Make Mistakes

Make Mistakes

Yes, this post is late on purpose. SMILE AND NOD.

6. You will make mistakes. Once you’re done beating yourself up, go back to the first entry.

So. Why would I send you ALLL the way back to unlearning the “Don’t hate the playa, hate the game” post? It’s simple…..and it’s not.

Here’s the thing. We live in a ridiculous world that’s made even more terrifying with the addition of social media.  Whether we want to admit it or not, we’re in a horrible loop of looking for approval and validation. We’re drawn to other people’s drama. We’re quick to judge the train wrecks happening in the lives of others with thumbs up or some other emoji. It’s a human thing.

When we post to social media and our own little “court” of followers, we are looking for approval and validation for ourselves. We are constantly trying to: course correct our social lives by asking the “hive mind” questions we can google on our own; get validation for our feelings and mindsets if there are few people locally who “grok” us; and sometimes we need that touch of assurance that we did the right thing when drama goes down in our own lives.

Did you catch it?

Here let me single it out for you:

.…”and sometimes we need that touch of assurance that we did the right thing when drama goes down in our own lives.”

Yeah, we’re constantly looking to be “right” in our lives, to always do things the “right” way, and to always get a pat on the head and a cookie when we “win.”

HOWEVER!

Humans don’t work that way. We make mistakes. We mess up. We don’t do things right all the time. And in the Kangaroo Court of Social media? One “misstep” can spiral our already low self esteem filled minds right to the depths of whatever hell we’ve made for ourselves.

It’s even worse when you’re living a Witch Life.

Most of us are studying alone. We don’t know exactly when the Gods and Spirits are talking to us. We don’t know all the pitfalls that are around us… AND, the last “elder” or mentor we had was stark raving mad… Ahem.

For the solitary practitioner, we’re obsessed with doing things “right” so we don’t accidentally curse ourselves or burn down our houses (remember the first two rules of Fire/Candle Magick).

Guess what? We’re not going to be 100% right all the time. That’s why you use your “book of shadows” / grimoire / journal to track your work. From there you can learn what works and what doesn’t – and what fails spectacularly. Remind me to tell you about the time I: 1. Almost burned down my house; and 2. Nearly cursed myself into oblivion.

Good times.

Now, that you’ve gotten through all that? Here come the warnings:

  1. RESIST THE URGE TO SHARE YOUR FAILURE. Are you’re talking to a trusted colleague who won’t talk down to you? With they help you fix it? If the answer is “no” just stop. You’re just setting yourself up for ridicule. AND! Yes, people who you think are your friends will definitely say some crap like “well you should have known, blah blah blah,” and you will get your feelings hurt. Also?
  2. RESIST THE URGE TO COMMENT NEGATIVELY ON THE FAILURES OF OTHERS. Lookit, we know that we messed up. If we’re talking about it? We are looking for that virtual hug while we clean up the mess. No need for “I told you so” or “I hope you’ve learned your lesson.” We get enough crap from our haters. We don’t need it from our friends. Why? Because:
  3. TRACK YOUR RESULTS: Good, bad or ugly, you need to know what happened so you can see where things went sideways or wrong. That journal of yours will be your lifesaver, cherry flavor, after time.
  4. Lastly, DON’T GIVE UP! The reason why we humans go through this horrible cycle of shame is so that we can evolve. When the first humans ate berries, no one knew which ones were poisonous… soooo you can see how that worked out. As a species, we look to the failures of others to make sure we don’t make the same mistake. And yet, taking those chances made us better human beings.

 

So take chances, get messy, and make mistakes. Learn from them. Forgive yourself, and get busy making more magic.

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No Shortcuts

No Shortcuts

We skipped spring and went right into summer. As I look down at my pot belly and realise that I’m not going to fit in last year’s clothes, I’m reminded of the next lesson like a smack upside the head. Dieting and exercising now is too late.
5. There are no shortcuts to success or enlightenment. I’m not even sorry.
What does that mean? If I had a dollar for every time someone wanted a quick fix spell, stone, potion, oil or whatever to fix their life or their problems, we’d be having a much different conversation.
TL; DR: IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY!
OK here we go. Calling yourself a witch, wizard, magician or whatever title of the year and not actively practicing magic or energy work is pointless. That’s right, I’m calling ya’ll out. If you don’t do the work? The title doesn’t fricken matter. Know why people don’t practice? Because it’s work.
That’s right. Practicing magic takes work. It takes less work to quit smoking cold turkey than to use magic to empower stones, herbs and spells to quit smoking. Don’t believe me? Go ask your elders. I’ll wait. Mean while, enjoy this lovely quote.
 
