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Blog Update

There will be extents where I may not post for a while, sometimes it's a posting slump, sometimes it's life. Eventually new content WILL be posted, I've not neglected my blog.

Sorry for any inconvenience.

Feel free to visit MYSTICAL PAGAN for interesting content.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


My uncle liked a video on Facebook yesterday about a woman who wanted to re-create a picture of her great-great(?) grandfather. It's a really simple picture, of him, sitting in a ceremonial headdress, as chief of her tribe, as though intently listening to another person speak. It's a beautiful, yet powerful image.

In the video, this woman details the importance of the headdress and what it symbolizes; in that it's not something to be taken lightly...that it has so many responsibilities attached to it; that not only is this item physically heavy, but emotionally and spiritually.

I feel its important for as many people, not just the average person, but especially Pagans to watch this video. It shows how, when you take this item lightly, you're not just appropriating, you're insulting the symbol itself, as well as the culture from which it came. It's not just something you make out of paper and dollar-store feathers, and parade around in at Coachella. It has REAL spiritual and leadership significance.

I got into a debate with someone in a post about someone wanting to wear the Bindi. My view is that if someone understands the true nature of the Bindi, what it represents and its actual purpose, then it's ok to adorn yourself with it, so long as you are respectful about it. Someone else chimed in that I can't tell them what to do, quote "If it means something to you [...then [wear] it. You do not have to be of that culture or religion to feel a personal connection. Find your own meaning [...] and go with itThis is what's wrong with the Pagan community. You don't have to understand something, if you like it, just apply a new meaning to it and wear it. Who cares if someone is offended because now it's your symbol and no one can say two-boo's about it.

Pagans find it so easy to be offended by Christians telling them they're "Devil worshipers" and that their symbol of the pentacle is the devil's star and by using it they proclaim their honor to the devil. But when someone legitimately is offended by something a Pagan does, "oh, well, you can't tell me what to do or wear as its my spirituality and I can do what I want".

Uh, no...you need to first understand the significance of a symbol BEFORE you adopt it. You need to understand its meaning, its use and why it's so important to that culture. You can't simply wear the Bindi as a fashion statement, as it has cultural significance. If you wear it and don't understand its cultural significance, then you are insulting the culture from which the Bindi comes from.

The same goes for the native Headdress. It's not something you just make and put on because it looks cool, made of large beads and feathers with bits of fur and hide draping down it. While your spirituality IS yours, I'm sorry to say, you CAN'T just go around doing whatever you want or wearing whatever you want, especially if you think by doing so you won't get any backlash.

Imagine if someone saw something you, as a Pagan took very seriously, had made by hand through painstaking hours of thought and work, and applied it to your spirituality and only use in your spiritual work. Now that someone goes and cheaply recreates that item, and parades it around at your local music festival or fair. Would you not be offended? They stole your item and are now parading it around as a gitchy fashion item. This is what its like for so many native symbols. People think that because they think Paganism "closely resembles" that of traditional native spirituality, they can adopt their symbols without education on them, and it be perfectly ok. I say its not. I don't use native symbols lightly, but when I do, I do so with full education on those symbols, as taught to be by my native family members and elders. I don't own a headdress, either as decoration or as literal head wear. I am not a chief, nor a leader of a tribe, nor have I EARNED THE RIGHT to wear it. There is a LOT of responsibility that goes along with wearing a headdress and I don't see the majority of Pagans (or average Joe's) who wear them accepting that responsibility.

So please, I ask ANYONE considering wearing or adopting something from another culture to PLEASE do some research and educate yourself on that symbol. You'll save a lot of headache later on.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Coloring Book of Shadows Review

So, I recently purchased the Coloring Book of Shadows by Amy Cesari, and thought I'd give my opinion on the book.

It arrived on about the 24th of April, so I've had a little under a month to look it over. Not a bad little book, though I wouldn't use it solely as my book of shadows, as there's not a whole lot of room for information. Most of the pages have a LOT of images, but little writing room (the exception being the last section on notes in which there are a few lined pages).

