Witch Tips: Daily Dose of OMMMMM

Daily practice is a ritual performed at a particular time every day that brings you closer to the Goddess, the God, the elements, or whatever you align with.  The two most common forms are meditation and variations of a greet the day ritual.  Plenty of information on both are readily available in books and on the Internet.  If neither of those are your thing, consider weaving some other forms of practice into your day.

  • Mala Beads: My absolute favorite.  Keep them under your pillow and do a round or two of affirmations before bed.  Or in the morning.  You can buy them online or make them yourself.
  • Journalling:  Write down whatever you want.  Your fears.  You revelations.  Your feelings about the Goddess.  Or you can doodle, sketch, or write short stories or poems.
  • Breath Deeply: Inhale one two three, hold one two three, exhale one two three, hold one two three.  Repeat as needed.
  • Drumming:  Something I’m becoming more familiar with and will do a whole post on in a few weeks.  But playing any instrument or dancing to music can become a form of ritual.
  • Turn Off You TV: And your computer and your iPod and your cell phone.  Unplug your landline if you have one.  Do something that refreshes your soul, such as reading, walking, or gardening.
  • Wind Chimes: Make or buy a set with a sound that resonates with you.  Charge them with connectedness and hang them on your porch or in your home.  Pause every time they ring. Not a technique for dorms, although you can adapt it with a small bell.
  • Tea Time: A common practice across the pond, it’s an easy practice to adapt to spiritual purposes.  Brew a cup of tea (or, if it’s been a rough day, a glass of beer or wine) with your best pot and mugs.  Make it special.  Then take time to really enjoy your drink.

© Ariadne Woods

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Thanks and Updates

Hi everyone!

First of all, I want to thank all my readers and followers.  I didn’t really know what I was doing when I started this blog, and your feedback has really helped me out.  Also, I get a kick out of looking at the Map Statistics everyday and seeing where in the world my readers are from.  Please continue reading and commenting and being absolutely awesome.

I want to apologize for posting less often than I normally do in the next few weeks.  Next Friday I end a job, and my last year of undergraduate work starts in a few weeks.  But I have lots of posts planned and am working on them in my spare time.  A couple of topics I’m going to cover are urban witchery, drumming in ritual, daily practice, and a special election edition.  I hope you enjoy them!

I’m also working on some new reviews, which will be posted much more often when I get to school and have access to Interlibrary Loans.

I hope everyone has a blessed Lammas/Imbolc this week and have a wonderful day!

Bright Blessings,

Ariadne

Witch Tips: Giving Back

For us Northern Hemispherers, it’s almost Lammas (Lughnasadh), the first of the harvest holidays.  In the United States this means that from next week until Thanksgiving, it is the season of remembering the bounty of this year and being grateful for what everyone has.  But sometimes, the change of the seasons to the colder months isn’t as welcome for some people who are going through a rough time.  It’s the perfect time of year to do something to help your community.

  • Can-a-Week: Buy a can (or some other nonperishable food item) at the grocery store each week and put it aside to be taken to a local food bank.  It’s easy and after a couple of weeks bless the lot and take them in.  Considering doing this throughout the year.  If you grow a garden, consider also donating some fresh produce, which will be distributed immediately.
  • Bundle Up: If you know how to knit or crochet, make scarves, hats, and mittens for kids.  Talk to some teachers at you local elementary school and have them distribute the warm things to needy children in their classroom.
  • Trash Collection: Help out Mother Earth.  Buy heavy-duty trash bags and gloves.  Round up a group of friends and take to the streets, picking up all the trash you see (public areas only you don’t want to trespass).  If your area has a recycling system, separate the recyclables from the trash.  Best way to get volunteers?  Off them hot apple cider, yum!
  • Give Some Green:  If you’re too busy to offer some time, donate money to a charity.  I prefer local ones because you get to actually see the results in you community, but it’s preferable to choose a cause close to you heart.  If you want to go seasonal, UNICEF Trick-or-Treat boxes (children’s rights) are fantastic and many twenty-somethings have at least one friend participating in Movmber (men’s cancer research). Circle Sanctuary also does quite a bit of charity work, so if you want to donate to a Pagan group consider one of their projects.
  • Look Inward: EVERYONE has special skills and knowledge they can use to help the community.  So put them to good use.  Know a million card games? Hang out and entertain seniors at a hospice or nursing home.  Been taking 8+ years of dance or instrument lessons?  Offer to teach kids for free.  Good gardener? Start a community garden.

© Ariadne Woods

Transitions: Maiden, Mother, Crone

A popular concept in Paganism is the idea of the Triple God and Goddess:  the Maiden, Mother, and Crone and the Page, Father, and Sage.  In addition to being a theological idea, it is also used in life rituals such as Wiccanings, Initiations, Cronings, etc.  Typically Maiden/Page-hood corresponds to the period of time between birth to Mother/Father-hood and Crone/Saging from menopause (or the equivalent male) to death.

Motherhood and Fatherhood, in my opinion, is a little harder to calculate.

