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Archive for June, 2015

So it is confirmed, there will be a DVD-documentary with Raven and Stephanie Grimassi that’s called Ever Ancient, Ever New: Witchcraft by the Hearthside. As far as I understand it will be a two hour long documentary where Raven and Stephanie will talk about a lot of different things old and new including history (the time for the release will be sometime in October). And that history  is something we are very good at forgetting I’ve noticed, not only as pagans, but as humans and individuals. How many times have the thought gone through your mind that “I wish XX was here, they would have known what this was/who that man in the photo was”. And all the other things you might have learnt or could have had a better understanding of.

No, I’m not suggesting we go back to “the old days”, there are certainly things that wasn’t that good and happy back then just as things are now. But still, without a tv or a computer there was more time to tell stories, and listen to others while you did smaller things around the hearth or kitchen table perhaps. And that is what I feel we are missing out big time today, we forget that not all the people we know and love will be around for ever to be able to give us their story. That is what made me pledge for Ravens’ Kickstarter campaign. I’m even willing to translate whatever they say so my daughter will understand, or friends, if she wants to listen. At least until she’s fluent enough to handle this language without my help. But that’s some years away yet, and I should know, I started learning this language when I was 9 and now I’m well past 40 and still learn new words or how to use the language. And sometimes now and then the thought that I should write down things, thoughts, dreams, everyday life, just anything that comes to mind, because one day it might be of help or at least interest for someone else. How did we live our lives, what did we do, thoughts, how we perceive the world and all that is around us. There are so many things that we take for granted, or forget that it isn’t that obvious and clear for all the others.

Like my mum, she grew up in a farming family, just as my dad, they knew what it was like not having a tap for water inside, there were no washing machines to take care of laundry, there was no tv or computer, some didn’t even have electricity and having a phone wasn’t granted either. So many things to listen to, and give to grandchildren who might have a hard time grasping what it was like. This documentary that Raven is working on now is exactly the same thing, but with witchcraft instead, before it’s too late. Wish I could have all of his books, not just a couple of them, but it’s absolutely better than none at all.

Witch all of a sudden brings me to the thought that maybe I should try and look up books, webpages and stuff and see if I can find some good suggestions for beginners, those who are just starting out or want to find out more about what paganism is. There are so many places to read at, but to get some basic information to help you towards the next step is another thing. Next project of mine perhaps? If anyone have a suggestion or several, please comment, it would be great fun to find more places to share.

And this is the wonderful message of Gratitude from Raven on Facebook shortly after they closed their campaign:

IT IS OFFICIAL – THE KICKSTARTER IS OFFICIALLY FUNDED – the project will manifest.

What I want to tell you is that you have done more than generously fund this project, more than support a good cause, more than just be the best kind of people.

None of you had money laying around that you could easily spare. You gave from what was in your heart because it is always full.

It is an emotionally risky thing to tell people that you want to do a video that is the culmination of your life’s work. Until the last few days it did not appear that the campaign would succeed, the amount of people were few, the funds inadequate. I thought to myself, is this a message from the Community?

I have far fewer years ahead of me than behind me. The young people among you all won’t really know what that means, how that feels. Well, at least not for some decades yet to come. But you all just made the years ahead something for me to look forward to.

Now bear with me here as I count a few sorrows. I think this important in order for you to know what you have done on the highest level.

Over the past decades of my authorship I have been subjected to significant and relentless emotional abuse on the Internet and through personal email. This consisted of lies, distortions, inventions, misinformation and ill-wishes. It was an intentional campaign, and it took its toll on my career.

Despite this, I continued to write and not for the money because there has never been much of that. I wrote because it is why I entered into this dimension, it is what my spirit has insisted upon. But it cost me much in my relationships, and so much of my time is spent inside my study researching and writing. My world is often four walls, a window, and a computer.

Yesterday I read so many posts telling me how much my work meant to people. One individual came along and pledged a great deal of money because she so strongly believed in this project.. This lifted my spirit and rallied my supporters. Your words helped me remember why I do this, what my mission has always been. You woke me up again.

And so because of you, what I hear is that the culmination of my life’s work has value. The spirit of what calls us to be Witches is still alive and can thrive into future generations. My work matters, we matter, I matter. That’s an amazing gift.