And we’re back. Didn’t like those answers eh? Didn’t think so. So why do magic at all? It’s a way to regulate our own personal energy. Lemme say it again. It’s a way to regulate our OWN PERSONAL ENERGY – not the moon’s energy, not the sun’s energy, not the ocean’s energy, not the trees’ energy – OUR OWN.
Me? I got a Fire Moon, I got a lot a passion and rage boiling inside. Doing the energy work helps me regulate what I have and keep control of my flames. Why? I keep control so that in the event that I need to work fast and hard I can turn on my fire and power up almost any spell or candle in a moment’s notice.
 
Now, for those of you who are wondering about the shortcut angle, here it is. I’ve been a witch 14 years. The first ten years sucked. A LOT. Why? I tried to find shortcuts to everything. I desperately tried every spell that I didn’t have to use my own energy for because I was a lazy uneducated shortcut seeking witch.
 
What happened? I got real broke, real fast. It’s EXPENSIVE to keep trying spells, buying stones, getting jewelry and the like in an effort to make the magic *go*. Yeah, about that. It didn’t work. But something *did* work. I wanted big changes in my life and whoo boy did I get them. I also got a smack upside the head about what devotion to the gods, my community and my magic really meant.
 
The first thing? I had to take care of myself. That’s not right. First I had to learn discipline. I had to learn to not just take care of myself, but to KEEP taking care of myself. Yes, that meant going to bed at reasonable time, eating my vegetables, laying off the cheap booze and taking my medication. Stay with me on this, there is a point. After that? Laundry, making my bed and keeping the clutter out of the house. Those things are key just like taking care of myself. Like I said, it’s not just doing it once. It’s keeping the ball rolling and staying on top of things even when you’re sick, tired, drunk or otherwise not really thinking about things. There’s a point I swear.
Now if you’re picking up what I’m putting down, go with me a bit further. If you do all these things, then you’re ready to get on with the magic. DO THE DOGGONE ENERGETIC EXERCISES EVERYDAY. You can do it! How do I know? You’ve set yourself up for success. Migraine? No biggie. You’ve manage to take out the garbage and do laundry with a migraine. Visualization is a snap. Hungover? Whatever. You’ve managed to make groceries, make the bed and go to work hung over. Cleansing your energy and resetting your shield is no big thing.
NOW WE GET TO THE POINT!
So you’ve got the discipline down. No matter what happens, you’ve got your energy work down and under control. Then something happens. You get the phone call that something is going down and you need to work some mojo. Guess what? You won’t fly off the handle and half ass a spell. Why? FRICKEN DISCIPLINE. You got this. You know how to control your energy power through anything.
So here we are, it’s after you’ve just thrown the bones and thrown down. Guess what you’re going to feel like afterward? SICK AND HUNGOVER. Guess what else? You got this. You know how to take care of yourself sick and hungover. You know how to reset your own energy and work with it to get back on track.
It’s all making sense, yeah? So that was the good news. Here’s the bad news: This doesn’t happen over night. It takes lots of time. If you’re really adept at energy work? It will take six months to a year to completely get control. If you’re lazy like me? It will take longer.
 
Now? I can power up almost any time for almost anything. I can access the energy around me (we’ll teach that later, kids), in the event that I’m tapped out. If there is a ritual or magic working that I have to give my all and then some? I got it down. And when it’s all over? I have the energy cleansing rituals on auto pilot when I shower and go to bed. I’ll be able to feed myself and take my meds. I’ll be able to get to work next day and only be a bit grumpy.

Back to Basics

It’s April. Spring is here. The sun is back. So are the flies.  Ready to get back to real world? Here we go:

  1. When things go wrong, go back to the. Basics. Remember one of the lines in the princess bride : when things go wrong go back to the beginning. This applies almost everywhere. Magic or mundane.

Now don’t get me wrong. No matter what? We’re always going to move forward like Luke Cage, rising from the destruction around us unscathed. Here’s the kicker. Luke went through some serious sh_t to get to that stage. No one is bullet proof overnight. NO ONE. Anyone who tells you different is lying.

So, for all the bluster and shame about being “basic” these days, the “basic” skills in magick and magickal mechanics apply.

  1. Ground
  2. Center
  3. Cleanse
  4. Shield

These are the reset buttons. You can recover and regroup from just about everything with these steps. Exactly HOW you do it is up to you. My favorite is the Waterfall Meditation by Andrieh Vitimus  As a person who has difficulty visualizing things (Thank you ADHD), the waterfall meditation is easy. No you’re not sitting there chanting “Ohm” for an hour. Take one of his classes, read his books. Make the damn magick.

If you can’t do any of these things, CORRECTION: if you’ve convinced yourself that you can’t do any of these things, the path to magick and change inyour life will be forever blocked. PLAIN AND SIMPLE.

