Happy Easter!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

For me, growing up, Easter was definitely more about the Easter Bunny than anything else. I always looked forward to that visit where I'd wake up in the morning to a great big basket full of treats and then a big family dinner later where I could sit down and visit with loved ones.

Now, as an adult, Easter is less about bunnies and baskets and more about, well, renewal. I can remember several times as a child where Easter was supposed to signal spring and instead, Easter morning brought along a cold, gray day with snow. However, not long after that, the snow was gone and instead was replaced by lovely spring flowers, green grass and leaves on trees.

Despite whatever your religious leanings, Easter is about renewal. Many look to Jesus as resurrection, others simply view this as spring, a time of change, a time for inner reflection.  And for me, that is what it's about, a time to change, a time to reflect and plant seeds of growth for the rest of the year, a time to think about what is important to you and your soul and what will help you change and grow yourself, well into the dark part of the year.

However you choose to see the day, enjoy it!

God, Death and Grief

Monday, March 26, 2018

I'm not sure if my readers remember me posting about losing my mom to a car accident back in 2014. I think the worst of my grief is over but the grief isn't really over. I don't think grief is something that people can overcome so quickly, even if the relationship with the deceased was a complicated one. Every season, every life event, every normal day brings up something that makes you think of your loved one and you have to deal with the loss all over again, in different ways and in different varying degrees of pain.

This weekend, there was a pretty serious accident involving a teenage girl and another vehicle that hit her head on. Her car caught fire and she was pulled from the wreckage by two passerby and later rushed to the hospital with serious injuries. She will need several surgeries but, as of now, seems she will make it. Her family has been posting updates on FB and many people are stepping forward to offer their thoughts and prayers, many other good intention people are saying, "God was really looking out for her!"

One thing that really irritates me, especially when it comes to people referring to individuals that have been in accidents, especially very serious ones is where people that are offering their thoughts and prayers to said individual, go on to say, "God was really looking out for them!" As someone that struggles with grief and loss of someone in a car accident, hearing that they were simply saved because God was looking out for them in that moment, it implies that your loved one was not saved because God did not deem their worthy of saving or worthy of paying attention to intervene to save them.

In my opinion, I think this further makes the surviving loved one already struggle with their faith, especially in their moment of need. For someone that is grieving, especially after a loved one has died tragically, to hear others lamenting about how great they are that God saved them makes their grief worse. They are now grieving a loved one that they now consider not worthy of divine grace.

While I'm not saying that everyone cannot speak about divine love and intervention. I think it's important to note, to find a new way to say it. A more simple divine praise would suffice, something more general. You never know who is watching/reading/listening and your words, while good intentioned might actually cut someone rather deep, especially someone newly deep into the grieving process.

As someone that believes everyone is worthy, and that sometimes bad things just happen to good (and bad) people, I think it really goes against what the divine is all about.

Offer your prayers and your kind words, but know everyone is worthy.

The Ever Changing Tides of Spirituality

Saturday, March 24, 2018

My spirituality is something that I have struggled with the past few years. It's always been something in the back of my mind over the years, since I first began having my Pagan leanings when young but it was something I turned to quite often and did find some relief in when things were stressful.

Over the years, it's gotten harder and harder to acknowledge the spiritual side of things especially since I've had such a rough few years. I have wanted and craved a deeper spiritual connection to the world around me and to the people around me. It would be great to have a real world sanctuary to attend. There is a local UU fellowship to where I live but I'm not sure that congregation is the right fit for me. However, I have not attended services there so I'm not exactly sure of that.

However, the past few years, I would say I've struggled with my spiritual beliefs greatly. I've wanted a deeper spirituality that offers comfort and texts to offer that comfort when I'm feeling low or stressed. I've sought out things online and sought out spirituality in UU texts which has helped, but of course Unitarian Universalism uses 6 sources to gain inspiration from and that's helpful in times of need because you can turn to any of those sources for help and comfort.

So while I feel I need to say that Paganism isn't at the forefront of my spirituality at this point, I would say it still is something I draw inspiration from. I think it's important to note, I don't have a specific spirituality practice at this time or a certain leaning. I suppose I'm currently in the seeker stage, deciding what calls to my heart at this exact moment.

I have been focusing more on trying to attend CLFUU services online on Sundays to rededicate myself to a weekly spiritual practice. I've also been checking out more virtual places on Second Life to feed my soul.

I think this is why I find Unitarian Universalism to be so important in today's society. It allows seekers or those that find comfort in many sources to do so without feeling as if they are stuck or not believing correctly with their current religion.

