Friday, June 28, 2013


Yuletide has arrived. 

Last year on the last day of Yuletide, I made an Oath, and looking back, I feel that I mostly fulfilled it, though I could have done a bit more. There were stumbling blocks in my way, from within and without, and generally speaking I think I did fairly well. I intend to make another Oath this year, but I don't know what. I've been thinking on it. Granted, it's not essential.... maybe if I can't think of anything, I won't make an Oath this year. But I like the idea, and it keeps me motivated.

I just don't want to make an Oath like, "I'll read the Eddur three times a week" or something and then fail to do that. I don't want to promise to do something I really think I'll just not manage to do, through forgetfulness or procrastination or whatever. But we'll see how it goes. I'm not the world's most motivated person.

Generally I've been very slack with my Yuletide celebrations. I haven't even held my Winter Solstice ritual yet for my Lord and Lady. Maybe I'll do that tonight. I don't have a clue why I've been so slack. Part of it may be that my body clock has flipped itself by about eight hours, so now I sleep like a normal person. Which is good! But for a week or so I was exhausted all the time. And then I had a bit of a cold, and there was a day I was hung over.... so... yeah. And I'm used to doing my rituals all after midnight, which isn't really an option any more, so I find myself running out of time - next thing I know I should be in bed. So there it is. I need to plan out my day a bit better. At least getting up in the morning means I feel more motivated overall.

Last night I bought myself this little book of prayers by Shanddaramon. I've had trouble finding prayer books I like, because many of them contain prayers that are very very basic conversational types of prayer, and what's the point in a prayer book if it contains no poetry? I am thinking of, for e.g., the Book of Hours or the Book of Common Prayer, beautiful little things containing prayers for the spiritual nourishment of the faithful. That's what I want. I had a little look inside, and for the most part I rather liked what Shanddaramon has written - and the ones that do not fit my religion can easily be modified, which is what the author intended. So, the book will soon be on its way, and I am looking forward to it.

And there are prayers for hours! you know - dawn, morning, noon, afternoon, evening, bedtime. That sort of thing. Now I've mentioned before how much I like the idea of monasticism insofar as rhythm and seclusion and meditation and so on goes, and this sort of thing is right up my alley. Short term, mind; I don't have the motivation to keep at something like that. But I was thinking, maybe for a week. For a week, I'll get up as early as I can, and read the prayers at the appropriate time of day. I'll let you know how it goes.

The weather is chilly. Some days I light the fire in the morning and sit by it all day, with both of the dogs beside me. Perfectly acceptable for winter - in fact it could stand to be colder. I like a cold winter. The sky can be blue or grey, so long as the air has a bite to it.

Winter is a knuckling-down time for me. So we'll see how things go.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Those New Beginnings

Back in January, I mentioned that I felt very much in a "back to the beginning" sort of spiritual mindset. This "starting over" was something instilled in me, or something I noticed, during my Midsummer Solstice ritual. But while the spirit was willing, the brain and emotions were weak, and for a long time I wasn't really in the right place to do anything about it.

I feel more in the right place now. I've noticed it in the things I'm doing: googling prayers, spontaneously getting out a candle for some meditation, browsing online bookshops for newly published witchcrafty goodness. It's time to get back to it.

Speaking of browsing online bookshops, I keep coming across ones that look quite interesting. There was one called "Initiate". Week by week plan with a focus on "exercises and rituals for energy work, spiritual development, self-knowledge"? Shit yeah! Sure, it's all ceremonially and has circles, but I'm in a place right now where I'm willing to try out not just new things but old things that didn't work for me the first time, just to see if anything's changed or if there's some element I like that I might create my own analogue for. But hold, this is book two. I should go and have a look at book one, for the sake of completeness.

Book one has a "look inside" option.

I look.


Yes, I'm afraid the author uses the word "Wicca" in the same sentence as the term "burning times". She even states that she's rarely come across a witch who isn't also a Wiccan.

So much for that!

That's the sort of thing I want, though - something simple, not even entirely Pagan, maybe just a devotional thingie to follow along with for a few weeks. To get myself back into things, turn my thoughts towards the spiritual more often. I've been praying more, but reaching the point where I want to shake things up a little in that area as well, maybe find or write some new prayers, or pray at different times of day... A guide would help with that. But it's hard to go along with a spiritual teacher who doesn't know basic history. There are more poor teachers out there than good ones, and it's hard to look too long for a book at any one time because of how quickly one becomes disillusioned and cynical with the whole idea. 

I don't want to be cynical about this. I am full of the fresh feelings of starting the next stage of a journey, and I don't want that to be ruined because so many people are writing books when they have so little knowledge of the subject matter. I have ended my sojourn in the clearing and am stepping onto the forest path once more.

This path is sloped downwards. A gentle slope. I can't see very far in front of me, but it is light. The leaves have gone brown for the winter, but it is warm. I have paused; I am not racing ahead. I can take my time. I can breathe deep of the air and listen to the birds. I can reach out and caress each branch as I pass.But.... I don't. Because I'm not moving. I stand still and listen to the birds, and like it, and touch the branches and like it, but I don't move forward.

I want to enjoy the new beginning. And it's hard to do that when everything I read to give me some sense of orientation, something to feed my mind upon, ends up angering and frustrating me instead. I lose my enthusiasm. I get further frustrated because, in not being able to find what I'm not even sure I'm looking for, I'm not clear on what to do next, you know? I'm stymied. Maybe I'm paused because, while I want to go forward into the forest, I don't know how. I need guidance here. Proper guidance. Structured guidance.

I really should start journeying again. I haven't Walked the Hedge in a long time.