Thursday, November 18, 2010

Travel Log 11-18: Oh Sarcasm, What Would We Do Without You?

     There has been a lot of political craziness this year. A LOT. I mean, seriously what has been up with our country and all the protests, sensationalized stories, and just general nonsense? From a rousing round of who's the witch to a rather disturbing obsession with a 16 year old girl calling someone a name (cause yeah, that doesn't happen on a daily basis just about EVERYWHERE), to all the tea party nonsense (and trust me I'm pretty sure the bodies of those long ago heroes in war paint are on a constant rotation in their graves when they look at the majority of this group) it has been one ridiculous thing after another.
     But amongst it all has been a steady stream of people who have been standing up and saying it's ridiculous. Which to me is the most important part. From the Rally to Restore Sanity to this little tidbit that a group of clowns in Knoxville TN started the sarcastic and snarky have started to fight back in our own style.
    To me this is awesome because sarcasm is a language I mastered at a very young age. However the really sad part is that the majority of crazy people that are involved don't speak sarcasm which means a lot of the great messages and retorts being tossed out there are just not being received. So while I am amused as heck by all the great witty remarks finally being blazoned onto picket signs, they are unfortunately not going to work
      But here's to all the snarky warriors out there- may you eventually drown out the intolerant and closed minded, for here in America our national language is sarcasm!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Travel Log 11-14: And On A More Personal Note...

     While my personal modesty and some issues from my childhood (trust me that is a place you sooo don't want me to go) I have  been avoiding posting anything really personal about my own spiritual beliefs or practices. I intend to change that.
      It may seem strange to some, but just being on here for a year and openly posting that I am a witch is a big step for me. Now it's time to take another step. Hopefully eventually I can be as open a person as many of you wonderful people are in our little blog world here. A lot of you are very secure in yourselves and very generous in your sharing of your personal practices and moments with the rest of us. And I realized recently that while a lot of people share traits in what they do, none are exactly the same. They all have their own flair and feel to what they do, and I have gotten ideas and helpful tips just reading about what they do. But kind of like a voyeur I have not shared in return and as such I have not given back to this pool of knowledge that I keep dipping out of.
    There are a lot of reasons for that, but mainly it's because I'm scared. Scared that what I do won't be considered valid, fear that others will think I'm not "authentic" or that I'm just some sort of poser. And I realized recently that those fears are just down right ridiculous. I am who and what I am. I feel what I feel and practice how I practice, and someone may find something of worth that they can use for themselves in what I do, so I am bound by my willingness to learn to offer what I have learned so that others may use or discard it as they need. ( and yeah, that sounded pompous didn't  it, lol)
     So here is a little of what I do.
     I am not big on ritual. I am way too self conscious to be able to pull it off with conviction and while it works awesome for some people, that very self-conciousness keeps me from being able to focus on the task at hand so to speak.
    So what I have developed is my own form of energy work. To me divinity is a huge pool of energy, and everything has a piece of that, and is connected to that. I can't see "auras" as they are sometimes called, but I can feel the energy itself inherent in living things. To me it's like feeling the worlds heart beat. Usually my work consists of a focusing agent (usually a candle) and a deep meditative trance.
      Once I am seated I take some deep breaths and then center myself. By this I mean I pull all my own energy back into myself and hold it in the center of my being ( for me this is just below my sternum, but I think its a fairly subjective thing). Then I light my candle ( I tend to use jar candles as it allows me to pick up and move the candle while lit with minimal heat  and spilled wax issues). I take a moment to connect with the energy in the little candle flame and recognize and thank it.  I don't, on the whole work with the elements as separate entities or personalities, but if I am physically using one while I work I do like to say thank you.
      In terms of the elements I tend to have an "all are one" sense of them. Each drop of water contains the same energy as a crashing wave, or  a still deep pool. Each flame holds the warmth of a hearth fire and the destructive power of a forest fire. To me it is essential when I approach any of the elements that I recognize what they are as a whole, helpful and destructive.
      Once I have thanked the fire I let my own energy release and spread out as far as it will go, until it touches what I feel is the "dominant" energy. For me this is dependent on the time of day. If it is daylight out and the moon has not risen then that would be the sun. Or if it's night time it's the moon, or sometimes the stars. That's when I let myself drop into a meditative trance. Then I pull myself back until my energy forms a protective globe around me that will filter everything that comes through and only allow positive energy to pass (sometimes I ask for help from other trusted energy sources with this).
       I invite that "dominant" energy to pour itself into me, as if I were an empty jug that needed filling. I visualize that energy as sunlight, or moonlight, pouring in like a thick syrup until they fill all the way up to the top of my head. Then I visualize a thin line of energy pouring from that source into me and refilling as I need it.
     That's when I start to focus that energy filling me up towards whatever I need. I build that energy layer by layer into a ball between my hands, then once I feel it's built up enough I release it back out so that it can go where it can make my will happen. I allow for a trailing line of energy that connects to the divine power source using me as a conduit, so it will continue to have enough energy to get what I need accomplished.
      Then I send my thanks out to that divinity and pull myself out of the trance.
      The last thing I do is thank the candle flame again and put the lid on the jar, saying good bye (this is also a reason I use jar candles, it allows the flame to "put itself out" rather than me snuffing it). One last stretch and I get up and put my candle away.

That's what I do for a normal focused working.
    Lately I've been doing some unfocused meditations that have brought me some interesting insights and I'll post those another time.
    Thank you for bothering to read this all the way, and hopefully I won't actually die of embarrassment or delete this later..