Category Archives: Pagan Blog Project

D: The divine in my world-Omnitheism defined

The divine in Ominitheism

I live a constantly evolving paradox in some ways. I am an omnitheist. Its an all encompassing view of the divine. I say all encompassing because depending on what sort of ritual I am working my view on the divine will change or be modified. I make room for experiences of the divine in basically any and all formats as I believe the overall Divine to be something that humans can not fully understand in our form. This also means I will and have experienced the divine in many different forms.

Basically I am a Hard Polytheist in that I believe in all individual Gods in pantheons and religions. I may not have encountered them all like I’ve never met to my knowledge any of the Gods associated with Chinese religions or Hinduism or even Native American traditions, but I still believe those Gods are individual beings. This also means that I Do believe in Yaweh/Allah/Jehovah or the God of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism. I can’t emphasis this enough. I just believe that they are an individual God among many.

This also means that when I work a ritual from the context of a soft polytheistic view where they believe all the Gods are one God and all the Goddesses are one Goddess I believe the God and Goddess of that religion are a unique God and Goddess whose impressions are a combination of the psychological archetypes of the many Gods and Goddesses in literature. So I believe that there is a God and Goddess out there who through modern Wicca and Modern religious witchcraft movements who is a manifested form and force of All Gods and all Goddesses, though each person in this religious form focuses on specific names to them it doesn’t matter and to this divine duo the names do not matter. They are nameless and yet have many names.

Like wise my belief in the God of the three big religions allows me to attend church services with family members and treat it as I would the worship of any other God within their specific religious constraints. Yaweh and I have an understanding of sorts in that I believe in him and have accepted that he is the supreme God in those religions. However I never in the Christian tradition I was a heretic of sorts believing that the trinity was a set of three divine beings. So like I said we’ve reached an understanding of sorts that is uncomfortable at best for the both of us. I maintain my belief that he is one of many thousands of Gods and I treat the church services as that Gods particular style of worship.

In this way it is not any different than how I outlined I have approached the worship of Greek Gods and Norse Gods. I approach their worship from a recon style and perspective. I find that recons so long as the worship of the different pantheons or cultures is separate then you can follow more than one path. Its about respecting the Gods and making sure that you worship them in a way that would have been appropriate in that particular culture.

This is also why recons who may worship different Gods in different cultures will keep the worship separate. The different cultural groups all had different styles and types of rituals. So it makes sense to worship Greek Gods with Greek Rituals and Norse Gods with Norse Rituals. It is also respectful as they were separate cultures.

In this way I treat Christianity as a culture which it really is. The Christian worldview has impacted the world culture in many ways, so when I go to church I feel that I am engaging in that aspect of the culture I live in, as well as the culture where this God (Yaweh) is worshiped.

I believe that all the Gods of the Greek pantheon are individuals. I believe that all the Gods of the Norse pantheon are individuals (to the point where even the tribal differences in views and concepts may actually be different divine forces) an so forth for each pantheon. I even believe that the 12 big Gods of the Greek pantheon and the 12 great Gods of the Roman pantheon who are often said to be the same beings are separate beings (Zeus and Jupiter are different Gods in my view and not the same as in other views of the two pantheons).

I have experienced too many different types of divine individuals to not believe that in some way all views of the divine are true. This is why I consider myself to be an omnitheist. While I believe that there are individual Gods and Goddesses (Athena, Frigga, Isis, Ceriweden, etc to name a few and only a few) as individual people (like I am different from you) I also believe that there may be an overruling God of each force like there may be a generic Goddess of Love and God of war that are essentially made up of all the other Gods of each force).

I have experienced individual divine forces and I have experienced overarching all encompassing divine forces. I believe all paths hold truths. This is why I believe that by studying all religions and philosophies I can gain even more insight into the divine and the mysteries of the universe. In this way I may also be a chaos magician where I change paradigms as needed for ritual and spiritual work, if so than I am a chaos witch. I’ve experienced too many different styles of the divine manifesting to not believe that all versions of the divine are true

Suffice to say this basically outlines most of my concept of the divine. My views of the divine are constantly evolving and changing. I’ve had too many different experiences to not be willing to be open to every possible avenue for the divine to manifest. Though because I also believe in the power of the mind I also think that we can create divine forces or manifestations of the divine energy through names and other experiences.

In essence this is where part of my experience of the five Gods and Goddesses that are the divine beings in Pentalism comes from my experience with the various Unnamed Gods and Goddesses of Eclectic Wiccan and Eclectic Neo-pagan witchcraft traditions.  Each tradition had some very similar concepts of the God and Goddess but there were enough differences that I started to feel that perhaps there was actually more then one God and Goddess involved in the myths and lore of Modern witchcraft.

Those divine beings are basically a separation and division of the five different types of Gods and Goddesses I have experienced through different versions of modern Eclectic Wiccan lore. I thought that because there were essentially five different ways I saw the Gods manifested that there were five distinct Gods and Goddesses worshiped in Wiccan traditions. The more I study and think about the different God forms and Goddess forms and associations I see the more those five Gods make sense.

So I figure I’m developing a tradition that treats the seasonal versions of the Gods as individuals and the Moon Goddess and Sun God as separate beings. I’m still developing experiential lore in meditations to support this particular divine setting but so far it seems to make sense. The season energies are very different so the Gods involved in each season would be different.  There will be more information on those Gods in the next post, outlining the Gods and Goddess of Pentalism.

Omnitheism I feel is important as a view and philosophy of the divine as it allows for extreme personal experiences.  It allows people to experience the divine as individual beings while also accessing the divine forces behind say healing with out specific names.  This allows people to have both experiences with the individual divine beings in the various pantheons and the overall divine forces that are out there in life.

Grimoire-My Magical record system

Grimoire: My Record system

Most witches out there have books that they keep their rituals and spells in.  Many traditions call this book a Book of Shadows.  In this book they write down all their rituals, all their spells, and any work that they do with spirits and spiritual beings.  This record becomes in many way our personal sacred texts and documents.  In some cases witches can use their experiences within their records and books to in effect create the lore for their own system and practices.

