Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Beware Mercury in Retrograde

Mercury is currently in retrograde, and will be until the middle of next month. Not surprisingly, the problems are already coming. One of my main clients is experiencing technical difficulties, my computer keyboard is all jacked up, I'm having trouble finding a doctor for my mother's sciatica, for follow ups on my son's broken leg, my plants are dying (well, that's partially my husband's fault for not watering them when I was away, but i'm sure Mercury in retrograde is making it that much harder to revive them). To top it off, I've got a bit of writer's block to boot.-- things just aren't flowing. 

 Even if you're not that into astrology, Mercury retrograde is something you should pay attention to. It can make your life a whole lot easier if you are on top of things. 

My Tip for You Today (and until June 11, when Mercury finally goes out of retrograde): just be careful.

This is not a good time to start new projects, or rush any major projects to finish. This is not the best time to start your senior thesis or your great American novel, it's not the best time to dive into kitchen renovations or building an addition onto the home. If you started before Mercury went into retrograde, proceed with caution and try not to finish them up just now.  Double, triple, quadruple check things you're wrapping up.

Avoid buying major electronics like computers or cars-- you have a much better chance of ending up with a real lemon that's constantly breaking down.

Avoid signing any contracts or making any deals- and if you must, be extra extra careful to ensure everything is clear, that every i is dotted and every t is crossed. This is a time when communications tend to go awry. 

Speaking of communications, try to be careful with conversations, be wary of mixed messages or miscommunications that can lead to arguments. If you feel like a conversation with someone isn't going right, just stop, back up, go slowly and carefully, perhaps postpone it till next month.  

Travel is also challenging during Mercury retrograde. If you can't put it off, be really on top of plans and safety-- it's not a good time to take chances or to assume things will go smoothly. In fact, it's better to assume they won't.

As for magic-- yes, Mercury retrograde even affects that. It's a bad time to perform magic to instigate new major changes in your life. Any kind of curses or hexes are more likely to backfire and affect you in some way. Things have a way of not working out as planned, so being vague when casting spells during this period can be a big mistake.

For example, you might cast a spell to eliminate all your debts; next week you go to the mailbox and find a letter from the IRS stating there was a mistake on your taxes and you owe them $1995, and that if you don't pay it they're going to garnish your wages. Well, you wanted to eliminate your debts, right? 

Beware Mercury-- remember, he's the trickster God.

But it's not all bad-- really it's not. There are some good things about Mercury retrograde, too. If you know how to utilize it, it can be a powerful tool. But that's for tomorrow's entry.

How is Mercury treating you during this retrograde period?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Try Not to Get 'BOS Envy'

You know penis envy? Supposedly women are jealous of men for having a penis, according to Sigmund Freud. Sometimes men get accused of 'penis envy' too, because when they compare themselves to other men or their girlfriend's ex-boyfriends, they might feel they're falling short... or not measuring up... or whatever metaphor you can think of for 'shortcomings' that doesn't sound like a bad pun.

Well, in Wicca, there seems to be a new epidemic, particularly among the new and eager starters. I call it 'Book of Shadows Envy.' This is when a Wiccan thinks that other Wiccans must have these massive, cool-looking BOS's that look like something out of Charmed or Practical Magic or something. 

The truth is, some people keep very simple BOS's that contain all the pertinent information in the most clear and concise form. Totally no-frills. Some people are more artistic and like to get decorative (raising my hand sheepishly-- "Hi I'm Sage, and I'm a Scrapaholic; my scrapbooking habit has seeped into all areas of my life: my wallet, my wall art, my computer, and even my BOS).

Inevitably, the longer you're Wiccan, the longer your BOS is going to get, but size is not necessarily an indication of a book being better or more important. For example, there are people who are so obsessed with making their BOS look big and witchy, they print and stuff the most irrelevant, useless stuff into it, just to point to it and say it's there. 

My Tip for You Today: Remember, it's not about the size of it, it's what you can do with it.

As long as the info in there is relevant to you and your specific spiritual path, then that's all you need. Don't worry about it being too small, too plain, or too empty. Empty is good... empty pages are potential. 

