Monday, April 14, 2014

Start Menu - Part 3 - Energy Work for Beginners

Blessings Darlings!

In preparing to write this segment, I pulled more than a dozen books off my bookshelves to see what THEY said about beginning energy work.  The books, none aimed at  adepts or masters or anything, ranged from Women's Spirituality to Qabala to Ceremonial Magic and beyond, and since I couldn't find my copy of The Spiral Dance yet I looked at the index of that one online.





Only three of those books addressed energy work at all.  A fact that drives me a little crazy (or crazier, depending on your frame of reference).  That's because, for me, being able to sense and direct energy is one of those fundamentally important things in both  magic and spirituality.  Directing energy because you are going to use it to make magic circles, to power your magic, to send offerings/etc to the God/dess/es, and so on, and sensing energy because you'll want to do divination, to sense the return of what you send out, to actually know if a God/dess is responding, and so on.

Interestingly, all three authors have strong Wiccan roots.  The authors and books are Scott Cunningham in "Wicca, A guide for the solitary practitioner", Starhawk in "The Spiral Dance", and Ivo Dominguez, Jr. in "Casting Sacred Space: The Core of All Magickal Work" as well as in his book "Spirit Speak:  Knowing and Understanding Spirit Guides, Ancestors, Ghosts, Angels, and the Divine." [Disclosure - Ivo is one of the elders of the Assembly of the Sacred Wheel, and I'm a member of the Assembly.  I also consider him to be a good friend.  Still, I claim to be unbiased in these book recommendations] [and I paid for almost all my copies of these books, except for one of my copies of "Castings" which I won from Weiser books - and that was an updated version of the book, after I already bought and loved the original version]

Everyone 'feels'/'senses' magical/spiritual/psychic energies differently.  To some it feels electrical, others hot/cold, others get visual cues, some smell things, some hear it, some get odd body feelings, etc.  You'll figure out over time what cues you into it in the general world around you.

For today, I'm going to talk about first steps in feeling and shaping energy.  Yes, fans, we're talking about psi balls! 

Here's a nice online tutorial: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Psi-Ball

It would be especially good if you can practice that with a partner, but the #1 point is just to practice.

Frondly, Fern





Friday, April 11, 2014

Start Menu - Part two - Focus your mind.

Blessings Darlings!

Having addressed your mundane life in the last "Start Menu" post, let's move on to another issue, focusing your mind/attention. 

No magic here yet - it all comes down to practice!

The most common technique that is used to develop mental focus is meditation.  This is not necessarily the same goal that some Eastern types of meditation have, although the techniques may be the same.  You are learning focus, not trying to still/obliterate, your mind. 

For this, pick a form of meditation and ... do it daily.  Twice daily would be even better.  Mantra mediation is fine.  Counting your breaths (usually to 3 or 5, then going back to one) is fine.  Focusing on a flame, walking your lawn digging dandelions, Zen walking meditations, studying the edge of a sword ... there are countless ways to meditate to focus your mind.

You mind WILL wander.  The goal is to have your mind wander less often over time.  So keep track of how often you get distracted.  Maybe have a bowl of dry beans, and remove one from the bowl every time your mind goes off on its own.  After you've finished meditating, count how many beans you've removed from the bowl.  Over time the number will go down. 

I've never hit zero myself, but I've gotten better over time.  You will, too.

Frondly, Fern

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Start Menu - Part 1 - Mundane

Blessings Darlings!

So you want to get started in magic/Pagan spirituality/mysticism/whatever.  Congratulations!  But where do you start?  I take a Maslovian view of this - that you start with the mundane.

Therefore, you'd start with things like:

     * Eating right
     * Getting some daily exercise
     * Getting and keeping your house clean
     * Addressing any physical health issues you have
     * Addressing any mental health issues you have
     * Addressing any financial issues you have
     * Get in the habit of making a daily/weekly/monthly (at least these three levels) to-do list, and work that list.
     * Addressing any other outstanding mundane issues you have.  IRS?  Legal issues? Relationship issues?  Housing issues?  There are tons of things that fit in here.

You don't have to totally solve all your mundane issues you have before starting magical/spiritual working, but you have acknowledge them, and be working on a plan to deal with them.

Why?  For several reasons.

First of all,, these actions reduce major distractions in your life/day. Reducing distractions gives you more time and energy to do the work you want to do.  There are plenty of guided meditations out there that begin with "put all your daily concerns on a scroll, and put it aside for safekeeping.  You'll be able to pick it up again after you do this exercise."  If you already have them on a physical (or electronic) list, and already have started dealing with those concerns, it really is easier to put them aside for a time.

Second, you're a beginner.  Much of the work you'll be doing in the future will revolve around developing your will.  All of these things do that, too.  And unlike a lot of the internal will-work you'll be doing ... these goals are easily measurable.  Did you or did you not eat 5 or more servings of fruit and veggies today?  Did you or did you not exercise?  Are your dishes done?  All yes or no answers.

