Saturday, 24 February 2018

Knowing Me Knowing You

A few weeks ago I started a new job. After looking for nearly six months I finally received a promising interview. The interview went wonderfully. Now before I explain any further I have to explain that the particular line of work I was interviewing for is in an industry associated with fairly aggressive selling, or certainly used to be. The type of selling where people who are unsure of what they what get talked into buying things they don't need by flashy sales assistants. During my interview I was assure that the industry had changed and no longer did people feel pushed into buying things. This made me very happy. Having worked in retail for many years I can confidently say I can sell most things to most people however, my heart and my conscience will never allow me to take advantage. I personally believe it is morally wrong to push sales. 

I got the job and was made to feel welcome immediately. The small team of staff all individually did their best to make sure I didn't feel left out or awkward and answered all the questions I asked whenever they could. With such a fun team from all walks of life, the days were going fast. Not only had I been lucky enough to get this great job where I could earn commission on top of my wages but I was working with great people at a cool job with morals! A...Mazing!

After a week and I have I was just starting the second stage of my training. He is where things get I learned we don't push sales or aggressively sell as I have said before however it turns out there is a big loop hole. A loop hole that started playing on my conscience. We weren't allowed to try and sell products unless the customer had a need for them, however, it was also my job to create a need for the customers. 

After two days of nothing but thinking all day long at work and hardly sleeping at home I felt it in my gut, this isn't me. Sure I need a job, commission on top sounded fantastic, I could maybe save up and have a holiday!...but would I ever have fun on that holiday knowing I had 'created a need' for a vulnerable customer to basically help me hit my targets for the day? 

I told them it wasn't for me. Everyone was so understanding and kind about it. I don't judge them for what they do or anyone for what they do for that matter, my job is to worry about myself and myself just cannot take advantage of people. Well...obviously I could, we all can but I can't get myself to sleep at night if I do. 

I was very sad at first. I knew I had done the right thing for me and for them as I didn't want to waste their time training me for months. The thought of walking away from a job with so many wonderful perks after six months of job hunting, feeling low and a bit lost was very hard. I felt confused and uncertain the day I left. I felt like a teenager skipping school as I had become accustom to not being home during the day but I know I did the right thing for me. 

I don't know what my next opportunity will be and I don't know exactly what to do until it comes along but I do know I wont be wasting my time worrying I have made the wrong choice. My mind asked a question and my soul answered. I have crossed everything that it won't be long until I find something but knowing myself and living by my morals and integrity are all I have to my name and there is no price, commission or prize that I will ever trade them in for. 

Monday, 8 January 2018

Cosy in the Cauldron

September the 1st 2017 to January the 1st 2018, seemed to be a very long time indeed. When I first moved into the flat I suffered with quite severe anxiety, and as a result I closed my business and pulled away from any activities that I was frequenting. This is not a story of woe as I was not alone. My wonderful boyfriend helped me through it all, reminding me every single day exactly why I love him. In those few months something changed significantly, I managed to crack through the hardened shell of my former self and take the first full body stretch I have taken for years. I managed to come outside of myself and start to form new ways of being and thinking. Significant friendships ended, I stepped out of the sisters of the forest coven and focused mainly on my relationship and my family.

I wish I could tell you, just for the sake of documenting - exactly what I went through. I wish I could list all the ways I changed and all the perceptions and beliefs that I no longer have. The truth is it all happened so quickly and I don't honestly know how I got here.  I do however know one of the milestones along the way, it began the day I started reading love your lady landscape by Lisa Lister.

I must explain that for the last few years I have been considering going on to all natural, non hormonal contraceptives. In 2017 it was something I mentioned multiple times to different people. I was trying to gather as much information as I possibly could about how to really take this step, how to change my life for the better and stay safe doing it with no surprises. Even though I have been talking about this topic for so long I still wasn't actually doing anything about it, I was on autopilot living my life the way that society told me was normal. When I Began reading this book I felt called home. I got the sensation that so many women described having when they read the red tent by Anita Diamant.  I also love this book but Lisa Lister was my port-key. I made an appointment with my doctor to have the implant removed from my arm and I signed up to natural Cycles and had my thermometer delivered ready to take the life-changing steps forward.

