Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Leap Year's Day.

Coming round only once every four years, Leap Year Day - otherwise known as February 29th - is something of a special day.  We hear so much about there being nothing spectacular about this day, when the present day calendar was being created nobody paid any heed etc, is the general gist of what people like to say.  But how can we, as witches, not mark this day?

According to Roman traditions, this day is good for working magicks for improbable things.  In my mind that makes it a very special day.  Reserving this day for once in a lifetime type magick - and by this I mean working for things you probably would never normally do - we can work magick for anything from a dream lover, to a dream house.  The only thing that limits us is ourselves.

Given that the day is traditionally used for women to propose to their sweetheart, it would be a good day for love spells.  Or maybe you want to patch things up with soemone - whether that be romantically, or as a friend, - but have not had the courage to do so.  The energy from this special day lends itself to improbable situations, making it the perfect tiem to just go for it.

Whatever you choose to work for, today is definitely a special day for making your dreams a reality.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

O is for.....

.......Ogre.

An Ogre is the generic name for hideous creatures, usually giant-sized, who scare humnas.  The female version is an Ogress.  Ogres to me are creatures like Shrek and Fiona, from the movie Shrek.  That is what I think of when I envison an Ogre.
Obviously their appearance gives them a bad reputation, as does the fact that are supposed to feed on humans.

N is for....

.......Nymphs.

Nymphs are born of Gaia, also known as mother nature in the Greek pantheon.  They are associaited with nature and are often found protecting natural habitats.  Nymphs can also be seen around Pan, Hermes, Apollo, Atremis, Dionysius, as well as creatures such as Satyrs.
Nymphs are described as beautiful and sexually attractive.  They love to dance and sing and they are, ahem, quite armourous too. 

They live for a long time, it is said they do not die from old age, but usually die in other ways.  That they can live for so long often gives the impression they are immortal, though they are not.  They often bear a child to a God - whichever one they have mated with - and these children are immortal.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

M is for.....

......Mermaids.
It is said that a mermaid is a very attractive woman on the top half, and her lower half is that of a fish.  One particular story that I read has a mermaid being able to change into a "full" human in order to attend a market so that she could buy things.
The typical image we have for a mermaid is of a beautiful half woman-half fish sitting on a rock, out at sea, combing her hair and or singing.  Apparently the mermaids have no souls and lure fishermen to their death, by singing beautiful, haunting songs.  When the sailor gets close enough the mermaid grabs him and drowns him.  There are also tales that have the mermaids keeping the souls of the fishermen in cages, deep under the sea.
Typically the mermaids are the same size as a typical woman, but some tales have them up to 2000 feet in length.

L is for....

.... Loch Ness monster.

Probably the most famous of all mythical creatures.  The theories surrounding this even have theories surrounding them!  Whatever your views are on mythical creatures I think you have to admit this one is the most plausible,  There are far too many sigthings for this not to real.  And whilst this isn't really witchy it does show us that we don't know all of the answers, or have the proof about everything, even though we think me might do.

Friday, 24 February 2012

Pagan Blog Project - second D post.

For my second post on the letter D I want to elaborate on my dream theory.

After my post last week I got to thinking about how I had barely scratched the surface of the subject of dreams. You could also be forgiven for thinking that I was dismissing all dream experts and claiming they do not understand the dreamer.  This is not the case.

The subject of dream interpretation is as deeply misunderstood as the subject of Astrology.  Both are very often the butt of jokes; people read their horoscopes but usually don't take them seriously.  The same can be said about some people's attitudes to dreams.  We have them, they are odd, but they are just a bit of fun and don't mean anything.

I disagree with that attitude because I happen to believe that when we dream our subconscious self is trying to relay some sort of message to us.  Often when we are awake we are so busy that we barely take any notice of our inner voice and the messages it tries to get over to us.  When we dream we are receiving the inner messages that we need to deal with stuff that is going on, whether it be something huge, or something mundane.  Our inner selves know the answers to what troubles us and conjures up images and scenarios that will make us take notice; if we dreamt of nothing spectacular we would pay no heed to those inner messages and the solutions would go unheeded, hence the spectacular images and scenes we conjure up in our sleeping minds.

When dream interpretation books are written they cover a few basic symbols - usually those with universal meaning - and then the author adds their opinion on to it.  For instance, if someone dreams of a chimney it generally represents some form of release.  But if you search online and in different books the meaning can be anything from general release to escape, sexual release, release of tension and so on.  This can cause the dreamer confusion and is partly responsible for why the subject of dream interpretation can be the butt of jokes.
If you write your own dreams down and then pick out the meaningful - meaningful to you - symbols, then spend some time pondering on what those symbols represent to yourself, you are half way to interpreting the dream.

