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protection basics help

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#1 leucoleo

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 06:54 AM

So, as background, I was involved with Wicca for quite awhile, around 6 years or so on and off (maybe longer than that, but I didn't practice way back then) 

 

Under a teacher when I was younger, I was told to steer clear of any and all spirits, be them benevolent or malevolent. He would always tell me specifically, but other people had more leeway when it came to working with them, however it was still pretty forbidden. After I kicked that group to the curb, I stopped practicing completely until I was about 19, so a good 3 or 4 years. Recently I've been called back to the craft, but with a completely different vibe. 

 

However, all of the workings that I have done in the past have been deity-based, protected in "white light" (whatever the hell that means), in a consecrated circle, naked, with ale, cakes, candles, etc. So I am at a complete loss on how to actually practice, or if my "results" in the past were even actual results or just my mind justifying all of the hard work and study hours I put into that religion. 

 

So I just need a little guidance on how to find a practice that works for me? I know that's kind of a super vague question, but I am at such a loss. 

 

How do you practice, achieve results, protect yourself? 

And if anyone could elaborate about energy, because with what I was taught, the energy had to come from 3 places: the gods, the earth, or the sun/moon. 

 

I apologize for the vagueness and the desperation, but my spirituality has nearly come to a complete stop, and I would really like to follow this tug in my gut toward something bigger. 

 

Thank you in advance. 


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#2 Belle

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 07:38 AM

There is a lot of information on the forums and everybody has a different way, so nobody can tell you what to do specifically. 

 

You have to use your intuition, and find your guidance. That is the key to unlock the doors you are meant to unlock. 

 

Everything is energy. It is limitless, but there are different vibrations. We all see and feel it subconsciously. 

 

When we meet somebody new, we are not studying their appearance, we are taking in their energy, and seeing and feeling and sensing. 

 

Try really looking at things, when you walk down the street, look at your surroundings, Pay attention to everything you see as if you were going to be tested on it. 

 

That's just an exercise, but it makes you aware of the energy in your environment. We ignore so many things so it's no wonder we lose sight of our senses. 


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#3 travsha

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 03:05 PM

Gods would be multiple locations for power, earth is a location, sun and moon are both their own sources of power....  Much more then 3 there.  

 

I dont think I have ever met a witch that uses a circle, though I am sure some might be out there....  I never use one.  White light in my experience also wouldnt be that protective.

 

Alliances with spirits is probably the best protection you can get.  Working with spirits is where the real magic happens (in your example, even though you claimed to not work with spirits, Gods, Mother Earth, Sun and Moon ect are all spirits).  I mostly work with nature spirits, like Earth, Ocean, Sun, Moon, Stars, Mountain spirits, plant spirits ect....  I especially focus on plant spirits.  

 

Based on what you have mentioned from your teacher....  I would try to forget as much of what they taught you as possible - they sounds kinda like a quack to me honestly.  From there I would focus on learning protection and trying to find your spirit guides.  Get to know some of the spirits in your practice and they can really teach you anything you need to learn, so this is the foundation to me.  

 

I can really tell you how your practice should be....  I have a pretty specific style of practice that might not be for everyone else.  I think learning how to connect with spirits is a good start though - and just by building a relationship with some you will start protecting yourself.  I would recommend focusing on benevolent spirits at least at first - one personal rule of mine is that I only work with spirits who I would like to be with and be like - because I think anyone you spend time with will rub off on you some way.  A few ideas for how to work with spirits might include scrying, prayer, altar work, evocation, astral projection or shamanic journey, trance work, entheogen or plant dieta, hollow bone work ect.....  I personally work mostly with entheogens, plant dieta, and hollow bone work - if you have any questions about those or abut shamanic journey I can point you in the right direction.  


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#4 RapunzelGnome

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 03:38 PM

I think we all have similar but different philosophies about the nature of energy and subtle energy, and how the spiritworld ties in, and where we as conscious beings fit into this metaphysical habitat that we seem to be at a disadvantage to experience because of how much we rely on physical senses to form our perception. The *journey* to find your own philosophy in this regard is the ciriculum. The process of digging is the teacher. Of course it doesn't hurt to have a few other teachers in your life (of the seen and unseen variety).

I'm still relatively new on this path compared to some of the folks here, but my advice for learning spiritwork is always to start with a simple discipline of ancestral veneration. There's plenty of info on this site and others about ancestor altars and appropriate offerings to get you started. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, just an acknowledgement to those that came before you that may have a vested interest in you. And if you honor them regularly, and watch and wait, soon enough they start to make their presence known to you in the manner in which is most efficient for them. Observing and recording this process will help you begin to train yourself of how to communicate better with the unseen. Once you've started to build this working relationship with a few guides and ancestors, they will help to teach you the next steps if you continually set your intention towards progressing down that path. before you go any further, they will teach you how to protect yourself (and that may not be a pleasant process, but necessary).

