My Morning Prayer

In a lot of the beginners books on Wicca there is an emphasis on creating a daily practice, and I always brushed it off as something I would work on down the line. A daily practice wasn’t something I wanted to focus on right now, I just didn’t have the time, I’m to inexperienced; were my excuses. Its surprising now to think I didn’t really have to “work at” adding prayer to my morning. I clock in at 7 am five mornings out of the week and find myself four stories up looking at Camelback and the Papago Mountains between 8 and 10 am.18342211_10155333921268417_6852586912892122644_nMost practitioners prefer to ground on solid ground but seeing the largest representations of earth for my region above the building is very humbling to me. It is hear where I focus my breath and release all that will not serve me though out my day. Then with my head down and eyes closed I send my attention to the four cardinal directions, calling the elements in my minds voice as I go. Once I have a circle I call the Goddess and God to help me though my day. Normally asking for attributes I feel I need for that day or their protection. Then I thank the spirits of the land I live on for nourishment, ending with a chant of “may the summer be short” repeated once.15941431_10154943040248417_8857899218113315545_nI then close my circle and go about my day. This practice does not take long and does not effect my work, but it is quickly becoming not enough. I have only been unable to complete this practice at work once and it has become such an important part of my day when I don’t work I feel like my day got off on the wrong foot. Sadly I have only ever noticed this is the cause of the feeling until evening and not the time for a day starting prayer. Also, before starting my prayer every morning I think to myself that I should also be doing a end of day prayer to thank the Goddess and God for their gifts but the memory to do so does not stick. I hope to expand this practice in these ways. I actually feel more focused and clear after my prayer and would like that feeling to wash over to days I do not work and before bed.

 

Do you have a daily practice? Do prayers or devotions? How would you like to expand on these?

Blessed Be,

Autumn Wolfe

As always please feel free to comment and share! If you have any questions or wish to get in contact with me please email me at autumn.ironwolf@gmail.com

Back and Ready to Write

Hi All,

Sorry for the long absence. Between my life getting busier and the ever changing political environment writing seemed harder and harder, but I’m ready to start posting again. I have been in a stand still with my magickal practice as well. My work scheduled has made it difficult for me to go to ritual, I was stuck in one book for almost two months, and my book club has been woefully neglected. You could say this witch has fallen off her path. Well its time to dust off my pointy hat and get back on the broom. I know I don’t tend to post personal stories but coming out and clean about my absence is how I see myself restarting. I hope you don’t mind!

I personally feel a type of spiritual practice is necessary for our mental health and when you let it fall from the level you are happiest at it leads to downfalls in other areas of life. So hear I am taking the rains back and saying I’m in-charge! Who’s with me? Coming up you can expect from the IronWolf Circle a look into the American legal battles and what protections they granted Pagans, how I incorporate the “Harm None” clause into my daily life, and Initiation. Please feel free to contact me hear or though email.

Blessed Bee,

Autumn Wolfe

autumn.ironwolf@gmail.com

Fluffy Bunny, How Pagans Bully

“That group is full of fluffy bunnies, look at their cloths!”

“She is such a fluffy bunny, I can’t carry on a conversation without her insisting Margaret Murray’s Witch Cult was real.”

“Oh, I’m not a fluffy bunny. I embrace the dark and the light.”

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  Upon entering a new community you start to pick up on the lexicon, different terms used to express ideals, stereotypes, and common experiences.  The same is true with Pagan communities, whether online or in real life you learn the difference between a bolin and an athame fairly quickly; but what about insults. Words thrown around to distinguish the others or less then. The ones you are not. You will hear them but are they always defined?In Christianity you will hear someone called a “rainy day Christian” or a “Christmas Catholic” both are terms used to describe a believer who only shows up to service when it suits them. In Paganism we may have a similar term, but an even more hurtful insult is being called a “fluffy bunny”. I have seen the fluffy bunny insult used in three different ways but it always is meant to distinguish an individual or group that is not authentic or a real Pagan.

The three common uses for the term fluffy bunny are: 1. The first and most common is to describe the dabblers, or the Pagans that have read one book and they know it all (IReadits) and the fad followers. These are the ‘kids’ (can be adults) who wear all the jewelry they can get their hands on and buy up all the fancy tools. 2. The second are the Pagans that don’t like to think about the dark side. The Pagans who are all rainbows and sunshine and never would talk about the negative. Peace, Love and keep all the underworld away from me. 3. The third are the Pagans willing to throw away all recent historic findings to embrace the rhetoric brought forth in the early years of Neo Paganism. These Pagans refuse to hear about the Burning Times, Gerald Gardner,  and Margaret Murray in any capacity then how they see it.

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You will encounter people who fit in to these three stereotypes and want to call them a fluffy bunny. You will hear other Pagans use the term and now know what they mean, but should you repeat it? With Neo-Paganism being so open to all walks of life and personal interpretation do we even have the right to bully others for practicing in a different way or choosing what they are about? I had a hard time dealing with the “Wiccans” described in the most common use of fluffy bunny when I was younger. I believed not only “Fluffy Bunnies are frequently attracted to Wicca for the sake of appearance” but anyone in my age range was as well. Anyone in my school who said they were Wiccan got lumped in with the goths, emo kids, and attention seekers. If I knew the term I would have spat it at them just as frequently as I was called a weirdo and loser.

