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How has Path Changed, or Stayed the Same, for you?


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#1 phantasmagoria

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 07:37 AM

I thought this would be a good forum for this topic, so that people who are newer, and more "experienced" can read and share insight.

 

How has your path or practice changed over the years? Have there been any major shifts, and were they more gradual, or more immediate?

 

Perhaps your modalities, main practices, disciplines, or crafts have remained the same...or shifted? Do you consider yourself to be an evolved version of who you were years ago, or someone completely different? Are you solo but once were in a coven, or vice versa? Have you had any major shifts in ethics or morals?

 

Personally, for me, I have always been a solitary practitioner. Here and there I have attempted to work with others who were also metaphysically inclined in whatever way, whether intimate partners or acquaintances, but have found that it has never "taken." Of course, there is always a little bit of shared working here and there, as no-one lives totally in isolation, but, I'm remarkably solo, I've noticed, even though I have often wished that I wasn't, just so that I didn't feel so alone. But hey.

 

My core Craft interests have remained the same since I was a child: writing/storytelling, crystals, animals, and astrology and tarot (conflating them in this sentence even though they are quite distinct in my life and in general). I had a rock tumbler and a tiger eye as a kid, always had pets and wanted to be a Veterinarian when I was a girl (didn't work out that way exactly, but I have done work with animals in other ways), my only solo recognition in school was for winning a short story award, I got extremely into Sailor Moon as a tween (which taught me all of the planetary correspondences at a young age), and started protesting in middle school (by not dissecting, and by refusing to stand for the "pledge of allegiance to the flag," which I successfully continued until Graduation Day) Since then it's been very much the same, but in a more adult version.

 

I have gone through some "phases," though, that at the time I thought were going to be fundamental to My Career, but they ended up not really being it. Darkroom photography was one (starting in high school and then through college), and then toward the end of my Uni studies I began studying Fire Dance/"Flow Arts" (what a terribly indescript name, but it's the scene's choice of terminology), becoming quite adept (though not good enough to become honored in the field, sadly, though I was honored by being given the opportunity to immortalize that skill in a film credited to me) and it was a huge part of my life and identity for that time. But, really long story short, I fell out of it at almost exactly the 7-year mark. I still have a set of tools (a huge set of fire fans), that I purchased after that fallout, but I'm not sure why at this point, besides perhaps an unseen event in the future where I'll be called to perform. In fact, both of those interests, photography and firecraft, lasted about 7 years before fizzling out.

 

On the other side of the 7 year story, I made a very interesting discovery last night about my Tarot practice. I googled the date that I was booked for my first professional Tarot reading table, and that date corresponded with my first Saturn return, to the exact degree (he went Rx after that, so I had a few "exact" Saturn returns. Joy!). The 7 year span is a Saturn Square, and I am finding it pretty interesting that now almost 7 years later (6 years, to be exact, but still relevant) I am becoming much more invested in my Tarot studies than I was even when I was booked for that event.

 

My ethics and morals have remained pretty much the same, but I can think of one practical difference: I do have a long history with vegetarianism (that began at age 12), and have oscillated in that regard since then, but within the past few years have slowly, and quite painfully at times, come to "decide" on omnivorism, for the main reasons of more immediate nutrition, and allowing myself a better chance at survival by opening up the amount of things that I will allow myself to eat. After some experiences that I have had, and in seeing the plight of others who are in food deserts, I have become much more grateful for any food that is put on my plate, and taking care of my body has taken precedence over what used to be a very staunch moral stance.

 

Perhaps others' experiences will ring bells in my mind about other things I have overlooked so far.

 

Have you found that the major factors of your path have remained the same, or shifted?


Edited by phantasmagoria, 31 January 2020 - 06:20 AM.

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#2 phantasmagoria

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 07:38 AM

technical issues... nothing to see here...


Edited by phantasmagoria, 30 January 2020 - 01:54 PM.

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#3 WitchVillage

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 09:28 AM

Major factors that have changed are that I've grown up! Make of that what thou wilt! :D
Simply put, I'm more "boring" now. Less risky, less rash, more grounded, more stoic, more confident, less over-confident, greater self-knowledge, greater self-awareness.

I have learned that before Power comes Strength.
And before Strength comes Wisdom.
And before all, comes Love.

That's not to say you can't possess strength without wisdom, but wielding strength without wisdom is tyranny.
Or that you can't possess power without strength, but power wielded without strength is destruction.

