Grounding [PBP]

Over my years of studying, and not studying, witchcraft, I keep coming back to the idea of grounding.  It’s a very basic thing, but is so incredibly useful!  One might even say, essential.

My fellow Pagan Blog Project blogger, Sharmonia talks about Grounding this week as well and I have to agree with her.

Being grounded brings life in to matter, and it helps to bring healing abilities into the physical. It will increase our balance and stability for both the physical and emotional state and brings acceptance that we are fulfilling a purpose. We gain strength and create a bridge between the spirit and matter and gives us an outlet to release the energy.

Being grounded is about being connected to Earth, to the present, to life.  By being connected to life, we can recognize it’s influence on us and our influence on it and thus, “bring life in to matter”.  We connect with the life force in all things, both physical and spiritual, and thus connect with our true selves.  With this connection, we can remain strong through a lot of different physical, emotional and spiritual states.

One of the main tasks of grounding is “setting your feet”. Think of yourself like a table (I know you’re not, but just go with me here) … if you have only one leg to stand on, you’re not very stable and the littlest thing can push you off balance.  If you’re firmly grounded with all four “feet” on the ground, it’s MUCH harder to push you off balance.

As you are connected to the Earth, you can normalize the flow of energy in yourself … pull up energy when you need it, and let the earth absorb any excess energy that you don’t need.   It’s great for when someone is frustrating you needlessly (just send that frustration down to Mother Earth, the great Recycler!) or when you’re in a tight situation, tired, and need to focus and think (pull up that focusing energy from Earth and zoom in on the solution!).

There are a lot of different ways that you can ground!

One of my favorite ways is to plant my feet firmly on the floor, or sit on the ground, and open my root chakra.  I see my chakra at the point of connection between my body and the ground (usually my feet) and picture a red lotus flower blooming under my feet.  This chakra connects us to earth and allows the energy to flow freely.

Many groups, including ADF, use a tree metaphor for grounding.  During the meditation you connect to the earth by sending roots out from your feet into the ground. These are flexible roots, so you’re not stuck, and they allow energy to flow in both directions so you can connect.  You can find the text and audio files of the ADF Two Powers ritual on their site.

If you have experience grounding, how do you do it?  If you don’t, try out the meditation above and see how it works!

Doing things out of Good Will [PSP]

This week for the first ‘G’ week on the Pagan Blog Project, I’d like to write about Good Will.

Many people expect pagan elders to provide training or services for free, out of good will.  While I agree that we should do what we can to better the experience and life of our fellow man, we should not be doing so to the detriment of our own lives and the experience of our own families.

Often, pagans who offer services do so as a primary or supplemental income … with the expectation of some kind of return for their services.  In addition, always giving to the group, without getting anything back is draining on the practitioner.  It can lead to a very unbalanced relationship between the community and the individual, and this is likely to have a negative effect on the practitioner’s ability to perform the services for the group. If we ask a practitioner to give us their time and energy for training or services, we need to give something back in return.

The most common trade is money.  We use our time and energy to earn money, and in exchange, we ask someone else to provide their time and energy to earn money.  There can be cases where the exchange of something other than money is great, but that should be negotiated between the practitioner and the person requesting the services.

Unfortunately, this world does depend upon money and, as such, people need money to function in society today.  There are individuals who life “off the grid” and can live on a very small amount of money, but it’s not a lifestyle that most of us would choose.  If we want to have practitioners to do the training and provide the services, we, as a community, need to ensure that the individuals who have the skill and the willingness to share their knowledge have the resources to maintain themselves as they need.

Barter does not pay the mortgage (or rent), or the gas, or the utilities, but once those basics have been covered, barter can be acceptable to share.  So if you can’t provide money in exchange, talk to the practitioner and see what you can provide … but don’t expect them to provide their time and energy for free.

Failure & Frustration [PSP]

For today’s post for the Pagan Blog Project, I was going to write about Freyr to balance my post about Freya last week, but instead life hit me over the head and I have a new topic.

Today’s post is about failure and frustration.  

