Monday, December 20, 2010

Happy Yule

I will try to put more info for what Yule and the solstice actually is later, but for now I just want to say an early Happy Yule! Tonight I hope everyone goes out to and watches the eclipse, and I hope the returning sun lights your path and warms your soul. Now I need to go make cookies with the Boy.

Be well,

Saturday, December 4, 2010

This is a cheap cop-out

I promised myself a post, then I caught plague. I feel dead, wanna sleep, to lazy to drive home.

That being said, I will not turn this into a personal rant-wah-life-blah blog. So I have to put something useful and informative in here.

Pretending one is invincible does not make one immune to the common cold. Lesson learned.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What is Magick?

This is a tricky question, but one I will do my best to answer in the way I feel is true. You may disagree, I hope someone does. Things would be boring if everyone thought the same way I do, and maybe there is something I can learn from you, but this is what I feel is the truth, or as close to it as I can get, after the study and research I have done.

Everything and everyone is made up of energy. This is all the same energy, just at different vibrations if you will (that seems to be a popular term for it right now). It is all the same, just in different forms, but it is all connected. The entire universe, every person, animal, object, all the empty spaces between. To simplify things, I call it either The Universe (or "U") when I am enacting my will upon it to the best of my ability, and The Powers That Be (PTB) when referring to others, or when I am frustrated that I can not make things work right.

With everything being connected and made of the same energy, we have the ability to change and alter it by changing its vibrations (there is that word again. I just don't like it, I will try to think of another that suits me better). It is all done by intent, pure and simple. Or so it should be. If we had perfect access to our minds we could simply think something, and the universe would shape itself around our whim, however there are some bumps and roadblocks in the way- mostly self imposed, and definitely for our benefit! Just imagine if every thought, every whim you ever had came instantly true. This would be horrible! Next time you got annoyed at the person who swerved in front of you in traffic, you think "That idiot is going to get himself killed!" and BOOM! Semi. Not good. So you can see how it is good that we have to really, truly work at something to make it come true. Our intent must be pure, and that is Magick.

The first roadblock to magick, to reaching out and touching the world to mold it to our liking, is the concept of Reality. Ugly, pesty thing, that. We are told all our lives what is true, what is possible, what we can and can not do... given all sorts of limitations. This means that while you are thinking "I will astral project today" your subconscious is saying "Nope, not possible, such things aren't real and even if they were you can't do it!" The best solution to this is to trick or convince your mind otherwise. This is where symbolism really comes in to play. Your brain will understand formulas, A+B=C. Now you just have to convince it that Candles+meditation=projection. Using tools lets your mind see you are taking actions, so thus a result can come of this. In a perfect world we would not need tools, it would all be done on a mental level, but the tools each have a meaning, a vibration that can act to bring you closer to your goal, and trick your mind into letting you get there. Every thing you succeed in doing will make it easier for your mind to accept that such things are real and can happen, and thus things will become easier, but tools can still be helpful to pack an extra punch. Another thing that some people disagree with but I feel worth mention, but this is where belief in G/god/s comes in handy. An almighty powerful being can do things you can't so if you "ask" it of them, your mind can set out those vibrations and allow it to happen. More on my thoughts on deities later, though.

The second roadblock is uncertainty. If you are sending out ten different messages that don't jive with each other, well, the U doesn't know what you are asking for it. Saying "I want to live in Maine and I want to travel the world and I want to be an author and I want to date beautiful women and I want to be married to the most amazing guy and have two kids and I'm a rogue adventurer" is not likely to get you anywhere, even though you feel it is all what you want. Try cutting it down to very simple terms. I want the life that will bring me the greatest joy and fulfillment, there, now you do not have to worry about asking for the wrong thing. You know you want joy, even if you don't know how you want it.

The third is being too particular. Some times something just wont work. If you put all your time and energy, focus all your intent on winning the lottery, when it is just not in the cards for you, you may miss out other things... selling an invention or manuscript, getting a new job, winning a gameshow, inheritance, who knows. Or maybe you want to get back in touch with someone, but keep telling the universe this person needs to call you, meanwhile you keep passing them in the grocery store without noticing... Once again we come down to boiling it to exactly what you want, and letting the universe put into action just how this should work. Ask for financial gain, or to see your friend again, don't say how.

Fourth is negatives. Some people say the universe does not perceive negatives; I have mixed feelings on this. I think it has a lot to do with context, but more on that later. Saying for arguments sake it is true, say you keep telling U "I have no debt". All U will see is "I have debt"-not what you want to put out there. Always try to change things to positive terms- I am financially stable. Works a mite better.

Fifth and for the moment last- others will. You are doing everything you can to make it snow. A full ritual, cast a circle, light candles, even did a little snow dance... should work, right? Well, across town someone has a flight to take, so they are doing everything the same as you for clear skies. You can see how this can get messy. Don't assume you have failed if something does not work- assume that there are other forces at work.

With all this in mind, find the style of magick that suits you best (I will of course list some here), do what you can to avoid major pitfalls, and happy casting.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Red Strings

Having mentioned Red Strings in my last post, I decided that, perhaps, I ought to explain what they are. Not that I mind confusing people now and again, in fact it is a perfectly delightful past time of mine, but seems I ought to at least be clear in these sorts of things, every now and again.

A red string is what we use to find our way. Some people say trail of breadcrumbs, but I think mine is a touch more... reliable. If I were going through the woods, I would not want bread to get me back out! When mentioned before, I was referencing trying to follow my trains of thought if I wasn't intentionally focusing on a specific topic. I know I tend to get distra...OHHLOOKATTHATITSSHINY!

Ahem. Yes. You see.

What does one use a red string for, practically? Not many of use are venturing through the woods, and really using string might trip others up. Surely this crazy lady isn't talking LITERALLY use a red string, right? Only sometimes. 

