Category Archives: Pagan Parenting

Negative Entities (How to begin to heal and be rid of them)

Occasionally, something serious pops up -the kind of things that give you chills.   Sometimes, it begins with a crawling sensation up your spine, the feeling that you are being watched or objects going missing and turning up in very, very strange places. It may accompany physical and mental illness too such as anxiety and depression which need support and guidance.  It can leave you feeling vulnerable, alone and energetically depleted. 

If you happen to be very sensitive, dealing with the “yuckies” (negative spirits especially) can be exceptionally difficult.  However, necessary.  It isn’t a quick fix; it is a life-style change.  It is important to address the need to love yourself, to set boundaries both physically and spiritually, to clear out forces in your  life that have ultimately brought you to harm.  Your personal spiritual practice can be an important support in your life.  As a practitioner of the Craft, as a witch (Wiccan or otherwise).  Really, this is a real call for addressing serious change in life -and these changes are often life altering.  You can’t ignore it (although you can try), staying frozen in fear will only allow more fearful experiences in and screaming and yelling for it all to go away just feeds the force. 

In 2007 I was dealing with similar forces in my own life.  I was absolutely terrified.  My dreams provided me with the solution though I was unsure how to approach it at the time.  I stood at the bank of a river.  I saw something coming at me and just knew it was going to get me.  The surface of the river was broken and a turtle of massive size eyed me.  It is going to eat me, I thought! She didn’t eat me.  She eyed me, I felt calm.  Suddenly, she looked behind me at a large cliff.  She pulled deep into her shell only moments before the ground shook.  I panicked and attempted to dodge the falling stones that threatened to crush me flat. I witnessed the stones bouncing off her shell and falling harmlessly into the water below.  After the danger passed, she emerged from her shell and again made eye contact.  An understanding unfolded in that moment.  It is ok to protect yourself, to go within and to be firm about your boundaries. 

Some of the things that you might do are listed below.  Stick to it, smile, focus on your joy and let the magic of love unfold.

Ø Clear your home with a strong incense:  Rosemary, sage, frankincense work great. 

Ø Play uplifting music. 

Ø When you visualize, or feel intrusive thoughts that you feel might be coming from elsewhere, visualize a huge red or black X over the top and use a power word: “no” “delete” “enough.”  “not happening.”  Of course, if you have aligned yourself with any force or power that you feel can help you, feel free to use a familiar name (such as the name of a deity.)

Ø Focus on your healing.  Every time you catch your thoughts wondering to negative, fearful things, acknowledge the thought, focus on your breathing the best that you can and bring your attention to your personal healing.  Approaching it this way helps to keep your energy levels a little higher. 

Remember, when dealing with negative energies/entities, the idea is the break you down, make you susceptible and vulnerable.  If you are experiencing paranormal activity in conjunction with the feelings, it is important to be active and vigilant.  Don’t feel afraid to ask for help or advice from those of like mind.  If you have family or loved ones you are close to and that support you, stick close to them as it will help to protect you.  Our supportive connections are often why there is an attempt to make us feel alone and isolated.  There are no quick fixes for situations like this and healing takes time -sometimes a lot of it.  Be committed to yourself and to what you need in your life.  Be patient and kind with yourself on your journey and remember that really, no one is truly ever alone. You might not care for all the guidance given but you might get some information that you needed.  

St. Louis Pagan Picnic 2017

This year’s Pagan Picnic was an absolute blast!  I started the day by repeating something I’d done two years ago, coming in  on the wrong side of the park.  It took me about half and hour to realize the farmers market (which was awesome too) was not what I was looking for.  I merely assumed a lot could change during a year.  Note to self, the large, beautiful gazebo’s mark the wrong spot.

Luckily, with a little guidance and a bit of a walk I found my way to the right side of the park where all the adventures awaited. My daughter was very pleased with the walk and enjoyed spending time lazing beneath a gum ball tree (which we always seem to be pulled to.)

 On our walk we were joined by others who also managed to wonder to the wrong side. Nothing like finding your way by getting a little lost!  Note to self -and anyone else with a befuddled sense of direction, Magnolia and Grand St.  (helps with the parking.) Next year, just in case, I’m taking a map with me -remember “Grand” (click here for map.)