So here is the campaign data – 439 of you raised $51,625 You are an amazing manifesting group of people. We were up against a good number of people who wanted to see this project fail. But we prevailed against the dark hearts.

Outside of the 439 number of people who pledged, a couple hundred clicked “like” and a smaller portion “shared.” This helped spread the word, and I thank you for that support. An unknown number of you wished me well. Thoughts ARE things, and so I thank you.

My deepest heartfelt thanks go out to each of you who stepped forward and made a real difference, made this manifest. What you and I have put into motion now is something we will have to wait and see in its fruitfulness. To quote Gandalf: “Not even the very wise can see all ends.”

In closing, there are people in our lives who probably never know what they mean to us. There are people who sustain us in ways they may not even be aware of at all. I want all of you to know that what you did meant the world to me. You gave me back something that I lost somewhere along the road. “Thank you” are pale words to set before you.

It is my most sincere wish that all that you gave comes back to you three-fold, and that in your time of need people are there for you as you were there for me. Blessings to you, and Perfect Peace Profound.

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Spreads for Litha blurred by cat

Spreads for Litha blurred by cat

Cat spread

Cat spread

Yes, I know, I said I was going to post this the next day. But as we all know, Life happens and it apparently wasn’t done with me yet and decided to hand me a splitting headache when I came home from visiting a friend. But it’s better today so here we go.

As I sat there late Sunday with my cards, spreadcloth in place and just grabbing camera, the cat comes like a black streak of fur into our livingroom. Did I say or do something to announce what I was planning to do, or do cats have a sixth sence for when you are going to do some tarot or magical work? Maybe the cards and the cat have some telepathic connection? No matter what or how, I had some blurry black stuff in my first attempt to take a photo of my spread and had to shove him off several times before I was able to take one decent photo of it. Lucky for me perhaps because after that he promptly placed himself on top of it and refused to move.

Finally I managed to do two spreads, both using the lovely deck Gaian Tarot, first one is called Midsummer Tarot Spread from Cosmic Faery.

Midsummer Tarot Spread

Midsummer Tarot Spread

…..4

3…1…5

…..2

First card asks how my garden is growing. This position was Explorer of Earth (Knight of Pentacles). Seems like I’m sort of in my right Environment here, then there is only the question about where I’m going now and how will I find what I’m in search of. There is also knowledge, no doubt about that, and if that’s not enough I can find more if I need it if I only remember to ask for help.

At what areas do I need special care or nurturing as second. This is Lightning (The Tower), so what do I say about it? Seems like I need some sort of late spring cleaning here, or something in that way. At least I need a good kick to get started and get some new energy and inspiration, find insights that will bring me forward and maybe change the things that didn’t work before. Apparently I’m missing a lot…

Third one, where I need to do some weeding with the 2 of Earth (2 of Pentacles). This one was a little difficult, the card shows a man standing at a disk full of vegetables and he’s carrying a child on each arm. One is content and the other is not. What is it I need to let go of here? Or create some balance with? To be honest I got completely blank. I decided to leave this one for a moment and go on with the next one. So when I got back to this card again this was what filled my mind:

The feeling that is coming over me here is that I need to reach a balance between the opposites here. No matter how much life is turning from one side to the other, you need to stand there with both feet firmly on the ground and focus on what is most important here and now, and not let things either stand still or make you so upset that nothing is done because you can’t think of anything else. To not allow my surroundings steer my choices and what possibilities I have, or take in too much of others ideas/moods at the moment.

Fourth card, what else can I do to ensure a successful harvest with 2 of Air (2 of Swords). Listen inwards, feel the calm and let myself sink into a feeling of here and now, to be. Let go of all that is running around like crazy and making you stressed out, just be in the here and now. Meditate, ground, center, inhale the energies in air, fire, water and earth. Just exist for a while every day.

Where can I find more opportunities for growth with the Child of Fire (Page of Wands). It seems like it’s time to take care of all the seeds or feelings for exploring, creating and be fascinated by all there is in this world, or at least what is tickling my fancy at the time. Without burning your fingers in the fire just because you didn’t understand that no matter how beautiful it is, it’s way to hot to touch. But take advantage of that childlike enthusiasm in what you discover that you can and would love to do.

