Sunday, November 19, 2017

Sundays Shamans Oracle!

Sunday Shaman’s Oracle!

That’s right – I’m actually posting on a Sunday again! You will have noticed I am posting more often than usual as I am being called by my muse to write blog content so there will be blog posts popping up here and there…I am not giving myself a schedule – not until I can make sure I can keep to it! 

So…I have been missing my oracle cards dearly…and I haven’t pulled one since my last oracle pull on here! I have been busy/ill/family stuff etc but in the end it’s up to me to make time to do this and to listen to the wisdom they provide me. So I’m at least going to try to do a pull monthly – that way I have some advice/wisdom for that month and hopefully they will resonate with you too and I hope you enjoy reading them and my ramblings LOL! So without further ado…do people still say ado(?)…I will get on with my pull! 

“I am the Shaman of Purification. I bring cleansing and balm to the troubled spirit and the troubled heart. I journey through the mazes of life to discover those elements which, for whatever reason, may put blemishes upon your peace of mind. These I will help you to eliminate so that the path before you may be travelled peacefully and productively. Whenever you are hampered by regrets or grief, I can help you come to terms with these and be free of them.”

The Shaman of Purification

Many of us today find it difficult to understand the importance of purification, yet for our ancestors it was an essential part of life. Purification means getting rid of stale ways of thinking that can hold us back. Entering any new phase of development, in our inner or outer lives, requires us to re-assess what has gone before and, where necessary, purge ourselves of attitudes that are no longer appropriate. The Shaman of Purification is with us whenever we embark on something new, helping us to prepare for what lies ahead by cleansing the soul and imbuing us with fresh purpose.

Keyword Interpretations: Cleansing the spirit; Entering a new space; Transcending shadow states; Finding new direction; Exorcising old fears; Change and determination; Reassessment

My Thoughts on this card for me at this time:

Well my first thought was, dam…an hour ago I was writing a future blog post on the topic of psychic hygiene and why it is so important LOL! Honestly the reason I am writing that post is mostly because it can be so easy to forget to purify your space, charkas and aura (etc). So…I guess this means I am definitely on the right track with my writing and it probably also means that oracle is telling me to get the hell on with putting my words into practise! 

I have definitely been going through a purge of late in my house – we have been clearing out and either donating or recycling things we don’t need. This is been done out of necessity and the fact that me and my mum are physically not well and we need to size down and clear out the old and no longer used! I think I have spoken before about my diagnosis of Fibromyalgia and how it shook me up – well this is why I am clearing out things I can no longer use or do. It’s sad as I had a ton of exercise stuff and although I do still keep active I can’t do the intensive work out programs at all.  There is no point keeping stuff around you can no longer so – like kickboxing cardio exercise DVDs just so you can sit there looking at them and thinking back to how you use to be able to do these things. 

Regret is not really a helpful emotion (unless it is stopping you making the same mistake again) and usually makes me feel tearful and useless. Believe me I have regrets; I am 31yrs old so I am bound to have a few! I will be honest my biggest regrets make me feel guilty – when they is something I should have done differently…ahh my head likes to play out the “What if” scenario and it is NOT helpful at all. I have tried to let my regrets go but honestly I think we all have things that we can’t let go of – BUT we can let them be. Acknowledge that they are there and allow them to be without focusing on them. 

The other part of the card that is tugging at me and wanting attention is the part about Grief. Grief can hold you back but it can also push you forwards. September is a bad month for me due to having quite a few death anniversaries in it but this year I have lost 2 friends also. These were friends I had met online via an online witchcraft school. Both were unexpected and both were very, very sad. 

Death is always sad…it is the end of something or someone. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can prepare you for the emotions it will bring up – it doesn’t matter if you have been through it a zillion times there is always something new that rears its head and it doesn’t have to be about the person you lost. Sometimes death makes you think about those closest to you or yourself or your life in general. It gives you a wake-up call of sorts – like siren that blares at you to live and be whilst you can! It almost feels like your soul claws at you to remind you of what its purpose is on this earth and what you should be doing besides the daily living of being human! 

What I am trying to get at, in my own rambling way, is that in death there is a type of purification. We stop – we just stop – the grief it freezes us but in the moments when the tears stop it also wakes us up and it can be terrifying because it makes us think of our own mortality and what we will be leaving behind. It forces us to renew ourselves, say goodbye to parts that we have out grown and it forces us, no matter how old we are, to grow older and wiser. In those moments we purge our past. Things that felt so important yesterday now feel…small. We take extra care with our loved ones as we know how fragile life is. It teaches us get on, leave the small regrets behind us and to go for what you really want in life. The scary things no longer seem so scary when compared with death, and so you find a renewed purpose and put yourself out there – whether through words, art etc. This in itself is a type of purification – you are letting go of the fear that was holding you back…and allowing yourself to live. 

Well that got deeper that I imagined it would…I need to go chill now but I hope this post was helpful and I will see you again soon! 


