Small Magics

(Cross-posted with The Catbox).

To paraphrase many notable occultists, Magic is the art of changing consciousness at will.

We all do this, all the time – but unconsciously. We let ourselves be influenced by outside forces, as our attention is moved from one thought to the next.

But when we take charge of our consciousness, with intentional and will-power, we can feel the change happen.

As I walk this path, I often say that Paganism is a constant practice (in the same way that we practice magic). We learn about ourselves and our connections with others, and create change with our thoughts, words and actions.

Today… perhaps a simple change, but to me, a profound one.

I felt myself beginning to slip, to spiral down into the depression. Quickly – time to take action.

Moving is the first step. Sometimes I don’t even get that far, which is why I usually have a book or a knitting project to hand.

Then Doing, something which brings me back to myself, usually through happiness, an activity I enjoy. Alter the negative feeling, grab onto something to stop the spiralling fall.

I distract myself with this, even though the anxiety-voices are telling me that I have things to do, I should be working! But no.

Right now, I’m spending this hour in an indulgent, sweet-smelling Bimble bath. I’m reading a book. I’m washing myself thoroughly, then using pleasant scented Lush oil afterwards. I wrap myself in a soft dressing-gown, and fuss the pups (who’re always glad I survived The Bath).

I can now feel mind and body relaxed. The tension has dissipated, the worried voices gone quiet. I was able to beat it (this time). It’s not always so simple, but I celebrate this victory.

Each win tells me that I can do it, and keep on doing it. Even on the worst days.

I’m now sharing this, cross-posting so that in these small words can themselves be a magic spell, to inspire in turn.

If you need it, feel my hand reaching out to you. We can get through it, dear ones.

Small magics, together.

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The Catbox

I’ve had a lot of new followers lately – so I thought I’d better let you know that the majority of my blogging thoughts go on over here, at The Catbox (because it’s where I keep all of my… erm… randomness!).

I’ve just posted my latest, which was inspired by the sheer amount of wonderful creativity that I’m seeing from individuals right now. So I’ve added my own, while encouraging others (hopefully) and trying to inspire in turn.

This little page is to keep myself reminded daily, of what’s Worth It. What keeps me going. Deeper thoughts go on in other places, but sometimes the little snips here do their thing by being shared as well.

Much love, and welcome to all the newcomers! xx

Love Is…

Realized I forgot to post yesterday. This is due to Being Knackered after Saturday’s travelling and speaking adventures!

Today, I’m still so tired. Someone once questioned this, saying ‘You’re just standing there and talking, what’s tiring about that?’ I asked if they’d ever done it. They looked shocked, and replied (in a disgusted tone, as if I was stupid to even ask), ‘No!’

I often wonder what people see when they see me Doing My Thing. Does it look easy? If so, it didn’t always. Those who remember the early days can confirm this.

But honestly, I don’t know how I could not do this now.

I received a quiet message today, asking about a Handfasting. I’d love to help. Plans are being put together. All is good.

It’s for a poly (ie polyamorous) relationship.

I’ve had so many people nervously approach and ask if I mind performing their ceremony, given that it’s ‘a bit unusual.’ From relationship styles to locations, I’ve heard many ‘strange’ requests.

But they’re not strange, not really. They’re true for those involved. The ritual that they’re crafting must be honest, or why bother? It must reflect their relationship, what they love about each other. I’ve yet to have a ceremony without humour, for example, and that’d be quite shocking to some, no doubt!

Yes, I have performed poly Handfastings. Also all male, all female, and my first trans ceremony is being organised now.

Love is love. I hold the space for that. I help, however I can. I encourage, laugh along, listen to grievances and assist with problems where possible. I Priest.

The only time I Judge is when the relationship seems troubled – I cannot, in good conscience, wed those who are not ready (although one day, they may be).

I go away, consider, work and then step up to do my job. It may look easy, but under the robe, there’s feet stepping carefully so as to not fall, and inside my heart is the fervent prayer to do right in the moment.

I’m always honoured to do What I Do, and I will continue. Gladly. Inspiring and inspired.

And with a reserved rest day afterwards.

First Flowers

Thick fog this morning. Drizzle and greyness. Winter. 

I had to push to get work done at first. But as I got on with jobs, they seemed to become easier, more fun.

By afternoon, the fog had lifted. The sun appeared, and the sky brightened into blue. My heart began to lift. 

I can still see my breath, but it’s 5pm and still daylight. I don’t need as many layers of clothing.

Then, in our little grove, in the midst of a stand of trees past the badger setts, are the first snowdrops. Just one patch, with the rest not quite there yet – but those white heads are here again. They made it. 

Spring is on the way. We can lift our heads and breathe…

Imbolc blessings, my friends.

Wrapping

Many years ago, not long past the very beginning of my Druidry journey, I saw a priestess at work. Prior to a ritual of passing, she sat at a riverside, shawl draped over her head. Utterly at peace, preparing for what was to come.

I’ve heard of many modern-day Priestesses who do this. I usually wear a shawl or scarf of some sort, and have been applauded happily by fellow non-Pagan chaplains for being a woman with her head-covering prepared if necessary. It can be a sign of respect, but also an act of protection. Literally covering the head to enter the right ‘head-space’.

Last year, I was recommended a site called ‘Wrapunzel‘, which is run primarily by Jewish ladies who wanted to share their love of beautiful wraps and allow other women to practice their faith and not look dull while doing so. Nowadays, the Wrapunzel Facebook group plays host to women of all faiths and none, ladies undergoing chemotherapy or other illness… those who simply wish to stand in their womanliness while having their head covered. For whatever reason.

I’ve met lovely new friends on there, Pagan and otherwise, and while still exploring my own practice regarding wraps (ie still practising getting the things on and looking good!), I’ve found this so useful when alone and preparing for ritual – as in that original circumstance, back when I was witness only.

Many modern Pagans wear hoods on their robes. ‘Hoodies’ are common on the high street. The act of wrapping, whether tichel or hijab, can be a political statement. Or it can be a consolation, a ‘head hug’ (love that term!). Our ancestors did this, in virtually every culture, and now so do we.

Today, it struck me as inspiring. A woman wishing to add to her beauty and be proud. This video is a ‘How to‘, one of many on this YouTube channel, but made me smile so much this morning, just from the simplicity of the act but also how happy the lady looks once she is done and ready to face the day.

And then, in a local charity shop, I found a pretty glittery green scarf for £2. Perfect. Now to keep practising…

Pagan Community

Today was busy. From what was described as ‘stupid o’clock’, myself and a committed bunch of hard-working Pagan folk gathered for an event to honour the life and achievements of Patricia Crowther. This was organized and hosted by the Centre for Pagan Studies.

Pagan events are always a mixed affair, with guests rangng from the gorgeous goths to the venerable elders, and everything in between. This one, however, seemed more focused.

The entire room was filled with a general gladness, a happy vibe of people genuinely pleased to be there. Old friends were caught up with, new ones introduced, faces put to names from Facebook acquaintance… It wasn’t about the ‘Stuff’, it was about the relationships.

It’s fascinating to see the Pagan community as it matures. We’re several generations in now from the original Wiccan founders, and to see and hear the perspectives of those who were there right at the start is fascinating (and rather humbling). Many of those today have been walking their path for decades, long before it was even vaguely acceptable – and their strength of character, commitment and integrity is truly laudable. And they have some great stories to tell!

These are people I’m honoured to know, and a community that I’m proud to be part of.

Sometimes you have a day where you’re just glad to be living it, to be able to be part of such interesting times – in the best of ways. Happy memories in the making.