PBN Blues Series: “Holiday” Madonna

We return with our series to a happy song with a not so happy scenario. Some ideas and holidays naturally lend themselves to be inspiration behind product lines. It has always been this way. People are attracted naturally to ideas that are grand and sweeping. This is a fertile method of catching the eye of a consumer and assuring recognition. Unfortunately, this is also a fertile ground for competition to become such that it leads to accusations of duplication. There may come a time when one of your professional clients comes to you regarding such an instance.

Deja Vu for two

Ariel S. started a product line of ankle chains and charms that she has named after Ukrainian Pagan festivals. They are entirely lovely and charming (no pun intended). She got the idea from a workshop when the last folk festival took place. With determination and care, she developed unique and beautiful creations that each had a tiny flower clasp made of porcelain that corresponded with the season. She enchanted each one and passed it through incense smoke to give a distinct blessing to each.

Ariel S. lived in a very busy area, with local shop keeps vying for new ways to draw business into their stores all the time. This time, she had her own winner. Business was booming and her sales were fantastic. Then she noticed that she began to receive word that another shop on another block has started making bracelets based on the Ukrainian observances as well. She was livid.

Image: pixabay

 

Ariel S. decided to confront the owner. In a whirl of skirts and fury, she swept into the shop and demanded an explanation. The owner, Libby T. met her with a fury of her own. After all, there was no reason that she could not take the same information that the workshop had provided and use it for her own creations. Competition was what makes the lifeblood of small business, after all. She pointed out to Ariel S. that her bracelets were her creation, and that no one had the right to prevent another person from using a common holiday name.

Image: pixabay

Slash and spurn

Ariel S. storms out and heads straight to your botanica. She walks up to you and very clearly demands a court case candle in crisp tones. She is going to sue Libby T. to make her give up any right to name her bracelets the same way she names her anklets. She asks your advice on how best to crush and disgrace her competition. In her eyes, they are copying her idea.

You provide her with a kit to utterly destroy the other store’s reputation. You also arrange for the local cultural club to have you come do a talk about the Ukrainian holidays and market your creation. You include essence of Bend Over mixed with Domination and Follow Me Boy in order to assure her an easier path to swaying the club against Libby T. Their newsletter is known to very well read, and you know this is the best way to achieve her goal.

She finishes her purchases and glides away reassured. You return to your reading of your novel.

Baba would not approve

Ariel S. started a product line of ankle chains and charms that she has named after Ukrainian Pagan festivals. They are entirely lovely and charming (no pun intended). She got the idea from a workshop when the last folk festival took place. With determination and care, she developed unique and beautiful creations that each had a tiny flower charm that corresponded with the season. She enchanted each one and passed it through incense smoke to give a distinct blessing to each.

Ariel S. lived in a very busy area, with local shop keeps vying for new ways to draw business into their stores all the time. This time, she had her own winner. Business was booming and her sales were fantastic. Then she noticed that she began to receive word that another shop on another block has started making bracelets based on the Ukrainian observances as well. She was livid.

Ariel S. decided to confront the owner. In a whirl of skirts and fury, she swept into the shop and demanded an explanation. The owner, Libby T. met her with a fury of her own. After all, there was no reason that she could not take the same information that the workshop had provided and use it for her own creations. Competition was what makes the lifeblood of small business, after all. She pointed out to Ariel S. that her bracelets were her creation, and that no one had the right to prevent another person from using a common holiday name.

Ariel S. storms out and heads straight to your botanica. She walks up to you and very clearly demands a court case candle in crisp tones. She is going to sue Libby T. to make her give up any right to name her bracelets the same way she names her anklets. She asks your advice on how best to crush and disgrace her competition. In her eyes, they are copying her idea.

You stand there for a moment, with your mouth hanging open in sheer confusion. You know both these ladies and cannot understand where this passion is coming from in this matter. You also know that flowers are a common theme in the culture’s jewelry.

Image: pixabay

You ask Ariel S. how she thinks that will fly with the ladies at the cultural center. They have spent several years in their mission of spreading knowledge of the joy of the culture and its preservation, and you fear she will make unnecessary enemies. You understand her anger, but caution her. The same anger she feels could be unfortunately turned against her if folks feel she is unfair. Many local shops use those names in the neighborhood for their other products.

