Spring on the Horizon

It’s getting close to the lunar new year and for many people, that means a time of cleansing. For some, this is a time of the year when they take on a dietary cleanse. They try cutting things like sugar and meat out of their diet to see if it works for them. I have been contemplating no sugar but I love my ice cream and cookies too much to actually do that. For others, they start their physical space cleansing, also known as spring cleaning. This is something that I have been doing. Ever since last year, I have been making moves to become more organized and get rid of some of my excess “stuff”. I try to keep my home clean throughout the whole year but there are times when I need to do extra work, like my garage for example, it needs a lot of clean up work right now. For lunar new year in asian countries, it’s customary to not clean the day of the new year to preserve prosperity in the home. On the day after, you clean your whole house top to bottom to welcome in prosperity.

For Imbolc this year, I celebrated both the coming of spring and did some ritual cleansing using full moon water that I set out to charge during that wicked lunar eclipse slash blue supermoon we had on the 31st of January. I used the water to clear my chakras. I haven’t talked much about chakras before but it’s something that I believe in ever since my yoga teacher training in 2015. I am by no means an expert on it but it’s something that I hope to develop more in the coming year.

As for welcoming spring, my covenmates and I poured some cream from a dairy that I grew up with into the garden. I haven’t used a lot of milk in my practice before but I will likely use more this coming year. Milk, eggs, and honey are the only animal products that I feel comfortable making as offerings in my practice at this time. I know that blood, bones, and meat make great offerings but I just haven’t felt the desire to use them. Milk, eggs, and honey are offerings of fertility and life while blood, bones, and meat are more offerings of death. Perhaps, I will use blood, bones, or meat at Samhain this year.

Which brings me to the question of why do pagans make offerings or sacrifices and what do they mean or represent. To get to the root of what sacrifice means, you have to go way back to an age when every single resource, however small, was needed. To make any kind of offering or sacrifice to the spirits or gods was seen as our way of giving back to those who provide to us. Think of it like our way of taking part in the conservation of energy or the circle of life (as explained in The Lion King). Humans are excellent at producing what they need and then over producing for the sake of our economy. Pagans who take that over production and give it back to nature, are helping to recover some of that loss so that it might be used again in the future.

Do the gods or spirits demand sacrifice? You bet they do. The more we take from the land, the more we will one day have to give back. What we have been giving back, plastics, chemical waste, and other ecologically damaging by-products will only harm us and the planet we call home further. There’s going to be a cost that humans will one day have to pay for all that we have taken. While there are things we as the individual can do to help stem off this sacrifice, one day, we will all pay for our devotion to consumerism.

While in Hawai’i, I had a chance to see a volcano in action. Seeing where the beginnings of our planet and the land in which we rely on in action was both inspiring and humbling. Here was the core of creation at work and yet it was destroying at the same time. Looking at the lava in action, I understood why the Hawaiians believed that the volcano was the Goddess, Pele. You could feel her presents there in a way that I have not experienced in my life before. Volcanoes will one day recover our land for us, their lava will spill over all of the destruction we have caused on the surface, drag it deep into the core and bring new life to the surface. Billions of years from now, when our time on the service has long since burned away, Earth will still be here, hurtling through space until the Sun engulfs her and then new energy will be expelled into the universe. That’s our true immortality, in the atoms of our makeup, we are all made of stars.

So on that happy note, hail the coming of spring and the cycle of rebirth of the land!

~Priestess Spiritsong Dreamweaver

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Path of the Priestess

There are so many paths that you can walk when you practice paganism. I could write entire books just outlining all the paths you can take when you practice paganism. Finding the path that is right for you is just as hard as finding a career that you love. Sometimes, you can line up your pagan path so that it walks in tandem with your career path but most of the time, your pagan path is a private one.

I have chosen to walk the path of a Priestess. This is heavy title in the pagan community, particularly with its association with the High Priestess title in Wicca. It implies leadership in the community and it comes with responsibility, not only to other pagans but to your chosen path. My coven has a ranking system but we don’t have any hierarchy systems. We use levels of engagement to earn our three ranks: Seedling (beginner), Sapling (intermediate), and Tree (advanced). I currently have the rank of Tree as I am in my third year as a founder of the Coven.

I am a follower of the Wheel of the Year which encoupasses both Norse and Celtic practices. I have basically turned my home into a covenstead because I not only have the room to do so but also the time to devote to practice. There are lots of ways people can lead their communities. I have chosen to do so via this blog and in person with my coven.

Finding training in a clergy/mystic path is difficult for pretty much everyone who wants to deepen their pagan spiritual practice. Giving how few trained mystics there are in the world, it’s almost impossible to get one-on-one training. Even the distance education and online courses that are offered do not make up for that master-student relationship. I have attempted these paths a few times and I was not met with much success.

I have walked a solitary path for years and pretty much the majority of my education has been self-training. I was my own teacher and my own guide. It was my training to become a yoga teacher that taught me that I can be my own best teacher. I can gain guidance from others but at the end of the day, I am the one who has to do the work, make the connections, and come to my own conclusions. I have to have be the one to come to my own “ah ha!” moments of realization.

The path of the mystic in any religious tradition is not looked well upon by the eyes of science. In a society were seeing is believing, many things that they mystic sees and experiences cannot be quantified by traditional science. Most mystics run the risk of being called out as Charlatans and quacks for their non-scientific views and practices. I keep many of my own experiences to myself so that I can avoid uncomfortable conversations with people who just don’t get it. You cannot teach a mind that is already full of its own ideas. If someone is to come to the realization that our world is more complex than science can offer at this time, then they will come to spiritual mysticism on their own.

As part of my offering as a pagan Priestess, I will be posting a Foundations of Pagan Practice series on this site for both new pagans and older pagans looking to deepen their own practice by going off the beaten path. It has been my goal since starting this blog back in May to create this series.

As part of my own growth as a pagan, I will continue to share things that I learned and insights that I have gained through my own practice. I will continue to question what it means to be a Priestess and explore other paths.

Spiritsong Dreamweaver