Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Being Awe and Wonder

I realized yesterday that it has been a long time since I used my "Power Circle." Basically, it's a disc of energy that I have empowered with feelings of confidence, courage, and success. I carry it around with me and when I need a boost of power, of these attributes, I simply place it on the ground in front of me and step into my power. No one ever knew. I just take a quick pause before stepping up to the podium to give a speech, knocking on the boss' door, or dialing a potential new client--and it made all the difference. I have been doing this practice for years until recently. I think as a person my magickal work has brought me closer to my true self and, while I have had to make some compromises in the last fewyears, I live in better alignment with my environment and circumstance and everyday I am happier, more successful, more powerful. I know it, I feel it, I live in my power. I think I thought I didn't need my power circle so I didn't use it because I have become the person I felt I was in the circle.

I was walking my dog yesterday and saw the actual chalk drawing in the photo above that one of the neighborhood kids drew on the sidewalk. It was what reminded me I hadn't used my power circle in a while and that maybe I still could, but now I could be more than powerful. I could be awesome! I laughed at the thought at first but then I thought more about it as I walked on. What could I do with more power? I promise I wouldn't be diabolical or anything. But, I could have more influence over my life and what I accomplish. I could give even more to help others and causes I care about. I could be more effective in everything I do. Frankly, I could be awesome.

And yes, awesome is so overused these days it's a total cliché and, well, borderline lame. But not to the kid that drew that awesome circle. Remember what awesome was like when you were a kid? What would it be like to be that awesome person you pretended you were when you were five years old? Well, I'm going to find out. I may not be able to fly or use a golden lasso, but I will have superpowers. Next time you see me, and I look down and take tiny step... be prepared for awesome!

Note: Power Circles are a practice I first read about in a book by Stacey DeMarco when I was a wee-little newbie witch. I have since refined the empowerment ritual to make it more personal to me and more in-line with my current magickal work, but its a worthwhile exercise. For more information, please go to: themodernwitch.com/powercircles.htm

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Not So Gentle Reminders

So I made a few deals, promises if you will, with Spirit* recently. I have certain things I want to achieve and I know that these sacrifices will help me made strides in my personal and spiritual growth. By offering and sacrificing certain things, Spirit agreed to help me along.

For several reasons, one of the sacrifices I made was to not drink alcohol, except for celebrations and ritual/spiritual work and on these occasions I would have only one and share with my guides--trust me, my Spirits like the spirits!

Last Saturday it was a friend's birthday, which would qualify as a celebration. There was only one problem, at dinner there were three different kinds of sangria. You know I had to try them all and I did. And then, I picked a favorite and I had one more. That's when I started to have stomach pains and discomfort. Nothing too disrupting, but enough to make me uncomfortable. Later, I went home to bed and was asleep by 11 or so. At 3AM, I awoke with one the most painful non-migraine headaches of my life. I looked like I was in pain, bloodshot eyes and dark circles and all. There was no relief--pills, cold pack, pressure--nothing. At some point fell asleep again and woke up feeling just fine. The only evidence that the pain was not a dream was the bottle of ibuprofen and the eye pillow I had curled up with during the night.

After going through the whole: "I must be getting old" and "They must have used REALLY cheap wine" scenarios. It dawned on me...duh! I broke a promise, a vow, and I got a reminder. I thanked my lucky stars it was actually a relatively gentle reminder and wasn't something more disruptive or having permanence. It basically just sucked.

One thing I did notice was, after this happened, it's much easier for me to adhere to my all my promises without even thinking about it. I wasn't thinking when I had that last glass of sangria and now I don't have to think when I prepare my meals or try to find time to exercise or make sure I go to bed before 11PM--it just happens. My spiritual body had made the agreement and my body was following suit, but the mind was not with the program. It needed the reminder to get in line. Further proof that our bodies, mind, and spirit, all need to work together. And when they do, life is so much easier.

Oh, and in case you didn't get this point...Spirit means business!

*We all work with different gods and guides. This is just catch-all term I tend to use.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Too Many Closets, Not Enough Pride

In May, I participated in the Pagan Coming Out Day ceremony in front of the White House, where Pagans were encouraged to come out of the broom closet as a Pagan, and for persons who were openly Pagan to recount their coming out story and what it has meant to them. Yesterday, I participated in the Capital Pride Festival. Everyone there was out and proud and it was glorious!

The Pagan path is generally welcoming to GLBTQ community and many are practitioners or are generally supportive of our beliefs. As part of the OHF's outreach efforts we had a booth at the festival and we spent the day talking to Pagans and the Pagan-friendly. Many questions were asked, many questions were answered, many connections were made. All of the interactions were positive and people's responses ranged from extremely excited to cautiously curious. It's really fun and uplifting talking to the excited ones, but it's those cautiously curious ones that made me think.

Those cautiously curious approached the table and quietly took a brochure. They didn't have any questions, they didn't want to be on the mailing list, they just wanted to get a brochure and, "Oh great! You have a web site." That's all. Good bye. Walking away now. These were not the interactions of someone who was anti-Pagan, that's a whole other post--they want information, they want details. These were the questions of closeted Pagans.

The cautiously curious were wearing Pride buttons and/or t-shirts of an LGBTQ organization they were representing or with which they were affiliated. They were gay. They were Pagan. They were out and proud and okay with being gay. They were NOT out and proud and okay with being Pagan. Why?

Power in number and power in community.

Both labels have their stigma and opposition in our over-culture, both groups have similar but different battles and a long way to go. However, the LGBTQ community has a longer history of being out and proud. They have had longer to find support among themselves and their communities.

Capital Pride 2011, was the 36th year of Pride in Washington, DC. It has been only since 2001 since Washington, DC has been hosting Pagan Pride Days. I hope it doesn't take 26 more years before Pagans can have a week-long celebration, a huge parade, and a festival that takes over 10 city-blocks in our nation's capital. In fact in 26 years, I hope there is no longer a need for a week-long celebration, huge parade, or a festival, because we won't be considered different.

This Fall the Pagan Pride Project will help organize Pagan Pride Day celebrations all over the world. Now is the time to get involved. Volunteer. Help your local coordinator. Register. Make sure your group or business is represented. Show up. Be a proud Pagan, meet other pagans, grow your support system and your community.

There is too much as stake for us to not come together and not to be out and proud and celebrate who we are. Besides, and not to be selfish... I really, really, really want a parade!