Posts Tagged ‘Religion and Spirituality’

Pagan Blog Project 2014

Pagan Blog Project 2014

 

The Question: When do we apply psychological principles to Witchcraft/energy work? When we say that the confirmation bias is what is really at work for superstitious beliefs, why don’t we also apply it to things Witches frequently use, like astrology and Tarot?

In my opinion, the answer to when we apply psychology to our spiritual beliefs is always and never. (more…)

I am so excited to reveal the cover design of my new ritual book The Woven Word: A Book of Invocations and Inspirations.

A creative compendium of invocations, inspirations and blessings for the novice or adept to design personal, unique and magical rituals.”

An extract from this book recently won the Pagan Writers Community Celtx Competition… meaning you can get a sneak peek right here! The Woven Word is being published by Moon Books and is due for release later this year. Please keep in touch for details of the book release, give aways, signings and workshops!

The Woven Word cover

This publication 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. The use of language as a sacred act is also explored, highlighting the importance of ritual language as an act of magic in and of itself. 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.

Reviews and Endorsements:

“Combining ritual and the sacred with the everyday world. Romany in this timeless work will bridge the gap that once did not exist between the spiritual and actual. Wander into the world of beauty and wonder in these pages and return to a reality tinged with rainbow magick. We will return to this book many times and at different life stages but it will always retain the freshness and inspiration of the first journey.” – Cassandra Eason, Author of The Magick of Faeries, the New Crystal Bible, and A Year and a Day in Magick

“Romany Rivers has created a valuable compendium of poetic verse, ready and waiting for use in your favorite ritual. I wish she had written this book years ago – it would have saved me hours of slogging through piles of poetry and ritual books, searching for the words that would move the participants at the rituals I officiated. Thankfully, it is available now, providing the grateful reader with a wide variety of lyrical verse for use from the opening of the ritual through to the close. Ms. Rivers has thoughtfully included full sample rituals that demonstrate the effective use of her beautiful verse, as well as an extensive set of correspondences that will provide inspiration for the creation of rituals uniquely suited to each occasion.” – Laura Perry, Author of Ariadne’s Thread: Awakening the Wonders of the Ancient Minoans in Our Modern Lives

In ‘The Woven Word’ Romany has created a real treasure that is destined to become a reference book for everyone interested in learning or developing their own rituals, invocations and practice. There is something here for every occasion and all of it easily adapted to fit the needs of any solitary practitioner or group no matter what their level of experience . Words have power and this comes over very clearly in this careful and considered compendium based on Romany’s own experience as a High Priestess and clear love of ritual and her craft.” – Yvonne Ryves, Author of Shaman Pathways Web of life

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

I love, love, love The Woven Word! I adore its simplicity, the way that it feels so old and yet so fresh at the same time. There is an akashic nature to what Romany has written, this book almost feels channeled straight from the Divine.” – Arietta Bryant, Author of Ramblings and Rhymes and Circles of Sacred Laughter

“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

Pagan Blog Project 2014

Pagan Blog Project 2014

Unless you have been studiously avoiding Pagan blogs over the last week or so, you will have seen many posts about the arrest of Kenny Klein. The horror of discovering that a well known Pagan figure is a predator in our midst was hard enough, but to watch the story unfold into a history and pattern of abuse that was not stopped has been shocking. My heart goes out to everyone affected.

This horror has sparked debate within the community – a debate about how we build safe communities, how we protect the vulnerable, how we spot predatory and abusive behaviour, how we deal with abuse and accusations of abuse, how we deal with abusers in our midst. Pagan leaders and teachers have gathered together, talked online, drafted statements and drawn up suggested protection policies for festivals and events. All of this is important work and although I have many thoughts I could share, I wanted to focus back on the basics. (more…)

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

money in spirituality My, my, money is a contentious issue at the best of times, let alone when you mix it with spirituality. I have blogged before on the concept of monetary exchange within spiritual paths, and many others I know have discussed the various issues that surround fundraising, paid for services and fair exchange within the Pagan community. I would certainly recommend reading Shauna Aura Knights blog as she has several recent articles reviewing this very subject… and the comments are just as enlightening as the articles.

Let me make my position very clear from the outset, I have no personal issues with monetary exchange for teachers, leaders, clergy, institutions, workshops, training, classes, courses, divination, healing or almost any aspect of Paganism where one person provides time, energy, skill, education, service and value to another. I believe that all people regardless of their profession are entitled to fair exchange for the services they provide. What constitutes fair exchange and whether the service actually has value is a slightly different subject. (more…)

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…)

PreOrder

Excited to announce that Poison Pen Letters to Myself is now available to pre-order through this site and through Amazon.com! As a special offer, the first 25 signed copies purchased through this site will receive a free postcard print of my painting Dark Heart of the Fire Flower as a thank you! Please do share this picture far and wide to spread the word. If you would like this book personalized with a message or name, please just let me know in the ‘Add Special Instructions’ box during checkout. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for supporting me and helping to make this book a reality.

Bright Blessings, Romany

Dark Heart of the Fire Flower, Oil on Canvas, by Romany Rivers

Dark Heart of the Fire Flower, Oil on Canvas, by Romany Rivers

 

“You shouldn’t try that until you know what you are doing.”

But how can one know, unless one does? Witchcraft is a very experiential path, full of mysteries and wonder that cannot be taught, only alluded to. It is for each practitioner to convert the knowledge shared by others into personal experience, for without experience the magic of the world is simply academic understanding. Direct experience turns the words on a page into a rich tapestry of understanding, and turns the knowledge of others into personal wisdom. With the wonder of modern technology, more and more practitioners are turning to online forums for guidance and support, which presents its own challenges. Despite the ease of meeting like minded souls virtually, and despite the accessibility of information, there is little support for in depth spiritual studies. So often I see the words above typed in chat rooms in response to valid questions – but no further information is shared. The teenage rebel in me rises her head every time and shouts ‘But how do I know when I know what I am doing unless I do it and see?!’ and the woman in me nods in understanding. Too often this kind of vague response only fires up the desire to experiment, rather than encouraging one to step back and reflect upon our skills and past experience.  The tone of this overused phrase comes across as a petty ‘I know something you don’t know’ at best, and at worst it appears superior, patronizing and condescending. Most of the time neither of these attitudes are actually present, but the lack of physical communication in a virtual world encumbers and disguises the true intent of such a statement. Most of the time, the practitioners who use this phrase and similar warning phrases genuinely care that others feel safe and secure in their spiritual experiences. (more…)

Pagan Blog Project 2014

Pagan Blog Project 2014

Deliverance: a 14th Century word to describe the state of being saved, rescued or liberated from something dangerous or unpleasant. In modern terms, this is often used to describe the act of Divine Intervention after a prayer of appeal, to be rescued or liberated by a deity.

I overheard a conversation between my atheist husband and my neighbor, a Christian  Preacher, about a Pentecostal Preacher who refused an antidote after being bitten by a snake and about his religious belief of deliverance. This reminded me of a story I heard many years ago:

A man is walking along the cliffs when he slips and falls. He catches himself and balances precariously upon a ledge. In distress he prays for deliverance, and so strong is his belief that his God will save him from his plight that he remains calm in the face of potential death. Soon the man hears a dog barking somewhere above him, followed by the face of a woman peering over the edge of the cliff. “My Gods!” she cries “Don’t move! I am going to get help!”

“No, no, don’t worry” the man replies “I have prayed for deliverance and I have faith that my God will save me.” But his words were lost to the wind as the dog walker had already run for help. (more…)