Initiation musings

I was reading an excellent post on how you don’t have to be initiated and reasons why working solitary is great this morning and I started thinking about how every so often you see the round of “Do you have to be initiated to be a witch?”

I have worked in both non-hierarchical, non initiated groups and initiated, hierarchical groups. I’ve also been solitary. I’ve been around the witchy block as it were.

I’ve written before about initiation and how powerful it can be. I understand the yearning to feel like you are part of something. However, people need to think about the reason they want it and sit with that feeling to figure out if it is actually the right course of action for their spiritual path.

I had a friend who wanted to be initiated. She was determined to have someone else do it to have that experience and rushed into it. A very chaotic, disorganized person agreed to initiate them and it did not go the way they had hoped. Over the course of the next year she was very unfocused, could not settle, and was frustrated. She finally said to me one day “I think I made a mistake in having so and so initiate me”

When you are initiated you share energy. This is not something to do lightly. It is not something to rush. You want to really be sure you want this, be sure of the reasons for why you want this and be prepared to do the work. Research groups and their style of worship. Ask questions, learn all you can. Many groups have a dedication period first and that allows you to spend a year working with them to figure out if your energy meshes, if you like the people, if you like the way they work, if their group’s style actually works with your belief system and so on.

Be aware that not everyone is going to be on the same page as you. Not all witches are the same, not all covens or groups worship the same, sometimes it will take time to find the people that work with you. Don’t let someone else rush you into making a decision either. This is something that should mean something to you. Give it the time it deserves.

Initiation can be an amazing and powerful experience, but with it also comes a cleaning of the spiritual closet and a changing in your energies around you. You are putting an intention out into the universe and have to be prepared for the possibility of change.

It also doesn’t have to be done by another witch. There are many rituals out there to walk you through initiating yourself. If you aren’t sure of the groups around you and are sure it is the step you wish to take, then maybe self-initiation is the way to go. You can then create a ritual that really speaks to you and is going to work for the path you are on.

You also don’t have to be initiated to practice. Don’t let books, or blogs or other people make you feel your faith is lacking because you walk a different path. If you are satisfied and feel spiritually fulfilled then ignore anyone who tries to make you feel less. Your path is yours, walk it the way that feels right to you.

 

 

Warrior Meditation

I used this meditation on the new moon. I wrote it in my ritual space and then shared it with my friends in circle. Feel free to use it in your rituals, I just ask that if you are sharing or posting about it then please credit my blog.

Set up your sacred space in whatever manner works best for you. We placed scarves over our heads and everyone got comfortable on the ground. Pause where you need to in the meditation to give more time for each step.

Feel yourself relax into the floor. Visualize roots coming out of your body and working their way deep into the earth. Let your roots reach down to the core of mama earth. Feel her dark, moist, energy. Pull some of that up into your body, let it soak into your skin and fill you with cool earth energy.

Reach up to the sky and find the warm, bright sky energy. Send branches up from your body and connect with the sky. Pull some of that warm, light energy down into your body. Let it soak into your skin and fill you.

Swirl the earth and sky energy around in your body. You are connected above and below.

Now that you are full of that energy, visualize yourself in your safe place. You are comfortable there, you are safe. Relax into your space.

After a short while a guide appears in front of you. This guide may be a person, an animal, some sort of other being. You know you are safe with them. They are here to help you on your journey.

They lead you out into the darkness. The darkness turns into a path and it leads you through a forest. You can hear the quiet sounds of birds and the wind. Even though it is dark, your guide is able to help you down the path without issue.

The path leads you out of the trees and onto a beach. The sky is dark above you, and the lake is large. The water softly laps at the shoreline. With no moon out the stars twinkling above are the only light.

Your guide gently pulls you down the beach and you follow. Ahead you see a large bonfire. You head towards it and sit down in the cool sand in the ring of light. The flames are bright and warm and the crackling fire is soothing. You breathe deeply and relax.

A small table appears next to you and on it are many jars and bottles. Each one holds a different colored powder or creamy paint. Your guide pulls a mirror out and holds it up for you. You gaze at your reflection and your guide whispers to you “It is time to prepare” They explain to you that this is face paint. Warrior paint. You reach for a bottle and you open it. Your fingers seem to know what to do and they dip in and begin to paint your symbols on your face.

The symbols you put on your skin are yours. Your power symbols that remind you of the warrior within. Your guide speaks to you as you prepare and may warn you of challenges upcoming, or give advice on how to handle a situation. You listen and paint. As your fingers glide over your skin you know you are strong. You are fierce, powerful and beautiful. You are a warrior and you can do anything.

You finish up and stare at your reflection. Memorize your symbols. They are sacred to you. The paint on your skin begins to soak in and vanish from sight. You know it is there. When you need it you can call it out. You know that no matter what comes you have the strength, the power, the abilities to do whatever you  need to do.  You can handle anything.

