Devotee Dialogues, 2

Duskhearted

NoteThese prompts are my own. Feel free to engage with them.

Q: Choose a deity to focus on. Describe the different aspects you’ve encountered. Have you only ever been shown one? If you’ve encountered two or more, how different are those sides from one to the next? Are their identities tied to particular kennings / epithets. If so, which?

Optional: Attempt to relay how these differing identities contribute to the whole of your practice.daqc6c6-b5660ab3-73e9-4ef5-940d-3cbce936e299

Here I choose to explore my relationship with the goddess Diana. Memory can be imprecise; it’s difficult for me to recall whether I first encountered her in writing or in meditation, but nonetheless, I came to know her first aspect better as I was channeling for something I’m working on. This seemed to be at times a mix of Diana Nemorensis, the queen of the sacred grove and Diana Trivia, the cthonic…

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I’m Not Wiccan – I’m a witch

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Candle Watching: reading and interpreting the signs 

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Keeping stones with my tarot cards

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I do this especially with decks of tarot or oracle cards I carry with me. I charge the stone(s) on the full moons and keep them in the bag or wrap with my deck. In a way it works like a battery- to keep them spiritually clean and charged, and helps me make a better connection in my readings as well. 🙂

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Turning a memory into something magical

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I couldn’t wait blog about this one, but now is the perfect time!
So there’s this thing some of us go through, called “post-concert depression”, after you go to a concert so good, the feelings just linger and you miss it so much, and you want it to happen again and again, but it’s like one of those “once in a lifetime” experiences.
Well that’s what this year’s Farm Rock Chicago was like, the lineup was amazing and my fiance and I particularly went to go see (and hopefully meet) Tom Keifer- which we did meet him and it was amazing. We were on cloud nine during the whole thing, I couldn’t ask for a better experience and such an amazing chance to meet such down to earth people. I left my windows partially cracked open (it was a hot September day), and I found dust all over the outside and covering the dashboard of my car from people driving up and down the dirt road behind us. I couldn’t even get mad about it, instead I was like “oh my god I can do something with this!”

So, I did.

Its like literally putting a memory in a bottle, and it’ll be great during the winter, especially if I’m feeling the winter “blues” (haha pun). I grabbed one of the empty bottles I had lying around and labeled it. (Remember I mentioned about how things shouldn’t be expensive?  A whole travel pack plastic bottle set for a dollar, and a pair of rubber bulb droppers for the same price. Bam.)

So if I’m making a witchy bottle, what stuff should I add to it? I dug into my black box of herbs and pulled out Clove. Each bag of herbs I have cost a dollar a piece, sometimes less if I’m buying in bulk. I took out five dried buds (thats a good power number to go with). So why clove? It’s magical properties associate it with Jupiter, fire, prosperity, friendship, healing, protection, and psychic awareness (among a few other things). On top of that, Clove is an essential staple of the herbal first aid kit. It’s a well known antibacterial and anesthetic (the traditional toothache remedy- yes I’ve used it for that too). This was really the first thing I thought of.

I throw my clove in the bottle and now what do I want to add? A stone. I found the cutest clear quartz that’s just small enough to fit. Mental clarity, protection, healing- perfect.

Now I decide if I want to use water or oil. I decided to use oil for this, and specifically almond oil. Almond oil is a carrier oil and if I want to bring out the scent of the clove, almond oil was my best option at hand. (Almond oil cost me a few bucks but it lasted me a very long time.) I also added some flowers too (they look cute suspended in fluid and the oil  will bring the scent out a little too.)

Last but not least- the dust. I took a clean Q-Tip and went out to the car and got a good sample of that farm rock dust on my dashboard. I dipped it in my bottle of oil and herbs and swished it around and disposed of the Q-Tip. I put the cap on the bottle and shook it. When to charge it? On the full moon! 🙂

Voila, and that is how you make a memory into magic!

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The only tool you need: you.

Before I made my own altar, I used a portion of my dresser as my “altar” for years. My altar cloth is made out of remnant fabric, I got my candles at the dollar store, my goddess statuette was discounted, my chalice was a gift, making my altar only cost me $15 bucks to build and suit my purposes and I’ve been able to move it with me, conveniently placed on top of my altar box with similar dimensions (also discounted).

Bottom line is, making decent magic(k) doesn’t have to be expensive. I know, there’s so many altar tools out there that are shiny and cool, but is it going to make your magick better? Do you need to spend $100 on an athame, or $200 on a staff? Is your magick breaking your bank?

