Sunday, August 26, 2012

Week in Review

So as another attempt to keep myself writing regularly, I have decided to start a week in review post. Pretty much it will include a wrap up of what happened within the past week.
So, this week has been pretty relaxed. It was the first week of my two weeks of leave. YAY! The first I have taken since I have been in Germany. A very much needed break from work. I didn't go anywhere, but am just enjoying the time to be at home and relax. Actually, I think this is the first time since I have been in the Army that I have been able to truly relax while on leave. Usually, we would go home, and have to worry about splitting time between family and friends. This time, I just get to sit and focus on being at home and RELAXING! Of course, I do have plans for getting housework done, and have accomplished quite a bit, but am still loving not having to go to work. I have had time to finally work on my travel Book of Shadows, and really like the way it is turning out.
Thursday, we finally got the phone call that Alex has a tentative slot in Sure Start for the next school year YAY! What does this mean. He will be going to Pre-K 5 days a week all day. There are still some questions I have about the program, but I will get to ask them this coming Thursday when I go to orientation. The biggest thing I am hoping to get from this, that Alex will get ready for Kindergarten and of course help him with the Potty problems that we are still dealing with.
I have managed to catch up on ALC course work that I was falling a little bit behind on due to just being too tired. Hopefully, I will be able to pull ahead on it in the next week. On that note, I also have taken some time to spend at the gym for some much needed work out time. Granted it was not as much as I would have liked, but since I have become well rested this week, I am hoping that will change next week. I know that I have not been working out as much as I should, and that I have not been keeping as close an eye on my weight as I need to, and since it is getting close to time for me to actually go to ALC, I need to get ready.
Oh, and the biggest disappointment this week was finding out that I missed cut-off by TWO points! TWO POINTS.... enough to make me mad. Then again, I know that means, I am closer to the top of the list, and that once I get done with ALC, I will have over 600 points, and should be good by then.
I know this has kind of jumped around a little bit, but that is how I think, so that is how it came out. I will try to do better as time goes on.
To close this, please enjoy this picture of one of the pages that I worked on this week. Since this is meant to be a Travel Book of Shadows, I thought it would be fitting to have a protection spell in it. If anyone would like to see more of what I have done, please let me know, I dont mind. I am even willing to share my BIG Book of Shadows. All you have to do is ask.

Friday, August 24, 2012

PBP - Q for Questions

I know that the topic of Questions has been covered many times last week for PBP, but this is my take on the issue.
There comes a point in all of our spiritual paths, that we will have to answer various questions about our beliefs. Either it will be questions within ourselves, or questions from others if we are out of the broom closet. No matter where or who these questions are coming from, you need to make sure that you are ready for them. It seems like the questions, at least for me, come at the worst possible time. Usually when I have other things on my mind than answering any questions. So what are some questions that I have been asked?

In no particular order
Q. "So you can tell me my future?" (Or some variation when people find out I read tarot)
A. "Yes and No. I can "see" how things will be if you continue on the current path you are on. I also add that they will only hear what they are meant to hear, and ready to hear. This has been an issue at a few readings that I have done. I was getting a message, but being told that the person was not ready to hear everything that went along with it. (Call me crazy, but my cards actually "talk" to me). I let them know that if they make a change, no matter how minor, the outcome may change. Many people just want to know how to get out of a situation, or that things will get better. Sometimes hearing that things will get better, is enough for them to make the changes they are "supposed" to.

Q. "So you do spells and stuff?"
A. "Yes." This seems to be the one thing that most people are interested in. Unless they ask for more in-depth information, I tend to leave the answer at that.

Q. "Can you do one for me?"
A. For me this is a tricky area. This goes back to people wanting a simple solution to their problems. They think, that a spell will instantly solve all their problems. this is when I will usually explain to them how a spell actually works. The explanation that I have found easiest is using either the "Birthday Cake" or "Parking Spot" metaphor. When you make a wish on a birthday cake when you are younger, you hope, pray and wish real hard for what it is you want. Once you have the idea firmly in your mind, you blow out the candle. This, of course, is similar to how a spell works. You put all your focus and energy into what you are wanting to manifest. You take the time to gather what you need to help your energies be the strongest. You may say some words that help you focus, and release the energy that you have built up into the universe. Does it always work, no. But then again, do you always get what you wished for on your birthday? No. So what happens, maybe you try again later. Maybe you make some changes that help the manifestation become reality. Maybe you get some birthday money late, and you go and buy that gift that you really wanted. The other way to look at it is when you are driving through a crowded parking lot. All you can think about is how you really need a spot to park. That is all you can think about. All of your energy is going into finding just one parking spot. And what you do you know, you happen upon a car that is just about to leave, and you get the spot that you wanted. Again same thing. All of your energy goes into what you want, until finally you get it, or change something to help it happen.

