Tag Archives: solitary

Yule Follow Up

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Our Yule ritual went rather well. I wish the wind didn’t so much or the temperatures drop so low, otherwise we’d have a fire in the fire pit. I meant to have everyone make banishing bags from black cloth and they’d be burned, but we opted, instead, to use this idea by CharmingPixieFlora (video) where the bag would not only mark what we wished to banish, but also what we needed to replace it.

Potluck– Because of gathering so late in the day, we opted to feast first. Some argue that you eat after ritual, but I feel that has more to do with magick working, meditations, or spell work. In celebrations, the focus should be on the celebrating itself.

The food was great. My husband made a Chicken and Dumpling casserole, while others brought salad, a veggie tray, and desserts. There’s something so delightfully magical about potlucks, where folks bring in various dishes to share as a group.

Ritual– Our group is not at all formal, and we discuss beforehand what we hope to accomplish with the ritual. Members share a document online where we add what we’re bringing to potluck, but also marking what they wish to do in the ritual itself. Some suggestions included some healing, a thumb’s up for the banishing bag craft, and also a ‘joy and sorrow’ sharing ritual.

Joys and Sorrows- I first encountered this practice in the local Unitarian Universalist Church, where members shared a joy and/or sorrow in their lives. This helped build community, strengthen bonds, and enables members to alert others if help was needed. We use the practice for the same reasons.

All you do is light tea lights. One for each joy or sorrow. You can light as many as you need. All of the candles can sit on a plate at the center of circle or the main part of the altar. They are blown out at the end of ritual.

Since I forgot to get the sparkling juice or mead, we ended up using V8 Splash for the ‘ale’ in the cakes and ale. The cake was Rum cake, which was awesome. We then went outside to ‘pop’ the banishment bags, sprinkling seeds on the ground, and making offering of the cakes and ale to the gods amid the wind and cold.

I wish for everyone to have a safe and happy holiday season.

Source: bing.com via Sharon on Pinterest

How to begin?

 I was thinking the other night on where to guide new pagans on their quest to learn more. I’m tempted to toot my my own horn and say “go to my blog’, but I feel compelled to suggest some books;


 Scott Cunningham’s Wicca: A Guide for the Solitary Practitioner is an excellent starter book on Wicca specifically. I love his down-to-earth language and valid points. He keeps things simple and straight-forward.

 

Doreen Valiente  wrote a number of books on the topic of Wicca and the pagan religions, as well as authoring the long version of the Wiccan Rede. Her book, Witchcraft for Tomorrow I feel is a ‘must read’ to better understand the history and origins of Wicca.

 

Margot Adler is a well respected author of Drawing Down the Moon: Witches, Druids, Goddess-Worshippers, and Other Pagans in America that focuses on pagan religions, not just Wicca.

 

The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess: 20th Anniversary Edition by Starhawk, I feel, is a bit outdated, but was one of the first books I read on the subject. I like her other books that delve deeper into the psychological processes of religion/spirituality for healing. This is why I put it on my ‘must-read’ lists.

There are other books, of course, but I feel these are the best for starting out on the subject.

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Individual Energies and Power of Self

211174952223860_0nBoRR9K_cWhen you start out learning about magical practices and so forth, you will find a number of ‘this-is-how-it’s-done’ tone in the books. Sometimes even priests or priestesses might take that stand as well, but also consider that you are an individual, and the universe is not ‘one-size-fits-all’.

People’s energies are different. Take, for example, mercury in retrograde. This is when magic and workings are said to go a bit haywire. Things might not work out as planned. I, however, found no difference in my life or actions. Perhaps I can blame the fact I embrace being a bit haywire myself. My energies might work very well under these conditions, while someone who is more structures will find frustration.

Your emotions play a part. As emotional beings, we understand that how we deal with the world can impact our lives. Anger and stress can lead to heart issues, bad habits, and overall poor health. It affects sleep and how we deal with situations. Those who have fears and insecurities may manifest all sorts of bad things, including sickness, just by letting those fears get the better of them Face those fears, scrutinize and understand so you may better understand your Self will help master your own Life.

Its essential to understand who we are and why we do the things we do. This is perhaps the single most important lesson a pagan should master- mastering of the Self. We need to recognize our darker Self, the fears, hate, anger, and other emotional much that holds us back (or holds us down). We also need to recognize our strengths, self worth, and  empowerment to work through issues as they come into our lives.

Recognize those difference in others. Just as we’re fine with certain things, other people are not. I don’t judge others who might be uncomfortable with going skyclad, or they’re shy around groups. I can only gently nudge them towards finding their strength and courage, or respect that in their personality.

Just as we learn about ourselves, we can also learn to sense what works and what doesn’t. Its not mercury in retrograde or even moon phases that affects my magic as much as self-doubt and my moods.

What do you think? Have you recognized things about yourself that you later overcame? Are you sensitive of others in groups to recognize the differences? Are those differences accommodated? What are your thoughts on individual energies? Post in comments.

Book of Shadows BindersBook of Shadows Assignment: Journal about your own energies, and what affects them the most. Is it weather, moon phases, other people, or other elements in your life? Add how you can overcome or deal with that.