And without love - by which I mean true love, not the romantic kind but the real spiritual kind, love for the earth, for ourselves, and for our brothers and sisters upon the path - then our work is ultimately for naught but trinkets and baubles.

🍷🗡️🛡️🕯️

.

Edited by WitchVillage, 30 January 2020 - 10:47 AM.

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Heaven above, Heaven below
Stars above, stars below
All that is over, under shall show
Happy thou who the riddle readest
 
 

 


#4 phantasmagoria

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 01:53 PM

That's a very wise post WitchVillage.

 

As for growing up, well, I look forward to seeing what I'm like once I accomplish that myself :lol:  It's a process that can't be rushed, I find, for when I have tried to rush that, I end up just causing more trouble for myself.

 

I find that on my path, a lot of loving myself is sort of like how I would love a child: being aware of what may seem to be endless errors, but being tremendously patient through all of that. Something tells me that "growing up" has a lot to do with fully embracing the "inner child." That is probably its own topic, though. But within this context, I find that my path often leads me right back to my childhood memories: working on healing them, or seeing in them truths, or pieces of myself that I had forgotten, "good" and "bad." Indeed childhood is when we are the most "open" to what we call the magical realms, to our true selves. We do well by learning to love that part of ourselves, and that part of ourselves in everyone.


Edited by phantasmagoria, 30 January 2020 - 01:55 PM.

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#5 Sagefire

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 03:17 PM

When I was younger, I felt compelled to learn EVERYTHING about the craft and somehow master all practices and disciplines.  It wasn't until only a few years ago, I learned to work through my talents and strengths and everything seemed to fall into place.  Instead on punishing myself for my poor divination skills and dangerous herbology, I embraced the aspects that I love.  I still have interest in those areas of course, but my need to 'master' them has evaporated.

 

Maybe this is what the adults call, 'maturity'.


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#6 WitchVillage

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 07:03 PM

That's a fantastic dedication to have Sagefire. I can see why you use the term Sage in your username. And it's a smart, if challenging, way to get into the Craft. I wish I'd had the drive or focus to "master" anything when younger tbh! I was all about jumping in feet first into stupid crazy stuff I wasn't prepared for at all. Live and learn, eh? Now I'm all about going back to basics. Raising my seeds from the ground up. Literally.

 

As for punishing yourself, sounds like a rather strict inner Father imago. Much Saturn in your natal? Fortunately love for oneself and one's Craft can come with experience. I think embracing Beginner Mind is the thing here for me, always be a beginner. It makes learning more fun (child-like play is so paradoxically wise) and we learn so much better that way too, without the inner Father figure breathing down our necks. 

 

 

When I was younger, I felt compelled to learn EVERYTHING about the craft and somehow master all practices and disciplines.  It wasn't until only a few years ago, I learned to work through my talents and strengths and everything seemed to fall into place.  Instead on punishing myself for my poor divination skills and dangerous herbology, I embraced the aspects that I love.  I still have interest in those areas of course, but my need to 'master' them has evaporated.

 

Maybe this is what the adults call, 'maturity'.


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Heaven above, Heaven below
Stars above, stars below
All that is over, under shall show
Happy thou who the riddle readest
 
 

 


#7 Onyx

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Posted 31 January 2020 - 07:37 PM

Dangerous Herbology!  That is hysterical for some inane reason.  I have done some of that myself!


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#8 UnMasked1467

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Posted 01 February 2020 - 05:36 PM

I have learned that before Power comes Strength.
And before Strength comes Wisdom.
And before all, comes Love.


Eloquently put, WitchVillage :-)


Edited by UnMasked1467, 01 February 2020 - 05:37 PM.

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#9 Seekeroftheoldones

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 12:05 AM

I think what has stayed mainly the same for me is my idea of what being a Witch is. I have never adorned anything with crystals or had large amounts of occult paraphernalia. I am not particularly spiritual, nor is practicing a "Craft" a part of my life, per se. Being a Witch to me is an instinctual thing that affects my core way of viewing the world, with no real consideration for spirits or gods or even nature. It is simultaneously more cosmic and grand as it is personal and unassuming. It is part of my being, not always my doing. I can go for long periods of time without doing anything "witchy", but at the same time my entire way of thinking is "witchy" and I am in essence practicing spellwork every day just by how I view the world, always attracting what I want and removing the obstacles I don't, always working my will in the end. My instinct for Witchcraft is probably my strongest gift. Even as a 10 year old, I rejected all the Wicca fluff and spent years searching for what I knew to be "True" Witchcraft. This was also not an "eclectic" path, but rather a matter of Remembering and connecting with the right teacher. I don't see spirits (outside of rituals) or astral project or any of that. I create change around me and affect reality in ways parts of me still thinks must be impossible, I honor the Witch Mother, and I Remember. This is what I have done for the past decade and a half. Honoring the Witch Mother is probably the only really deistic thing I do, and this is done only because I have experienced her blessings first hand as direct results of rituals. No one is honored just because. She is worthy of honoring for what she does for Witches. She is who we come from and who we return to. She is not worshipped, however. I do not pray. I ask and honor. In essence, my craft is quite unchanged. It's not like a software that needs updating. I rejected most things that were presented to me and only slowly carved a path after years of Seeking. It has needed no altering and few additions. 