And yes, I had to try and do some sort of acrobatic movements to juggle cards, computer and cat at the second spread too, of course he just had to flop himself all over that spread also! Love our kitty but he’s terrible when it comes to doing something with cards.

The second spread is called Summer Solstice Spread and was found at Escaping Stars.

Summer Solstice Spread by Cosmic Faery

Summer Solstice Spread by Cosmic Faery

…2…3

7…1…4

…6…5

Me at this moment is represented by Explorer of Fire (Knight of Wands) and then I should be shining like the midday sun, or at least strive to be. But am I really, or is it just the way I wish it was, instead of subdued and covered by clouds? This woman in the card does some sort of show with fire and it makes strokes of light in the air while she wheels it and moves around. Her face is covered by a mask that represents some sort of deity or elemental being that has connections with this element. Maybe it is so that I too have some flames of fire, creativity and the wish to create, to do something more with my life, and then I simply lose focus, or get to excited and lose that fire because I can’t do it exactly the way I want right then and there for different reasons.

What I need to shine a light on in my life, with the Five of Air (5 of Swords) that often show situations where you are in a conflict or stressed out by the situations that arises. There are so many things that should be done and happen, our society demands that we are effective, extrovert and a lot of other things, and that whole part makes me back away and want to do things in my own pace and with my abilities. Not along the line of how you are supposed to be or act to fit in. I’m feeling like I’ve become that square block that tries to fit into the round hole if I can’t find a way to make it work anyway.

So, in what aspects do I shine brightness with The Canoe (The Chariot)? You tell me, if you can. I would have understood it more if it had been the Explorer of Fire in a way. But just by being me and trying to find my own way, and during that I’m trying to feel my way ahead, following what is my own way and the way there, listening inwards and following what I believe is my own way. Keeping my mind set for it. For some it might be a comfort and some sort of security that someone chose to follow a path that not everyone else is following because there are other ways, you can be strong and reach your goals anyway.

What sits in the shadows that needs to be released with Explorer of Air (Knight of Swords)? Ok, a young man has climbed to the top of a tree and looks at the sky and the birds from up there and all the other things you can see from there that isn’t possible from the ground. Maybe that is what needs to be released? That I need to find a bigger perspective, dare to climb a little higher and see what exactly I’m in the middle of. Not sitting here and hide among the roots (home) and perhaps miss out on something I could have had help from and got a better understanding of.

What will grow this summer when (if) I release that shadow of mine, Ten of Air (10 of Swords)? If this had been a RWS deck or a clone, it had been a person with 10 swords in their back, but this isn’t a RWS deck so here we see what is probably the blue sky at dawn, clouds and the sun is coloring them in yellow and pink. Across this sky is Canadian Gee’s in their well known V-formation. Simple, I will have better views and maybe I will be brave enough to get out on some adventure, or at least broaden my horizon and see what else I can make use of and where my path is taking me.

How can I nurture that growth in order to allow it to shine to its fullest opportunity with Elder of Air (King of Swords). An older man stands on a prairie underneath a blue sky with the clouds floating by up there. He is playing a flute and up in the right corner is a moth, a beautiful green one. This man has reached great wisdom with the years that has passed and when he plays his flute the tune is made out of the thoughts and feelings, memories, that he carries on the inside. Listen, feel it, and let your thoughts take flight, use your experiences that you’ve achieved so far, good and bad.

What will radiate from me throughout the summer and fall in the form of The Moon. Deeper feelings, understanding and insights. There will be more of phases and cycles in our lives, nature and the existence of it will be important. Listen to the parts of us that’s not in that treadmill that we think we need to follow in all that we do. Deep feelings, dreams. It feels like I will be able to understand more since some of my favourite animals are in that card, a wolf and an owl. The Moon also have a special place in my life and heart.

There is some things to think about and wrap my mind around, but it will probably be more insights with time.

And thank the Gods for spell check! I think my brain has been wandering off somewhere…

 

 

 

 

 

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That sort of summon it all, I had plans for midsummer together with my daughter and that included going to visit my mum outside town. The plans changed abruptly early Friday morning. Someone had either a stomach flu or had eaten/got in touch with something that really upset her tummy. So the rest of the morning was spent helping her out when she threw up and hoping it would calm down soon. It did, no problems, and she got some well deserved sleep too. The cat was not sure about how to handle the situation so he kept away for the most part. But the day went by and I had a chance to take a short walk at least while a friend of ours stayed with her. Those lovely mosquitos have arrived… yey… not.

