I’ve been seeing a lot of controversy lately, both on blogs and Facebook pages I follow about people arguing over beliefs, or rather, misunderstandings and misconceptions about beliefs not their own.
I have not been left out of feeling the effects myself, even though it’s been much less “public”.
After my Mom passed, my Dad got understandably concerned about religion for a time, wavering between a faith he was raised to believe in, his own doubts and issues stemming from his personal experiences, and being angry at God for taking my mother from him. All understandable feelings in my opinion.
This finally led my father to bring religion up to me, the “known black sheep of the family”. I say “known” because my sister is Satanic and my brother is Agnostic. My daughter is Christio-Pagan. I’m not certain my father is aware of all this, so he brought his “religious curiosity” to me.
He finally asked me one night what, exactly, it is that I believe. Somewhere along the way, he picked up a few of the general misconceptions that a lot of people seem to have. He was obviously under the impression that I don’t believe in God, that I don’t pray, etc. We had a lengthy and in-depth conversation in which I tried to explain my belief system to my dad. I won’t rehash our private conversation, but I felt that maybe it was time to add some tag pages to the site going into a little more detail of what it is I believe, how I came to be a Pagan, why I call myself “Pagan” in a general sense instead of branding myself as one particular path, why I am solitary, why the only Pagan-type labels I do refer to myself with are Kitchen, Green and Hearth witch…and so on.
Obviously, this isn’t the work of a single post, as most of the things I’ve mentioned deserve their own posts, so I will most likely turn this into some type of series…possibly reviving my “Just Another Phase” tag or something similar where I showcase my more personal posts that explain who I am and how I got to where I am. Stayed tuned for new pages to go up, possibly this weekend.
For my non-Pagan followers lurking out there (yes, I see you), any religious information on this blog is not meant as an attempt convert you or anyone else. It is not intended as a method of teaching a path. It is not intended as an attack on anyone else’s beliefs. It is simply my own, personal experiences, beliefs, questions, etc. If anything on my site offends you in anyway, I offer a sincere and heartfelt apology and I invite you to explore the methods availabe to you to unfollow this blog, or me personally.
I realize that @PhasesOfMe started out as a “mom/empty-nester blog”, not a “Pagan” blog. It still is a mom/empty-nester blog. I am still the same person I always have been. I was Pagan then, just as I am now, I just didn’t talk about it on my blog.
While I welcome and encourage questions and thoughts from all of my readers, I will not remove posts from my site because of anyone else’s feelings when it comes to my experiences, beliefs or my truths in life, be they religious or of any other nature, but I will remove hateful, hurtful, derogitory or prejudice comments without warning or explination.
I suppose I haven’t talked in-depth here because I was afraid of controversy, afraid of loosing followers, afraid someone wouldn’t like me, or would disagree with my beliefs. I realize now that this reluctance lent itself to a feeling of shame over my religion that I don’t (and shouldn’t) feel. I will not hide anymore and I won’t refrain from celebrating my faith simply because someone else may not understand or agree with it.
With that said, I hope you will all join me on my magical journey through life, love, mental illness, faith, family and empty-nest parenting!
I recently downloaded a book for my Android Kindle App called Hippie Witch: Magical Life by Tori Douglas and was so very impressed with how she lives her life. At the time I downloaded it, it was free. It is now $2.99, but it’s a price I feel is well worth it.
This book is another blogger gone published, and I have to say, even when I’m impressed with the blog itself or the blogger in particular, I don’t usually run out to buy a book if they publish one and I’ve never done a book review on any of my blogs. In this case, I found the book first, which lead me to the blogger instead of the other way around.
While this post won’t be a review either, I had to give credit to my inspiration for it. If you’re interested in looking up her blog, you can find her here.
What I would like to talk about is the impact her book had on me personally and why.
As you know if you follow the Fairy Phases fan page on Facebook, Draco and I recently (about 3 weeks ago) moved about 2-1/2 hours away from where we’ve lived the majority of our 16 years together.