Your guide nods and tucks the mirror away. You stand, stretch and feel the power within you. The fire begins to die down and dim. Your guide leads you back to the water’s edge and you stare out over the dark water. Once again you think of your symbols and feel them under your skin. Filled with your strength and power you turn and head back to the path.

Your guide leads you through the forest and back to your safe space. You pause there to reflect and prepare yourself to come back to the world.

Slowly, you begin to send the extra sky energy back up through the branches to the heavens. You feel the light energy gently work its way up from your body to where it came from. Slowly, you send the earth energy down to the center of the earth through your roots. As you send the energy up to the sky and down to the earth you become more aware of your body. You feel the ground beneath you, you feel your breath, you can hear the noises of the room you are in. Gently you become more present, coming back to this realm. With each breath you become more aware.

When you feel fully in your body, stretch lightly and then open your eyes. Sit up slowly and process your thoughts. When you feel ready, stand up and stretch.

 

 

New Moon weekend & Lent

Friday night I had a friend come over and I spent some time doing some healing work on her. We worked on aligning her chakras, we smoothed out her aura and unblocked some energy and worked on some breathing exercises. She left feeling much better and I felt better because I could help her.

I heard about the binding spell going around the net, but I had other plans for the weekend already. I appreciate what people are working towards, I’ll just help in my own way. I also think that we can’t condemn those who do work on that spell. I saw some angry posts about the 3 fold law and all that. Everyone makes a choice. If someone wants to do a spell, then rock on, do your thing. Just make sure you have your ducks in a row so you are taking care of yourself. That is my take on it.

Saturday I prepped for my new moon ritual. I sat and let myself channel some mantras and ideas for the meditation.  Sunday I had a small circle of women over and we enjoyed some baby snuggles and then headed down to create sacred space. I think everyone enjoyed themselves, it was great to have people open up, share, and connect. Perhaps this is how I will be serving in my role as priestess. I plan to host another New Moon ritual next month. We spent our time doing a meditation to empower ourselves with warrior spirit so that we can go out in the world and be fierce and strong.

The world is currently a crazy place. Empowering ourselves is an excellent way to balance the crazy.

The 21 day Stay Sacred practice I was working on has come to an end. It was a fabulous time and I met many great people. It has inspired me to work on my daily practices. I was doing so well at taking 10 minutes for myself, and I could tell in my mood that it made a difference. When I got lazy and stopped taking that tiny bit of time I got cranky and tired again. It is amazing how a small amount of time sinking into your sacred space can make a huge impact. It also let me work on making my sacred space. I’ve been slowly creating my temple space (away from small hands and eyes), and I have ideas for the future.

Lent is also coming up this week. We always observe it since my husband is Catholic. We talked about it in advance this year and we’ll do our usual thing of trying to eat better and be healthy, but we are also going to give up screen/device time between 6-8pm every night. This will allow us to really be present for dinner and the bedtime routine etc. I’m looking forward to unplugging and it will help us work on eating mindfully. This tiny sacrifice will give us more family time. I look forward to it. Do you celebrate Lent? Do you practice sacrifice or do you do something else?

Mid-fall update

Time is chugging along. What have I been doing?

The little dude can’t have dairy or soy so I have cut all of that from my diet. Between that and breastfeeding I am now 7 lbs away from my pre-pregnancy weight 5.5 months after giving birth. That’s fabulous, but I’ve had people lecture me about trying to get in shape too quickly and I’m left saying “I didn’t do anything, it all fell off”

And it is true. I am not doing anything extra, just my 10 mins of yoga and then lugging around an 18 lb baby. (Giant baby) I’m doing my best to eat a ton to keep up with it all, but these things happen. People need to chill.

The house is slowly being baby proofed as the little dude can wiggle and squirm his way all over pretty easily. We’ve been planning out the changes to the garden and we are looking forward to getting our Canada 150th anniversary tulips in the ground.

The tween has requested a Halloween costume so I have started work on that. I still don’t know what I am going to wear, but I’ll figure something out. The little dude’s costume was ordered and has arrived and we can’t wait to dress him up.

I’ve been writing rituals and mentally preparing for the next few months of spiritual work. I have ideas, I just need to sit down and take time for myself to get them done. Organization is important. Samhain is approaching quickly so I need to get that prep work done.

I hope everyone else is having a lovely fall!

 

Prepping for Mabon

The wheel is turning and some of these mornings have really felt like Fall! My coven mate and I met up to discuss admin/organizational things a few weeks ago. At that time I said “Well eventually I should get back out into the community to get to know people and have them get to know us” So of course the universe listened because now I am running the Mabon ritual for a community Mabon.

I kept it simple. Rather then doing a full Wiccan circle I am going to create sacred space with the help of everyone there. Getting people involved is fun and I hope it makes people feel more connected.

