Shadow Work

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Brief Update and a Rerun

This week, I’ve been dealing with some personal things, so I’m still catching up. It didn’t feel right to leave you hanging, though, so I’ve found an entry from my now-inactive blog, Voix de Wilder, to share with you. I believe this piece does a good job of explaining my thoughts on things like “fate” or “destiny.” While my views have shifted slightly, a lot of what I said back then still stands, and I think it’s important to explore our own mindset over time. I’m still learning and always asking “why.”

I also wanted to take a break to let you know how things are going concerning the course and other Maiden’s Circle endeavors. As you know by now, Maiden’s Circle sends out a newsletter each time there’s a new update. Lately, that’s pretty much only been notifications of new blog entries and whatever news comes up that week. Do you like that format? Would you like more in the newsletters?

In any case, I want to let you know that our Covenpath course is coming along slowly, but surely. Each week, it gets a little closer to publishing. I want this to be as valuable as I can possibly make it, so I’ve spent many hours researching to make sure we provide the right amount of information while keeping in mind that this is a self-study course. As soon as it’s ready, you’ll be the first to get an email. Make sure you’re signed up for the newsletter, because only those people will get the massive discount of $13 (as opposed to $133). That’s $120 worth of content just for joining the newsletter!

The closer we get to going live, the giddier I become. I sincerely hope this course provides a sturdy base for your witchy practices and that it can lead to a huge growth within Maiden’s Circle. The fact is, I’m looking for coven members. It’s important we all have a similar understanding of the Maiden’s Circle practices, even with varying practices of our own. That means, new members would need to take the course. (That said, enrollment in the course doesn’t automatically mean initiation into the coven.) So, with the launch of the Covenpath course, I hope to see growth in our numbers. If it isn’t clear already, I have a deep need to share this journey.

To help sate that need, Maiden’s Circle now has a learning group on Facebook! The group is meant to foster discussion and learning from one another and is just a bit more formal than other groups I admin. This is because I truly want to have an engaged Pagan community where everyone expresses themselves and participates. I want to hear about your beliefs and practices so that we can connect with one another on a more personal level. So, be sure to check that group out, as well as the Bacchans of Witchsfest group for even more fun, witchy posts.

The Ordains series will continue next week, but I hope you enjoy this brief update and break. Let me know your thoughts in the comments or join us on Facebook. Until then, I hope you enjoy the entry below in which I discuss the ideas of fate or destiny. Blessed be!

Previously titled Sh*t Happens. First published Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Let’s just say that things happen, that sometimes events randomly fall together to create the perfect circumstances for certain things to occur.  Let’s say that’s it.  Things fall into place and things happen, without the hand of Fate or “the Universe.”  This is, indeed, the view of many skeptics and self-proclaimed smart people.  If that is the case, then we’re really just living to die, no?  Shit just happens, and either it’s good or bad, but it’s never important.  Moments aren’t special, so there’s no reason for sentiment and reminiscing.  There’s no point to romance.

I’ve seen two reactions from those following this school of thought.  Some people embrace it and adopt a devil-may-care attitude.  They live life fast and hard.  They live for the sake of experience.  They live dangerously, trying anything new, ignoring the consequences. These people believe they could die young, so they live every moment doing whatever they please.  Then, there are others who take this thought and find fear and misery in it.  If there is no meaning, if their lives are just a series of random events, what is the point of living?  These forlorn people often feel their lives are tragic, and tend to share their tragedy with others, leading to dysfunctional, often co-dependent, relationships.

It’s all very nihilistic, isn’t it?  On the other end of the spectrum are those who believe that Fate rules the world.  To these hopeful beings, every single event has a meaning, everything happens for a reason.  They are always where they’re “meant to be.”  There is some power in the universe that is watching over them, and even the smallest occurrences are meant for them.  A leaf falling at just the right moment is some message for them to interpret, or there’s a raging storm because they’re having a bad day.  Essentially, they believe the world revolves around them.  Truly, their own world does.

Then, of course, there are those of us who are the most idealistic.  We see the world as a gray area.  Some things just happen because they do.  Some things are destined.  Not everything happens for a reason, but nothing is pointless.  Life, ultimately, has a meaning amidst all the mundanity.  We’ve seen the magic that can occur; we’ve seen what can happen when certain random circumstances come together and create the perfect setting for creating change.

The task, then, is to learn to discern the difference; and when you find the things that are significant, when you do receive messages from the Universe (or the Fates, God/dess, Spirit, the Higher Power, or what-have-you), you must determine what they mean.  Perhaps it is just that I like puzzles, that I feel this is the most accurate idea of why things happen.  Who really knows why some people fall into jobs they’d never imagined and end up finding their calling?  Who knows what determines whether or not one person survives an accident?  Is it luck?  Or is it Fate that brings a person into another person’s life?  A person that makes the other feel joyous and free?  Or a person that leaves pain and destruction behind?

We search for lessons and often find them too late.  It isn’t easy figuring out what is mundane and what is a whisper from the gods.  I am happy that my mind works the way it does, but even that is a mystery to me.  The life I lived as a child, the environment that raised me, could have a different influence.  Instead of following in the footsteps of generations before me, I chose to take a new path.  Though, I’m not entirely convinced it was a choice.  I believe that, when it comes to destiny, mine is one of greatness.  I do, however, have to make the choices that take me there; nothing is set in stone.  I believe life will bring to me all I need, but it is up to me to make it mine, to keep it.