*As always the image and card description is taken from “The Shamans Oracle” 

Friday, November 17, 2017

The Stigma of Mental Health in Witchcraft

There is something that is not often talked about or really dealt with well in Witchcraft and that is Mental Health. I have read, heard and seen a lot of people talking badly about witches who practise witchcraft, Wicca (etc) but also have mental health issues.  This may be a long post, so grab a drink and get comfy!

Firstly a disclaimer – I am not a mental health professional and by no means an expert in mental health. I do have OCD and Social Anxiety just to be clear - so I do know what I am talking about when I say there is a stigma associated with mental health in the practise of Witchcraft.

As I said earlier I have seen, heard and read quite a lot on the topic of witchcraft and more often than not witches with mental health issues are treated either dismissively, talked down to or even had their issues ignored or minimised. They even get told that they can’t be a “proper witch” if they have a diagnosis of mental health, if they are on medications for mental health or in treatment for said mental health issue. This is total and utter bullshit – yup – that’s right – bullshit. 

Firstly for anyone to tell ANY person that being on a prescribed medication makes them not a “proper witch or less of a witch” is not only belittling and upsetting it is downright dangerous depending on the persons diagnosis. The last thing people need is to be told they need to come off a medication and pray their “problem” away. Believe me I have even heard of people who tell people with a physical condition to do this – again its BULLSHIT.  If you are prescribed a medication for an illness – ANY illness – physical or mental then you listen to your doctor and the professionals – not some idiot who clearly has no idea what they are talking about! Being on a prescribed medication does not and will not, EVER, make you any less of a witch. 

Secondly – let’s discuss being a practising witch with mental health issues. No it’s not easy – in fact it’s downright bloody hard work. You will not always be up to creating and performing rituals. You will not always be able to study. You will not always be the most reliable person in the group.  You may not always be able to lead a ritual or esbat. This does not mean that you can’t do any of those things. It does not mean you are incapable – it simply means you know yourself and your limits. The first lesson in being a witch is to Know Thyself & believe me when I say if you have suffered from any mental health problem you will know yourself quite well, especially your shadows.  You will need to accept and work within your own limitations. With every mental health condition there will be something in Witchcraft that is harder for you to do or something that you can’t do – like with any disability. You have to accept and work around your limitations. For example (and these are two small examples!) with OCD I find visualisation difficult. Due to the intrusive nature of OCD (intrusive words and mental images of upsetting and disturbing varieties are one aspect of OCD) keeping a visualisation firmly in my mind is hard. I have found it works better for me to do smaller visualisations rather than to stress myself out trying to force the image to remain fixed (OCD likes to mess with them a lot!). Meditation is another hard one – I am currently persevering with this – but again smaller periods of meditation work best. This is just two very small examples of how a mental health condition can affect your personal practise. 

Thirdly – there is another way I have seen others belittle witches with mental health issues. It’s about money, which is a sensitive subject. I have read that if you are on benefits (welfare) that you are not truly a “proper witch” as you are still being looked after by the state like a child. Again this is BULLSHIT. It amazes me how cruel people can be towards someone who is ill. I have never seen, read or heard this said about anyone with a physical disability on benefits only witches with a mental health issue that happens to be on welfare. (But if you have experienced this as a witch with a physical disability on welfare then I am saddened and ashamed of the so called witch that made the remark to you – it is bullshit) If you are too ill with a mental health issue to go to work and are claiming a benefit that you are entitled to that does NOT make you less of a witch. It makes you someone who is doing their best to get by and live the best you can. People cannot survive on fresh air alone so do not feel guilty about claiming what you are entitled to – people with mental health issues get put the wringer to get these benefits so don’t for one second think that witches with mental health issues get an easy time or don’t go through hell, as they do to get what they are entitled to so don’t make them feel any worse about it than they already do so! 

Fourthly the reason people tend to have this stigma is because of fear. Now you would think that witches would understand that fear should not control you or how you treat others but sadly this is not always the case. Even though witches have been feared and hunted sadly this does not seem to stop witches feeling this way towards other witches. Some practitioners are still scared of those who practise hoodoo or those who do not follow a wiccan rede or those who work with darker deities. At the end of the day fear is a normal human emotion but that does not mean you have to be controlled by it. Just because someone has a mental health condition does not mean you can victimise them and make them feel less than as a witch, or person. 

Consider this – would you discourage someone from going to church due to their mental health conditions? Would you tell them not to pray or light candles due to their mental health conditions? Would you tell them that they aren’t a “proper Christian” due to their mental health conditions?  Hopefully the answer to those questions was No because to stop anyone from having a religious or spiritual practise is cruel. Now you may be thinking yeah but witchcraft comes with a lot of power. Yes it does but does that mean you can decide who gets to wield that power or do the Gods.  Think about where your fear is coming from – do you understand the person’s condition? Have you researched it? Are they medicated, and if you don’t know the answer to that question then you aren’t really close enough to them to be questioning them at all! Are they a danger to themselves and others or are you just afraid they might be due to your own lack of understanding of a mental health problem that scares you? As we all know witchcraft comes with a lot of power but it also requires focus, training, intent and energy – in order to effectively practise you need to be able to do all of these – when someone is in a mental health crisis magick is not an easy task to do. Believe me it takes all the will power of a witch to get through the day (sleep, eat, shower) when in a mental health crisis so doing magick is generally out of the question! The only magick being done usually by the witch in question would be healing, meditation and prayer. 

