Statements of Intent in Lieu of Resolutions

It’s New Years (in case you haven’t heard) and I began thinking about all of those resolutions people make every year-just like the ones I used to make. I remember those promises well and the key phrase that went along with them; “I’m going to (insert something I don’t really want to do) every day”. Most were doomed, but that’s the norm; the expected outcome.

My top picks of unsuccessful attempts at resolutions have included, but of course are not limited to: join the gym, walk the dog, call my mom more often, cut back on my caffeine intake, etc.

My personal favorite and most often used one was, “I’m going to lose 10 pounds by swimsuit season”. Sure, I was successful, but when I got back from the vacation I bought that swimsuit for, I found that those 10 pounds had rewound themselves around my thighs.

Before I began the Path I already had come to realize that my New Year’s Resolutions were nothing but cop outs. Knowing that New Years was coming up I could postpone losing that weight or cutting back on my frivolous shopping. It could all wait because that was going on my mental New Year’s Resolution list. Sometimes that list would get ridiculously long and by the time New Years rolled around I would scold myself, knowing that my list was unreasonable and that I would have to narrow it down to only one or two. They would ultimately fail and I would tell myself that there was always next year.

Then finally my life took a different direction and I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was going to be making no more New Year’s Resolutions. How I had arrived at that decision was simple. Why hadn’t I embraced it long ago?

The year 2000 was a real eye-opening year for me. It was the year I decided to take my spiritual path to another level, to take it seriously and put it to work. I knew that ultimately I could only read so many books on beginners magic, Wicca and/or Witchcraft, Tantra, astral travel, lucid dreaming, past life regression, chakra balancing, crystal healing, etc. until it was time to roll up my sleeves and dig in. The next step in my spiritual journey wasn’t going to happen until I applied that book knowledge-to put it into practice. So I set things in motion and never looked back.

When I began honoring the cycles of the moon and the Wheel of the Year, I was free to realize that opportunities for “resolutions” were all the time. They weren’t limited to one day of the year. They were constantly evolving and changing, always in motion just as I was and the world around me. As a practicing Witch I became aware of the boundless opportunities for me to make firm decisions and act upon them to create change. My mental and spiritual commitment to bring change into my life did not cause me to judge myself or get angry at my failures. Instead of self-induced emotional trauma, my mistakes became learning experiences, and opportunities for spiritual growth.

I began to see resolutions for what they were; simply intentions that had yet to be acted upon. I no longer referred to the opportunities for change as “resolutions” (mostly because of the negativity I had attached to the word) but as Statements of Intent. These statements are the basis of spellwork that (more times than not) lead me to my desired outcome. The longer I practiced magick the more I became aware of the power of words and learned that thoughts are things. The magick came from within me, outside of me, above me, below me, in the trees, the ocean, my breath, and the blood pulsing in my veins. It was everything, it was endless, and the power was real. By creating spells and practicing magick with the extra boost of timing, I can set into motion the change I want to happen.

Timing in magick and its different desired outcomes varies as much as the hours of the day, the days of the week, and the months of the year. Combining those with the monthly moon cycles, different Sabbats within the Wheel of the Year, colors, candles, incense, herbs, etc. there are endless formulas for success and ample opportunities to make effective change in my life and creating positive energy within the world. My Statements of Intent are born from the center of my being and are powerful sparks of potential. May you too see the potential in every minute of every day of every year. So mote it be!

Many Blessings on your Journey )O(

Honoring Our Mother in all Her Forms

As an eclectic pagan family we celebrate Mother’s Day as a day to respect and honor the our Mother, both cosmic and human, whether biological, kinship group, or fostered. Our mother figure is the one who nurtured us, loved us unconditionally, and with whom we are bonded to. It’s also a day to give honor to the Divine Feminine, the quintessential mother archetype.

Many customs, traditions, holidays, and observances can be traced back to their pagan roots. We live closely connected to the cycles of the seasons and the ebb and flow of the moon cycle, but we also choose to embrace other age-old holidays and traditions of the world as well. It’s our way of teaching our children to understand society’s connection to the ancient ways and to gain knowledge about how customs and traditions evolve over time, just as societies have continued to do.