Recently I dreamt of a chimney.  My mother was in the room with me and there was also a nurse.  The nurse reached into the chimney and closed a little door and then turned to me and said something.  What she said was personal and the meaning of the dream is very personal.  If I had looked this dream up online or in a book I would not have got the same interpretation.  Obviously because it was my dream I was able to attach the significance to it, I was able to attach a situation to the dream and make it fit.  That it is how the cynics believe we come up with answers to dreams, and maybe in the case of my own dream they may have a point.    I have spent many years researching my dreams and their meanings and deciphering the hidden messages in the dreams of friends and family.  I always make it clear that the symbols in dreams mean different things to different people and that my interpretation is just my point of view, given the images presented to me.  I explain how I do the interpretation and encourage the person to have a go themselves, and usually the interpretations are similar.

The only complaint I have ever had using this method came from a woman I was friends with a few years back.  She was anxious over her dream meaning and asked me to interpret it.  I did and she didn't like what I told her.  The gist of it was that the symbols she was dreaming about - repeatedly, by the way, - were predicting she was going to find herself in a highly embarrassing situation resulting from her loss of self control.  She dismissed my interpretation as rubbish and chose to accept what another person had said.  I shrugged it off - you can't please everyone - and forgot all about it.  About a fortnight later I heard about this very same woman having a melt down in a shopping centre after she had endured a highly stressful shopping trip with her child.  She had shouted at her kid, screamed in frustration and then slumped to the ground and wept uncontrollably.  By all accounts she felt really foolish and was really embarrassed at what had happened to her.
Her dream had warned her this was going to happen, she chose to ignore the message, but it still happened.  She avoided me for quite some time after that, which was silly really, but her choice.  The lesson here is that we may not like the message we are receiving but that doesn't mean it won't be the right one.  That is also why I always encourage folks to interpret dreams for themselves, that way they will maybe pay more heed to what their inner self is trying to tell them and avoid situations like that very public melt down.

Learning the basics and adding your own personal meanings to symbols can give a person a real in depth dream interpretation.  I have done exactly this and have found that this method gives a more accurate reading than just sitting going through a book, or online web page would.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Panic.

I've had a panic attack today.  I haven't had one of those in a long time.  There's some stuff going on right now, nothing overly major, just stuff kind of stuff and I had to speak out about something.  My point was well received and everything went well......but afterwards I was just so done in.  I just felt like my whole being imploded on itself and I started to feel as if a great weight had landed on my chest.
I was worried that all of my work would be undone, as if my little chat had undone all of my good work and I was in full blown panic mode.  I have spent the rest of the day nursing my very emotional well being and having not being around the social media circuit has helped me enormously.  I think sometimes we get too caught up in what is happening round the forums, social media sites, on the chat etc, we totally lose sight of our real selves and we forget what we can do.

Sometimes the real magick in our lives is not in the spells and rituals that we do, but in the simple pleasures we find in our everyday lives.  Like the simple pleasure I found today in seeing a pheasant rummaging about on the railway line behind my house.  Nothing spectacular, nothing amazing, not even magickal, just an ordinary occurrence that helped me shift my focus.

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Be careful what you wish for!

My garden has become a bone of contention between me and the Manshape.  He has piles of wood in it, neatly stacked now, yes, but it's still there nevertheless.  It's been preventing me from getting my seeds planted out and the new roses put in that he bought me at Valentine's.  I have become a naggy wife over it and have wished for the piles of tree trunk bits to be sorted.

And now my wish has been answered.  A family friend who also has an open fire mentioned last week that he has a chainsaw - which is what was needed to cut most of the wood that is left in the garden.  So the wood is being cut by M as we speak, and a lovely mess is being made of my already messed up lawn.  When I looked out of the window a few minutes ago to see how they were getting on, my first thought was to scream in exasperation.  But not wanting to make a total fool of myself I came upstairs and sat down to write a blog post.  Now I have had a little while to think this over I can see that I am getting exactly what I wanted - the wood cut up.  The wood is being cut into fire size pieces and stored in bags for later use - once it dries out.  The mess can easily - maybe not easily for me - be cleared away and I can finally get my seeds and plants sorted out.

Isn't it funny that when we wish so hard for something it never turns out quite how we expected it to?

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Pancakes.

Every culture seems to celebrate this day in some shape or form.  I know it's really a Christian holiday, Shrove Tuesday, but with so many people "flipping" out on the idea I thought I may as well enjoy some pancakes later on tonight.

