psychological behaviors, traits, and characteristics that are shared across mankind, changes over time. Our nature changes. As we go through life, experiences situations, learning, developing, growing, we change. Our nature changes. When I was little, it was my nature to suck my thumb. Twenty-two years later, you don't see me sucking my thumb. Furthermore, our society changes, which changes our nature. It used to be human nature to use the terms "sir" and "madam." Everyone did it. It was a behavior shared world wide. Not anymore. At least, not unless you happen to come across that one guy at the customer service desk who no matter what you say to him, smiles and addresses you as such... I know, I'm still searching for him too.

So I'm back to "humanity," and what the heck it is. It isn't the experience of being human, because human nature and virtue are created, not ever-present.

So how do I define "humanity?"

Life.

Existence.

The simple act of existence.

That is "humanity."

Of all that exists in this universe, it is all "humanity." 


Friday, January 30, 2015

The Pagan Experience - January Weeks 1-4

Week 1: Resolutions

Spirituality (Spirit):

  • Start a coven
  • Become active in the pagan community
  • Practice daily
Career and Work (Air):
  • Find a full time job
  • Find a job in my field of work
  • Find a job I enjoy
Relationships (Fire):
  • Have date nights
  • Celebrate 1 year anniversary
  • Get married
Health and Fitness (Water):
  • Exercise daily
  • Learn to love my body
  • Get to 150 lbs
Home and Hearth (Earth):
  • Pay all bills by myself
  • Move out of my parent's house
  • Decorate with spirituality


Week 2: Personal Practice

I am 21 years old, and almost starting a new for the umpteenth time in my life. Over the past summer, I did a lot of internal searching, for what, I’m still not sure. But I redefined my beliefs, realizing that I may not even be Wiccan, but that my beliefs ran parallel to it. Tis all well and good in the end as I would rather not be bound to one organized religion. I have my own way of praying, thinking, thanking, and living. I don’t wish for those things to be dictated by the set belief system of a given religion. So I’ve come to the point of simply saying I’m an Eclectic Pagan. It is about as far as I can simplify it. My views are very parallel to Wicca, and it is comforting to know that the past nine years of my life haven’t been in complete vain. I continue my studies of Wicca because quite frankly, I can still feel at peace with calling myself as such, despite the internal knowledge of knowing that I’m not 100% there.

This summer, after a lot of soul searching and redefining my faith and beliefs, the world became brighter, more colorful. I could see every shade of every color. I could see the colors combined to make new colors. Everything is beautiful and I’ve been in complete awe since.

The August after I redefined it all, for the first time, I prayed specifically to my Goddess. As I stood naked in the shower, the water falling warm, yet cool on my skin, I asked her to wash away my sins. I closed my eyes and imagined all the flaws, impurities and sins slipping down by body and then down the drain. I got out of the shower, not feeling much different. I was sad, hoping to feel lighter, happier, and I wondered if it had worked at all. I went to bed quiet and lost in my thoughts of my prayer.

Week 3: Deity and the Divine

The Goddess:

I believe the Goddess is the creator of right brain activities, such as art, music, nature, creativity, inspiration, etc. I believe that people who have an active right brain are closer to the Goddess than to other deities.

Week 4: A and B

A:
  • Athame
  • Alchemy
  • Altar
  • Amulet
  • Arcana
  • Aura
  • Astral
  • Astrology
  • Abracadabra
  • Attune
  • Augury
B:
  • Bonfire
  • Bane
  • Banish
  • Beltane
  • Besom
  • Binding
  • Blessed Be
  • Bloodstone
  • Bloodmoon
  • Bolline
  • Black
  • Book of Shadows
  • Broom
  • Broom Closet
  • Burning Times

"Nature Bound" - The Book





In "Nature Bound" I have created a reference for those who are disconnected from nature; specifically those who suffer from depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, and addiction. I have provided a method of reconnect to the natural world through the five senses. This reconnection uses innovative new age concepts, such as aromatherapy, essential oils, herbal remedies, sound healing therapy, and chromatherapy. "Nature Bound" allows a person to completely immerse themselves in the natural world.

Nature Bound PDF

Monday, January 12, 2015

Sex Magick to Protect Lovers

**This is a custom spell!**
by Lennard Salem and "Sam"


Intent:
The intention of this spell is to protect a pair of lovers through sexual intercourse (sex magic). It is intended to before a heterosexual couple.