 

Ariel S. reminds you that she did not ask your advice. You fill her order, and include a special gift of a flourite, rose quartz, and green kyanite necklace. She leaves satisfied. You say a prayer for both shop owners.

The lesson

Sometimes our clients are not in a mood to hear our opinions. It is important to know when to step back and simply provide the services requested. It is also important to advise the client of possible repercussions on a magickal and spiritual level when doing business in the realm of the spiritual. It is important to not take sides or become overly involved in disputes, but just as important to give wise counsel to your client.

 

 

 

Business Spotlight – Talking Stick Emporium

As a part of my exploration of Pagan businesses I want to share Talking Stick Emporium with you.  They curate products from businesses and bring them to you all in one place.  They have some unique and beautiful products.

Orgone Merkabas with Chakra Gemstones

 

Orgone Merkabas with Chakra Gemstones

“Merkaba, is the divine light vehicle allegedly used by ascended masters to connect with and reach those in tune with the higher realms. “Mer” means Light. “Ka” means Spirit. “Ba” means Body. It is the same shape as the Star of David.”

 

Pyramid Energy Generator - 7 Points

Pyramid Energy Generators with 7 points

4″ diameter
Pyramid energy generators can be placed around your space to clear, activate, transmute energy, for clearing and protecting.

Used for healing. Great for Chakra energy work. Place them over the Chakras or areas of the body where energy needs to be transmuted.
You can create energy grids with them or place around plants. Anywhere where there is a pyramid, energy won’t become stagnant.

River Keeper

River Keeper

A small hole in the bottom of River Keeper holds a cloth for collecting drops of sacred water. A beautiful way to carry the water essence from any sacred site or ceremony. Leave the cloth in place. As the water wicks into her body she holds the living vibration and magnetism of each place and experience. 3″ tall, comes with small messages including the words below, along with a blessing from Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers and instructions for collecting sacred water. Partial proceeds from the sale of this sculpture are donated to Grandmother Aggie.

All Bell Pine Art Farm sculptures are individually handmade with sacred intension. Designs vary on each piece.

Enclosed Card:”The water can hear you, bring your voice! Pour your heart into the river. Say “Thank you, I love you, I promise to care for you…
With purest intention, may all water be BLESSED, restoring it to life-sustaining balance. You are the river!”

Talking Stick Emporium is putting on the Harvest Moon Symposium, a journey to wellness and enlightenment in the Pacific Northwest in Elma, Washington, September 9-10, 2017.

 

Priesthood and Witches Mental health and Magic

We live in a world where often concepts of the mind and soul are ignored.  Where mental health issues like Depression and Anxiety are ignored or made light of.  As a society we are told that its “all in our heads” or that “it will pass”.  We are expected to be able to just laugh and smile at everything.

To those without anxiety disorders, clinical depression, or any other number of mental health issues it makes no sense why a certain song can bring us to our knees or cause crippling panic.  It looks like we overact to every little thing for no reason or for the smallest most insignificant of reasons.

These people don’t realize that there is an intense battle going on within our minds every day. Its expected that everyone gets sad so you will just power through it.  When a person says that certain activities like going shopping make them panic they can get laughed at or told to just “buck up and do it”.  Those who live with mental health issues often wish we would just snap out of it.  Who wants to feel paralyzed by crippling anxiety and depression?

Those without mental illness may be able to meditate, be in nature, do yoga, exercise etc to work out depression and anxious feelings.  Which is good for them, they don’t realize that  it may not work for those with actual illnesses not just situational depression or anxiety.  Many of us try to be in nature to relieve our depression.  We may try exercise and meditation.  It doesn’t always work, and sometimes the depression and anxiety can be so overwhelming that we can barely get out of bed, let alone do anything physical like exercise!

One of the many reasons why people dont get help for mental health issues is the stigma that they are crazy or that they feel they should be able to control all of their actions without the aid of medication or therapy.  They believe that it should be possible to just shake off the depression and anxiety.  They believe that since everyone gets sad and anxious and still manages to go to work etc they should be able to do it as well.