That's the mundane starting list.  Go for it!

Frondly Fern

Monday, April 7, 2014

Prepare Ye The Way of the Lords (and Ladies)

Blessings Darlings!

I'd like to expand on a theme I've touched on before, over in http://fernsfronds.blogspot.com/2009/06/intimacy-with-gods.html

I'm in a lot of Facebook Pagan groups.  It could well be argued that I'm in too many Facebook Pagan groups.  At any rate, I see recurring themes in all the groups, one taking place around spell-begging (asking strangers online for spells for X, Y, or Z, or even for ANY spells) the other around 'how do I know what God/dess is my patron?"

The first is, well, spell begging in general. I get that they are beginners (at least usually they admit to being beginners, once you ask them.  The others, who have claimed to be experienced in other threads but somehow need help from strangers online now ... ahem.)  But, really folks, it's like never having played the piano before, then one day renting piano and walking into a music store saying "I want the sheet music for the best music out there!"  You're going to be handed, say, the Rach 3 (Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3) ... and you're going to fail at it.  Because you don't have any of the basic skills, from finger work on, needed to play it. 

The second issue is, in fact, almost identical.  It's a beginner, without much knowledge in ... anything ... who wants to be aligned with any God or Goddess, or thinks that they are being called by some God or Goddess. So they ask strangers online who their Patron is/should be.

I understand the yearning.  In both cases.  But you gotta do the basic work.  You have to learn basic energy work to be able to do spells (in my never humble opinion, and, hey, this is  MY blog).  You have to work on yourself, to make yourself not just able to HEAR the Gods, but to be worthy of them paying any mind to you. 

I'll get into those basics in another post.  Probably one for tomorrow.  Maybe not - I work tonight, and I may not have time.  Damn, I'm such a tease, or at least too damn busy for my own good.


So, a little musical inspiration:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuUl522_8jQ

Frondly, Fern

Friday, April 4, 2014

Roundup®

Blessings Darlings!

So, we moved.  Didn't want to, but the house we were renting went on the market, and the real estate agent and the owner agreed it was best to show it without a tenet.

Okay.

We move into the new place.  There's a little trash in the garage, no big deal, I go to move it into the garbage can for pickup.  But ... uh oh ...

I find a mostly-used bottle of  Roundup® in the pile of trash.  Roundup® is a really nasty herbicide, kills grassy weeds and is strongly linked to breast cancer, etc.  I'm guessing that it was used at LEAST around the sides of the house (to kill grass so a weed-whacker wouldn't be needed there) and under all the bushes and in the 'bare space' by the front door, since there are no grassy weeds in those areas.

Putting herbs or food plants in any of those places is clearly out for at least this year.  I don't know how long that stuff remains around, but I have a year to investigate that.

I figure I'll container garden in that open space by the front door.  I've removed the early spring non-grassy weeds ... with a hoe.  It wasn't difficult or time consuming.

I can't even eat all those non-grassy edible weeds I've removed.  Which I find to be a bummer, too. 

Feck.

Frondly, Fern

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Quick Update

Blessings Darlings!

Let's see - my mother went into the hospital, went into hospice, died.  We had to move (house we were renting was going on the market (divorce of owners finally settled the house issue)).  Still unpacking.

Money is still between tight and non-existent.

Found a mostly-used up container of Roundup in the garage of the new house.  More on that later.

That's it for this moment - I HOPE to get back to semi-regular blogging soon, but am still unpacking.

Frondly, Fern

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Before First Aid

Blessings Darlings!

Today I saw a FaceBook post from a friend.  He's teaching first aid, and wanted to know what to teach along with that.  This is my reply ....

About a decade ago, my boss collapsed - Atrial Fibrillation. It took 18 minutes for the EMTs to arrive (that's a story for a different time). One of my coworkers was a volunteer firefighter, had spent the past year and a half I'd worked with her claiming how ready she was to deal with anything.

That coworker froze. I, along with a woman from the loan office housed next to ours, did CPR and kept the boss going until the EMTs got there and defib'd her.

Why did the 'trained' person fail, while I could function (even tho' my CPR training had been two decades earlier)? Because in ALL things I didn't procrastinate, instead my habit was to deal with problems as them came up (and try to head them off, of course, but that, too, is a story for a different day. OTOH, my coworker was the youngest child of many, and her siblings would usually step in to 'help' her if she was slow in doing things, or her boyfriend would handle unpleasant things, etc.

Cultivating the habit of handling problems (that you failed to prevent) as they happen, so you don't freeze and act out the habit of putting things off and having others handle them, is to me the most important thing to learn along with the skills involved in first aid.


Frondly, Fern