Like most witches I do have my own magical book and record system.  I actually used to have several different books that I would keep.  In an effort to keep all of the rituals from the different systems I studied separate as they were all separate systems I decided to keep my notes and my notes books separate.  Its only recently that they have been combined back into one book, at least for the time being.

As a solitary and primarily self directed witch I have the freedom to basically record any information I want in any way that I want.  This means that I can have articles from magazines in there as well as any personal reflections.  My book is really personal and is my own record.  Though this book will in the end be used as the basis for the tradition I would like to found and teach, in general my book is something that really only makes sense to myself.

Now I call my book a Grimoire for many reasons.  The term book of shadows just never seem to fit.  For one thing I have never been in the shadows with my practice at all.  I have always been open and upfront about it.  I have never hidden my practice.  Though I might not have discussed it or brought it up in front of some family members I’ve never really made any attempts to hide the fact that I am and have always been a witch.  So the concept of a book of shadows when I am not in the shadows didnt make any sense.

The other reason is that my book has more than just spells, rituals, and invocations.  My book has theory and exercises.  It has lore and poetry.  My book basically contains the sum of my spiritual knowledge and experience over the years.  In this book I have recorded the names of spirits I work with, their personalities, and much more.  This book could in essence be used to teach my path to another person.  It provides step by step exercises with reflections to give an idea of what could be experienced.  The book even has some of the realms and other worlds I have visited listed in there with details.

I also like the term Grimoire.  So I use it for my own practices.  I know that its not one of the great Grimoires of Ceremonial Magic and Invocation traditions, but for me it still is a Grimoire.  Other people when they have read my book will be able to look at it and perform the rituals and the works in there and have effective practices.  They can use my book as a step by step manual for the works I have done.

The other thing is that I have material from the official Temple Tradition Grimoire for the first degree in my book as well.  The Temple material does have its own book as well.  However the material also belongs in my book as I have experiences based on the training found in the Temple tradition.  That is the other reason I call my book a Grimoire.  If the Temple tradition calls its ritual handbook a Grimoire, than I think I can call my book the same thing.  I am after all scribing information from the Temple text into my own text as well.

One thing I am going to try and be better about is actually recording and writing down my rituals and my spells.  I’m the sort of witch who may not always write down the rituals and spells that they have performed.  For this reason there are large gaps in my book of dates.  I also don’t have any information from my early days as a witch.  That first book is long gone.  So working on my Grimoire is actually one of the ways I have started to get my spirituality back on track.

I have all kinds of notes from books I have read that need to be transcribed into my Book.  I am also going to sift through my diaries of a couple years.  I know in several of my diary entries I have thoughts on Gods, Goddesses, and my spirituality.  The notes and the diary entries will provide more material for my book and show me even more places where I have grown and where my spiritual paths have developed.  I just need to spend the time to sort my notes and find out where in my book they will belong.

I do hope that in time I can create different books of Grimoire style work.  I want to have a book just for Dragon work.  That way in that book I have only information that relates to dragons.  By separating that information it also makes it easier to find exactly what I am looking for in my books.  The same goes for my work with Germanic paganism and Greek Paganism.  I’m also creating a prayer book and a specific spell book.  The creation of these books is part of my spiritual development and my spiritual practices.  It relates to my view of the importance of the sacred scribe.

Over the next few weeks my Grimoire is going to get more information into it.  I am going to be adding spells I have posted on websites and I am going to be adding in all sorts of additional correspondence information and the like.  I may have to end up making the main book into separate books any way as this one is already quite full.  So I may end up with theory and exercises in one book with rituals and correspondences in another book.  We shall see how things develop over time.

I know that as I study Hoodoo and get recipes for various items and spells I will be including those in my book as well.  I already have a few recipes for different types of water in my book.  Soon I am going to add spells to the book.  I just got to the spell centric section of one of the books I have been reading and working through.  So that in itself is going to add a bit of stuff to my book.  I’m always busy developing something spiritually between my business and this new maintenance of my Grimoire there is always something new to do and make.

Pagan Blog Project: Galangal Root

Also called:It is also known as Low John the Conqueror, Chewing John, Galanga, China Root, India Root, East India Catarrh Root, Lesser Galangal, Rhizoma Galangae, Gargaut, Colic Root, and Kaempferia Galanga.

Galangal Root has many different uses.   Like many different herbs different traditions have different associations and uses of the herb.   This herb like many others has multiple properties and associations thought it is commonly used for only one or two of those items.

There are uses in protection magic, legal aid, hex breaking, lust, health, money, and psychic powers are all properties of Galangal Root.  Most often in Hoodoo the herb is applied to legal and court case working as well as hex breaking.  Occasionally wish granting is also associated with this herb.

Common applications in Hoodoo include chewing the herb and spitting it out with a specific intention to make the spell work.  This can be done infront of court houses for legal aid.  You can also chew on the root while thinking about your wish or desire and then spit it out when chewed completely to have your wish granted.

By wrapping a bill around the root you can and use that charm to bring money to you.  You can also burn incenses of the scrapped and ground root for similar properties.  Other charms include carrying the root in mojo bags for protection and hex breaking.

Available:  For sale:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/165790691/galangal-root?ref=shop_home_active_16

Sources:

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs: by Scott Cunningham

http://www.themagickalcat.com/Articles.asp?ID=242

http://www.luckymojo.com/johntheconqueror.html

http://www.pookapages.com/Gruenwold/Magical%20Herbs.htm

Pagan Blog Project: Growth

Growth

Today we are going to talk about growth.  Specifically we are going to talk about how you can see how far you have grown spiritually and in your path from when you start to where you are now, or even a year later.  The longer we are on any spiritual path the more we should be growing as a person.  The more we should understand and experience things spiritually.  Our understandings of the universe can change as we grow spiritually and as we learn and have experiences.  So seeing where we were and where we are now can be a great point of reflection.

