Persephone

Of all the figures from mythology that I know about, I seem to relate most to Persephone.  There are various versions of her story, but the version relative to me is as follows:

Persephone, the goddess of Spring, was carried away to the Underworld by Hades.  There the god of the underworld declared his love for her and his great desire for her to be his bride.  The thought of being away from her home among the light and flowers saddened her, but she fell in love with Hades.  Hades was not an evil akin to the Christian idea of the devil ruling in Hell. Rather he was the king of the land of the dead and judge of souls.  The underworld was not hellish for those who were judged to be good.  Persephone became at home there as well and adapted brilliantly to her new role as the queen/goddess of the underworld.  However, Persephone’s absence from the world above had left the earth barren.  To appease his wife and restore balance to the world of the living, Hades agreed to let her spend part of the year away from the Underworld so that she could fulfill her role as the goddess of Spring.  Her fertility was not in the production of children; She instead produced beauty and abundance in nature.  She is represented as a goddess with duality; of both the light and darkness.

I too have found solace in both the light and the darkness.  I have realized that darkness is not innately evil.  Evil can present itself in the light and the dark.  The darkness holds a depth and power that embrace me, yet I also need time to rejoice in the light.  I have an attraction to the strong, brooding, misunderstood type of man that shows great devotion to one woman.  This attraction can be seen in my love of such characters as Jareth in Labyrinth, The Bog King in Strange Magic, Mr. Gold in Once Upon a Time, and Beast in Disney’s Beauty & The Beast.  To add to those similarities, I am childless and do not wish to become a parent.  I would rather plant seeds in the earth than in my belly.

By noticing the similarities between Persephone and myself, I deepen my understanding of who I am.  I challenge any interested reader to take on the exercise of finding a figure from mythology with whom you relate.

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A Dream Affirmation & Why I Started This Blog

This morning I awoke from a dream that was in line with my posts from yesterday.  I do not know if my mind granted me this dream or if the Divine did.  Perhaps Aine took part.  Whichever source inspired the dream, I will none the less count it as an affirmation.  This dream affirmed my spiritual path and what I am doing with this blog.  I will italicize the details of the dream to make it stand out from the rest of this post.

In this dream I was on my grandmother’s deck that surrounds her sunroom.  There were maybe up to 10 people outside on the deck with me when a little purple butterfly caught my attention as it flew up to me.  I felt joy and awe which increased as this little butterfly landed under my eye.  It rested there underneath the frame of my glasses and I went into the sunroom as I started taking photos with my cell phone to capture what was going on.  I couldn’t seem to get good pictures because of blurring and/or bad aim though.  My grandmother, a couple other family members, and perhaps a cousin’s boyfriend were also in the sunroom.  I was trying to get my grandmother and the others to look at this marvelous thing that was going on.  They were too distracted to pay attention, and I became frustrated.  The butterfly then flew down to rest on my forearm for a little bit.  This butterfly that was originally around the size of a silver dollar had grown to basically the size of my palm.  Now her purple wings shimmered and a flame-colored light radiated from her as the sunlight came through a window and illuminated her.  My frustration turned back into joy and awe.  I believe it seemed as others were starting to take notice and be awed, but I did not look around to see who was looking because I was now focused on this butterfly.  She then flew back up to my face and rested on my left eyelid.  I walked back out onto the deck to stand by myself and just look out with my open eye as the other remained closed with this new friend upon it.  I soon noticed a little girl, maybe 10 to 12 years old.  It seems like she had pigtails.  I think she gasped and that it what made me look over at her.  She was looking at the butterfly on my face with her eyes widened and her mouth agape.  She eagerly got the attention of another little girl who was her friend and they both looked on in wonder at the sight of me standing there with a butterfly on my face.  I smiled at them because I was happy that others, even though only two little girls out of a group of up to 15 people, were able to share in my joy and wonder.  

For those who didn’t read my posts yesterday; One was about keeping an eye on God, and the other was about an art meditation of Aine.  Aine had butterfly wings in the portrait.  This dream took that symbolism to affirm the spiritual path I am on.  The two little girls symbolize the reason I started this blog; to find others to share spirituality with.  These people do not need to walk on the same path as me, but rather they can be like neighbors walking parallel and intersecting paths.  The joy comes from being able to look over at each other with smiling faces and waving hands.  We can motion for these others to meet us on our paths for friendly chats whenever new insights are desired.  Finding such a network of like-minded individuals can be difficult for those who are not devoted to a major organized religion.  Living on the Bible Belt means I have to keep my path out of the sight of most people I know.  The ones I can show my path to are not particularly spiritual.  If you feel like you are walking on a spiritual path that nobody else can really see, if you feel frustrated that you have nobody to share your wonderment with, feel free to “wave” at me.

