July for Loki 2015 or Lokkasplosion on My Life

firemeditation

I believe this will be my third July for Loki. It seems like I should have been at this longer for some reason. I’m excited this year in a way I wasn’t quite last year, and I think it’s because I haven’t been getting in as much time with Loki as I’d like. Having a month that I know I’m going to be setting aside time for Him is a huge deal for me. I’m not planning on addressing the origins or reasons for the Month for Loki in this blog post—though I think the practice originated with Galina Krasskova—as others cover the topic more thoroughly and knowledgably than I, but the month roughly corresponds with the rising of Sirius which varies from region to region. Read more about Sirius here. According to the simulator I found Sirius doesn’t rise in my region until late July (though I’m not entirely confident I’m reading the results right.) But, that’s no reason not to go ahead and give him the whole month.

I have some exciting plans for this month and a few things I’m already planning on working toward. I think my major focus is going to be meditation. I’ve had varying degrees of success with traditional meditation, but I thought I would branch out and try a few different things, such as focused meditation (using an image or other tangible object for meditation), chanting (what words or tones remain to be seen), and art as a form of meditation. I’m also going to try to tackle meditating with and around children and children’s schedules, as my youngest keeps the same hours we do it often makes it difficult to do anything especially deep as far as meditation goes. When you have to keep an eye on your candles for fear that small fingers will be in them it does tend to put a damper on things. To round out the art extravaganza I’m also going to attempt to have a few pieces of flash fiction here and there as well as some poetry.

A major focus of my work this month is also going to be prayer. I’ve created some small prayers for Loki previously, though nothing I’ve ever been especially good with remembering the words to, and I would like to start shaping something that will be useful to me overall. I’ve also been meaning to figure out a regular meal time prayer for my family for quite a while, as it’s something my husband has mentioned he would like more than once, which isn’t exactly Loki related, per se, but is something I think this time would be good to be used for.

Yet another goal of July is to start working my witchery back into my day to day living. There are various ways to do this with such simple things as cleaning my house “with intent” to cleanse negativity at the same time, to cooking with joy and love, as well as remembering to sage the apartment at least once a week. There’s so much I could do with this. My daughters have also been coming home with Willow branches after rainstorms from our local park and I’m thinking of making them into besoms. I should probably add some simple crafting to my list then, as well.

So, that’s the “Loki’s Amazing Fun Month of Chicanery” so far as I have it mapped out. I’m fairly certain this will be augmented with some beach trips to meditate as well, but I haven’t set out anything in stone. July Fourth we have plans to celebrate the Independence of our country with some friends, but that won’t be time off for me. Loki likes celebrating, so I’ll be inviting him along too.

One last teeny tiny thing that I’m working on that is a special request from Loki Himself, is being cheerful. Yes, he’s asked me to be cheerful and less negative. It’s not good for anything much to be stuck in a rut, including health, magickal workings, or my family.

What are your plans? I hope everyone aspires to a wonderful month of happiness, even if they aren’t celebrating for Loki.

Be a Rebel, Blow Out Your Candles

candles

Never blow out a candle or you blow away the magick. This was something all little, new baby witches were taught when I was coming up as a youngster. Growing up there were countless frustrations as I imagined I’d ruined a ritual completely by blowing out my candles at the end. Blowing out candles has such joyful, childlike association for me that I couldn’t stop myself from doing it. Then I’d have a meltdown after I did and remembered I wasn’t supposed to. Who doesn’t like blowing out birthday candles? Who doesn’t like controlling something with only the invisible force of their breath? At the time I didn’t question the instruction, but little by little over the years I’ve come at that from a completely different angle.

Breath is life.

Breath, divine breath, wakes up life.

When you’re making a gris-gris bag you breathe life into it, wake up the spirit of the bag, depending on how you make one, of course. They’re not as strong if you don’t.

Your breath is magic. When I blow out a candle I don’t see it as blowing away the magick, but rather using my breath to spread my intention into the universe. I’m adding to the magick. In my mind’s eye I’m spreading the gossamer strands of my intention far and wide with my breath, especially with ritual magick. Of course, there are times I don’t blow out candles. When I don’t want to sacrifice any of my life energy to an endeavor I don’t, but normally if something is worth doing on the magickal front it’s worth me putting any energy I can into it.