So how do we look at spiritual growth?  This is really a hard thing to measure.  How we grow spiritually, how fast we learn and gain experiences is completely a personal thing.  No two people will have the same speed or rate of development of their spiritual skills and senses as other people.  Often growth may not seem to be happening but it has.  This is why reflections and record keeping is so essential.

One of the ways we look at spiritual growth is to answer the same questions we started with at the beginning of our journey.  These are the questions I outlined in the post on Asking and answering questions.  By re-answering these questions you can look back over what you said before and see what your answers are now.  You should answer the questions first and as before take as much time to answer the questions as you need.  When you have answered the questions then you can read your original response.  I would then suggest am entry comparing the two entries for each question.  This way you can see where your thoughts changed.

The other way you can judge how you have grown is basically by your experiences and what you have recorded down.  Again by reflecting on what you have done and what you didn’t do as well as your thoughts and feelings about everything you have experienced you will be able to see where things have changed.  In essence seeing what has changed and where you have grown takes a lot of reflection and introspection.

Finally you can also look at your life around you.  Through your spiritual studies your life should have become more positive and you should feel more fulfilled in life.  By looking at your life and the way things have changed you can also evaluate how things are and how you have grown spiritually.  Its our day to day lives and actions where some of the largest changes will occur in ourselves.  One of the examples I can think of making a noticeable change is in working with affirmations and colored energy balls on a regular basis to bring changes within yourself.

In the end you wont grow spiritually if you don’t get out there and do things.  Start by trying exercises that seem fun and interesting to you.  Though if they have a previous exercise you are supposed to engage in before working that exercise you need to go back and do the exercises.  Remember to listen to your intuition.  Your intuition will guide you and help you find where you belong.  Walking an alternative spiritual path like any numerous pagan paths, spirituality, and any form of witchcraft can be a rough road, but you are the one that will make it happen.  be strong and you will find your way.

Being an Occult Buisness-Why we are needed

It is very difficult to be in the business of selling and providing services and products for various magical and spiritual rituals.  These businesses often are looked upon as superstitions and as silly folk lore at best.  Often times the products need to be labeled as magical curiosities or curiosities in general as no one can guarantee the results of spell work and herbal uses.

When writing a business plan for a new age or spiritual based business its difficult to write about the topics of magic, witchcraft, shamanism, and the like from an objective standpoint.  As a business we need to explain why people are buying these products and why people will go to these businesses.

One good thing on our side is the fact that the movement for alternative spirituality and spiritual practices is growing every day.  More and more people are becoming interested in the various uses of herbs.  people are starting to look into making natural and home remedies for things to avoid chemicals and other medicines if possible.  More and more people are taking an interest in topics like witchcraft, magic, shamanism, energy work, and the like.  It is because of the movements growth that businesses like Mystic Echoes can grow and survive.

The movements for magical spirituality and alternative treatments for depression and other issues grows because people are looking for a feeling and sense of control in their lives.  Often times in our modern hectic life we can feel as if everything is out of our control.  Spiritual practices and religions like Wicca and witchcraft as well as other forms of Ceremonial magic and shamanism can provide a feeling of control over ones life.

Practicing magic, meditation, and these alternative spiritual paths provide skills to change thought patterns and effect internal change.  By providing these skills and techniques these spiritual and magical practices these paths provide a sense of control over our lives and our directions.  These paths teach us skills to care for the mind and the spirit as well as the body and the emotions.

These paths also provide often times a sense of a connection to the world around us.  The life we live today in modern society is very disconnected from everything else.  Through smartphones and basically having wifi signals nearly everywhere humanity has become disconnected from their world and the people around them. These paths allow that connection to occur again.

So what benefit do businesses provide these spiritual paths and practices?  Why do we need businesses that sell ritual supplies, books and cds on meditation, and other items often associated with new age spiritual paths and practices?  There are several.  We serve important roles to our local communities.

Businesses like Mystic Echoes provide a safe place to ask questions about different practices and different skills.  Many stores that have physical locations provide workshops and activities where their patrons can go and learn new skills.  These brick and mortar businesses also offer a place for Reiki healers and other alternative energy treatments to provide their services.

Businesses that sell and provide services for spiritual works also offer another key thing.  That thing is support.  The businesses that support magical practices, meditation, spiritual work, and whole being provide a place where those who are interested in those same topics can gather and have discussions free of persecution and judgement.

Online or cyber shops can still provide some of that same support.  Online shops like Mystic Echoes can still provide valuable places for information gathering.  Through our websites, blogs, and internet presences we can provide places to ask questions and have discussions.  Some businesses can even provide reading lists and resources to many different websites and places for further information.

Online shops are still useful.  In some places its still difficult to enter and go into shops that are associated with magic, witchcraft, the occult and the like.  There are still some stigmas associated with these physical shops in areas where online stores provide the resources of materials and products a local brick and mortar store would provide.

Some online shops even provide distance healing and psychic readings.  Cyber shops can have forums and other places online for community outreach where lessons and workshops can be given.  A cyber shop can provide just as many resources to the spiritual communities as brick and mortar stores can, while also providing secrecy and the ability to learn, buy, and engage in the community all from the comfort of your own home.

I hope this post has enlightened you as to why people like myself take the time to create and develop businesses like this.  I have put a lot of time and effort into creating products that people in the community can use.  I spend a lot of time keeping blogs like this providing people with access to information about herbs and skills and spiritual paths.

Remember we are here to provide you with a service.  Why not take the time to look at our products and test them yourself.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/MysticEchoes

Attitude and Affirmations

Today I am going to talk about a very simple topic.  The topic is both of your attitude and of doing positive affirmations.  When you combine these two items together magic happens with little to no effort.  By changing your mind and your thought process you change the world around you and what comes your way.

So what do I mean by attitude?  Your attitude is the way you look at things.  If for example you are reading a book that has a lot of exercises for psychic development and you think they are a waste of time you wont get anything out of them and they will not be effective and the techniques and skill meant to be learned in that exercise will not be learned or experienced.  Your attitude will influence how much you get out of your spiritual development and your spiritual practices.

