Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"G" is for Goals - Pagan Blog Project 2014

"G" is for Goals

One of the things my teacher Hyperion taught me throughout my training in the Unnamed Path is the importance of setting goals. I think some of this came from his intensely Capricornian nature, but it's been a lesson that has helped me immensely, and it was one of the things that made him successful in his many different endeavors. Goal-setting is another tool in the magic-worker's arsenal to create the life that they want.

All too often I see many Pagans who tend to take the maxim "Go with the flow" to extremes, and end up being more situationally reactive than proactive. While there is certainly much to be said for letting Nature take Her course, we have the power to create change in accordance with our Will as part of nature; setting goals for ourselves is another way to apply that gift. We all have dreams and aspirations, especially as magical people. It's When we don't have a clear and concrete goal before us, that it becomes too easy to become unfocused and distracted.

Setting goals is important for any number of reasons. It allows us to dissect our big-picture goals into more manageable steps. Larger goals like "end world hunger", "become a better person", "get a boyfriend", etc., can be overwhelming.  Having (and thinking about) that goal, especially written down, gives you a place to start breaking it down into more more manageable pieces to get you where you want to be. By setting our goals down on paper we are providing the Universe with the first piece of tangible evidence that we want something. A goal statement can provide us with specific language for spellwork, for visualization, and for magic such as sigil creation (something I hope to cover on a later post!) When we know what we want, and what it will take to get there, our efforts to bring our focus and energy to bear are also made more efficient.

So first of all, what do I mean by goal setting? The way I was taught is deceptively simple. Simply make a list. This list is divided into three columns of ten items: To Have, To Do, and To Be. These goals can be ANYTHING. You are not limited to mundane goals, nor are you limited to magical or lofty goals - the only requirement is that the be personal goals. Anything you want, want to change, want to improve upon, want to get rid of, anything! The important thing, at first, is not to edit. This can be the -hardest- part of setting a goal list. When you're writing your goals list, remember that this is for your benefit, not anyone else, and that no matter how "silly" your goals may seem, they're important to you or you wouldn't have thought of them. It's also completely okay to write down more than ten for each column. We'll be editing them later. For example, my own list:
To Have:
  1. Plenty of time for daily practice
  2. Money saved
  3. My degree
  4. A fantastic, fulfilling career
  5. Time to devote to myself
  6. Time and money to spend with friends
  7. Bills and debts taken care of
  8. A wonderful sex life
  9. An active social life
  10. Nice clothing
To do:
  1. Make art daily
  2. Weigh purchase decisions carefully
  3. Expand my shamanic knowledge
  4. Work to master rune-magic
  5. Develop a healthy relationship with my body
  6. Challenge my beliefs with experience
  7. Maintain a well-kempt appearance
  8. Walk 10 miles every week
  9. Spend at least one hour outdoors every day
  10. Spend 10 minutes every day around other people, outside of work, without headphones on
To be:
  1. Be more approachable by others
  2. Be comfortable with my appearance
  3. Be more confident in my artistic abilities
  4. Be more physically fit
  5. Be patient with those who annoy me
  6. Be more joyful
  7. Be more willing to embrace my strengths
  8. Be more forgiving
  9. Be living and working in Long Beach
  10. Be successful and prosperous in my career
Wow that was a long list. Anyway, after you've written down your goals list, start identifying them as short-, medium-, and long-term goals. Short-term goals should take you less than 6 months to accomplish, medium-term goals 6 months to a year, and anything longer than a year is a long-term goal. In each list you SHOULD have a reasonable balance of all three, but if your goals are primarily long-term, you should really think of how to break those down into smaller steps.
For example:
To do:
  1. Make art daily - short-term
  2. Weigh purchase decisions carefully - short-term
  3. Expand my shamanic knowledge - long-term
  4. Work to master rune-magic - long-term
  5. Develop a healthy relationship with my body - long-term
  6. Challenge my beliefs with experience - medium-term
  7. Maintain a well-kempt appearance - short-term
  8. Walk 10 miles every week - short-term
  9. Spend at least one hour outdoors every day - short-term
  10. Spend 10 minutes every day around other people, outside of work, without headphones on - short-term
That's basically the process. From here, one can start crafting magic around those goals, and start the physical work involved in manifesting them in addition to the magical work.

One last note, the process doesn't end there.  As you reach a goal, delete it from the list, and add in a new goal.  It's also good to keep around your old goals list, for those moments when you find yourself feeling low, asking "What have I been DOING with my life?!"... you'll be able to look at that list, and KNOW that you've been getting shit done!

Good luck!

Friday, January 4, 2013

So earlier today I saw an article on HuffPost about "The Kiss Heard Round the Sports World"...Pro-bowler Scott Norton kissed his husband after winning a championship, on television.  Now I didn't see it, because quite frankly I don't follow bowling.  But I read through it, because I think things like this are fantastic.  There was a reader comment towards the bottom that was innocuous enough, I suppose, but it made me go up in flames.