I’ve had a rough week this week with multiple, unexpected challenges coming up.I feel more than a little frustration.  I have been able to get very little that I had planned for this week done.

It feels like failure.  I should be able to do everything I had planned, I should be able to manage my time, and manage my energy, and get it done.

But I don’t … and looking back on the week it’s not really reasonable to expect myself too.  The challenges were unexpected and stole a significant portion of multiple days and there was no way to predict that they were coming.

This situation reminds me of the Tower card in the tarot.  I could choose to let the chains of my feelings of failure weigh me down and stop me from progressing, or I could realize that the chains aren’t really locked and I can throw them off and move forward.

It’s not quite where I wanted to be, but I’ll get where I’m going.

Freya [PBP]

Freya in the Dwarf's CaveA few months ago, the goddess Freya called to me at a ritual at Stone City last year.  Since then I’ve worked with her a bit and done some research on her.

Freya is one of the Vanir who went to Asgard as a diplomatic hostage in the war between the Vanir and Aseir.  She is a goddess of both love and war, as well as beauty and seidr.  She gets her pick of half of the heroes who have died in battle to live with her in the field in the afterlife named Fólkvangr.

Freya is also the wearer of Brísingamen, a beautiful golden necklace that she won from the dwarves.  The most common tellings of the myth Freya decides that she wants this beautiful golden necklace but there is no money that can purchase it.  The price from the dwarves is for the goddess to spend one night with each of the four dwarves who made it.  A recent telling of this myth by Sharon Knight speaks to the love and compassion that Freya has for each of the dwarves, helping them to see that each of them is unique and precious as individuals.

In my working with her, Freya represents the compassion of strength.  She is the goddess who will tell you to consider your opponents with the idea that maybe you can actually work together instead of opposite each other.  She can be a hard taskmaster as well as a stickler for discipline in the warrior aspect, but a kind and loving woman in her lover aspect.

Now that I’ve worked with her for a little while, I can see that, as usual, there is a lot to learn 🙂

Image Notes:

Image obtained from  Image from The Heroes of Asgard : Tales from Scandinavian Mythology / by A. & E. Keary with illustrations by Huard. London, Macmillan and co. and New York. 1891 Republished online by the Baldwin Project at – this specific image was obtained from and processed slightly with the GIMP.

E is for Everyday [PBP]

For some reason E is giving me a hard time in the Pagan Blog Project .. with so many options, you’d have thought that it would be easy. I dread what happens when we reach Q!

Today I would like to talk about what we do everyday. I don’t mean the whole sleep-eat-shower-sex (if we’re lucky), but what we do with our spirit and our magic.

Most mornings, i start with a short ritual to connect with spirit and the Kindred. Some days I do nothing at all. On days that I don’t start out with some connection to spirit, to the Kindred, I notice that I’m more fractured, more easily to anger and generally not at the top of my game. If I catch myself I take a moment to reconnect.

I find that having that morning connection allows me to see the spirit and the magic in everything. The magic isn’t just in the spells we cast or the rituals we work. It is in the guy who hands you your morning coffee, or the girl sitting beside you on the bus, or the unknown person driving in the car in front of you. It’s in the concrete sidewalk and the solitary trees along the road, in the weeds peeking out from the pavers.

There is magic in everyone and everything around us.

The time to “do magic” isn’t any special time, it’s everyday. There are certain times that are better for the different types of bigger magics done with spells and rituals, but the small magics, the magic of a smile, that magic we can do anytime and every time.

Every time we acknowledge another person, every time we acknowledge the struggle of the weeds or admire the beauty of a tree, we invoke magic. This magic allows us to move through life more easily and to help others to do the same. It’s a little thing, but little things add up to bigger things, and before you know it your life has changed.

So as you go through today, invoke a little magic, invoke your connection. Say thank you to the guy giving you coffee, and really mean it, say please to the person you need something from, make eye contact and connect. If it works, do it again tomorrow … Invoke the magic everyday.

It’s really true what parent’s say … Please and thank you really are magic words.

Foundations: The Elements [PBP]

In an understanding of time, and an effort to save time, I’m counting this post for both the 30 Days of Druidry and the Pagan Blog Project!