If you have an attitude of the world sucks and everything terrible is going to happen to you that is exactly what you will get.  When you believe and feel negative towards the world that is what you will experience.  Your attitude is what will attract energetic forces to you for your benefit or your troubles.  If all you feel around you is negative than all you will experience is negativity.

Now I know that life gives us troubles and difficulties.  During those times it can be hard not to be negative and feel like the world is crumbling down around you.  I’ve been there and I feel that too.  However there are things I do to change my thoughts and try to bring positive energy into my life.  One of these skills is positive affirmations.

Affirmations are practical thoughts that when repeated can get imprinted on your thoughts in the subconscious and can make those feelings become a reality.  Some one having issues with self love and feelings of self worth might repeat a statements like “I am loved.  I have love around me.  Love surrounds me all the time”.  By repeating those words and phrases several times over they become thought patterns.  The repetition becomes habit and it starts to transform our reality and our attitudes.

our thoughts become our reality.  Our attitudes influence our thoughts.  By working on our attitudes and by using positive affirmations we can make major changes in our lives.  If you don’t believe this, give it a shot. I challenge those of you who don’t believe in the power of positive affirmations to give it a shot.

How are affirmations magic?  The most effective forms of magic are those we do on our self.  One theory in magic teaches that the best way to make a change in your life it to make the change within or to work magic on the self and the perceptions of reality. Basically we work magic on ourselves to cause changes in our reality.

This is where affirmations come in.  By repeating the positive affirmations over and over again they gain energy and power and belief.  By wording that you already have those items you are manifesting those properties in the moment.  This is magic.  Plain and simple.  Its effective and one of the most basic magical practices I can introduce you to.

For those of you who want to give affirmations a try and who would like to try this simple form of magic.  Then  I have an exercise for you.  If you are skeptical about the ideas then you should try this exercise as well.  This is an exercise I have done both in a college introductory psychology course and in training as a witch.  So here it is.

  1. Write down and consider five different items you are looking for in life.  For example you can write down love, succsess, friendship, prosperity, and appreciation.  These could be five goals that you are looking at working on.  They could be things you need to improve on.  Just have five goals in mind.
  2. Take each goal and write in at least five different ways that you have the goal.  For love for example you might write I am loved.  I have love.  Love surrounds me.  I love.  People love me.  You then do the same for each other goal in a similar fashion.  Note you write these in the current stance.  By saying I have love and I am loved it is manifesting in the known here and now while if you say I will be loved or they will love me it will manifest maybe at some unknown time in the future.   If you focus on not having something like not having debt you will manifest debt because you are focusing on the negative rather than the positive so in stead of saying not having debt or nor debt focus on prosperity or having enough to cover all your needs.
  3. Keep the affirmations by your bedside, probably on your nightstand.  Put them basically somewhere you will see them to recite them every day.
  4. In the morning shortly after waking or in the shower recite each individual affirmation for each goal five times.  Do this for each goal.  The more often you say them aloud the more you will believe it.  The sound of you saying it confirms your mental belief in it.  The two work together to manifest these five goals.  See yourself with each affirmation firmly.  Believe and know that you have them.
  5. In the mid morning repeat the affirmations aloud and mentally as before.
  6. In the afternoon around lunchtime or your midday meal repeat them again as you did before.
  7. Do the same with your afternoon snack or break after work.  Repeat each affirmation for each goal five time.
  8. Before bed once more perform the affirmation exercise for each goal.  This will program it into your dreams and also into the universe.
  9. Perform this exercise daily for two weeks and take notice of how you feel.  You may not believe the affirmations at first but give it time and it will work.
  10. Continue for another two weeks and notice any changes in your state of mind, life, and emotional states.  This will show any progress in manifesting these goals.
  11. After a month you can either continue with the same goals or you can try new ones.  The process of reflection and practice starts again though.(originally posted in my other blog: http://seekersight.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/pagan-blog-project-e-energy/)

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Pagan Blog Project: B is for Belief

What I believe

Since this blog is entirely about my own personal path and how it has been developing I think its about time I actually discussed what some of my beliefs are.  One thing about my beliefs is that while I do have core beliefs how I understand that has been known to change and evolve.  This is a good thing.  When my understanding of my beliefs change or how I apply my beliefs changes it means I have grown and developed quite a bit spiritually.

The whole idea with spirituality for me is to develop my sense of connection to the universe and to my Gods.  As my experiences change in the world around me and as I learn new things I may change my beliefs.  I don’t believe in having solid and steady unchanging beliefs.  For me to have an unchanging or to be unwilling to change beliefs and practices when given different experiences means that I am not willing to grow as a person.  In nature that which does not grow or change dies.  The same thing can happen to a persons spirituality.  If they are not open to new experiences and developments they will not grow spiritually and their spirituality and personal spirit can die.

Now that I have explained some of that background information I can actually start to tell you a bit about my personal beliefs.  As it has been mentioned before this blog serves mostly as a place for me to sort out information and concepts for my personal path and practices.  This blog also serves as a way for me to try and form a cohesive path pieced together out of many different fragments and forms to be one united path.

So where should I start?  I guess I will start with my belief in the divine.  This is actually one of the simplest and most basic beliefs that I have.  It has evolved out of study and reading of multiple sacred texts and mythologies.  This belief has also developed out of my personal study of folklore and fairy tales as well as personal experiences in the spirit worlds and in worship with many different Gods,

I personally would call myself an omnitheist.  I will get into that in a different post later as omnitheism is one of the core tenants in this path I am developing.  Omnitheism is essentially the belief in all deities.  I do not need to know about or experience and have personal relationships with all deities to believe in them.  In holding this belief I can respect every path on the planet equally as all of the Gods worshiped are equally valid in my view.  I have had personal experiences with to many different God personalities to say that some Gods exist and others don’t.  So I believe that they are all real.

I think the next thing I will touch on is cosmology.  My cosmology is complex and simple.  I believe in many other worlds.  I believe that because of all the Gods all the different heavens exist as do all the different underworlds.  I believe that they are all separate realms within a basic three realm paradigm.  All the realms of the Gods are in the upper worlds and heavens.  All of the underworlds or lands of the dead are in one location with this reality or earth in the middle.