As we managed our way through the entrance my daughter found the closest stands selling soaps and bath bombs while I stopped for a fantastic divination reading.  I usually stop at a few readers during my stay.  My card reading was a real joy (thank you Michael). Not only were well needed messages revealed but I also discovered a kindred spirit.  I do love the dragon folk.  My favorite vendors to visit were Michelle Streetman’s Link Leather Scale and Feather, Alinore Rose’s Beyond the Hedge and Donna and Michael Cramer’s Ancient Stone Inspirations

Tossing my blanket to the ground, my daughter and I had a small snack and decided to explore a little more.  I was pleased to discover that Country Hill Creations had returned once again to the picnic.  I saved my purchases from this vendor last for the day because I knew I’d make several and they would be a little heavy. If you are looking for a way to create a journal that is flexible and long lasting, check out their wonderful wooden binders. This year, I picked up a book stand (perfect for that binder) and a pendulum board. There were other goodies to purchase on vendors row too that I

couldn’t resist such as the frozen lemon-aid, some vendors selling special stones, garments and a magical tools. After snapping a picture with Selena Fox and catching up,  My daughter and I picked up a few gifts, ate a scrumptious lunch and had apples to top it off.  We finished the day by listening some music  by Spiral Rhythm with friends.

If you didn’t happen to make it this year, set the date for June of next year and come and join everyone.  Bring a few friends, explore the sights enjoy yourself among a community of like minds and open hearts.

Festival and Celebration Time

Feeling the itch for something new or a need to reach out to others?  This is the perfect time of year for it! As a solitary, it is vital to reach out to others, make an effort to connect and find a few like-minded individuals to share understanding smiles with.  The month of June is a time for many Pagan festivals across the United States.  Take some time out -even if it is just a day or two and weave some wonderful connections -or at least enjoy yourself!  That is exactly what I plan to do.

In 2010 I attended my first Pagan festival PSG (Pagan Spirit Gathering). Although a week long event, I attended only for the weekend.  It left an awesome, memorable impact that inspired me for years to come.  I found myself basking with friends in the river, watching the fire spinners with fascination and dancing to the drums around the fire until dawn.  How wonderful it was to feel so deeply connected to my tribe and others of like-mind.

In 2015, I discovered the Pagan Picnic in St. Louis.  This event came packed with many different vendors.  I was fortunate to come across one vendor who sold wood burned binders -perfect for the shadow book that grows with you.  H. Byron Ballard, writer of Staubs and Ditchwater, was one among many authors who visited and I cannot leave out the wonderful music by S.J. Tucker and Omnia.  As if that isn’t the cherry on top of the cake? The event is completely free save for a some fuel and a picnic basket!

I’ve recruited a friend and we are headed up to St. Louis.  Of course, I’ll be staying Friday night in ole St. Louie in order to get a good head start to the gate.  I’ll hit day number two for this three day event and enjoy the time looking around for old friends, new vendors and yummy food. So load up your little ones (if you have them), pack up the car and head out to this year’s Pagan Picnic at Tower Grove Park in St. Louis Missouri and I’ll see you there!

 

 

 

 

It Runs In The Family

I received a phone call last night at around 9:12. The phone rang once and the stopped. I noticed it was my daughter calling and picked it up. “Something is wrong mom, I need to come home.  Her father left out any details and simply said that she needed to come home because the house wasn’t a safe place for her. Aaron and I hopped into his car and drove to get her. After a few minutes, three figures emerged from the apartment complex. I greeted them beneath the building lights. “Is the house haunted?” Her dad looked at me, “Yeah, that is a given. I won’t be staying here tonight myself.”

Once home, I made some hot chamomile tea, gave my daughter a blanket and turned on the lights. My ten year told described to me exactly what she saw. “Dad fell and he caught the leg of the couch. I saw a smoky black thing standing beside him. I did what you told me mom and I tried to focus on my shield. I tried to go over to my dad but I felt like something invisible was blocking me from getting close.” I sighed. “Well, that may have been your protectors, the protection spell around you or maybe both.”  The conversation lasted for about an hour, we watched a cartoon and then turned in for the evening.

My daughter, now ten,  has seen the Otherworld off and on since she was very small -too small to remember. I used to watch her crib from my bed at night and found myself amazed and a little unsettled when large, people-sized, white glows came close and gathered around her. I wasn’t sure if they were family or not but the sight of them did not make me afraid. However, it would be a lie to say I’d never encountered anything that didn’t send the chills straight up my spinal column.

Nothing sets the inner fire ablaze like a mother’s need to protect her child. I grew up with unusual experiences and clung to my fear. I would be nearly fourteen before gaining some amount of confidence about what to do about it. As a mother, I set the intention to raise my child with awareness so that if and when she experienced the world with her “special-eyes” or “special ears” she would know that she could set boundaries, and find her own strength. Even if she was afraid, she could face it or choose to turn from it without shame.

