Friday, May 25, 2012

The Key to Keeping up with the Path... (PBP wk 21)

May 23, 2012

For this weeks post I decided to write about the difficulties that come with keeping up with The Path.
I guess, I shouldn't say "difficulties" because its not so much difficult as it is a bit overwhelming. I wish I had the time and dedication to tackle more lessons everyday but unfortunately I lack the time management skills and energy at times.
I'm currently studying The Inner Temple of Witchcraft, reading books about herbalism & herb magick, learning to read the Tarot intuitively with Rowan's "Within the Cards" and of course, my new oracle deck --my latest addition to my divination tools. It doesn't sound all that overwhelming, but when you combine that with starting two new businesses, it can be.
The thing is, that as much as I want to fully focus on the path and furthering my knowledge and abilities with proper study, I'm finding it a bit difficult to tackle everything I have on my plate.
I'm not concerned about my spirituality, I practice it daily. I honor God, Goddess & Divinity with my daily practice. In the end that's what matters, right? Building the connection with Divinity, the ancestors, the spirit world.
As an eclectic and solitary, I get to decide where I focus my studies and what to do with what I learn. I have a handful of books that are the building blocks of my craft. There is so much to learn and so much to practice but not enough time or energy to do it all.
I'm guided by my intuition, and usually discover later that what I've done is right along the lines of what I was supposed to do anyway. It's certainly reassuring, however, I know that my casting would improve with the mastery of my foundation.
I guess that as of lately, my energy levels have been fluctuating. This is mainly due to my change in eating habits, I've incorparated fasting as part of my daily living. I'm experimenting with the fast-on, fast-off method. I'll fast for 1-3 days, drinking herbal teas from my garden, organic smoothies, and as much water as possible.
Fasting has many benefits; aside from weight control & spiritual clarity, fasting is the best gift you can give your body. You're giving your body a break from processing food, and in turn, your body has the energy to focus on regenerating itself. The first 48 hours are cleansing and detox, by the third day your body tackles those areas that need help healing.
I want to treat my body like the temple that it is. I've mistreated it long enough and unfortunetly I'm paying for the damages. I feel that once I get used to the new healthy diet it will be easier to keep my weight under control. I want to, with time, be able to fast for at least 10 days at a time. Of course I need patience and perseverance in order to reach my goal.
I'm also a lover of Yoga, I absolutely love Namaste Yoga. The sequences flow effortlessly while at the same time they're streneous enough to count as a light workout. Yoga helps me regulate my breathing which in turn helps during meditation, and it keeps my body active and full of energy while I'm fasting.
The key to keeping up with this magickal path is finding the balance between mind, body & spirit. It's finding the time to practice daily, connecting with Divinity while building a stronger sense of spirituality.
I'm nowhere near perfect, but I'm trying my best while on this path to enlightment. I take it one day at a time focusing on the present, living in today. Being mindful of others while taking care of myself. I accept my mistakes, and make the necessary changes to move forward in a positive way, clearly aware of the lesson I've learned to avoid them in the future.
I love this path and I wouldn't change it for the world. I'm happy, mentally and spiritually stronger than I've evr been. I'm fulfilling my dreams one step at a time and its wonderful. I know that it will take time to master all I need to learn, but that's the beauty of The Craft, it's a living religion. It evolves with me, it changes as I learn, it grows with me. Its perfectly beautiful.

Friday, May 4, 2012

My Obsession With Magickal Incense (PBP wk 18)

I remember my first encounter with a large selection of incense. I'd gone to a smoke shop with a few friends and was immediately drawn to the incense section. At the time, I wasn't aware about the magickal properties of incense, I thought it was used to mask the odor of pot. Haha

It wasn't until I was introduced to defensive spells that I learned the difference between magickal incense and regular incense.

I soon found out that incense can be quite overpriced. Pagan/metaphysical/new age stores are hard to find here in Houston. In fact, I would say they are only a handful and quite overpriced. There are more Yerberias/Botanicas due to the large Latin / Mexican community. But these too are overpriced. I remember buying a pack of sandalwood incense with 20 sticks for 3+ dollars. Not to be cheap, but that can put a dent on your budget.

I've been lucky enough to find deals where I least expect it. I bought close to the entire supply of incense from Big Lots. They were selling these made in India hand rolled packs of 20 sticks for $2 AND it included beautiful hand made incense holders.

I've seen those sold online anywhere from 4 to 6 each! I got a handmade incense holder + the actual incense for only $2. 
The only scents they had available were jasmine, musk, patchouli, and rose; which are a pretty good basis to start off an incense collection, they're packed with multiple magickal properties that range from love, protection, & money (among others).

I stocked up on incense + incense holders --they actually make great gifts / decoration! I have them hanging on my windows, the little mirrors encrusted in the design are perfect to reflect energy. The shapes are also meaningful. These incense holders come in the shape of a heart, square, diamond and hexagon. I've dressed them with different oils depending on the shape and intention. I absolutely love them!

I have to say that my collection of incense has grown since then. I have a small treasure chest full of stick, cone, powder, and home made incense. ^_^

I bought a couple of home made incense from Rowan Pendragon; and let me just say, they're worth the price. One of my favorites is her Tarot incense, its so inspiring. The scent relaxes you while helping you focus. The scent makes me happy.
I wish I could figure out a way to burn it more often. It needs self igniting charcoal... and well, it's a bit of a hassle. Plus I don't always sit and study for the duration of the burning charcoal, I hate to be wasteful. Wonder if Rowan can make a  Tarot liquid incense? Wouldn't that be magickal!? ^_^

I really want to try to make my own incense. I have Cunningham's "Incense, oils & Brews" book, but I've yet to try incense making. I mainly use it as a quick reference. I haven't gotten a hold of the essential gums & resins (I have too much on my plate); besides, I have a full treasure chest of incense already.

My mom found a great shop at the traders market. The incense is sold in small packs of 8 sticks at 2 packs a dollar. They're of high quality and the selection is huuuuge. I think I'm in love. She got me sage, rosemary, eucalyptus, clove, sandalwood, myrrh, as well as other blends to honor the Sun, Divine Beauty, harmony & many other more.

What I love about incense (aside from the awesome scents) is its ability to lift one's spirits. It helps you relax and opens up your senses. It prepares you for magickal work. It enhances and empowers the energy vibrations to better support your magick's intent.

You can smoke up an entire room by burning incense and with that cleanse, attune or fill that same room with the energy carried within the smoke.

Burning incense is practiced as a form of honoring of one's ancestors, deities, the 4 corners, God & Goddess, etc. It helps by raising the energy to the one that resonates mostly with your intent --I burn incense as offerings to my ancestors and the energies I work with when I'm crafting or meditating.

I have to admit that if I could, I would buy an entire shop of these wonderful scented sticks! The possibilities are endless =)