Archive for the ‘Inner Journey’ Category

Pagan Blog Project 2014

Pagan Blog Project 2014

We are told from our earliest experiences of magic that intention and will are key to manifesting our desires and affecting our reality, but few people can actually describe either concept clearly. To some degree this is because intention moves beyond intellectual concept and into practical experience when applied, and every persons experience is unique.

I recently experienced a clear manifestation of the Art of Intention. I have been living abroad for several years, and developed a desire to visit my old stomping grounds. That desire developed into an imagining of being in that location, and the imagining developed into a belief that this will come to pass. Beyond this belief came a deep knowing, an awareness of truth. It is within this deep knowing that Intention lies. Intention is not simply wanting something to happen or believing that something will come to pass, it is living as if the outcome is certain – or already happened. This form of certainty revolves around the outcome, not around the finer details. Remaining open to all the avenues of manifestation allows room for all the threads of possibility to weave together and create your outcome. (more…)

“Personal work is some of the hardest work out there. I often see Pagans wondering, “Where is the advanced level work?” and the advanced work isn’t rituals, it’s not spellwork, it’s not ritual tools…it’s knowing ourselves deeply and working on our issues to be our healthiest, best selves.” – Shauna Aura Knight

RRivers logoToday I found out that a dear friend had passed away. I grieve and I hurt and I remember. I remember the last time I saw him, and I remember the first time I met him. I was just 14. Inevitably my memories of his kindness and his support brings with it memories of why his kindness and support meant so much to me. That year was hard for me. It was the year that I attempted suicide. It was the year that I faced a dark night of the soul, pulled my wounded inner child close to my chest and vowed to find happiness. It was the year I stood tall after each beating. It was the year I learned that there was more – more to life, more to death, more to living and loving and learning. It was the year that I found friends who brought out the best in me, who supported me, who believed in me, who helped me face the long journey towards a happier, healthier me. He was one of those friends and I am honoured and grateful to have known him.

This harsh healing journey is intertwined with my spiritual journey. For me, doing the work of Witchcraft means knowing myself deeply. Understanding my past to understand my present. Exploring the pain of rebirthing myself over and over again. Shedding the skin that no longer serves me, exposing deep wounds to light and love, and learning to love myself for who I was, who I am and who I have the potential to be. The healing process is not without pain, because the very nature of exploring our issues reveals the areas still raw and sore, underdeveloped, weak, and troublesome. Sometimes we must rest deep in the cave, in silence and solitude, licking our wounds until they become a pattern of scars stitching us back together. Sometimes we need the love of an honest friend to gently redirect our attention to the areas of bruising, to show us how we can take care of ourselves. Sometimes we need the structure of routine, ritual and meditation to heal ourselves from the outside in. Sometimes we need all of this, over and over again. The process of living, learning and healing is a work in progress.

The Japanese practice an art called Kintsugi, a method of repairing broken ceramics with gold joinery. Cracks are often aggrandized before being filled with gold, silver or platinum. It is a philosophy that speaks of overcoming suffering, of beauty revealed not despite its flaws but often because of its flaws. Most importantly, it is a philosophy of embracing imperfection that speaks of damage and healing as an important part of the history and creation of each piece, and not something to hide. Sometimes I feel like I am the ceramic pot, broken but blessed with Kintsugi. Every time my heart breaks, I work to slowly heal the cracks with layers of gold and remain a complex, beautiful vessel for the soul.

This post is a part of the Pagan Blog Project 2014, and is in memory of my beloved friend Al and his wonderful family.