Understandably, every now and then we will need to buy things, at the same time, these things should be reasonable. We don’t need to buy the brass wand for $300. We don’t need to buy the $20 candle because it says “wicca” on it. Walmart sells unscented, colored 7-day candles for a buck. This is where I began collecting my parts for my rituals. I said I needed to have a candle at each quarter of the circle. Tealights from the dollar store did well for a while until I wanted to see a representation of each quarter- Earth, Air, Fire, Water, and of course, spirit.

While supporting small businesses is definitely a good thing, it’s necessary to know when the consumer is being taken advantage of. Personally I’m not sure if the market for Witchcraft is as big as it was throughout the 70’s and on, when everybody wanted to be the next “Sabrina”, or wanted to be in a coven like The Craft in the 90’s. Lately the sensation has been all about the series Supernatural (which I could never get into, but “Winchestercest” is an insanely popular ship), but most just end up at Hot Topic for that stuff. Recognizing when a product is being hyped up over its name and not its quality is something to keep an eye on, and also remembering that small businesses often sell these products as a source of income, so it’s good to help them out. Unfortunately, Pagans aren’t made of money.

There’s many resources related to “witchcraft on a shoestring”, websites, books, you name it. The only thing I really spent money on was my books. These books really support the authors they’re coming from, especially buying new, otherwise yes, I am a huge fan of Half Price Books- I buy a ton of books and research stuff as part of my craft.

So, expensive tools does not make better magick. At one point in time it was common for witches to literally use the earth to perform spells. Sometimes that can be hard especially if you’re in a metropolitan city or a very urban area, being able to improvise is essential. You are the being that calls out the quarters, you do the drumming, you cast the circle, you read the sacred words to call the elements and the gods, and the intent is all yours. You’re in charge. The only tool you need is you.

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About finding your familiar…

This particular blog subject was a request, a man (a certain man in particular, you know who you are haha) was interested in my input, so I gave him my two cents and I told him I would write a blog about it to elaborate on the smaller parts I spoke about. It’s been a long time since I made a real blog post, so forgive me, life has been busy.

Also, before I begin, I would like to add that today is the first day I have purchased my own domain, so welcome to the OFFICIAL MyrnaDragonchild.com! Joy! Celebration! Much congrats!

Now, back to the subject… familiars. There’s several different definitions of what a familiar exactly is depending on tradition, whether it be physical or spiritual, it all comes down to an animal that aids you (the witch) in magick.
There’s a ton of information out there about familiars and how to obtain one, though there’s some conflict in whether or not a personal assistant in which you have a spiritual bond with can actually be “obtained”, in the fashion of “I want this black cat in the window, it is going to be my familiar”.
In an intuitive sense, a cat’s curiosity for example can be translated as “aid” or interest in whatever the practitioner is doing, as if wanting to help. There’s nothing wrong with that, all it comes down to is- what is the cat actually doing?
Now, there’s a nice thing about working with animals of all types, and that’s instinct. There’s something particularly exciting about tapping into the raw, pure nature of animal instinct. Looking at the concept, this natural instinct- no matter how “domesticated” the animal is, is always still there in its un-tameable form and powerful in nature. This can be incredibly useful in rituals and spells- but is having a familiar necessary?

If you were to ask me, I would say no. It’s common neopagan practice to find a familiar, an animal companion to aid you in spiritual practice. A common trend I find in the concept of having a familiar (at least in the physical sense), that it’s either a cat or a dog (stereotypical, right?). Now if I had taken the concept of a familiar and ran with it to this date, my familiar would be a parakeet. Why a parakeet? Well that was my first pet that I would probably claim as my familiar. An animal I could probably say I had a spiritual bond with, and still do.
Would I know this Parakeet is my familiar? It would be purely intuitive. We are receptive to each other’s body language and gestures, emotions, and core desires (food, water, shelter). That’s just part of what it’s like to own a pet- understanding your pet. Asking my pet to lend its energy in ritual, or assuming it is already doing so? Questionable.
For those already doing so and having great results, by all means, that is wonderful, keep doing so. But for the rest of those starting out in general Paganism or Wicca 101, is claiming a familiar going to be necessary for you? The next question to bring up is, is it ethical to pull energy from your animal companion when they may not give their express consent? Is your pet going to remain as your household family member, and not your four-legged (or feathered or scaled) magical partner in crime?

So what’s with the need of weeding out what is or isn’t necessary? It’s to help you the practitioner get down to business and study, practice, and develop all you need to without having to go through the maze of unnecessary little things you may not have at your disposal that can stop you from reaching your full potential. This will bring me to my next blog on tools.

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