In my family we have always had pancakes on Shrove Tuesday.  I am absolutely hopeless at cooking them, I blame the arthritis in my hands as I can't grip the spatula properly or the frying pan handle.  DH had taken over the cooking when I started losing the mobility in my hands but even he is hopeless when it comes to pancakes.  I had considered buying one of those pancake makers - expensive I know, especially when we would barely use it.  But DD2's boyfriend is a dab hand when it comes to frying and flipping pancakes, so we have him over for tea and he is going to cook for us.


Monday, 20 February 2012

K is for........

.......the Kraken.

I knew that I would write about this creature when I got to K.  It is a creature that I am pretty familiar with, having been a huge fan of the film Clash Of The Titans - the  original one.  The creature I have always been familiar with is enormously tall, sort of like a huge lizard type man, as per the Kraken in the film.  So imagine my surprise when I look into this myth and discover that the Kraken is in fact a huge Octopus.

The myth states that this creature loves the taste of human flesh, as well as consuming ships, whole.  Sailors who happened upon a sleeping Kraken would often mistake it for an island - the top of its head quite often the only thing visible.  They only discovered the truth when their ships' were attacked.

Of course, the legend I am familiar with is the one from the Clash Of The Titans.  The Princess Andromeda is to be sacrificed to the Kraken as a result of her mother's bragging about her beauty.  Cassiopeia claims that Andromeda is more beautiful than the Goddess Thetis and this angers her, hence the sacrifice.  Of course she is saved by Perseus, who marries her after solving an almost impossible riddle, who just gets to her in time after severing the head of the Gorgon, a creature who turns everything to stone if she looks into their eyes.  Perseus uses Medusa's head - because even in death her stare is lethal - to turn the Kraken into stone and he holds Medusa's head up for so long that the Kraken cracks and crumbles into the sea.

That myth is a far cry from the stories of Octopus like creatures who devour men and ships.




Clash of the Titans Poster


Tree month of Ash.

The tree month of Ash began on February 18th and runs to March 17th.  The Ash is one of the trees that are sacred to the druids, and this makes it a good time to work on inner self magick.

If like me you are always finding out new things about yourself, your circumstances, your spiritual self, and you often feel you are being challenged to work on this stuff, then now is a good time for this kind of work.
The Ash is also associated with prophetic dreams, magicks associated with the ocean and of course, spiritual journeys.

Wood from the Ash tree is said to be the best for making all tools, be they magickal or tools for everyday use.  And it is said that placing the berries from the Ash tree in a babies cradle will protect them from being stolen away by the Fae.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Moving on.

I seem as though I say this kind of thing all of the time.  I seem as though I revisit old mistakes time and again, but I think I finally found my way.  This isn't one of those cryptic posts where some people sit cussing at me because they think I'm taking pot shots at them, although I daresay there are those who will make this in to one because they can't help themselves.  I know where I am heading now, the blinkers have been stripped away from my eyes - finally.

I was talking to an old friend earlier this week, just random silly stuff, and I realised I had come along way since we first got to know one another.  That chance meet up has been on my mind pretty much all week and I think it has helped me to gain clarity too.  I noticed how much I have lost my way over the past seven years, who I was becoming then, the sacrifices I made, the chances I may have wasted.  I saw myself, tonight, as if for the first time, not entirely reborn, just with fresh eyes.

Working through my beliefs for my 366 days of witchery has certainly helped get me back to where I wanted to be, where I feel I want to be heading.  This pleases me as this was the intention I had all along.  I am seeing situations in my life through different eyes now, where once I might react in a certain way to something, now I am more inclined to put a lot more thought into whatever is happening.  Again, this is not a cryptic dig at anybody, it is an observation about how I have always reacted to situations in my "real world" and how now I am taking a different approach.
I think some of the troubles I have experienced over the past few years have jaded me enormously, making so, so cynical and hardening me back to what I had been during my late teens, early twenties.  Back then it was highly likely I would have gotten into a real life fight with offending folks, something I was keen to leave behind by the time I reached my mid-twenties.  I started to really get into spiritual stuff then and it helped me calm down a hell of a lot.
Then the bad stuff happened with the Great Pretender, and C and I just reverted back to who I had been before I met them.  Cynical, hard-faced, unforgiving..........

Then close family members started dying an I had to face the reality of life, and it hurt.  People offer words of wisdom and comfort during such times and you try to draw strength from them, but pretty soon you realise that these words are often empty and meaningless.......and that has hardened me up again, brought my inner cynic right to the forefront and I became bitter and resentful.  I found myself in a never ending circle of remorse, bad choices, regret.  But now I feel as if I have finally been able to jump off the never ending spiral I was on and I am on my way once more to being lighter and happier than I have felt in almost a decade.

