Tag Archives: Living

It’s All Rather a lot of Bother

When folks come over and inquire about the macaroni in the offering dishes upon my house shrine I act like it’s no big deal. I just made too much and so I gave it to my spirits. It gets a little more complicated to explain that I am expected by my spirits to make too much and give them their fair share. That I keep their offering bowls small because they expect them to be filled.

 

It’s all rather a lot of bother.

 

Spirit work and devotional practice that is. A bother. That’s why it’s called work and practice I suppose.

 

Years ago, I was researching medicine bags and crane bags and the like. I came across something talking about Native American shamans and their relationship with their medicine bags, and with the spirits within their medicine bags. For some, they had to sing a specific song for each item/spirit in the bag before opening it. Over the years the bag would acquire more and more items. When they died, they might pass their bag onto someone else, who would have to learn the songs for all the spirits in the bag. Then start collecting their own power objects and familiar spirits and sing songs for them as well. Sometimes it gets to the point that it takes well over and hour to sing all the songs required before the shaman can even open the fucking bag and get to work.

Then there’s the need to take care of a big-ass heavy bag full of precious objects and spirits who want you to sing yourself hoarse before they will work with you.

 

Imagine being a slave to your medicine bag.

 

Welcome to one of the less glamorous aspects of being a Hedgewitch. The bother. The expectations. Adidas Superstar Dames The schedule that must be kept. The building and maintaining of relationships with entities that some people don’t even think are real. Booyeah.

 

Have I ever mentioned that I’m a little afraid of my casting collection? No? Heh. Well, maybe wary is the better term for it. I am wary of becoming a slave to it … because, well, all 30-odd pieces want me to sing to them. Fortunately, the pieces of my casting collection are/is kind of a hive-mind (that’s the best that I can explain it, like a bee colony or ants or something) so I think one song for all might make them happy.

 

But if I start singing for them, who else will want a song? The casting collection’s main job is translation and communication with my spirits. If I singing to the collection, will the ancestors get jealous and want a song? What about everybody else? Oh, and HE already wants me to play the bloody tambourine for Him, no matter how poorly I play (and I do play poorly). Have I mentioned that I’m a terrible singer? Maybe I can negotiate for more poorly played tambourine instead of having to write/divine and sing chants?

 

Just the care and feeding of the casting collection alone is a lot of work. Pieces leave as they wish, choosing when to fall out of my hands or bag and disappear into the weeds and grass, or to roll away and drop off a pier or go under a bookcase. I do sometimes choose when to retire a piece and sometime they ask. But rather a lot of the time I simply open the bag one day to discover one of the pieces is gone and I never got to say goodbye.

 

Then I have to go through the process of finding a replacement, then prepping it, introducing it to “the group”, blessings, charging, blooding. Then I have to learn how it speaks and what it says and how it works with the other pieces, while they are all still figuring that out themselves. The hive mind has changed slightly. I’m kept always on my toes. It’s always changing, I am always learning, there is no chance to simply memorize meanings and then rest on my laurels.

 

The collection (it’s such a great example and a large part of my practice lately) likes to be warmed up a bit before casting. I usually do this by giving the bag a gentle shake (think like how you bounce a baby) and holding the pieces in my hands, gathering them up together. I’ve gotten good enough to chatter inanely to others while doing so. Somehow making it obvious that I must greet the pieces and cajole them to work earns me funny looks.

 

That’s a whole other bother … fellow witches and pagans who don’t get it.

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  • Who think that it all must be done elegantly, flowing and … and not weird. Do something odd or awkward like blowing on your divination set or baby talking to a crow skull and all your validity goes right out the window in their mind. Air Jordan 9 (IX) Nevermind that fact that the elegant shit is just for show and the spitting, swearing, shaking, whispering, sweating, bloodletting, pissing and such is the real deal! It’s supposed to look like the white witch on TV with her perfectly rhyming poetry and not the crazy voodoo chick with her eyes rolling back into her head on that documentary we watched once … Indiana Hoosiers right? Bullshit.

