Building My Water Body

waterfall

This week’s lesson from A Witch’s Primer involves building up my water body and focusing on the “Faith” portion of the Witches Pyramid. Water is seen to be more feminine vs fire which is seen to be more masculine. Therefore, it is viewed to be more connected to the inner self and being peaceful and in touch with one’s emotions and feelings. So this week, that is what I am tasked to focus on: my feelings, emotions, dreams, etc.

I am to perform daily tasks, just as I did with building my fire body, to help get in tune with the water power base. These tasks involve a lot of meditation and journaling. I must record my dreams, but not analyze, just write them down for now; same with my feelings at least once a day as well as meditate on them. Other things I need to remember are smaller, but just as important; things like increasing my water intake and blessing the water I drink at least once.
I look forward to this practice as I think it will help me understand a lot of the anxiety and stress that I have been feeling lately and maybe learn to control it better.

As far as the lesson plan for building my fire body from last week, I enjoyed it very much and think it went very well. I did fail to complete one of my 7 To-Do’s, but in retrospect, I think I was expecting too much from myself on that particular day. I was already really busy and the chosen activity to complete that day should have been obvious that I may not be able to get to it, but I’ve learned from it. Everything else was able to be achieved and at the end of the week I felt ready to start the next power base lesson plan. Of course, just because I’m moving on to the next power base doesn’t mean I should immediately stop all activity from the previous lesson, so I will be continuing the task of being active/exercising every day (which is easy since I pretty much already do this as I find exercise to be the best way to build and expend my energy).

So far I’m still really loving Ariel’s class and teaching style and I would recommend his podcast/class to any beginner. He tries to keep it nondenominational as well which is helpful for anyone similar to myself who doesn’t follow Wicca or really doesn’t focus a lot on Deity.

Hope you all have had a wonderful week since I last wrote. Take care and blessed be!

Lark

 

Finding my Spirit Guide

It has been forever and I apologize for that. I had a wonderful vacation hiking in Utah and work has gotten crazy, so I just haven’t been able to find time or motivation to blog until now. Aside from the ever stressful goings-on in our White House, life has been running fairly smoothly over here and I have had fun keeping busy. Too busy, however, to do much in the way of witchy practice, but I’m hoping to change that.
I digress.

A few weeks back, I decided to do a guided meditation ran by Ariel from his educational podcast “A Witch’s Primer” to discover my spirit guide/mentor (you can find this meditation here.) I found it to be very well done and easy to follow along and, I think, I did manage to meet my spirit guide…or guides? It was interesting and I’m hoping I did it right, because my mentor appeared to me in an interesting way and I am going to layout the scene for you now.

colorful-fantasy-unreal-world-photos-by-robert-jansen-9(Photo credit to Robert Jansen)

In my meditation I found myself in a place very similar to the image above. A misty forest with a wood plank and rope bridge that led to a round platform with a roof and railings along the entire edge, except where it met the bridge of course, instead of walls (not a house like in the image) and vines and small rounds lights surrounded the platform to create some privacy and yet also lighting. The sky was blue and felt like mid-morning with a very comfortable temperature.
I stood alone in the entryway and saw before
me 7 (or 8, I can’t recall exactly) small figures wearing bright red cloaks who were perched on the railing directly across the platform from myself. 012dbcb713b477546ec34f3b17772d81I did not hear voices, but felt an urge to step towards them. I reached the center of he platform when they hopped down from the railing in unison and walked over to me, forming a somewhat tight, but not intimidating semi-circle in front of me. The cloaks fell from them and revealed…robins. 7 (or 8) normal, everyday robins looking at me.

Even in my meditation, I felt a small bit of confusion, but I certainly wasn’t disappointed. I’ve always had a love of birds, feathers, etc. I have two nests and even egg pieces that have been found in the wild (I actually have a robin’s nest and egg half in my home). Our wedding theme was “Put A Bird On It” and I even have a bird tattoo. So, this actually made a lot of sense. I was a little worried that on trying to find a spirit guide, I may have instead called my animal totem, but as time has passed I don’t believe that is necessarily the case. When they revealed themselves to me in meditation (and the initial surprise wore off) I felt very well taken care of, like I was in good hands. The symbolism behind robins is mostly positive and usually mean renewal, change, growth, etc. so I feel confident they will be quite helpful in getting me through the process of renewing my path and learning where I should go with it next.

Do you have a spirit guide? Do you believe in them?

Thanks for reading! Blessed be!

