Maven Musing: Moving Slow

I know things have been extremely quiet around here lately. And for that, I am sorry. But during that silence, I have been doing some serious soul work that has made my perspective come into a sharp focus.
I’ve been moving much more slowly the last few weeks than I had realized. I don’t think it was a conscious choice, my body and spirit simply took the reins.

I had a shocking past life awakening in the midst of the eclipse and it triggered a bright, sudden awareness of my behavior. A deep rooted pain and fear that I have carried with me for as long as I can remember with no seeming reason.
I often operate from a space of frenzy and fear. Everything felt important and if I could not do it, I was failing. In all my soul work, I still have yet to overcome this deeply rooted issue. It’s exhausting and frustrating to see myself take a step forward and be drug two steps back.
I have spoken of the importance for solitude, silence, and slowing down before. But here I was revving up and running myself down.
Until one morning, I found myself laying in bed near tears thinking about having to get up. I had nothing else to give anyone, not even myself.  I felt a shift in me that something, anything, had to change. I felt as though I was drowning.
Where most everyone else seemed to be experiencing a wild upheaval of their external lives, all of my chaos remained internal. It was unseen, and therefore, I felt I could not explain it.  Without the physical evidence, it is always difficult to get others to believe your struggle.
So I’ve been hiding from everyone, whether they may have been aware of it or not. I demanded emotional space. I cleared away physical space in my home that I felt suffocated by.
It started a new trend where I left myself say no. I had a sudden recognition that I’m not racing anyone. Things will happen as I enact them. I do wield power and must control what I can and let the rest fall away.
But it has taken active work to do so. My passivity is what leads me into over commitment. I knew if I did not make myself nearly painfully present some days, I would slip back.
I’ve been practicing, and that resulted in holding you at arms length. I was not ready to share or push things along.  My own fears muddled things and I no longer feel called to do things just for the sake of saying I “did something”.
So I thank you for sticking around and checking in.  My Hermit days have brought me much clarity.
All my love,
Kat
***
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Why I Left My First Coven

I did not ever think that a coven would appeal to me. I shied away from Wicca because of the rules of the faith and practice. I wanted to build and create my own way. Yet, when I was invited to join a small online coven, I was excited. The leader was knowledgeable and had brought over members she trusted deeply from a prior group she had created.

I went in with little expectation. I had barely begun my own practice and was eager to learn. But practicing online, with strangers, proves to be a difficult thing over time. As one of the older members, my day to day life made it difficult to connect with them. We had wonderful conversations regarding craftwork and how witchcraft is coming further into the public eye, but we didn’t really practice together.
Pinterest - Why I Left my first coven
Now, while I didn’t learn much in the way of developing craftwork, they did help me realize the path I did want to create for myself. I realized that I no longer found myself reaching to the group to share and grow with. Which sparked me to try to overcompensate with them. I did not want to just leave the space without trying. I truly thought that if I tried to drive conversation or pose questions, challenge them more, we would grow closer. But I eventually found myself at odds with the coven leader. Not in any kind of dramatic way, we just didn’t see eye to eye any longer.

I realized that while I enjoyed the intense conversations that a few engaged in with me, it left others feeling like I was overbearing. I was too opinionated. Which now, I could see how they would get that impression. When I get excited and truly engage, I tend to prattle on and on. It’s rare that I feel safe enough to discuss things like that, so when it happens I dive on in.

There came a moment where I realized that we just weren’t a fit for one another any longer.
Leaving people while on your path does not have to be some big dramatic to-do. Sometimes, you just outgrow your friendship or no longer hold the same perspective. There is no need to burn bridges or curse them to the heavens simple because the relationship no longer suits your needs.

I swore I would never work with a coven unless it was with people I deeply connected with.

Lo and behold, within the last few months I have found some of my greatest friends that practice. We are all so different on our paths, but that diversity sparks some amazing growth. No one’s path is better or worse, accepting those differences and learning from and with them can inspire a whole new direction for you.

Be open to the relationships and opportunities that present themselves to you. You’ll find your people in time.