The above meme is dangerous.  It gives people who would seek help a bad idea.  At the same time when those who would seek help (therapy, medication etc) many people reply that they should spent more time in nature.  That medications are poison and should be avoided.  Often times people highlight the fact that several of these anti-depression medications have side effects that include suicidal thoughts and worsening of symptoms.  To those uneducated in medicine it seems silly to take something for depression and anxiety that could make you feel worse.  Memes liks this go around promoting this dangerous attitude.

 

Likewise you get those people who claim that herbal supplements, crystal therapy, Reiki, and prayer were all that they needed.  That if you were in tune enough with your spirits and the spiritual forces of the universe you would not have these very real health issues.  These people argue that if you were truly a witch and truly a member of the priesthood your connections to the spiritual world would make you healthy and secure in your health.

Mental health issues are not something to make fun of.  Nor are they something to state is all in the head or a result of spiritual work and awakenings.   Mental health issues can strike anyone of any religion, spiritual path, race, and walk of life.  Mental health and mental Illnesses exist everywhere.  No one person is more susceptible to mental illness than anyone else (except those who may have a family history, but that goes for any medical condition that can be hereditary).

There are those who believe that if you do work with spirits and are attuned to nature you will develop depression, anxiety, and other issues as a result of the spiritual work you have done.  They attribute issues like anxiety, depression, Schizophrenia etc to being awaken to the worlds state.  They believe that these illnesses are gifts from spirit to see the world and be able to help heal the world.  They treat the illnesses as if there was no problem with them at all.  That your spirits will care for you, and you should live with the illness.

All of these attitudes are very dangerous.  They do not count for the fact that these are very real illnesses.   They do not account for the fact that with these illnesses there are very real chemical imbalances in the brain which need medication to be corrected.  They do not account for the fact that these illnesses present very real disabilities, disabilities that can make a person go from being productive and useful to curled up in a ball cringing at every little thing.  Mental Illnesses are very real and cause very real problems in life.

These problems can not be fixed with simple prayers and crystal charms.  These problems can’t be fixed with a spell and herbal teas.  These problems have no single simple solution.   Mental health is a complex issue that impacts the mind, the body and the spirit.  This complex relationship makes it impossible for there to be a quick and easy fix.

It can take years for an individual to find the proper treatment for themselves and their particular illness.  Some of these treatments may include different types of therapy (Cognitive Therapy, Behavioral Therapy, Exposure Therapy, Etc) along with medications.  Sometimes several therapies and medications will be used at the same time.  Until all parties involved believe that the best treatment possible has been reached finding the perfect treatment takes trial and error as well as time an effort.  Everyone involved needs to be doing their part otherwise the treatments don’t work.

So what about those who have an aversion to prescription medications but would like to treat with herbal supplements and natural medicines?  There are hundreds of memes going around that discuss the virtues of herbal medicine.  Some of them list herbs others list various natural remedies to treat depression and anxiety.  What’s wrong with using some of these remedies?

If you have access to a Naturopathic Doctor and pharmacy for Herbal prescriptions than go for it.  A naturalpathic doctor is the only one who could safely prescribe you medications for your illness.  Other than that unfortunately i have to say you have to see a doctor and get on prescription medications.  These medications can and do save lives.

I’m not saying that herbal medicines aren’t useful or effective.  I’m saying that if you are going to go that route you need to understand that there is a lot to look at.  It is better to work with a trained professional in herbal remedies and natural medicine than experiment on your own.  I’m also saying that these remedies work best in trained hands and in cooperation with trained medical professionals.    If you use herbal remedies and folk medicine let all your health care providers know.

Those are steps that you can take to address the physical and mental aspects of Mental Illnesses.  How are you going to address the spiritual aspects of the illness?  This is where some people have issues.    They aren’t really sure how to deal with the spiritual side of mental health issues.  Once they have chosen to deal with the mental and physical aspect of the health issue, sometimes they can have difficulty finding ways to address the spiritual aspects of the illness.

Many pagans and witches believe in true holistic health.  They believe in a connection between the mind, the body, and the spirit.  Mental health impacts the mind, the body, and the spirit together.  So it makes sense that there would be treatments spiritually for mental health issues..  For the treatment of mental health issues the alignment is no different.  The use of therapy and medication treats the mind and the body.  The treatment for the spirit is very different.