Read all you can but don't accept anything just because you read it somewhere. Become a student of the universe...once your helpful spirits start engaging you, the signs and symbols can be anywhere and everywhere. If you are here, asking these questions, they probably already are guiding you subtly in the right direction. Meet people in many different traditions, listening and learning about a variety of paths, and find which one speaks to you the strongest. It may or may not be same tradition of your ancient ancestors, but that doesn't matter so much. But if you don't know where to start, looking at your ancestral cultures may give you a good place to begin searching. Or perhaps the local traditions where you live might give you more insight of how to work with the spirits of the land around you.


If you made any vows or oaths to deity in your Wiccan years, you may need to consult with someone on how to make sure those don't trip you up as you leave that faith behind.

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#5 westofthemoon

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 06:27 PM

If you want to start working with spirits, how about an ancestor altar? They don't all have to be blood relatives, you can also put pictures of "witch ancestors" on it. There are some great threads on the forum about it.
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#6 Nera

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 06:41 PM

I agree with westofthemoon. Great place to start is making an ancestral altar. It is also great for protection, not just for working with spirits.


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#7 RoseRed

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Posted 19 April 2016 - 09:32 PM

3rd time's a charm, huh?


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#8 Aina

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 12:16 AM

Circles, nakedness, consecrated cakes and white light...I'm missing out.

 

Everyone's different, but I agree with working with ancestors as a starting point. I did the opposite, worked with a couple of spirits and then incorporated ancestors but there was a personal reason for that. Ancestral work has made my connection with spirits stronger though.


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#9 Ravenshaw

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 12:47 AM

Another place to begin is listening to the world around you. The dead have an awful lot of guidance to offer, but so does the world around you. Grow a plant, *listen* to the plant as it grows, and incorporate it into your practice. Track animals, wild craft often, smell the soil, use the clouds and tree branches to look for symbols and incorporate them into your day. Form relationships with your local land spirits. Witchcraft is not just working with the dead, there is plenty of life to it as well, and it is a moving breathing thing. Meditate, listen to your body as well, for you are a source of incredible power, and often times the only thing you can rely when the forces around you become twisted, sick, or lie to you. You are also your most important tool, and the only necessary part of practice.


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#10 Ravenshaw

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 12:47 AM

Circles, nakedness, consecrated cakes and white light...I'm missing out.

 

Everyone's different, but I agree with working with ancestors as a starting point. I did the opposite, worked with a couple of spirits and then incorporated ancestors but there was a personal reason for that. Ancestral work has made my connection with spirits stronger though.

 

 

No one gives me cake and ale when I'm naked :( I'm with you, we're missing the good stuff


Edited by Ravenshaw, 20 April 2016 - 12:47 AM.

RSKHFMY


#11 Christine

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 04:08 AM

The chaos principle of banish with laughter has best served me against crappy teachers, I like to use Walter's laugh from The Money Pit. The only decent teachers I ever had, aren't human... but that doesn't mean I haven't had a ton of human Teachers! They are in jail now, so that's OK.

My point is, don't stress over the shithead. Moon and trees and sun and earth, they will steer you right.

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#12 Aina

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 02:47 PM

No one gives me cake and ale when I'm naked :( I'm with you, we're missing the good stuff

 

I might have to start taking my clothes off more.


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#13 ArcticWitch

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 06:52 PM

We should just bippity-boppity-boop our way to a solution and conjure up a nudist colony...for traditional witches only, of course.  Lots of wooded patches for the shy, and plenty of open bonfire circles for the "Let it all hang out" crowd.  C'mon, y'all know you wanna go!  ;)


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#14 Mountain Witch

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 09:15 PM

We should just bippity-boppity-boop our way to a solution and conjure up a nudist colony...for traditional witches only, of course.  Lots of wooded patches for the shy, and plenty of open bonfire circles for the "Let it all hang out" crowd.  C'mon, y'all know you wanna go!   ;)

 

Do you know how many ticks & other icks are in "wooded patches"? No thanks! :D


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#15 odalibuc

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 09:19 PM

lol let's do it. On a more serious note, I'm a big believer in self-observance; I like to be familiar with the emotional, physical, mental, and magical aspects of my being before performing any spell. I'm also a big believer in symbolic action and moving with your magic, which helps it get worked up and flowing so it doesn't feel like you're trying to force anything. I will repeat some advice mentioned above: listen to the world around you and try to connect to whatever spirits you are comfortable with. But most of all, don't try too hard. Often, things will come to you when the time is right.