"the media's obsession with what gay people do actually perpetuates them as being"different"."

First off... There is a certain "Ugh, I don't want to see two fags kissing, why does the media have to keep focusing on it!" to that statement...  And I can understand it, I guess.  Kind of how I get grossed out watching straight people playing tonsil hockey on every street corner, advertisement, television show, and movie.  GODS FORBID that anyone should see two men, who love each other enough to commit to each other, kissing on TV.

Secondly...and by no means less importantly... I want everyone who reads this to really, really let this wash over you, and permeate your thoughts.  WE ARE NOT THE SAME AS HETEROSEXUALS.  I do not relate to my boyfriend in the same way as my brother relates to his wife, or my mother relates to my father.  I AM different than a heterosexual.  I don't love the same way, I don't think the same way, I AM NOT THE SAME.  If heterosexuals are uncomfortable with us fags as being different, then that's THEIR problem, not ours.  I am comfortable in my own skin, and firmly believe that straight people should be just as comfortable; and I know you're not.  I hear enough bullshit about women going on ridiculous diets because they think they're fat, getting plastic surgery to look prettier, younger, thinner, whatever-the-fuck...  Men who subscribe to this imbecilic maschismo horse-crap...(and gay guys, don't think I don't see you over there trying to butch it up.)  We are who we are, people.  Liking football doesn't make you butch, and liking figure-skating doesn't make you femme.  It just means you like football.  Or figure-skating.  


Humans really, really need to stop focusing on this stuff.  We are all different.  Please start celebrating WHO YOU ARE, AND WHO I AM, AND WHO EVERYONE ELSE IS.  You are not better than me because you can recite every Judy Garland song backwards alphabetically, and I'm not better than you because I like to fix my own vehicle.  It just means you have too much time on your hands, and that I'm cheap. 

And I love you for it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

So here we are again...  A year has gone by since my initiation into the Unnamed Path.  I've been student-teaching under Hyperion, in preparation for actually taking my own students.

Life has been a trip this year.  2011 can kiss my ass - even February of this year was pretty rough.  But I now have a vehicle, and will be moving up to northwest Houston with my best friends...I'm really looking forward to actually seeing them more - it's been weird not seeing them for months at a time when I all-but lived with them for almost 4 years.  We have even more in common now, as they're currently taking Hyperion's course as well.

I'm also dating a wonderful guy, who makes me sickeningly happy, and who I do not get to spend NEARLY enough time with.

Life on the Pagan front has been mostly spent with my student-teacher class, and my studying Anderson Feri under Storm Faerywolf.  I missed Pantheacon this year, so I didn't get to experience any of the awesomeness OR the drama.  I'm starting to feel a pull to go back to CMA again, which feels really odd...but I think part of it is the desire to actually teach a workshop out there that's about more than, y'know, the sacredness of the God-dess...Wicca 101 is a little old. :D  We'll see how that goes, though.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Bunnies and Fairies and Warlocks, Oh My!

Goodness, it's been quite a while since I've posted anything....

I received my initiation into the Unnamed Path in early March, and that has been....quite an experience.  Suffice to say, that I'm feeling a -whole- lot more plugged in than I ever have before, to a number of things, and it is both exhausting and energizing at once.  Now I am involved in learning to teach the path as well.  I look forward to watching and helping the next round of men come into our little brotherhood, and am immensely honored to be able to do so.

As I work on deepening and exploring my path, I am finding myself drawn back to basic practices again, and though there was some initial resistance to it, I am glad I've started to do it again.  For a while after my initiation my world was in one upheaval or another, and I feel like I'm just now dragging myself up by the collar and setting my feet back on the ground.  From helping my friend in the aftermath of his apartment fire, through a rather protracted cold, to finally being completely out to my parents...this has been an eventful couple of months.

It's really hard to believe it's only been two months.

At any rate.  I'm struggling right now with work, and with this lingering feeling of being stifled, and smothered.  Amusingly enough, I just did a Tarot reading for myself, around where I am now, and what should come up but the 9 of swords for the spot about my spirit or fate.  This is...not acceptable to me.  So now I'm going to work on remedying that.  Some of that, I suspect, is my unwillingness to let go of some of the petty shit I find myself dealing with on a nearly daily basis at my job, which is definitely stealing a lot of the joy I had about it.  I let myself get too wound up in the drama, and too intimately involved with the personalities of my co-workers.  That's going to have to change.  So I'm going to start the process of disentangling myself, and just focus on doing my job and let other people focus on doing theirs.

Something else that I've been watching is the recent eruption of several sources of drama and contention in the Pagan community.  Granted, these are largely only things that affect me through friends and loved ones that I see embroiled in this, but it's in my nature to try and jump in to help those I care about.