Bon voyage.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Moving on to D...Pagan Blog Project.

Dreams.

What do you dream of when you fall asleep?  Do you get confused by the images and scenes that get played out in your dreamworld?  Or are you like me and have a rough idea of what your subconscious mind is trying to tell you?

Over the years more and more people have become good at interpreting their own dreams, rather than relying on experts.  They fail to see, how the interpretation they receive is relevant to their circumstances, and they have their own ideas about what the symbols in their dreams, which are often a far cry from what books and other experts tell them.
I have always had a knack at interpreting dreams, but not by using the books etc that are available.  I also have a knack of dreaming within minutes of falling asleep- although this is supposed to be impossible, but I can assure you this is what happens to me.
The more stress I am under, the more vivid my dreams - my subconscious trying to get me to take notice of the advice it is trying to give me.  And how does it do that?  By throwing up strange symbolism in my dreams, and this is how it is for everyone.
We dream what we dream because our subconscious minds are trying to help us solve our problems.  The strange images and symbols are designed by our own minds so that we will recall them more easily and so that we will think about what those objects actually mean to us on a personal level.  What one object means to one person can actually mean something else to another.  That is why it is better for us to interpret our own dreams by thinking about what the dream and its symbolism actually means to us.

I have to point out here, that the wise thing to do would be to keep a dream journal, but I nearly always forget to record my dreams and have probably lost valuable information.  Maybe that is why I have so many recurring dreams!
I am a big fan on personalising everything about your craft, from the spells you write, to the potions you may make and that is why I believe we should take over our own dream interpretation.
People often ask others to interpret their dreams and as I have already said, they get a bit miffed when the interpretation doesn't live up to their expectations.  This is because the person interpreting the dream is basing that reading on their own understanding of the symbolism, and it is highly likely that their meaning will differ from that of the querent.  That is why I urge everybody who asks me about dreams to write down what they can remember from the dream and think about what each symbol, image, role in the dream actually means to them.  It does take a lot of practice and is often very frustrating, but once you get the hang of it all it is really quite easy to do.

So, next time you have a dream that leaves you baffled, explore its meaning for yourself, rather than disagreeing with the experts.

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

J is for.....

......Jack-O-Lantern

 Jack-O-Lantern is a ghostly light that can be seen over swamps and marshes.  It is said to be the soul of someone who died and was denied entry into Heaven and Hell.  It is said that before Jack died, he chased the Devil up a tree .  Jack was a mischievous person and it is said that he tied symbols of the cross around the tree.  The symbols were said to be so powerful that the Devil was unable to climb down the tree, and he didn't want to fall either.  When he had the Devil where he wanted, Jack made the Devil promise that he would not let him into Hell.  With this done, Jack thought that he had guaranteed himself a place in Heaven that he spent the rest of his days playing tricks on people.
When he died St. Peter would not allow him to enter Heaven on account of all of his trickery, so he sent him down to Hell instead.  But the gates were not open for him due to the deal that he had made with the Devil.  He was left to live amongst us on Earth, in the swamps.

It is said that he liked to be cruel to children and that is why it was customary for them to wear their coats inside out.  This way they could blend in with the dark and avoid the cruel clutches of Jack.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Valentine's Day

You may have heard, it's Valentine's Day.

I do celebrate Valentine's Day.  I don't fall victim to the commercialism of it all, though if people choose to then that is up to them.  On my FB timeline I have four categories of people; those who are still trapped by the commercialism, or quite happy to pay into it - my husband's cousin, for instance, has bought his wife a box of chocolates, a bottle of wine, flowers, a card and booked them an overnight stay in a fancy hotel.  Clearly he has a point to prove - they have two kids, they both work but aren't that well off.  She is made up with the gesture,she is quite smug about it actually.

Then there are people like me and DH.  We agree a price, buy a nice card from our local market - usually costs around 50p - buy each other something we want, ranging from a book, or CD/DVD/console game, to a corny teddy bear.  It all just depends.  It is a good few years since I have had flowers.  Not because DH is mean, but because I would rather he bought me a plant for my garden, which is what he does now.  I can go back to that plant in years to come and know that it was a gift on this day, whereas a bunch of overpriced flowers will wither and die within a few days.
We never go out for a meal, again prices going up and crowds of people put us off.  We have always either had a takeaway or cooked, generally the latter.

The next category of people are those who can't help but shout it out for all to hear, that they don't do Valentine's anymore because it is so commercialised.  They then castigate those of us who do and rant on that they don't need this day to remind themselves why they love their other half.  They shove it down our throats about how they are far more superior to us who want to actually celebrate this day in our own way, they spend the entire day posting updates on any of the social media networks, or in general conversation harping on about how they have wised up.