     

    Anyways …

     

    The collection like all my spirits (great and small) likes scared smoke. A favourite offering. Incense is probably the most commonly given. As other than possibly annoying the girl up stairs with the constant smell of sandalwood or juniper berries burning on a hot coal it is pretty easy. cheap albion silver But the other kinds of smoke makes them happier, is somehow more nourishing. Because it is shared I think. Put it in your pipe and inhale, fill you lungs, then breathe it out onto/into them. sneakers blanc Homme Asics Sharing not just the smoke but your breath as well. From deep within yourself. A gift of self, smoke and energy. There are many different types of smoke that can be used, some more legal or safer than others. Some of my spirits have preferences. The casting collection likes all kinds of sage but especially salvia divinorum, what a surprise. But that’s for special occasions. Usually.

     

    Others have a thing for tobacco, especially buy cigarettes. Because they know that I am addicted. The fuckers. I quit smoking about 6 years ago. But I do it for them now and then. I light a cig or buy some good tobacco for my pipe. I inhale (of course whether I inhale or not depends, you don’t inhale when smoking a cigar for example) and I share it. I fight the cravings the day after. I never do it in the home because the smell will drive me crazy. I never touch tobacco, of any sort, except in ritual situations. It’s becoming more and more like a geas (or geis, but I like the Scottish spelling myself). As if I need another one. At least this one only makes me look odd once in a while, such as when the girls are digging through a box of herbs and hands me a bag of “incense” tobacco and I drop it, or quickly hand it off. Lame excuse: I quite smoking and I stay away from it now.

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  • But Juni, it’s not like smoking tobacco or cigarettes. Air Jordan 7 Homme

    Yes, but still … here take this.

     

    *sigh*

     

    At least the food related geas handed to me by the Big Guy can be passed of as a food allergy!

     

    I’m starting to ramble a bit I think so I’ll get to the point. It’s fucking WORK people. new balance 420 femme beige Really real work. It amazes me how often a god or spirit taps on someone’s shoulder, gives them some tiny sign and they … do nothing. Nike Air Huarache Uomo They sit around and wait for another tap, another sign. Then wonder why nothing is happening.

     

    A large portion of the castings that I do with my collection are for people who want to know what they should do on their Path, which spirit(s) they should work with. Johnny Cueto Jersey The answer is almost always the same: Do the work, you haven’t done enough. Why yes, there is a god/spirit/ancestor who has an interest in you, but you haven’t earned anything more than that yet. Do the work, make the offerings, do you research. For a long while.

     

    Most people I talk to give up a month or three after that first tap on the shoulder. But Juniper! I gave him/her/it offerings once a week for three whole months! That’s it? That’s all? My spirits demand at on offering every single fucking day kiddo. nike air max 2017 pas cher Or they won’t talk to me. That’s just for maintenance. If I want real help or real knowledge they want blood, sweat and tears on a regular basis.

     

    I’m going to be an annoying egotistical bastard and quote myself:

    “…There is no such thing as “good enough” in a spiritual practice, especially when that “good enough” means you did next to nothing at all. Adam Wainwright Jersey A spiritual Path is not supposed to be easy and the gods don’t like lazy people.

    The gods, spirits and ancestors do not reward people who do not do the work to earn their respect. If you want to develop a relationship with the Otherworld and the Spirits of the Land you have to earn it. You cannot simply show up with your hand out expecting a prize, for no work, like a spoiled child.

    … You cannot expect your ancestors, people who fought battles with swords, who pushed horse drawn plows, who would walk many miles to the yearly feast grounds, to give you long lost lore for nothing. What we must look like to them, we who are so spoiled and pampered that we whine and complain when the processional to the ritual is longer than 3 city blocks. How can you ask for their aid, protection or knowledge when you are willing to do little more than pour half a bottle of cheap whisky out to them once in a while?

    The processional for the Eleusian Mysteries in ancient times took a whole day.”