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Despite my early experiences with the Craft, I was nearly twenty years old before my mother sat me down and talked to me about the more disturbing experiences. My youngest sister’s spiritual battles had prompted the conversation but it was her last words that seared into memory: “When each of you girls were born, I cried. I cried because I didn’t want you to have this gift and I cried because you would all live life as women too and that comes with its own lessons.”

As a family, we have been through the grand “W” which are (What was that? Why is this happening? Why us? Where did that come from? What are we going to do?) To find peace, the answer was first to ignore it which didn’t really work. This went on for a few generations -perhaps more. In our own way, each of us questioned our sanity. In fact, I’m sure that there were times we were all driven to the brink of emotional and even physical tolerance. The second route was to fight it which seemed to cause more conflict because the feeling was one of being cursed.  Years would pass before we gained some understanding as individuals how seeing can serve us -or others.  Acceptance of ourselves and acclimation to the reality of it came slower.  One node of comfort was knowing that for better or worse, it ran in the family.

Writing this brings me back to 2009 when I overheard a conversation between two co-workers.  One of them was having frightening visions of black dogs that both she and her daughter were experiencing.  The advice and commentary she received shook me to my bones. She was told it was because she was not living her life the right way, that she shouldn’t live with a man without being married or go out to bars, etc. It left her feeling guilty and confused. Religious convictions aside, we can live our lives to the best of personal standards and still have a lack of answers.

 

Stepping over what must have been a boundary, I later offered her this consideration: “It is not your fault and you are not alone. If you can, find strength and believe in something greater and more powerful than yourself but remember that you are not powerless.” We talked about the black dogs and discovered that she had English and Irish ancestry.  This encouraged her to personally research visions of black dogs. She worked with me a year but before moving away, she gave me a hug and offered a deeply felt thank you.

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I’ve written this article because I feel there are many families out there with this story. Deep in my heart, I am sure that we are not the only one with strange tales who have been witness to the visions, voices, and secrets that have been revealed to us. The spiritual and energetic worlds are definite realities to those that closely experience them. We cannot close our eyes and pretend it did not happen for long. No longer do we have the privilege of asking if these things exist. We can not un-know what our eyes have been opened to.

Pagan Parent

A Pagan Mother’s Decision

Many Pagan parents have anxiety concerning educating their children about their faith or Craft. I wasn’t an exception. I imagined her being made fun of at school.  I heard questions echo in my mind, “What church do you go to?”  Do you believe in God?”  “You just believe in fantasy shit -all made up.”  I imagined the first friend she trusted gossiping about her, awkward stares, being left blown over because people were afraid of her, the vivid, distracting thoughts were out of control.

I wanted to protect her from feeling as though she was consigned to oblivion. As I grappled with these fears, I kept imagining the no smoking sign over the top of the visual intrusion.  Contending with my own fears has taken constant work, I had to dig into my roots, fully comprehend what I’d come to believe and why, and if I had to admit it boldly, stop being afraid of what other people thought of me.

My initial reservations concerned giving my child a “normal” life.  Other concerns included over-projection, living in a small town and more.  The solution was knowledge.  If I educated, encouraged, tended to her confidence, and  helped her address her emotions, she would be better prepared for future experiences she may have. Sharing my perspective and wisdom while allowing her to come to her own conclusions felt right.

Refusal to guide and teach was cheating her out of her heritage. Folk magic has been a part of my family since I was a young girl -though it was never called magic. Mother kept an old horseshoe for luck in the kitchen, we ate dinners that would bring us good fortune and health on New Year’s Day, a knife dropped accidentally meant a man would be coming to visit, a bird that broke its neck on the window was an ill omen. My mother dreamt signs, talked about hands on healers in the family, and my eldest sister had the ‘wish-gift’. Relatives I’d never physically met came to sing to me and my younger sister by a year is a reluctant, troubled medium.  By my own interpretation, my family was a collection of reluctant witches.

Witchcraft and Paganism gave me what I needed to face challenges in my life. It helped me to be a little less afraid, to reclaim and embrace my personal power and face parts of myself I may have run from otherwise.  My spiritual path has been a rock in the turbulent times in my life –an ever constant that never fails me. I decided, the choice to hide these things from my daughter was a selfish one.

How I began

My daughter is a dark-eyed, sensitive and curious child.  Out of my peripheral vision, I caught her watching me during an evening devotional when she was almost two.  I pretended not to notice. I wondered how many times she had caught me during my devotionals.

