Posts Tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’

Epstein QuoteI try not to regret the things I have done, because at some point it must have been what I wanted. Even if it simply seemed like a good idea at the time, but in hindsight was a terrible idea, harmful and hurtful in its teachings. I do often regret the things I didn’t do, the opportunities I missed, the times I said no even when a part of me was screaming ‘Fuck, yes!’ The times I said no from fear or a sense of not being capable, or not worthy or not good enough. I look back on those missed opportunities and wonder where I would be today, or who I would be today, or how much richer and wiser in experience I would be had I followed through on those chances.

Every experience has made me the woman I am today, for good or ill. Each yes and each no has shaped me in some way. If only I had been brave enough, smart enough, creative enough, more confident, more willing, more daring. If only I had said yes instead of no, or no instead of yes. If only I valued myself more. If only I had chosen a different path. (more…)

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Witches are people tooI stood in the centre of the room and felt the tension rise. Glancing over my students I could see the people causing the shift, someone finding difficulty in the interruption of the class. The mundane had invaded the magic. The tension made me angry; the attitude of the interrupted students irked me. It pushed my buttons, and I vaguely knew why. I acknowledged the tension and my emotions, and breathed. Slowly and carefully I drew everyone’s attention to this moment of interruption and the shift in energy.

“Witchcraft is not a two hour class each week, it is a way of life. It is not just the moments you spend meditating, not just the practices and exercises, not just your studies, your coursework. It is not just reserved for festivals and celebrations. You do not practice spirituality, you practice the techniques of your spiritual path. You are your spirituality. You must learn that the mundane life and the magical life are one and the same.” (more…)

The Woven Word cover(Reblogged From A Bad Witch’s Blog)

Found a wonderful review of my book The Woven Word on A Bad Witch’s Blog. I am so glad and grateful that people are discovering and connecting with the book, and I am inspired by the positive responses to the rites and ceremonies. I truly hope my book will be of use to others, and I am blessed by every review – thank you!

 

 

 

 

“Book Review: The Woven Word – A Book of Invocations and Inspirations

Over the years I’ve collected quite a few books of pagan rituals that I look at when I’m asked to put together a ceremony. Some are better than others, of course, and these days I’m picky about buying any books to add to my collection. However, a new publication I’m really pleased I’ve got is The Woven Word: A Book of Invocations and Inspirations by Romany Rivers.

Publisher Moon Books describes it as: “A creative compendium of invocations, inspirations and blessings for the novice or adept to design personal, unique and magical rituals.”

The first part of the book offers simple poems, chants and prayers for specific purposes – such as purification, invocation or blessing. They can be easily slotted into rituals or used on their own. Some are relatively traditional, others less so. Take for example this elegant but simple “shower cleansing”:

Wash away the stress and strain
Wash away the hurt and pain
Refresh and cleanse my tired soul
To reconnect, to make me whole

The second part of the book contains complete rituals. As well as ceremonies for the usual seasonal festivals, there are ways to honour rites of passage from baby blessings and handfastings to rituals at death. The latter include last rites when a person is dying and a requiem for someone who has died.

As we are approaching Samhain, and this month on my blog I have been looking at various aspects of death, here is a short quote from The Woven Word’s passing over ritual:

Dearest Beloved, you are not alone
I am here to help guide you home
If your soul is ready now to depart
Then leave without a heavy heart
With forgiveness and without fear
For those you love will hold you dear

I wish I had had those words to say when I was sitting a bedside vigil for my father and then my mother before they died.

Moon Books says about The Woven Word on its website: “This is a pagan tome of poetry and prose designed for rituals, festivals and celebrations. Working with deities, Romany has chronicled invocations and evocations for many Gods and Goddesses, and created clear and crafty quarter calls, circle castings, celebratory prose and meditations. Ritual is broken into its component parts allowing for easy reference and personal adaptation.”