I hope this is not upsetting to those that have been reading and following over the years. My mission is still the same, to share spiritual practices and a care and love for the environment in which we live, not to mention justice for those that live in our world. I just happen to find comfort in many spiritual areas and wish to share with others how they can too.

Spring is coming!

Monday, March 6, 2017

I've been noticing a change in the mornings when I'm preparing for work. It's light out! It's a great feeling to wake up and not have it be dark out. It becomes a pain when you're waking every morning to pitch darkness and you're expected to be wide awake. I'm also seeing a return in our local bird population. We've been feeding them the past few weeks and they've definitely began to multiply.

I'm also excited because that means I can start letting the cat outside more with the warmer weather. Yeah, I said cat, I feel as if I forgot to mention that with my current updates. My girlfriend and I ended up getting a cat almost a year ago now when our upstairs neighbors moved. They had had for a few years and I feel thought she was a bit too unruly for them. They ended up with another cat anyway and our feline was particular and always getting into trouble and thrown outside. We fell in love with her because she visited us often, often staying in for the night because we felt bad for her because it was so cold.

She quickly went from being an almost outside the entire time cat, to an inside cat only. Now, we panic whenever she ends up outside. She quickly comes back so far but it makes me uncomfortable to toss her out. We still live in an apartment so I don't have a screened in porch option and I can't make her her own catio, even if I wish I could, so I invested in an KittyWalk from ebay. I'm currently waiting on it to arrive. When it does, I hope I can acclimate her to it easily and get her outside safely to enjoy the weather. I plan on adding to it slowly to give her more space to enjoy being outside.

I'm also ready for Spring because along with the change in season, I feel comes a change of feeling the need for renewal. I feel the change is easy to come by as everything is blooming and coming back for the Summer. It's not hard to make a change or become optimist when everything around you has reached its peak. I have been feeling quite stuck lately which has caused me some stress. We've lived in our current apartment for several years. I'm ready for something bigger, something that's actually ours but it's really hard to come by in this town, especially for a price that we can both afford on our salaries.

I just feel for my age (our age) we should be out by now, onto bigger and better things. It's very constricting and self limiting, as most of the idea is in my own head, but truthfully, I am ready for my own environment. One of which I can change or add to without relying on someone else and without someone else's restrictions. It's discouraging when those who are my age or slightly younger or older have purchased homes and seem to be living happily when I'd just love to have a second bedroom to use as an office! Not to mention more space for the cat to run, hence the KittyWalk that I've ordered. It all just seems like a crazy pipedream that will never happen at this rate.

Hopefully I will get to update you on how the KittyWalk goes in an effort to keep the feline safe.

Snow Healing Spell

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Here in West Virginia, we were slammed with some snow today. It's pretty cold out and it's made travel today sort of interesting. Of course, we're still in winter so in the midst of cold and flu season. Here's a little spell I whipped up for healing.

You will need

  • One white candle (tea light, votive, chime, etc all work) and candle holder if needed
  • A bowl or other safe container to place snow in
  • Snow
  • Oil of your choice if you choose to use it

For this spell, collect fresh, untouched snow. So walk to an area of your yard where no one has walked in the snow. Scoop some up and take it inside and place it on your altar.

Ground and center yourself and then pick up the container of snow. Hold it in your hands and visualize the illness penetrating the snow. Continue this until you're tired,  or until you feel like it's enough. 

Place the snow back on your altar and if using an oil, anoint your candle and place it inside the container of snow. Visualize yourself healthy, how you'd feel if your illness were not there or an issue. See yourself happy and relaxed.  When you're ready, light the candle and visualize the melting snow taking with it your illness. As the snow melts, so does the illness, your worries, your anxieties, etc.

Leave the snow on your altar to melt and the candle to burn itself out if possible. Once finished, dispose of the water in your sink seeing all of the illness disappearing with it. Don't water plants with this! Throw the candle away.

This can be repeated as much as necessary to achieve your desired affect. 

Finding Pagan Community Online: Second Life

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

When I first joined Second Life several years ago, I was simply looking forward to finding something to do online, a place I could meet people and chat, explore cool looking destinations and generally just put an end to boredom. I had a great time until an aging computer and slow internet put a damper on my parade. I left Second Life and never really thought I'd be back.

I recently purchased a new computer and thought I would get back into Second Life,  see if anything has changed and just spend some time wandering around to see what people have created. I think it's pretty amazing what people can come up with if given the time and money to make it possible. I did not expect to find a very thriving Pagan community in which I could engage with others.