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Which brings me to my point. As teens most of us were bullied. We know the sting for being called names and as teens expect it. As adults, in a complicated community that does require some level of maturity to participate should we be throwing around insults like fluffy? I agree the “fluffiness” needs to combated, but how many people who are insulted for a lack of knowledge suddenly become deadly serious to learn? Instead of insults and saying behind these bunnies backs they are”air-headed idiots more at home in a Walt Disney cartoon than in the Pagan community” Why can’t we give the opportunity for dialect and education?  I bet some of these fluffy bunnies were never given the opportunity to brush down their fur.

Sources:

http://wicca.cnbeyer.com/fluffy.shtml

http://www.sacred-texts.com/bos/msg0019.htm

Blessed Be,

Autumn Wolfe

As always please feel free to comment and share! If you have any questions or wish to get in contact with me please email me at autumn.ironwolf@gmail.com

 

 

An Altar in Every Room

Creating small inconspicuous, sacred spaces all thought a Witch’s home.

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What is with us Pagans and our Altars? I love looking at a clear perfectly arranged space. In fact it causes a lot of hostility in my home, because my roommates don’t have the same need for organization and cleared space as I do. I would say a large portion of my need for cleared space, i.e. uncluttered empty counters and table space, is due to the teachings of Paganism. In every beginners book there is a section dedicated to removing unwanted and unused things. Normally in a spring cleaning or emotional baggage type section. They encourage a working witch to get rid of energy suckers; and that these clear spaces help our thoughts and our magick stay fresh. Maybe when I was younger I didn’t ascribe to that philosophy as much, but now I can’t stand clutter of any kind! Everything I have out on display has a place and gives me nothing but joy and if it is a necessary item that does not bring me happiness with a single glance it better have a place to go where I don’t have to look at it.

As a “compromise” I enforce stringent regulations on my spaces and try to respect shared space. I am really bad at the respecting shared space bit. Now top of that, I have thrown embarrassing tantrums and had fits over my spaces being touched and in prep for spring cleaning I think I found out why. Every space I set up is an altar of some kind that I have devoted a large portion of energy in setting up and caring for. Each one in turn gives me satisfaction on a spiritual level and could be used to invoke certain feelings, Deities, or emotional states. Whether you maintain a standing Altar in you home or not, if you have been in the craft for any length in time you  keep your tools in a certain place in a special way. You know the sting of your magickal space being disturbed and work to prevent it at all cost. You may let others touch your tools but if they have been disturbed out of your presence it’s a brake of trust.

Sryai'scloset        High Priestess Syrai RavenWynd’s (of Circle of the Spiral Moon Coven) “Witchy Closet” The closet door has a lock to keep unwanted eyes and hands out.  This is where a practitioner of the craft for over 2 decades keeps her tools safe.

So, what is with us and our altars? I know a lot of practicing witches who have multiple places in their homes and outdoors that they can go to to recharge their witchy batteries. Why if the Earth is our “church” do we construct these places? Altar construction and devotion is an ancient art found all over the world. Its in our DNA, and if you ask me our ancestors built these physical places of worship for their convenience. The first altars were just as much for spiritual need as much community. These slabs of stone and art that have survived where there for the people. Used as anthropologists and historians speculate for more then religion but politics, education, and Judaical proceedings as well, but in these ancient times all of these communal acts would be considered inter connected. In short the ancestors built these places to bring the people together and to give a place that was everyone’s space and no one’s at all; because they are the Gods’ space.

Moving away from historical speculation and to  Neo-Paganism there is a large focus of altar building. All the books talk about altar decoration and set up and most of us that don’t have a stationary altar wish we did. I personal find myself very lucky after fifteen years of not being able to maintain a constant altar I now have one; and as I have said before have been finding that some spaces I once considered mundane are not so much anymore. If you do not have the luxury of freedom to have a open and stationary altar consider some options.

ostaraalter16                        My Altar currently midway cleaned from Ostara.

Not all altars have to be large and elaborate. I have seen plenty of altars that get the job done on just a small floating shelf. Also, your altar does not have to be just your altar. Sometimes a space has to pull double duty. If half the time your altar is your desk due to space, that is not a problem. Your altar also does not have to be covered in pentacles, and Goddess symbols. A candle and some images of nature can be all you need to know what it is and not freak out your gusts. Also fold out tables that come out only when its ritual time is just fine too. For a long time I had to flatten a TV dinner tray when not in use and then pull it back out when it was time to set the circle.  The main importance hear is to do what you need when you need to and do what you feel works for you. Yes a lot of books will tell you how set up an altar, but most of the advice they are giving is rooted in Ceremonial Magick and that might not work for everyone.

Before I end I did want to share some of the spaces I never planed on making into altars that have organically become so. I have a large garden tub in my master bath.  It is not a shower and tub combo and because of this I have decorated the edges of the tub with candles, large shells, rose quarts, and a marble statue of Michel Angelo’s Birth of Venus (see top picture). The Goddess of beauty and love has infused that space to a place of self care and worship. With the offerings surrounding her the whole tub is infused with love and care whether I am using it or not! My nightstand was a bit of a labor of love to begin with. I wanted a very specific piece of furniture and once I got it I wasn’t going to stop there. I ended up replacing the knobs for much prettier blue and white panted porcine and found a tile coaster that matched.   At home I had two tea lite holders. One blue louts flower and a blue Moroccan Lantern. I was gifted a beautiful purple incense holder and with all of that strategically placed the table gave off a warmth and peaceful vibe.  So even the most simple and mundane places can become magickal and full of spirit. How does your altar look? Make you feel?

This week I suggest music by Onmia.                                                                                                          I can’t get their title track song Earth Warrior out of my head!

Blessed Be,                                                                                                                                                            Autumn Wolfe