A witch doesn’t turn into a monster from a horror film when they are either in a mental health crisis or generally coping with a mental health problem– this again is an unhelpful stigma from Hollywood’s interpretation of witches (Believe me how witches are portrayed in TV/Film is another blog for another time!). Plenty of witches and non-witches are either having mental health problems themselves, have friends or family with them or know work colleagues with problems. Anyone can develop a mental health condition whether they are a newbie witch, long time practitioner or a High Priest or High Priestess.  Mental health doesn’t discriminate and can’t be removed with the wave of a wand and sadly neither can the stigma of it. 

Lastly if you are in the middle of a mental health crisis then you need to put down your witchy tools and reach out to people who will help you – family, friends, doctors, professionals – I am sad to say but you cannot magick your problems away. If you are in danger of hurting yourself or others immediately contact an emergency service in your area. This is not the time for magick. As a practising witch you should already know that in times of crisis we are not level headed and we are not in the proper emotional or mental space to be able to channel and focus our magick. If you are in this crisis headspace – get help. The Gods cannot ring an ambulance for you or call someone to help you. I’m not saying don’t ask the Gods for help – always ask for help, they can lend you the physical or emotional strength you need in order get the help but at the end of the day YOU have to be the one to either get yourself that help or to reach out to someone you trust to help you at this time. 

I hope this blog post has helped if you have been the victim of this type of stigma. I hope this post gives you the courage to post about your own experiences with mental health in witchcraft – how you have been treated or how your own mental health conditions changes how you practise your craft – like what your limitations are and how you handle them. Believe me you are not alone – mental health effects 1 in 3 people and it can and does effect anyone of any religion, race, sexuality, age and gender. 

Lastly, again the same disclaimer: – I am not a mental health professional and by no means an expert in mental health. If you or someone you know is in need of urgent help contact a doctor or an emergency service in your area and get help immediately.  

See you soon

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Witches can be assholes too!

Now before anyone gets their panties in a bunch this is *not* a post picking on witches – I am a witch so please read before you judge!

So I don’t know about you but in Witchcraft there is a certain clash between expectations and reality – I suppose like with most things. We build things up in our heads and read all these lovely books stating how wise and wonderful all witches are. We read about perfect love and perfect trust and think “wow…witches are awesome people – they would never do anything shitty to you as they are just so dam wise and loving!” – WRONG!

Now don’t get me wrong – there are a lot of wonderful witches out there. A lot – but you always get bad apples and witches on an ego trip and people who think playing with magick is fun and people who will crap on you from a great height. People who can’t take you having a different opinion them etc!

I know when I have joined numerous online study courses I have met a whole bunch of different witches – some I adore and they will continue to be in my life for many decades to come, I have met some that weren’t who I thought they were, I have met some that are on ego trips or power trips and present one face to the world and another in private. I have met people who shouldn’t even be calling themselves witches due to their general lack of respect towards anything and everything.  I have met two faced witches who love nothing more than to gossip and hurt people behind their backs. I have seen fellow witches bullied by cliques that feel superior to other witches. I have met witches who judge everyone based on their age – they clearly know more as they were born before you! I have met ones that judge everyone on how long they have been practising – and will treat newbies with contempt. I have met ones that collect titles like they are supermarket coupons and wave them around stating that this, and this, and this title makes them so much better than anyone else. You also get the ones that don’t like you doing things your way – as only their path is right, you get ones who try to tell you that the way a deity is presenting itself to you is clearly wrong as it not how they see that specific deity…and so on and so on.

You see I found it hard to swallow…you read so much about the wisdom of witches, the perfect love and the perfect trust that when you see that people are in fact human and can/will be assholes…well sometimes it is disappointing. On the other hand – I know I mess up – and have messed up and I would rather be human than be held to some perfect level of saintly witch-hood!

Don’t get this post wrong – we can ALL be assholes – and will be from time to time. But there is a…Richter Scale of Asshole and you need to protect yourselves from the ones who consistently come out on top as those witches are trouble and will continue to make trouble. These are the types who start little witch wars and squabbles in covens and groups – to the point where you think you are still in high school!! These are the ones to avoid and you will meet them at some point in your time as a practising witch.

So basically this post is don’t be discouraged – assholes are out there, but so are some wonderful genuine people who will be part of your spiritual tribe, companions on your journey and they are great friends. Believe me when I say it is worth shifting through the assholes of the witchy world in order to find these precious gems. It is hard to keep putting yourself out there and trying but you will find those who are worth sticking your neck out for. You may not always get along, your relationship might get tested by assholes who try to interfere (yes this jealousy also rears its ugly head – like I said, you will think you are in high school still!) But the people that you find that are worth keeping in your life – well they are worth going through all that trouble!

 So yeah if you are a solitary witch and have come up against the assholes of the witchy world – you are not alone, it happens to us all at one point and don’t let them destroy your faith in yourself or other people – those assholes aren’t worth it *wink*

Keep your chin up and don't let anyone dim your light!