I've been back for a little over a month now and I've found at least three thriving places that always seem to have someone in them. Sacred Cauldron is a Wiccan Seminary School Sim, however they have an open format for rituals. I just participated in a Imbolc ritual the other night with a rather large group of people! Sacred Cauldron has many shrines and worship areas so you can engage with your chosen deities, even if it is in a virtual world! I visit a Kwan Yin Shrine quite regularly and light a little candle.

Mystical Paths is another SIM that just had an Imbolc ritual. All though the turn out was much smaller than the first, I still was able to celebrate and commune with others of like mind through my computer, and engage in a meaningful ritual that I wouldn't otherwise would have had the opportunity. It is smaller than Sacred Cauldron so it is more intimate and it doesn't have as much area to explore, but the people there are wonderful.

While Second Life cannot replace actually face to face communication, and it definitely isn't the same as sitting in front of your altar, lighting some candles and praying, it is an alternative for people that cannot otherwise have those tools or are lacking a group or coven of which to practice. For me, I enjoy being solitary but having a group of like minded people to celebrate with isn't such a bad idea from time to time.

Second Life is free to join and play but there are some items in world that you may have to pay for. Some people join premium to gain land and weekly spending money, others find in world jobs to make up for this. How you choose to play is up to you.

In this time of renewal

Sunday, February 5, 2017

So, to say the past three and a half years have been rough are an understatement. From my grandfather passing, to my mom suddenly dying, I've been pretty stressed, sort of depressed and I suppose a bit anxious.

To top it off, in August, I started getting weird skipped beat type sensations in my chest. This continued, adding a racing heart and panic attacks to the mix. I spent several evenings in the emergency room with no one able to come up with a good explanation for anything before I finally saw a doctor and then a cardiologist who haven't really given me  an explanation for what's going on. I've been medicated for the palpitations, which are still occurring and I'm still seeing the doctors but no one has been able to say much other than, your tachycardia isn't dangerous, or, your body is doing what it needs to do (in reference to the new arrhythmia that I'm experiencing). It's been stressful to say the least.

I've sadly haven't had really any motivation to do much of anything. I haven't for quite some time. Whether that's depression or anxiety or both, I don't know. However, I miss connecting with nature, with the Goddess, with the energy of things around me. I've been trying to make it a point, connecting with the energy of Imbolc with my partner, engaging in a pretty small candle ritual.

We lit some candles and placed our intent in the cauldron in the center of which we later buried them for them to grow.

I've been feeling witchy lately, so I made a purchase and bought some oils and candles for some intentional spells that I feel need to occur. Tonight, I began with the spiritual cleansing candle, anointing it, and lighting in to cleanse me spiritually of past hurts and heavy burdens. I paired this with a healing incense. Later, I will light a healing candle, probably when I am done with the cleansing candle.

I have felt stuck and stagnant for so long, I am hoping that with these tools and some motivation, I can work towards removing those blocks and moving past my hold ups. I have such a tendency to hold things in that I know it's not healthy but it's how I cope. Instead, I think I need more spirituality in my life, which is something that I've felt like I've been lacking for quite some time, especially over the past few years. I've even avoided attending CLFUU services online, something that I used to do pretty regularly. I have missed the connection and I need to actively work towards it more.

Sometimes I feel like I lack community and maybe community is what I need. Sometimes I loathe the idea of community because I am definitely a solitary creature.

I plan to bring this blog back, to blog more about my experiences, my ups and downs and my reconnection to my spiritual side.

Rough Year

Sunday, May 31, 2015

I don't know about everyone else out there, but I've had a rough year. I unexpectedly lost my mom in a car accident in October. Adding that to the stress that I was already experiencing from dealing with the loss of my grandfather and subsequent legal issues surrounding that, I've been a bit depressed and spiritually stuck so to speak.

I haven't had much interest in anything UU lately, or Goddess inspired. It's just been too many blows lately that I'm struggling against.

Then, I get word that I believe the house I had been fighting over, attempting to buy that belonged to my grandparents should be closing this week, so no add the worry of financial trouble on top of everything to the list, it's a little scary. I'm sure I probably can manage but it's a lot to take on considering I can't live in the home full time at this point.Moving back home now, without a good paying job will not be beneficial. I have a good job here now. The house needs a lot of cleaning up and what not, not to mention some work so that is going to add an extra level of stress to the mix.

I just have a lot going on. I'm also attempting a small side business of crafting supplies, so I have that to worry about as well. I am the type to get overwhelmed easily and sometimes I tend to shut down so that's a problem.

I'm hoping that 2015 is better .I'm attempting a vacation next month but I'm worried that taking it after the house closes will just add to my financial worries. Ugh.

Blessed Imbolc!