It was where I was raised and have lived all but about 2 years of my life. It’s where the kids are, it’s where what’s left of my family is (other than my brother). Other than the 2 years I spent up north when I was in my early 20’s, it’s where I’ve always lived.
Leaving was such a mix of emotions. I was excited and glad to not have to be apart from Draco all the time, but leaving where you’ve lived over 30 years is hard. Since Mom died in June, though, my conviction to get away has been stronger than it’s ever been. I knew I had to go no matter how hard it was.
Moving has been a good thing in spite of my initial feelings and bouts with being homesick. We moved into the house we want to grow old in last week and I can’t remember when I’ve been happier or felt such peace.
Knowing we were totally on or own with no help has really put things into perspective as well and life has gotten really simple, really fast.
Most of our possessions, including the majority of our decorations and magickal supplies were put into storage and left behind and that added to the initial feelings of being severed from everything. I found myself thinking things like “how can I practice my religion without my things?” And “I don’t have half my stuff here, I can’t even cast a proper spell!”
After about the first week and a half, I began to remind myself that in the beginning, I had no tools other than myself. I didn’t run out on a magickal shopping spree either.
So, I told myself, we’re back to basics. We can do this.
I began to remember my earliest magickal training. The books I’d read that had warned about getting so caught up in the process and trappings that you didn’t live magickally. I remember thinking, as a young woman of 19 and new to pagan religions, that it would never happen to me.
Guess what I realized? It had happened to me.
When I first started as a Wiccan and Paganism was something I didn’t really know how to do, I went with my instincts and I stared out incorporating what I was learning into my day-to-day life, especially in my cooking and housekeeping. I used to make my own floor wash from orange peels to cleanse negativity out of the house each time I mopped the floor and when I cooked, I used herb associations, burned incense, listened to music and drank wine.
What happened to the witch that chanted to herself when she swept? That only stirred food clockwise unless there was something to banish?
What happened to sitting outside with nature without a phone in my face?
Where did my habit of saying good morning to the sun and goodnight to the moon go?
It was then that I realized that those were the things that had brought spirituality into my everyday life. I was no longer experiencing spirituality, I was simply practicing a religion; akin to going to church on Sunday simply out of habit and spending more time considering lunch options than listening to the sermon.
I knew it had to change, but 19 was a lot of years ago and the BOS (Book of Shadows) that held all that gathered information was long gone. I found myself frustrated and stumbling more than starting.
Out of frustration, I sat down with my Kindle App and determined to do what I’d done in the beginning. Read.
I’m a fan of Pagan ebooks For Free on Facebook, and I remembered downloading a ton of books on Tarot, herbs, gems and even healing, but wasn’t certain if there were any regular pagan books or not.
I started and stopped probably half a dozen books and had almost given up on finding the inspiration I needed to get back on track when I saw the title Hippie Witch in my archives. I immediately pulled it up and began reading and didn’t stop till I finished the book. I was truly disappointed when it was over and immediately craved more.
I remembered seeing something about her being a blogger and wondered if her blog was still up and active (so many pagan blogs sit neglected these days). I quickly sought out her blog and was thrilled to see a very recent post. I immediately became her
cyber- stalker newest follower and have followed her on Facebook and Twitter as well.
Her book is all about bringing the simplicity back to her craft. How she incorporates it into daily life and she also offers some very good information.
She doesn’t know it yet, but she became the inspiration I needed to find myself and my path once again. For that, I can’t express enough gratitude.
So, I am now on a voracious quest for knowledge. I am re-teaching myself and it is a beautiful thing, especially when the classroom looks like this,
How awesome is that?
This week while Draco is at work, Dutchess and I are going to spend some time in the graveyard at the end of the street honoring the dead for Samhain.
I may not know where this path is going to lead me this time, but I’m determined to enjoy the view!
Oh, and it looks like that writer’s block problem was a spiritual thing, cause, baby, I’m back!
)O( BB )O(
As a Pagan, much of my life revolves around focus and intent. It’s important in the practice of my craft to be able to give something all or none of my attention, as is the need.
