Wheel of Time Pop Culture Work (Part 1 of ?)

Part 1: Where I want to focus on and where I am at so far

I read the first book in the Wheel of Time Series by Robert Jordan maybe three years ago or more. I really enjoyed the first book but never kept up with the series after that, despite owning more of the books. I remember finding the magic system in the series to be really interesting and have been meaning to go back to the series.

Now that I have been debating getting into pop culture work, I finally decided to jump back into the series and pay special attention to the magic system and the Aes Sedai in the series. From what I remember, I will likely be able to apply these methods to meditation and energy work more than any other field.

As of today, I am not that far into the first book. I only just got to the event that causes the main character to leave his home town. Not a lot has been revealed about the Aes Sedai or the magic of the world. However, there is an interesting technique that appears within the first few pages of the book.

He was hoping his father had not noticed he was afraid when Tam said, “Remember the flame, lad, and the void.”

It was an odd thing Tam had taught him. Concentrate on a single flame and feed all your passions into it-fear, hate, anger-until your mind becomes empty. Become one void, Tam said, and you can do anything.

-Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World

My practice involves working with fire quite a bit, so I am really drawn to this technique. I look forward to using it as a calming/focusing technique.

I am looking forward to seeing what other techniques come up as I keep reading and plan to record my progress as I go, both generally on here and in more detail in my grimoire.

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Scheduling my Woo Work?

If I am a master at one thing, it is procrastination. I am the person that does so much last minute. I have woken up at 5am and written and entire paper for my 9am class. So, I get distracted easily…. The internet or a video game, or a book sucks me in and suddenly the entire day is gone and I have gotten nothing done. It even happens with stuff I am really passionate about like my spirit work and devotional work.

So I am trying something new. One of my friends referred me to the site, Habitica. It’s a task manage site with an RPG twist. I’m not only scheduling everyday tasks, but I am also working in some of my spiritual practices as well. Things like making sure I give some time every day to Loki, meditating every day, astraling a few times a week….That’s really what I am going for.

So far (and by so far I mean a day) it is going well and I am enjoying planning all of this out. It makes me actually want to get things done and get back into habits I really enjoyed when I was newer at all of this.

Looking forward to seeing how this goes and am pretty optimistic about it all.

Pop Culture Work?

Pop culture work, that is pop culture magic, spirit work, astral work, etc., has been on the edge of my mind for quite some time. I have known that it was a practice for awhile now, but have never really delved into it personally. The more time that goes by, the more I am interested in it, though.

Media has had a fairly significant impact on my life. I never really had friends growing up, but was a heavy reader. When I was a bit older, I feel in love with video games for their ability to uniquely tell stories. A little after that I learned a bit about film and fell in love with the various ways that movies and television could tell a story. For a lot of my high school career, right up until I registered for college, I wanted to be a storyteller of some kind. That may have been an author, a screenwriter, or a filmmaker…I never full decided at the time. Regardless, immersing myself in media has been something that I have been doing for most of my life. I have had more heroes and more inspiration from fiction than I have from real life. Now as an active witch and spirit worker, pop culture work seems like it would be a damn good addition, right?

I think that there are a few reasons as to why I haven’t fully delved into pop culture work. Oddly enough, it isn’t disbelief. My woo life has made very little (with the exception of egotistical claims) too out there for me. Instead, I think the main reason that I hesitate is not knowing where to begin. Pop culture magic is easy enough to approach. That is just adapting something in media into my own practice. I would just need to go back and take a few notes. Pop culture spirit work though….I understand the basic concept but don’t really have any idea of how to get started. That and if I do meet a spirit from pop culture that I am interested in, I wouldn’t want to be weird about it. I have a bit of a tendency to fangirl with media I like…

I do think that I will be looking into pop culture magic possibilities in the near future. That means picking up the Wheel of Time series again, looking at Dresden Files magic in a bit more detail, and maybe casually watching some Charmed. Pop culture spirit work though will likely stay on the back burner. I already have so much to explore of the astral without adding in pop culture dimensions so for now it will wait.

I like keeping my practices adaptable and loose to a certain extent simply because I like having more than one trick up my sleeve. Pop culture work is certainly in my future with this kind of style. It’s also probably something you will see me writing about on here as I start practicing more.

Reflections on Midsummer 2016

Yesterday was the summer solstice. Normally I don’t celebrate the holiday. Summer heat has never been my thing and weather above 80 degrees Fahrenheit isn’t really my thing. It was the full moon that convinced me to get my magic on. The full moon acted to balance out the day for me. Both the sun and moon were at the height of their power in my eyes.

I won’t go into very much detail because I personally believe in the power of secrecy when it comes to magic. I did two magical things yesterday, one when the sun was at its apex and the other when the moon was at its apex. Balance was the theme of the day really. I was also lucky enough that I had the house to myself all day and all night due to the other occupants going to the beach out of state and spending the night.

