It’s almost like Salem all over again…

The entire world seems like it has been thrown into pandemonium the past year or so, right?

Around this time a year ago, I felt a shift in energies that even most of my witch friends  across the hemisphere have felt. Big change was coming and big change happened. Look at where America is right now. It’s a struggle between darkness and light. The election only brought out the ugly shadows that were dying to rear their heads again and of course on the opposite side people went out and made their voices heard, millions marched against an oppressive regime that threatens the very present and future of many young people who yearn for equality.

It almost feels like Salem, right? Maybe not witch burnings at the stake but think about LGBT rights and women’s rights. Discrimination specifically targeted at transgender people and gross misogyny could be akin to burnings at the stake.

Setting people on fire because they’re different. Because they want to be treated as fairly and equally as the rest of everyone else. But no, because of the backwards patriarchal, male-driven institution that created America in the first place, some people restrict basic human rights to only a select few deserving so if they fit either fundamental right-wing traditions and beliefs or basically white-driven culture that seeks to abolish any sort of color, ethnic diversity, and ethnic beauty that was promised a land of the free in America.

But no, things as they are cannot be further from the truth.

I once stood in the dark being willfully ignorant of all the problems that ethnic minorities like myself have faced for decades in fighting oppressive institutions that wanted to limit basic human rights and equality. When I entered into a public liberal education, my eyes became opened at all the wrongs and rights. It was as if my entire mind’s eye was exposed to another side of a veil I couldn’t see through before.

People will say to ethnic minorities that they’re “being sensitive” or “being too loud” or “being too greedy for rights.” Greedy for rights? Being too loud? Being sensitive? We ethnic minorities wouldn’t be like this if none of the dominant majority (also known as white people or Caucasians of European descent/ancestry) hadn’t fucked most of us over for say…. I don’t know…… centuries.

Extortion. Slavery. Stolen land. Borrowed practices wrongfully adapted into their own (also known as cultural appropriation).

Don’t tell me that any person of color has never been mistreated or judged because of their  skin. That’s a lie. A lie that has to stop. You can form a sentence in variety of ways but the underlying meaning or tone stays the same. Prejudice will always rear its ugly head so long as people stay silent and willfully ignorant of everything wrong in mainstream society today.

 

non-spiritual rant, stress reliever.

After moving to Los Angeles, a lot of shit has fallen into place and fairly recently, a job!

HOWEVER, things are not as they appear to be. I took this job on a whim without thinking about carefully and now I regret it. I’m stressed, I’m energetically drained. Maybe I should’ve waited for a better opportunity to arise?

It comes back to that notion of taking something because you become a better person out of it. Unfortunately, it feels like it has gotten me far worse.

I travel a total of four hours to work Monday through Friday and I experience traffic that can get up to 10 miles per hour. 10 FUCKING MILES PER HOUR.

And you know how far my work place is? About 39 miles which could take a person in normal 65-70 mph traffic about nearly an hour to arrive. BUT TWO HOURS TO GO TO WORK and TWO HOURS TO GO BACK. And you only get paid $15/hour working 40 hours a week. Was it worth taking that job?

I thought so. At least my optimistic self thought it would be, but the waste of gas going stop and go and the unnecessary amount of stress from lack of sleep from the other night just to wake up early to not get caught in morning traffic jams just isn’t worth it.

I literally set my intention and wish for this job and I thought it would be good but it was a lesson to be learned.

A lesson where you have to realize that not everything that you wish for is always perfect. 

I placed my time and energy in my former workplace getting to know my co-workers and managers and we all got along pretty well for the most part. But to me personally, the travel, the distance, the constant lack of sleep and stress was taking its toll on my body. You could literally tell the difference between someone with less than six hours of sleep and someone with more than that.

Sure, I sound like I’m complaining or some shit like that but I could definitely find a job closer to home without the daily four hour commute.

introspection from the first new moon

As the moon waxes in the next several days until the full moon, a lot of introspection and decision-making has been happening in my life. It was during the start of this new moon cycle that I wanted to start making changes in my life and letting the old go.