That is the basics.  This is where it gets a little more complicated.  I also believe in realms for individual spirit types.  I believe there is a realm for all fire spirits and all water spirits you get the idea.  I also believe in realms of the elements.  I also believe in a realm where all form of Dragons live and exist.  I believe in a realm and world of the elves as well as the dwarves and other spirits.  I believe that these worlds exist here along side this world in ways that we can’t really see and experience.

I also hold the nine worlds in Germanic mythology as part of my paradigm.  So it holds that else where in the cosmos the realms and the worlds of the other spiritual paths and Gods would be there as well.  I have not experienced all of them but I can see them all being there.  They are all tied together through the web of human experience which will bring me to my next belief and concept.

I believe in Fate.  Fate is the web of reality.  Fate is the universe.  Fate is all of us interacting together in a way we can not all understand.  Fate is the way that we are all interconnected and related on a spiritual and universal level.  Fate is everything around us, all that we see hear and experience and all that exists on the other side of the world at the same time unseen and essentially unknown to us.

Fate is that which must happen based on that which has gone before.  Fate is a combination of events that work together to create what which we know and see as the world we live in.  Fate is also how the unseen worlds and the unseen forces in the universe work for us and against us.  Fate is cause and effect.  Fate is basically all options at any time but only that which fits according to the patterns woven in our lives will come out to pass.

I will say more on fate at a later date.  For now we are a part of fate and fate is reality.  This forms a large part of my world view and the view of reality around me.  It also plays a little into my belief and understanding on what magic is.  Though part of my belief in fate and my belief in the many underworlds and afterlife is a belief in the soul.

I believe in a soul.  I also believe in an afterlife.  My belief in the soul plays a role in my belief in the afterlife and in the other worlds.  My belief in the soul is one of the core beliefs I am setting for this tradition.  I believe that the soul is actually not just one thing but a combination of five different spiritual forces that work together to form an individual life.  I believe that in essence the soul is eternal but it also changes forms and has different parts.  Each part has a different role.  Because the belief in the soul is complex I am going to leave it at this: I believe in a soul that is the force of life that allows us to live and have experiences.  It is what makes a person or being alive.

I believe in spiritual realms for different spirits.  So I believe in many different spirits.  I believe that all animals have a spirit inside of them or an individual soul.  I also believe that there is a spirit ruling over all domestic dogs for example and the like.  I also believe that each individual species of plants have their guardian spirit of that plant species as well as individual souls.  I even believe that stones and crystals also have a ruling spirit and an individual spirit.

I also believe in Genis Loci or the spirits of places.  I believe that mountains have their own spirits.  I believe that ponds have their own spirits.  I even believe that small ponds can also have many spirits in the area like mountain spirits, broke spirits, as well as the spirits of all the plants and animals in the area.  I believe homes posses individual spirits.  I also believe that the land our homes our build on also have individual spirit forces.

I believe in magic.  Magic I believe is a practice, a force, a skill, and a craft.  I believe that magic is the energy we use to cause changes in this world.  I also believe that magic is the force that causes change in this universe.  I believe magic is the force of change and creation.  Its a force for creation and destruction.  Magic is a force for life and for spiritual gain as well as daily gain.  Magic is also a mystery and a tool by which we can access the mysteries of the universe.

I also believe in psychic abilities.  I believe that we can sense and see spirits.  I believe that people can sense and see spiritual energy and personal energetic fields known as auras.  I also believe that we can contact guardian spirits and receive information from them.  I believe that we can also tap into some higher selves and spirit forms and use tools like tarot cards, runes, shells, bones, and other objects to tell or gain insight into the future.

I believe that we all have these psychic abilities.  I do believe that we need to learn how to train them and work with them though.  I believe that psychic abilities like these provide us all with excellent ways to understand the world around us.  It is also through our psychic abilities and practices that we can experience spirits, Gods, and travel to the other worlds.  So I believe that learning what our specific psychic senses are strongest and working with them to be developed is essential to spiritual development.

I believe in spirit world travels.  I believe that we can travel in spirit to the other worlds.  I believe that these travels help us understand and experience the mysteries of the universe.  These travels give me insight into the different types of spirits out there and how they may work.  Its how I meet spirit guides and how I have experienced some Gods and the spirit realms.  Astral travel and shamanic journeys are central tools to this practice.

So there you have it.  You have some of the basic beliefs that I hold.  As I said some of the beliefs I hold are very complex and could use more attention than warranted in this one post about the basic beliefs I have.  Those beliefs like the ones on the cosmology, fate, and the soul are going to be written about in more length as time continues.  For now you at least know where my basic beliefs are.

As always if you have any questions for me about my beliefs or anything I post or say here please let me know.  I will answer them to the best of my ability.

Pagan Blog Project: Goddess spirituality

Goddess Spirituality

One of the common themes out there in the world of Paganism and alternative spirituality is the concept of generic Goddess spirituality.  There are many different things that people mean when they say that they follow Goddess spirituality rather than a specific religion or spiritual path.  In all honesty like all spiritual paths Goddess spirituality is a very personal path.  There are some common themes and traits among Goddess spirituality so I am going to cover a few of those themes today for you to follow and understand.

What is Goddess spirituality

What is goddess spirituality?  Goddess spirituality is in the end a relationship with one divine great Goddess.  This Goddess is the mother of everything.  She is the creator of everything.  She has no name but is mother to every one who follows her path.  The Great Goddess is both apart of this world and separate from this world.  The Goddess is in everything and is a part of everything.

Goddess spirituality is actually as old as time.  The earliest figures that we have found appear to be mother Goddess figures.  It is believed that because women are the ones to give life that the ancient and primitive cultures believed that it was a feminine divine entity that created life.  They also believed that it was to her that we returned when we die.  She was the womb and the tomb.