Whatever you do, don't buy some 300 page book from the internet plagiarizing every Pagan publication and witch fiction in history, and don't spring for individual BOS pages or sections that someone else made. The whole point of the book is to fill it with personal information that's pertinent to what you've learned on your spiritual journey. Don't pay someone else for their creation-- a BOS should not be a commercialized copy. 

Make it your own, start small, put a lot of love into it, and it will flourish.

Do you worry that your BOS isn't what you think it should be? 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Put Away the Besom

There isn't a besom big enough for all the sweeping generalizations that get made about other religions. You hop around on different religious forums, read books by religious people, eavesdrop in on different religious groups/organizations, you might be shocked what you hear. 

  • Wiccans are all either fat, socially awkward teen girls or middle-aged dumped divorcees who live with a herd of cats.
  • Christians are ignorant, obnoxious, discriminating and oppressive.
  • Jews are cheap and only look out for themselves.
  • Pagans are all degenerates who just don't want to be accountable for their actions. 
  • Muslims are women haters (even the women) and they all secretly applaud terrorism.
  • Christians all want us to convert and submit to their God, to make all countries theocracies, and to abolish things like science and homosexuality
  • Satanists would kill people if they thought they could get away with it.

It's enough to make you want to pull your hair out of your head. The funny thing is, even people who recognize those kinds of unfair judgments against their own religion will turn around and be judgemental about people of other religions. 

My Tip for You Today: Put away the besom... at least the one that makes sweeping generalizations. 

Remember that those broad-brush strokes are never intellectually honest; they are the root of prejudice, fear and hate. 

If you have a problem with this kind of thinking, it doesn't make you a bad person. It's understandable; no one is perfect. We all have those mental filters that shade our thinking and judgements. The trick is, accepting that it's a mistake, and trying to change it.

Don't allow yourself to justify those thoughts by telling yourself, Well, (group X) people have always been mean to me and treated me badly, so all people of (group X) must be mean. 

Imagine if someone said that about your religious group? About Wiccans? What would you tell them? You might say something like, "I'm sorry that Wiccans treated you badly, and that was wrong... but we're not all like that." 

Yes, that's some sound advice... now learn to use it on yourself. Not for the group you dislike, but for yourself, your own peace of mind, to bring yourself some clarity and find peace within your own heart. 

Only then can you find balance.

Are you aware of any mental filters that color your thinking about people of other religions?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Announcement: My New Writer's Page on Facebook

I finally put up a Facebook writer's page so that anyone who wants to keep up with my writings in various places, or what's going on with my writings and teachings, can check it out. 

If you use Facebook, please drop by, friend me, like me, drop me a comment or share with your friends & groups who you think might like my writing. 

Tips for Living Wicca: Get Off Your Magical High Horse

Okay, so it's not really a high horse, but there has been a topic that seems to keep coming up for me over the last couple of weeks. 

Seems a lot of people, especially Wiccans, have some very clear-cut ideas of magic being 'white/light' or 'black/dark'. They're very quick to judge others doing what they deem 'black/dark' magic. They have knee-jerk reactions to words like hexing, cursing, revenge or binding. Heck, they even have  big issue with magic for 'personal gain', as if it's wrong to want to have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your rent is covered, your pantry is full and your bills are up to date.

Say anything about your magic that isn't completely 'white-lighter' and these people launch into their big schpiel about how the Rede says 'harm none' and the Threefold Law will send it back to you and how you're a disgrace to the Wiccan community or  whatever.

There's simply too much to go into here on my opinion on all these things. I've written extensively about them on my Hub pages on why I disagree with this perspective, and what I really think of such opinions. If you're interested, please feel free to read, comment, share, spread it around:
But I'm trying to make a more succinct point here, so let me just remind you that morality and ethics are complex issues.

Let' me ask you  this-- if a guy were trying to molest a child, would you grab a bat and try to stop him? Would you punch him in the face to get him off the child?

If so, do you think that's unethical? If you think it's fine to attack a child molester, then why would it be wrong to curse one or bind one? You might actually stop him before he strikes again. Why wouldn't you do everything in your power to stop him? 

Could you face his next victim and say you could have stopped him, but didn't, because it would be 'dark'?

If your broke friend needed work, would you cast a spell to help her get a job? You want to help, right? Does it occur to you that someone else in need of  a job (maybe even more in need) is going to remain unemployed because you manipulated that process with your spell?