The last category are those who don't celebrate - either because they just don't bother, or because they have no one to share it with.  They'll be in two smaller categories, those who just get on with it because it doesn't bother them either way, or because they can't change the fact that they have nobody.  They just aren't making a big song and dance over it.
Then there are the other category of this group, who moan about everyone who has got someone, just because they haven't.

Obviously I come into the second group, like so many others.  We celebrate in a way that fits our budget, in a way that isn't too showy; in a way that is pretty low key.  I choose to do it this way because I feel I want to use this day to take time to think about my relationship and pay homage to it.  I feel that a day like this is special to us, as a couple, not because we don't have the other 364 days to be nice to each other, but because we choose to.  Like many other couples, we don't always get time to celebrate.  And that's just it, this is the 21st century where life is so fast paced that even when we do promise to be good to each other and make time for each other, the reality of life often means these promises go unfulfilled.  And despite our best efforts to make the time, it is often impossible to achieve.
That is why I have never minded this day.  A day where we may feel forced to acknowledge our relationship, but if we do things our own way, minus the pressure of having to spend a small fortune on flowers and chocolates and wine, and over priced meals, or night's in hotels, then we can maybe start to realise that it is us that is important.
When we reach this conclusion, that we don't have to spend any money on anything for each other, unless we choose to, we may also start to realise that other materialistic things are irrelevant and we may just find time for each other, whether it be Valentine's Day or not.

You know, this argument about needing to realise that there are 364 other days - 365 in Leap Year's - wears a bit thin when you get to my age.  You know that every day you have together is precious.  You know that you celebrate in your own way and why you do it, or you know why you don't  and you don't feel the need to tell everyone why, you just do it.  You understand that this one day is overhyped but you either don't care and enjoy it, or you ignore the hype and do your own thing.  You become less fussed about presents and just enjoy the present of your lover's company.  Yes, there are 364/365 other days in a year to declare your love for one another, but for Taurean's like me, it's great to have a day where you can get caught up in all of the love.  It's a special day because people are determined to make it so and that's why it stands out from the rest of the year.  It's a universal love day.

Happy Universal Love Day dear readers.  Thank you for reading my nonsense.  Love to you all.

Heart

Monday, 13 February 2012

I is for.....

.......Incubus.


An Incubus is a male spirit that seduces women and mates with them whilst they are sleeping.
It is believed that the magician Merlin was the child of an Incubus, as his mother is said to have never disclosed who his father was.

There are so many tales surrounding the Incubi it is difficult to distinguish facts.  A common thread however is that many of these attacks were blamed on Incubi when in fact they would have been actual rapes by humans.  In medieval times it was easy for the rapist to invent a story and blame it on an Incubus, thus clearing his own name, leaving the poor victim not only feeling even more worthless, but most likely subjected to claims she is crazy too.

H is for.....

.......Harpy.

A Harpy has the body of a bird and the face of a hag, droopy breasts, bear-like ears and clawed talons.  They also had wings like bats.  They are under the rule of Hades who sent them out to fetch the folks who were struggling not to die down to the Underworld.  Hades also instructed them to fight Greek heroes.

What is interesting is that in earlier versions of this myth the Harpies were described as beautiful winged maidens.    Their demise into the ugly version is thought to be because they were often confused with Sirens.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Struggles.

I've been really unwell recently, more so than usual.  I have had a problem with a "sticky out thing" in my neck, pain there and dizziness and nausea.  This has gone on for a while now but has got so bad recently.  I went to see my GP and was relieved, yes relieved, to find out I had a condition called Cevical Spondylosis - this is arthritis in the neck affecting the spinal vertebrae.

It sounds bad, and in a way I guess it can be quite bad.  Apparently some people experience no symptoms when they have this condition, others have a variety of symptoms like I do, one in particular being that one of the vertebrae is nipping a nerve in the neck and that is what causes the pain, dizziness etc.

The reason I say I was relieved is because I had convinced myself that I had a brain tumour, or MS.  You see, the dizziness and funny feeling I get in the base of my head can be experienced by those who have the two things I have mentioned, but it can also be caused when a nerve gets caught between vertebrae.  So I am very relieved that I have not got some sinister illness and while I have yet another debilitating and crippling painful illness to add to my ever growing list, at least I can get physio to try and help with the pain and try to release the trapped nerve.

