Archive for January, 2013
As many of you know I work on the St. Louis Pagan Picnic Committee. I’ve been on the committee pretty much continuously since 2003. It’s been a great honor to be able to serve the community in this area and it happens to be one of my passions.
It all happened long ago, but I happened to open my mouth and make it known to the universe that I was going to get involved in the community once I moved to the St. Louis area. I know…I know…be careful what you wish for! Well, I went to a meeting for picnic intending to volunteer a few hours at the event and came away as Programming Coordinator. Fortunately, I had some good mentors and excellent support so I could get my bearings! I love my job on picnic and it’s given me a chance to meet some terrific people in the area and some of the more well-known individuals in the greater Pagan community.
Below are links to a few of the video interviews I’ve done at Pagan Picnic over the years! (From these you’d never know I was shy.) I thought that these would be a fun little extra to put up on the website for your viewing pleasure. As you can tell from the videos the weather in St. Louis is varied in June, but some years are hotter than others!
As we approach Imbolc, I thought that it would be a good time to share the following meditation. Part of my own personal journey has been giving thought to where I wanted my life and spirituality to go this year. I made a promise to myself that I would not allow fear to paralyze my ability to share with others.
I have had the tendency to think that there would be no one who would want to know my personal take on Wicca, Witchcraft, and Paganism. However, I’ve been issued a few challenges that I feel I need to take on. I have had a few projects on the back burner that I am trying to bring to fruition and my spouse has been pushing me along and helping get me the tools to do it! There have been a few people in the Pagan Community that have acknowledge my contributions and are pushing me to do more. I am hoping to live up to those expectations, but more importantly my own.
Before we can welcome the light we have to acknowledge and accept the dark both within and without!
The Shadow Self
There are times where we seem to be waging an internal war. At those times we can be our own worst enemy, worst critic and hardest task master. So, how do we pull ourselves back into balance? We must acknowledge and embrace the opposing forces inside of us. Once we accomplish this task life will flow much more peacefully.
The way to do this is to recognize and accept your shadow self. You have to be able to identify the part of your psyche that you generally try to keep at bay. When you are ready to deal with this part of yourself you will be ready to begin.
As usual, you will want to find a quiet spot where you can relax and be undisturbed. You will want to take that mental side-step from daily life into the other realm. Close your eyes and relax slowly. Take a deep breath and exhale relaxing your neck as you do so. Roll your shoulders and feel your tension ease and as you take another breath and feel the muscles relax down your arms. Move your hands and fingers to remove the last of the tension from them. Take another deep breath and feel the core of your being within your solar plexus. Feel the light within you burn bright and melt any tension. Allow that light to continue down your torso and into your legs. The tension in your thighs and calves continue down, down, down into your toes. Wiggle your toes and feel the last of the tension leave your body and return to the earth.
Once you are relaxed open your minds eye. Notice your surroundings and that you are in the middle of a small clearing within a grove of trees. There isn’t much light, just enough to cast flickering shadows all around you. As your eyes adjust you notice that there is a thick fog obscuring your view and making any clear exits impossible to see. The only way to find your path is to identify your shadow self, know why it is a part of you, and understand it.
As you sit in the grove pondering the darker side of yourself you’ll want to ask several questions. What do you find most challenging about yourself or your personality? Does it affect your self-esteem or your interpersonal relationships? Do you find yourself prone to jealousy, anger, or doubt? Whatever your issue(s) may be, name it. Say it out loud within the grove and own that part of yourself.
Beside you, you’ll see a small stick next to where you are sitting. The ground around you is bare and soft. Take the stick and write into the soft ground what you have named your shadow self. Once you have done this you’ll notice a shape starting to form in the mist in front of you. You may or may not be able to identify what exactly the shape is. If you can, make a note of it for later. The fog will soften the image, making it almost intangible, but you can interact with it.
Talk to this aspect of yourself. You can ask any questions of your shadow self you’d like in order to gain a better understanding of its presence in your life. Tell your shadow self that you understand and accept that it is a part of who you are. It is a part of what makes you an individual and makes you stronger. Instead of fighting with your shadow self come to an understanding of how you can work together.
When you are able to come to the realization that you are stronger together than separate you can take the shadow self back into your life. The shadow within the fog will come closer to you; it will still be transparent and ethereal like a ghost. Close your eyes and it will float toward you and go to pass through you. Do not be afraid. Allow it to reenter your being and realign itself with you. You may feel something click within you as this piece of the puzzle finally fits into place. Once this shift has occurred you will be feeling whole again.
Now as you open your eyes and blink several times you’ll notice the fog starting to recede. The light in the grove is starting to brighten and new green shoots are sprouting out from the bare earth you were sitting on. The shadows around you are beginning to dissipate, retreating to the edge of clearing. When you are ready and you have addressed your issue(s) a path out of the grove will open. Walk out of the clearing and take the step back into reality.
The ability to face the darker nature that is within each of us takes courage. Understand that it is an integral part of who we are. Addressing it and how it manifests in your life will bring you greater inner peace and as a reflection your other interactions will be smoother.
This mediation was previously published at Pagan Pages in February 2010 where I was the original author of the piece.
Well, another calendar year has turned the page and it’s now 2013. This for me embodies the ‘Year of the Witch,’ in more ways than just being denoted by a 13. There is so much going for this year and it’s difficult to describe exactly why that is. There just seems to be more on the horizon than in years past.
So, here is a breakdown on what the year promises to bring so far!
I have two writing projects that I am working concurrently on. One has been on the back burner for quite sometime, but I have the sudden urge to bring it to fruition. So, I’m working on getting it ready to go. The second is a pretty new idea and it’s something I hope to be able to offer on the website soon.
I’ve had one article published in the Magical Almanac with Llewellyn Worldwide for 2013 and I will have another one for 2014! So, I’ll keep writing smaller things as well.
Not to mention my duties as editor for, The Correllian Times. That takes up a good chunk of time, but it’s something that I enjoy.
I’ve also have started a discussion group with my good friend, Ellen Dugan. It’s going to be on a monthly basis out in St. Charles, MO. We’re also tossing a couple of other collaborative ideas around for later in the year. It’s been a lot of fun to just bounce ideas off of one another and put our love of community out there for others.
Of course, this summer there will be St. Louis Pagan Picnic, which will be on June 8th & 9th! I’ll be there as usual. There are a lot of great workshops and activities planned.
It may seem like a lot, but just like with everything else I try to take it one thing at a time. That way I don’t get too overwhelmed!
In fact, I recently had a conversation with a friend about that very topic and she was having a hard time with the changes she was wanting to implement for the year. I told her that the best thing she could do was to make one change now. Work on that change until it becomes a habit and then add another. All the small changes will eventually add up to a large change. Once that occurs you’ll be able to look back and appreciate all the hard work that it took to get there.
The reason most people’s New Year’s Resolutions fail is that they try to take on too much at once. If you break it down into smaller parts, you’re more likely to succeed. I know it’s a philosophy that I try to implement into my own life. It’s allowed me to take part in a great many projects and to expand my writing as well. Don’t let anyone discourage you from accomplishing your dreams, even if that person is yourself!