When I was 12, I did a report on Merlin. Or rather, the ideals surrounding magic in the high medieval period, inspired by fictional depictions of people like Merlin. This was an eye opening report for me, because not only did I find that the internet (in its then infancy) had very little information about Merlin and his potential compatriots, I found out that real witches were a thing that still existed. Mind: blown.
True story: they were ACTUALLY drunk in this scene because Nicole Kidman brought cheap tequila for everyone!
I realized that neo-witches were nothing like Frances & Jet, or the Sanderson Sisters; they were just regular old people who had a different belief system. One that implied that everything in the world has a very specific energy. As a witch you could harness and direct that energy as you chose, as long as you were mindful not to do harm to the earth, or to others. I was intrigued!
My teacher of course, upon inquiry about this new discovery tried to redirect my attention. No doubt I got a lousy grade on the paper, but it was too late for that. I'd fallen down the rabbit hole.
I was raised Lutheran, a religion that still speaks to me occasionally, though I think that's more because the congregation at my church was beyond wonderful. After a point, the idea of Judeo-Christian dogma started to grate at me. I liked going to church to meditate every Sunday, but I was never meditating about God, or the universe, or whatever you're supposed to think about in church.
I started looking at Wicca and Paganism because it really spoke to me at a younger age. The notion of environmental karma was very new to me in my mid-teens, and I latched on to it. If you are good to the universe, the universe would be good to you. I also really liked the idea of a "supreme being" (or beings) being commonly referred to with female pronouns. Again, something that was completely new to me.
As I did more reading, more casting, more gathering, more alter....altering, I found that I preferred to identify as a Pagan Occultist, which is a fancy term for: practicing Pagan that doesn't go out of their way to celebrate holidays.
I had a pentacle necklace that I wore most of high school, I bought a beautiful silver pentacle that was a bit larger than my necklace, and I wrote spells in my journals all the time. I had a proper shadow book at one point, but it didn't really serve a long term purpose.
I liked the idea of elemental unity, and I used the rule of three to keep my ass in check.
Paganism was a very handy tool in helping me discover the inner workings of my spiritual self.
I have stopped thinking in labels with regards to my spirituality as of the last five or so years, but there's one day a year I ALWAYS cast, and that day is today: Samhain. (Pron. Sah-wen).
Typically, I like to ask the universe for good luck in the coming year, but here's a spell/chant I like to do before I go to sleep on the 1st. (Let's face it, just because I'm a witch doesn't mean I also can't get raucously drunk dressed in costume with my friends...) This chant I've done for many years, and I find it helps me a lot when I'm feeling frazzled.
Steps for the universal attraction chant/meditation:
I'm not sure if that's what its real name is, but go with me here.
- Get in a comfortable place for you to meditate. I usually sit on my bed, right before I go to sleep with my legs crossed. Darkness helps me keep my brain in one place because I'm not being distracted by other various stimuli. Depending on how stretchy you are, you may find it's more comfortable for you to sit in a full lotus position. Any way that gets you comfortable!
- Place the outstretched palm of your dominant hand on your aligning knee, close the fingers of your non-dominant hand over your palm, and place that hand over its aligning knee.
- Close your eyes. Think about something you want. Whether it's a tangible item, clarity in a confusing life situation, or something else entirely, think about it. Don't let it consume you, but let it get you ready to meditate.
- After you've thought about what you want to ask the universe for, picture a flame growing over your closed hand. Picture it getting bigger. When it is small, imagine it's keeping just your hand warm. (It's only a tiny flame, after all...) As you imagine it growing, also feel its warmth spreading through your body. Let it flow through your creaks and caverns. Let it warm the darkest parts of you up.
- When the warmth reaches the fingertips of your outstretched dominant hand 'throw' the flame from one hand, and catch it with the other, chanting: "I WILL (fill in the blank of the thing you want to happen)." Your non-dominant hand should now be open and out stretched, and your dominant hand should now be the keeper of your flame.
If you want to know when you'll get a raise at work, say something like: "I WILL FIND OUT WHEN I GET A RAISE AT WORK." If you're just looking for a raise at work, say something like: "I WILL GET A RAISE AT WORK."
I've found in my dealings that the universe is very tricksy, so it's best to be as specific as possible. For example, if you work two jobs and one of them is more of an unimportant side-gig, make sure you clarify which job you'd like a raise at. I WILL GET A RAISE AT XYZ JOB lets the universe know exactly where you're looking.
After all of my growth and devotion to Paganism in my youth, I've found now that I prefer to keep my soul open to as many spiritual opportunities as possible. I'm more of a collage than a dedication at this point in time, which is really freeing. I so enjoy wherever the universe decides to take me!
Perhaps I'll never grow up to be an Owens woman, but I'm ok with that.