PBP2014

Good Grief: A Lesson in Love

RRivers logoGrief comes in many forms, wearing many guises and answers to many names. Time and time again I have found Grief to be my dancing partner, and every tune has been unique. We expect Grief to come calling when we face the hardest transitions in our lives, the times when we must learn to live without the physical presence of our beloveds, the times when we must learn to live with broken hearts, the times when the cycle of life and death must be understood by a soul encased in emotional turmoil. We understand the sad symphony of our lives then and we expect Grief to envelop us in a cold embrace. There are times when Grief touches us unexpectedly, and a little embarrassed we push away her light touch until the insistence and presence of She Who Will Not Be Denied eventually overwhelms us and we admit to our deepest selves that Grief belongs here. The transitions that belong to the realm of Joy are also home to Grief. As we welcome the birth of new life, we still twinge with sadness at the passage of time, at the choices neglected, the paths untrodden, at the loss of who we were. Grief understands and places a hand upon our shoulders in the wee hours of darkness when the light and joy and celebration fades. She knows that life is complex, that the expectation of emotion does not always coincide with the reality of each situation, and that there is room to hold many of her siblings in the same heart at the same time. Grief takes her place as ice within the heart, a splinter in the mind, a burning in the belly. As long as we acknowledge her presence, She responds to our needs. She will not be denied or ignored. Grief will fill our veins with ice until our hearts freeze, and then She Who Will Not Be Denied will crack us open to shatter upon the pretense of normality. For all this, Grief is not cruel.

Grief holds us while we shake and shiver and face our wounds; She holds us so tight she squeezes out frozen tears and we grow numb within her embrace. She honours us for who we are in our most naked and vulnerable form. She acknowledges the depths of our emotions even when society does not. She does not judge us for the dance, nor does She write the tune. She does however whisper to us. It is a message we may never hear over the sounds of our own tears, but it speaks to our very soul.

“I am Love’s twin. To embrace me is to embrace Love.”

For all the pain we feel whilst rocked in Griefs embrace, is simply the reflection of love. We could not grieve so much, if we did not love so much. To acknowledge the depth of our grief is to acknowledge the breadth of our love. She Who Will Not Be Denied understands this, and takes her role as Love’s Loss in our first dance of acceptance. Accept the gentle grief of life transitions, accept the love of a past self; accept the overwhelming grief of loss, accept that overwhelming love is the reflection of grief.

Grief is the twin of Love.

 

 

This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project 2014.

PBP2014

ForgiveI have a lot to be angry about. There are a lot of people that impacted my life in harmful ways, whose actions caused scars inside and out that I will live with for the rest of my life. I have experienced abandonment, grief, bullying, abuse, humiliation and rape. How could that be forgiven?

For the longest time, I could not forgive nor forget. Too many times the pain threatened to swallow me whole and as a child I tried to end my life to end the pain. I couldn’t even do that right. I failed. I carried that pain inside like a burning coal and learned to use it as fuel to drive me onwards, drive me forward, drive me far away from the places that hurt, the people that hurt me and the person I was. The distance I strove for never truly occurred because I always kept that burning ember held within my own damaged heart, and no matter how far I ran I could not outrun myself. (more…)

Witches are people tooHollywood has a lot to answer for. In movies Witches are portrayed in many lights, from morally corrupt, violent or mentally unstable individuals, to trendy teenagers and glamorous, powerful people. A few nuggets of wisdom and near truth may appear, but as a general rule the perception of Witchcraft in film is a far cry from the experiences of Witchcraft in day to day life. You know why? Because it is fantasy. It is fiction. It has little to do with everyday people living their spiritual truth.

However these kind of portrayals are pervasive. The concept of quick fix magic and incredible power can, and does, attract people into Witchcraft… which is where expectation meets experience. I can no longer count the occasions that I have challenged the expectations of a magical quick fix with the reality of hard work and understanding. Witchcraft is a practice. It involves practice. It involves research, reflection, honesty and hard work. The work is not power over others, the work is power within ourselves. It is not in changing the will and actions of others, it is in changing our own perceptions, patterns, actions and abilities. It is not in changing the world at the wave of a wand, it is in changing ourselves one day at a time. It is not throwing a stone and standing back to watch the ripples; it is in understanding that we are the stone, we are the water and we are the ripples.

Having expectations is perfectly normal, but those expectations will not always be met. This in itself is a rich learning experience. By reflecting upon the expectations we hold and how we respond to the challenges or disappointment of unmet expectations, we can better understand ourselves – and to know ourselves is to explore our own mystery. This is the reality behind the fantasy. There is wonder and wisdom, transformation and magic in each person’s life… it simply is not accompanied by a dramatic soundtrack and eye candy special effects.

Be honest in your expectations and remain open to the wonder of experience. Practice and reflect, do and be. You may just find that your experiences then surpass all your expectations.

