Wicca: Filling a Ghostly Emotional Void

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In a few weeks, there is going to be a local Cemetery Walk. This is an event where local actors portray some of the interesting or prominent people who are interred at the graveyard. They give a 5 or 10 minutes talk about their life while alive. It’s a fun event, and really well attended. Nothing like a cemetery in October to get the public’s spook on.

As a goth person, I like the cemetery more than most of those people. Not all, because some of those people are very versed in the history of the cemetery. I enjoy the history of cemeteries also, but my interest mostly lies in the quietness of the setting. A cemetery is an oasis of calm in a world gone mad. I’m lucky enough to live close to a cemetery that is rich in artwork by decades of talented stonecutters.

I bring up the cemetery walk because it ties into what I want to write about. At this time of year, as we inch towards Samhain, there is much talk in the metaphysical community about the veil between the living and the dead thinning. Many look forward to feeling a closer connection between themselves and family members who have passed.

I do not seek that connection. I grew up in a fairly happy family. But towards my teens, there was a palpable shift. I’m not going to get into the details, but I lost the closeness with my immediate family. Then, when both parents had passed, most all the extended family fell away. I often feel that I have no ancestral history. I go to the the cemetery where many of my family members are buried, walk among their tombstones, and feel an emptiness, a palpable disconnect. These are people that passed through my life, but now gone, they leave no emotional hole in me.

Wicca alludes to something called The Summerland, and this is a good overview of it. To be honest, The Summerland is one of the most attractive concepts in Wicca. I think if a Wiccan can have that vision in their minds when close to death, it should be very comforting. Does it exist? I think that in the area of things that can’t be proven, if you think it exists, it does.

It is often written that you meet your deceased loved ones in The Summerland. I don’t get that, based upon the concept that it is a place where the soul rests before being reincarnated in some form. I would hope by this time that my parents and relatives have moved on already, for their sake.

Paganism and Wicca have filled a void left by the disassociation between myself and my family, both living and deceased. The spirituality of the God and Goddess fills my heart with a love that I might be missing. I would hope the love of the God and Goddess would be enough comfort to me in The Summerland.

*A note here. I have a strong love and connection with my wife, my children, and my grandchildren. I’m striving to not carry on the past, and am determined to forge a new paradigm. So I might hope to meet them again someday in the afterlife.

So on Samhain, instead of most family members who have passed, I look to the other side for the collective wisdom of those who have made the transition. Much like learning from those actors about those who were laid to rest in the cemetery, there is a library of knowledge left for us to discover in the otherworld.

And people wonder why I default to goth….

Thanks for reading, and gothic blessings to you!

Patchouli

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Halloween Horror Marathon

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Every year for the past 5 or so years, I’ve made a thing out of watching at least one horror movie a day in the month of October. Kind of an homage to Samhain/Halloween. Last year, I decided to include the month of September. I was pretty successful. I may miss a day here and there, but then there are the days I watch 2 or more movies.

Earlier this year, I decided to go bold and start in June. I got a good running start on it, and had I not blown up my last blog, I could tell you what I watched. However, I found that summer gets in the way of watching horror movies. Not exactly weather conducive to scary movies. So I had to let that one go.

I decided on Wednesday that I would again start in September. So on Wednesday, my wife and I watched Alien: CovenantI probably won’t shock you by telling you that if you have seen any of the other aliens, you’ve pretty much have seen this one. The story line changes a bit with each one, but aliens always end up busting out of people. A bit gory for my taste. But my wife and I agreed that it was watchable, and worth the 6 bucks on On Demand.

So that was movie #1 out of 61. I know I started on the 6th, but I will make up those first 5 days.

Yesterday, I watched a film called Crimson PeakIt was one of the movies listed in an article titled 9 Gothic Horror Films You Need to SeeThere are some good films on that list. Crimson Peak is indeed a stylish gothic horror film, with a good cast. Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnan, and Jim Beaver were all good in this. I liked this film quite a bit.

Today, I covered two films. The first, The Devil Bat, starring Bela Lugosi, from 1940 is a low budget horror film. It is in the public domain, which means it gets shown a lot. The film quality was not very good. The plot and acting weren’t much better. But that’s the kind of stuff that makes this kind of project fun. Watching the schlock along with the good stuff.

The second film is one I’m watching while I type this. It is The Innkeepers from 2011. I can write about it because I’ve seen it before. It is a slow building, haunted hotel kind of movie. An indie, The Shining, without the cast and budget. Sarah Paxton’s portrayal of one of the innkeepers was good, which kept me hanging in there. Kelly McGillis is a nice surprise. This is a slightly above average small budget horror film.

So there you have it. Four horror flicks covering the first 8 days of September. I have 4 to make up, which is a just a bump in the road. I will make occasional posts documenting my progress under the category “Horror Marathon 2017.”

Thanks for reading and creepy blessings!

