At least, I want to be. So for me the first step on my witchy journey, before I start thinking about Altars, Spells and Tarot is to turn myself into my own sacred space.
This for me means connection, strength, purity, physical and mental wellbeing so it requires me giving up a few things and starting (or re-starting) others.
First off, I started meditating again. I am lucky in that I was taught/shown how to be in the moment and immerse myself in the wonders of nature and also to meditate when I was a child. This means that meditating and feeling a oneness with nature comes easily to me. I mention mindfulness and meditation together because to me they are fingers on the same hand. They are both ways to connect with the energy, mumma nature, spirit world, dream time, Goddess’, Gods. To me meditation is like a deliberate joining with the energy whereas mindfulness which I usually connect with nature is more accidental almost and delicate joining. A spider web if you will where meditation is a thick rope. Practicing both, often I believe, works in the same way for your energy counterpart/soul/goddess within as regular physical exercise does for your body. It strengthens it and improves flow of consciousness in the same way that exercise improves circulation. The more that mindfulness and meditation are practiced, I believe, the easier it will be to move onto more challenging ‘mind work’ and the easier it will be to get into the state of being where you can begin to manifest, ‘see’, astral travel etc.
I have a few favourite methods of mindfulness and mediatation which I will share with you now.
With mindfulness, I love nothing more than to watch birds, my daughter and I stood and watched a Robin singing the other day. It was less than 2 feet away from us and we were both enraptured by it; watching its little beak open wide as it sang. I don’t know how long we watched and listened for and that really is sort of the point. We were totally in the moment. Connected with this little bird, connected with mother nature, connected to the energy.
I use trees for both mindfulness and meditation. When out and about I find a good old fashioned bit of tree hugging to be way to be mindful. I feel the tree. Feel its bark on my hands and face. Feel its age. Feels its slow growth. Imagine I am joining with it going down into its roots deep underground and spreading out, as wide as the branches above. Then still joined to the tree I follow its trunk up to the canopy, feel the huge branches, thinning to twigs, the leaves, buds or flowers or fruits and the life they support.
When meditating I use an imaginary tree as I am usually indoors but use the same method as above but laying or sitting comfortably, am comfortably dressed and barefoot and I take more time over it. I begin with a few really deep breaths, I imagine the air I breathe in going through my body all the way down to my toes (yes REALLY deep breaths!) Going into the roots is a good grounding exercise and then I feel ready to go up and up to the canopy and usually beyond through the atmosphere, through the clouds to expand my consciousness. This is a reworking of a marvelous exercise I learned from a wonderful lady; Betty Shine in her truly beautiful and enlightening book; Mind Magic. In which there are lots of other exercises which I do and would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone. I am 100% sure they will have a positive effect for whatever you want to use them for.
Other, favourite meditations are beautifully simple ones that I have come across in various places previously all slightly different but make me feel lighter than air every time, although I quite often fall asleep during them too. Again, comfortable clothes or none at all if temperature permits and bare feet, again my deep breaths. Then, starting at my head I go through each bit of my, body and either imagine that bit and consciously relax it i.e. relax the top of my head, ears, forehead, eyebrows, eyes, my nose…literally every body part I can think of all the way down to each individual toe…if I am still awake by then. Either that or I imagine the space between my head and the floor or bed, the space between my eyelids, my lips between my arms and the floor, hips, buttocks, legs, space between thighs,fingers again all the way down to my toes.
Since reading the powerfully inspiring and Goddess fuelling Witch by Lisa Lister. I often amend my big breathing to be womb centric. Breathing in to fill my womb with love. If you haven’t read it…do. It is an enormous source of inspiration; the shove I needed to re-start my journey and to write this blog. I pay homage to it by way of the title of my blog and will probably be mentioning it a LOT over the coming pages (so really you should read it).