What I would add is that Romany’s words are beautiful, simple and powerful. As I read the book I could not only see myself using its rites without adaptation, I also felt that I wanted to use them. And to be honest that’s rare for me. With most of the other books of rituals I own, I find myself changing the words quite a bit to suit my personal taste or simply using them for inspiration and writing my own invocations or whatever based on them. I know I will be using many of the refrains and rites in The Woven Wordin the years to come.”

Links and previous related posts
The Woven Word: A Book of Invocations and Inspirations
http://www.moon-books.net/

(more…)

hearth altarWhen I was young, my little sister died of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. There was less understanding back then, and even at my age I heard the whispers in the village. I saw my parents friends remove themselves from our lives, people talking about our family in hushed tones, my step-mother sat almost catatonic on the sofa staring out the window, my little brother confusing my baby dolls with our deceased sister. I stood by my sisters graveside, watching this tiny coffin lowered into the earth, and I felt angry that this big, sweaty priest who knew nothing about our family and yet dared to speak of my baby sister and our family grief. Through all this, I felt my sisters spirit still in the house. I was aware of her presence in ways that other family members were not and it confused everyone. I did not display the same grief as others, because for me a part of her was still with us and that gave me comfort. I felt isolated in my understanding that death was not the end. I felt confused and sad for the loss of my sister and the pain her death brought to our family. I felt comforted and relieved to know there was something more than flesh and bone. In grief and a desire for understanding, I looked for God. I wanted answers. I found no comfort or answers in the Christianity I was brought up around, so I started to explore alternative belief systems. By the time I was a teen, I was fully immersed in the exploration of Paganism, Buddhism, Taoism, Witchcraft, and techniques of awareness and spiritual development. Later I studied psychology, I travelled the world, I read voraciously and I talked to some fascinating people. Slowly I developed my own practice and personal spirituality that honoured my understanding of death and dying.

In my twenties, after a rather shocking spiritual experience, I dedicated myself to studying Wicca and Witchcraft. I developed a deeper understanding of magic and transformation, and I truly transformed my personal life. During my practice I would call upon the Lord and Lady, I would connect with the Masculine and Feminine Divine and the spectrum in between, and I could sense the power and presence of the Divine – yet I did not connect with specific deities. In fact I rather enjoyed discussing the reality of distinct and different Gods, or all Gods as one God, or Gods as archetypes, or Gods as entities, or Gods as universal energy. I talked and listened, and in private I formed no conclusions but continued to work with the very abstract concept of Divinity from an energy spectrum perspective. I was happy enough working with my abstract philosophy. That is until a Goddess spoke to me. (more…)

WorkThe truth holds a power of its own. It is the power to challenge, to change, to start new paths and spark new ideas. Speaking the truth can be painful, powerful, liberating or damaging, but truth held within has its own way of working itself from bonds and flying free when least expected. Truth is a three edged blade, and getting to the point can pierce a heart. Truth is a salve for festering wounds, exposing pain to the light of day and easing concealed suffering. Truth has the power to burn or to cauterize, to hurt or to heal. Truth reveals that which is hidden, for better or worse. Truth transforms us.

The power of the Witch is the power of personal truth. We stand on the thresholds of the worlds and explore the landscapes through our own understanding. We converse with Gods, with Angels, with Demons, with Spirits, with the Beloved Dead, and we walk away with truth upon our tongues and hearts. We take on the truth of Mother Nature, of the restless ocean, of the Sun and Moon. We accept the truth of magic, even whilst we still learn the techniques and process of manifesting magic every day. We accept the truth of seasons and cycles, of honor and hospitality, of differences and similarities. We face the truths hidden deep within our personal shadows, stepping into the darkness and dragging them into the light. We face beautiful truths and ugly truths, and truths that parts of us wish we had never seen. We learn the truths of personal power and personal responsibility, shared truth and shared responsibility. We learn that my truth is not always your truth.