Read that again. I’ll help.

If you can’t do any of these things, CORRECTION: if you’ve convinced yourself that you can’t do any of these things, the path to magick and change in your life will be forever blocked.

Lookit, we are all different yeah? Just because someone else can do hot yoga while chanting the 108 names of the goddess in Aramaic doesn’t mean THAT way is the only way to reach enlightenment. Just because someone else is a 14th circle Moonbeam Unicorn Princess in their super secret tradition or coven, doesn’t mean that’s the only path to magick.  As magickal people, we often set our sights a bit too high and curse the gods and spirits when we fall short.

I’ll give you some hints:

  1. Sigil magick – Your signature is a sigil embodying your very essence. The same goes for logos. It’s just as good as DNA or a fingerprint.
  2. Color correspondences: Keep it simple. Work with the colors of the rainbow, and try them out in your wardrobe for quick glamour magick.
  3. Numerology: all you need to really learn is the 0-9. The rest is too much to remember.
  4. Herb work: your kitchen counter spice rack can do a world of good or bring on a world of hurt.

 

Now, why do I give these hints? At the core, these are the basics. The magical mechanics work the same. We work with candles and poppets to see our own energy objectively. However, this isn’t always necessary. The schools of thought behind a lot of magical theory just explain what you can do instinctively. YOU CAN DO THIS, just maybe not the way that’s taught in books….

For many years, those four steps were done in the form of djembe drumming. I sat and played, as the drum beats rolled through my hands, I sent down all that I didn’t need. After a while, I got comfortable and adjusted my straps to play better. After a longer while I realized I was hot and sweaty. Had to take off some clothes and get a drink. Once drumming was done, once my mind was clear? I put my clothes back on, packed up my drum and was able to get back to making mojo. It was different. It was odd. It worked for me. Now your homework is to find a way that works for you.

 

RECAP:

If you have too many heavy boxes in your arms, you’ll set one down right? GROUNDING.

If you put on your underwear in a rush and something feels off, you, ahem, adjust right? CENTERING

If you’re dirty from someone else barfing on you, you change your clothes and get a shower right? CLEANSING

If it’s minus a million degrees outside, you’ll put on a coat and boots right? If it’s plus a million degrees and sunny, you’ll wear a hat and sunscreen right? SHIELDING.

Yes. It’s that simple. It’s the basics. It’s alllll the homework you need to do to make the dang magic.

Rev. Terrie

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Self Service and Ghosting

Ah April. Spring is here and self-preservation is back in business full time. Here’s one thing that really stung to learn while I was away:

  1. Humans are ultimately self-serving. Each and every time, they will choose themselves over you. Deal with it.

This goes along with the “No one is obligated to help you for free” lesson.  Just because you’re a nice person, doesn’t mean that anyone will do anything for you – for any reason. That “do it out of the kindness of the heart” thing is false. There is some kind of mental, physical, financial or energetic reward for doing anything. It’s how humans are hardwired.

Let’s say that you have to move and you need help.  You can ask for “free” help from all of your friends. Only those who get a mental reward from helping people in need will show up.

Yes, that’s a depressingly small number.

Let’s say you offer free pizza and drinks? You may get the same about of people. It is what it is. This is where it gets frustrating. Cuz sometimes you get the  complainers… UGH

Oh it’s gets worse.

Let’s say that you know that few people are going to help and  you just do it yourself or hire out the work. Job’s done and you’re moving on with your live (and all  your stuff).  Inevitably, there is going to be someone who pipes up and says “Oh you should have called me!”

BREATHE THROUGH IT AND IGNORE THEM.

Put on your best Southern smile and say something trite like “Oh I didn’t want to bother you!” Why? Because you knew they wouldn’t show up anyway. These are the folks that get enjoyment from simply appearing to be helpful. We all know they aren’t.

Yet, that’s not the full extent of the self-serving thing I want to talk about. It gets heartbreaking from here on out.  Not sorry.

There are times where you have to drop projects, break promises and just plain flake out and drop off the face of the earth to preserve your sanity and life.  I’ve done it too many times to count. Each time was necessary and painful. I was over extended in energy, funds, time and f-cks  in general to be Supah Terrie.  So I had to bail. This wasn’t my best choice in actions. It was the only one.

That’s right. I was on my way to mental /nervous breakdown number five (fine number seven). I wasn’t sure that I would make it back from there. So I had to bounce and hide.  I’m not proud of this. I’ve lost good friends, three careers, many freelance opportunities, and money on the table.

OH MY GODS THE MONEY. (breathes in to a paper bag)

Yet, it’s what I had to do to survive. I had to be selfish with my time, energy, funds and and f-cks  in general.  Why? Because I know others are self-serving as well. They will take as much energy, time  funds, etc for FREE as you give them. It’s less work for them because they are selfish and want my time, energy, funds and f-cks  in general.