 

Spiritual work is an important part of maintaining mental health.  It can be a powerful partner in treatment of mental illnesses.  Performing rituals, casting spells, and going to powerful church services can leave a person invigorated, feeling powerful, and cleansed.  It can be a way to connect with yourself and be motivated beyond anything you had before.  Spiritual work absolutely plays a part in healing mental health issues.

This is where spiritual work comes into play.    Treatments like Reiki, Soul Retrieval, Chakra Alignment, and Sweat Lodges are all spiritual work designed to heal the spirit and align the mind, body and spirit.  Aromatherapy and crystal elixirs would be a useful one to include with spiritual treatment.  These wok on the mind and the spirit together while Chakra alignments and sweat lodges combine the physical and the spiritual.  Reiki does all three in one.

None of these practices should be done without the practices of modern medicine and therapy.  Spiritual treatments are designed to be used along side of modern medicine.  Those are treatments and practices that can attune to the spirit and heal the spiritual aspect of the illnesses. They are used with the modern medicine and therapy to create an approach that is holistic and will heal you completely.  Modern medicine, therapy, and spiritual work together provide a holistic health plan allowing you to become your best self.

Even knowing that spiritual work can be useful maintaining it can become difficult.  The spiritual side of things can be very hard to deal with when you are at your worst.  It can be the best thing for you, but it can become the hardest thing for you to deal with. At times mental health issues can be overpowering where even the most devout priest or active witch can be paralyzed to the point of no practice.

Often times in these situations the witch and or priest may know that doing cleansing work and prayers could be some of the most useful things to help break the cycle, yet they are paralyzed  and can not get themselves to do the needed work.  For people in this situation the statements about faith and depression can cut deep and deliver a sense of failure as a witch and or as a priest.

This is where your spell casting and ritual work can be useful.  Doing a spell and ritual to break the blocks keeping you down can invigorate your spirit and release the mind.   Spells that would be good here are cleansing, protection, and self love work.  These spells boost positive energy in the spell casters life.  Starting with a few simple spells or rituals is an excellent way to get back into the swing of things.

Altar set up for healing work

This will allow you to be more open to the regular daily practice ( if you are looking for a good guide line to developing a daily practice check out :Starting a Daily Practice ).  Through the use of a Daily practice and spiritual hygiene (protection and cleansing, blocks and filters etc) one can treat and realize that your spiritual practice can be helpful tool rather than a hindrance in your mental and spiritual health treatment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pagan Business News Interview with Andrieh Vitimus By Goddess Rhonda

Here is an awesome interview with Magician Andrieh Vitimus where he talks about his book, Hands on Chaos Magic: Reality Manipulation through the Ovayki Current and covers such topics as Shapeshifting, Trance Magic, Time Magic, Creating Your Own Entities to Help You and more!

Website and Links:

Amazon Book Link: https://www.amazon.com/Hands-Chaos-Magic-Reality-Manipulation-ebook/dp/B002WJH2JY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1489204238&sr=8-1&keywords=chaos+magic+andrieh+vitimus

Andrieh’sMain website: http://andriehvitimus.com/

Shapeshifting course: http://quantum-life-science-institute1.teachable.com/p/shapeshifting-365

Podcasts- Deeper Down the Rabbit Hole: http://www.deeper-down-the-rabbit-hole.com/

Do Magic: http://www.magical30.com/

Blogs: http://magicblog.andriehviitmus.com

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/agora/author/avitimus/

Blessed

I’m blessed to see the crescent moon

before she falls asleep

I’m blessed to watch the sun rise up 

from the darkness deep

I’m blessed to care for little ones 

that always give a smile

I’m blessed to have some quiet time 

even the shortest while

I’m blessed to be inspired 

to write my thoughts down everyday

I’m blessed to have a loyal man

that loves my witchy way

I’m blessed to have a family

 that often cares too much 

I’m blessed to have friends 

when i can’t keep in touch 

I’m blessed and every day 

I’m grateful for every breath

For we all know 

we’ll never know 

when the time comes of our death 

-Autumn Rayne 

Detroit Pagan Pride invites mystery and murder into Madison Heights

On March 18, the folks at Detroit Pagan Pride will team up with the Following Your Heart Players to provide a unique fundraising experience. The Pagan Pathways Temple will transform into the setting for an interactive murder mystery event. All ages are welcome to this night of fun, food, and enjoyment. The fun starts at 7pm, so be sure to get your seat early.