Like all magick though, if you just can’t get the idea that you’re blowing away the magick out of yoru head when you blow out candles you’re using in a ritual or for devotional purposes you probably shouldn’t do it. You program your intentions with your thoughts. That’s why mental control is such an integral part of witchcraft in general.

Temples

Beautiful.

Wildwood and Wild Hunt

Listen, darling girl, to the words I give you now.

These boxes you try to build around Me will never contain Me –
I am more than your mind can grasp.
I will wear a thousand faces, come to you with a thousand names
if need be, if it will make you see.
We are not strangers, you and I –
why then must you keep yourself from Me?

Listen to the words whispered in your heart,
listen to the love burning through your veins,
listen to the birdsong as the sun now rises and remember Me.
I am here, as I have always been,
but you will not see Me.

I have no temples in this world but those built
in the hearts of My Lovers.
The ground is warm beneath My feet,
the wind dances through My fingers,
and I have nowhere but your hearts.

Make a home…

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Appropriation: Worship Like You Stole It

Okay. Appropriation. I want to have a discussion, and here’s a thought I seem to always have when the topic comes up. As an American, everything I have is appropriated. I have not a single thing that I can claim as unique cultural heritage found only in my birth land that belongs to “my people”. The language I use-English, is an obvious place to begin. I learned Spanish. I’m not Latina. Therefore, by the broad scope of appropriation, I’ve just bungled. English itself is a mash up of other languages. I use it every day and I don’t bother giving a wit about the words that aren’t English. I don’t know the history of the words and I use them with impunity. I speak therefore I appropriate. I guess you can argue that my ancestors, or at least some of them, brought the language along with them, but some of my ancestors didn’t speak English, it was forced on them. So, am I now practicing some strange form of forced appropriation? Is there a term for that?

I’m not Native American, or at least not ONLY Native American (I believe I would be about 1/8 native American. My Great Grandmother was the ancestor in question.), so if I try to immerse myself in that culture I wasn’t raised in it can be considered appropriation. I haven’t, but I like learning about it, and I’ve occasionally thought I’d like to use some terms here or there in my spiritual practice, though I don’t out of shear laziness. It takes more time to explain something unusual than use common lexicon. I use sage-sage bundles, which are native American in origin, without knowing much about the traditional use for them. I don’t feel bad about it and I don’t know that most pagans would. I rather think of it as a tool l’ve acquired that works. Should I research it? Probably. Nothing but good would come of it. However, I’m extremely thankful for the people who came before me and realized Sage was awesome.

Because of my mixed genetic background I can say I feel free to work with any number of deities, but I wasn’t really raised in any of the backgrounds they “come from”, such as the Norse pantheon I work with now. I’m not part of the Asatru bandwagon that thinks we should only work with deities we’re blood tuned for (*cough*racisist undertones*cough* Excuse me.), but then isn’t that what the abhorrence of appropriation is all about? Don’t raid other people’s cultures for your own benefit, willy nilly. I wonder how America’s Buddhists feel about this? Either it’s okay for me to research and come to something respectfully and use it in my practice or work with deities that want to work with me, or it isn’t.

For example, most Americans almost look on Greek and Roman mythology as our own. It’s very intrinsic to our culture, at least educationally, yet, it isn’t ours. Is it appropriation if Persephone wants to work with me (I’m not Greek) if She’s decided to work with me? In some ways the entire idea of appropriation spiritually is just farcical. Some aspects of appropriation seem to negate the idea of free will on behalf of deities or the fact that some ideas simply don’t exist in other cultures. Isn’t making up new words for an idea, such as two spirit people for example, more disrespectful than simply using the original term? I realize bigender is more academic, but there was already a name for that. Maybe I’m just being a jackass and maybe I just don’t get it, but much like the rest of American culture, spiritually, there just isn’t anything unique that I can lay claim to without “appropriating”.  We don’t have many things that are uniquely our own aside from Phili cheese steaks, the Liberty Bell, and arguably, pop culture deities that originate in the States. Voodoo, I suppose, but wouldn’t that still be appropriation? Thoughts? Should I just let this go? I think that people who come from countries with their own deities and cultures get more hung up on appropriation than Americans do, in general, because of this stuff.

Americans don’t have anything that we haven’t stolen.