LiPaPo 18: Magic in the Everyday

Hello all~ this is the LiPaPo series, standing for Little Pagan Post. (almost) Every day I will post a short little post, exploring an aspect of my beliefs and practices. I hope you enjoy them ~ kitty hugs to all~ Joouna

This is the last LiPaPo for the time being. I may take it up at some undefined later time again, however it has lost momentum for now. This doesn’t mean I will not blog about Paganism and witchcraft tho <|:)

Gah what a week… there was just so much going on both in my schedule and inside of me that I just couldn’t inspire myself to write anything. On one hand there have been good news regarding grades, my training has been going well, and finally the weather is nice here… on the other hand I have quite a lot of internal drama because of stressy schedules, and the constant fear of not getting enough points to be allowed to continue my studies.

In times like this I wonder, how is it possible that I manage to avoid getting totally disconnected spiritually? I have come to the conclusion that spirituality has been integrated into my life in such a way that (some of) it does not get replaced by “more urgent matters” in stressy times. I came up with 4 key things to ensure that the spiritual part of life does not get buried under mundane everyday:

  1. Develop a regular practice: Come up with something that takes about 10-30min, and fit it into the same timeslot periodically. Then muster the discipline and organisation to indeed keep to the plan. (This may take practice) It can be morning prayers, regular divination, moon phase rituals, anything that is significant to you. I do weekly tarot or oracle card readings every sunday evening, as well as evening rituals daily.
  2. Keep your eyes open! The spiritual world is not separate from the physical, but can be encountered through it! The physical world is full of appearances of the divine beings and other spiritual beings, to be found by the keen eye.
  3. Ask deities or spirits to accompany you. This is a good, simple idea for a regular prayer. You could also be in for an adventure or two, depending on who you choose to call…
  4. Transform mundane activities. While cleaning, also clear your space in a spiritual sense. Turn showering into a ritual of calming down and grounding. Dedicate your exercise to a deity you know will approve. The possibilities are endless.

Wishing you blessings and magical times, and kitty hugs to all~

~Joouna

LiPaPo 17: “The Real Deal”

Hello all~ this is the LiPaPo series, standing for Little Pagan Post. (almost) Every day I will post a short little post, exploring an aspect of my beliefs and practices. I hope you enjoy them ~ kitty hugs to all~ Joouna

This post was inspired by insightful comments from StormwiseRaven, Hestiasservant and The Untamed Domestic Goddess on my previous post. It was good to hear your experiences and opinions, thanks ^_^

The question of today is: who is a “real witch”? There is a growing number of (mostly young) people who identify themselves as witches, but who of those actually should have the right to do so?

Well. First of all let me say that I really dislike it when “real witch” elitists come up with a crapload of ultra-precise criteria that practically only fits them and maybe some coven members, then diss everyone else.

On the other hand, watching a movie or series(The Craft comes to mind) and as a consequence wearing some magic looking pendant and gothy clothes doesn’t exactly qualify one as a witch either. That is cosplay. Or being into goth fashion. There is nothing wrong with either of these, but it does not make one a witch. Being a witch involves not only wanting to be one and dressing up like (a fictional) one, it also involves belief, knowledge and action.

Another case that comes to mind is teens who “decide to be witches” because they are sick of being Christian. They then proceed to Facebook Pagan/witchy groups or other forums, and post stuff like: “I am going to be a witch now but am so scared because God will punish me!” and so on. (Real example.) In this case being a witch directly clashes with the person’s belief system and one of them has to go. Being a witch involves conviction, and confidence that the path is indeed your path. Another similar example is “I’m a witch now. God and church gonna be so angry but I don’t care lol” (Also real example.) In this case the person is not really a witch. They just want to be bad by their religion’s standards.

Th decision to be a witch is gradual, and does not happen at a moment’s notice. It involves soul searching, thinking, observing our world, research, learning…It may often be something that was always there since childhood, and we slowly grow into it. The key is: effort and time, and putting our heart into it…

…and keep on doing so. The last but perhaps most important factor is dedication and commitment to the path. Being a witch is not like a hat that is fashionable for a month, then end in the back of the cupboard. It is a transformation. The taking on of an identity.

