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The Temple Within

Musings of a polytheistic witch

Shadow Work

I have been engaging in some deep shadow work. That is why I have not been posting here very often. This work is inner child work combined with present day work. I’m actually glad to be doing this work and I recognize that it is part of the restoration work left over from last year. I feel like I’m nearing the completion of a very long cycle. This cycle has taken me from child victim to survivor to warrior to teacher. I’m finding that at times I feel overwhelmed with gratitude and other times the burden feels so heavy and hopeless. I’m also having one of those moments when I can feel something big coming, but I’m not sure what it is. I’m trying to not let the fear of what it could be overtake me, I’m trying to believe in the possibility that it could be a good thing.

Thankfully I have Morrigan to help me deal with all of this. It is comforting to know that as my bones break and my heart cracks open she is there to help me put myself back together. I’m looking forward to Imbolc and the light it brings but for now, my focus is on dark shadow magick. While doing this work will be rewarding, in the end, it really takes everything I have within me to do it. This means I have to make sure I’m taking time for self-care so that I can be ready for the next battle.

Wish I had something uplifting to post today. This is real life witching. It isn’t always light and love, sometimes it is nitty gritty and down and dirty. For now, you will find me down in the mud, in the mess of my shadow.

D

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Winter Warrior

Winter is the time of year when my inner warrior is the most visible. Strength is required to get through the long Wisconsin winters but that isn’t what I’m talking about. I have lived here my entire life and so winter is not a big deal.

Covered In Snow

I’m talking about battling the beast called depression. So far I’m doing ok, keeping my head above water and engaging in the fight, ask me again in February and you might get another response. My inner warrior goddess keeps pushing me forward and I’m trying to keep up. On the other hand, I have Aphrodite telling me to engage in self-care and Bast is trying to entice me into dancing. I think there is a part of me that doesn’t want to slow down to take care of myself because I’m afraid I might lose my momentum and become stuck. This is the time of year when I focus on balance the most, it is also the hardest time for me to find balance. My emotions are either all over the map or they are turned off completely. Heart chakra magick is often needed to keep me from shutting down.

I know this isn’t the most uplifting post, that isn’t my intent, my intent is to be as real as possible. Being a witch isn’t all fairy dust and magick wands, sometimes it is a gritty battle to keep standing. Right now my heart chakra might be a bit overstimulated, I feel deep wells of water threatening to overflow.

Today I plan to take care of some household tasks and then I think I will work some magick to help me feel less out of sorts. A hot bath to soothe my nerves, a fire in the hearth to warm me, and some hot chocolate to sweeten the day. Later I have an opportunity to be social so that will help too. Tomorrow I’m going to my dance fitness class again and so Bast will be happy.

If you are fighting SAD or just regular depression know that I am right there with you. I’m happy to share tips for getting through this rough season.

D

Simple Spirituality

Today I want to talk about everyday life and the simple things I do to keep my spirituality engaged. If you spend time online you might start to feel bad about your everyday witchiness. So many people present these glamorous super witchy personas to the world and that is just not my reality.

Monday blessings! On Mondays, I give thanks to the universe and light candles for the gods on my main altar. I also do a hearth blessing focused on the Goddess Bridget. Doing this helps me to start the week with gratitude and it gives me a chance to leave offerings and to clean up my spaces.

Almost every day I pull a card. It forces me to slow down and focus my energy and it gives me some guidance for the day. I record my card in my bullet journal so I can track trends. I also check the position and sign the moon is in and my personal astrology for the day. Whenever I journal I make sure to take a moment to record my gratitude.

Now that I am running a coven again I check for coven email and do whatever little tasks I have to do. Today I made a video for a tarot series I am doing with my group. Some days there is more to do than others.

In my day-to-day interactions with the world, I look and listen for messages from the Goddess. I try to keep my eyes and ears open so I don’t miss anything. I also know that if I miss her message she will shout it out to me louder and louder until I hear her.

I focus on the cycles of the moon and the turns of the wheel. I have been doing it for so long now that it has become second nature and I don’t have to think about it much. I write in my BOS when I work magick and I try to keep learning.