The Fire from Within by HeliusFlame

There are so many different ways to define the elements and most of it depends on what traditions you follow.  Wiccans are often heavily involved with the elements, using them to define their working circles as well as invoking them in their work.  Other traditional witches that I’ve known use the associations and energies of the elements in their working.

In some revivalist druid practices, the elements are called into the sacred space.  In other druid circles the traditional witch/wiccan elements are not called.

I do use the elements in my magical workings, however I no longer create solid circles as I used to do when I was a Wiccan.  Now I define a sacred space and invite the appropriate energies and beings into the space.  Sometimes that includes elemental energies or beings.

I recognize five elements: air, fire, water, earth, spirit.  Each of the elements have their own areas of focus, but there is some overlap.  For instance, all elements are necessary for life, so they can all be used in healing or life-affirming spells and rituals.

Air is about the breath, communication and intellect.  This is the element that most affects learning and study, it’s also the best element to use for ensuring that you are clearly communicating and are actively listening.  Air can breathe life into the dying, or waft a gentle breeze to spread the life-giving pollen of plants.  Air can also destroy with the strength of storms and tornadoes.

Fire is my favorite (Leo that I am) and is both destructive and creative.  Think of a fire through a forest, it clears out the smaller plants and scorches the earth, but it also causes some plants to spread their seeds, and other seeds to begin to sprout into plants.  Fire is also about our own internal desire, drive and our creative spirit.

Water is generally tied to the emotions, and it’s also tied to healing.  Water can wash away the negative emotions and help us to heal.  We can suspend ourselves in water and just be, just experience our spiritual being as it is.  It is forgiving, and loving, and nurturing.  We nestled in water in our mother’s womb and it reminds us of safety.  But water can also be destructive, rivers cut into rock through time, floods can quickly destroy towns and land, emotions that can drown us with negativity.

Earth is our grounding, stabilizing energy.  It is the stuff that forms our bodies, that forms the basis of our Earth, the building blocks of life.  Earth is comforting, healing, building and nurturing.  Earth is also smothering and crushing in avalanches and mud/rock slides.

The fifth element that I recognize is Spirit, some call it Awen, others have different names for it.  Spirit is our connection to deity, it is that divine energy that supports us through life. It is our soul.  Spirit empowers us, connects us to each other, and allows us to recognize the divine in all things.  Too much spirit is also a bad thing, causing us to be disconnected from each other and from our own lives.

As you can see, each of the elements have positive and negative sides to them.  As with most things, it’s about balance.  Too much of any of the energies can cause negative effects, as can too little.

Take time and notice which energies are in your life, and which energies you would like more of in your life.

D is for Duh [PBP]

So I’m late with this week’s blog post for D, and I couldn’t decide what to write it on. There are a lot of different topics to choose from, but given my last few months I think that a “Duh” is in order.

There are those times where you think you can do it, you try to do it, and your body or your spirit isn’t quite along for the ride. Then you hit that moment of collapse. Your emotions give out and you have a break down, or your body gives out and you get sick. These are the ‘Duh’ moments in my life. Unfortunately, sometimes I don’t notice the duh moments and I have to learn the lesson the hard way.

Like this year … for the last 7 weeks I’ve been sick in one form or another. First it was a general cold, then a sinus infection, then another cold. I’m finally recovering and I think that I’ve had my ‘duh’ moment. Or I hope I have!

Last year I was in a slow spot with my spiritual and magical growth. I was determined that this slow spot was going to be OVER by the new year. And now I think that maybe I’m not entirely sure that the lull is over …. I had a reading at Pantheacon done by a friend of mine and it was about waiting, letting the growth happen and not forcing it. .. umm … yeah .. ‘duh’.

Forcing the action that I wanted when it wasn’t time took a lot of energy. And while yes, some things did happen it wasn’t necessarily what I should have done. It was more energy than my system could handle, and well .. I paid for it.

Hopefully I’ve learned my lesson now and should continue to get better and stay that way!

What are you ‘Duh’ moments?