Finally, two rules that I believe can define being a witch:

  1. Know thy craft. Do some research and some thinking. Decide what you really believe, and own it. Don’t be a witch or anything else “because it’s cool” or “because x told me that’s the way to go” or so on. Define your own path, with reason and meaning behind it. Of course you will not start with knowing much. Everyone has to start somewhere. But take the effort to read and ask questions to more experienced people! In the age of the internet, it has become possible to access communities quite easily. Aspiring witches, please respect the elders, and elders, please respect your students! Then the community can be constructive for everyone. Perhaps I should rephrase this to: Be willing to learn thy craft, and be responsible for your knowledge.
  2. Walk the talk! You call yourself a witch. So act like one! That means putting in the effort to work the magic when needed, honouring any deities/spirits/beings you work with, and generally incorporating your witchiness in your everyday life.

LiPaPo 16: Wearing the Pentagram

Hello all~ this is the LiPaPo series, standing for Little Pagan Post. (almost) Every day I will post a short little post, exploring an aspect of my beliefs and practices. I hope you enjoy them ~ kitty hugs to all~ Joouna

For many witches, deciding to wear a pentagram/pentacle on a regular basis (on a necklace/ring/whatever) is sort of a rite of passage. Before, the only people who know about your witchcraft are the ones you tell. Afterwards, any keen spotter may notice it. In both witch-positive and also non-welcoming areas, this is an action of taking on responsibility. Wearing the pentagram says “I am a witch!” not just to yourself but potentially anyone else too.

With “non-welcoming areas” I mean areas where a large number of people do not tolerate witches, or Pagans in general, due to religious convictions of their own. As unfortunate as this is, it happens, and I hear about it very often. In this case it is be a good decision to keep it discrete, and/or prepare a strategy to deal with people who feel it is their duty to preach to you or even harrass you. In extreme cases where witches are indeed persecuted physically, even violently (yes even today), of course extreme caution is advised, and the best idea would be to move away if possible.

In “witch-positive” areas it can be a wonderful experience, but it also comes with responsibility. People, once they confirm you are a witch, may come to you asking you to help them with your abilities, knowledge and gifts. You may be asked to give readings, help them work spells, or guide someone on their path. In this case it is crucial to kniw your own limits. Help whenever you can, but if something is beyond you, say so. Attempting to muddle through something you know nothing of will just inflict lots of damage. Also, do not assume that you must accomodate everybody. If you have important priorities, or feel like someone is just using you, then you have all the right to say no.

In neutral areas there will still be people who spot the pentagram and respond in a variety of ways. They may ask in a polite, interested way, or they may go “OMG ARE YOU A WITCH???” (it happened).

The simple fact is that we witches are a minority, with myths and rumours created  about us over time, and while nobody around here will give a second glance at someone’s cross necklace, a pentagram may draw attention and questions. However, the moment we decide to wear the symbol that declares “I am a witch!” is deeply powerful and magical. If you feel ready for it, go ahead and claim it.

LiPaPo 15: Pentagram and Pentacle

Hello all~ this is the LiPaPo series, standing for Little Pagan Post. (almost) Every day I will post a short little post, exploring an aspect of my beliefs and practices. I hope you enjoy them ~ kitty hugs to all~ Joouna

Perhaps the most characteristic symbols of  witchcraft are the pentagram and the pentacle.

image source: http://www.panix.com/~ddellutr/astro/dvc-two-pentacles.jpg
image source: http://www.panix.com/~ddellutr/astro/dvc-two-pentacles.jpg

The difference between them is that the pentacle is basically a pentagram inside a circle.

Historically, the pentagram has been found in many diverse cultures, from ancient Mesopotamia to Greece, Celtic culture, China, Egypt and early Christianity. Its geometry probably fascinated the people of old all across the globe. Today it is used as a symbol for witchcraft, the Wiccan religion (primarily in pentacle form), the Serer religion, and is also found on the flags of Morocco and Ethiopia. The inverted pentagram has often been adopted by occultists to represent the devil or demons (and that does by no means imply that “the pentagram is a symbol of evil”).