Lark

Quick Pagan Podcast Plug!

Merry Meet!

I wanted to do a very quick post to talk about and recommend two Pagan Podcasts I’ve recently been listening to and am absolutely loving. Seriously, for those who have not yet gotten into podcasts, I strongly suggest you give them a try. Even if you don’t care to listen to a Pagan one there are some really great pods out there (e.g. This American Life, My Favorite Murder, Sword and Scale, Myths and Legends, Tell Me Something I Don’t Know, The Babysitter’s Club Club, etc.) I’ve actually learned a lot from following many of these podcasts and others allow for just good entertainment when the day is slow or there’s nothing on TV, which is most of the time since I don’t really watch cable and am basically Netflix only these days.

Anyway, back to my point: Pagan podcasts!

The first I want to recommend is Inciting A Riot hosted by Fire Lyte. It is a very well done podcast and is currently still putting out episodes (the last one was about the Women’s March in January), so they don’t come out as frequently as they did in the past, but he’s still around. Fire Lyte is also a co-host of the podcast Inciting A Brewhaha with Velma Nightshade, which I’ve mentioned in a previous post before (also very entertaining and the episodes are long). Fire Lyte is very opinionated, but I kind of love him for it. Plus he is a big supporter of science and looks at magic and witchcraft in a more “real world” manner rather than this fantastical idea with sparkles and fairies and three-fold law (which I LOVE and agree with). He also does a great 10 episode segment on the 10 largest religions and it’s a quick, but informative look at other beliefs around the world and it’s really great. I enjoy learning about other beliefs, it helps me understand the followers better as well as commiserate with them on similar beliefs I have and, well, knowledge is power and I enjoy learning new things about other people. Avoid the bubble effect basically.

Speaking of Velma Nightshade, I also finally started listening to her podcast Witches Brewhaha which is no longer being updated (hasn’t been since 2013). However, I still find it to be an informative and very well done podcast, so if you don’t mind listening to a podcast that essentially no longer exists, I do recommend it. She has mentioned on Inciting A Brewhaha that she may consider bringing it back to life, but time will tell if she is able to or not.

That’s all for my Pagan podcast promotions, I have checked a couple of others out, but barely made it through one episode so didn’t feel it was even worth mentioning. Check these out if you like and have a safe week!

Blessed be!

Lark

9th Day of Yule: Odin/Father’s Night and The Virtue of Honor

yule-welcome-mat

This is the day to honor Odin, the chief God in norse mythology (or the chief God of your pantheon). Odin is the God of many things: war, victory, magic, wisdom, etc. and there are several ways to honor/celebrate him. Being that he is the head honcho, honoring the fatherly figures and positive male influences in your life is one way to celebrate him (this is also a good option for those who are non-deistic, but still wish to participate in Yule traditions). A night for fathers and to recognize the male aspect in life (as Wicca or Wiccan influenced Paganism tends to celebrate the feminine overall, but it’s nice to recognize the male counterparts).
We also remember the Virtue of Honor. Honor is very important in Norse tradition, but it should be important in general to everyone. I look at honor as something you should fight to keep clean and, if possible, you should stand up for the honor of others you care for. However, I really don’t believe in violence, so beating the Hell out of someone to defend your’s or someone else’s honor, just tarnishes it further so a certain amount of tact and professionalism should be used.

That is all I can come up with for today’s Yule study topic. Thank you for reading!

Blessings!

Lark

Catching Up on Yule Studies

Sorry! I meant to be off just one or two days due to the holidays, but I’ve been struggling a lot with depression this year and got some bad news in the family which sent me into a slump. I’m finally coming to a place of acceptance (or at least preparing for acceptance) and so I need to get back to my normal routines. Not only is today my first day returning to blogging, but also to exercise, so hopefully this will help (I felt a lot better after sweating some of the stress out).
Anyway, so I missed the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th days of Yule. Today being Day 8. So I am going to attempt to do a very quick summary of each day in this post. Again, sorry for the wait and if things seem rushed. I may at some point make a more personal post, but we’ll see. This blog is supposed to be about my Pagan path, not my personal life/issues, but I’m aware it helps to “let it out” and I really feel nervous being so open with people in my real life, because it seems so much heavier to do that to someone’s face whereas typing it out for random people to read and not have to watch their reaction is almost easier. I digress.

