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The Temple Within

Musings of a polytheistic witch

Month

May 2016

In My Bones

Spirituality has always been in my bones. The idea of god has always been there, like the breath in my lungs. My child self-took all things concerning god very seriously. My parents and grandparents taught me that church and god were the most important things. I craved acceptance and approval. I feared hell and being separated from god and my family. What if they were all in heaven and I was alone in hell? The god of my child/young adulthood was an angry god, plus he kept score. Later I would come to understand that I was already separated from god. He was up there, and I was down here. He was perfect and I was hopelessly imperfect. He was bigger than life and I was nothing but a grain of sand, nothing really in the grand scheme of things.

I prayed often when I was a child. During my childhood, I worked hard for the church. I was the captain of the bible quiz team for many years. I could memorize the King-James like no other kid in my church. I showed up for nursing home ministry, Sunday school bus route, youth choir, and campus ministry. If there was a bible camp I went and I also attended a Christian school. Basically, if the lights in the church were on I was there. Did I mention how real hell was to me? I feared it, but what I feared the most was the rapture.

One of my earliest memories is about the rapture. Our church featured these horribly graphic films once a year. They were supposed to get people scared so they would join the church. I started watching them when I was three. So for about 25 years I was subjected to this over and over. By the time I was an adult there were 4 films in the series. These films showed people being beheaded by guillotine, not really sane for small children to be watching. In my day-to-day life, I feared what small transgression might keep me from making the rapture. It was mental and emotional child abuse. We were encouraged to ask god to forgive us for known and unknown sin. This idea kept me awake at night. I would sleep with my mother for weeks after watching these films.

I stayed a Christian until I was 28 years old. When I was a child I wanted to please god because of fear. As an adult, my drive was more towards approval and acceptance. In all of the years, I never felt accepted by god. We were a poor family. My parents were not really equipped to be parents. I was taught that if I had the faith of a mustard seed I could move mountains. So I would pray, pray for food, pray my mother could pay the light bill, pray my molester would go away, pray my parents would be sane and healthy, pray and pray and nothing ever changed. How could this be? I was trying hard to be sinless, and I had faith, or did I? Maybe I thought I did, maybe I was just fooling myself, maybe I did not really believe. Maybe my best attempts at belief were not enough, maybe I was beyond saving. Could it be that god had rejected me? Maybe I was unloveable, unsavable, and unable to have enough faith. He (god) was either ignoring me, or he was simply saying no to my requests.

God might say no, or at least they taught me that. Suffering made me more christ like, closer to god, suffering fostered strength. I was molested by a man in our church for two years. I was 11 when it all started. Even that was supposed to be a lesson. What had I (at 11 years old) done to cause him (a 31-year-old man) to “fall” into sin? God allowed it to happen, I had to believe it, it was the only thing that made sense. He has his eye on the sparrow and he knows the number of hairs on my head. Surely he saw it all and did nothing to stop it. My young adult self-blamed myself and figured it was somehow my fault, I was rejected.

Is it any wonder that I married an abusive man? I stayed in that relationship for 12 years. It was physical, mental, and emotional abuse. When I finally got up the courage to leave, I was told I could not break free. My deacon told me that the bible only gave me one out. If my husband committed adultery I could leave. Adultery was the only reason one could divorce in the church. He said he understood that my husband was a bully, but you cannot argue with god’s word. I could physically separate but I could not divorce. At this point, I had a restraining order against my husband. My deacon kept calling me and trying to talk me into going home.

Something in me shattered. I had no fucks left to give. I had prayed for 12 years that things would get better between him (my husband) and I. God was silent. I was broken and I told god exactly where he could go. I was done trying to be good enough. I was also done asking him for help, in my mind he was a sadist, watching but never acting. He would watch me twist in the wind and never offer so much as an ounce of help. Hell sounded better than serving him one more day. So just like that 28 years of striving to be accepted ended. I liberated myself. Later I would learn I was just at the beginning of my return of Saturn when all of this started. Within a couple of years, I got divorced and completely changed my cosmology. Finding Paganism changed my life for the better in so many ways.

This is how my feet were firmly planted on the road to becoming a witch…

TBC

D

 

 

 

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Change is Good

In 1999 I decided to become a witch. I left a lifetime of bad religion behind me and went in search of something that would be a better fit. 1998 was all about searching. I was hungry for connection. At first, I thought I might be an atheist, after three months I decided that was not going to work for me. I could feel within me that there was something out there but I just wasn’t sure what it was. I studied all kinds of paths and it all led me to witchcraft. I found the goddess and after that, I knew I was home.

When I started out my practice was full of passion and wonder. Over time, I have lost much of that. Groups, community, ideas about what I should and shouldn’t do have all clouded my once intuitive practice. Now I find myself hungry for that old passion. I want to get my hands dirty. If I’m being honest I would have to say that I no longer care what anyone thinks of my practice. I have tried to make my magick conform to other’s ideas of what is right, proper, etc…All this has done is weaken my practice and over time, it has felt less and less like me. I am grateful for all of the training I have received. I have had some very meaningful experiences and because of these, I have added many useful things to my spirituality.

Now I am on a pilgrimage. I am journeying back to who I was in the beginning. I think that is where the juice is. I want to feel more and worry less. So far the journey has been wonderful. This week I got my hands down deep in the earth. I also enjoyed all 4 elements in a meaningful way. I worked a little magick at my altar and I did some divination. I’m creating new tools and my mind has been abuzz with all the things I want to do. Isn’t it funny how you just know when it is time to make a change? I have been waiting for the energy to shift and then one day it did, I knew in that moment just what I wanted to do. I let a bunch go and now I’m ready for what comes next!