The most common meaning of these symbols in witchcraft today is that it represents the 4 elements (air, fire, water and earth) and spirit, or the divine energy. The pentagram can be drawn in one line, and is thus a symbol of interconnectedness. (There is some disagreement in the community as to whether spirit can be considered an element or not.) In the case of the pentacle, the circle around the star represents the magic circle that is often cast for spellwork or rituals. Thus the symbols are also a primary symbol of working magic. Drawing one in a clockwise direction is used for invoking something, while drawing it counterclockwise for banishing. They also serve as protective symbols.

LiPaPo 14: It has been remade

Hello all~ this is the LiPaPo series, standing for Little Pagan Post. (almost) Every day I will post a short little post, exploring an aspect of my beliefs and practices. I hope you enjoy them ~ kitty hugs to all~ Joouna

Remember my archer/warrior dedication from the spring equinox (here)? Well, the material I used for braided part was not the most sturdy (couldn’t find anything better) so today I noticed it was on the verge of disintegrating at one point. Fortunately I did not lose it, instead I decided to remake it.

IMG_3966

Now it is made of sturdy leather. I guess this serves as a confirmation that I will not abandon or forget my path, despite going through stressy times and such. It also should remind me to look with courage into the future, instead of being a victim of anxiety, despite that there are uncertainties in my future. I will not let “modern civilisation” smother me into submission and turn me into a robot or a whimpering nerve wreck.

imma barbarian warrior, yo <-« {

LiPaPo 13: Triskele

Hello all~ this is the LiPaPo series, standing for Little Pagan Post. (almost) Every day I will post a short little post, exploring an aspect of my beliefs and practices. I hope you enjoy them ~ kitty hugs to all~ Joouna

(oh my, I’m really falling behind on this. lets see if I can catch up)

This post is in honour of finding my silver triskele bracelet that I thought I had lost on wednesday, and I had totally given up on it when it surfaced in a total unexpected place (tools + construction materials bag) yesterday. Yay~ Thank you for returning it~

The triskele is an ancient symbol, that can be found on relics all over Europe. It is perhaps most well known as a Celtic symbol, however, it is also found in many the areas of the mediterranean, and has been established as a symbol of origins as early as the neolithic times.

 

3 common versions of the trickle taken from wikipedia, bottom left is my bracelet, another version of the symbol.
3 common versions of the trickle taken from wikipedia, bottom left is my bracelet, another version of the symbol.

Its meanings are as diverse as its variations. A a list of them can be found here, but summarised as the interconnectedness of worlds, and the cyclical spiral in/spiral out nature of life. It tells us that we can never be static, but are in a constant state of evolution, one revolution after the next leading the way into the future.

 

LiPaPo 12: Day of Sunlight

Hello all~ this is the LiPaPo series, standing for Little Pagan Post. Every day I will post a short little post, exploring an aspect of my beliefs and practices. I hope you enjoy them ~ kitty hugs to all~ Joouna

Dear all, I would like to wish you a blessed Beltane. This time is also know in central Europe as the Witches’ night, and May Day, and is a time of magic, love and life.

Here spring is rather slow, and despite the late month the leaves have just grown on the trees again. It is still rather cold, but the sunlight strengthens every day as we move closer and closer. This year’s Beltane was all about the sunlight for me. Unfortunately we did not have the day off at the university (pretty sure everywhere else May 1st is free :/ ) but while I was walking to and from the lectures, I walked among green, lively trees, flowers and birdsong. The breeze was cold in the shade, but where there was sunlight, it warmed you through. No longer do we see a distant, pale light, but the abundant, golden light of life…

The Sun has started his rule again, and thus, slowly but surely, life blossoms again, bathing in the warm light. All the animals appreciate this, outside are sunbathing cats and birds and others everywhere here ^_^ I recommend to follow their lead: Go outside on a sunny day, to the court of the Sun King. He may speak to you through the waves of light, and through nature, in form of flowers or some animals. Those who honour him, he welcomes into his presence, and touches their heart… ☀️

LiPaPo 11: Death -> Rebirth

Hello all~ this is the LiPaPo series, standing for Little Pagan Post. Every day I will post a short little post, exploring an aspect of my beliefs and practices. I hope you enjoy them ~ kitty hugs to all~ Joouna

I have already mentioned in these posts, but I would like to elaborate more on what I believe happens after we die. I do not claim to be 100% certain that I am correct. After all there is hardly a way to find out, while coming back to speak about it! So my belief makes sense to me and feels right to me, but I accept and respect all other beliefs too, because in the end it is all speculation.