The great Goddess is a theme that comes in many different forms and styles.  Goddess spirituality is essentially focusing on the Goddess as the source of all life.  Its celebrating her form through all life.  The great Goddess in Goddess spirituality is the one who can heal, who can protect, and can do everything.

In Goddess based spirituality all you focus on is her energy.  The Goddess is the one who gifts you with everything that you need to have in life.  She is abundance.  She is sexuality, she is passion.  The Goddess is the fertile fields, the growing tree.  She is the laughter of children and the fiery protection that parents have for their children.  This Goddess is love and light but is also fierce and protective.  She is also darkness and fears.

 

Theism and Goddess spirituality

In many pagan paths you find the concept of polytheism.  That is a belief in many different Gods and Goddesses.  When it comes to traditions and practices of Goddess based spirituality it ca be hard to define exactly if it is a polytheistic path or not.  Goddess spirituality can be a polytheistic path or it can be simply a path with out any real form of theism.  For now I am going to cover a few of the different theistic or deity centered ways that Goddess spirituality can be experienced.

In Goddess spirituality there are several ways that it can manifest.  The primary form of Goddess spirituality is a form that is that of Panentheism.  Here they believe that the Goddess is everything in the universe and beyond the universe.  The great Goddess both made the universe and makes up the universe.  The Goddess is here at all times and everything.

A related view of Goddess spirituality is that of Pantheism.  In Pantheism the Goddess makes up all of the universe and all of the known reality we live in.  She is everything here.  The Goddess is the universe manifested.  Just by living and experiencing life we experience her.  There is no need for prayer or worship.  Simply live life and enjoy the beauty and you have found the Goddess.  The Goddess would be in all the food we eat, all the plants we see and any and all animals that you encounter.

Many people who follow Goddess spirituality are soft polytheists of sorts.  These people believe that the Great Goddess has many faces and names.  They believe that all Goddesses are aspects of the one Goddess.  In soft polytheism they believe that she is so vast and so great that as humans we can not fully understand or appreciator all that she has to offer or even all of her mystery.  So we created and experience her face in many different forms.  In short those who follow a soft polytheistic path believe that  no matter what name you use for the great Goddess you are worshiping her.

The other way that Goddess spirituality manifests soft polytheism is believing that one great Goddess created everything and that this Goddess is both male and female.  In other words its not just the Goddesses that make up the Great encompassing Goddess.  In this view they believe that even the Gods or male aspects of the divine make up aspects of the great Goddess as well as the feminine.  This great Goddess is male and female all at once.

Hard polytheism .  In Goddess worship through hard polytheism the great Goddess isn’t one Goddess.  In this form of Goddess spirituality you are contacting the feminine divine forces through individual Goddesses.  Some one who follows Goddess spirituality through the form of individual Goddesses as separate entities worships the Goddesses as feminine divine forms.  Here they may worship the individual Goddesses for different reasons for their associations or for what ever reasons the Goddesses they worship call to them.

Then you have monotheistic Goddess worshipers.  The monotheistic Goddess worshiper believes that there is only one divine force in the world.  That one divine force is the Goddess.  They believe that no other divine force in the universe.  All the divine power and all divine influences come from this Goddess.  They believe that everything came from this Goddess and to her everything will return.  This is probably the most common form of Great Goddess worship and Goddess spirituality.

How to practice Goddess Spirituality

In Goddess spirituality the idea is that there are many different ways to practice Goddess spirituality.  Like any spiritual and religious path it is going to be a very personal path and choice.  Like all paths there will be different ways that you can go out and find the Goddess.  There are many ways you can work and make a relationship with the great Goddess and be a part of Goddess spirituality.

The best advice I can give on Goddess spirituality and practicing it is to remember how important feminine energy is to life.  All things in this world need both masculine and feminine energy in order to produce offspring and thus survive.  Life is the gift of the Goddess.  By appreciating life and enjoying life you are living with the Goddess and enjoying all that the Goddess has to offer you.  That is a form of Goddess worship.

In the poem the charge of the Goddess there is a line that states “All acts of love and pleasure are my rituals”.  This is one of the truths about true divine Goddess spirituality.  In true Goddess spirituality doing the things that you enjoy, the things that move your spirit and make you feel whole are ways you can honor and be one with the Goddess.  Yes sex and sexuality are implied in that wording but it means more than that.  If you live to perform find ways to dedicate your performances to the Goddess.  If you paint involve her in your activities and let her direct your painting.  By being true to your inner self and your real joys and pleasures in life you are being true to her and letting her move you.

If you are the type of person who likes to do formal ritual than go for it.  Goddesses and the divine in general do enjoy formal worship.  When ever you are working with any sort of spirit of divine being its important to give them offerings of types at different times.  This is how you worship them and stay in their presences.  With the great Goddess and Goddess spirituality its not really any different.  It just depends on how you interpret the Goddess in your version of Goddess spirituality.

Now you may think that Goddess spirituality is just for women.  This is not true.  While you may find and will find a majority of Goddess central or Goddess based spiritual paths are women only, this is in part because the Goddess spiritual movement has been tied in with feminine power and movements to empower women.  Goddess spirituality also in many cases and ways focuses on women mysteries hence forth it is a female central path.  There are men on this path its just different for them and they often times feel out of place.

Paths and traditions

The following is a list of known Goddess central and Goddess spirituality based paths.

Dianic Wicca-Formed by Z Buddapest

Reclaiming- Starhawks tradition a mixture of Dianic Wicca and Feri witchcraft

Resources

Goddess spirituality is not one of my expertise.  It is an area that I have only done some vague research into.  I have presented you with the information I have found.  I am providing you with some resources now on Goddess spirituality that may be more beneficial to you,

Books:

The Spiral Dance by Starhawk

The Book of Womens Mysteries by Z. Buddapest

The White Goddess Robert Graves

Websites:

Goddess movement Wikipedia

Temple of Diana

If you have a book or link on Goddess spirituality that you would like to share comment and I will add it to the list. I will also add them to the links pages as I get those resource pages up and running.