As suggested in the book, I took to scanning and printing the pages to put into my own Book of Shadows. Before I had to get a new printer, this was a touch difficult, as the book doesn't lie flat on the scanner, and my scanner had about a quarter of an inch raised edges, as well I had to really press on the spine of the book to flatten it a bit, nor are there any perforations so you can tear out the pages. I DID however have to go and buy a new printer, (my old one stopped co-operating) and it allows for the book to sit flatter on the scanning surface for better scanning.

I've done two pages so far, and actually find it fairly relaxing (when I'm not obsessing over whether or not I've used the same colors too many times lol) I'm rather pleased how my pages turned out.

Here is an example of one of the pages I've colored:

The colors are much more noticeable in person, this "copy" doesn't do it justice. I also colored in the first page of the book that says "This book belongs to", and added it as a title page to my current BoS.

I love all the other pages in the book, but kind of wish there were more "title" pages available. There's pages for herbs, elements, crystals, potions, spells, astrology and sabbats. Though, to be fair, I have a few sections in my book that others do not, and the sections included in the coloring book are ones you'd more commonly find in the average BoS, so I understand the limited sections.

Other pages I've used were the elements pages. This page (linked to Pinterest) I haven't colored yet, but used the space provided to include some "at a glance" basic corresponding information on the element. I've done this on all four of the elements (Earth, Air, Fire, and Water).

Overall I think this is a cute book, but don't think it would work as someone's sole Book of Shadows. I'd either carefully tear out the pages, or do as I already am, scan them to use in my own personal book (because I never know if I'd like to color a page a second time lol.

Here is another page I did, but because I scanned it into my computer, I used a program to color it. I think it turned out rather well:

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The "Irks" of Being a Veteran Witch

There seems to be an influx of novices coming into the groups I'm a part of on various social media platforms. They come in with the usual "I'm a new Wiccan and don't know what to do" lines. But that's not the only thing that rubs me the wrong way (honestly, some of the stuff I'm reading is like nails on a chalkboard).

Several things irk me about these threads AND the responses:
1st: The fact that they come in with a vague comment (not even a question, just a comment that they're new) and that's it. Ok, so you need help. What do you need help with? Are you even sure you're Wiccan?? How can you be sure if you don't know what you're doing? That's like saying you're a new surgeon, but you don't know what to do and need recommendations to help you along. Total facepalm there.

2nd: A response: "I found some cool apps on my phone by going into (Google play, App store) and searching 'Wicca'". Hoo-boy. You know what **I** found when I did the same thing out of pure curiosity? NOTHING. Nothing of any real use. Tarot apps, "spell" apps, nothing to really teach someone new. It's all fluff anyways...something I figure someone developed ONLY because they thought it'd make them a couple bucks, not because it'd be helpful. They're just "games".

3rd: Book suggestions: I'm biting at the bit to snap at someone for recommending a novice read $ilver Ravenwolf. I've seen people recommend Amber K, the Frosts, and other equally disreputable authors as "good books to read". Sure, I could go in recommending ACTUAL good authors, but people don't want good authors who actually TEACH about the religion/practice, they want books that tell them how to play.

4th: YouTube suggestions: There aren't a whole lot of YouTube videos I recommend for novices, not even, really, Mandi See's (even though I love her, she's great)...her intention is there, but her information is probably about as good as mine (maybe less so, as I've had to correct her a few times), and I don't really consider myself to be an authority. YouTube is a place for any Joe-blow to post a video on any subject they want...that doesn't make them an authority, nor does it mean they actually know what they're talking about. It's a platform that's much easier to get into than trying to publish a book.

5th: Asking for spells. As a Witch (not necessarily a Wiccan), I always say it's necessary for people to learn how to make their own spells. I don't like the idea of people plucking things off the internet because, to me, that shows pure laziness; a disinterest in actually DOING any work, and more interest in playing. So for someone to come in asking for a "fertility spell"...well, to me that show that person is not really interested in a fertility spell that works but just something they can do (and whine about later when it didn't work).