Whenever you do magic, you are taking it upon yourself to manipulate things. For one person to gain, someone else has to lose. It is just the way of it.

My Tip for You Today: Don't be judgemental over other people's magical choices and ethics.

I'm not saying go hog wild throwing death curses at people who look at you wrong... but don't oversimplify ethics, either. If you really like to color-code magic, then realize this: almost all magic is gray. 

White magic is really only for the highest, most divine purposes, and black magic is really only for the most petty, selfish people who would hurt others for pleasure. 

The rest is all gray:

  • Cast a spell for money? Gray-- someone lost it for you to find it.
  • Cast a spell to help you find an apartment? Gray-- someone else needing a place to live didn't get it. Perhaps the former resident was prompted to move out because of you.
  • Cast a spell to get a great deal on a car? Gray-- the salesman gave you such a great deal that he got practically nothing for commission, and he is a widower with 5 children who need braces more than you need a brand new car. 
  • Cast a healing spell on your 97 year old grandfather who broke his hip? Gray-- instead of moving on, as he was prepared to do, you are keeping him lingering for years in terrible pain and poor health as his savings is depleted by medical bills.
  • Cast a spell to help you find love (no targets, just a general call out)? Gray-- that girl you met ran into her soul mate the day after your first date, but she turned him down because she's got such a strange attraction to you.
You definitely need to take responsibility for your magic and consider ethics, but don't be on one of those high horses, as if you never manipulate things, as if your magic never affects other people negatively. 

And if someone else does what they think they need to do, don't judge-- for all you know, that woman who cursed her ex-boyfriend for harassing her stopped him before he went on to the next step and beat the crap out of her.

How black & white do you see ethics and morality about magic?

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Honor the Goddess and God (part 13 of '13 Goals of a Witch)

Continuing with this series of Scott Cunningham's '13 Goals of a Witch':

XIII: Honor the Goddess and God

This is actually optional in my opinion. Why? Because not all Witches believe in Gods and/or Goddesses, aaand I'm not going to judge. A Dianic Witch may not honor a God. A Christian Witch may not honor a Goddess. An atheist or deistic Witch might not honor deity at all.

But, Cunningham was Wiccan, and this is a Wiccan blog-- so obviously, Wiccan Witches should honor Goddess and God (in whatever forms they see Them in). 

What do deities have to do with magic? Wiccans are a religious people, we are a spiritual people, and the Gods are entwined with our lives. Witchcraft is a spiritual art, and leaving your Gods out of your practice would be a bit like leaving your kids behind on a family vacation.

Your deities should simply be part of your life-- involved. There's no reason to try and separate them from your Witchcraft. 

My Tip for You Today: Involve your deities in your Witchcraft

Pray for guidance when planning a spell-- you'd be amazed at how wise they are about such things.

Invoke them when casting a spell, ask them to lend their power -- divine energy gives a powerful boost to any working.

Ask for their blessings on your work, to help you work magic efficiently. 

And of course, don't forget to thank Them when they do help.

Are your deities involved in your


And this concludes the series of posts on Cunningham's '13 Goals of a Witch'. I hope you've enjoyed it, and I hope to do more entries like this, going over popular liturgy, in the future. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Meditate (part 12 of '13 Goals of a Witch)

Continuing with this series of Scott Cunningham's '13 Goals of a Witch':

XII: Meditate

There we are -- the 'm' word. I'm sure many of you are fine with that and nodding along... and others are cringing. Some common sentiments are:

- I hate meditation
- I can't meditate
- Meditation is hard and I never do it right
- I can never find the time to meditate
- I don't think I really need to meditate to practice the Craft, do I?

Some people have this big idea of what meditation is-- like this state of pure, deep trance, where your mind is entirely clear, you're aware of nothing. you're still as a stone, etc. 

Yeah, that's probably your problem-- you have unrealistic ideas about meditation, and then you're putting all these unrealistic expectations on yourself to live up to these unrealistic ideas. Meditation is really not as complex as it sometimes sounds-- when you are 'zoned out' watching TV, driving, drawing, polishing the silver or fully engaged in any particular task, etc., you are meditating. When you are reflecting or sitting in quiet contemplation, you are meditating. When you get lost in fantasies, you are meditating.