     

    I’ve spent the whole month of August and the first 10 days of September plying my spirits with food and drink and prayer and poetry and smoke. I gave them a whole room in the apartment to themselves. I lead a ritual for Lughnasadh for my ritual group and assisted a friend in a devotional and prosperity ritual before my own altar. adidas 2017 pas cher I spent a good part of last night on my knees, my face pressed against the hardwood flooring.

     

    In return, last night I was given a dream. I dreamed that I was in a lodge in the woods. There was a gathering of witches there. Stephen Piscotty Authentic Jersey They formed a circle, sitting, standing, kneeling around it. My casting collection was scattered around the edge of the circle. fjallraven kanken backpack sale They were trying to divine something. One witch made a valiant effort but in vain, the information did not come. They turned to me. They wanted me to try. I dug in my heels. I could do it but I didn’t want to do it in front of them. Orlando Magic They’d all look at me like I’m crazy. It wouldn’t work if I did it in flowing elegance and perfect poetry. This isn’t Wicca, this isn’t Druidry. This isn’t even religion. It’s witchcraft.

     

    I step towards the circle. I stomp and shuffle. I rock back and forth. I wave my arms around. I make guttural sounds. goedkoop nike air max 2016 My eyes roll in my head. Nike Air Force 1 Basse

    The witches look on as if I am crazy. I hear them whisper, is she faking? Is she putting on a show? Why is she being so weird? I rock even more, I stomp around. I am wild and unpredictable. I fall on the floor within the circle, on my back. One arm raised behind my head.

     

    Suddenly my spirits are there. They show me a new technique for slipping out of my skin. I am not permitted to share it with you here. But it works. They show me twice to make sure I know it. Then they wake me up so that I will remember. Sterling Shepard My hard earned reward for the last 6 weeks of work, a gift. Precious. I look forward to many months, maybe years, of practice to get it right.

     

    There are bruises on my knees. Blisters on my feet. Burns on my fingers. My house reeks of a dozen different kinds of incense, the lady upstairs makes a point of coughing in an annoyed manner every time she is in the stairwell. There is beer in the fridge that I will not drink, except a sip for sharing. I’m tired and my head feels like it is stuffed with cotton.

    Daily practice Discussion

    Daily practice

    My question is what daily practices, meditations, prayers, energy workings, or other spiritual activities do you all do on a regular basis. I’m looking at putting a bit more depth into my regular practice. At the moment I try to mediate and get physical exercise as often as I can. But I feel I would benefit from an other simple exercise or two in my regular practice. I did a quick search and didn’t find any other threads on this topic. I’m sorry if there is and I missed it/them. Air Yeezy Vendre

    ShadowWitch
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    Re: Daily practice

    I have a small altar with my Goddess and God statue that I pray to, often with a candle lit and some sage. I also usually read or write something spiritual daily, usually before bed or during my daughter’s nap time. Now that it is growing season I also offer flowers at my Kali altar. I recently made a 3 dimensional yantra to fill with colored sand, beans, rocks or flowers to chant mantras to before meditation, this is more of a weekly practice however, not really daily. I used to meditate daily but this was before I had kids!

    Imagination is more powerful than knowledge. ~Einstein Here is a blog I share with my close witch friend: www.witchingwildwood.wordpress.com

    Sacaida

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    Re: Daily practice

    I think the only thing I do consistently, day after day, is walk around my garden and tend to all that is there. This is always the act that carries the most profound spiritual meaning for me and is a meditation in and of itself. I’d love to be able to visit the areas I wildcraft from on a daily basis, but this isn’t practical for me at this time.

    Mist
    useravatar

    Re: Daily practice

    I have a nightly routine that I do. I have an altar with statues to my Gods that I perform a nightly devotion in front of, usually consisting of prayers and an offering. I then make an offering of incense to the spirits of place and my ancestors and finish up with about 10-20 mins of meditation. I try to do it every night but in reality I end up doing it about 5 nights a week on average.