Best time to perform:
                Friday
                Full Moon
                Waning Moon

Preparation:
1. First,find a location to perform the spell. Ensure that it is a secluded area, free from all distractions. It is recommended to use a private bedroom, which gives privacy as well as intimacy.

2. Next,meditate. Both partners need to meditate. It is important to clear the mind of all things. Take time to meditate with your partner, perhaps curled up against each other, or within a salt circle.

3. Once both partners have cleared their minds, cleanse each other. It is suggested to bathe together using a cinnamon wash/scrub; wash each other from head to toe.This can be very intimate if the partners so desire.

4. Next,prepare the location where you will perform the sex magic. (If this is to be done within a circle, cast the circle and continue to prepare as follows:).

     a. Within the bedroom, light red, white, and pink candles. I suggest using increments of 6 candles.
     b. Use incense of neroli, sandalwood, rose, lavender, and patchouli (incense of copal, damiana, galangal, orris root, vervain, and yarrow can also be used).
     c. Set a mirror next to where you and your partner will lay. On that mirror, set candles (as described above) along with rose quartz and malachite.
     d. Place a small vial and stopper within reach.

The Ritual
1. Call the quarters (and cast your circle if you are performing the ritual in a circle). If you wish, call upon your deities (I suggest deities such as Aphrodite/Venus, Pan, and Ishtar).

2. Take a moment to meditate and ground yourself once again. Focus on the task at hand.

3. State the intention of the spell. Be clear and precise. It is suggested that you and your partner premeditate on the intention of this spell. The intention can be said together or by one partner. Be sure to include:

     a.     The date you are performing the spell
     b.     The time you are performing the spell
     c.     The phase of the moon
     d.     Your name and your partner’s name
     e.     What you are protecting yourselves from (a specific person, a situation/event, negative energy, etc.)

4. When ready, the male should place a necklace of pearls around the neck of the female.

5. Once the pearls are placed as instructed, both partners should then perform sexual intercourse. There is no structure for the intercourse. Positions are left up to the partners’ decision.

6. The male should try to restrain from climaxing for as long as possible. The female should orgasm as much as possible. (When the male does climax, he should do so within the woman’s vagina.)

7. After both partners have climaxed, the male should drink their mixed sexual fluids from the female. The male should spit some of the fluids within the prepared vial, and close it with the stopper.

8. Once the male has drank from the female, he should kiss her, so that she may taste the fluids from his mouth.

Closing the Ritual:
1. Relax in each other’s arms. Catch your breath and clear your mind once again.

2. When both partners are ready and have clear minds, thank any deities you have called, and release the quarters.

3. Take the vial of sexual fluids and together, bury the vial on the edge of your property. The vial will act similar to a “witch’s protection bottle,” and protect the lovers from outside forces.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Tales From Inside The Broom Closet - Sexuality and Spirituality

I wanted to share with you some wisdom from a fellow Pagan friend of mine. He recently touched on the topic of "Sexuality and Spirituality." Many of his points I found quite interesting. This topic is one that is not only a big issue in our society, but also in the Pagan community. 