Pagan Blog Project 2014

Pagan Blog Project 2014

Cleansing StormWitchcraft teaches the duality and polarity of spectrums, the interconnectedness of all things, of light and dark, masculine and feminine, positive and negative, conscious and subconscious. Just as we accept that our universe is made of dichotomies that cannot exist without the context of their opposing meaning, we must accept that we are also many different and often opposing aspects that create a whole. Many practitioners envision a spiritual split that creates ‘Light’ and ‘Dark’ aspects of ourselves. Some practitioners attempt to work with and develop their light sides, and shun the dark aspects of themselves as negative or bad.  However, to know thyself is to know those parts we keep hidden in the shadows, locked in darkness, obscured from understanding. When I ask why someone is afraid of the dark, I wonder if it is the darkness itself that causes fear or whether it is the fear of what we may find within the darkness. (more…)

Child of PromiseMerry Yule, one and all! I wish you a festive season filled with love and laughter, good friends, good food and good times. Whatever it is that you celebrate during the winter months, the themes of family, friendship, and sharing are common within the various celebrations. Light is another common theme during winter festivals from Diwali in October to Imbolc in February, and Winter Solstice is no different. Light within darkness invokes strong primal instincts for modern man, from the physical aspect of warmth and safety to the emotional and mental health that sunlight brings. At Winter Solstice we face the longest night of the year followed by the rebirth of the Sun and the increasing sunlight. Some refer to the Winter Solstice as Midwinter, based upon the Celtic calendar which consisted of just two seasons – Summer and Winter. Winter ran from the Autumn to the Spring, from the last harvest to the first planting, and Summer from planting to harvest. Some consider this shift of seasons to occur on the equinoxes, others believe that Samhain and Beltaine divide the year. However, despite the older term of Midwinter, for many countries the winter is only just beginning and people have a long way to go before the signs of spring surface from frozen white ground. The gradual but perceptible increase in light every day uplifts the heart and mind, and brings a sense of hope and promise. This feeling is encompassed within many stories, myths and legends of the Yule period. (more…)

New content up on Moon Books blog:

Scry the Becoming
The reflection of the DivineScrying
I look into your eyes
And see all that does not exist
I look into the Divine
Into the knowing eyes
And see that I do not exist, do not resist, do not become
I am you
You are me
I am one within all
All within one
I am the spiral of order
In the divine chaos
I am the chaos
Unravelled
Undone
The reflection infinite
Contained and formed
By the boundary of understanding
The reflection of the Divine
I look into your eyes
And see all that has or will exist
I exist, I resist, I am becoming
I am you
You are me
I am made whole once more
As one within the All
Slowly I become
The reflection in blackened glass
Looking out at the Divine
Looking in at me

By Romany Rivers (c) 2013

A closer look at the rites of Isis and Pan, once veiled by Dion Fortune within her novels, now unveiled by her society and explained further by Gareth Knight.

Through the Skylight

“The clearest, simplest – and best – analysis and explanation of what magic is and how it works that I have ever come across. Gareth Knight shows that DF’s novels are initiatory and were intended to be so. He supplements his exposition with DF’s own commentaries on her work and reveals the secret methods she employed in her art to link the reader’s imagination to spiritual and cosmic realities in order to activate the powers of the soul.” — Society of the Inner Light

Dion Fortune encoded much practical magical lore within her novels, leaving it up to the reader to work out how to make use of it. Behind the novels were two major rituals, the Rite of Isis and the Rite of Pan, which Dion Fortune occasionally performed in public in the 1930s as part of her drive to open up occultism beyond the closed walls of esoteric fraternities. Now for the first time, these important magical workings have…

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Day of the deadPagans, as a general rule, can be a pretty creative bunch. To us the Divine is immanent, present, within all of nature around us. This can lead us to being pretty romantic about the way we view our Divine, in the beauty of a sunset, in the glistening dew shimmering upon a spiders web, in the blossoming flower, in the flight of fragile birds above us. Not many find beauty in the bloated corpse of those same birds at the end of their life, in the teeming maggots that feed upon it, in the stench of death and decay. We do, theoretically, understand the balance and duality of the Divine and respect what many view as the dark side of the God/dess. Almost as if these aspects of Divinity are two sides of one coin, we understand the whole coin but we most often view just one face. We expect the coin to land heads up every time, and when we see tails many turn and run. (more…)