Some things are truly supposed to be in our lives, but we must work to prove we deserve them.  Not everything that’s meant to be is easy.  Not everything that’s difficult is a random occurrence or a “lesson learned.”  Perhaps sometimes, the lesson is, “Don’t give up.”  In that same vein, not everything that’s pleasant is fate.  Sometimes, we’re just lucky; it’s just good timing.  So, how do we figure it out?  What do we do with the information once we’ve done that?  How do we know which actions are “right”?  I can’t answer that.

I am working to figure it out in my own life.  There are things I see as signs, and but I am ever skeptical.  Everything is a sign and nothing is.  I am attempting to look at unique occurrences from as many angles as I can conceive.  Of course, it makes me seem a bit…insane, but I’m not sure that matters.  I am analyzing life constantly, and I can’t seem to let go of certain concepts, certain “signs.”  I don’t know what’s happening yet, or why, but I know something in my life is changing.  I don’t know which direction it’s going to go.  All I can do is make the choices that I believe will bring me the most joy and fulfillment.  I hope luck is on my side.

With love always,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings here, and subscribe to catch them every week! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page! PLUS Did you know we have an MCCA newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!

The Ordains: Part 13 – The Stories We Tell Ourselves May Harm Us

This is the thirteenth entry in a series on a set of Pagan guidelines known as the Ordains. The Ordains, as we know them today, can be found in the works of Gerald Gardener. Maiden’s Circle uses a simplified version that has been edited and altered to reflect our core beliefs.

“Never lie to yourself for this is the ultimate act of deceit.”

I believe this is a tough one because most of us tell ourselves too many stories to count. Personally, as someone who is pursuing a career in writing fiction, I find that it can be quite easy to build a story in my head and even easier to believe it. The older I get, the more vigilant I have to be about what those stories are.

In the last two or so years, I’ve gone through some pretty big shifts emotionally, physically, and spiritually. And while the core of my belief hasn’t changed, a lot about the way that I practice and the way I think of myself is very different from five years ago.

Five years ago, I moved to New York with my mind set on following a particular path. At that time, I told myself I was being guided by Goddess and, if I didn’t take that exact route, I was a failure. Failure, in my warped mind, was equivalent to badness. So, when I moved here set on a certain course and I couldn’t hack it, that meant that I was bad.

The lie I had told myself was that people chose their path and stuck to it. Anything else was wrong.

It’s taken a few years to overcome those stories, as well as the fear of not living up to them. But I’ve realized that those stories don’t have to be true. When I accepted that, I finally began to feel like myself.

From childhood, I told myself so many stories. I listened to what people said about me,—that I was too quiet, that I was smart, that I was weird—and stepping out of those labels always left me questioning my identity.

But so many of those stories were false beliefs. Because they weren’t true, the part of me that knew that suffered. These lies I told myself led to near-constant confusion, depression, and feelings of worthlessness. They led to self-destructive choices and unhealthy compulsions. Things I’m still facing.

Nowadays, I’ve reached the point where I’m more aware of the things I tell myself. Of course, it takes work to actively try to change the kinds of thoughts that come into one’s mind. Many people knock the idea of positive thought, but it’s part of what’s kept me alive.

With words of affirmation, rephrasing negative thoughts, and reminding myself over and over that I don’t have to believe every thought that crosses my mind, I’ve found that my mindset is a lot more stable than it was a decade ago.

When we lie to ourselves, we’re robbing ourselves of the opportunity to feel peace. We’re stealing happiness from ourselves with dreadful stories.

How many people do you know are struggling to find a job? How often do you hear them say things like, “No one will hire me,” or “I just can’t seem to find a job.”? We lie to ourselves when we engage in bad behavior due to mental illness, but refuse to acknowledge any personal responsibility in the matter. These lies serve to absolve us and to temporarily free us from the hard work it takes to live fulfilled.

The more we believe these lies, the harder it becomes to understand ourselves and to truly feel joy. As we age, it becomes that much harder to find true freedom. That is, the freedom to be our most authentic, joyful, and spiritually-connected selves.

Many people think therapy or medication is the way to finding balance. I believe that those methods have extreme value in one’s healing process, especially therapy. That should be a resource that every person has access to. However, it sometimes feels like people use therapy as a tune-up, while doing little to no maintenance in-between sessions.

They go to a session, suss out their feelings, tell themselves they’re fine for a week, and then start the whole routine over. For whatever reason, many people seem frightened of the deeper, harder work. There’s no questioning of their beliefs and morals, no examination of their daily thoughts, no consideration for what they truly desire.

Instead, they continue on their routine. Work, home, dinner, entertainment, bed. In and out. Then, it’s back to therapy to discuss how they feel like they’re in a rut.

If we don’t work to reach the core of our problems and take the steps to solve them from within, then we can’t come to a place of true healing.

The only way to solve our problems is to face them and be honest about why they’re there. I counsel everyone to do so. The world will be much better for it. No matter how scary that is or how much it hurts, look at yourself with clear eyes. Ask yourself the hard questions, then ask again a month later or whenever you’re feeling unsure of who you are.

This is something I’m still learning. There are still things that I believe or that I tell myself that I know aren’t true. There are moments when I question my motives and my work, but that’s just one story. It doesn’t have to be true, and if I can see the lie for what it is, I can get through it to see the truth.

Have there been times when you knew you were lying to yourself, but kept going with it? Why do you think some of us do such a thing?

With eternal love,
Lady Morgana Brighid HP MCCA

Check out our Monday to Friday Tarot readings on Youtube! Have any questions or topics you’d like to see on the blog? Interested in writing a guest blog? Let me know in the comments or reach out through the contact page! PLUS Did you know we have a Maiden’s Circle newsletter? Sign up to get updates whenever there’s a new blog post and any other MCCA news. Sign up now!