    RogueWitch

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    Re: Daily practice

    I dont realy have any set daily practices that I follow..i just like to get off into nature and wildcraft as much as possible, and tend to my plants at home. I do try to get to the beach every day I can and go skimboard..I love the ocean and skimboarding is my way to be one with her and its a very personal form of meditation for me..everything is sacred, so I just try to remember that every day. I do work with either ayahuasca or mushrooms, or both one night a week. Air Jordan 4 Homme

    Steve Smith Sr Ravens Jerseys I am allied for life to both of these amazing medicines..they are my teachers, without them the work I do would not be possible..so I visit with them on a regular weekly basis..alot of what I do every day, wildcrafting etc is in preperation for those weekly ceremonies. adidas nmd femme Alot of the herbs I pick I use in those ceremonies in various ways. Lately I have been working with mugwort once a week as well for dreaming, slowly raising my dose.

    Fractal

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    Re: Daily practice

    taking care of my plants and a (mostly nightly) meditation and offering – all on my apartment patio.

    Watching gardeners label their plants I vow with all beings to practice the old horticulture and let plants identify me

    el squid
    who am I?
    useravatar

    Re: Daily practice

    I have tea on my patio everyday when the weather is good usually in the morning. I say a little prayer of thanks giving when I cook. I garden a LOT.

    * Plants cry their gratitude for the sun in green joy. ~ Astrid Alauda *

    Dizzy Witch

    Moderator

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    Re: Daily practice

    I love going out into our woods alone by myself and just contemplating on whatever reaches out their vibes or energies to me. I love looking at all the different flowers and weeds, and finding strength and courage as I stand against some of the Oaks in our yard. Every now and then, I’ll find something that intrigues my creativity outside in Nature, and bring it in, and dedicate in making a craft from it through my Patron Celtic Goddess, Brigid. Magick is everywhere, Spirit is within as well as without. asics gel lyte 3 rosso uomo

    Air Jordan 4 Premium I find ritual in most everything I do. Blessings from Shamanic Winds )O(

    Shamanic Winds
    Shamanic Winds
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    Re: Daily practice

     

    My question is what daily practices, meditations, prayers, energy workings, or other spiritual activities do you all do on a regular basis.

    Live. . Fjallraven Kanken . . . I used to have a lot of problems doing spiritual activities on a regular basis when I was a Christian. I recognize and respect that spiritual routines are the way for many to remain connected – The conscious act I strive to accomplish every day is to learn some thing new, spend at least five minutes a day with each of my cats, silencing my inner voices and simply be when ever I see a sun rise or sun set. My spiritual life comes to me every day by various means some are pleasant others not. Sense stumbling upon my own path I find my spiritual activity being living life itself. Compra Zapatillas Asics Online . . Guess this isn’t much help – for that I apologize Wish I had the universal answer but I get the feeling there isn’t one –

    *Freedom = Letting go of what I should be, accepting who I am, endeavor to be become* mead original February 22,2010

    mead

    Shadow Walker

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    Re: Daily practice

    At the momment I currently am working on my meditation and trance skills to eventually cross the hedge. Baby steps! This training consists of building up ritual triggers and cues to help me shift conciousness combined with Yoga to help my physical body stay in alignment. I have week posture support and my vertebre tend to slip out if place. When my physical axis is out of alignment, I find it harder to keep my spiritual alignment in check, which screws with my ability to meditate and expand my awareness spiritually. I get stuck in my body, basically. I’m in the process of building three altars, one for Odin,one for Freyja and one for The Ancestors which will provide focus for a more devotional kind of daily practice. After I move to my own place in September I plan to also have an altar for Frigg at my hearth. I think the devotional practice will bring much more depth to my current daily practices.

    heathenhearthwitch
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    Re: Daily practice