Detroit Pagan Pride Flyer

Tickets are $15 for a Single or $25 for a Couple.  An additional  charge of $5 will be added to tickets purchased at the door. Tickets are available for sale at Pagan Pathways Temple located at 28736 John R Rd, Madison Heights, Michigan. You can also find them through their website at http://paganpathwaystemple.org/.

The venue includes a spaghetti dinner, salad, and dessert. The main feature, of course, is the interactive experience brought you you courtesy of the Following Your Heart Players. A fundraiser, the proceeds are set to help support the Detroit Pagan Pride Day.

For updates information, follow their Facebook listing for the  Murder Mystery Dinner.

cemetery kisses

Cemetery Kisses

On sacred ground

Surrounded by spirits

happy to see 

My spirit 

show him that part of me 

That sick twisted reality

That’s such a deep part of my soul 

And I felt his heart  

and he put his hand on mine

Eyes closed

Feeling the divine

Sealed with a cemetery kiss

Long dark shadows of crosses on the ground 

A part of me was found

Buried under me

Six feet above the cemetery 

-autumn rayne 


Hope you enjoyed the Pagan Poetry Post! – please leave comments!

Talking the foundations at ConVocation 2017

As some of the people who read my works here and in other places know, I present at ConVocation. It is neither guaranteed that my classes will be approved, nor that they will be well received, but so far I have had a pretty good run over the last few years. Though this year was bittersweet, with the loss of Michael Wiggins, it was an excellent time despite the grief.

This year, though I taught one adult class named Amplifying Your Power with Oils and Blends , it was the reception of the teen classes that made the most impact on me. I have long been a very vocal advocate of restoring the old and “low” magicks and practices to their rightful place in magickal education. This is not a dig against “high” magick or ritual in any way. However it is my belief that it is important that we not relegate the time-honored practices that are true and tested into the sidelines of colloquial magick and spirituality.

My two teen classes, Connect the knots: using cordage to manifest our visualizations and Keeping Magickal Records: An Introduction. Both of these classes were “crashed” by adult attendees. They were most welcome. For me, it felt like the sound of a bell resonating in me. It felt like a validation that yes, people still do want these subjects covered.

Image: pexels

Craft using cordage and the keeping of magickal records do not seem like rock star kind of attractions. If anything, they might seem to be the building blocks that everyone uses before they construct their paths. But in actuality, I am finding that some of the less dazzling subjects are being neglected in many ways. In my belief, it is the little things that allow the larger ones to be held up and sustained in our studies.

Knot magick is not seen as smexy. Indeed, it has the unfortunate distinction of slowly falling into the group of practices that are assumed to have only baneful applications (much like image magick – see poppets). This might be attributed to the sensationalist nature of films and popular media and their usage of these tools in horror genres. In actuality, it is primarily simply a tool that can be used by anyone with basic understanding of its mechanics.

Magickal record keeping has also seemed to become minimized. The ever popular image of the Book of Shadows, and its peer, the Grimoire, have taken over the center ring. The local consensus in many circles online seem to enshrine the BoS as the ultimate repository of ALL a practitioner’s magickal knowledge. To this, I say, “horse-pucky”.

There are reasons we keep more than one record. There are reasons empirical data is not kept with the spiritual reflections in our libraries ( I am speaking in general. I have no idea what will be happening at the end of the next 4 years). The need for distinction of purpose, and the separation of records, is a strong part of a well rounded practitioner’s evolution. Whether they seek to keep track of their development or not, to ignore that it is a part of the tool box is to do a disservice to teaching.

Image: Daria-Yakovleva Pixabay

I urge teachers to seek out subjects that seem to be falling out of popularity and restore them to the forefront. Our collective lexicons suffer when terms, practices, and modalities are forgotten. It may be old fashioned, but I long for the restoration of the idea that a magickian can accomplish wonders with a line of string, a pinch of salt, a handful of herbs, and the writings in a notebook.

So, I propose we circle back to the beginning, spiral back to the center, and dust off the foundations. Perhaps it has become time again to examine the pillars that we hang our rock star subjects on and make sure that we all can stand straight and true with strong supports. It is okay to be simple. It is okay to be a rock star. It is okay to be both and more. After all, it is magick.