I say that its important to learn how to create your own spells 1) because it gets you to realize that spells are not simple solutions to ALL of your problems and 2) it teaches you to rely on yourself to find solutions (both mundane and esoteric). If you go around asking for spells, that's more or less asking someone to fix your problem for you. Sure, there are those who say it's ok to use pre-written spells as long as you put something of yourself into it, but if you're going to do that, you may as well just write it yourself.

6th: Magick - People's insistence on spelling magic with a "k", because somehow it's too difficult to keep track of what someone is talking about if they spell magic sans "k". Its like you are in a text-conversation with another Witch and they're talking about various acts of magic, and they MUST spell magic with the "k" because, you know, the other Witch might think the other person is talking about the latest act by Criss Angel or David Copperfield, or something.

There are a lot of things that irritate me, being someone whose been exposed to this "alternate reality" for so long. I'm unsure how other people can handle this without trying to shake people and say NO...DON'T GO THERE! THAT'S TWO STEPS BACK!!!

Monday, April 10, 2017

Working on Transition

I've started to re-do my space, as I transition into...I don't know what. I had a strong desire to dismantle my altar a few months ago and my corner had been sitting empty since. I went out a few days ago and bought a wire shelf set.

Here is my progress so far. On the right, I have cardboard lining the two bottom shelves, as my books wouldn't sit right on the wire grid panel, as well I have small items that will fall through the grid panels, and I don't want that to happen lol (the upper most shelf isn't lined with cardboard, but I have a notebook doing the job, temporarily). Clearly I need more cardboard lol. I also need to make the shelves more secure so I'm going to get some zip ties to tie the panels together, as the panels can't seem to reach some of the round connectors, and is a little flimsy (hence why there's nothing on top of the shelf).

But once I get these things I can start working on the top shelf. I plan on assembling my new altar setup there, which will be separated into different sections: a space for ancestors/passed loved ones, a space for my Goddess, a space to indicate the coming/just passing Sabbat, a place to put workings in progress, etc. There's not a whole lot of room on the top of my shelf, but I think this is all doable. The spaces I want to put these things on don't require a whole lot of room, and the shelf is much wider and deeper than the previous space I was using (which was the wooden box I mentioned above).

I'll update as I continue.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Continuing Studies

I was finally able to obtain a copy of Christopher Penczak's book "The Inner Temple of Witchcraft". Actually I'd had it for a while but just now started reading it and the first four chapters I couldn't put it down. There were a few points in it that I disagreed with, but pushed my own biases aside and decided to give it a proper chance. Good book so far.

I'm now on lesson 1 (chapter 5) in the book in which we do energy play. It's actually been some time since I'd done energy play. I'd use energy balls and what not for my workings, but haven't really just "played" with it to see what I could do. An interesting idea Chris pens in his book is making webs with energy. Yesterday during our 5 hr trip home from my in-laws, I attempted to make energy webs. I covered our vehicle with this web, and must say I was pretty impressed with the idea.

Though, I hate books with lessons in them. I can be a rather impatient person when it comes to reading, so I want to get on with reading, rather than take the time to repeatedly do something over the period of a week, like "energy play". That, and Chris recommends working with a partner for some of his exercises...a little difficult when I'm by myself, but I'll make do with what I can.

I sort of feel like I'm beginning all over again, but then that's what happens when you read a 101 lesson book. I'm eager to start working on other things, but I think it's probably best that I start with the basics and build up to the more advanced things.

I mean, I already know the basics, however, starting over again helps me to re-learn and perhaps better use my craft in a more effective manner. I just wish I could read the book all at once, instead of reading one chapter a week lol.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Countering "Nature Bound Pagan"

Ok. I can't take it anymore. I really need to make a corrected graphic to counter "Nature Bound Pagan"'s...thing...about Paganism.

She's made this graphic before adding the "update" that details she "does not claim to be 100% correct" about the claims she makes, yet seems to want to pass off her information as if it IS 100% correct (basing it on the fact that she MADE the graphic in the first place). When confronted with FACTS that counter what she's posted in her "Paganism 101" graphic, instead of accepting the correction graciously, like your typical fluff, she chooses to delete the comment ('s...I commented maybe 3 times trying to get her to understand).