    I find routine difficult but recognize the effectiveness of it. I have a small altar which I redo when I feel like it. I take everything off, lay all of my altar stuff out on the bed and then reconstruct it in a meditative state. There is always some unplanned theme which develops and I use the message of it until I feel it is time to reconstruct it again. Michael Wacha Jersey I sit at the altar daily and perform the rituals which “show up” and add things that have crossed my path. Maglia Chris Paul For example it’s latest incarnation is pale green and white symbolizing new growth of prosperity. I have a chalice (water element) filled with small objects repressing the things which I am choosing to allow into my emotional space which will be conducive to new prosperity. There is also a stone plate (earth) holding herbs and foliage and small statue representing me holding my prosperity in my own hands. Athame (air) for circle casting and cutting out outside energies which steal away my prosperity. new balance 1500 ebay Oil Lamp (fire) for burning away what in me no longer creates growth of my prosperity. Several note cards on which I have written quotes, prayers, chants, intentions, ect which seemed appropriate for this altar. Oracle cards are also randomly chosen. There is more but you get the idea. Adidas NMD Runner Italia Each time I sit down, I search for a deeper message in the pattern of all these things which showed up on my altar and I physically or mentally use them. Air Jordan 4 Donna The altars before this one were dark in color and I did a lot of burning things from my past which have been keeping me in a bind. For me, it is about focusing and cultivating my inner power, not trying to control the outer world.

    Blessed Be, Indigo Moon )O( “Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” –Albert Einstein To Margot Einstein, after his sister’s Maja’s death, 1951

    Indigo Moon

    Human

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    Re: Daily practice

    I do a daily morning ‘energetic hygine’ routine which consists of the AODA’s Sphere of Protection ritual and an aura/chakra cleansing and balancing. Afterwards I do rune draw (as a part of the requirements for my First Degree training, I chose Divination as my ‘extra subject’). If I have the time I meditate in the presence of the Divine and try to practice my listening skills. Nike Air Max 2017 Donna Nere

    In the evenings I practice meditation and trance within sacred space to practice opening portals to the Otherworld as well as improving my skills for journeying. free run 5.0 rosso uomo Several times a week I also do bellydance practice, and this is a devotional tool (to Freya) for me as well as lot of fun! I also do Yoga to help align my body as well as work with my personal energy flow. I tend to my garden and do active meditation, trying to connect with and listen to my plants while I work. This is more of a weekly practice. I also take time once a week to go to the wetlands near my home to practice focus and stillness and to connect with the landspirits. I also pick up trash from this area as often as I can.

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    Eardcwen
    Green Witch
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    Re: Daily practice

    This is a great question. New Balance 996 homme adidas zx 500 damskie I am also looking to deepen my practice. What I currently do is to take a walk almost every night for close to an hour. Where I live gets very quiet at night, it helps me to reconnect. I also tend to my garden, do sound & energy healing for myself and my family, and write/listen. I think my next step will be to create an altar. My favourite rooms are my kitchen and laundry room (it’s funny, I know, but having a big family, that’s about the only place I can go where I’m not followed!) I hope you’ll post what you end up choosing. I find it inspiring to hear how others find their way.

    136.10

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    Re: Daily practice

    Honestly, I struggle with this. I have 3 young children at home and a husband who is gone in the evenings and who often travels and I have trouble finding regular times to focus on spiritual things. Even at night it’s tough because the baby is still nursing and she calls me to her. I try to do a morning ritual as often as I can (the one I published at Old Ways and posted a link elsewhere here) and I always lead the kids in a simple blessing before our evening meal. My religious life makes more sense as an overall picture rather than a regular “practice” I tend the garden, wildcraft, do physical and breathing exercises, pray, study nature and mystical traditions, maintain a personal altar and family seasonal display, and celebrate esbats and sabbats somewhat irregularly. The Gods are older than time itself, and they will always be there for me, even if it takes more than one lifetime to get around to everything.