So, with all of these worsening symptoms I have been slow to get my blog updated and not doing so well with the Pagan Blog Project - this week I had to use a post I had written earlier in the week, rather than writing something new.  OK, so it is not entirely breaking the rules, but I felt as if I had cheated myself.  But I realise I have my limits and need to take things easy, so I won't be beating myself up about that.
I'm just relieved to not be seriously ill.

G brings us......

..........Goblin.

A Goblin is an ugly evil creature.  Usually described as small, about knee height, with grey hair and beards.  It is said that if you want to get rid of one you should sprinkle flax seeds on the floor.  The Goblin will bend down to pick them up, making an attempt to pick them all up, but as dawn will arrive before they can do this they will disappear as they only like to come out at night.

The word Goblin is taken from the Greek word kobaloi, which means evil spirit.  This was changed to the Latin word cobalus, then to the French word Gobeline and finally to the English word Goblin.  It is said that they can be summoned by using certain spells, though they were described as frightening and only the bravest of people would have been sent to strike a bargain with them.

Thinking of Goblins I picture a creature like Gollum from The Lord Of The Rings saga.

Friday, 10 February 2012

Balance.

I  have just had a Eureka moment.  It's probably been kind of obvious to most people for some time but I have just clicked.    I was reading an article that was discussing people's hobbies, past-times etc and I noticed that people who have a lot of stress, hardship, misery and so on in their lives are  more drawn to lighter entertainment sources.  Whereas those who have hardly any stress, hardship etc are more drawn to darker entertainment.

Let me elaborate a little here.  I have had so much stress and hardship in my life that when I want to chill out I tend to choose a lighter kind of genre, such as romatic novels and films, or fantasy programmes that are quite light, definitely not darker stuff.  For instance, I love shows on TV such as Lost Girl, Haven, Charmed, Dr. Who,  Merlin, Legend Of The Seeker, Vampire Diaries, True Blood.  Films such as Practical Magic, The Star Wars films, The Lord of The Rings trilogy, Sweet Home Alabama, Clash Of The Titans.  The types of book I read does vary, anything from Mills and Boon, to fantasy novels; chick lit to classical stuff.    Everything about my entertainment is aimed at lightening my mood, cheering me up.  That isn't to say that people who love blood and guts and gore aren't seeking the same kind of release, they just prefer a different genre to seek the same escapism.

Now, how do I conclude that people like me - stressed out due to illness, problems in life, and so on prefer lighter entertainment to those who seem to have tickety boo kinds of lives?  Well, there are these things called Facebook and twitter and forums, and chat, and email, and text messages and real life conversation and interaction.  And it is through all of these mediums that I have noticed that the stressed out folk are more likely to seek out lighter entertainment and those who have better lives seek darker.

Of course there are always exceptions to these rules, it isn't set in concrete.  This does seem to be the general consensus among people I know in these different areas, and of course it seems to be like this when I read about it with people I don't know.  This got me thinking that it must be a balance thing.  And yes, it does seem kind of obvious when you lay it all out, just took me a while to notice.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

F is for.... Pagan Blog Project F week 2

.......Fairies.

Good?  Bad?  Neutral?

I think Fairies are creatures that live in nature, like other nature spirits we only get to see them if we let go of all of the stresses and strains of the modern day world.  I think they are neutral, I think they are neither good nor bad, they just are.

The word fey - what fairies are often referred to  - originally meant "fated to die"  which is totally unrelated, apparently, to the fey folk.  But maybe this goes along way in explaining why so many people feared fairies in days gone by.

There are many different descriptions of fairies.  Some have them looking similar to the Elves, tall and willowy and ethereal, whereas others describe them as small, human like creatures, or even tiny human type butterfly creatures - I'm trying to paint a picture here, these aren't the exact words used.

There are so many stories and myths and legends surrounding fairies that several blog posts could be written on them, and still it would only be the tip of the iceberg.
In Britain it is believed that the fairies originated from heaven when Lucifer opened the celestial gates.  It is said that they came down with the Demons.  It is also said that God declared that those who had fell from heaven had to remain there.

The pictures below depict the different viewpoint people have of fairies.
 

People see fairies in different ways, from small, cute childlike creatures, to large wisps of energy and everything in between.  I'm not keen on dismissing a person's opinion on how a fairie should look, or how we should spell their name, we each of us view the world through our own individual eyes and we see things differently to each other.  Even when we are in agreement with another our view point is slightly different.  People will post on their blogs about the Fae and the opinions and experiences will differ vastly, but they aren't wrong.  There is no wrong or right way to view them, they appear to us how we are comfortable in seeing them and at the end of the day that is all that matters.
 

E is for .......

...........Elves.