I have also started practicing yoga, this is not something I am so confident at. For me mental stuff is always more natural than physical stuff so although I am aware of yoga I have never really ‘got into it’. I love doing it but I find it hard as I have have total instruction at this stage and am still focusing on mastering a few simple poses so have to try not to feel envious of those so much further along their yogi journey than me. So far, I have just been using a book, as I am a bit antiquated and reluctant to watch videos but I am really beginning to think that is the way to go. I’m not confident enough yet to brave a class. Also, I am haunted by a time many years ago when attending tai chi class when I found the movements and flow of it so relaxing that I farted really loudly. I will get over that wee hurdle of mine…perhaps that will be my first spell…to quell my fear of farting when exercising!
So those are all the things I am starting with. Now onto what I am stopping.
First off no more smoking it’s a filthy habit, I gave up easily when I was pregnant and for a for time afterwards then I just suddenly started smoking again..I’ll just have the one I thought and then that filthy habit snuck back into my life. Then a couple of months ago I just decided it was disgusting, repulsive and so gave it up again just like that. I realised that if I was able to give up for my baby when I was pregnant I could do it for her now so that she is not having to smell the stink on me, associate that smell with me, end up seeing me die of smoking related disease while wondering why I put her through that, thinking I didn’t think she was worth me giving it up. I perhaps am driving my point home a little hard but whenever I get a craving this is what I say to myself and it makes it easy.
Along the same lines I am seriously cutting back on my drinking. I’ll admit I have been self medicating with the booze for the last six months or so, since a traumatic event which I’m not quite ready to share with you all yet. It’s enough for me to say I was broken, my faith in all I know was rocked and am still in the process of stepping out of a fog. For me, I chose hit the bottle to numb things for a bit rather than approach the doctor for some meds. Here I note that it is only that I knew I did not require medication for this situation I believe that medication IS the right path for some and I absolutely respect the individuals decision on that…I am not anti-medication for mental health issues. I know I was on the verge of a problem and although by day I carried on as normal (if that word ever really describes how I roll!) I spent every evening and night crying into a whiskey glass. On stepping out of the fog I knew enough was enough I was ready to feel again so I had 3 weeks totally ‘dry’ and now I might have the odd one or two at the weekend. Again, because I wanted to it was easy. Alcohol in quantities is clearly bad for both body and mind and I found it ‘blocked’ me from connecting with the energy, spirit, life-force, Goddess’/Gods the other.
Another thing I have decided to cut out is dairy and eggs. Partly for health, I think there are healthier ways to get the nutrients in those foods, partly for my spiritual health; let my existence harm no other beings’ and also for our planet as less water and power goes into growing plant based foods, it’s better for the soil and doesn’t take up as much physical space so less ruining of the natural spaces that are left. I’ve always been vegetarian so although it shouldn’t be too much of a jump to go vegan I have always balked at the idea of giving up cheese. Initially I thought I’d go 2/3rds vegan because I always thought it would mean a real sacrifice despite being horrified by the dairy industry; a horror expounded since breastfeeding my daughter. I have always been somewhat of an empath and despite feeling the pain, fear and heartbreak of those animals I continued to consume . How bad must that have been for me. Not only consuming that negativity but feeling the full force of the guilt for it as well. So I’ve done it and I am not only finding it easy I am positively LOVING it. I adore almond and hazelnut milk and as I have been having to think a bit more about my food I am eating much healthier as a whole. Once again, I stress that this is my path, my choice. I absolutely respect others’ choices and do not judge anyone for having a different path from me.
So, the results from these few changes. I have more energy, I’m sleeping better, dreaming better, have a more positive outlook, I feel powerful. Despite not actually doing any of the more typical witchy stuff yet I am creating a lovely space within myself to start. I am beginning to feel sacred again.
Oh yes my witch is certainly stirring, her eyes are opening, she yawns, stretches…I can’t wait to take the next step on my journey. Please join me and share your thoughts and experiences on how your journey started or if you are yet to embark upon it.