If you have ever Astral Traveled, chances are you have seen your silver cord that ties your soul to your body. Often, this is enough, but sometimes we venture further, or simply to an elsewhere. Dreamwalking is a good example... someone else's subconscious dream world is the last place you want to get lost. I also find them useful when trying to go deeper into my own thoughts without straying off topic, especially if I choose to visualize it as an actual "journey" into my mind, instead of just, well, thinking it. 

You can also use a red string to make sure you don't lose touch with a person, not permanently. You each tie an end to your finger with the intent of always finding one another again. You will stay connected, and never lose each other unless one of you cuts your string. There are theories that we are born with such ties to our soul mates, though when I say soul mate I mean anyone our souls connect with, often very dear friends and not necessarily lovers.

If possible, I recommend tying an actual piece of string around your finger for visualizations sake. Imagine this coming off of an infinite ball of yarn, that is stuck stationary to where you started. Alternatively, you can "carry" the ball, leaving slack behind you, and tie the end to your starting point, but I find the other works better for me. 

Here is an exercise to try it out, I hope it helps. Visualization is a very personal thing, but here is how I would do it. Please feel free to share if you have different methods.

Think of something you can only sort of remember, but would like to remember better. If you have something you ALWAYS get off-track thinking of, even better. Meditate using your preferred method, whatever that may be. Tie a red string to your finger, and visualize this skien of yarn, infinite and unbreakable, always made to guide you to where you need to go.   Tie one end to the beginning, to where you want to get back to when you are done. Take the ball, and tell if where you plan to go, the memory you hope to fully regain. With that intent very firmly in mind and cast upon the ball, roll it forward and follow. You will pass other memories, things connected, or things to distract you. Focus on the yarn, don't let the other thoughts stop you, as you visualize yourself marching straight through these memories. Once you get there, watch the whole thing, you are less likely to forget it again that way.

This may take a few tries, depending on how you work, and feel free to alter things to what feels right for you. That is always the most important thing, is doing things so that they feel right for you.

Best of luck, and hold on tight!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Book of Shadows

You may have noticed, I have chosen to call this my virtual Book of Shadows. I have been informed that a BoS is a purely Wiccan term, created in the 1940's by Gerald Gardner... the whole concept, in fact, and not just the term itself. I respectfully disagree. I can not attest for the first appearance of the term itself... I'm not a historian by any means (though I do have one I plan on asking next time I see him).

I do however know enough about my history to know that Grimoires of one sort or another have been around since the 4th-5th century, when they were clay tablets in Mesopotamia. I will take the time to compile a more complete history at another time, but for now I will just skip ahead to now, and me, and why this is the term I use.

A grimoire is a book sorcery and magick according to it can be anything from a list of spells, how to invoke angels and demons, how to make amulets and talismans, to use of herbs for curing illness (Kitchen witch may be a newer term, but hardly a new practice!) So what is a Book of Shadows? Looking up my friends claims about Mr. Gardner... well it is a bunch of conflicting information I am more inclined to ignore. A more popular idea (and the one I subscribe too) is that it is a Witch (or Wizard or other Magick persons) personal book of their own research and discovery of their path. It holds everything they know and believe... and may include an account of anything they have attempted that did not work out. There are any number of other names for this, but... I like this one. There are as many reasons for the name as there are witches who use it (remember, ask ten witches one question, and you will get eleven answers). My reason no doubt bares little resemblance to what it was originally, but things mean more when we take them and make them our own, right?
My words, what I write... they are a shadow of myself. Often more great and striking than the original- but always resembling truth. My Shadows (okay, I do prefer to shorten it, "Book of" just makes it sound stuffy) are a memory, a recording of what I have done, and of the things I have thought.

So these are my shadows. They won't always make sense, but I will try to make the informational ones... well, informational. Personal blurbs... I recommend finding a red string and holding on tight. Thank you for sharing in this with me.

Be well.

Samhain 2010- Of endings and beginnings

Most anyone who knows anything about anything Pagan-related is familiar with Samhain, or Halloween as others call it. (Okay, I usually call it Halloween too, old habits y'know?)
As the Pagan new year, this seemed a good time for me to begin this... my virtual Book of Shadows, if you will. My personal life is undergoing a lot of... evolution right now. It seems to fit.
Samhain is the third and final harvest, time for autumn crops such as pumpkins and apples and the like.  After this, the earth goes to sleep through the winter, it dies and is reborn again as the Maiden, fresh young and new. (You have no idea how difficult it was for me not to make a reborn-zombie joke here, it being Halloween. Oh, guess I blew it anyways.) Traditionally anything not yet harvested is left as an offering to the spirits of the land. This is the time for endings as the Wheel of the Year completes its circles and begins again; everything cycles. It's the time to put to rest anything you do not want to bring in to the new year- end bad habits, let go of things you have been holding on to.
It is also time for final goodbyes. Especially if you have had anyone you love pass on this year, you should honor their memories. Traditionally a turnip would be carved and lit with a candle to guide your loved ones and ancestors home, which has evolved into our modern Jack-O-Lantern. This is the night when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest- some even say it is lifted completely. Spirits- both benevolent and malign- are able to slip back into this world. If you honor your loved ones, perhaps set an altar with their favorite foods and something they gifted to you, there is a good chance they will come and visit you. If you are going out and about though, make sure to dress in something scary! This was done to frighten away the spirits and demons NOT wanted in your home! (Some say it is so they think you are already one of them, that way they will not take you back to the spirit realms with them!)
In time, by next year at least, I will put more details on each separate aspect of the stories and traditions, but I did not feel I should put an entire books worth of information on my first post!
Everyone be well and stay safe, go enjoy the magick sparkling in the air tonight, and by all means make some sparks yourself!