Saturday came and daughter was well again, taking it easy with eating naturally but a lot happier than the day before. Another friend came by and helped us put up the net on our balcony so the cat can stay there by himself without getting any ideas about getting down and not be able to get back up again. Happy kitty sat there for hours basking in the sun and feeling like a king over his kingdom below.

So this morning, Sunday, arrived early since daughter is on her way to Norway with some friends and I’m so missing her right now, and the cat too. But it will be great fun when she’s back home again late Wednesday to hear all about what she’s seen and heard about. And for a chance to see her photos. Today I brought my brother and his two sons out to our mum and they had a great day. I did too, and had the chance to take that walk that didn’t happen on midsummer eve and walk the labyrinth too! I used our old camera, and it sounds like it’s old too when you start it up or zooming in on something. It squeaks… but the photos turns out ok even for an oldie like that, I think it’s around 7 years now and that is a lot for a digital camera used as much as that one! Oh, I wasn’t planning on writing this much so now over to some photos taken today at the Summer Solstice. I’ll write some more tomorrow (I hope) about my adventures with the tarot cards and what spreads I used.

Birch on summer solstice

Birch on summer solstice

Small brook on solstice

Small brook on solstice

Small beach on solstice

Small beach on solstice

Labyrinth on solstice

Labyrinth on solstice

Brook in the other direction

Brook in the other direction

Small Violets on solstice

Small Violets on solstice

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Litha 2014

Litha 2014

Litha? For those of you who aren’t familiar with that word it’s Summer Solstice, not to be mixed up with midsummers eve or day, they are not necessarily on the same day. At least not here in Sweden. Here we have midsummers wve at the Friday closest to the Summer Solstice, and the solstice is always around the 21st of June no matter what day of the week we are talking about. Confusing? Not more than anything else in this world.

It’s when the sun reaches it’s zenit every year and the days will slowly grow shorter, even if it’s a little hard to think about right now when we up north love our long nights when the sun barely sets below the horizon. Depending on what tradition or path you are following the celebrations can be a little different, but most of all we celebrate the light and warmth, even if we feel like dressing up real warm and stay indoors some years… and yes, I say so out of experience. I love looking at photos that others have taken of their altars and such, dressed in beautiful flowers but for my own part, well, it can be a little tricky to create such a thing depending on how late spring has been and how warm or cold. So, me and decorating an altar is seldom happening, at least not with a lot of flowers.

20140620 Sundom 02My “tradition” has become, depending on where I am, to take a walk close to water, soak in the energies and feeling of the day if weather permits, and sometimes I can take a walk in a labyrinth and focus on something I feel is strongly on my mind. Later that evening there is usually some tarot spread, and as every year I try to find something useful and not to big either. And if there is nothing preventing me to do so, I love to take another walk all by myself at midnight, but that depends on where I am of course. No, I’m not afraid of being attacked, no such thing, but if it’s only me and daughter I’m not leaving her home alone. Why not make her dad take care of it? Oh, he’s here in his own way, in spirit, now and then but that’s not the same as having a physical person around if you get scared or feel lonely.

In folklore the evening of midsummer was magical, lots of things could  happen if you did things in a certain way. Like picking 7 or 9 flowers and put them under your pillow to be able to dream of who you would marry. Here is a page where you can read some about it, far from all but it gives you an idea of the celebrating and thinking around this day of the year.

So, I’ve had my yearly “hunt” for suitable spreads and of course I have my trusted Bodhran’s Summer Solstice Spread, but also found another one that seems to be promising, Summer Solstice Spread. So one of these it will probably be, and if memory doesn’t trick me right now I think I should find a spread for the New Moon today, just because I can. Oh, and if you are looking for spreads for just about anything, jump over to Tarotforum.net and their Tarot Spreads Index, you wont be disappointed here, there are lots and lots of spreads, just find out what you are looking for.