It may not be glamorous but it is real and I’m so glad that I have the practice I have. It gets the job done and that is what matters to me. I enjoy high ritual! It has its time and place in my life. It is reserved for when something special needs to be marked. I enjoy all the sparkly things many witches enjoy but I know now that I don’t need them. Give me a trusty spoon and an old pot and I can stir up some powerful magick!

What does your everyday magick routine look like?

Restoration Vibrations

Restoration may have been my word for last year but the vibrations are still washing over me. Technically that word ended at Samhain and Create started, but the Universe runs on her own time. Last year after the election I had some of the darkest days I have ever had. In most respects, this past year was a dumpster fire. In my personal life, 2017 brought many ups and downs but more ups than downs. Restoration pushed me to engage with skills that I have not used in a very long time. I dusted off my old networking hat and organized the hell out of things. Last year started small and simple but the closer we got to the end (I’m not sure the Universe is done with me yet) the deeper it all went. Samhain came and went and I thought I was moving onto other things. The crone was waiting for me and she took me to some really dark places. Rooms in my childhood that have not been opened in a very long time. Memories flooded back and challenged me to see them in a new light. These rooms held deep wounds and it was pretty frightening pulling the curtain back, but with Her help, I faced those old demons and I’m glad I did. She showed me that there is support out there and that although my child self-suffered in silence my adult self could find understanding. Through this process, I have more compassion for my child self and I can see her for what she truly was, an innocent.

On the lighter side, I went back to dance class today. It was a very joyful experience. I felt the Goddess (may have been Bast) smiling down on and me and telling me this was Restoration too. I have not been to dance class for about 2 years. It felt good to shake off the stress of the holidays and engage with that part of myself that loves to get lost in the music.

Create/Creatrix has started as well. I have started a new coven and I have been creating systems and planning events. I am making lots of fiber art and writing more. It feels like Create is the reward for all of the Restoration I have been doing. I am super excited about spring and what that turn of the wheel will bring.

If any of you are thinking of working with Restoration make sure you are ready for it. Restoration is not an easy process but it is rewarding in the end. Do you have a word you are working with?

D

Skadi Season

Now that most of the holiday season has passed I’m turning my attention to Skadi. I started working with her a few winters ago and have worked with her every winter since. Depending on if you are looking at the Old Norse or Old English her name means either “harm” or “shadow.” This is perfect for me because I work with many shadow or so-called dark goddesses. I see her as a perfect winter deity. She helps me get out of the house and into the snow when all I want to do is stay inside and isolate myself. I suffer from depression and anxiety and it gets much worse in the winter. I use a light box to help with some of that, working with Skadi helps the other part. She is a giantess and is often seen as a patroness of winter survival and activities. I tend to meditate on her when I am out in nature or even when I’m just walking the dog around the neighborhood.

This year I want to focus on her in an even deeper way. I plan to leave more offerings and deepen my magickal work with her.  Her energy comes to me in a couple of ways. She feels like she is helping me with being hardy and able to keep it together during the darkest months, but she also seems to have an energy of fun around her. She shows up when I’m throwing snowballs at the dog or running in the snow when we are playing. Maybe that play is all a part of the survival aspect. For the first time this year, I have an image of her on my altar so that helps me maintain my focus. I also do other things like wearing special makeup or jewelry in honor of her.

Working with a figure like Skadi can be a challenge because there isn’t much info about her out there. In some ways, this can be a really good thing because it forces you to find your own way. Do any of you work with Skadi? I would love to hear how you incorporate her into your witchy goodness. Do you have other deities you work with exclusively n the winter?

D

Winter Solstice

I felt a shift in the energy around me yesterday. Things are going still or at least that is how I experience the Winter Solstice. I don’t feel like being around people or doing much outside the house. The only exception would be a long walk in the woods with my dog. I’m wishing for snow because we have only had a dusting this year. Everything is just gray and gloomy right now.