Some people say it’s during the year of the girl’s first period/male’s first growth spurt.  Biologically this makes a lot of sense.  However, that means some girls would be Mothers at 10, which modern Western society finds despicable and some boys never really grow until their late teens and early twenties. Other traditions dictate that a girl becomes a Mother the first time she is in the situation of baring children.  There is a possibility of Motherhood or Fatherhood, so the person should have the maturity to handle the situation.  Yet again this is a little too old school because that means my friend Kate, who jokes that because she likes girls will always be a virgin, will never be a Mother even though she is co-raising her partner’s kids.  It also fails to take into account other specific situations such as sexual abuse.  There are probably dozens of other ways of answering this question with their own faults and advantages.

I don’t really have an answer to this question because I am not sure where I lie on this spectrum.  I am certainly old enough to be considered a Mother, yet I am still a virgin and really don’t see that changing anytime soon.  Even if I were to get pregnant right now, I am not sure I would have the emotional maturity to handle it.  But I no longer really feel like a Maid either.

I think I will know when I am a Mother, instinctually or otherwise.  But until then I remain as I am, an inbetweener.

Bright Blessings,

Ariadne

© Ariadne Woods

Learning to Be Humble

Until very recently, if I remembered a dream it meant that it was a significant message I needed to hear.  Something to be taken seriously.  I take strong sleep medication, so if a dream can get through hey, who was I to question it? However a few weeks ago I renewed a sleep spell.  That week I had an extremely intense dream about a family member of mine, which turned out to be a premonition.  While the message was disappointing, I was really excited about the new accuracy and clarity.

And then next dream I remembered I was parasailing on a peach ocean while wearing my senior prom gown.  Huh.

Looking back on it, part of me wants to (pardon the colloquialism) “facepalm” myself for being such an idiot.  Maybe not an idiot, but definitely a bit full of myself.  Yet another part of me recognizes that error is part of life and I need to move on, learn to distinguish the meaningful dreams.  Learn a new skill.  Which in itself is pretty exciting.

Bright Blessings,

Ariadne

© Ariadne Woods

Witch Tips: Unusual Spiritual Supply Shops

I am lucky enough to live near a new age shop, however that’s not the case for everyone.  These are a couple of ideas to get what you desire to enhance your magical life.

  • Five and Below: If you’re not picky about incense quality (or you’re in a pinch), they stock a decent variety: sandalwood, patchouli, cinnamon, lilac, dragon’s blood, and more.  They also have a host of goodies if you look hard enough.
  • iTunes: Don’t have a big budget for books? Try podcasts.  They’re not as informative as books in the traditional sense, but I find that hearing other people’s experiences are invaluable.  Recently, some heavy hitters in the Pagan world, such as Selena Fox, have started contributing to this community. Podcasts also happen to be free in most cases.  To get you started, Another Pagan Podcast is a can’t miss.
  • The Grocery Store: How hard is it to add herbs and candles to your shopping list?
  • Etsy.com: For unusual items.
  • Specialty Bead Stores: A lot of stores that supply jewelry makers stock high quality gemstones for pendents and the like.  If you don’t mind a hole through your piece of bloodstone, look to see if your area has one.
  • Your State Renaissance Faire: A tip I got from a friend.  At least the one she goes to has an herbary and a gemstone shop as well as a mystical emporium.  Perhaps a more expensive option, though.

© Ariadne Woods

Uhhhhhhhhhhh Did I Just Have a Paranormal Experience??

The other day I was given the opportunity to tour a museum storage area.  We were having a pleasant look at artifacts when we turned a corner.  I got such a wave of anxiety and trepidation, no idea what had caused it.  Then I noticed what was in front of me.  A green sheet covered a large object. Before our guide uncovered it, I knew what it was.

An electric chair.

All I could feel was an overwhelming anxiousness.  Tunnel vision took over my senses to the extent that I didn’t realize I was leaning against another object.  All I could think was SOMEONE better cleanse this object before its put on display.

Now, I am not particularly sensitive for energies and spirits and whatnot, despite my strong belief in them.  I am admittedly skeptical.

But at the same time,

I’ve had a fair amount of experiences and have had friends and mentors who I trust to be honest that I instinctively know something else is going on.  For example, last year my brand new dorm room in which my roommate and I were the first residents hosted a spirit.  It made some noise and opened our door once, but mainly left us alone.  Liz and I exchanged stories of our “friend” like Pokemon cards with our friends.  Eventually, I attempted to commune with the spirit with the help of an experienced friend.  He and I came to the conclusion that it was very old and quite harmless and pretty cool with us living there.  So through this and other, less intense, experiences, I have learned to be skeptical, but open with the paranormal.

Back to the other day, I was plagued with the experience with this chair.  So I asked my Pagan coworker, Mary, about her reaction.  She divulged that she felt almost like the energies connected to the chair were taking over.  She remained shaken for days.

I want to urge my readers to keep this experience in mind when visiting sites in which spirits and whatnot are known to be present.

Bright Blessings!

Ariadne

(c) Ariadne Woods