Patchouli

Wicca Illuminates My Way

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I don’t believe in Jim Bakker, Ken Hamm’s, or any other extremist evangelical’s version of God. Their God is a tyrant, demanding praise and devotion, threatening hellfire and damnation for those who don’t believe in, or worship him.

I don’t believe in any God that condemns those who believe in different gods or goddesses, or no deity at all.

In fact, I don’t think any gods or goddess really care about any particular person’s life per se. The universe is bigger than any one person, and what that person does on a daily basis.

There have been times when I did not believe in any God. Often that has been a push-back against the aforementioned evangelical’s God. Other times, I’ve read the works of Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, or Christopher Hitchens, and found that they made logical sense.

Then there have been the times I’ve been pretty damned sick, and while I used my witchcraft knowledge to cast a spell for good health, or made an essential oil blend to ease my arthritis pain, I’ve also looked to the God and the Goddess. When I’ve seen an animal of any sort that has died, my first thought is “may you have a safe trip to The Summerland. When someone appeals for healing or supportive energy, I often ask the God and Goddess for their assistance in giving me the strength to deliver that energy.

I default to deity. I default to witchcraft or medicine on a mortal level, but on a spiritual level, I default to the God and Goddess.

In the past few years, I’ve bounced around spiritually. I’ve looked at different Pagan & witchcraft paths. Recently, I really felt that a Left Hand Path was right for me. But that pesky God and Goddess keep coming back into my mind.

Honestly, I find myself rudderless without them. And that God and Goddess delivery system, for me, is Wicca. It’s a path that I’ve been on for 95% of the past 15 years. I know Wicca, and it is a path that gives me direction, instruction, and most importantly, joy.

Yesterday, I reconstructed my Wiccan altar. I performed what used to be my daily ritual. And then I felt joy. I felt part of something. I knew I had a Book of Shadows filled with ritual and spells that were a result of my Wiccan life. I felt comfort.

Yes, there are distractions. Honestly, most of them come from people I don’t know via the internet. Those that would judge others’ Wiccan paths, or their entitlement to Wicca. To be honest, I enjoyed the path in the days before I was tuned into social media. But I now enjoy the company of other like minded people, and must simply ignore those who find it to be great folly to judge others.

I’m happy for those who can be “just” a witch, not needing deity, or those who find other ways to deity on Pagan/witchcraft paths. I’ve tried that, and it simply doesn’t work for me.

Whether I put a gothic spin on it or not (I do), Wicca is my spiritual rudder. It illuminates the way for me, and that’s all I can ask of a spiritual path.

Blessings to you, and thanks for reading.

Patchouli

My Energy Vampire Awakening

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I’m going to tell you my vampire awakening story. I don’t talk about this much because it is deeply personal, exposing my weakness, and the concept of psychic vampires usually carries negative connotations.

In 2007 I was diagnosed with palindromic rheumatism. At first it was diagnosed as rheumatoid arthritis, but with treatment, it went away. For awhile. But it comes back. It is an autoimmune disease. I find that times of high stress and social isolation tend to bring it on for me. Because I have much less of a social life than I did in my younger days, social media is important to me because it staves off the isolation to a great degree.

In 2007 one of my parents was very ill. It was an extremely stressful time, and it drained me both physically and mentally. Because of the situation, I was spending lots of time away from other people. It was socially isolation at its’ max. I began having joint pain, and it became so painful, I went to my doctor. He immediately referred me to a Rheumatologist. The exhaustive tests began, and I was put on a sulfa drug and NSAID’s. Sulfa drugs are the least invasive treatment compared to something like Embrel or Humira.

At the same time, I began researching energy related illnesses. As a witch, I was aware how the power of energy can be so important. I remembered a book I had seen about energy vampirism, The Psychic Vampire Codex: A Manual of Magick & Energy Workby Michelle Belanger. I grabbed a copy, and found myself in the pages of that book. I realized that I had been taking the energy of others to supplement my lack of energy production without really being aware I was doing it. I found that psychic vampires often suffered from immune system disorders, and would become unwell without the energy of others.

The book was an awakening for me. I learned how to responsibly use ambient energy, instead of draining individuals. I learned about energy tendrils and feeding. This book became my bible.

I also learned that I was an empath, which is often the case with psychic vamps, yet it is part of the problem. Giving away energy to others when one is not even producing enough for themselves is ironic at best.

So in 2007, along with the medication, I consciously became a psychic vampire. I mostly use ambient energy, but I will admit to being weak at times, and feed off someone who has really strong energy. We all have our faults…

In about 18 months, I felt good enough to stop the drugs. I have used them a few times since, but very infrequently. I can tell when I haven’t fed enough, as these symptoms start to appear. If I let it go too long, there is a slight relapse. I have to be very mindful to take care and feed.

Between being a witch, empath, and psychic vampire, I think you might see how I am drawn to the goth lifestyle and life outlook. I fight it sometimes, but it seems to be where I end up. The witchcraft and the vampirism are enough to push one into the shadows.