Pagan Blog Project: B- To begin

Beginning your path

Over the last few weeks I have given you a lot of information about researching and answering questions related to your path.  I gave you advice on how to choose your directions and even some concepts on divinity to start with.  These are all great things to know and have as an idea before you actually begin your path.  However once you know where you are going, what your views on deity are and the cultures you are basing your practices off of how do you actually start to begin your practice and path?  This is the question we are going to focus on and answer for you today.

There are many different ways that you can actually begin your path.  The important thing is to try and spend as much time doing research and reading about new beliefs and practices you want to explore as it is to actually spend the time doing the work.  If all you do is read and research and reflect on what you read and research you will have a lot of book knowledge and some great opinions.   You just wont have any experience and you wont actually “know” the processes, the spirits, the Gods, or even the effects of the practices you have been dedicating your time to.

Ways to begin your practice

I remember when I took my first steps on my path as a witch I was very nervous.  I was afraid of doing things wrong.  I was afraid that the Gods and the spirits wouldn’t listen to me.  I had no formal teachers or training.  I was simply stumbling in the dark.  So I remember the anxiety.  It was both a positive anxiety as well as a negative or hesitant type of anxiety.  I had the same feelings when I started to practice Germanic Paganism.  The important thing is that you work through the anxiety and the sensations and start on the path.

So what can you do to start on your path?  You can build an altar.  You can start a magical journal or spiritual record of your practices.  You can start a meditative practice.  If you are very confident in your connection to your path you can perform a rite of dedication and direction.  Finally the most important thing you can do is try the exercises you encounter in the books and websites you use as  tools and references in your studies.

There are as I said many different things that you can do to start walking your path.  You may not be able to do as much as you would like right away and that is ok.  You may miss sabbats and opportunities for rituals and worship as you learn the important dates and times in your chosen spiritual path.  The Gods know you are human and you are learning.  So long as your heart is in your path and you work hard you will be amazed at the path you will create for yourself.

Altar creation

One of the things you can do to begin your path is start an altar.  Altars are a wonderful way to express your spirituality.  By creating an altar you are creating a sacred space in which you can focus on performing your spiritual work and practices.  Altars can be very simple or they can be very elaborate.  There are many different things that you can put on an altar and there are many different ways that an altar can be set up.

My basic altars when I am working with a new spirit or starting to work with new Gods are very simple.  They typically include a candle that I light when I am praying to that spirit.  I also light the candle as an offering to them.  I also if I have them have an incense burner for burning incense as offerings to the Gods and spirits and to help as a focus when I work on meditation.  I also typically have a cup or bowl for any liquid offerings I may give the spirits.

No two altars are going to be the same.  If you do decide to set up an altar let it be a reflection of your relationship with the spirits you are working with.  Your altar is for you and your practice alone.  It doesn’t matter what it looks like or what you have on it at this point in time.  Its just there as a focal point and expression of your relationships with the spirits you work with.

A lot more can be said about altar creation.  I have written two entries elsewhere on this blog that deal with altar creation.  If you decide to start with the creation of an altar I would recommend you look at the articles. They contain several examples and some exercises for you to use as you build your altar.

Altars part 1: 6 exercises and points for altar building

Altars part 2: Specifics for paths and practices

Magical and spiritual record keeping

The second thing I mentioned you could do as a formal start of your path is to create a spiritual journal.  This journal may have already been started if you have been following the exercises and advice I have been giving you on this blog.  Some traditions have specific names for the journals that are kept and others are incredibly personal.  In all traditions though the personal spiritual journal is a very powerful sacred personal object.

One thing I mentioned previously is that as you do your research into the various paths out there was take note of things that you agree with and things you disagree with.  I also advised you to write down quotes that gave you something to think about.  I have also given you several different types of questions to answer and reasons for asking those questions.

All of the notes you have taken, the questions you have asked, and the answers you have given yourself are the start of a very important document.  This document or well book is very important.  This book is going to serve as your record of spiritual growth.  This book will have a lot of information in it as time goes on.  It is also one of the most personal spiritual items and tools you will ever make.

You may be asking why a journal of your spiritual experiences, thoughts, and beliefs is important.  The answer is simple.  This book and journal will show how you have grown and developed spiritually.  This book will contain things you agree with and things you disagree with.  You will basically put anything in here that you feel is important information about your path.  There really isn’t anything you can’t put in this journal.

The act of working on this spiritual journal is also a way to connect your mind and emotions with your actual soul and spirit feelings.  By writing out your thoughts and reflections to ideas and concepts you are processing how your spirit feels about these things.  This allows your mind to understand what drives you and allows your mind to spend time finding ways to include those thoughts, beliefs, and practices in everything that you do.

Writing in a journal is a very therapeutic thing.  It helps you process the day and it helps you really sort out how you really feel and think about many concepts and ideas.  In many different spiritual paths one of the key concepts or ideas to strive for is to know yourself.  Writing in a journal is one of the best ways to know yourself as you are truly honest to yourself about how you feel and what is on your mind.  By knowing yourself you also know what your real needs, wants, and desires are.  In spirituality this can also mean knowing exactly the type of connection you are actually seeking with the Spirits and the universe.

These books will also serve as your references for your personal experiences.  In them you should include exercises you have done (the steps of the exercise and your experiences), prayers you have said and or rituals you have done.  It can also include prayers and spells you have found inspiring from other sources.  If there is poetry or myths you find inspiring and directly related to your path you can put that in there.  Its your guide to your experiences and your development as a spiritual person.

In witchcraft most often there are two terms for these spiritual journals.  One of them is occasionally called a mirror book.  That book is full of your reflections and ideas.  Its where your theories and beliefs are recorded.  Its a reflection of your innerself and your soul.    This is a very personal book and is often not shared.

The other book is often called the Book of Shadows.  The book of shadows is a book containing spells and rituals.  It also has the lore of the practice.  In solitary practice this book is your sacred text basically.  It forms a workbook for formulating spells and rituals.  Its your tool in your acts of priesthood.  This book can be shared with people if a solitary chooses to share their work.  Typically if it is handed down it will be to children or very specific family members interested in the practice all at the individuals discretion.