I have cleaned out space in the basement so that we can ritual without disrupting the hubby and the little dude. Eventually I will get a throw rug and privacy screens to make the space pretty, but for now we’ll pull a table out and ritual on the cement floor.

I’m excited to be back in the swing of things spiritually. I tried to keep doing some things while pregnant, but there was so much more going on in our life so it was difficult. And I think it was important to take that time to look inward and focus on the changes I was going through.

My plan is to not take any students on until next year, but I am aware that sometimes things happen. So I haven’t set anything in stone. I have some re-writing to do of things and organizing to do for the group and then there is that whole figuring out my time management for house stuff too.

The little dude is growing so fast. He’s already 4 months. Watching him learn things is so fascinating. I try not to post too many photos of him on Instagram, but there is the occasional one. He’s such a good little dude, we really are blessed. His big sister adores him and is really excited when she gets to have a cuddle with him. On one of our trips she fell asleep in the back seat holding his hand. My heart melted. So much love.

I hope you all are doing well and are getting ready for the changing of the seasons!

 

Blessings

It is hard to believe it has been almost 9 weeks since I gave birth. People keep asking me if its like I expected it to be. I don’t really know what to tell them, I had no expectations going into this. Every child is different and every day is a new adventure.

I can say that we are so in love with our little boy. He is such an amazing little person. Listening to him try to copy the things we say is adorable. Watching his smile makes me smile. The hubby says he loves to watch us look at each other because there is so much love.

I hope to teach him all about different religions. I want him to explore and find the spirituality that fits with him. Yes, he’ll learn about my faith, but he’ll also go to church with Nana, we’ll explore other spiritual paths together and when he’s ready I hope he finds a faith that fills him with peace and joy.

The hubby and I have discussed different traditions we hope to build, traditions from our families we hope to blend and in the end we’ll hopefully have fun and meaningful things for our holidays.

I am feeling blessed in what we have. I give thanks for how things have worked out so far. I give thanks for the wonderful team that helped bring this little person into the world safely.

I haven’t had much chance to do things just for me. The few times I have managed to go and enter sacred space are few, but I have had a chance to do so. I am hopeful that I can get back into a regular routine with my spirituality.

I have ideas on how to build my temple space, it will just take time. And figuring out how to keep it private from the tween eyes will be a bit of a challenge, but I think I can do it. I’m also hopeful about the community of my coven and how we will grow. I will plant all these thoughts and blessings and do my best to water them daily with my gratitude.

 

 

Still here

Every day for the last 2 weeks people have been calling, emailing or popping their heads into my office. “Still here?” they ask. Yes, yes I am still here and yes I am still full of baby.

Our official due date was May 14th so I am sure we will soon be meeting this little squirmy person. It has been interesting to me to see who has been so excited about this baby and who hasn’t been. Some of the faculty here have been crazy excited, and many of them were men. I wasn’t really expecting that, but it is cool.

My coworkers have been super supportive and wonderful. Even on the days I lean back in my chair and stare at the ceiling for chunks of time. I’ve taken many walks through the halls, visited the ice machine in our kitchens over and over, and had students and staff stop me to talk about the baby.

I have been very lucky. No one has invaded my space, no one has tried to touch me without my approval and while yes, there has been a lot of advice and many stories, it wasn’t as bad as I worried it would be.

I am missing having a spiritual/friend community, but I understood some time ago that I will not have the large and wonderful friend group and community here I had back home. At this point I think I’d be happy to have a few people in my life that are on the same wavelength that I am spiritual wise. I am sure people will be like “Well its not like you have gone out of your way to do anything” but when moving and making a baby there is only so much energy left over. I tried to make it out to a few events, and I even created a few of my own, and well they didn’t work out the way I had hoped. Such is life when you are the newcomer.

I’m not sure how my coven will work out with the baby. It will be a learning process, and we’ll see if I can even get things rolling again. I’ve been a bit focused inwards the last 9 months, but I feel that is appropriate for the journey I was taking.

I have pondered having a Wiccaning for the baby, but then I thought about it. Of the 4 or 5 pagans in town that I would actually want to invite, only 1 or 2 would most likely show up. People seem to have crazy schedules and I have had people cancel on me at the last minute many times since I moved here. I suppose I could have one with just myself and maybe family, but I don’t know.  I’ll play that one by ear.

For now I will continue to monitor squirmy mcsquirmster here and try to keep my energy up. I’ve continued to walk and move around a ton, despite how tired it can make me. I haven’t been stretching as much as I probably should, but I hit a point where it started to hurt with all the ligaments moving around or whatever they do. Bodies are weird.

The wee one is not so wee anymore so I’ll have to start calling her the tween. She has been very fascinated by my belly and the baby. It has been adorable watching her tell her dad to stop sassing me or to make me what I want etc because “SHES PREGNANT DAD” It makes us all giggle.