Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Struggle of Daily Practice

One of my downfalls is not having a daily practice. I know its good for me, I know I should do it, just like going to the gym. I have weekly practices, but not daily ones. I've been aware of needing to do this since I first started on the path and probably before it as I tried a yoga practice several times before I was pagan. It is so hard to spend time, that is just on me.

I was driving to work this morning feeling better good. I listened to the remake of Missing you by Puff Daddy and Faith Hill (or should I say P Diddy?). Anyway, the lyric was "every single day, every time I pray, I'll be missing you".

It occured to me that this year, because of all the changes
I've gone through and the studying I've done, my entire world view, has, yet again, changed. The Qabala has been instrumental for me to have a multifaceted viewpoint of God in many forms. It was a missing link to help me get
away from God the Father and integrate polythesim
into how I believe the universe and astronomy works.

What the song made me think of specifically was that when we pray, we connect to our higher selves and therefore, are more in tune when our Will. The aspecting I have done in the past couple of years have helped me form a more powerful enegetic channel with my waking self and my higher self. I thought a bit about that connection, and would you know what? The cramp in my neck started to ease. I need daily practice. It will give me strength, more stability, focus, and purpose. It will help me energetically take care of myself and not automatically turn toward subconscious habits that may nor may not serve my Will.

I guess it was this Spring, that my HP asked me what would happen if I left my subconscious, waking self, programs off in the morning and allowed my younger self more say, control, and expression. I have thought about those words a lot in the past months. It was one of the main things that is leading me to get my graduate degree so I don't always have to drag myself out of bed to go to work. That is wasted energy.

Now I finally understand who daily practice is for and what it will accomplish and I know I'll be able to see results now. Yes, getting up early will be difficult, but it will be worth it as I want to walk in the world as a guided, enlightened, whole, integrated, unified person with a cohesive Will.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Shadow Work

I read a rant this morning on shadow work, something that I consider one of the deepest, most honest, and sometimes scariest practices a witch can engage in. My favorite quote from Thorn Coyle, quoting Victor Anderson is “Anything worthwhile is dangerous.” She goes on to explain that when something really matters to you, there is risk involved. Risk that you might fail, risk that you might change and in that, bear the death of the parts of your old self and old paradigms.

I think quite often as things go into the public or popular realm they are watered down, misunderstood, and misused. To me, shadow work isn't about positive and negative pieces of ourselves and dealing with parts of ourselves that we don't like. It is about learning to understand where are reactions and predilections come from. Its understanding our fears. Its understanding our coping mechanisms. It is unburying our power that we hid from ourselves in our subconscious through suppression.

For example, in my family growing up, sex was considered bad, bad, taboo, and unspeakable... For a long while I tried to be a good Christian and subvert earthly desire. Later, when I grew up and decided that was an unhealthy attitude toward sex, it took years of working through guilt to be able to be comfortable with a very natural process. As I have gained more comfort and acceptance of my sex drive and sexual expression and identification I have become healthier, happier, braver, and sexier. Through setting something free that had been trapped in guilt and suppression I found personal power.

Shadow work was not always called shadow work, but it is much older than Wicca. All strains of the Western Magickal tradition use shadow work on some level. It is also what was refered to in the late 1800's as dark or black magick because it was hidden. The themes are there before the pop-psychology terms were overlaid on them. Even in the goetia, the magician is told to know all parts of himself so that he knows his weaknesses and can better protect himself against spirits that would seek to use those weaknesses against him.

It is a commonly held idea that power is kept in the shadow or the underworld. Dark of the moon. That which is hidden, that which isn’t obvious and in the light of day. Have you ever had your vision taken from you for a while and thrown into complete darkness? After a while, you will start to have visions. Very interesting that when we cannot see light, we start to see within. You tap into the otherworlds and the worlds within your being.

This year I have my Pluto conjunct my sun. Is this sounding familiar? My normal front-face personality (my sun) is walking in the realm underneath, the Underworld, the places normally void of light. My underworld is splayed open for all to see above the surface in the walking, waking, shining world. Yowzah! Yet, this has been a tool for change for me this year. I have become more actively aware of automatic decisions I make that I formed in childhood that may serve no purpose for me as an adult. Such defense mechanisms were useful to me as a child when I couldn’t understand the pains in life and needed to move on, yet they have become limits to me now, limiting factors that tell me what is possible in my life and what I will not allow myself to do and to grow and make change in my world.

The more we become aware of our psychology, the more we are able to decide consciously the decisions we make. I for one enjoy when I am able to control my interactions, my reactions and my emotions for my usage rather than be a victim and controlled by the tides of my emotions, unawares and at its mercy. The stronger we are able to harness our emotions, the greater control of energy, power, and magick we will gain.