Yes, I could have written an awful lot more about Litha, Summer Solstice, midsummers eve and what not, but I feel like doing it like this instead. I promise, go for Google and you will find lots of information and facts about all this. Probably more than you care to read too.

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I just wanted to start with saying Thank You for all the likes and followers on my blog. Those who’s been around for some time know that sometimes there are huge gaps between my writings and what I write about, and then it’s like now, a lot more in a short period of time. Well, that’s me sort of. I have my quite times and then I talk way too much.

Lately has been lots of things going on. They are going for summer holidays this week from most schools, and so did my daughter today. Planning for what to wear, having a pair of shoes that fits on her and promising to bake something for this final day. This is the last day at the school they have been at for the last four years, they are going to another school this fall for kids 10-16 years old, so now they will be the youngest instead of the oldest. New teachers, new environment and all that. But they will do fine, I’m sure of it, and no use worrying about it until it all starts again.

What I did for the final day? I made chocolate chip cookies, and out of approximately 30 cookies there where 3 left when they were done. And no, I wasn’t the only one who had done any baking, we were 4 or 5 I think.

Well, this wasn’t exactly what I had in mind talking about. Well, it sort of belongs too, something that came this day when we were in church so the kids from different grades could sing some songs each in front of parents, siblings, grandparents and some friends of the family. Why we have such a thing in a church? The school is too small to hold all the people at the same time and a 20 minute walk isn’t too bad really. There isn’t any talk about religion at a time like this so no matter you are Christian, muslim, hindu, buddhist, pagan or atheist, you can be there and enjoy the joy and happiness from the kids. And they did very well as always. And this was Another paragraph, now over to what I really had intended or else this will be a looong one…

So, we had been standing outside the church to say goodbye to teachers and other friends when the leader of the choir came up to us. No, he wasn’t going to say that my daughter sang so exceptionally well that he wanted to have her in the church choir, no such thing at all. She’s actually participating in the children’s choir there, yes she is even if we’re pagan. But singing is fun and there are no other ones close to us so she’s having fun and she gets a chance to sing. Even if it’s christian songs. And no,  I haven’t made any attempts of hiding who and what I am. I stated that I’m pagan and have no intention on changing that fact, but as long as my daughter wants to be part of this I’ll follow her there and home and come to whatever concerts and other things going on. Even for the last time before their summer break that is a church matter and not some “random” concert.

How I can make it work with my views as a pagan? Hmm, I look at it as an opportunity to listen to music and the kids singing because they like it. And I’m trying to not be fanatic or look sideways on their beliefs and how they choose to look at the world and their beliefs.

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So, just to change from the previous subject of the week we’ll jump over to something else, on the spirit side. Or is it?

Charlie Charlie

Charlie Charlie

I don’t know, this Charlie, Charlie challenge hasn’t really made me excited in any way. Feels more like, been there done that. But when I was in my early teens or so, it was called Bloody Mary. Some of you might remember it, when you had a friend (or several) in the bathroom and you would turn off the light, except a candle, and try and stare into the mirror and chanting Bloody Mary three times. She was supposed to show herself in the mirror. What usually happened was one or two ran out from there screaming because they thought they had seen her. We all know that probably they had seen one of the others move, or perhaps their nerves got the better of them and their imagination ran off with them. Mostly it was a way to get a scare, because you wanted to have it in some way. To be real honest I didn’t do this very often, a couple of times at the most, and I wasn’t impressed either.

Interesting to read about the challenge and what is behind it all when it comes to this Charlie. I hope he isn’t real since even spirits must grow tired of people asking for their presence at all times, or at least I imagine so. I found an article on Live Science about it that talked about this and at Snopes.

On Live Science they try to explain how this phenomenon works, and I’m not going to argue against it, it’s like working with pendulums sort of, you can use your will and tiny movements of your fingers or hands to make it move in any way you want really. Not that you are aware of it all the time. Perhaps that is why I’m not using a pendulum much these days, I know I can make it answer whatever I like and I don’t know if I’m going to trust it. Divination rods are a little different in my world. Ok, they are also sensitive to movements, or if you go around searching water you walk around so holding them firm enough to keep them from twisting all over your hands but loose enough so they can move is a delicate balance act. Yet I know that I’ve found out things by using them and got confirmation that I was right so maybe our physical body acts as a conductor for the energy field that is sent out by water and other sources like that and those rods just give us the indicating tool, just as you would use some electrical gadget to get the same answer? Just my thoughts, if anyone believe something else it’s a free world.