I’ve held onto pain, sorrow, and anger for far too long and I can definitely say without a doubt that those three things have been holding me back from my potential in creating a new life for myself in this strange, new place I’m warming up to calling home. I can’t move on without first dealing with my demons.

The hurt and confusion from growing up as a child in a spiritually caustic environment has deep roots in my mind and soul. I couldn’t dream without having a waking nightmare and having the rest of my day sullied by the previous night’s shitshow reverie.

I was a different person back then. I’m a different person now. Despite of how much I changed, people will always have some memory of a different version of me. It’s funny how you exist in people’s thoughts even way after you’ve long been with them and perhaps moved onto the afterlife.

Your memory (your existence) never truly dies until everyone else in the world who remembers you die along with it. Unless of course you decide to pass on your legacy to your familial successors.

Introspection is a powerful ability that we all possess. It can be cultivated and developed into a tool that can help heal you, balance you, and even protect you when you really need to shut off from the world. We all need some me time after a stressful day or maybe even after a time of difficulties.

You don’t have to owe anyone your time unless it is necessary for your well-being or something related to your occupation. Sometimes we have to be selfish with ourselves because we can’t always be a hero or savior to everyone in our lives.

We can take a step back to breathe and then try to move forward again tomorrow. It’s literally not a race against time. Heal yourself, balance yourself now so that you can help others in the future wherever you may be.

 

On Personal Power

Personal power has been something I’ve always wanted to develop ever since I was in high school. I grew up in an environment where my thoughts, emotions, and personally my sexuality have been challenged.

To this day I still have a problem with getting past emotions about my private Christian education as a child. It wasn’t until I was older that I started thinking, like REALLY thinking about why I believe what I believe and why I even follow what I believe.

I’ve had a brief stint as an agnostic in college. Seeing other so-called Christians out there acting the complete opposite of what they preach was a major turn off and essentially a big  reason why I started drawing away from church and associating with other supposed Christians. It left a bad aftertaste in my mouth and my visceral reaction to getting invited to church is just pure discomfort.

Perhaps my parents wanted me and my siblings to be in a “safe environment.” We were sent on a Sunday school bus full of other kids from different neighborhoods in the city and we got to experience firsthand how “lost souls are lead to Christ.”

I was grouped with mostly people of color: African-Americans, Asians, Latinos.. the white church was the private Christian school I attended. Ironically, I felt more comfortable with the other non-white kids than the white churchy kids.

I learned about segregation very quickly and how different it felt between ethnic minorities and the white majority. I’m not going to turn this into a post on social justice issues, but it is a big part of my identity that I’m still struggling to accept.

My point being in explaining all of the above: discomfort in a place where you know deep inside you feel like you don’t belong can give you seeds to build upon your personal power.

But, you have to act on planting those seeds and watering them so you can grow into the best version that you can be.

Other people may have ways of attaining personal power. For me that experience was being in an environment that made me question the world instead of blindly following instructions by people whose actions were the complete opposite of Christian.

I admit that I still have a grudge against my private Christian education. I have nightmares of going back to that school and facing people who made me feel worth less than what I am today. It’s a raw feeling, a deep place of pain and anxiety for me.

But as I grow older and see more of the world subjectively through my own eyes, I begin to feel more comfortable breaking past chains each and every day to find my ultimate happiness in living my life.

That happiness is finding my personal power in not letting any sort of institution religious or otherwise define me.

My spiritual path is my own. I build it. I create it. I experience it. No one else is experiencing anything else in my life but me. I think it’s okay to be a little bit selfish and retreat back into yourself so you can deal with things later with the right energy and mindset.

For years I’ve been told that I was never good enough and that I was never going to amount to anything. The damage has been done, but I’m making that pain into the power I want for my life.

Fortifying my defenses, gaining the personal power I need to fulfill my life however I see it.

O How I Burn The Midnight Witching Oil

As the Holidays are coming to a close, I’m in my room pondering about the past year and what transpired. Perhaps its a subjective feeling, but 2016 I think has been a year of turmoil and stress for almost everyone. Granted, the fact that we now have a questionable man in office as President of the United States and that things in the world aren’t seemingly right makes me wonder where humanity is headed. But political discourse and world problems aren’t my focus right now.

