Thursday, March 22, 2018

Why I Won't Drop the "W" Word

Years ago when I ventured into the world of blogging I never imagined that that blog would morph into my own intuitive guidance and holistic healing business.  I have tried to describe myself in many ways over the years but the word "Witch" was always included in whatever I came up with.

When I started to turn toward the business side of things it was gently hinted to me that perhaps I should drop the "w" know which word I mean, THAT word....WITCH.
This came from various Facebook business groups and the like.  Some even suggested I call myself a Life Coach.  Which is a very different thing to what I do.

In a time in the western world when those who practice magick are able to do so without fear of negative consequences (for the most part) I do not think that now is the time to stop calling myself a witch.   I spent plenty of time in the "broom closet" and I'm not going back in thank you very much.

Witch is not a frightening word.  It doesn't mean I am bound for hell, or that I call upon the powers of a "devil" or other such personification of evil.  (reminder number 8,456...Witches don't believe in satan.)

While there are a lot of books and articles and so on, that try to label what a Witch is for everyone, I am not doing that here.  What I will do is explain what it means to me, because that is just it... Witchcraft is a personal journey that can only be defined by the one practicing it.  My journey has brought me to the following:

Witch describes that I connect with the Divine in many faceted ways. 

I have been a hard polytheist, soft polytheist, and now a pantheist but, and this is important, with an open mind to the fact that my feelings on this are free to change.

I am an Animist

I use various forms of Divination, personally and professionally, with a huge preference for Cartomancy.

I thrive in the natural world and see signs in nature as messages from the Divine.

I work with the Wheel of the Year in a very pantheistic way and feel a bigger connection to the solstices and equinoxes now than I ever did in the past.

I work with Ancestors and Nature Spirits as well as Saints and Angels.

I study and work with Holistic Healing Modalities such as Reiki and Aromatherapy, Herbalism and Crystal Healing.

I maintain an Altar to the Sacred Divine (my formal name for Divinity, received in meditation) I pray and work magick here at times, although anyone can do either anywhere they happen to be.

I suppose there are other things I can add to this, but these are the basics.  What I have learned over the years is that this all varies greatly in the witchcraft and pagan worlds.  The books I first started learning from espoused "Wicca" as being the oldest religion in the world.  It was only a few years later when books were saying that, 'No that's not it, Wicca is a modern creation based on ancient practices' ...and so many other things.  I was even in a Wiccan Tradition at one time...for eleven whole years.  Part way through my time there, the founder decided we were no longer Wiccan, but Pagan only.  Suddenly first degree initiates went from getting silver pentacles to silver spirals and there were other such changes as all things Witchy or Wiccan were washed out of the tradition. Here is the was still all the same stuff...just with non witchy names.

But in those experiences I really came to understand something important about Witchery.  It is an ever evolving PERSONAL practice that is different for everyone who practices it.  More importantly...that is as it should be.

If you call yourself a witch, what aspects of your practice define that for you?  I would love to hear it!  Comment below or shoot me an email.

You know how they say, "You can't please everyone?"  Well, I have been known to be a people pleaser.  Trying so hard to make sure that no one was unhappy.  Trying to make sure that no one was offended.  Trying to make sure no ones feelings were hurt...and on and on.  Usually I find it fairly easy to be kind to people.  I never in my wildest dreams imagined that anyone would ever consider this a weakness.

Yet... there seems to be this assertion that being kind is for fluffy love and light types.  Supposedly,  kindness is a trait of the weak willed and gullible.  I put it to you, that the exact opposite is true.  It takes a tremendous amount of strength to maintain a positive outlook and to treat others, no matter what, respectfully and compassionately.

Now, I am not talking about allowing someone to walk all over you or to 'turn the other cheek' when faced with a hateful or even harmful person.  I am talking about realizing that when you come across a person who is not so friendly, that perhaps, they are going through something emotionally difficult.  With all your might, take the high road and assume the best in people.  Most people aren't on a mission to be difficult or hurtful.  Its been said before but I find it to be true: Hurtful people are hurting people.

Realize that no matter what anyone does or says to you, it usually has nothing to do with you.  Good or bad. Everyone is living in their own little 'bubble' where they view the world through lenses made up of their own experiences and to a great extent, attitude.   This is important, because it means that we all have the power to create much of our experience of living.

Why not be brave and create a kind world?  Why not be the reason that someone's journey through life was made a little easier?  Change things up a bit and instead of criticizing the negative, comment on the positive.  We need more warriors of kindness.  People who can endure the 'eye rolling' of the anxiety pedaling pessimists who seem to have overtaken everything.  We need people who express and encourage hope and unity rather than running around like chicken little yelling about a falling sky.

For goodness sake, don't be a troll on the internet and whatever you do, don't feed them. Ignore posts that are hateful and have no other purpose but to cause fear and paranoia and stir up trouble.  This isn't just for other people, its for you too!  It's not just about respecting others its about self respect.  It's not just about being kind to others it's about self love.

Pessimists would have us believe that it's every man for himself.  I reject that concept.  I refuse to accept the idea that showing appreciation and sharing good stories and being compassionate are somehow bad.  Besides all that, we aren't as terrible as 'they' say. (who the heck are 'they' anyway and why do we give them so much power?)

