Litha

This week I will be finishing up my painting for Litha. My goal is to honor the power of the sun and its strength while acknowledging the fact that, after Litha, the sun’s power wanes and begins to give way to the dominance of the night.

work in progress

work in progress

I plan to do my next series of paintings on the animal kingdom. I was inspired by my vacation to San Diego this weekend where I saw the San Diego Zoo and Sea World for the first time. I was so inspired by the beauty and interconnectedness of life that I have to memorialize my feelings on canvas!

I was most inspired by the big cats and the underwater sea creatures, so stay tuned for some funky, abstract, beautiful beasts in the upcoming weeks!

lion3

What Being a Witch Means To Me

Until my next phase of education begins in June, I have extra free time, which I’ve been using to the fullest. My painting and writing are flourishing and I have added self-hypnosis to my meditation time, which has been wonderful.

The beauty of time well-spent is that, in addition to getting a lot of things done, you get a sense of clarity. I have had time to think about a lot of things, one of which is my spiritual path.

Being a witch means different things to different people. To some people it will always be some caricature of an old lady on a broom, or something scary and evil. So, I can only talk about what it means to me.

For me, being a witch means that I reject the static and inflexible notions of deity found in mainstream religion. I embrace the beauty and mystery of the natural world and believe that it has lessons to teach us. I reject old-school patriarchy and all of its dysfunction. Rather, I believe that Male and Female are the essential building blocks of Creation and that these two energies are essential counterparts to one another.

I believe that Energy is the creative force behind all visible forms and that this Energy can be manipulated by trained human minds.  I believe that true morality can only be self-imposed and must serve both common sense and the common good.

I believe that there is unbelievable power in collective unity, but that each individual is a complete manifestation of Deity.

While I believe that there are many expressions of Deity, there is really only one Intelligent Force that governs the evolution of the universe.  The practice of paganism is a humble recognition of both the One Force and its many manifestations.  It is a grateful acknowledgment that we already have everything that we need to establish heaven on earth.  To look outside one’s self to a fantasy super-hero god to “save” and “fix” things is both lazy and irresponsible.

So, for better or for worse, this is what I believe.  But I’m still learning and growing, trialing and erroring.  I’m proud of where I am right now and look forward to my own continued evolution. The most important part of any spiritual practice, though, is the practice part, so this is how I try to live my life: “An it harm none, do what ye will.”

As far as my artistic life goes, I am still working on my belated Beltane painting. This is what I have so far. I hope to finish it this week.

work in progress

work in progress

Until next time, peace and blessings on the path towards your most authentic self.

Love and Light,

Raven

Pagan Rituals and Fairy Tales

This week I continued to work on my Eostara painting.  Now that I’m fairly happy with the background, it’s time to work on the flower and then the figures.  The mood is shaping up the way I want it to at this point.  My progress is slow but steady. (Wouldn’t it be so great to do nothing but paint?!)

This week I studied the process of setting up a ritual altar. Although time and space does not yet permit some of the practices I learned about, I am slowly but surely accumulating knowledge and sacred objects.

What I found most interesting was the process of making a scrying mirror.  Scrying is the process of looking into a reflective surface such as a mirror, crystal ball, etc., for the purpose of discerning the future.  I instantly thought about the story of Snow White.  The (evil) witch in that story, of course, looked into the mirror primarily for ego gratification: “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all.”  When she found out it was no longer her, she went gangsta, and did her best to take the new girl out.  (Cray).

The real purpose of scrying, in my opinion, is to see what is already there, for the purpose of self-knowledge, growth, and edification.  It is another way of stilling our minds to see what we already know, deep down.  This is also the purpose of meditation and many other spiritual practices.  We often go outside of ourselves looking for answers, but all the while the answers are within.  When we quiet down the mind-chatter, and go within, we tap into the deep resources of our souls.

So, may we all have the courage this week to tap into the deep places within, to tell ourselves the truth about ourselves and our circumstances.

Until next time, peace and blessings on the path towards your most authentic self.

Love and Light,

Raven

Marching Towards Eostara

As I continue my first real body of work on the Wiccan wheel of the year, I am pleased by my steady progress – though it is never as quick as I’d like it to be.  I am now balancing a day job, a relationship, and classes, so finding any time to paint is a blessing.

Below are some work-in-progress pictures of my latest painting. It honors Eostara, the pagan origin of Easter, coming to us on March 21.  The holiday celebrates fertility, life, renewal, the lengthening of the daylight hours, and gratitude for surviving the winter.  I hope to communicate a sense of the intense bond between the god and the goddess through my painting, once it’s completed.  We owe a debt of gratitude to this bond, the Yin and Yang of Universe, because it is the source of the Magic of life.

Until next time, peace and blessings on the path towards your most authentic self.

Love and Light,

Raven