Asking for Help

 

  1. It is not enough just knowing when to ask for help. You have to know WHO to ask.

As a pagan and witch, I live in a world of Venn diagrams.  While some may share parts of my ideals, their entire world view may not be the same. That’s not a complaint. That’s just a fact. Furthermore, even if someone else shares most of my views, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they can help me in a time a crisis, magical or mundane. Again, not a complaint, just a fact. A few more just for giggles, we have to factor in how far way that “help” is in terms of: do they have their own life; have they just finished working way too man shifts and are burned out; are they in their own crisis mode; are they literally hours away in the form of distance and time zones; will my problems be a burden to them; did my spirits tell me to ask someone else; and a whole other host of parameters.

 

What all of this boils down to is that when the big mojo is going down, I may not ask YOU in particular for help. That’s not a slam on you. It’s just how I have to roll. Now this can go bad a number of ways.

 

When I began this path, there was this unspoken rule of “self sufficiency.” You broke it? You fix it.  We all know that doesn’t work out. Why? In this world of “Insta-Witchery” and “Credit Card Conjure,” it’s real easy to follow instructions from any webpage or conjure kit and find that you’ve cursed yourself. It’s not so easy to figure out how to undo those things. Now, as time passed and I learned better, that self sufficiency bullshit can still bite me in the ass. Why? Let’s talk about the shame you can feel when you have to admit that you messed up and can’t fix it.

Yeah. That.

It’s hard enough to admit that you’ve messed up. No one wants to get a dressing down from anyone. In that cycle of self shame, we imagine all kinds horrible things that someone could tell us about our follies. However, that’s not my warning in this. My warning is about those “teachers” and “elders” that will make you feel TERRIBLE while they “attempt” to “help” you out.

Yeah. Them.

Here’s where the witch earns their wand, though. Many of these teachers and elders have no idea how to help you – and they won’t even say that they can’t. The humiliation alone will be enough to drive seekers away and into the arms of apathy.  In my work with Beaux Magique, the hardest part is convincing people that they can come to me if they mess up. Hell, come to me BEFORE you do the crazy magic so we can keep the mistakes to a minimum.

So yeah, send out that help signal when you need it. However, please think hard about those who you accept help and assistance from.

 

 

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It’s not osmosis

9. The advice about hanging around successful people only works if you all have similar goals and you actually learn from the others. Hang out with billionaires all you want. Unless you stop buying lottery tickets or shit you don’t need, guess what?

It’s not Osmosis, people. However, it goes deeper than that.

You can buy all the statues you want. You can purchase all the cool clothing from local vendors that you wish. You can even buy all the oils, sprays, and ritual items that your heart desires. You can drop every dollar you have and get the really big tattoos of your gods, and faith. Guess what?

Artwork by Teemu Jahani

IT MEANS NOTHING UNLESS YOU ARE ACTUALLY FOLLOWING THE PATH.

Yeah you can get all those things. Unless you’re doing the homework, you’re gonna fail the whole dang course. Having the fully decked out Instagram-esque aesthetic altar is nice. It’ll get you lots of likes and lots of attention. Don’t actually *work* that altar? Ha ha ha. Cuz that’s what the gods and spirits are gonna do when you actually try to petition them for something.

However, it goes deeper than that.

You can buy all the books you want. You can listen to all the podcasts you want. You can watch all the videos you want. You can buy all the magazines you want. Unless you are taking notes and using the information? IT MEANS NOTHING. Sure you can parrot to your Wannbe Wednesday witches that you heard of or saw that using rosemary in any spellwork is totally acceptable (It’s not by the way.). That might make you look “cool” or whatever you think is cool. Ya’ll know what I’m gonna say, right? IT MEANS NOTHING. If you’re doing the homework, journaling your spellwork and following the instructions? You will have a long record of RESULTS to show what herbs are truly effective for you.

And that’s what I’ve been getting at. All the successful people you idolize? They are RESULTS driven. You want to see change happen in your life? You want to have all the things? This ain’t osmosis. You learn and put those lessons in to effect.

WERK.

 

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You Fix You

8. Your job is to fix you. If others learn from your example, great. If not? Move along.

 

I learned a thing from one of my mentors this summer. (If she knew that this was about her, she’d be VERY upset with me. HI PAM!) Here’s the thing:  A priestess or priest runs rituals, ceremonies and creates spiritual experiences for themselves. If anyone else, wants to come along, do the work and do the homework, that’s great. If not? Oh well.

Ya’ll……

YA’LL!!!!!

That very thought added a foundation to my ideas of what a priestess is, stuck a pin where I have my convictions and made the globe of “who am I?” stop spinning.

I stopped waiting for my community to formally recognize me as a priestess. I stopped fantasizing over a regal neck torc and elaborate ceremony to get it.  I realize now that I fully believed that the ceremony and the ‘thing’ of getting a torc were the end all and be all of a priestess.  Honestly, they just part of the window dressing. Those things are not what makes me a priestess.

NO Lia Fáil NEEDED.

Forget the super expensive brass or gold neck torc. I went out, got a functioning wrist one – made with copper and bullets – and got back to work.

Once my head stopped spinning, I took a look at my ritual archive. No, not of the ones I’ve done publically – the “other” one.  I have a scary impressive bank of ideas, rituals, thought processes and ceremonies that I’ve never felt I had the support to pull off.

I’ve got a full year long devotion made for my patron god.  (Don’t worry, I’m recovering the website.)

 

I’ve got a proposal for creating a new way to learn to be a bard by using what we have available.

I can travel with my own painted labyrinth when introspection is needed:

I can make a mean magic potion

I know what I am. I know who I am. I know what I want to do in my spiritual life. And, if ya’ll want to come along for the ride? Do the homework and get a helmet. Cuz I got this idea for a road opening ritual that will be pretty epic… along with a few more crazy ideas.

Who am I? You can call me Rev Terrie Mountain Fire

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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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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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