Ouija

Ouija

Ouija is also mentioned at Live Science as something controlled by our own minds and movements we’re not aware of. Maybe and maybe not. I don’t argue against the fact that it could be the participants that makes it move, a glass or the planchette doesn’t matter, but could it be something similar as the divination rods? We get the messages because our physical bodies react to something in the energy around us? Just thinking out loud here so it’s not a fact or proof for something. I’ve never been one to play around with Ouija either. Never felt any need for it. And then there is that thought in my mind that, if there is a spirit world, or some other dimension we get in touch with at times like that, we don’t know what or who they really are. Some things that happens when, lets say teenagers, play around with stuff like that, is they scare each other many times and they jump really high at ordinary sounds and lights flashing by. But there are times when there is something strange happening and maybe they open up a door/portal to something that they don’t know anything about and because of that they aren’t capable of handling it. Whatever it is or not, don’t meddle with things you don’t know how to handle. You might get more than you are prepared for and then calling someone to help you out might not be so fun after all. At least not explaining why you did things that people have been warning others from doing all over the place for years.

 

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At my Fb-page I found something very true and wise written by a friend and with her permission I’ve translated it (if it sound funny it’s my fault, ok?), and while I was doing that the weather and things at large made me feel a little down and not in the mood. As if he knew, the cat came walking in and decided he wanted some cuddle and it felt like he knew I needed some comfort right then and there. Or maybe he just decided it was time for letting go of the computer and give him his daily dose of attention. One of those doses anyway. But here is the text from Annika.

To lose a friend…

Every week I meet people who has lost someone close and almost every time the question is asked… why? To answer that question would be like taking a patent on the meaning of life. We all have an expectation on living and having it better when all the must, have to, and general needs are taken care of. We all want to be happy.

Later… tomorrow… when that is made or when that has happened… or something else done… Then… We wait for something better.. we fret over weather , minor things, conflicts, malfunctions and resistance… we are irritated over people and stuff that holds us back… petty things…

Today many of my friends have lost a friend… someone in the middle of life with family, colleagues and friends… just like you and me. It hurts… damned painful to realise that life is so incredibly fragile and many, even I, reflect over what you don’t hear or how you should live your life to the fullest. A hunting for climax through the extremes of life. To enjoy the gifts of life 100% and get out as much as possible is hard, especially when life is a constant limbo of work both practical, economical, emotional, and physical. We forget to enjoy what we have… right now… in this moment. We forget to express what we dream about and how we feel or we just talk about it without activating it on a physical level. Just as if someone else would be responsible for our lives… Many of us doesn’t even have the courage to live or even know how they will get out of their treadmill of their own work to reach the earthly paradise.

When a child or a young person living their life with a whole life in front of them leaves us… then many of us stop in our tracks… reflect… have to get a hold of my life… have to take care of… finish… a brave try to live life to the fullest…

This makes me sad… just like everyone else I have to stop for a moment and reflect but forgets…

we live now… just a breath away we have no clue about.

What is a paid mortgage on a bank or the perfect lawn… what is a savings on the bank or the luxury car worth if you can’t experience it? What is the career and the status worth if you can’t use or practice it? What is love if you’re not allowed to enjoy it…

so many things we take for granted… later… tomorrow…

Tomorrow can be too late!

Of course we have to do what is right… of course we have to work to earn money and naturally it’s really great to own nice things… but we forget…

Most of us live to die and not to live. I know, I’ve lost many… it hurts, damned painful… but the hurt tells us something…

Enjoy every moment, tell those you care about that you do, have the courage to express your feelings… whatever you think even if it’s hard… dare express the truth… you have nothing to lose. Have the guts to say I’m sorry and forgive those who made you unjust. Even if you can’t forgive the action, forgive the person. Don’t try to change anyone else but yourself, accept what happens and do something valuable of every situation, do your best and know that no one can be better at being you. We are all just humans.

Our time is limited… and enormously precious… if not for you so for someone else.

Take care of each other, Annika

Spring evening and the memories of friends and family

Spring evening and the memories of friends and family

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