4th Day of Yule – Honoring Freya, Njord, and Aegir and the Virtue of Love: This is the night we recognize the importance of the feast, toasting, and hospitality. We celebrate friendships, sharing with one another, and strengthening our bonds. We also honor the virtue of Love. We recognize the love we share with others and the love we have for ourselves. We also honor compassion and its importance is sustaining and creating love and remember to be more loving and compassionate with ourselves and with others.

5th Day of Yule – Community: This night is sacred to community; a time that we remember that everyone is connected to the Divine/Earth and vise versa. We may not be blood related, from the same country, raised with the same beliefs, but we ARE children of this Earth. It is our responsibility to be gracious hosts and respectful guests, to be friendly neighbors and to help and support our fellow man. We must strive to do better in our community and for our community. Maybe make this day a day to be charitable; either with time, money, or goods. It’s winter in the Northern hemisphere at this time, so planting trees/flowers may not be an option, but you could possibly sign up to do a clean-up or planting in the future.

6th Day of Yule – Honoring Eir and the Virtue of Healing: Eir is the Goddess of Health/Wellness. She represents health workers and healers and was often called upon to help the sick and injured. This is a great night to focus energy on healing and health. Take time for yourself to meditate, to exercise, to make future appointments (or at least a reminder) for seeing your dentist or doctor to keep up with preventative care, etc. Healing can be either physical or mental/emotional. Do whatever it is that makes you feel good (and that is good for you); take a walk outside, paint, read, quit smoking or drinking soda for a day, etc.

7th Day of Yule – Honoring Thor and the Virtue of Fidelity: Thor is viewed as a great protector, not only from Death and Darkness, but a protector of children as well. Yule goats may be used to symbolize/honor him (and the two goats the pulled his chariot and he would sacrifice and revive the next day). As far as fidelity goes, it should be noted that this doesn’t necessarily mean only marital fidelity, but being faithful in all of your relationships. Being a true friend, being faithful to family (when the family is deserving…I totally get if the connection with family is toxic or strained). You could also see it as being faithful to yourself and your beliefs.

8th Day of Yule – Honoring Skadi and Ullr and The Virtue of Truth: Skadi is a Goddess associated with bow hunting, mountains, and Winter activities. Ullr is a God known for his hunting, skiing, and skating skills and would sometimes be invoked before battle. These Gods represent the hunt and Winter activities. So going on a hike, skiing, snowshoeing, etc. is a great way to celebrate them. Today, we also honor the virtue of Truth. We remember to be honest with others and with ourselves. We also seek out the truth, not just personal truth, but also factual truth. I view this as a way to further educate ourselves as well. False news and woo-peddlers abound on the net these days, so this day in particular is a good one to remind us to not just take the things we read as face value and use our time to properly inform ourselves and not be party to the spreading of lies and misinformation.

And with that, I should be caught up. Hopefully tomorrow I will be better and have things is a bit more order. Thank you for your patience and I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.

Many blessings!

Lark

3rd Day of Yule: Mani or Virtue of Courage

yule-welcome-mat

The third night of Yule can be different things depending on if you are following the Norse Yule tradition or if you are going for a more non-deistic approach. This is basically the trend for the remainder of the 12 days where the celebration can center around a Norse God/Goddess OR a virtue (or both, actually).
For the third night, the Norse tradition honors Mani and/or the virtue of “Courage.” Mani is the God of the Moon; he lights the way for hunters in the forest at night. He is the light in the darkness and as this time of year begins the turn from darkness to light, his guidance in the dark is honored. Some traditions claim lighting the Yule log and leaping over the flames to gain luck and purification. Tonight is a good night to log your dreams or setting goals for the new year.
The virtue of Courage is important as courage is something many of us need almost daily; for big and small issues. Remember that courage is not necessarily the absence of fear, but doing the right thing even though one is fearful. But, of course, one should be sure to recognize the difference between courageousness and stupidity. If there is a situation that you know you could be harmed in some way, you can still be brave and face it, but be sure to do so in an intelligent way that creates as little risk to yourself and to others as possible (if possible). Also, courage is more than saving someone or battling a disease or some other adversary; sometimes it’s asking for that raise, learning a new skill, going out into social situations when you’re introverted, joining a talent show, etc. It involves personal strength and personal growth. So tonight we honor, the moon, the dark, and courage.

I hope everyone has a very wonderful holiday weekend (or regular weekend); I may not have time to do an entry tomorrow, but I will attempt to do one on Sunday 🙂

Blessed be!