My plan for tonight is to do a ritual with my husband. We will throw our Yule log into the fire and have a fancy meal together. Today I’m here in the house all by myself so I plan to read cards, journal, do some crafty stuff and just be still. I will take some time to dream about spring and what I might want to plant when the time is right. I will keep a candle burning as long as I can tonight and I will snuggle down and watch a sentimental holiday movie.

I hope each of you has a delightful solstice filled with room to breathe deep, pause, reflect, and dream.

D

The Healing Power Of Nature

I have been feeling raw due to everything going on in the news. The holiday season has blessed me with traditional holiday stress as well. Yesterday my spirit was calling for nature and so I decided to bundle up and head out to the park. Maverick (my doggie) was more than happy to accompany me on my journey. It started to snow pretty hard when we were driving over. I tend to experience snow as peaceful and healing so I was delighted to see the flakes start to dance down from the sky. We had the park to ourselves and the silence was delicious. When I’m walking my dog I do not look at my phone. I try to just let it be us out there with no distractions.

Generally, I like the winter holidays. I celebrate secular Christmas, along with all of my favorite pagan winter holidays. Winter Solstice is the most prominent as a part of my spiritual practice. It reminds me that it is ok to be like the rest of nature, quiet. Here in Wisconsin nothing is really growing or blooming. Nature is resting and so am I. I tend to turn inward at this time of the year. Not to shy away from people but to give myself time to restore and dream of what I want to manifest in the spring. I’m also reminded of how dark the world can be. I try to share my light when I can. This means taking more time to listen to my loved ones and be as present as possible.

From my window, I can see a lovely tree. She has no leaves but stands proudly and is still beautiful without her green decor. She symbolizes hope and the beauty of the crone. She reminds me that life is still there and will return in the spring. She will have leaves again after her winter nap. She also reminds me that as youthful beauty fades it is replaced by a different beauty. Over the years naked winter trees have become one of my favorite things to photograph. For me, they represent strength and inner truth, the beauty of the soul that lasts even after outer beauty fades away.

How are you feeling as we head into the darkest time of the year?

Winter Trees
Maverick
Covered In Snow

This was taken at the start of our walk. I was totally covered in snow by the end!

Winter Berries
Snowy Nest
Queen Anne’s Lace
Frosted

D

Untethered

Today I am giving in to feeling untethered. During this autumn season, it can be so easy for me to become ungrounded. There is this part of me that longs to be between worlds. The world feels heavy now and the constant flow of bad news pouring out at me is overwhelming. Yesterday I spent a good deal of my free time reading and working on my BOS. I burned some cedar incense and just let myself get lost for a spell in the spirit world. I think I’m going to allow myself a season of this, maybe a few more days. The holidays are rushing at us all now and soon enough I will feel the stress of it all and I will be struggling for balance.

How are you handling this time of gray and moving into the darkness?

D

 

Samhain Harvest

My Samhain harvest was wonderful and this year was a big year for manifestation. I’m feeling like all of my hard work paid off in a big way! I have many new things happening right now and I’m trying not to rush headlong into things. So far my new coven is working pretty well. This is my first attempt at having a teaching coven. In the past, I have tended to work with folks who were more seasoned. Teaching has always been a challenge and I have to keep reminding myself that I can inspire if I just put myself in the right headspace. I also made my first video for my new Youtube channel. I’m hoping through this channel I can meet some new people and build some new friendships and connections. The video is pretty far out of my comfort zone. I’m sure there will be negative folks out there. I have to keep reminding myself that negative people can just be ignored. My Etsy store is back up and I’m hoping to have some cool witchy items in there soon.

This last step in my year of restoration has brought me the greatest joy! When I am working on this area of my life I feel like I am right where I am supposed to be in the universe. It brings me so much happiness to know my heart still sings when I engage with helping others in their practice. Bliss is the word I’m reaching for. I know it will not always be easy. Dealing with the personalities can be really draining. That being said, helping others and seeing them really understand and grow is pretty uplifting.

I am grateful. I’m grateful for my craft, the gods and ancestors, and all the people who stood by me when things were hard.

How did your Samhain season go? Can you believe that Yule is right around the corner? I know I’m not ready for that!

Deb

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