It’s how humans are! I had to remember all of this and still have to remember all of this when people disappear out of my life for whatever reasons they have.  It’s *probably* not my fault. They could just be overwhelmed in life and have to bounce to survive.  There are times when it’s most likely my fault. I can be a high maintenance friend when I’m overwhelmed – which was most of the time in the past forty odd years. Thank you ADHD and my sincerest apologies to my parents, siblings and long suffering husband.

 

Here’s the crux. This is something we have to deal with in this life. We like to trot out the maxims of “Everyone is fighting something” and “Be kind” and that’s great. Yet….

I can’t help but wonder if we all realize the extent of that fight.  Do we really know how our friends are doing? OR are we relying on the false ease granted by social media. If their FB status says they are fine, they must be….. right? That last picture of that friend sure looks happy, so they must be… right?

Not always. We’re back to self-preservation. It’s far easier to fake being happy to keep people out of your business and life while you deal with putting out the fires.

So I ask you this, what mental reward would you get for checking on your friends face to face? Would having that friend in your life keep your own from getting crazy, thus fueling the cycle of self-preservation? Or are you keeping everyone you know at arm’s length because they only want to use you to help themselves? Ghosting isn’t just for dating anymore.

 

It’s a tough call. I don’t have all the answers.

What I do have are people in my life that see through the smiling photos and check on my face to face.  I do the same for them. We help each other through the self-preservation cycles.

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TANSTAAFL

TANSTAAFL ~ There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch

Here we are, back to the things I’ve learned while away from the blog.

  1. No one is under any obligation to help you out of any situation or teach you skills for free.

That’s right. There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

The internet, books from the library, shared skills – none of it is free.  Google gets money from ads.  Facebook is reading your posts and using the information for their marketing engines. The library is subsidized by the province.  You pay taxes to the province. See where we’re going? Even if you share your skills, there should be something you are getting out it. If there isn’t? You’re headed for burnout and feeling unappreciated. All the Reiki people will tell you that when you give a service, there should be an energetic exchange of some kind. The easiest “exchange” is money.

This isn’t spiritual. This is human economics. Don’t believe me? This is from 

3. Production has costs

There is no such thing as a free lunch. Getting something apparently gratis only means that some other person pays for it. Behind every welfare check and each research grant lies the tax money of real people. While the taxpayers see that government confiscates part of one’s personal income, they do not know to whom this money goes; and while the recipients of government expenditures see the government handing the money to them, they do not know from whom the government has taken away this money.

What does this mean when it comes to the spiritual workers? Don’t get mad when your “I just want to ask you a question” is met with “You can book an appointment or consultation for $25.” Before ya’ll get your knickers in a twist, here’s the reason why:

Spiritual workers spend YEARS honing their crafts. In money terms, that means tens of thousands of dollars spent on research, supplies, courses, books and the like. Most spiritual workers still have “day jobs.” So all the money they could be putting towards retirement? They spent studying.

Spiritual workers are usually in the throes of “shaman sickness” because they are giving too much of their work away for free. So that “one question” you have ( that turns into a dissertation) means they now can’t afford to feed themselves right, take time off or get their own medications.

(For those who are wondering, if you’re feeling ashamed, that’s not my intent. That’s a perk of the information. You’re welcome.)

So let’s say that some Spiritual Worker is generous and gives you their time and information. GET THEM SOMETHING IN RETURN. Buy them coffee or lunch. Brag about them to your friends. Post a good review. Carry their bags. Help them set up or break down at events.

Hey, I hear the cheap white light people in the back saying “It’s a gods given gift! You should do it for free!” Hey, guess what? No service in any Christian service I’ve seen is free. It’s paid for by parishioners and congregations. Not even Jesus did things for free. He (apparently) paid for everything with his LIFE.

Now to be fair, I know some of ya’ll are broke or just making ends meet. Still, no free lunch. Do the homework known as the energy exercises I keep asking after. For myself, if I know you’re doing the work, I’ll see results. This is a form a payment. You are learning the skills taught and using them to make your life better. I’ll take it. But ya gotta do the dang work!

So you don’t want to do the energy work? Fine. Everything else is going to be infinitely harder and the magic costs will be greater. No money? STILL NO FREE LUNCH. Get to working for your spiritual worker. Run errands, share their posts, and do all you can in lieu of money to show your worker that you value what they do.

And if you don’t want to do any of those things? Wellll. don’t be surprised when…..

PS.

DON”T ASK FOR COUPONS. To do so means you don’t value the actual product, you’re just cheap.