Why is all of this so scary? If you have to deal with personal truths that you hold self-evident than are in fact, faulty and harmfull, it is traumatic! It hurts to have to remember traumas of the past and reinterpret them, embrace them, and learn from them in a new way while not falling into your old comfortable patterns. Isn’t it easier to just try to make everything okay and just try to be happy all the time? I find that when I try this, it is at my weak moments that I fall into depression. It is when the lights are out, it is cold, and I am alone that suddenly, I don’t know where to turn. The sun within, hidden, yet always shining must be strong. In order to have a stable and strong handle on yourself, you have to work with all of your pieces in order to understand them, in this case, especially the pieces that aren’t so pretty and fun.

I’ve been having trouble remembering my dreams since my initiation. My initiation dredged up some stuff that I had been unaware of and at first, really resisted dealing with. This weekend, I relaxed enough and gave myself permission to do some dream work. Saturday afternoon, I opened up my my healer friend, she gave me a reading and started the energy work process to release some of the old energetic bodies I am holding within me. Sunday morning, I had quite the nightmare. In a way, it was upsetting, but not a nightmare at all. The Mother was with me in the dream, lovely pointing out to me that which I would rather keep forgotten. The next few months are going to be a lot of hard work. In some ways I am aware of the process. In other ways, I won’t know what the destination is until I get there. There is no way for me to control the destination and I have to have faith in the process.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Impetus for Change

Straining, struggling, building pressure,
can't even flutter in such a small space.
Heart beat quickens, heat increases,
Pushing against the barrieris of my skin my past,
the tower of my mind.
Soon, this barriers will be broken
an old shell to be discarded
and Wings spread to take flight.
But now, the energy builds
Damage to the weak point
persistance, panic,
great need to push forward,
push through

Changing form becoming new.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

First Harvest:

In a world where we go to the supermarket and can get any item at any time of the year, don’t grow our own food, and aren’t dependent of weather cycles (That is when it isn’t RAINING!), how does Lammas, the first harvest apply to us.

I look to the harvesting of my life. I use it as a goal post for what I have accomplished and how I’ve changed in the year. I have felt rushed, pushed, uncomfortable and itchy all year. I have stripped away dead skin, and continue to do so that I can grow into my new skin. I wasn’t sure if I had been successful this year, but from the following lists, it looks like I have been. Despite this list, I have felt like I have been in pain, stressed, sad sometimes, and unsure. It is an unease I have to live with, accept, and keep going. As I finish off the year, I hope that my relatively free schedule in November and December will help me find some resolution and peace.

Since Samhain of 2008:

I started teaching
I gave in to Odin to work consciously with him
I became a member of the council of the Fellowship
I became proficient in aspecting
I unbonded from the Windsword and joined Chalice of Living Stars
I rented out my house
I completed 2 roundtables and am working on a third
I survived a tulmultuous relationship with a woman
I survived a dark night of the soul
I deepened and committed my relationship with my partner.
I started doing work with the OTO. I hope by the end of the year to have initiated as Minerval
I started firetending
I did some major healing work and was able to help midwife my mother’s process
I got my 2nd degree initiation

I still have some processing to do and I know the solidifying process of my 2nd degree will continue. For the rest of the season I would like to:

Get my Minerval Degree
Continue firetending
Finish the Qabala series and Participate in a successful Climbing the Tree
Teach my Celtic Myth series again
Do some shadow work

Next Year my Goals:
Lead another roundtable: Astrology
Start teaching wicca 101
Go back to school, take 3 psych classes
Start doing something with women’s mysteries again
I’m still throwing around the possibility of picking up martial arts again

Qabalistic Troupers

I am so proud of my study group. Last night the sephorith we covered was Geburah, the little understood, unloved, sphere of ending and culling. Sigh. We had some amazing discussion and sharing. Sitting there at the table, we all peered at the strength card, the 5's of the minor arcana, the red pentagon of Mars. Our faces glowed from our red shirts. There wasn't a dry eye in the house, except maybe the dog. He was very concerned for us all. All in all, it was incredible. I am so proud of them for wanting to face themselves, their shadows, the challenges, and the Work.

Monday, August 3, 2009

So, I'm fooling around on facebook and I see a tarot reading app. Okie dokie I think. I click on it:

1. Context - Ace of Wands
2. Focus - Emperor
3. Outcome - Ace of Wands.

OWWWW!!!!! I wanted to post it to my profile and got an error, so I hit refresh.

1. Context - Hermit
2. Focus - Ace of Swords
3. Outcome - Star.

Moral of the story: Never play cards with Odin. OWWWW.