I have seen this ongoing argument about who is a "true" pagan and who isn't, and to be painfully honest, it bores me to tears.  I don't give two flying goat-fucks about who thinks what I do is or is not valid.  As long as it works for me, then it does.  I don't feel that anyone else has the right to tell me I'm "doing it wrong."  This is something that I do agree with from certain...contentious corners.  HOWEVER, I also believe that it is not right and proper to label myself a certain brand of Pagan if I am not in fact adhering to the rites and rituals and practices of that path.  I am not a Wiccan.  I do not practice Wicca.  I do NOT believe in the three-fold law, or the Rede.  Certainly much less now than I used to.  It is not okay to call oneself something that one isn't - trying to seek validity is quite possibly the most futile and useless thing a pagan can do.  Who CARES if some initiated muckety muck thinks that your practice of magic and spirituality is less valid because it doesn't mirror their own?  You will never convince them of it's validity, and trying to change their mind ultimately detracts from the whole POINT of this weird (wyrd?) Pagan path we're, y'know, grow and evolve ourselves, to be more OURSELVES.  Anyone can practise a path without being initiated formally into the tradition.  If you do the Work, and it's Working for you, then you're doing it.  But you can't claim to be an initiate, and claiming to be from an 'ancient and venerable family tradition' just makes you seem like...well, like a fluffy bunny.  Which is a term that I just ADORE, by the way.  Everyone starts out as a fluffy bunny.  The world is full of love and light and we must stick ONLY to the right hand path because to do anything is is just naughty and the Mighty Silver Goddess will frown at us and perhaps we shall be reincarnated into lesser beings!  Oh NOES.

Sorry, excuse my venom. :D  Seriously though...Sufficient magical and spiritual practice and inner work, shadow work, self-healing will educate almost ANYONE regardless of fluffiness.  And I hate to break it to you, Princess Amberglow Moonfyre RavenLyte, but you can claim to be a reincarnated fairy princess with half-dragon half-vampyre half-unicorn half-elf, and I will still think of you as WHOLLY fluffy.  But hey, if it works for you, then what do you care if I think you're insane.  Don't let my utter dismissal and/or contempt stop you from continuing your search for Truth - and don't bother trying to change my mind.

I do not take myself seriously.  I am a Shaman and a Magician and a Warlock (thank you Storm Faerywolf for that SUPERB article, by the way) and I am, ultimately, myself.  And I don't give a boggart's left asscheek whether anyone else thinks I am or not.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A certain pattern...

At long last my life is starting to settle down out of the holiday bustle, which is largely imposed on me by others.  This is a particularly exhausting time of year for me, and I suspect that only some of it is the rushing about I invariably have to do every year.  As my spiritual practise has been deepening, I'm beginning to realize a much closer connection to the Sun that I really understood as a BabyPagan.  Not that I don't love the Moon.  The Sun and I have always had a love-hate relationship.  I burn to a crisp every summer because of my fair Irish skin, unless I slather myself in SPF 90, which keeps me quite pale.  But I love to watch motes of dust drifting through a sunbeam, and much like a cat, I do love finding a sunny spot to nap in, provided it's not in my eyes.  As I work with the gods of the Unnamed Path, and especially as my relationship with the Light God deepens, I find myself missing the sunlight.  I'm more and more tired in the evenings, and especially so as the year has waned.  This is very strange for me, because no matter what my work schedule is I'm usually such a night person.

I'm struggling through my spiritual practise right now, through a feeling of lethargy and sluggish energy.  I'll get through it - I always do.  Right now my focus is on completing the half-done tasks all around me, and continuing to commune with my People.  For now that will have to do.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Maddening Cthulhumass to all, and to all, a Good Night!

I crocheted myself a little amigurumi Cthulhu this weekend, to sit on my monitor at work and remind me that no matter how crazy my job may be, it can always be just a little more insane. ;)

Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn

Isn't he cute?

In other news, I'm preparing for my trip to Pantheacon little by little, and also starting the process of paring down my belongings for my eventual move this coming summer.  I have too much stuff!  So some of it's got to go.
I'm almost finished with my Doctor Who scarf, only have a foot or so left; it's just been a challenge to motivate myself to FINISH it.  It's actually cold here now, though, so I have a little more motivation.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Nice v. Good

I've never claimed to be a nice person.  I can be spiteful, vindictive, passive-aggressive, catty, and cutting.  I dislike children and refuse to respect people based solely on their age.  I am irritable, demanding, and a little high-maintenance from time to time.  I am also a cynic.  I almost always see the glass half-empty.

No, I'm not a nice person.

But I do help out my friends and family, I do give people I care about the benefit of the doubt.  To those I am close to I am generous to a fault with.  Am I altruistic? No.  The plight of children in Africa does not move me.  But if a friend is suffering because his family is treating him like shit, I'll be there for him.  When a friend is miserable in his job, I will be there to support him and to encourage him to find something that makes him happy.

Even when people I care about say things to me that hurt my feelings, I will still care about them.

And even though there have been a few notable exceptions to the rules, they are just exceptions.