 

Edit: I realize I sound dogmatic so just a note that obviously these are my ideas of Witchcraft and being a Witch blabalablablabla I don't mean to say this is true for everyone else or to offend yadyadaydayda not saying anyone isn't a real Witch dududududuud OK great


Edited by Seekeroftheoldones, 03 February 2020 - 12:07 AM.

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#10 phantasmagoria

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Posted 03 February 2020 - 02:21 AM

Actually Seekeroftheoldones I don't find your way of expressing how you experience it dogmatic at all, but actually very refreshing.

 

 

It's only been since I've actively been seeking, and diving into, community with other witches like me (through this forum) that I have been thinking of how I exist in the world in these more specific terms, and retroactively "analyzing" my path. Before this board I didn't really think of such things so much, and just did my thing instinctually. I didn't consider my activities as "craft," but I just did what I do, without trying to categorize it, or assign concepts to my mundane activities. All of that is in retrospect, looking at my history and attempting to construct a "story" for myself.

 

Through this forum I have been practicing understanding myself within a context of others like me, which often is a very challenging activity. In my quest to understand who I really am, I have made the best gains by receiving either direct feedback from other Witches in real life, or by observing other Witches and "comparing and contrasting" myself with them: not in a self-depreciating way, but in a neutral way, just seeing what makes me different, and where I am the same, which helps me to construct my own clearer vision of my identity. As a Leo-heavy person I really am all about figuring out what my identity, what my character is, developing it. But sometimes I can get caught up in that, I admit.

 

Like you I have found that somehow I "just get things done" but if I read your writing correctly, you seem to have a much better natural handle on your Will than I do. Much of my "seeking" has been to understand my natural abilities, and hone them, because although sometimes I can "bend will," often I can't seem to, and so my quest has often been about learning how I can become more adept at my natural skills. I've historically exposed myself to a tremendous amount of information, formal and informal, which can sometimes be good, but also sometime bad, because my consciousness can become overwhelmed, and my brain often spends a lot of energy just parsing and sorting what is "mine" from what "isn't mine." In many ways, when I was a child and teen and much more of a loner, I knew who I "was" more clearly than I do now. But, I was also much more unhappy in a "human" sense, so it's a balance.

 

Since beginning to spend a lot of time here, I've been learning to understand how what I do fits into a larger "discourse," which also helps me to understand myself better as an avatar/character/embodiment. I did not even know of the Witchmother or Witchfather before coming here, but knew that I was unusual in my natural abilities to "make things happen."

 

That we are able to connect through this forum really changes the game, in general I'd say, but also in a more personal sense. It's led me to focus a lot more on "craft" stuff, because when it comes to innate knowing, there isn't much to say, unless I'm inspired to prophess, but that can get lofty really fast, haha.

 

I started pursuing crafts, divination forms, niches, etc, because I found that it was becoming increasingly difficult for me to exist in the world without living the identity of a "witch." I just sort of fell into it when, increasingly, I found that I couldn't progress without pursuing the crafts, the research, etc. So, it's become very much my identity in the world, and the bulk of my mundane pursuits. But what you say about "remembering" strikes something in me. I appreciate your sharing very much. I find what you have to say very pure.


Edited by phantasmagoria, 03 February 2020 - 02:22 AM.

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#11 woodwitchofthewest

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Posted 17 February 2020 - 07:57 AM

I've dropped a lot of things that just didn't work for me, like complex rituals. The things that do work for me, I've tried to make simpler as time goes on.  

I don't feel so rushed to do a ritual within a certain frame of time.  Sometimes I take MONTHS to get ready to do something, doing a little bit here and there, sort of letting it "cook" for a while until I'm ready. 

I've also integrated more of my craft into my every day life and into my art.  

I'm also more open about what I believe with people I trust.  


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