If you're adept at the Craft, but claim you don't meditate, you probably do meditate-- just not in a deliberate way that you recognize as meditation. There are different types of meditation: basic, transcendental, mindful, moving, creative visualization, etc. Ideally you should find the one that works for you. 

But this isn't an entry on how to meditate; it's an entry considering why Witches should meditate... and that answer is, it is to your benefit to have control over your  mind and states of consciousness to practice Witchcraft effectively, and meditation helps you do that.

Of course, if you believe Witchcraft is nothing but throwing the right ingredients together and saying special words, then this probably won't make sense to you-- you believe the power of the Craft is external. But most practitioners believe the power is from within-- that everything has energy, and it is the Witch's responsibility to use her mind to draw, raise and direct energy. The Witch also needs to transform the inner landscape to prepare herself (or himself) for achieving the goal, and meditation helps your mind learn to change that perspective more quickly and thoroughly.

My Tip for You Today: what else? Meditate.

If you already actively practice meditation, expand your practice by trying different techniques. If you are not actively practicing, begin to do so now-- or give it another shot. If you don't understand or know much about meditating, start learning. 

Meditation is one of those things that has benefits that may seem small to non-existent at first, but the more you build it the more benefits you realize you get out of it. So there is no time like the present to work on this practice in your Craft. 

Do you meditate?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Exercise the Body (part 11 of '13 Goals of a Witch)

Continuing with this series of Scott Cunningham's '13 Goals of a Witch':

XI: Exercise the Body

Right in line with yesterday's discussion of breathing and eating correctly, we come to exercise. To reiterate the point made before, spirit, mind and body are not a heirarchy.

It's not:

It's not even:

What it is, is:

I deliberately set the triquetra askew to show that it's not only one that occupies the top; it could be facing any way-- more importantly than which third occupies the position at the top is the fact that each are equal and all are connected and intertwined.

They are ALL important, and if any one of them are not functioning then it puts you at a disadvantage because it interferes with the other two. 

A lot of Pagans these days (and people in general) will put spirit first. Nothing is more important than your spirit, your spirituality, etc. They might put mind second-- cerebral activities, like studying and memorizing and long discussions and such, are seen as important as well. But those same people who would give good arguments on why you need to nurture your spirit and mind might just let the body go. This is a mistake, one that can bring regret. 

Remember, balance is key. That includes the physical as well as the spiritual.

My Tip for You Today: If you have not been paying attention to your body, begin doing so. 

I'm the first one to understand if you're out of shape or ill and can't jump into some kind of exercise regime (believe me, I know, I have an autoimmune disease that put me in a wheelchair for a year and a half, just stopped needing it a couple of months ago). 

But the goal is not to become a fitness guru; it's about paying attention to your body's needs and doing what you can to help you find that balance. If all you can do is a little light stretching or brief 5-minute walks, then try doing them.

The easy road of course would be to just ignore your body's needs to move when you are too busy or dealing with illness and injury. But is that really balanced? I wouldn't say so. 

Know your limits, while also being honest with yourself about what you can do. Be realistic, but try to bring yourself into that balance, even if you can only make small efforts. 

What's your favorite type of


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Breathe and Eat Correctly (part 10 of '13 Goals of a Witch)

Finally, back to the series of Scott Cunningham's '13 Goals of a Witch':

X: Breathe and Eat Correctly

"Breathe correctly? Like, there's a wrong way to do it?" Was probably my first reaction to that statement way many years ago. 

As it turns out, yes-- there is a wrong way to breathe. And most of us are actually doing it the wrong way. Most people breath more shallowly than they should. This has all kinds of consequences: it signals the brain that there is danger, which keeps us in a state of anxiety and stress. It can contribute to chronic pain, tight muscles, poor posture, imbalance and fatigue. Shallow breaths can raise the pH level of your blood, ultimately effecting how much oxygen your blood delivers to your brain.

As for eating, I probably don't have to explain that one as much. Poor eating habits are positively an epidemic in our society, and contribute to things like obesity, heart disease and diabetes. 

So why does Scott Cunningham care if Witches don't eat or breath correctly? What does it have to do with Witchcraft?

Well, everything. Your physical body is kind of the foundation. Your body is your temple (I'm sure you've heard that one before). It houses your mind and your soul. If your temple is weak, crumbling, or in a complete shambles, don't you think that's going to affect your mind and soul as well? After all, it's all inter-connected, and they're all equally important. 