    “Order is what happens when chaos loses its temper.” -Roy Wagner

    Hawthorne
    Bohemian Hedgewitch
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    #15 Top 2010-11-14 14:33:13

    Re: Daily practice

    My morning practice is usually to do 10-15 minutes of yoga, some sort of dance, and then meditate – it used to be for 10ish minutes, but I’m trying to bump it up to 20. And then before I get on the computer for the day I like to do a daily divination draw. I write ’em down in a little journal & think on it for a bit before starting my day. (Of course, the only reason I can probably do all of that is because I work at home as a writer, I’d never stick to it if I had to be in an office at 8 AM tounge ) I also like to talk to the ancestors and the gods before I go to bed, I usually just light a candle and some incense and either ramble for a bit or sit in silence. As far as other “timed” rituals go, I usually do something for the ancestors on the new moon, and I honor Perchta on Wednesdays and the full moons. Wisconsin Badgers Jerseys (Not *only* then of course, but those are days I always try to do something for her.) “How do I know you’ll keep your word?” asked Coraline. “I swear it,” said the other mother. “I swear it on my own mother’s grave.” “Does she have a grave?” asked Coraline. “Oh yes,” said the other mother. Iowa State Cyclones Jerseys “I put her in there myself. And when I found her trying to crawl out, I put her back.” chelleshock useravatar

    Re: Daily practice

    Right now I pray often during the day (I just talk to my Mother and Father in my head or sometimes out loud while I do things) and I am trying to make the time to meditate. I generally like to light the candles of my shrine and reflect and I am also trying to make a point to get into my garden and under the sun everyday. Nike Air Max 2017 Dames blauw Yoga would be nice, too. Oh to have a nanny and a maid and have time for all the things I’d like to do! LOL

    “I met a lady in the meads, Full beautiful – a faery’s child, Her hair was long, her foot was light, And her eyes were wild.” -John Keats (La Belle Dame sans Merci

    thevioletsunflower
    useravatar

    Re: Daily practice

    i dont do this everday… but i do try. i like to pull at least one card a day and meditate on it. for the most part this to study them. i think i have 5 tarot deck and 2 oracle decks, so it’s hard to learn them all. on a good day i will do a whole reading for someone else, or maybe me (but not too often). sometimes i’ll compare the means of different cards, the arc of a suit, or the signifigance of 4s… whatever strikes me on that day. i always try to remember and find the moon everynight and gaze at it, phase and weather depending. i also journal alot about the things i study, spells im creating, impending holidays and such. and simple things like sitting before my alter, lighting incense and candles always help to deepen the mood.

    I took the stars from our eyes, and then I made a map And knew that somehow I could find my way back

    Tangle Athene

    useravatar

    Re: Daily practice

     

    Hawthorne wrote:

    The Gods are older than time itself, and they will always be there for me, even if it takes more than one lifetime to get around to everything.

    I’m going to write that one down!!

    Watching gardeners label their plants I vow with all beings to practice the old horticulture and let plants identify me

    el squid
    who am I?
    useravatar

    Re: Daily practice

    I recently moved from a tiny, village-like country town to a built-up place where I feel like an exile. New England Patriots Jersey For a long time, I was sunk in a kind of despair, lamenting the loss of the pretty little grove where I could sit in a poplar with my rainstick any time I wanted. Then, as I walked through the local park that I have to go through on my way to work, muttering about the way the shrubs and trees were all cut back and ill-treated, something said to me, “Can you not love the afflicted?” That snapped me out of my self-pity and my daily practice now involves trying to connect with the spirits of the place and feeding the birds I meet on the way. Air Jordan 2 (II) Although I may need the countryside, at present, it seems the town needs me. soldes chaussures adidas

    Ysgawen

    useravatar

    Re: Daily practice

    That is very sweet, Ygsawen.

    “Order is what happens when chaos loses its temper.” -Roy Wagner

    Hawthorne
    Bohemian Hedgewitch
    useravatar

    Re: Daily practice

    When I’m doing a regular sit-down at the shrine, I try to include blessing and purifying with water and smoke, a simple energy-balancing exercise, a simple offering and a period of silent meditation. Shaun Dion Hamilton Jersey All together that can be done in about 15 – 20 minutes.