Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Arts and Craft

As an artist I try to bring my art to my craft whenever I can. It doesn't always have to be something big and showy, in fact it usually never is. I'm not the kind of witch who goes heavy on the pomp in anything I do. My circle casting is kept pretty simple with the emphasis on the energy I'm generating, not the endless gestures, the waving pentagrams into the air as I call the quarters or the need to dress in ritual garb of flowing robes and special jewelry. Actually, I don't own any special Wiccan clothing and while it may be fine for others, I personally would feel pretty silly ambling about in a druid-like costume. I also don't own an athame or even a chalice. My fingers and hands are sufficient to direct any energy I need to move and a simple stoneware cup works just fine if I am making any offerings on a Sabbat. No fancy altar cloths, no elaborate decorations, just me and the Divine and whatever my purpose for the circle is: a recognized day, a need for circle for the channeling of energy for spellwork, or sometimes even just to quietly commune with the Goddess and God in a peaceful meditation. But I digress.

No, my art comes into play with the smaller things that make my journey as a witch fulfilling. The decorating of seasonal altars in my home, the hand-painted labels I place on my herb jars, the elemental art that goes into creating my own incense for burning in circle or within my home just because I feel like smelling something beautiful and uplifting. I have sewn white cloths that I use to wrap the few tools I do use, and also hand-embroidered the symbols that adorn them. I have in the past dipped my own candles, which is a truly beautiful way to get close to an element, though I find it very time-consuming these days and buy my candles in shops. Candling is an art in itself and one I admire very much. Nothing is more lovely than a hand-made candle lit on an altar empowered with your intentions and heart and coming from one's own hand and imagination.

I grow as many of the herbs I use as I can in a field garden that my husband and I have planted in our back field. And I have in turn turned the garden into an outdoor altar of sorts with a place for leaving offerings or for moon-gazing on a warm summer night. Planning and planting the garden, while time-consuming and quite frankly often very tedious (I'm an instant gratification sort of person, so anything that requires patience and an extended amount of time to bring to fruition is usually fairly difficult for me, though always a good lesson), still strengthened my connection with the earth, and the choice of plants for their specific purposes and colors was for me like painting a living garden.

I have for years thought it would be great to design and paint my own set of tarot cards. If I ever find myself with months or even years of free time on my hands, this is something I would fill that idle time with. I can only imagine the power and energy a self-made deck of cards would bring. That would be a very exciting tool with which to work.

I love the "getting down and dirty" with my craft, the creating, the making, the building, the growing. It makes my journey and growth as a witch deeply personal and very beautiful.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Time for a Change

Time manipulation is an amazing thing and not at all difficult to manifest. We have all had days where we have been overwhelmed with work and each time we look at the clock we grow more frantic with the realization that we simply do not have enough time to complete all our tasks or to get to where we are going in a timely manner. The trick to this skill is to not let time get away from you. By consciously and calmly repeating to yourself the mantra, "I have all the time in the world" or "I have all the time I need to complete this (and name whatever it is you need to accomplish)" time will expand and you will have as much time as you need.

The trick is manifesting your will. You need to stay absolutely calm and focused and really and truly mean it when you say you have all the time in the world. It's the getting flustered, the rushing, the nerves and only that, that makes this an impossibility. Next time you're under the gun time-wise, take a moment to think about what I have said. Take a deep cleansing breath and tell yourself that this is just fine, that you have all the time in the world. Know in your heart and in your mind that there is no hurry, everything is perfect and as it should be and I promise that you will have more than enough time to accomplish your task. Stay in the moment and watch the magic happen.

Altering one's perception of the passage of time is a very powerful and effective tool.