So that’s my vampire story. Again, I feel I’m different than someone who constantly drains the energy of others. I know a lot of those people. They are not psychic vampires who lack the ability to manufacture enough energy to be healthy. Instead, they are narcissists who suck the energy out of others simply to feed their ego. Those are the people who force people such as myself in the closet.

Thanks for reading. I’m honored that you took the time.

Darkest Blessings

Patchouli

 

Sending Energy & Prayers

filter the energyBy default, I am a cynical person. I used to wear it as some kind of badge of honor for some weird reason. I thought it made me look smart or something. Then, in 2004, along came Paganism and Wicca. It’s really difficult to be that cynical when you put your faith in the God and Goddess, and the power of magick.

But even a recovering cynic has moments of doubt. For me, one of those doubts was the idea of sending energy and prayers to others, especially those you don’t know well, or just know through the internet. For the longest time I didn’t believe those would work.

Then I began reading a lot about chaos magick. One premise of chaos magick is creating a belief system, and through that, bursts of energy are created to affect a desired change. In chaos magick, this is often done through ceremonial ritual magick of some sort, but it is a very individualistic path, and each person uses different methods.

I feel like I’m very good at working up energy and bursting it forth into the ether. I don’t say that to brag, I just feel like I have a good deal of success in doing it, for whatever reason. If I do this too often, or really burst forward a large amount of energy, I’m left very tired. I think being an empath probably has a lot to do with my success in this area.

Once I realized this type of magick can be accomplished, I simply adopted the belief system that this energy could reach other to which it is directed, whether you were in close proximity or not, and whether you knew them well or not.

Additionally, I think asking the God and Goddess, or a particular deity or deities for help in the form of prayer serves to strengthen the magick.

Now I feel that sending this energy to someone in real need is almost a requirement for me. I think in offering help to others, you strengthen both your magical abilities, and your relationship with the deities. Sometimes witchcraft is so me, me, me, that performing an act of kindness or magick for the benefit of others is a blessing.

I feel blessed to do it. I also feel good in the fact that I don’t just give it lip service, which I think some do. If I say that I’m sending energy or saying prayers for someone the the God and Goddess, I take time and do it. I get the impression when I see people on Facebook say “prayers sent” or something to that effect, they are just being nice. It’s well meaning, but I don’t think it does much good unless you actually take the time and effort to do it.

Thanks for reading and Blessed Be!

 

Tempered Minimalism

For the past few years, I’ve bought into the minimalism theory. Seeing a lack of clutter throughout one’s home does give a good amount of satisfaction. The good that came out of it for our family was that we got rid of a lot of stuff that we no longer had any use for, and were able to reclaim drawer, closet, cabinet, and storage space. We also gave Goodwill a boost.

But lately I’ve not been able to shake the goth out of my life. As evidenced by the resurrection of this blog, I’ve given in to that aspect of my personality or psyche. So I’ve been looking around at the house, and realized I had a whole slew of goth decor just sitting in boxes and closets. One thing that hippies, goths, and bohemians have in common is a love of kitschy decor. To some, that decor equates to clutter. The thing is, we like our odd, goth, bohemian decor.

Obviously, it’s tougher to clean when you have lots of stuff, but we’ve decided that the effort is worth it. So over the past few days, I’ve been pulling things out of purgatory, and putting them on display.

Ultimately, you have to be who you are, and live how it makes you happy. I love how minimalism showed me how to clean out the useless clutter, of having things where they didn’t belong. I like having reclaimed space taken up by stuff we no longer used or needed. But we’ve decided to draw the line at our eclectic, bohemian, hippie, goth, sometimes Moroccan, spooky, witchy, candlelit decor.

Darkest blessings!

Earth Day 2016

earthday55Today is Earth Day. I’m old enough to remember the very first Earth Day in 1970. I was in middle school, and our entire science class took the day off from the classroom, and headed to a nearby creek area to clean it up. It had been used as a dumping ground of sorts, people discarding used items there. We had been studying the environmental concerns in class, specifically the water pollution. Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, had figured prominently in our discussions.

So here we are, 46 years later, and we are still struggling with environmental issues. Unfortunately, the same problems exists. The interests of big business, and politicians funded by those businesses muck up the process of addressing issues. Global warming has become politicized, and of course, the deniers are out in force. Record heat, record rain, the increase in powerful storms don’t seem to faze these people. It seems that Florida will have to be covered by water before some accept the facts.

As a family, we do what we can. We try to buy less, use less, drive less, recycle, and reuse. What’s odd is that I know a lot of people in their early 30’s who don’t seem to be concerned about this. They don’t recycle, and they buy new phones, cars, houses, on a continual basis. They use Keurig cups by the bushel full, and toss them in the garbage. They eat out on a regular basis, often coming away with styrofoam containers with leftovers.

I worry that society will wake up too late. It almost is too late. We have floating islands of plastic in the oceans. Whales are dying from ingesting so much crap in the oceans. Ice caps are melting, polar bears and other arctic life are dying, and yet, we still twiddle our thumbs. I just hope we wake up before it’s completely too late.