Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Continuous Learning

One of the greatest things about paganism and witchcraft is the diversity of it. Paganism describes any religion that is NOT Christianity or Judaism, although I think most modern people also exclude Islam as it very closely related both Christianity and Judaism. So paganism includes everything from Wicca and Druidism to Native American and Aztec to Buddhism and Hinduism. It's a very beautiful thing if you think about it. Every culture in the world has had some form of religion, including our prehistoric relatives. How do we know this? We have found burial sites where the dead were buried with flowers and possessions, a sign that they very likely believed in something more than our time here on earth. But what makes paganism so beautiful, is also a draw back.

There is no one set path in most pagan religions. Very few have written holy books like the Bible or Qur'an, making it difficult for many to find their way. Furthermore there are so many fields you can study, like runes, tarot, astrology, and witchcraft, that it can be overwhelming, even for an expert. So how do you pick what to study? How do I decide? I listen to my heart.

I know; that sounds kind of funny. Even reading it out loud made me chuckle a bit, but it's the truth. Sometimes I am just lying in bed at night trying to fall asleep and out of no where I have the urge to design my own runes. And I did. It took me time to gather the stones I wanted and create them, but I did it. I haven't had too much desire since I made them and cast them for the first time to use them again though. Sad right? However, the reason I cast them was extremely important and set in motion this year's events. While stressful, everything I am doing right now is going to have major pay offs. Other times I am on Pinterest looking at random pictures and I get an idea that I just can't shake. Right now I am really interested in organic gardening. I didn't grow anything this year, but with moving I know next spring things will be more stable, and I will hopefully have the space and sun for a beautiful garden.

After I have a topic, I begin my research on the internet. This is honestly the best way to find things. In fact, I try Pinterest first because bloggers tend to have the most experience with things and they tend to be honest. Websites from Google are great, but if I am looking at painting a fabric chair, the blogger who told me her mistakes and what she will do differently next time is far more helpful that a set of directions. Next I turn to books. I browse Barnes and Nobles to find new titles and spend a long time on Amazon reading reviews and ordering books. Books are probably my biggest weakness, but they are great concentrated sources of information. If you are researching pagan topics, books tend to be more in depth, unless you buy a beginner witchcraft or Wiccan books. Beginner books scratch the surface of many topics, but can lead you to other wonderfully in depth books if you check their references and suggested reading lists. If you are looking for a place to start, check out my Knowing Thy Craft post. If I am hitting a dead end, sometimes I will visit my local metaphysical store and ask if they know anything or can point me to someone who does. It is amazing how willing others are to share their knowledge with you. Never be afraid to ask for help.

I have a long list of things I am currently looking into, including why and how witches cast circles, the meaning of trees and plants, herbal remedies, homesteading, organic gardening, and raising chickens and bees. Many of these topics will likely find their way into my blog, so keep an eye out for those posts.

How do you decide on a topic for continuous learning and where do you start you research?

Monday, August 10, 2015

Can you say overwhelmed?

I hope everyone had a fantastic Lammas. We spent that weekend with friends in Savannah, laying out on the beach at Tybee Island. Honestly, I needed to spend more than two days down there after everything that has happened the past couple of weeks.

If you remember, I said I had good news back in June. Unfortunately a month later said news went very, very sour. That was a week and a half ago. It was devastating news coupled with the unexpected request to be out of our house by the end of the month. We were originally told we would have 3 years here, but they are forcing us out after just 27 months. The reasons are honestly crazy, but thankfully have nothing to do with us personally. We have always paid rent early and have taken excellent care of the property. In fact, it is in better shape now than it was when we moved in. However, I have to take this as a blessing in disguise, even if it doesn't feel like it right now. My husband accepted a new job where he will be able to keep his beard and hopefully be happier while making slightly more money. Furthermore, because of the location of the job coupled with the fact that we are being forced to move, we are going to move closer to my parents. I know they are excited about it and having them close by for help is always a plus. We have been looking at houses and hopefully everything will go well. We have to move the weekend of the 29th, and I have already started packing. I just hope the move goes smoothly and we are able to find something right for our needs.

To add to the stress I have been studying for the GACE, Georgia's teaching certification exam. I take the test shortly after moving and while I know deep down I will do well, I am still very nervous and uncertain. I need to pass this test so I can start applying for teaching positions. After three years of nannying for the same family, I am ready for a change. I am tired all the time, especially since the family moved further from me. I sit in an hour of traffic to go to work and over an hour each day to get home. It sucks. Add the bad news, stress of moving, studying for a major exam, and going to school to it and you have a recipe for being overwhelmed.

I have several blog posts planned and many ideas, but I am not sure when I am going to get around to writing them as of yet. I do know this weekend will be the first weekend I don't have plans since May. I am looking forward to it. My husband will also be working this weekend, so I will very likely write up some blog posts. If not, please stick around. I will definitely be back after our move and look forward to sharing whatever new house we move into with you along with my house cleansing ritual, protection spells, and whatnot. I also have some projects I hope to start next month and I know you guys are going to love them when I am all done.

I hope everyone else is having a less stressful summer than us. If not, know you are not alone.