This was not the only thing that I was inspired to do whilst reading the book. I also decided I wanted to start my own red tent and become a red tent priestess. My first official red tent is on the 27th of January and I am so excited. Whilst reading the book I felt extremely called to create myself a goddess altar, I will include some pictures of this from my Instagram feed. This space is a focal point for my breathing, it is a focal point for my meditation, it is a space for me to connect to my womb power and my ancestors. This altar doesn't focus so much on any female deity in particular but rather the collective power source. On this altar  I keep sleeping remedies, crystals, yoni eggs, Skulls,  goddess figurines, my cauldron, my yoni vase and anything round that represents the womb of the universe.

For the first time ever I have my goddess and god altar separately.  I am still dedicated to the divine masculine expression that exists in every male form within the universe, plant, tree, rock, animal and human form. Working with the dark goddess and committing so much time two working within her cauldron is not a separation from the divine masculine for me. They are always united in universal source energy. Right now I may call Hecate, Isis, Freyja, Skadi, Aphrodite and Diana, but I never allow my self to perceive the universe's greatness as solid and separate from anything.

I can't see what the future holds but I can honestly attest to the significance and value of taking the time to delve into your own power.

Friday, 22 December 2017

Celebrating With The Hive

There is something about being a coven with a group of people, friends, family or even lovers that touches my soul. The coven I am a part of is made up of women. The fiercest and most loving of women. For their privacy I will not mention names but I want them all to know just how much they mean to me as friends and as witches.

I knew I wouldn't be with my coven for the Winter Solstice due to all the different things we all have going on and I planned out what I wanted to give them each as gifts in November. We are the Hive coven, no member plays our queen, we are all just simply worker bees and support and function are our core ties.

Though we all come together from different backgrounds and upbringings, there are several things we can agree on and our behaviour, our attitude and our respect for one another is absolutely essential to the future of the hive. 

Now really I wanted to make a little post showing off the awesome presents my coven sisters got me but instead I thought I would take a much more graceful approach and simply show you some of them appearing on my altar. I won't point them all out, but the sisters of the Hive will know. 

Thursday, 21 December 2017

Meeting The Goddess At The Crossroads

So I've never been very good at keeping blogs. I have started quite a few of them in the past and allowed them to drizzle into nothingness... it makes me quite sad when I think about all the blogs out there that time forgot.

I have been on my pagan journey for 19 years, my journey with technology has not been so faithful.  I cannot promise fancy backgrounds and an aesthetically pleasing website as I'm not sure I know how to do any of those things. Primarily I want to do this blog for myself, I know everyone says that but I'm really starting to regret not having documented so much more of my journey when I was younger. I was a lot more concerned with showing the world just what I had learnt on my journey so far that I didn't take the proper care to ensure I would have something beautiful to look back on. So many of my rituals were public, so much of my magick was discussed and my beliefs laid bare. For a short time I had forgotten the value of my journey to one person in particular - and that person was me.

I deleted all previous content on the Internet of myself, however I did reactivate my Instagram account after a period of time.  I had to give the Internet a bit of a break and focus solely on my own path. Whilst I was doing this I realised just how much I miss the Internet and primarily that is why I came back.  I also really miss the joy in the sharing my own beliefs with others and comparing viewpoints.

I'm lucky enough to not only be in a coven, but to also have many pagan friends in my life. Many people don't have this and so I hope maybe, this blog can provide some small comfort to you if you find yourself feeling a little too solitary.

My name is Mandi, I'm from England, United Kingdom.

My journey has never been stagnant, that's for sure. The chops and changes, the whirlpools in my tides have always been present right from the beginning. I don't see this is a bad thing though, as a result of this I feel like I can overcome most of the challenges that are ever facing me. I find myself quite convinced at this point in my life,  that the universe only gives us what we can handle.

I came primarily to the path of witchcraft through Wicca, although I did find witchcraft before the Wicca religion. When I was younger they were nowhere near as many books on paganism around, and so I learnt a lot about ancient Witchcraft and burning times, of course documented by people that work which is themselves, at the local library.