Q. "Oh my god, you are going to hell! I have to save you. You need to come to church with me...etc"
A. While I have been lucky enough to never have encountered this, I have gotten some not so nice looks from people. How do you handle it? Well there is the book answer "I don't believe in hell, or that I need to be saved..." Me personally, I have a rather twisted sense of humor at times, and would say "Well in that case, first rounds on me!" Of course, I will caution against this to perfect strangers.

Q. "Since you are a Pagan, shouldn't you be a Pacifist? How can you be in the Army?"
A. I have encountered this a few times. No where is there a set a rules that says I cant be in the military. In fact, there are various paths that are not so peaceful. Not everything about being a Pagan is peaceful and serene. This is another one that could be turned around. Well as a Christian/ Muslim/ Random Faith, aren't you supposed to love everyone? Why did you choose a career where the main purpose is to go to war?

Q."What exactly do you call yourself/ believe?"
A. This is a little tricky for me lately. As I have stated before, I identify as "Wiccan" I would consider myself more of an Eclectic Pagan recently. When I first found this path, it was all "I'm Wiccan, and that's it." Now I find myself looking at other paths, and pulling a little from here and there. At one point I had a friend try to convince me that I should follow a strictly Egyptian Path. Personally, I think that is the nice thing about being Pagan. We are free to chose what we want to believe and how we want to practice that belief. I do spell work occasionally, I read tarot, leaning runes, don't identify with any deities other than the Goddess and the God (none by name), and have the freedom to practice how I want. I believe in the duality of the universe, that we are responsible for our actions, and have to answer for the bad actions we take.

So that is just a short list of some of the questions that come up with our beliefs. What about you? What other questions have you encountered, and how did you handle them? How would you have answered the questions above?

Remember, the more questions we answer, the better we will be understood.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - Quiet

Have you ever taken the time to think of how much noise we encounter in a typical day. As part of my job, I teach a week long class that has one hour dedicated to the effects of noise. In that class noise is defined as any unwanted sound. For example, while you may have a favorite band, and a favorite song, not many people would appreciate hearing it blasted at top volume at 2:30 in the morning. Or those of us who have children, while I love to hear Alex talk, as he almost always manages to crack me up, there are just some times, that I wish he would stop. These would be considered noise. We like our music, and listening to our children, but not all the time.
In this class about noise, I teach about the potential damage that can be done, as well as the impact on a Soldier if the experience too much noise. Last time I taught this class it got me thinking, if we can be physically damaged by noise, why not spiritually. Our ears need time to recoup from being bombarded by sounds and noises all day, that's why music in your car may seem louder first thing in the morning than when you go home at night, so why wouldn't our minds (spirits, souls, etc). I have noticed lately that the more things I have going on in my life, the more sounds there seems to be around me on a constant basis, and the more out of sorts I tend to feel. Whether its traffic outside my window, the train station across the street, listing to people talk, doing housework, or just sitting down writing this, I am surrounded by sounds.
So, again id our bodies (ears) need a chance to recover, why not minds (again spirits, souls, etc.) Have you ever had those few times, where it seems like there is nothing going on. No movement and best of all NO NOISES! How did it make you feel, Think about it real hard. Some people are actually nervous about quiet times. Me, I think I have been downrange and in the Army too long, to be nervous about quiet. I love when I get the chance to just sit somewhere, and hear nothing. I'm not talking about having earplugs in, but just one of those rare instances, where it is actually quiet. What do I do? ENJOY IT! Take a moment to just relax. Funny enough, this happens almost every time, I am in my sacred space. While I might be vaguely aware of certain things going on in the "mundane" (yes I went there and said it) world, once I am in my sacred space, it is so peaceful and QUIET that I almost hate to leave it. I enjoy it so much that I am making it a goal of mine to have a regular "date" with my sacred space. Whether it just sitting down to ground myself (which I need very much lately), or just doing some magical house cleaning. I am slowly beginning to see how important this quiet time is to me. Plus, between you and me, it is the only chance I have to be by myself.
So try to be like Linus. Find somewhere comfortable, and just enjoy the moment of peace and quiet.

Picture of my Quiet Space as it was set up for Samhain 2011

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