Yes, equally important. A lot of Wiccans/Pagans might place more emphasis on the soul, or the mind and soul, seeing the body as just a temporary vehicle that takes them through life. But they are all three of equal importance, because if your vehicle isn't capable of making the journey, the passengers fall short and get stranded. 

Think about it-- do you have trouble falling asleep while meditating or studying? Do you postpone rituals or spell work because you have low energy? Do you suffer from things like depression and anxiety, which gets in the way of your ability to experience and enjoy life?

If so, then it's time you start focusing on the body-- and that starts with your breathing and eating. 

My Tip for You Today: Start making small changes to help you eat and breathe correctly. 

Before you do anything else for yourself, before you worry about chores, work, or even rituals and spellwork, put your breath and diet first (I say 'diet' not in the fad/deprivation sense, but in the sense of what you eat on the whole).

Instead of worrying about meditation in the mornings, or that first cup of coffee, get up and breathe deeply through your nose, down into your diaphragm, for about two minutes. Sit up straight and suck in that breath through your nose, or if you can't breathe through your nose, force it through a small hole while you purse your lips. 

Start getting into the habit of stopping for a breathing break every couple of hours, do it as soon as  you get home to help you unwind, and do it before bed time. You will see it makes a difference and that will motivate you to pay more attention to your breath in general. 

Likewise, begin paying more attention to what you eat. You don't have to change to any diet overnight, but if you believe all of nature is sacred, and realize that nature includes your body, then you start to realize that eating junk is the equivalent of throwing your trash into the ocean. Your body is your own personal physical sacred piece of nature-- worry about saving it the way you would worry about saving the rainforest. 

You might start slow-- such as drinking more water, or switching drinks like soda pop and sugary sports drinks out for water, coconut water or herbal teas. You may start to pile more veggies on your plate, or keep them more in their natural state rather than drowning them in chemically laden cheeses and deep fried in fats.

It all starts with just being aware of your body, and that it is nature, and has needs. Foster this awareness and it begins to change your attitude, which motivates changes in behavior.

How are  your breathing and eating habits?

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Pausing for Breath...

It has been an extremely eventful few days for my family.

Last week we took off for a road trip. My husband couldn't go due to work, but me, my teens & adult daughter took off for a Pagan festival in another state about 12 hours away. 

We saw mountains-- scenery that I hadn't seen for years, and that my boys are too young to ever remember seeing. We had long, involved discussions driving into the wee hours of the night through dark and unfamiliar roads. We arrived at the camp out, pitched our tents and reveled in the rustic setting and our Pagan community-- were having a blast.

But it didn't last long. My youngest had an accident. We took him to a local hospital, where an X-ray confirmed he'd broken his leg in several places. We had to be rushed to a hospital in a bigger city an hour away and before dawn cracked he was rushed into surgery. 

Spending the weekend in the hospital, after the surgery, as my baby boy who is bigger than me slept soundly, I did a lot of thinking. I jotted down a lot of ideas and thoughts. I have a lot of topics I want to write about in the near future, both here and on my Hubpages.  

We finally got him home and the first couple of days were very hectic getting in touch with his doctor and setting him up at my mothers house. We both plan to stay here throughout his recovery because he won't be able to climb into his loft bed at home; we thought he'd be more comfortable here. 

The dust finally settled. Last night I caught up on some much missed sleep. I slept for about 12 hours, lol. I'm oddly refreshed, and despite the accident it's been a great experience overall.

I don't have a tip for you today, but a request: please pray for Quintin and a speedy recovery.  

I will resume my regular posting (and the Scott Cunningham "13 Goals of a Witch" series tomorrow). 

For now, I wish you bright blessings.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Attune with the Cycles of the Earth (part 9 of '13 Goals of a Witch)

Continuing with this series of Scott Cunningham's '13 Goals of a Witch':

IX: Attune with the Cycles of the Earth

Ah, yes... the endless cycle of life. The cycle of the seasons. The cycles of life and death. 

Have you ever noticed that the cycles of our lives are mirrored in the cycles of the Earth? 

In the winter the Earth is entombed by the cold and ice, and the seeds lie dormant beneath the ground, just as we slumber within our mother's womb. We are born, we are sheltered and nurtured, awaiting our true awakening.