In covens and in specific traditions there is a Book of Shadows that is specific to that coven or tradition.  Members are expected to hand copy or make themselves an exact copy of the book for their own use.  Like the individual book this also contains all the materials needed to form the rituals and practices of the coven.  It may also contain coven history and tradition history.  These books are also used as teaching materials to preserve the practice and and ensure that all members have the same information to go from.   Ceremonial Magic has a similar practice called Grimoires, and some witches elect to call their ritual and theory books Grimoires as well.

Meditative practice

One element that is common among spiritual paths is some sort of meditation practice.  This practice is a way for you to go within yourself and reflect on things.  It can also be a way for you to communicate with spirits and Gods.  Meditation is a very powerful tool for spiritual development and daily spiritual practice.  This is one tool that comes in many different forms and has different uses.

One use for meditation techniques is to understand different philosophic principles.  By working with different powers of the mind in meditative states you can learn and experience different philosophies which will create spiritual experiences.  Often times these meditative techniques also are building blocks to deeper spiritual techniques and can also be magical techniques as well.

Meditation techniques can also help you learn how to better focus and use the powers of your mind.   Through meditation you can travel to the spirit worlds.  You can meet many different spirits and interact with them.  You can experience the mysteries in the universe.  These mystery experiences will provide you understanding and spiritual growth.  These are things that will also make your spirit and you feel at home and have deeper understandings and connections to the world around you.

Basically meditation can work for psychic development, spiritual development, mental development, and the development of focus skills.  Meditation has many different effects and uses spiritually and practically.  Its worth an entry all of its own.  When you engage in meditation as the starting point or beginning of your practice you will want to explore many different philosophies and types of techniques.  Remember to record and write down what you experience in meditation and what the techniques were.

Dedication ritual

This is often the first real serious step a person takes on their spiritual path and practices.  Dedication rituals are very serious acts and indicate a specific level of commitment.  When you are dedicating yourself to your path you are promising any and all spiritual powers on this path that you are there to serve them and to learn from them.  You will listen to them and you will do all that you can to live your life the way they ask you to.  It also shows that you are ready to make your path an intricate part of all aspects of your day to day life in some manner.  You are ready to not just be a student and exploring of the path.  You are ready to say this is my path.  I will follow you for as long as I can.

If this is what you want to do for your first step on your path than you should go for it.  If this is your choice then you have done enough research and had enough of an emotional connection and response that you know that this is where you want to go for now spiritually.  Taking the step of dedication is a big step and its one that should not be taken lightly.  In some paths a self dedication is the equivalent of an initiation of sorts.  In other paths its a phase of learning before swearing a deeper oath and practice.  For myself dedication is both a learning period and a way of swearing an oath.

I am not going to write any more on dedication here. It is a first step in a path and it is a way to begin your path. I have written an essay on this blog earlier in more depth about dedication and the types of dedication there are. That post even has two different types of dedication rituals.

D:Dedication

Do the Exercises

Many books on spirituality and spiritual paths will have exercises scattered throughout the chapters to illustrate and give you personal experience with the concepts being discussed.  Most of the exercises do have a practical aspect to them.  When it comes to spirituality and magical practices the only way to really understand the concepts of energy and spirit is to have experiences.  The experiences do more to teach you the philosophies and world views than just the books ever could.

Sometimes it may not be easy to see the meaning or reason behind the exercise being placed where it is.  If this is something you experience that is fine.  In this case finish the chapter.  Read the exercises and the rest of the chapter.  Reread it a few times if you have to.  However once you have an idea of what the exercises and the chapter together are teaching you need to do the exercises.  The exercises will actually show you more than any words can.

In spiritual paths the concept of mysteries and how they must be experienced is often brought up.  The exercises including guided meditations and occasionally mini spells or rituals are there to have you gain access to the particular mysteries of that path.  The author of those exercises has used them several times themselves and seen how they worked for their spiritual paths and development.  By publishing those exercises in a book, website, blog, or podcast the author is providing access to the mysteries for others.  They want you to share the experiences they have had.

When you do an exercise be sure to write down the exercise in step by step processes so you can repeat the exercise.  Also write down everything you experience while doing the exercise.  You will find that some of the techniques out there will be more effective for you than others.  That is ok.  By having the experiences and by doing the exercises and the work you are knowing yourself and your spiritual path bringing both into closer harmony.

Conclusion

In this post I have illustrated several different ways that you can start practicing and walking your path.  Each of these first steps has a benefit to them and they also have their down sides to.  Each step also plays its own role in your development spiritually and personally.  These steps are all good ways to start including your path in your life in a more direct and outward way.

My personal suggestion would be to do a mixture of the journal, meditation, and exercises for a while.  Then after you know a bit more about the spirits you are working with and you have gained some experiences I would set up an altar.  Now the altar can be a tool for meditative focus and spiritual development.  I would work with these combinations for a few months before I performed an act of dedication.

I hope that these steps help you find and develop your spiritual path.  As always if you have any questions or comments please let me know.  If you feel that there are other steps out there I could have mentioned also please let me know.

 

~Loona Wynd~

Pagan Blog Project: F is for Freedom

One of the good things that happens when a person chooses to go off on their own spiritual path they realize that they have a lot of personal freedom and power.  For many people this is a good thing are they felt that they had no power or freedom to really experience the Gods or spirits in the religion they original came from.

When a person start their new path the sky is the limit for them  They are not limited by anything said by anyone else.  The only thing that they are limited by is their own thoughts deed and actions.  They are free to experience spirituality and the Gods however they choose.

This new found freedom can also be scary.  Here you have to make all the choices.  No one is telling you how to worship your Gods and how to practice.  This is something that will take time to get used to.  A lot of time the Gods and the spirits are the ones that will teach you and direct you on your new paths.

By trusting your intuition and your spirit guides you will find your path.  You may be given advice like this:

This path is yours.  Walk it freely, and walk it proudly.  Only you know yourself, your path, your craft, and your Gods.  Use that knowledge to freely develop your path.

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