 

On to more specific stuff (from my personal experience and practice anyway)

My first experiences with energy were with the concept of ki/chi/qi; our internal spiritual energy. I practiced pushing it around my body and still do a weekly "ki workout", which is just to say that I practice tai chi at least once a week and spend at least one session focused entirely on my ki. Becoming familiar with how my own internal energy helped me recognize and harmonize with the energy around me.

 

For self-protection, be firm. State your intent whenever you are doing something. You can put up your own barriers, or you can ask other spirits to help protect you themselves. I recommend a combination of the two. If you feel like casting the circles was helpful in your practice before, you can try to do so again but with a more "this is the space I'm working in and I am safe inside this space" kind of feel. Hope this helps!


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#16 leucoleo

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 09:55 PM

Gods would be multiple locations for power, earth is a location, sun and moon are both their own sources of power....  Much more then 3 there.  

 

I dont think I have ever met a witch that uses a circle, though I am sure some might be out there....  I never use one.  White light in my experience also wouldnt be that protective.

 

Alliances with spirits is probably the best protection you can get.  Working with spirits is where the real magic happens (in your example, even though you claimed to not work with spirits, Gods, Mother Earth, Sun and Moon ect are all spirits).  I mostly work with nature spirits, like Earth, Ocean, Sun, Moon, Stars, Mountain spirits, plant spirits ect....  I especially focus on plant spirits.  

 

Based on what you have mentioned from your teacher....  I would try to forget as much of what they taught you as possible - they sounds kinda like a quack to me honestly.  From there I would focus on learning protection and trying to find your spirit guides.  Get to know some of the spirits in your practice and they can really teach you anything you need to learn, so this is the foundation to me.  

 

I can really tell you how your practice should be....  I have a pretty specific style of practice that might not be for everyone else.  I think learning how to connect with spirits is a good start though - and just by building a relationship with some you will start protecting yourself.  I would recommend focusing on benevolent spirits at least at first - one personal rule of mine is that I only work with spirits who I would like to be with and be like - because I think anyone you spend time with will rub off on you some way.  A few ideas for how to work with spirits might include scrying, prayer, altar work, evocation, astral projection or shamanic journey, trance work, entheogen or plant dieta, hollow bone work ect.....  I personally work mostly with entheogens, plant dieta, and hollow bone work - if you have any questions about those or abut shamanic journey I can point you in the right direction.  

I was a very malleable young teenager, so I feel as if it was a really fluffed-up version of Wicca, which I later studied on my own (read Big Blue, Cunningham's works, a couple of books by Raven Grimassi in regards to Stregoneria), but I feel as if now all of that information is useless to me other than the very basics, which I am questioning nowadays. I think I was very sensitive to energies and spirits back in the day, and now that I think of it, I can remember feeling connected to places and objects, in some cases being able to "feel the past" very strongly, but after years of being told to be afraid of spirits and spiritual energy, I think I completely shut it off, and I'm not sure if I can open up that aspect of me again. 

 

Thank you very much for your response, though. Following the path that, like I said, is tugging at me is really making me flustered, but something in me knows I'm doing the right thing. 

 

I agree with westofthemoon. Great place to start is making an ancestral altar. It is also great for protection, not just for working with spirits.

If you could source me to some posts about it, that would be great. I think I'm using the search tool incorrectly. :P

 

Circles, nakedness, consecrated cakes and white light...I'm missing out.

 

Everyone's different, but I agree with working with ancestors as a starting point. I did the opposite, worked with a couple of spirits and then incorporated ancestors but there was a personal reason for that. Ancestral work has made my connection with spirits stronger though.

"Skyclad", which always made me laugh because I could never take someone seriously with their nether regions flying about while doing rituals. (I partook once, and I vowed never again!) 

 

As I mentioned above, I think at some point I was very much connected to spirits/had some clairsentient skills when I was younger. In fact, I remember being a child and having conversations with great great aunts and uncles, then telling my (very catholic) grandparents about it. I would love to reconnect with that aspect, but again, being so closed off for so long, I'm not sure if it's possible. 

 

lol let's do it. On a more serious note, I'm a big believer in self-observance; I like to be familiar with the emotional, physical, mental, and magical aspects of my being before performing any spell. I'm also a big believer in symbolic action and moving with your magic, which helps it get worked up and flowing so it doesn't feel like you're trying to force anything. I will repeat some advice mentioned above: listen to the world around you and try to connect to whatever spirits you are comfortable with. But most of all, don't try too hard. Often, things will come to you when the time is right.