Just as the buds form on the bough and the small animals begin to creep out of their burrows, we begin moving and reaching and exploring and growing. As the land becomes fertile, we reach puberty and experience the stirrings within ourselves for love and life. We 'sow our seeds' to plan for the future and make preparations. 

Summer is a time of growth and abundance, where the Earth produces, just as in our lives we enter that part of our lives as adults when we are focused on producing a career and a family. All of our past dreams and plans begin to come to fruition (or sadly, die on the vine). 

Autumn is the twilight of the year, just as it is the twilight of our lives. Our 'fruits' have been plucked-- our children have fled the coop, we're ready to retire and relax and enjoy the bounty of our labor. The days grow shorter and shorter, just as our days seem to go by faster and faster, bringing us to that inevitable season of rest. 

And Winter comes, we return to the Earth much like those seeds and animals and other living things. But the tomb is a womb, and we await rebirth. 

A lot of people feel a void these days-- like an emptiness, like something is missing no matter how much wealth they have or how happy they are with their family. That void is, I believe, that connection to nature. When people fall out of synch with the Earth's natural rhythms it's like being a helium balloon that's lost it's tether and is floating aimlessly through space. It's so easy to forget, when our feet are planted on concrete and we sleep under a tarred roof at night and do our work under artificial lights, and it gives us a feeling of unease. 

When you begin attuning with the Earth's cycles, you begin to feel grounded again, you begin to feel connected again. It's all pretty awesome to remember that we are not IN nature... we are OF nature.

My Tip for You Today: Get in tune with the Earth's cycles. 

There's a lot of great ways to do this. One sure-fire way is to begin observing the Sabbats. If like I do you live in a part of the world where the traditional Wheel of the Year does not match up with your own agricultural cycle, tweak it.

Gardening is another great way to do this... watching the plants rise and fall puts you in harmony with the local cycles. Even if you just grow a few herbs in pots, you'll begin to see the connections and notice the subtle changes in the light and air as time passes. 

If you can't garden, make it a point to get out in nature-- monthly hikes through a nature preserve, or seasonal camping trips. Even just taking a walk through your own neighborhood once a week-- be observant, open your awareness to what's around you. 

Begin getting into routines-- spring cleaning, autumn repairs. Stock up the pantry for the winter, open the windows and let yourself get lazy for the summer. 

Are you in tune with the cycles?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Celebrate Life! (part 8 of '13 Goals of a Witch)

Continuing with this series of Scott Cunningham's '13 Goals of a Witch':

VIII: Celebrate Life!

Allegedly, one of the big mysteries of the Universe is, "What is the purpose of life?"

I myself do not believe that it's that big a mystery. I think I have found the key and unlocked this great secret. Come closer, and I will share with you the answer...


closer... that's right.

The purpose of life, dear friend, is to live.

Can it be that simple? I think so. Life is an endless parade of experiences: the highs and lows, the ups and downs. The joys and pains, the beauty and the ugliness. In every moment there is a blissfully profound experience, a lesson to be learned. 

My Tip for You Today: start celebrating. 

Life is precious. And it's amazing. No matter how bad things seem to get, in the bigger picture, it's mind-blowing. Overall, it's just a miracle to be part of this existence. 

When you first walk out the door in the morning, take a moment to marvel at the warmth of the sun on your face, or the chill in the air. Turn your eyes up to the beauty of the sky, and inhale the scent of the the new-mown lawn. 

Even in the darkest times, there is some beauty in experience. I remember mourning my father's death, holding on so dearly to the last moments I spent with him, the last precious words we said to each other, the memories of him in my life. 

We have to go back here to the concept of creating your own reality with your own thoughts-- the world is an amazing place. Life is an amazing experience. If you don't see that, then you're looking at it wrong. 

Do you take time to celebrate life 

every day?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Tips for Living Wicca: Keep Your Thoughts in Good Order (part 7 of '13 Goals of a Witch')

Continuing with this series of Scott Cunningham's '13 Goals of a Witch':

VII:  Keep Your Thoughts in Good Order

I hardly know where to begin with this one, there's just so much to talk about here, but I'm going to try and keep it brief and get right to the point. Yesterday we talked about getting your words in good order; the reason for doing that is because it's a major step in getting your thoughts in good order.