Awhile back I used to post memes about every tragic occurrence that happened in the world. At one point something terrible had happened across the world and I had not heard the news of the event yet. Someone on Instagram made a point of voicing that it was awful how there wasn't s huge response to that event... as if no one cared.

This bothered me.

I cared. I just didn't know about it!
It got me thinking though, how many things happen in other places that I don't know about because they don't get the same media attention here as something closer to home? My response was to quit posting the "pray for..." memes and to keep things positive and "business as usual." I didn't want anyone to feel I left them out.

Now... in no way did I stop praying.... I just didn't make a public issue out if it anymore.

Plus, it can be very hard to concentrate so intensely on the bad stuff for the sake of not leaving anyone out. It can make you think there's nothing good going on anywhere!
This is not true. No matter what the news media would have us believe, most of us are good people just living our lives. There are SO MANY good things going on... just look and see for yourself! I promise you won't be disappointed!

Instead of sharing another awful story that seeks to divide us...
Share stories that are positive, inspirational and uplifting.

Don't share the tragedy and the "who did the bad stuff this time." Your friends already know this. They have such things thrust in front of their faces just the same as you.

What they are NOT seeing is:

the people who are helping

the people who risked their lives for others

the great scientific advancements that are being made for all of us

the creativity of our artists who bring color and joy into our world with their unique talents

the child down the street who donated their lemonade stand money to a charity

the caregivers who bring comfort to the sick and elderly

the teachers who educate our children...
...the list is truly endless!
❤Be good to each other ❤
Kindness really is a superpower
Turn off he news and hug someone!

I was not raised in any particular religion. I was blessed to have parents who allowed me to explore spirituality on my own terms. I do recall as a child, and maybe its because I was raised as an only child, I talked to the divine a lot, (and I still do actually). I suppose "praying" is the correct term but really it felt like more than that. I would talk about my day, about my worries, and other piddly things like about how badly I wanted those High Top L.A. Gears (here I am aging myself! haha)

At some point I started to wonder why "God" is a man. Surely, I surmised, if there is a god that is a man there is one that is a woman. So then I started praying to a Mother God and a Father God. Not too long after I learned about Goddesses and Gods of pantheons from all over the world. I then began praying to individual deities depending on what my prayers were about. This phase lasted many, many years until a few years ago, when I started looking at divinity as an all encompassing spirit that is beyond any kind of anthropomorphism.

In any case, I have felt Divinity move around and through me throughout all those phases of belief. I have learned that little intuitive nudges and hints are actually answers and guidance. I know that if I ask a question, I will be lead to an answer. It may come in a dream or a book may fall open to just the right place providing the information I need. The radio may get stuck on a particular station just when a conversation or set of song lyrics play and in a serendipitous way, answer my questions.

As mysterious as this universal essence of all may be, there are some things I have come to understand. Divinity is always available and connected to us. Even if and especially when we, ourselves, don't feel it. Divinity will never communicate in a threatening or dangerous way, nor insist that you act in one. Divinity will not ask you to harm another or yourself. Divinity will not ever ask for proof of your allegiance such as through fundamental dogma. Fundamentalism in any form, is a dreadful lie. At the heart of fundamentalism is the a human ache to achieve favor from the Divine. The ache we may feel for such a thing is not necessary. The Divine favors us all in equal measure.

If you read through my blog you will notice that my formal name for divinity is the "Sacred Divine." I once had a dear friend question my use of these words. As she put it, "Is there a form of the Divine that is NOT sacred?" The short answer to this is simply, "No." The greater description for me at least is that "Sacred Divine" is not merely a name for a force or a 'being' it is a description of that point when we recognize the simple truth that divinity is not 'out there somewhere' nor is it realizing that the divine is within us, it is in fact knowing that the divine IS us. There is literally no way we can be parted. Being in that moment is pure bliss, a cosmic ecstasy that is all consuming.

So then, this is how I experience the divine. How do you do it? What has your experience been? What is your Divine Connection story?

1/2 cup White vinegar
20 drops Essential Oil of your Choice!
Cloth of some sort. This can be old dish rags cut into 5x5 squares or I personally like buying the reusable dish cloths/paper towels for this.

I lovingly refer to these as 'pickled cloths' because like cucumbers become pickles when soaked in vinegar, cloths become dryer sheets when soaked in vinegar...(OK I know....I'm easily

I use a little airtight container to store my dryer sheets in. It was inexpensive and looks pretty too. I will pour half a cup of white vinegar into this container and add 20 drops of my chosen essential oils. Then put the cloths into the liquid. I have about 20 5x5 cloths in this mixture and they soak it all up, which makes each individual cloth only slightly damp.

You can use any essential oil you like. Below are some recommendations for you:

Patchouli for Love and Protection
Ginger to Attract Wealth and Inspire Courage
Clary Sage to Promote Blissful Feelings and Calm.
Lemon for Health, Healing and Purification

As discussed in the last post, what makes these types of things witchy are your intent and the ingredients you use. So do this with a happy vibe in your heart. Enjoy!