From that point onward, I was a little less anxious. Later, she would bobble over to my working table and point at things she saw. “Tell me,” she would say.  I kept things simple in the beginning.  I named objects and let her handle them, but she knew they stayed on momma’s “special table.”  Most objects in my working space were very safe. I kept shells, stones, homemade salt dough items, a mortar and pestle and candles.  She understood what the word hot meant and didn’t bother to touch candle flames if I had them lit.  My working knife stayed in the kitchen, along with a cutting board and small glass bowls for herbs.

She would crawl up in my lap to play with my ink pen and try to write in my notebooks.  It brought me joy and opportunity to teach. Of course, she didn’t know that I was trying to keep the page in my book nice and legible. If I’d scolded her, she’d have associated the behavior with something negative.  Instead, I let her do rubbings of leaves and stones in her own little book.  “How beautiful!” I’d tell her as she pushed the book past my nose.

Children recognize what they have learned.  At the age of six, I found myself discussing energy with my daughter due to her sensitivity. She showed early signs of being an Empath, and it wasn’t usual for her to see spirits.  Initially, she did not recognize them as spirits at all.  Nicknames for the energies she saw were things like “The man on fire,” “The woman without a face,” or “the flying thing by the window.” As a mother, I was naturally concerned.  As a witch, I cleansed the house, double checked my seals and taught her basic shielding.

It sounds silly but, I found myself pleasantly surprised last year when she watched Avatar and Naruto for the first time. She jumped up and dragged me to the T.V. Both cartoons featured discussions on energy in the body.  “That chakra is the same as the energy you said is in our body and they shield too!”  It made me smile to see her lit up.

Now, at nine years old, Illiondra keeps her own working space on the nightstand beside her bed.  She isn’t afraid to question what she sees me do and I tell her as simply as I can. House cleansings are explained as removing unwanted and harmful energies from our space. A ritual bath is to help you focus on something special, a spell is a focused wish with lots of power in it.  With time and the desire to learn, she will come to understand more.  I teach her morals and values that I too hold sacred.  Here are some of them:

  • Honor your word
  • Hold Loyalty sacred
  • Be aware of your emotions
  • Take care of our needs and give with joy.
  • Do what you most love to do.
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Protect yourself and those that you love.
  • New beginnings can be frightening and that is not a bad thing.
  • Think positive even circumstances are not great.
  • Don’t seek to intentionally hurt others.
  • Stand up for what you truly believe in.
  • When you make a choice there are consequences. Many consequences make us feel good.
  • Don’t seek to control the will of another person.
  • Don’t do things against your own morals to please someone else.
  • Honor those that have gone before you and treat nature with respect.
  • If you experience something uncomfortable regarding the Otherworld remember that you are not powerless.
  • Honor the spirits of place, they will aid you on your journey.
  • Nurture your gifts, pay attention to what they have to show you even if that means it is scary.
  • Magic is everywhere.
Lessons In Retrospect

Reflect on early childhood spiritual experience, it can help you teach. My mother was a prominent figure in my life.  I wasn’t forced into religion of any kind.  I visited several kinds of churches through my early years with my mother; Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran and Pentecostal. I was raised to be a seeker.  When I became an adult, I looked back at childhood surprised at my resilience and adaptive nature.  What a child experiences is normal to them, they don’t question it unless given cause. I explored spirituality because my mother too was a seeker.  My favorite place to go was the library.  I had a natural inclination towards mystery, folklore, and art. I did not question my interests, I followed what excited me.

As a second grader, my free-spirit began to feel ashamed of itself. My second-grade teacher allowed her students to pick their favorite movie and bring it to school at the end of the week. It was my turn.  My favorite movie was Hans Christian Andersons: The Little Mermaid, released in 1975.  It was a beautifully animated film. In the original, there is a brief scene of nudity as the mermaid transforms into a human girl.  My fellow classmates and my teacher sounded off in disgust when the slight image of her bare breasts flashed across the T.V. screen.  Immediately, I felt confused.  I couldn’t understand what they were so upset about.  From that point onward, I felt a distance between myself and my fellow classmates.  The smallest gestures can teach.  In that brief moment, I learned that not everyone saw the world the same way.  That was a good lesson.  As an adult, it also helped me to understand this:  Children are learning behavior, life lessons and morals from more than just their parents.  If you choose not to teach, they will learn from somewhere else therefore, a parent’s guidance is paramount.

Legacy

Choosing to teach your children to work magic or walk a Pagan path is a personal decision.  It isn’t always simple.  As parents, we gift our children with our love and what we know.  They may choose to take it up and carry on or they may do something completely different. My aim was to give my child a meaningful approach to face life with her head held high.  My dearest hope is that she makes that choice out of the love and wisdom I have gifted.

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