One thing that's important to realize for not just Wiccans, but anyone who practices magic: your thoughts shape your reality.

Your thoughts create filters through which you see the world. If you think the world stinks, the world is unfair, the world is Hell, etc., it's not because the world is actually those things. It's because those are the filters you've created for yourself through which you see the world.

Like attracts like; what you have in your life is what thoughts attracted to you-- not just your thoughts, but the thoughts of others.

Even magic is all about projecting your will in the form of energy, and that energy comes from your thoughts-- if you cast a spell to draw love, but then go on to think about how it won't work, how you'll never meet anyone, etc.-- you are sabotaging your own spells with your own thoughts!  

My Tip for You Today: Want to change your life? Change your thoughts.

Changing your conscious thoughts changes all those unconscious filters, and that changes your subjective reality. 

A lot of people who are unhappy with life or never satisfied or always having problems think it's the other way around. They're waiting for the world to change, or other people to change-- they think when all this external stuff changes, then maybe they can be happy or more productive. 

The reality of it, though, is that the change has to start internal, with your own thoughts. When you change your thoughts, you change your reality. Then the way you interact with your reality creates a ripple effect that changes the external things.

I'm going to be blunt here, not to hurt feelings but in hopes that the message gets through to those who need it: if you are in denial of this concept, and keep coming up with a lot of excuses or 'buts' and such-- then I can't help you. Wicca isn't going to help you. Witchcraft won't help you. Even the Gods can't help you. 

The changes start within... and that starts with your thoughts. Stop making excuses, there are none that will make it better. If you want to change your reality, change your thoughts.

Do you have trouble keeping your thoughts in order?

Tips for Living Wicca: Keep Your Words in Good Order (part 6 of '13 Goals of a Witch)

Continuing with this series of Scott Cunningham's '13 Goals of a Witch':

VI: Keep your words in good order.

Words have power. Not that they have inherent power; they are arbitrary after all. But the meanings we personally ascribe to words can have a powerful grip on us when we hear words.

Think about it-- what happens to a child being raised in a home where the parent's are always saying negative things? I'm not even talking verbal abuse; I mean let's say they're just 'glass half empty' kind of people. They focus on the negative:
- Dinner was okay, honey, except you burned the edges of the burgers a bit. 
- You never listen to what I say, you never do what you're supposed to do.
- I can't take living with this ugly old furniture anymore.
- I see you made your bed. Well, that's good, but I wish you would have changed the sheets first. 

Would it be any surprise if the child grew up to be a negative person? The kind of person who is never really satisfied? The kind of person who always finds something wrong with everything? 

Think about your own patterns of speech now:
- do you express pessimism frequently?
- do you frequently use words like can't, don't, won't, not?
- do you complain a lot? Do you spend a lot of time talking about complaints (like hanging around the water cooler talking about how the company sucks, or hanging out with friends telling them how your parents and teachers suck?)
- do you spend a lot of time talking about your problems? Do you rehash them over and over to different people, or with the same person?

So what kind of a mind does that reflect? And how is that working out for you?

The most beautiful spiritual rituals and rites and experiences cannot overcome a negativity unless you're willing to make change. And what negativity can do to your magic? Forget about it. So that change begins with changing your words.

My Tip for You Today: Start getting your words in better order. 

First off, if you are an unhappy (angry, pessimistic, etc.) person, I highly recommend you read a book on NeuroLinguistic Programming (NLP)... or at least surf around the internet reading some articles about it. It will be an eye opener, I assure you. 

Okay, so here is what I want you to do for the next couple of weeks: only have positive things to say. Going with the examples above, you might say:
- Dinner was delicious honey; the meat was seasoned really well.
- I really appreciate it when you pay attention to me when I'm talking and do what I ask.
- I love this old furniture, it's so comfortable and cozy.
- You made your bed? That's wonderful! Tomorrow I'll teach you how to change the sheets, too!

Even if you don't believe something is good, or can't find something good in a situation, say it anyway. If you start speaking more positively, a funny thing starts to happen-- it's like brain-washing yourself into being more positive. You'll start feeling more positive, you'll start looking at things more positively, and suddenly-- like magic -- things will seem more positive.  

Do you have a tendency to use negative speech patterns?