My first Connection to goddess was  around 2003. The first goddess I was called to was Diana, I was with my friend Sabrina and we had cast a very unorthodox circle and were chanting to the goddess out in the fields of Village. I would love to still have that piece of paper that I see so clearly and my mind before me, a torn edge from a lined notebook and Sabrina's large curved handwriting in blue ink.

The goddess Diana put up with a lot from me that many would not. In 2005 I tried to call on Aphrodite and she basically told me that I wasn't allowed to sit with them and on Tuesdays they wear pink.  I do not say this of Aphrodite herself,  but to stress how I developed my path over a number of years. When I first attempted to connect to the goddess Aphrodite I attempted with sparkly thoughts and rose petals and I believe the altar even have fairy lights. In 2005 I did not understand the grandeur of working with primordial goddess.

I first worked with Pan in 2005 I believe, he was the first god I ever connected to. Although my connection with God has been limited to a few aspects or epithets of his overall sacred divine masculinity, it has been a strong connection throughout the years. The Repetition in the symbolism that I see in the open channel which I believe I have with the god is unwavering and though it may not - on the surface at all times, look like I am honouring the god as faithfully, I believe that to be true balance within the divinity of masculine and feminine on my altar.

Pan was reflected to me in many of the relationship I had with men over the years. Sometimes those relationships would be romantic, sometimes they would be friendships and sometimes they would be familial ties.

Sometimes the ties that bind can be very tight indeed.

I didn't start working with  the Nordic goddess Freya until I was in my mid 20s. I don't know what year it was exactly but I know in 2015, I had a large tattoo of Freya added to my left sleeve to honour her and dedicate myself to her path. I think I had been working with her over 2 years at that point.  Working with Freya had me feeling very called to learn about the Northern tradition and faiths of the Norsemen.  Unsurprisingly when you look behind the scenes it isn't all Vikings and gore. I became absolutely fascinated with her culture and her history, with the poetic eddas and sagas. Though they have never been considered my matron of patron deities Odin, Frey, Frigga, Skadi, Gerda, Loki have all crossed into my path at some point.

Hecate is the most recent development in my path. Although I have studied basic history of hecate in the past her story was a bit lost to me. Just before Samhain this year Hecate's began calling to me although I did not see her face, I did not see her face the many meditations after that and even in dream work. I finally saw her face one night whilst working with my spirit guide when the two became one in the same.

I am currently studying a priestess training course on the activation of Hecate. Will update the more I do on that as I've only currently covered for modules.

I've dealt with a lot of death in my lifetime, and so the goddesses of life and death are no stranger to me. For some reason I do feel more comfortable working with the aspects of life and death in female representation. I do not know why.

 My mother currently has cancer for the second time in her life and seeing as at the time of samhain she had not been given her results about chemotherapy, there was a chance it would not have worked.  And this wasn't a time where I felt I desperately wanted to connect with death energies. On the evening of Samhain however,  I was struck with inspiration like a  bolt of lightning from the sky. I Began making a book of shadows completely from scratch. I already had a book of shadows I didn't need a new one but there was a desperate urge. Since that very night I haven't gone a single day without putting something in it and very full and bustling at the seems.

In September this year I moved in with my boyfriend for the first time. That meant moving away from my mother when she was sick. I was dealing with a lot of anxieties for the first few months during a move. I feel that's when Hecate really started paying attention to me and I started noticing that channel was opening. She was meeting me at the crossroads in my life, holding out her hand unassumingly. She let me know I didn't have to go if I wasn't quite ready but that it would be better to trust her now.  To put ones faith in a goddess when so little is known in the very moment she's asking is a very scary thing to do indeed.

Meeting the goddess at the crossroads is not that difficult at all, hearing her hounds howl as your spine asserts itself in anticipation for her beautiful figure to appear.  It is not difficult to meet the goddess at the crossroads, but taking her hand and moving a single step can be as fearsome as climbing the tallest mountain alone.  She did not leave me, together we walk through the winding woods and with her torch she shows me the light.