The new moon is tomorrow and I’m already preparing for a small rite that would help me transition into 2017 smoothly. Prayers, petitions, or whatever you call them, they are most powerful when you take into account extra boosts of power concerning the usage of herbs, crystals, or certain incense that would put you in the mood. Maybe its been a developing habit for the past year since I started practicing but midnight always seems to be the time that I am at my peak researching witchcraft, occult practices, and other metaphysical ponderings. I’m essentially a night owl. I can never bring myself to even read a book in the morning or afternoon since mornings and afternoons I usually spend people watching, tending to my personal care, and others. Or mostly traveling. And the gym.

I guess you can say that its stereotypical for someone to be practicing witchcraft from 12 am – 3am. The only thing I don’t do is dance naked around a bonfire or astral traveling to far off places to meet with other witches (yet, haha).

I guess at night I’m more comfortable with myself. The darkness. The light coming from the moon and stars. If I had the option of practicing outside in my backyard maybe in the countryside away from prying eyes, I’d do it in a heartbeat. Being outside at night and learning about the darkness with nature has always been a strange fascination of mine as a child.

I would dream up being in the woods conjuring, naked, raw, and unbridled with passion in my practice. To this day, I still haven’t lost that dream and passion of mine. To be free.

Midnight is a time of transition. The line between yesterday and today. Night and morning. A liminal space.

One such goddess comes into mind and I’ve felt her following me for the past few years or so. Hekate has revealed herself in my dreams, in my daily walkings and thoughts, and despite of her having a subdued presence currently in my life, she’s still there in the shadows watching and guiding despite of my not actively practicing with her.

At this moment in time, I’m not obligated to worship or devote myself fully to any deity. That’s something I’m still personally going through until the time is comfortable for me and whatever deity I so choose alone.

But yes, Hekate, a goddess of the night, witches, magic, and the crossroads which coincide with transitional or liminal spaces as well. I’ve dealt with many crossroads in my life, mostly metaphorical. My decisions in my undergraduate years of college, my decisions for a course of action for my future, and most importantly my decisions concerning my personal relationships with both family and friends. Who I let in and who I keep out has been a recurring theme in my life for the last three years.

I think Hekate has had to do something with those thought processes and decisions. Guiding from the shadows and pointing me to a potential road I could take.

As the new year approaches, I am looking forward to definitely leaving 2016 behind and welcoming 2017 with new ideas, thoughts, and approaches. Hopefully being a fruitful and prosperous year with how I make of it.

 

Illusionary Reality and Deified Flaws

I am currently sitting in a coffee bar in Silverlake and it is a pretty trendy establishment with some intriguing clientele and I’m trying to not act like I’m a newb here. I usually get giddy exploring new places and being in new places. Intelligentsia located at 3922 W Sunset Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90029 for anyone who wants to visit one day. They have a delicious array of coffee and tea and some baked goods.

Exploring the city and being among the people feels exhilarating and at the same time exhausting both mentally and physically. You have to have a constant state of self-awareness and outer awareness of everything here if you don’t want to get too caught up in LA’s hedonism and heathenism.

Maybe it’s just the way how I see things. Maybe it’s just the way how things really are. Reality is strangely subjective yet objective pertaining to the laws of thermodynamics and physics. I’m not trying to get all metaphysical woo-woo on here, but my point is that reality should be seen as a constant flow of information and events. Everything can be both objective and subjective; however, personally I believe that objectivity at the end of the day is the winner.

As humans we can rationalize all we want about our situations, lives, and whatever happens to us; but we can’t (however we do) deny the fact that life and reality the way as we see it is inevitable. Water will be water. Air will give life. Fire will burn. The Earth will regenerate and constantly shift for thousands or even millions of more years.

Life goes on.

We try to deny and escape the negativity in this world by escaping through frivolous entertainment, drugs, sex, loveless pursuits, vain pursuits…. we tell ourselves that life will be okay because I see it how it is and not for how it really is. 

Humanity is strange. We have varying interpretations about cosmogony. Christianity stating that everything was created in seven days from a void. Other beliefs stating that all-powerful yet flawed gods had a part to play in forming both above and below. From the depths of the ocean to the highest of heavens.