Aine Art Exercise

Lately I have been interested in the Tuatha Dé Danann, with a particular interest in Aine.  Therefore, my spiritual practice of the day was to create an inspired portrait of Aine.  I am not a top-notch artist, but that was not the point of the exercise.  The exercise was to use creating art as a form of active meditation.  I asked to be inspired to create a portrait of Aine how she would like to be seen if she does actually exist.  She perhaps would not to be presented the same way to every person, but this is how the portrait turned out.

Aine

It may not look perfect, but I am fairly pleased with it.  🙂

“Keep Your Eyes on God.”

Yesterday my grandmother’s church had its homecoming and honored those who had passed away over the past year.  My grandfather’s name was on the list of those to be honored, and thus it was important to my grandmother that family attend with her.  I was sitting beside her and the guest preacher inspired me.  I found myself with this deep message running through my head that I wanted to convey in a blog.  Unfortunately, the freshness of the message in my mind had faded by the time I got home last night.  I will try to express this message to the best of my recollection now that I have had a reasonable amount of sleep.  The preacher said to “Keep your eyes on God.”  He mentioned, although not in exact words, how our sight focuses on the chaos of the world when we take our eyes off of God.  I know that we also tend to drive ourselves crazy worrying about personal problems when we take our eyes off God.  Now let me say that this blog caters to people of different paths.  I do not identify as a Christian, but there is a Christian influence on my beliefs.  For those of you who do not share that influence, just think of this message as one about the importance of staying true to your spiritual path.  Time to get back on track.  It can be easy to get distracted from regular spiritual practice by our daily lives.  We can go extended periods of time without prayer or meditation and remain quite happy.  Then….BLAM!  Something happens that shakes us and brings us to misery.  That is often when a person goes back to their spiritual practice.  This shows that spiritual practice is comforting and nourishes our souls to health.  The question is, “Is it better to just eat a bunch of junk food and take medicine when you get sick or to eat healthy food to prevent sickness (or at least strengthen the body’s ability to fight sickness off when it occurs)?”  I think most of us know that the latter is better for us.  However, many of us live our lives according to the first option.  I am not going to lie:  I am one of those people.  Due to circumstance, it is much easier to just eat whatever is convenient and take medicine when I need it.  I hope that eventually I will be able to get settled into a much healthier diet.  Working on my spiritual health is something I can work on regularly though with little expense and no inconvenience.  The great thing about spiritual practice is that it is so versatile.  You just figure out what nurtures your soul and do those activities.  You don’t have to strictly adhere to teachings of an established religion.  You could pray to God or Goddess.  You could sit outside and observe the beauty of Mother Earth.  You could dedicate a journal for writing letters to Source.  You could belly dance because it makes you feel alive and in touch with your feminine power.  You could paint to create beauty when your are not seeing much beauty around you.  The list goes on and on.  By taking part in the practices that best nourish our souls, by keeping our eyes on God, we are able to focus on the goodness around us and within ourselves.  Most of us will have our moments of weakness even with regular spiritual practice, but it certainly seems that regular spiritual practice helps a person to bounce back faster.  That is because these practices help us to recognize what we need to do to get out of our heads when that is necessary and how to search deep within our minds when that is necessary.  The payoff resonates in our appreciation for a sunny sky and the realization that a storm should be appreciated as well.  For storms cleanse the air, hydrate the earth, and make way for rainbows.   Blessed be you and yours.

New Books :-)

The only Wicca book I have ever owned is Wicca: The Complete Craft by D.J. Conway. The book just never really worked for me as anything other than a rarely used reference book. That might be why Wicca has not appealed to me too much. However, I just ordered Thea Sabin’s Wicca for Beginners. I ordered the book because it seems to have simple and helpful content.  It appears to be a book that I can draw a lot from.  The Conway book is set up basically like an encyclopedia, yet I feel there is so little I get from it.  I don’t suspect that Sabin’s book will convert me to Wicca, but hopefully it will give me a better understanding of Wicca while helping me develop my personal spirituality.  I also ordered The Temple of Shamanic Witchcraft by Christopher Penczak.  It is the third of his books in a series, but  it can be read independent of the others.  I am reading it without having read the others.  This is a year and a day style book, and it will hopefully give me plenty of inspiration for blog posts.  I am particularly interested to learn about power animals and shadow work from this book.  My new books are scheduled to ship Monday.  I hope I will have them by the following Saturday.  I am excited to learn and share what I learn.  Feel free to leave a comment about your experiences with these books.  🙂

Fathers Day and Belated Summer Solstice Celebration

I did not celebrate the solstice yesterday.  I instead celebrated Fathers Day, spending most of the day with my grandmother as Dad was at work.  My grandmother and I visited the graves of my grandfather, my great grandparents, and my great great grandparents.  If you ask me, remembering the fathers that have crossed over is as important as thanking the fathers that are still with us in the physical form.  It was a good day overall.  Since I did not celebrate the solstice yesterday, I will be celebrating simply today by coloring in my Goddesses coloring book.  My wonderful fiance’ got me this coloring book for my birthday to make use of my rarely used stock of artist-quality colored pencils.  The images are lovely.  Here are a few:

Some people may not consider coloring to be an adult way to celebrate or pay tribute.  However, I consider it in this case to be a good use of time to show Goddess how I view Her beauty.  Try thinking about it this way.  When we were kids we would color or draw pictures for people we loved.  We would excitedly give them to our mother, father, grandmother, etc. and that person would proudly hang it up on the refrigerator.  I see no reason that this sort of behavior should cease just because a person grows up.  To add to that, coloring can be meditative.  It helps a person to focus and think in a creative way while enjoying the process.  If you were too busy to celebrate the solstice yesterday, I encourage you to do so today (that is if you celebrate the solstice).  You aren’t likely to find a festival today, but you can take a note from me and celebrate simply.  You don’t have to color; you could go outside for a few minutes. Going out in nature and “just being” can be a wonderfully refreshing experience when the weather is nice.  You could sit at your altar and say a prayer.  You could craft or make a great meal out of fresh, natural ingredients.  Just do whatever puts you in a happy and thankful mindset.  With that said, I hope everyone had/has a wonderful Fathers Day and solstice.

Rainbow Crystals

I am a big fan of rainbow crystals.  For those of you who do not know about them, rainbow crystals are crystals that have one or multiple fractures within them that create a beautiful display of colors (a rainbow) when viewed at the right angle in the light.  These rainbows are thought to help counteract negativity.  Thus, rainbows are a wonderful addition to the features of a crystal for that metaphysical characteristic as well as their appearance. Rainbows are quite a common occurrence in quartz.  Here are a couple of images from my etsy shop of rainbow crystals.

citrine
rose quartz

Next time you are looking for a crystal from a tumbled stone bin or anywhere else, I recommend looking for rainbows to add a bit of cheer to your crystal collection.

Evil, Plant-Killing Gnats

A few months ago I got the idea that it would be nice to have an indoor succulent garden.   I figured it would be pretty and nice to meditate beside.  I bought various echeveria, a little purple cactus, and a couple other succulents and put them in a long window sill planter.  My little succulent garden was so pretty and great to relax by for maybe a week or so.  Then I realized gnats were hanging out in my little garden.  I didn’t think much of it at first as I am rather new to plant care.  I just tried to kill the gnats.  Then one of my plants died.  It rotted.  I thought maybe I got too much water on it.   I purchased another to go in the place of that one.  Within a couple of days another succulent died.  That is when I realized it was probably the gnats.  I looked it up and learned about fungus gnats.   They are evil.  I had to dump out my new soil, shake as much dirt as I could off the roots of the remaining plants, clean the planter, buy another bag of soil,  and buy sand to put ontop of the garden to keep more gnats from getting in the new soil.  Well here it is maybe 5 or 6 weeks later and 2 more succulents have died.   I did everything an expert video had instructed me to do, but apparently a couple of gnat larvae survived in the roots to grow a new plant-killing army.  I have put what is left of the succulents in seperate pots, but I am not sure any will survive.  What I have learned from this is to check carefully for gnats anytime you shop for plants.  These awful creatures are big fans of succulent potting soil.  I wasted more money, time, and effort than I care to think about because of the evil gnats.  That stress is not conducive with the meditative environment I was aiming for.  My advice for people without great green thumbs is that if you want a plant,  get a pothos.   If you happen to get gnats in the roots, you can cut off the healthy parts of the vines and reroot them in water.  A pothos may not have the visual appeal of a succulent garden,  but it is a much safer investment.   Safety = peace of mind.

Green Calcite

calciteI collect crystals.  I don’t have a huge collection, but perhaps I eventually will.  Tonight I purchased a green calcite specimen I have had my eyes on online for probably 3-4 weeks.  That is it pictured above.  In honor of this purchase, I’m going to provide some information on the metaphysical uses of calcite.  I will start by stating that, as with any crystal, its uses could vary depending on the user.  I have had green calcite for a while.  I recently had a 2″-3″ piece of it seemingly go poof into thin air, which is why I started looking for a new piece.  I also have a couple of small pieces.  For me, it is just a happy and calming type of crystal.  I like its appearance (green is one of my favorite colors), and I like the glassy feel of it.  Depending on the piece you have, it can work nicely as a worry stone because of its glassy texture.  Its uses according to Judy Hall’s book The Crystal Bible are as “a mental healer, dissolving rigid beliefs and old programs and restoring balance to the mind” and it “aids communication and the transition from a stagnant to a positive situation.”    A good thing about green calcite that has nothing to do with its alleged metaphysical properties is that it is not an expensive stone.  I have found that a palm-sized chunk of green calcite tends to run between $9-$20 online.  I got mine from eBay within that price range.  If you are a crystal collector or a person who is just starting to become interested in crystals, I recommend green calcite.