Some things are difficult for me to do, like sitting with a “quiet mind” in meditation, others seen to come quite naturally. Focus is one of those things, sometimes to a fault.
I have a tendency to obsess over-focus. This week is a perfect example. It’s hard to get my brain to form a coherent thought that isn’t somehow tied to us moving.
I’ve tried writing about other things and as a result, I have a handful of unfinished posts in my draft folder. Nothing will come that doesn’t tie in with what we are experiencing right now, so I finally gave up fighting it.
The interesting thing about magick, is it’s not what most non-pagans believe it to be, and everyone does it, even if they don’t realize it.
People watch TV shows and movies and get the idea that we believe we can vanquish demons our shoot sparks from our fingertips. We don’t sacrifice people or animals. We don’t manifest monsters to attack our enemies.
Magick is simple and complicated all at the same time. It can be as simple as making a wish before you blow out the candles on your birthday cake or wishing on a falling star.
The difference between Pagans and non-Pagans, is that we are aware of what we’re doing and we put more effort and belief into it.
Take this move, for example. Draco and I have known for a long time that we needed to get our own place again. We have been talking about it for almost 2 years, but we never put much of a real effort into it, magickal or mundane. The time was never right. Circumstances would prevent it. We couldn’t find a place that met our needs. There were many reasons why it hasn’t already happened, but the main one is lack of focus.
Several days before my mother actually died, she elicited promises from some of the key people in her and my father’s lives. I was no exception to this. The only person that knows even close to the extent of the promises I made is Draco. I tend to take death-bed promises very seriously because I believe that if you promise someone who is dying that you will do something and you don’t, it can keep their spirit from moving on to where it’s supposed to go.
In the months since she passed, I have given much thought to those promises. Some, I have already kept, others I haven’t.
Getting out on our own again was one of the promises I made, so since June, this has been weighing on my mind and heart. I have put much thought into the need to get a place. I have focused a large amount of my energy and mind towards it, while not actively looking. I knew that the God and Goddess would point me in the right direction. Granted, it”s taken 3 months for things to start lining up, but who am I to argue with Divine Planning?
This is how I try to live my life. I know what I need, and I am more than willing to take any necessary steps in my mundane life to make things happen when I feel the time is right (like telling people we were looking to move and having them on the alert that we were receptive if they saw something they thought we might be interested in), but first, I focus. I focus my energy towards what we need, and wait for the Divine to manifest it in my life.
Yes, we could buy a newspaper, go on Craig’s List, scoured the surrounding area for appropriate places, etc, and those things are starting to come into play now, but the first step for any Pagan is focus and trying to find the right timing.
The situation keeps changing, so I know that the Divine are still working it out on their end. I know they have something particular in mind, I just have to wait for them to make it known.
We were planning to move this weekend. To go ahead and take Mini-Me’s apartment to keep her from loosing it, but every time we start moving in that direction, there seems to be road blocks. Something comes up that gives me a bad vibe about it. Anyone who knows me well, knows that I depend heavily on “vibes”. It’s what others might call instinct or intuition. Usually, if something doesn’t feel right to me, there is a reason why and it usually ends up being a bad idea.
After discussing my feelings with Mini-Me, Draco and L, it was decided that we will wait.
I was worried about what would happen to Mini-Me if we didn’t go help. Unless she goes to live with her boyfriend, she doesn’t really have any options. Luckily, L is a very good friend and has offered to let Mini-Me stay here with us if she needs to, while we save up some money the month of October and the serious hunting will begin.
There are a set of apartments that Draco and I thought we might want, but after making a phone call yesterday, they don’t have anything appropriate for our needs available now. I’m wondering if that is because that is not where we’re supposed to be either.
At this point, I’m really hoping that all of this energy (and the money we need to save), manifests itself in time for us to move before Samhain (Halloween). If we are going to be moving this month, I would really like for it to be before then because Samhain is the Witch’s New Year. I want to celebrate that in our new place.
Wish us luck, and I will keep you posted!