The Witch does not shy from the painful truth, for there is always transformational power within the pain. We cannot heal that which we cannot see is damaged. And truth be told, we need to speak our truth even when our voice shakes… for the truth really does set us free.

 

PBP2014

This post is part of the Pagan Blog Project 2014

fall.jpgEarth turns. Sun rises and sets. Wind blows, leaves scatter, seeds are sown. Thunder cracks, light splits the sky, fire burns bright in the darkness. Rain lashes my skin, clouds obscure my vision. I witness the birth and death of life around me, ever cyclical. I reach out to the elements and wash myself clean, and listen to the whispers of the wind. The world tells me tales of love and loss, of journeys taken, trials endured, planting and harvesting. The water reflects the world back at me until everything I see outside of me becomes the story of my soul. (more…)

RIMG0269“And ye shall be free from slavery; and as a sign that ye are really free, ye shall be naked in your rites; and ye shall dance, sing, feast, make music and love, all in my praise.” – Doreen Valiente

Wicca is not alone in extolling the virtues and benefits of ritual nudity, but it is possibly the most thought of path when we envision naked spirituality. For many, stepping out of our clothing and stepping into sacred space as naked as we were born is a form of rebirthing ourselves into the sacredness of our lives over and over again. But let’s not be naive, nudity may relieve us of our clothing and still add layers to our psyche. Nudity can furnish us with challenges from body issues and self-consciousness, or gender, sexuality and identity concerns, to reliving the trauma of assault and rape. To be naked in ritual is to be vulnerable and exposed, and for some people this does not make a sacred space – in fact it may not even make a safe space. The act of letting go of our clothes, stripping away our perceived identity, dropping the roles we take on in daily life and simply being in our skin can be a powerful tool of transformation and growth; but it is only a tool. When used carefully and with compassion it can be the skilled tool of the surgeon, exposing our issues one layer at a time, stripping us down to truth and bone and blessing; when used with expectation and dogma it can be the blunt hammer upon anvil, creating change through force. (more…)

RRivers logoAt some point on our journey we have all been the neophyte, the newbie, the wide eyed seeker. As children or adults we have come to our paths with tentative footsteps or joyful bounds, absorbing all the wonders we experience, discovering secrets of our Gods, our world, and ourselves. Over time and through experience, those who have walked the path with purpose and passion become known as the Priests, Priestesses, Shamans, Magicians, Teachers and Elders of our communities. However, here lies the paradox: An adept is never not a neophyte. No matter how skilled, how experienced or how knowledgeable a person is in their chosen area of expertise, there is ALWAYS something new to learn. (more…)

I am very excited to announce the release date of my next book The Woven Word: A Book of Invocations and Inspirations, coming out in hardcopy and ebook on the 31st of October 2014. That is right folks, a happy Halloween release!

The Woven Word Full Cover

This is a pagan tome of poetry and prose designed for rituals, festivals and celebrations. Working with deities, Romany has chronicled invocations and evocations for many Gods and Goddesses, and created clear and crafty quarter calls, circle castings, celebratory prose and meditations. Ritual is broken into its component parts allowing for easy reference and personal adaptation, and the additional correspondences information benefits the creation of unique rituals and celebrations. Created for use by both solitary practitioners and covens, sample rituals are also provided for seasonal celebrations and life events.
Romany’s personal experiences as a High Priestess give this book an enlightened view of the use of poetry in ritual, whilst her skills in classes, courses and workshops create a solid, practical foundation. Pagans, Priests and Priestesses, initiates new to the Craft, RE teachers and students, and anyone who loves Romany’s poetry will thoroughly enjoy this latest work.

“A fascinating book celebrating and utilising the power of the word both spoken and written with all areas of the Craft, including beautiful prose, blessings, meditations, visualisations and invocations. A great reference for how to use words for the greatest benefit.” – Rachel Patterson, author of Kitchen Witchcraft and Moon Magic (more…)

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…)