There's a HUGE difference between trying to pass something off as fact, and passing something as opinion. Sure you can believe what you want, but when you start making graphics to describe an umbrella system, and you use inaccurate descriptions, then there's a problem. Mostly because people coming to your graphic are generally naive in the area and will believe this graphic to be 100% factual. I don't care if you have your own beliefs...you need to put a disclaimer on your graphic stating that this is your OPINION on what Paganism is, not exclude the disclaimer and ignorantly expect people to take it with a grain of salt. Not all novices think logically before accepting information, so the onus is on you, NBP to ensure you make clear that what you post is an OPINION, not fact.

(**of course, the onus is also on the reader to fact-check before accepting, but like I said, not all novices look to logic first).

Here is my "corrected" graphic on "Paganism 101" to counter Nature Bound Pagan's:
Graphic appears larger above than if clicked.

Now, naturally I'm sure there are probably a few errors of my own in this "graphic" that some will disagree with, but I think for the most part it is accurate. Not all Pagans believe the same things, while some may borrow aspects from different systems and incorporate them into their own path. The point of this being, that not all Pagans celebrate nor practice the same way as Wiccans (as the original graphic implies). Surely Odinists and Asatru's can practice, believe and celebrate differently than each other, and from Wicca entirely.

The original can be found here for comparison.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Book of Shadows Rant

I just watched a video on YouTube where a guy is ranting about the Book of Shadows, and I couldn't agree more with what he's said. I found myself nodding in agreement almost all the way through.

I couldn't agree more with what this guy says. For me, at least, the Book of Shadows is a lesson in futility. You have no idea how many books I have with the same information in so many different designs that are all partially completed. I have a large scrapbook that has maybe 5 pages done, I have a handmade book that I wanted to eventually bind, made of brown, construction paper-type material (bought cheap at the dollar store) that has a bit of information in, I have an aqua-colored dayplanner that has, actually quite a bit of information, but it's basic: no designs, no artwork...just words (unless the information requires a visual representation (i.e. a Wheel of the Year diagram)). I also have maybe a dozen small spiral bound books with varying information in them...it's a overwhelming process, mostly because I'm searching out perfection. I made a mistake years ago, buying this BEAUTIFUL hardbound book with gold gilded edges and wrote in half of it, then fell out of love with it because I didn't want the information in it anymore, and I'd written it in pen (GAAAHHH!!) *pulls out hair* (don't worry, I didn't spend a whole lot on it, I bought it for cheap at a liquidation store).

I sort of learned my lesson in that, where if I buy a nice, hardbound book, I write my information in pencil first. I have a large purple journal I bought at Staples (Canadian version of the Office Depot) that I was going to use as a tarot journal, and wrote a bunch of stuff in it in pencil, then eventually erased most of it.

I'm on to a new idea of what I want to do, but it might mean basically the end of Books of Shadows period. Because I have so many small spiral bound notebooks, I'm thinking of dedicating each one to one particular subject (i.e. Tarot, Sabbats, Herbs, etc).

I'd always been an advocate for having information in one place so I'm not sitting in a pile of books looking for what I want, but it seems that, unless I want a book that is 12 inches thick and 40lbs, that's not a realistic expectation. I have to make several books with information in them and root through them to find what I want...and I think I'm ok with that. For one thing, it'll fill the bookshelves I eventually want to get, and it gives me the opportunity to hand write my information (because I like handwriting my information). I prefer to hand write my information because it gives me more of a connection to what I'm doing. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against typing information and printing it (I do that all the time too), but I get more a feeling of accomplishment when I hand write my information. And because my books are spiral bound, it makes it easier for me to write in them, then eventually I want to remove the wire binding, and thread bind the books, making my own cover for each, making a unique book for my shelf.

But I really wish I could have the big, beautiful book of shadows of my dreams that I could make myself, but I'm not as artistic as I wish I was. Even printing out images and pasting them to pages doesn't turn out the way I want. I don't know, maybe eventually I'll get the book I want, but for now, I'm learning my lesson in futility.