I cannot believe it has been so long since I last wrote on this blog. It always seems I have intentions of keeping up with certain things and it just never happens. This year I've promised myself to keep up with this blog and my website. We'll see how that goes...
I'd like to take time out and ramble on incessantly about my changing religious views and ideas, if you don't mind. I'm still no Christian and doubt I ever will be a "true Christian" even if I do go back to church for appearances sake. I'm too close to the Goddess, Aphrodite specifically, to be able to turn my back on Her. However, for some time I did become a little disillusioned with Paganism in general. For a time I grew sick of rituals, magick, and almost everything (except the Goddess) involved in Paganism. I stopped meditating, I stopped doing rituals, I stopped celebrating the Sabbats, I even stopped my Esbat rituals. I was lost and a little confused. At the time I had no idea what to do or who to turn to and then probably five months after stopping everything I realized what was wrong.
Magick doesn't have to be about rituals, magick circles, spells, tools, Sabbats, Esbats, or any of those things. Magick is about nature and how you convene with it. I had become disillusioned because I didn't want to do rituals that involved fifty million steps and needed seventy different tools. Of course now I know all that is unnecessary. In every book I've read the author always says for you to find your own way to celebrate the God and Goddess and to find your own route to magick and power. These sames books described short and long rituals that involved either lots of tools or none at all.
Childishly, I put everything aside because I didn't understand. Have you ever had times in your life where you just don't understand something so you quit trying to understand altogether? Looking back on it all now I realize that if I hadn't put it aside and stepped away from the situation I would have only become more confused. Because I set everything aside I learned a fundamental lesson. Several months later, after a full semester at a new school I realized I really missed magick. When I start missing magick I pick my tarot cards back up, I pick my books back up, and I start studying with a new eye. This time I had an epiphany.
I was reading one of my books by Silver Ravenwolf when it finally hit me, everything I've read for years now. I didn't have to follow the same ritual guidelines described in the books, I didn't have to use the same or even remotely similar techniques that any of my favorite authors used. In the book I was reading Silver has little homework exercises for people to do. One of hers involved putting away every magickal tool a person used in ritual and working solely with their hands. I kept a journal of every homework exercise she had and what I did with them. For that one I wrote "I have never used tools and when I did use tools I didn't like using them. I've always used my hands because the magick comes from the earth through me." It was then that I realized, for myself, in order to be a good witch and produce the results I intend with magick I don't need rituals, tools, magick circles, or anything else. I need to keep my connection with nature and the earth.
Now I am on a new spiritual journey. This journey doesn't involve learning all the correspondences with rituals and so on. This journey involves cultivating a deep and meaningful relationship with Mother Nature and the earth spirits. Just like the beginning of any journey I do not have things figured out. I only know that I now feel like I'm finally understanding and making the right choices. I've taken down my home altar, no longer will I have a physical altar of any kind. All of nature is an altar to me. Relationships with friends and family become my way of praising my patroness Aphrodite because through my love I show Aphrodite's love.
I still have my books. I can never bring myself to throw them out because throwing them out would be like throwing my closest friends out. But when I read in them I'm not reading them word for word, I read them in ways so as to glean personal insight from them. My meditations, although probably not what Silver Ravenwolf would expect of one of her personal students that she teaches face to face, are good for me. Sometimes they are only about five minutes long and consist of me drawing mental images that calm me and help me slow my mind. Sometimes they might last for an hour or two, if I have that kind of time on hand, and are elaborate and consist of me visiting earth spirits.
One of my favorites involves me visiting the Tree of Life, slipping inside of it and visiting with the deva whom I call Grandmother Tree (when I first had this meditation it was completely by accident. I didn't envision it, it just came to me. The deva in the tree reminded me of the tree spirit in Pocahontas when she visits the tree and a grandmotherly face comes out of the tree and talks to her). Sometimes the Tree of Life meditation lasts only a few moments, usually in those times it is when Grandmother Tree wants to tell me something very important that she wants me to think out on my own. Other times this meditation lasts for quite a while and Grandmother Tree and I sit together and have wonderful conversations.
This way of looking at things feels right to me. Before my magick felt forced, like trying to force a fire to burn with water pouring straight down on the flame. Now things feel much more natural and I get much better results. I don't feel pressured to be a certain way and perform rituals a certain way. Although I'm not sure if anyone else out there practices even remotely similar to the way I do, it is 100% me and 100% natural to me and works for me.
I didn't keep up with my blog or my website because I was personally evolving and so was my magick and my beliefs. I didn't feel like I could teach things on my website if I myself didn't even know my own personal beliefs. I didn't feel like I could keep up with my personal blog if I couldn't even keep up with my own beliefs. Now that I'm starting to figure things out for myself things will change. On the site I will try to continue with Wicca 101 teachings but I will put my own flavor and ideas into. If there is something someone finds interesting that I don't know about I will try to investigate it. As for my personal blog I am going to start keeping up with it and sharing my personal journey. Who knows, maybe someone else will find my ideas interesting and want to read about them...