 It is said that they were the spirits of the dead that brought fertility.  Of course, with each different culture's myth the story of what they did varied, but most do link them to fertility.  They were known to cause disease by shooting arrows at people.  Wherever the arrow struck the person was where they would get pain and sickness. They could be appeased with food and drink offerings, if they accepted them they would be kind and helpful to humans.


According to Anglo-Saxon lore there are light - Liosalfar -  and dark - Svartalfar -  elves.

Oberon is said to be their God.  Also, the Norse God Fey is said to be the ruler of the light elves.

Their appear as human type figures with long hair, which makes me think of the Elves from the Lord Of The Rings movies.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Storm Moon Blessings.

The full moon of February has many names, depending on whose tradition you are following.  I prefer to think of it as the Storm Moon as there is a tendency for frequent storms during this month.  Other names include, the Snow Moon - referring to the usual weather of the month, the Hunger Moon - because hunting would be difficult during the adverse weather.

This full moon I have a few things I am working on.  Life has taken an unexpected twist, albeit a pleasant one.  I am going to be working to enhance what is happening in a positive way and I also have a planned meditation especially for this night.

Full Moon Blessings.


Full Moon Blessings

Monday, 6 February 2012

D is for.....

........Demon.

A Demon is considered to be something that is not human and is of evil intent.  In some cultures a Demon is the word for divine spirit, or divine power.  Demons represent different things for different people, depending upon their beliefs.  In most religions a demon is a dark power, of the devil and how many of us have conjured up the image of a demon based on what we were subjected to through the TV show Charmed?

Don't get me wrong, I love Charmed, but a lot of the negative press Demons get comes from the Christianised version of what they actually are.  For instance, in Greek the word daimon means divine power and this is where the word demon derives from.  Demons were thought to be celestial beings capable of doing good for others, as well as causing harm.  It was during the middle ages that the Christians demonised them, pardon the pun, and portrayed them as the devil, or minions of the devil.  There are many different types of demons, some doing good deeds, others bad, pretty much like humans.

Sunday, 5 February 2012

C brings us...... latest Pagan Blog Project

...........Centaur.

When I think of these creatures I always think of the Film and Book, The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe.  Centaur's are half human, half horse - the upper half of their body being human and the lower half being horse.  They are born from the God Apollo and Stilbe, daughter of the river God Peneus.  Other tales have them as offspring of others, notably the Magnesian mares and Apollo, or sometimes Centaurus.

Despite Apollo being the father of the Centaurs, these creatures actually followed Dionysus, the wine God.  They were described as being wild in nature and untamed, they excelled at archery and were fond of wines and grapes.  However, they were reported to have gotten drunk really easily and would rape young maidens and trample over the crops of farmers.  They were said to be ruled by their wild instincts and untamed nature.

Perhaps the best known tale of the Centaurs is where they showed up at the wedding of Pirithous, king of the Lapiths.  They became drunk on the wine that was offered and got into a quarrel, which in turn led to a huge fight.  The Centaurs ravaged the wedding, attempted to kill Hercules who was a guest at the wedding.  They ravaged the bridesmaids and stole the bride.  This resulted in a huge battle that saw them being driven out of Thessaly, with only the wise and gentle Centaur, Chiron, remaining.

The image that I have of the gentle Centaurs - such as in the Lion, Witch, Wardrobe - is a lot different to how they are portrayed throughout history.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

B is for.......

.............Banshee.

What is a Banshee?

A Banshee is, according to the majority of the descriptions I have read, is a female spirit who begins to wail if someone is about to die.  Some stories have her appearing as a frightening hag, wailing and screeching; whereas others have her in the guise of a beautiful woman of any age.  Not every tale has her screeching and wailing, others have her making a noise that sounds something like an owl's moan.  The Banshee's wail has even been described as a low singing sound.

It is said that in 1437 King James I of Scotland was approached by a seer who foretold of his death, later on the seer was identified as a Banshee.

In American folklore, so I have read, the Banshee is just described as a ghoul , rather than a sign of misfortune.

Friday, 3 February 2012

C is for...Pagan Blog Project week 5

Commitment.

We may often question our commitment to our craft, and this is quite normal.  Over the years I have questioned my commitment to a path that has not always been an easy one.  But each time I have questioned this path I have found that my commitment has grown, as has my knowledge.  The act of questioning my commitment has actually made my commitment to my path stronger, and in my opinion this is a normal and healthy.  I have found that I have grown each time I have faced a crisis of my faith.

Maybe it can be argued that these crises are sent to test us and help us grow, but usually at the time we feel anything but happy about them.  We may be left wondering why we question something that we claim to believe in so much, but without them we can end up stuck in a rut when it comes to our spiritual beliefs and this in turn can lead to us letting our actions and commitment to our craft slide.