"Sexuality and spirituality can go hand in hand. Not always, but it very much so can. Unfortunately, there is still a high amount of fear and distaste for alternative sexualities. I am straight in sexuality, but have a pansexual mentality. I have seen many boys and men struggle in alternative religions because of their sexuality. It is a shame really. What people do not always understand is that a part of being spiritual in any faith is to accept that you are who you are. It is the first step in accepting any religious or spiritual path. You must accept that this is who you are, this is how you think and feel, and this is how you were born. Only when you can accept yourself, can you accept spirituality in its fullest. 
You have alternative sexualities in ANY religion. I am glad that alternative religions such as Wicca and other Pagan paths have a great population of people who are confident enough with their sexuality to be open about it. That shows a huge level of acceptance of the individual, and trust that individual has in their religious community. Too often pagans are persecuted based on their beliefs. How hypocritical it is for those who are so often persecuted for their religious preferences to persecute others for their sexuality preferences. 
Sexuality aside, it is very difficult for people of alternative religions to be open about their beliefs. It is especially and painfully true for Pagans. Even in our modern and open-minded society (for it is much more open-minded about alternative lifestyles/sexuality/religion than it has ever been), Pagan are still viciously murdered for their beliefs. Saudi Arabia has an official Anti-Witchcraft Unit. In Nepal, India, Papua New Guinea, and Uganda, witches are murdered on a daily basis because of their beliefs. The dictator of Gambia has those he believes to be witches killed on sight. In 2011 and 2012, over 600 elderly women were killed for witchcraft in Tanzania. Even in the United States of America, people are persecuted, humiliated, and discriminated against for being Pagan. Last year, Fox News attacked and stereotyped Wiccans and Pagans on live TV. 
Life as a practicing Pagan is not easy in any part of the world. Every day, Pagans run the risk of being persecuted, humiliated, and discriminated against. Every day, life can be dangerous. Many Pagans put their life on the line every time they practice. That is the reality of the world we live in.
Now put sexuality on top of that. It is hard to be of any alternative sexuality in our world. Every day people are attacked because of their sexuality. "Gay bashing" and "homophobia" liter our world. In many places, being of an alternative sexuality is a crime. In other places, it's a "sin." People have been killed for their sexuality. 
Does anyone else see a common theme among the two? It is hard to be Pagan. It is hard to be of an alternative sexuality. It is even harder to be both. Those people face hardships every step of the way, so the fact that they are comfortable enough to be open about it, and trusting enough to be open to YOU about it...that says a lot. The fact that the LGBTQ community is so rich in Pagan religions is a blessing it itself. It means the members of the Pagan community feel trusting of one another, and feel safe with one another. That is a relationship very few religions have. 
Do not poison that relationship with bigotry and homophobia. You do not have to agree with an individual's personal choices that they make in their life. But it is a blessing to have them as a part of your community. They add strength to the community you call "family." A religion is as strong as it's weakest member, and by the looks of it, those of alternative sexualities are leading the pack.
Many blessings and Greenthingz!
Lennard Salem
)0("

Please share your thoughts and stories!

With Every Ending Is A New Beginning - Yule and the New Year

When one door closes, another opens. When one chapter ends, another begins.

Winter Solstice (Yule) is the last celebration of the calendar year. It marks the beginning of winter's end, where days become longer and nights become shorter again. It is, quite frankly, the beginning of the end; the last chapter in winter's book.

Although, here, winter seems to only have just begun. We received our first snowfall (that stuck to the ground), freezing temperatures, and school closings within the past week. It makes it hard to remember that winter is already beginning to end.

Yule in our house was quite different this year. We welcomed another person into our home; my significant other. I also completed my higher education, and am currently job searching again. A member of the family is preparing to move 200+ miles away as his job relocates, and our budget seems to be getting tighter with the times. However, despite the highs and lows that came with winter, I would not change this time for the world.

We had a wonderful Yule. Everyone really got into the season this year. The family put up five Yule trees!

This is the family tree, decorated with homemade ornaments as well as others that celebrate highlights of our lives. 




This is our music themed tree, decorated with musical instruments, lights that make music, and music notes. We decorate around this tree with Santa, Mrs. Clause, reindeer, and a Santa climbing a ladder up our tree, with his elves carrying the presents he has dropped right behind him.



This is our vintage/victorian themed tree. It is decorated with pearl strands, crystals, and other vintage/victorian styled ornaments.



This tree sits on the ledge by our staircase. We decorate it with multi colored lights and ornaments. In front, we put two carolers, still with song.



And finally, this is our snowman themed tree. All the ornaments are snow or snowman related. In front are two polar bear cubs building a snowman.


It's all very "Christmas-y" I know. But when you live in a home with two Catholics, a Buddhist, and a child too young to understand anything more complex than Santa, things look a bit more like "Christmas" than Yule. 

Of course, I decorated my altar for the season. It is more Yule than "Christmas," and as promised, here are photos of my altar:












As usual, I also have the template for my altar, with everything explained:



And, of course, an infographic:



Finally, as 2014 ends, and 2015 begins, I want to share my year's goals with you. This was inspired by WitchyWords.blogspot.com so creative credit to her. I did make my own, personalized for me. I think it is a wonderful idea, and I encourage others to do the same. Writing your goals down and putting them in a place you will see, helps you to achieve them! So here's to 2015, in all it's splendor and glory. Here's to hoping this chapter of life will be better than the next. Here's to achieving goals, and working hard. And here's to a blessed, witchy year!