 

On to more specific stuff (from my personal experience and practice anyway)

My first experiences with energy were with the concept of ki/chi/qi; our internal spiritual energy. I practiced pushing it around my body and still do a weekly "ki workout", which is just to say that I practice tai chi at least once a week and spend at least one session focused entirely on my ki. Becoming familiar with how my own internal energy helped me recognize and harmonize with the energy around me.

 

For self-protection, be firm. State your intent whenever you are doing something. You can put up your own barriers, or you can ask other spirits to help protect you themselves. I recommend a combination of the two. If you feel like casting the circles was helpful in your practice before, you can try to do so again but with a more "this is the space I'm working in and I am safe inside this space" kind of feel. Hope this helps!

I think I've made the mistake of rushing into a lot of spells in my past, which is probably why I never yielded any substantial results. Thank you for the input on protection; that's something I do usually, I kind of try to build up my own energy and create a sort of "cocoon" in a sense. I've attempted to ward multiple rooms, but that didn't work, because I still experience a very mischievous spirit it seems. I probably did it wrong anyway. I hope that my "energy cocoon" is protective enough. I just don't want to encounter anything I'm not ready to handle. I still get a little sketched out when I wake up at 3am and have to venture out of my room. (I'm a total chicken sh*t) 

I think we all have similar but different philosophies about the nature of energy and subtle energy, and how the spiritworld ties in, and where we as conscious beings fit into this metaphysical habitat that we seem to be at a disadvantage to experience because of how much we rely on physical senses to form our perception. The *journey* to find your own philosophy in this regard is the ciriculum. The process of digging is the teacher. Of course it doesn't hurt to have a few other teachers in your life (of the seen and unseen variety).

I'm still relatively new on this path compared to some of the folks here, but my advice for learning spiritwork is always to start with a simple discipline of ancestral veneration. There's plenty of info on this site and others about ancestor altars and appropriate offerings to get you started. It doesn't have to be anything elaborate, just an acknowledgement to those that came before you that may have a vested interest in you. And if you honor them regularly, and watch and wait, soon enough they start to make their presence known to you in the manner in which is most efficient for them. Observing and recording this process will help you begin to train yourself of how to communicate better with the unseen. Once you've started to build this working relationship with a few guides and ancestors, they will help to teach you the next steps if you continually set your intention towards progressing down that path. before you go any further, they will teach you how to protect yourself (and that may not be a pleasant process, but necessary).

Read all you can but don't accept anything just because you read it somewhere. Become a student of the universe...once your helpful spirits start engaging you, the signs and symbols can be anywhere and everywhere. If you are here, asking these questions, they probably already are guiding you subtly in the right direction. Meet people in many different traditions, listening and learning about a variety of paths, and find which one speaks to you the strongest. It may or may not be same tradition of your ancient ancestors, but that doesn't matter so much. But if you don't know where to start, looking at your ancestral cultures may give you a good place to begin searching. Or perhaps the local traditions where you live might give you more insight of how to work with the spirits of the land around you.


If you made any vows or oaths to deity in your Wiccan years, you may need to consult with someone on how to make sure those don't trip you up as you leave that faith behind.

Thank you very much for your input! Working with energy outside of circles and covens is a very different experience. I know we're not really supposed to talk about Wicca here, and I apologize for bringing it up so much, but it really is the only background I have in the craft up until now. I feel a very strong vibe during celestial events, and I actually went kind of crazy with it around my birthday (March 24th) which was a new moon I believe? I was abuzz with a very heavy vibe, almost a dark energy because I felt very powerful, but it only lasted a few days before I became calm again. I don't know if that just makes me sound crazy, or if it's actually something relevant. I keep a journal of experiences like that because they happen quite often. 

 

As for ancestral altars/connecting with ancestors, if you have any information to spare, I would greatly appreciate it. I feel as if y'all are a lot more trustworthy than the rest of the internet, because a lot of the stuff I've found is complete B.S. I really do think I need to work on opening up, but it truly is terrifying because it is my norm. I am still very afraid of spirits, which is a fear that has become innate over the years. (I never was afraid of them until, I guess we can refer to it as my "dark times" lol) 

 

Though, you make a good points about vows. I have no idea how I would relinquish them, because I dedicated myself to the Gods at the age of 15. It was a whole "rebirth" thing that never really made much of an impact on me. I don't even know where I would start with that, because honestly? I don't believe in their Gods any longer. 