The first spell was about taking in a sense. It was about declaring what I wanted/needed and bringing it to me. I did this with items that reminded me of the sun. Fire, plants that have been flourishing in the summer heat, objects that shine in the light…all of these were essential. I wasn’t able to preform the spell outside on account of the wind, but it was probably for the best because of all the chanting going on. It was a very involved spell and took quite a long time in comparison to other spells I have done. One thing that I found interesting was that the wind built up stronger and the clouds became darker as the spell went on. A thunderstorm hit as the spell finished. I took it as a very good sign and a parallel to what I was doing, power being built up and then released into the world. Over the years I have developed a serious respect for summer storms and their power, again adding to the significance.

My second magical act was very different. It was done late at night and was about giving. Balancing everything out. It was a much more private affair, quite and only between myself and the spirits I am close with. I gave back to them some of myself because they have given so much to me, including the magic I had done earlier. The weather had cleared up by then and the night was still. It was a calming end to the day and both acts were very memorable experiences.

The day went very differently than I thought it would be. I did not anticipate the theme of balance the day had, but it worked out for the best in the long run. I don’t know if I will ever celebrate the summer solstice again. It still isn’t exactly my thing. But I am extremely satisfied with how my magic went. I also learned more about balance and how it applies to my magic more than I had before. It will definitely be something I consider in my future workings.

Mentoring Young Spirit Workers

I’m going to start off by saying that I am by no means a master of spirit work. I am no elder, sage, or grand high poo-bah of the astral. I’m just a gal that’s getting close to doing spirit work for five years now and has made some observations about how to work with people just getting into this stuff. I’m also just as set in my ways as most other spirit workers are. This post is mainly in reference to knowing people face-to-face rather than over the internet.

Compared to other “woo” subjects, spirit work doesn’t really have a place in the public eye. Witchcraft is pretty well known in pop culture and a lot of people are aware that their are people that practice in real life, even if they aren’t sure what that practice entails. Mediums are also pretty well known in the public eye, but the majority of people think they are just scammers. Spirit work though, as in someone going to the astral and working with spirits that aren’t human or animal? That is something that is not nearly as common in the public eye. People might think of some “Ancient Native American Wisdom” (man, that was painful to write) but that is not a guarantee. What I am getting at is that if you are brand new to spirit work, especially if you don’t have any experience in other woo areas, you really don’t have a frame of reference for what’s going on around you.

So it makes sense that brand new spirit workers can be very excited when they meet someone that is more experienced than they are. I know I was super excited when I found the blog of someone that had been doing this for a few years. They introduced me to the term spirit work and helped me understand that what I was experiencing was something that others were too. It also let me know about some of risks and safety measures that I wasn’t even aware.

The question for me now though, is what do I do now that I am the experienced person and a new person is coming to me for advice? For me, the answer has been to be very general and ultimately try to get the person to do their own thing. Spirit work has a so much variety that really I can only speak in generalizations. The person will ultimately need to find out on their own how they best work with spirits and what kind of spirits they connect with. I can warn them to be cautious and to use discernment, but holding their hand is only going to make me a helicopter parent that refuses to let their kids learn things on their own. I can also teach them basic safety measures that they can modify themselves. I can also point them in the direction of good resources and warn them about bad ones. But other than some basic ground rules, etiquette, methods, and reading lists, I can’t do much more for a new person. I am one of those people that believes that you need to learn some lessons the hard way and sometimes you need to screw up so that you can learn from it.

I’m not saying that I am going to completely abandon a new spirit worker. If they have questions, I will answer them. (That is unless the person is excessive about their questions and is asking me for help for every single step of the way.) Something also worth noting is that spirit work can come in stages. Much of my work is currently done on the astral. That is the main way that I interact with spirits these days. I am not going to throw a new person into the astral just because that is what I am used to. I’m also someone that pushes working with spirit guides because they know what you need a lot better than I do.

One final note that I will make about this is about the mentor. Spirit work really doesn’t have a high retention rate in my experience. The amount of people that commit and make it to the two year or even one year mark is probably only around ten percent. While that can be for various reasons, I really don’t want to invest a ton of time and effort into someone that might not even continue down this path. I have also had quite a few people who have had either really bad egos or wanted to be seen as special to get attention. Me being vague protects my spirits and myself. I’m not going to deal with drama or egos when I have my own practice to get on with. The hands off approach tends to keep the people that really do want to practice spirit work ¬†going and finding out about themselves, while also not feeding egos or feeding the people that just want attention.

That’s been my experience thus far with mentoring young spirit workers, or just being the more experienced person at the table. My opinion on all of this might change in the coming years, it might not. Ultimately I think that letting people find their own path with spirit work is the best course of action. I give them some basic tools and advice and have them figure out the rest. I am there if they need me, but I am not going to make students that end up looking just like their teacher.