Lark

Pagan Journaling Practice: Week #1

feather-ink-pen-clipart-free-clip-art-images-ve6n8c-clipart

While playing around on Pinterest I came across a pin for a blog called Nature Bound Pagan which sent me to these posts that featured weekly journaling prompts for Pagans (the link will lead you to this exact spot, but I do recommend checking out the rest of her blog; it’s well done). I thought this concept was a great idea, especially for someone who is just starting a blog, like myself, and also starting their path (or already started, but still learning).
I do still plan on doing Yule focused posts throughout December, but a weekly blog prompt will help me keep up on posting and studying.
So without further ado, I will start off my Pagan Journaling Practice – Week 1:

  • I came to know about Paganism because… of a friend in middle school who introduced me to it. I’m not totally positive where she first discovered it, but that’s how I was introduced. I stayed on the path from about 8th grade through to my first year of college, then I fell off. I recently decided to get back on track after realizing the disconnect I felt to a lot of things, mostly the world itself, and discovering that I had subconsciously created an altar at my desk at work (lol), so I knew what was missing from my life after that.
  • Three things about Paganism I don’t understand or that concern me are… Part of me is concerned about not having a pantheon, as far as ritual goes. I am concerned about accidentally drawing attention to negative energies/spirits or trickster type deities lol, I’ve got enough drama in my life. And, I don’t know if this is a Paganism concern more so than just a personal concern, but trying to balance my Pagan life and my mundane life, since I’m in the broom closet (but with an open door).
  • Three things about Paganism I would be interested to study further are… The Sabbats and how to properly celebrate them as well as performing solitary rituals. I’d also hope to study Cottage Witchcraft further. And I’d love to learn more about Pagan afterlife beliefs; so far I know of Summerland, reincarnation, and Valhalla, but I’m curious to know more since I’ve always had an interest in the different ideas people have about what comes after death; if anything.
  • My religion before I was Pagan was… Nondenominational Christian, I suppose. My parents did not raise my brother and I to be a certain religion and we never attended church (at least not until we got older and friends would invite us and we could decide if we wanted to or not). If we had questions, our parents would respond honestly with what they believed, but made sure to specify that that was their idea and not the only idea. They could be wrong and not everyone believes that same thing and that’s okay, etc. So I feel really lucky to have grown up in a family that didn’t believe in indoctrination of any belief system.
  • Five things I appreciate about my previous religion are… I wasn’t super into my previous “religion” so I guess…I like that it taught about peace, loving everyone, and accepting everyone for who they are. I think that’s all I can come up with haha
  • I appreciate these things because… They are the way a decent human being should act and think, regardless of religious beliefs (or lack of religious beliefs); love and peace and understanding should be practiced each day. Hate and anger are so exhausting and serve nothing.
  • Three things I wish I could have changed about my previous religion are… That people of that faith would actually follow the philosophies (or teachings) of Jesus Christ and not cherry pick the bullshit in the Bible to suit their preference to hate on others for being different. I don’t like the notion people got that Christianity was the only true religion and I really don’t like the whole Hell thing. Never believed in it.
  • I am attracted to Paganism because… I like that it’s more nature based. It gives me a sense of connectedness not only to the Earth, but actually to the Divine. I feel that my worship is actually personal and meaningful. It forces me to practice mindfulness and inner peace through my own motivation vs fear of being “punished” for erring.
  • The Pagan tradition I am most interested in right now is… Yule (and all of the other Sabbats and Esbats/Esabbats; I love celebrating and decorating)
  • The reasons why I am interested in this tradition are… Yule, in particular, because it’s that time of year so I can really focus my studies on it. However, in general, I’m interested in learning the celebrations so that I can create fun traditions and be better about focusing on the virtues and meanings behind each Sabbat for myself and the way I live.
  • The reaction of my friends and family to my interest in Paganism is… Only my husband knows right now and his reaction was supportive. He definitely doesn’t share my beliefs, but he has been great listening to me talk about it which I really appreciate. I think my parents and brother wouldn’t care too much. Some of my friends might raise an eyebrow (since I work in the STEM field), but I probably wouldn’t lose real friends over it. I do have some family members though, that I’m sure would be a bit weirded out by it. I was raised with the belief that religion was a private, personal thing, so while I’m fine sharing it under a pseudonym, I would feel uncomfortable shouting it out in RL. No one’s business, but my own.

Well, that’s all for this week’s prompt. I’ll work on finding some Yule material for my next post (hopefully I’ll have something by this weekend!)
Blessed be!

Lark