It’s funny how we try to humanize deities and spirits. The thing with the occult, metaphysics, and anything beyond is that it eventually starts becoming an incomprehensible headache that we’d rather push under the rug instead of thinking about how things are…. the way they are. I think the term I was trying to reach for was anthropomorphizing celestial bodies, gods, spirits, demons, whatever.

We like to deify things and worship them because of some inner desire to believe in something other than ourselves. Or maybe, we want to deify things because we in turn can try to appeal to them and gain some sort of supernatural power or benefit by living a certain way in this current lifetime.

One major pantheon I have a slight gripe with would be the Hellenistic gods and goddesses. The way how I see it, they were essentially high school drama on godly steroids. Zeus took fuck, marry, kill literally. Everyone else was related by one degree of separation and gods and mortals did whatever they wanted to each other either out of benevolence or malevolence.

While… on the other hand, we have a perfect God, a Holy Trinity with Christianity that is without flaw and without blemish. The Almighty and All-Creator of the Universe.

So which is the truth? We can go in circles all we like. Morality, philosophy, religious beliefs, spiritual practices, etc. There are so many in the world from different cultures and they have evolved so much in the span of history that we consciously know of.

Okay, I’m giving myself a headache writing all this stuff out. Been sitting on my chest for awhile so I’m glad that I finally got to write it out. Perhaps in a future post I’ll polish up some of this stuff more.

Goodbye for now.

The Spirit of the Land and Identity

Have you ever felt truly at home where you live?

You may or may not realize it in the beginning but you never really truly miss a place until you go away for some time and reminisce about hanging out at your old haunts, revisiting old places where you had memories, and maybe seeing important, meaningful people from your past.

I’m explicitly talking about my growing up in North Carolina. It’s a beautiful state with a lot of green and many places to take in sightseeing opportunities to sightsee and let yourself go with nature. Being out in the wild helps me think. It puts me in a meditative state and it helps me connect and ground with myself.

North Carolina is a lot of things. Good, bad, and ugly. But that’s everywhere. The special meaning that NC holds for me is the people and the places where I met them. They are the memories and energies that ground me in my mind whenever I am in the toughest of life’s ruts and whenever I need to meditate on something. I throw my mind’s eye back into the places that gave me a feeling of belonging and empowerment. Whether it be a small café with a couple close friends, a solitary venture out into the woods to commune with the spirits, or the river where my element runs wild.

What describes the atmosphere of a region or place?

Well, the term  I know of is genius loci or the atmospheric spirit of a region or place.

I’ve been out in the mountainous Western parts of North Carolina during my teenage years and college years. The natural beauty of North Carolina is captivating and it reels you in with the vastness of a forest or the feeling of empowerment standing on top of a hill or mountain looking down on everything with peace. It was nice to get away on those weekend day trips after a grueling week of studying and examinations.

When I started practicing my craft, I relied heavily on connecting with the land.

Exploring a forest or nature trail or even visiting a river helped me develop my connection and crafting my practice. Even exploring around the city helped (Greensboro was where I went to college and it was a smaller city but had some hidden gems and places to just get lost in and be one with yourself, and maybe find a few unexpected friends along the way).

The atmosphere of home in NC helped me grow as a person and be at peace with myself.

However,  moving to California after graduation disconnected me from the land I grew up in and in turn has had me in a rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts. I miss home.

California is nice; however, as much as I’ve tried to find my place here it just isn’t the same. Who knows? Maybe I have yet to find a tribe or group of people to truly connect with.

The only people I know here in California is family and unfortunately they’re not inclined toward Paganism or any alternative form of spirituality.

I’m holding on to hope that I find good people to be with here in California.

Graduating college seven months ago was just the beginning of my journey in life. Maybe California has its own charms to show me along the way in the next year or so? I’m trying to keep myself open to opportunities and people.

If I want to keep growing and moving forward, I have to find a way to connect with California as well whether it be through interacting with people, visiting landmarks, finding places unknown to me.

Venturing out is one more step to finding that independence and personal spirituality that I fiercely pursue.