This happened to me last year after going through a really difficult time.  I found that I could not really focus on my practice and felt less inclined to want to bother with it all.  I felt very blah about the whole spiritual side of life and was actually ready to give up on it all.  Then one day I stepped out of my front door and the beauty of my surroundings enveloped me so much I felt Mother Nature had touched me.
From that point on I was determined to commit myself to my practice and beliefs.  I wanted to do something that would help me and so I devised a blog challenge, just for myself, called 366 Days of Witchery.  So far this challenge has helped me refocus my commitment to what I feel is important in my practice, it may not be to everyone's liking, but I have found it has helped me enormously.

Commitment is vital in this practice, without it you will feel unfulfilled.  Your path probably won't lead you anywhere and you will probably feel like giving up on all things witchy.  Commitment is therefore vital.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

A - Z of mythical creatures.

I thought I would do this next series on mythical creatures.

What is a mythical creature?
A mythical creature is something that has never been proven to actually exist, but we believe in their existence through tales and our own imagination.  There are instances of mythical creatures stretching back to the dawn of time, but nothing concrete has ever been recorded - in texts and more recently photographs and video footage.  We rely on the tales of others to feed our imaginations, we believe in these tales because they are plausible and are often told by people who we trust.

When I began researching the different creatures I thought I would get just enough information to cover the series.  As always I research the first letter of the alphabet first, and could not believe the sheer volume of mythical creatures beginning with the letter A.  I have spent an age trying to pick the right one for me, settling for  the one listed below.

A is for.........Apotamkin.

It probably comes as know surprise to some of you that I would choose this creature, given my obsession with the Twilight Saga.  I have to admit, it is true that my obsession made me favour this creature out of all of the others I could have chosen.
I was surprised to discover that in the film Twilight the websites that Bella searches for info on the Apotamkin don't actually exist and they were just created for the film.  It might have been nice to compare the info on her sites and others, but sadly not to be.

The Apotamkin is a Native American vampire creature.  It is believed that this mythical creature was created to prevent children from wandering off into deserted areas, if they feared the Apotamkin would get them then they were less likely to wander off.  Apart from that though there is very little credible information about this demon-like creature.  Some argue they are just vampires, as in the Dracula, Lost Boys, Edward Cullen, The Salvatore brothers from Vampire Diaries, whereas others say not.  Given that we are talking mythical creatures here is hard to know just where the credible info begins and the fanciful begins.

Are these creatures real?  Are they just the same as your usual, run-of-the-mill vampires?  Or are we all deluded in thinking any mythical creature is real?  I'm not entirely sure what my thoughts are on the Apotamkin, or vampires for that matter.  I do believe in some mythical creatures though, I just don't think I believe in these.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Imbolc Blessings.

Imbolc, the time of the Goddess Brigid, is upon us once more.  It is a time for blessing our seeds and gardening tools and as already discussed, I am having to have patience where this is concerned.

Something else I tend to do, starting now and finishing by Eostre, is spring cleaning.  I used to do this all in one fell swoop but now with my health problems that is not possible.  So I start at Imbolc getting ready for spring.  Usually this entails clearing up any clutter left over from Yule, usually there isn't any, but sometimes the odd thing will turn up.  It can be a slow process of what DH calls deep cleaning and often does take us until Eostre.  However, we have recently go one of those steam mops and it arrived today - rather good timing I thought.  So, with the mop, we steam cleaned our laminate floors downstairs.  We steam cleaned our bathroom and kitchen.  We steam cleaned some of the stair carpet.......and we would have continued into the bedrooms had we not felt just a little knackered.

I have to say, the mop is easy to use and I am only feeling knackered because we got carried away with it.  I am really impressed with how good it is.  Ever since we got laminate flooring laid downstairs it has been a battle and half keeping it clean.  With five people and five animals living here, not to mention the various visitors who traipse through, the floor often look dirty really quickly.  And now we have the open fire we get quite a lot of ash/soot off the wood we burn, so this adds to the floor looking grubby.  No amount of mopping, with any cleaning solution, made them look any better.

Until today.

The hall floor in particular looks really good and I have to say my house has a light and airy feel.  Yes, I know, quite a silly thing to say, but the house feels as if stagnant energies have been lifted away.  I guess it could be said that the laminate floor was holding onto some dirt and therefore energies were stagnating there, thus creating negativity.  With this in mined I feel as if I have performed some sort of Imbolc ritual and that pleases me.
Later on I will be doing an Imbolc meditation that will focus on spring cleaning in my life, areas that have become stagnant and will benefit from a bit of spring cleaning, welcoming back the light and so on.