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#17 leucoleo

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 09:59 PM

If you want to start working with spirits, how about an ancestor altar? They don't all have to be blood relatives, you can also put pictures of "witch ancestors" on it. There are some great threads on the forum about it.

Thank you for your response! I've tried looking, but maybe I'm not looking correctly? :P


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#18 Belle

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 10:50 PM

March 23rd was the lunar eclipse...That was following a solar eclipse 2 weeks earlier. The lunar eclipse happened right on your sun. Everybody felt that energy but you especially. A full moon is when the moon is opposing the sun....

 

The sun and moon cycles are very important as far as energy goes. Whatever your practice is, you have to harness and direct the energies. 

 

What they taught you was not all a waste, it was the rigid method and religious environment that is stifling. Everybody has guidance, and a path, and a way. I wouldn't worry about having pledged yourself to the 'goddesses' because they are just one way of personifying aspects of the great creator. However you envision that or work with it, is the same thing but your way of relating is unique. It's like playing with barbie dolls, when you are little, they are kind of real, but then you grow up and move on to other things. 

 

Working with spirits is a risky business. It can be scary and very dangerous. I never worked with ancestor veneration because that is not my belief system, but maybe that is a safe way to proceed.  I always worked with my own guidance, who have always been there.  Your intuition is your guidance....However you personify that is up to you. 


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#19 leucoleo

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 11:34 PM

March 23rd was the lunar eclipse...That was following a solar eclipse 2 weeks earlier. The lunar eclipse happened right on your sun. Everybody felt that energy but you especially. A full moon is when the moon is opposing the sun....

 

The sun and moon cycles are very important as far as energy goes. Whatever your practice is, you have to harness and direct the energies. 

 

What they taught you was not all a waste, it was the rigid method and religious environment that is stifling. Everybody has guidance, and a path, and a way. I wouldn't worry about having pledged yourself to the 'goddesses' because they are just one way of personifying aspects of the great creator. However you envision that or work with it, is the same thing but your way of relating is unique. It's like playing with barbie dolls, when you are little, they are kind of real, but then you grow up and move on to other things. 

 

Working with spirits is a risky business. It can be scary and very dangerous. I never worked with ancestor veneration because that is not my belief system, but maybe that is a safe way to proceed.  I always worked with my own guidance, who have always been there.  Your intuition is your guidance....However you personify that is up to you. 

 

That's surprising! I had no idea. I was just recently pulled back into it, actually I think during that week is when I kind of felt that "awakening" if you will. 

 

I was also kind of worried, because I pledged myself to gods that I didn't necessarily believe in; and yes! Surprisingly it was just as stifling as every other religion; but I am glad I have the ability to follow my own path. 

 

As for spirits, I agree. I have had some scary experiences that I didn't know how to deal with, which maybe is another reason I locked all that up. I have an old friend who was emotionally scarred by something she saw (and may have accidentally called upon.), so I am pretty terrified of all of that. I have yet to find a solid path I want to follow other than feeling out what and where my soul is guiding me to. The thing for me is that it is very difficult to personify my own energy because I have a hard time identifying myself, if that makes any sense? I'm still figuring out who I am, so my energy is kind of haywire. We all go through that in our young years, and it's very hard to follow sometimes. I do have a set of beliefs, but separating what was ingrained and what is intuition is a difficult task. 


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All is full of love, 

You'll be taken care of;

All is full of love, 

It's all around you.

 


#20 Belle

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Posted 20 April 2016 - 11:58 PM

I understand what you mean by 'not being able to see yourself'....When I look in the mirror it's like looking at a stranger.  That happens with people who have a strong Neptune in their chart, the planet of illusion....I just suggest to take it slowly, not try to rush it. You are guided, so follow your guidance.

 

Too much knowledge is a dangerous thing. There is a plan and you are called, but take it as it comes. 

 

I always did magic and worked on my stuff but it wasn't until I was older that the time came to step forward. There was a reason for that. It was because I had to live my life. I couldn't dedicate my life to this work, while I was raising a family. That came first. 

 

There is door that can be opened, but once it's opened it can never be closed again. You don't want to open that door. 

 

What is ingrained, is part of you. There are parts you will keep, and other parts that you'll discard. Your path is for you to discover but it's not a race. Sometimes it takes years to understand something that is happening right now. Patience is necessary.

 

Some people are impatient, and they will go this way and that way and waste their time chasing it. Don't chase it, let it come to you. Do what feels right, avoid what feels wrong and then you will know what to do. 


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