I believe that when a body dies, the soul detaches from it and “floats” away. Now, I believe that the soul and body are not entirely separate things during life, and during this detachment, it is not like the whole personality and all floats away in one piece… Death is not only a physical transition. Only the most defining details, the very essence of the soul floats away…

…like a little seed of a dandelion. The seed then floats away in the wind, in the hands of the Divine… it may touch down fast to start growing, or may fly this way and that, resting, seeking, before embarking on the new adventure. Parents-to-be and floating seeds seek each other out, and eventually find each other, thus the seed lands, and life grows, and the soul grows into the life. This is called reincarnation, the soul incarnates again and again. And as the dandelion grows and then withers away, seeds will fly again~ …Did I use a wrong metaphor? Dandelions create many seeds. Or does the soul split into children too?…

 

Although most memories will probably be lost from one incarnation to the next, a few may be retained. An explanation to this could also be that there is some sort of collective mind where memories of all lives of all beings are stored… I do not know but it is certainly an interesting topic. I think I do have a bunch of memory fragments that are not from this life. However, to argue against myself, the mind is a powerful thing an my imagination can be exceptionally vivid. It may be difficult to say that it was not my imagination. Then again, I wonder where the imagination comes from…?

Hm hm I see I was in a very philosophical mood today :3 have a nice evening, y’all ^_^

LiPaPo 10: The little geese again ^v^

Hello all~ this is the LiPaPo series, standing for Little Pagan Post. Every day I will post a short little post, exploring an aspect of my beliefs and practices. I hope you enjoy them ~ kitty hugs to all~ Joouna

Today was such a roller coaster day that I could not think of anything to write about except my weapons safety post…

But remember the goose family? Well, all 9 little chicks are alive and well ( I count them every weekday, minus the occasional day that I have completely free :3 ) and they are growing so fast!! They have already their feathers :3 And sometimes they also swim~~ I’m so happy for them, cute little fluffs are growing up to be beautiful geese ^_^

IMG_3938

LiPaPo 9: Crystals

Hello all~ this is the LiPaPo series, standing for Little Pagan Post. Every day I will post a short little post, exploring an aspect of my beliefs and practices. I hope you enjoy them ~ kitty hugs to all~ Joouna

I am a big fan of using crystals in witchcraft. They are like prisms, transmuting the energy into what we need. I have lots and lots of crystals lying around in my magic space but also all around my room.

Here I have compiled a list of my 10 most-used crystals, and a short description of uses I attribute to them.

  • Red Jasper: Probably my favourite stone. Associated with the fire element and can give us courage, strength, determination and willpower.
  • Amethyst: Associated with the water element, it enhances intuition, psychic ability and the spiritual connection, reduces anxiety, and can also help with sleep and dreams. Its energy is very similar to Lavender!
  • Onyx: Very protective and grounding, like a large, sturdy shield. It also helps us remain calm, steadfast and cold-blooded in a fight, and grounded despite the hustle of today’s “civilised life”.
  • Obsidian: Another very defensive stone, but much more intense than the onyx! Obsidian will draw in negativity and destroy it, and help us be courageous and aggressive.
  • Rose Quarz: A peaceful, positive crystal that gives off an energy of love, happiness and contentment, and is associated with angelic beings.
  • Lapis Lazuli: A stone wisdom and knowledge, but also honour and loyalty. Its deep, ancient, wise energy is associated with ancient deities and spirits (such as ancestral spirits).
  • Malachite: A gentle yet powerful healing stone for the body but also the heart.
  • Clear Quarz: This stone is like a satellite dish, it amplifies messages from the divine to us and enhances awareness and perceptiveness on all levels.
  • Moonstone: This crystal’s energy resembles that of moonlight, giving intuitive insights, comfort, flexibility and also a wonderful helper for women’s cycles.
  • Carnelian: A fiery stone of vitality, motivation, energy and health, the presence of this crystal reminds me of the sun.

I hope you found this informative ~ ^_^