With Mother’s day tomorrow, we as a family have been discussion the origins of the Great Earth-Mother and her importance throughout history. The sacred feminine is a powerful influence in human history, as Mother-Earth worship was around long before the recent patriarchal society which began around 3,000 BC. Evidence of the powerful feminine influence and importance weaves itself through the patterns of ancient matriarchal societies (a small handful still exist in the world today).

Mother-Earth worship and reverence for the Feminine Divine has been found as far back as the Paleolithic period. The Venus of Willendorf sculpture, one of the most well-known figurines representing the Sacred Feminine, is estimated to have been carved between 30,000-22,000 BCE. When I look at her I am in awe of the sheer power of her female body. For me, there is no doubt that she encompasses the magick of the sacred feminine as a symbol of fertility, abundance, strength and stability. She is the embodiment of motherhood and (although some would disagree) beauty.

Even long before the Venus of Willendorf was created, there is evidence of Feminine Divine worship. It has been discovered to exist throughout time and that ancient cultures around the world share its characteristics. These discoveries have been dated as far back as 2.5 million years ago up until the introduction of agriculture around 10,000 BCE. This time-span covers the greatest portion of humanity’s time on Earth, proving how powerful their dedication and reverence for the sacred feminine and the Mother archetype was. They understood the enduring connection of the divine love between a mother and her child.

There is something beautiful, remarkable, and inexplicable to others when trying to describe the love I have for my children. Yet, the intimate bond that mothers share with their child has existed throughout time and throughout the world. Once bonded with their child, the connection between mother and child is said to be one of the strongest connections in nature. I remember holding my firstborn child for the very first time just as much as my second, third, and fourth. For me there were no favorites, just an immeasurable quantity of love. It’s a powerful emotion when you love your child, and the experience brings much laughter and joy. However, the same power of that emotion can just as easily make you weep with tears. It’s a relationship that is as demanding as it is rewarding, and as humbling as it is cherished.

My children are now 24, 18, 9, and 7 and I can honestly say that It didn’t matter how many temper tantrums, adolescent woes, and disagreements there were, my love stayed true.  I somehow knew the bond was meant to shift and change as each child grew more independent, becoming the person they were meant to be. Even as they begin to reach adulthood, the strength of that bond never fades.

It is difficult for me to step back and allow them to make what I feel are really bad decisions, like having relationships with people I disapprove of, or deciding not to go to college. It breaks my heart and hurts my soul that my oldest is a heroin addict, but she is still my child.

My empathy has grown through my experiences raising children and when I look out at the world, I cannot fathom the heartache the Great-Mother must be feeling. But She remains steadfast, and She is ever-present with a watchful eye, unwavering in Her unconditional love. Like me, she hopes for the best. I admire her enduring strength and compassion and I honor her by following her lead, aspiring to be the best mom I can be.

I’ve overheard excited whispers throughout this past week as they plan a special treat for me on the morning of Mother’s Day. I am overwhelmed with joy at their excitement and whether they bring me breakfast in bed or spray me with silly string, I will join in with their laughter, and relish the bounce as they jump into bed with me.

I will also appreciate and cherish the effort made from my older children by way of cards, small gifts, or just doing something nice for me (I desperately need my car washed). I hope for a phone call from my oldest. No matter what I receive/don’t receive, I will give special thanks for the opportunity to be a mother to these special beings of light in my life.

My way of honoring my mom will be letting her know how thankful and appreciative I am for all that she has given me. I want to thank her for adopting me, giving me a home and family. For sharing the joy in my accomplishments as well as for putting up with my rebellious teenage years. I am going to let her know how important she is is to me by taking her out for coffee and piece of pie, then off to her favorite nursery to let her choose some flowers for her garden (and I may find something for myself as well), It’s a time and place set aside just for us, to appreciate the loving energy we share for one another.

Is she the perfect mother? No. Am I the perfect daughter? Oh Hell No! Am I a perfect mom? I’ll admit that I am not, but I sure try my best. It’s those imperfections that make us human and remind us that one of the greatest lessons in life is to learn compassion and to love without judgement. And what a beautiful feeling it is when you feel that unconditional love in return.

Who is the Mother-Figure in your life? How are you planning to honor her? If you yourself are a mother, how are you planning on honoring yourself?

 Many Blessings on your Journey )O(