Music, Magic, and Life on the Road

DSC03399My posts have been sporadic, and I apologize for that. As a writer, it’s really tough when I’m not able to do that writing thing. That being said, my past months have been chock full of new experiences that will give me writing fodder for months (and years) to come. I’ve been traveling and teaching at different festivals and events, and recently I’ve really been upping my game as a musician and connecting more with other Pagan musicians. Continue reading

Do You Have a Spell for That?

shutterstock_101395927 [Converted]I get asked a lot of interesting questions when I travel and teach, or from people on social media; often, they are people I don’t really know all that well. Though I primarily teach leadership and facilitation skills, people often ask me, “Do you have a spell for that?” I’ve also seen people post rants on Facebook about some of the–for lack of better words–sloppy tendencies of many Pagans to take shortcuts. Both of these in many ways tie into some of the bad habits many people fall into when facilitating rituals, as well as issues of personal and spiritual growth. Often these are what I can classify as beginner mistakes, but they aren’t mistakes limited to people new to Paganism.

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Lughnasadh: Abundance and Seeking Your Dreams

Lotus Queen

The Lotus Queen: One of my large mixed media pieces with gold, metal and glass pieces.

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I’m joining the Tarot Blog Hop on the theme of the Lughnassadh (harvest), and the abundance of the Queen of Disks.

In order to harvest, you have to have first planted the seeds. I find that when I’m the most often wrapped up in the spiral of self loathing and overwhelm, the root cause is that I wish I’d gotten things finished (or started) sooner.

You can’t realize a dream if you haven’t watered the garden and tended the land.

In my case, I look at the magical map I’ve created as an intention setting. I call it a Grail Map. I see the crucial projects that must get finished so that the bigger, larger-reaching dreams can be realized. Sometimes I get stuck thinking, “I should have had a novel published when I was 25,” “I should have gotten those MP3’s recorded by now, ” “I should have finished that book on facilitating ritual by now,” “I should have done dozens more paintings,” “I should have gotten more gigs doing magazine covers and book covers.”

“I Should” is a pretty big red flag; it’s a big time blame game.

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Beltane and the Union of Opposites

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I’m joining the Tarot Blog Hop on the theme of the Beltane and the Union of Opposites.

More and more I have a challenge with opposites, or more specifically, binaries. Here’s what I mean. I think that they can be useful way to frame things, and in fact, I think people naturally think in binary terms. However, binary also creates black/white thinking. We humans get too used to the boxes, the pendulum swing…and we forget about the spectrum in the middle. This causes us no end of problems; typically when I write about that it’s in one of my leadership blog posts, but it finds its way into our magical and personal growth work as well.

On the other hand, there is some seriously powerful magic when we find that centerpoint, that balance of opposites.

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What is Magic? Part 3

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I think that, with magic, we want proof. We want flash. We want miracles.  And when we don’t get those, we wonder what magic is. When we see how magic works, it doesn’t seem very flashy…or, we realize how unimportant the flash really is.

Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to put my finger on magic. Because magic is, at its core, one of the mysteries. You can’t work it til you experience it, and it’s really hard to put it into words.

People try. They write spell books that read more like recipes, they create informational graphics like the Kabbalistic Tree of Life to explain how the universe works…but that doesn’t teach what’s going on beneath. It’s a map, but it’s not the terrain. Nor is it the only map. It’s not the actual underpinnings of the universe, just one map to it that may or may not work for you or for me.

And at the core, I think that word magic has so much bound up in it. It’s a powerful, loaded word all on its own.

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What Is Magic? Part 2

9181063_xlI think the word magic has different meanings in different contexts. I think across the board, it tends to mean “the hidden.” Or, things that happen in a way I can’t easily see/unravel.

A related definition might be how I see most people use it in terms of spellwork. “Magic is doing a spell and getting what I want without having to do any work.” I think the idea is that you set your intention, light the right colored candle, and the universe brings you what you want if you’re cool enough.

Obviously there are some problems with that concept. But if you haven’t read Part 1, you might want to go to the previous post and check that out so that this one makes a bit more sense.

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What is Magic?

9312433_xlI’m currently taking Taylor Ellwood’s online class, The Process of Magic. Largely, I’m interested in this class because I’ve never done any formal training in the Western Mystery Traditions when it comes to magic, and I’d like to piece together what I’ve learned through osmosis over the years.

Probably the more pressing reason for me to take this class is that over the years, my definition of magic has changed a few times.

When I wrote my Hexes and Curses article I got a lot of push-back from people who said I was wrong, that I didn’t understand how Hexes worked, or who even said, “Well, you obviously don’t believe in magic at all.”

The truth is, I do believe in magic–but, my relationship to magic has gotten both more complicated–and yet in some ways more simple–the more I’ve learned over the years. Like many things, I’ve gone back and forth to different sides of the pendulum, and so I’ve been asking myself this question a lot. What is magic? What do I believe about magic?

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