D

Divination

I am starting a new habit of drawing a tarot card to guide me through each week. Here is the card I drew for this week.

Weekly card
Weekly card

This card comes as no surprise to me. It means obstacles, not enough clarity, and needing to slow down. This is right where I am at. I need more time to heal and figure out what my next moves should be. It could be easy to rush into new projects but I know that isn’t right for me right now.

D

Magickally Minded

 

Magick has been on my mind. This week I started some new wands. Apple wood has been calling my name so I set out to find some. With the help of a dear friend, I found three lovely sticks to use.

Wands

They are not complete but they are looking good. I love the energy of the one on the left the most. It is weird how they each have their own feel.

I also worked some clarity magick today. There is good full moon energy afoot!

Magick

Last night we worked a very different kind of magick. Shawn and I had funnel cake together. Every year our family goes to Fitchburg Days. There is always plenty of funnel cake and other yummy food to try. Music and sometimes fireworks are part of the fun too. It has become part of our tradition. I see it as a way to welcome in summer. This may not be formal magick but it is magick none the less.

Funnel Cake Magick

I am happy to be feeling inspired again! Standing before a hot cauldron makes me smile inside. Are you working full moon magick?

D

 

Magick Manifest

Hello Witches! I hope this fine May evening finds you doing well. We finally saw some sun today! Here is a photo of some lovely flowers I found.

IMG_1518

I had one goal for Beltane, I had to find a way to set myself free. I was feeling heavy, weighed down by sadness and pressure. I had shrunk myself and ceased to be authentic. I was acting from fear. Afraid of being hurt if I let my true self shine through.

“Freedom
Freedom
I can’t move
Freedom, cut me loose
Singin’, freedom
Freedom
Where are you?
‘Cause I need freedom too” Beyonce

This world can be tough on those of us who don’t fit in. The magical ones, the sensitive ones, those who color outside the lines. The grind of trying to fit in when you don’t can really wear on a person. Ultimately I took some big action and quit my job. It was proving to be pretty toxic to me and I had been staying out of a false sense of duty. I knew I was going to have quit soon but I had not pulled the trigger on it yet. 

“I break chains all by myself
Won’t let my freedom rot in hell
Hey! I’ma keep running
‘Cause a winner don’t quit on themselves” Beyonce

I think all of these retrogrades played a part in keeping me stuck. My mind has been muddy and I just couldn’t achieve any forward motion. Then yesterday something shifted. The energy felt different and so I struck while the iron was hot. Just that one action caused a big change. I feel like I can breathe again. I spent the day outside with my daughter soaking up the natural world, and best of all the sunshine. There is a lot of work left to do, but I feel like I have made a great start and I can already feel a huge energy shift.

Part of the magick has been meditation. Talking with Morrigan never hurts. The biggest thing I did was immerse myself in the energy of freedom. I have danced and listened to music about freedom. I have read poetry and historical quotes about freedom. I have bit my lip and acted from my heart. A dash of this and a dash of that plus some serious intent have made manifest my Beltane wish.

What was your Beltane wish? Have you worked any juicy magick lately?

D

Dancing For Freedom

Last night I went to Zumba and it was wonderful. Dancing always makes me feel free. For Beltane my focus was Freedom and so last night I hit the dance floor and welcomed Freedom in. It felt good to not only dance but to reconnect with the people in my class. I feel like I have not been “in my body” lately. I have not been feeling enough and so dancing was a good remedy. I also created a Freedom themed playlist to remind me each day of what my goals are. Music is magick to my soul and so I know how to use it to help me with my goals. Here is the first track on my Freedom playlist!

D

Happy Beltane!

I hope each one of you has a Blessed Beltane! Here in Wisconsin, it is gray and rainy. The sun is hiding and it is rather cold. We lit a fire in the fireplace last night so that was nice. Until yesterday I did not know what I wanted my Beltane focus to be, then all of a sudden it came together and it is perfect. Freedom. Freedom to be who I truly am. I have been feeling like I’m existing in a cage, behind tall walls. I have let those close to me silence me, I have grown smaller over the last year. Being afraid of being hurt has crippled me in so many ways.

“I am no bird; and no net ensnares me: I am a free human being with an independent will.”
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre

So today I’m ending all that. Freedom is what I am seeking. Today I am hacking my way through the chains and stretching my arms. It feels good to breathe! No more being quiet because of fear and no more hiding from people who have hurt me.

“Some birds are not meant to be caged, that’s all. Their feathers are too bright, their songs too sweet and wild. So you let them go, or when you open the cage to feed them they somehow fly out past you. And the part of you that knows it was wrong to imprison them in the first place rejoices, but still, the place where you live is that much more drab and empty for their departure.”
― Stephen King, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: A Story from Different Seasons

I have been talking with Morrigan for the last few days. She sent me some pretty disturbing dreams last week, I know when that happens it means it is time to wake up! Her message was clear. When you are always crushing your own spirit it is not good for your wellbeing. It hurts both your physical and mental health. This winter has been long, it has been so gray lately and I have had SAD to contend with, these are all reasons for feeling the way I do. But the thing is there are other reasons, I silence myself, I isolate myself, and I make myself smaller. All of this is in response to pain. I’m trying to hide from people and situations that might hurt me.

“Happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous.”
― Marie Rutkoski, The Winner’s Curse

Oh well, there is much work to be done here. I hope each of you has a lovely Beltane. Sorry if this post was a downer. I really am feeling very up and hopeful today!

D

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