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Why I Don't Hide My Spirituality

There is a lot of empowerment to be found in spiritual spaces. Learning to love yourself, claim your space, your power, build beautiful lasting relationships focused on lifting you through your darkest moments.
But there is still fear.
Working to better yourself creates an openness in you. Your emotions are heightened, your desire for connection and understanding.  For the people that do not or cannot understand that, it can create a strong and heartbreaking divide.
It can feel like a target.
There is still darkness in our “religiously-free” culture.  Anyone on any path could and SHOULD recognize that.
MMusing - Why I don't hide
I had a family member, someone I had generally looked up to as a kind person, flat out disown me and tell me I was a horrible person for not following a Christian path.  If I had been standing in front of them… well I’m not quite sure the reaction I would have garnered.
I’ll take the potential melt-downs, confrontation, and future disowning if it means I am staying true to where my spirit is called.
If I chose to hide my spirituality, I wouldn’t be speaking my truth. I would be doing myself and others a disservice by assuming they either do not care or would not understand.
Our souls all resonate differently. As long as we are all working on being compassionate, caring, and empathetic to others, why should we be so concerned about what it is called or where we practice?  We are all trying to better ourselves and our understanding of the world around us.
Spirituality and religion should always be a personal choice.  Otherwise, our spirits slowly starve and never find fulfillment.
I hope your path is one filled with love, support and comfort, no matter what it may be.  I hope that your spirit sings when you live in harmony with those pure intentions.
**
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Maven Musings – Samhain :: Reflection & Reconnecting

Samhain. All Hallows Eve. Halloween. Day of the Dead.

Whatever you call it, we all know it as the season of the witch. It is our time. Our celebration.
There are plenty of posts out there about how to celebrate Samhain. I won’t add to the pile.
Instead – this season has brought on an interesting discussion and a perspective that I rarely think or have ever thought about.
Samhain is a celebration of our ancestors.  It is a time to reflect and honor their lives. The veil thins and our connection to their spirit, their energy grows ever stronger.
MavenMusings - Samhain
But when we get down to it, it’s about death.
Death is not something I’ve ever really dwelled on until recently. I’ve never found myself particularly afraid of death.  The act of dying, sure.  That is a variable that I would rather have some kind of control over. But actually being dead has never sent me into a tailspin or made me worry about tomorrow in a way that impacts the decisions I make today.
Death is just something that happens. It is inevitable.
I can remember quite clearly the first funeral I attended. My sweet great-grandmother had passed (due to old age, nothing traumatic here). And as I watched my extended family cry and lose themselves briefly in their grief over losing her – I thought something was wrong with me.
I didn’t cry. I didn’t panic over her no longer being with us. And in that moment, I didn’t realize why my family lost themselves for a moment in her passing.
I realize now, that it is because we never knew her.
This little woman bore and raised and loved so many children and grand and great-grandchildren in her life that all she wanted was to spend what little time with us she could.
My sisters and I did not grow up with her in our lives every moment. But when we did visit, we would spend hours with her. Her home was a quiet place to play games and just be.  All she wanted when we visited was to give us our favorite candy and watch her tv shows. Those moments we did have with her, they were lovely.
But she never told us stories of the past. She never pushed us to tell her all about our plans as we grew up.  She just let us be children and play.
Now, I realize I wish she had told us more stories. I knew she had plenty of them. Every inch of wall space in her home was covered in photographs. Every space was covered in evidence of her family, of us.
There is a void in my knowledge of my history. That old adage of understanding your past to look towards your future nudges at me to fix it. To remind me to to work to understand the culture and the family I came from.
Now my husband’s family is an entirely different story. He can trace his father’s family back far into history.  His family is in books and can be found even if you skim the surface of European history. His mother’s side, well they aren’t that hard to track either.
It’s fascinating marrying into a family that knows with such certainty where they came from.  They can see their past so clearly. It used to overwhelm me.
We all wish to know where we come from. I think that is a facet of human psychology that we will never overcome. It gives us something to hold onto. It is a thread that holds our focus on living and experiencing all we can.
But looking to the future and those experiences means acknowledging that at some point, we too will be gone.
*queue existential crisis*
Life cannot happen without death, death cannot happen without life. it is the fundamental balance that occurs even at our most cellular level.
We shouldn’t be afraid of it. We should use it as motivation to live our happiest, healthiest, most authentic lives possible. To pursue our dreams and passions and inspire our loved ones to follow in our footsteps to live that way as well.
All this time I thought that I had no ancestors to honor during Samhain. But as we move closer, I find myself being called to honor what I do know or at least acknowledge that it is a connection I do want to build.

Love&light, mavens!

How are you working to honor your ancestors this season? What is your favorite way to mark Samhain and celebrate?
***
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Maven Musings: Authenticity and Spirituality

Thanks to the gift of the internet, it is easier than ever for people to act as if they’re heavily invested in a certain interest.
While I try to believe that most people truly show all of themselves – it isn’t lost on me that most only try to show the “perfect” parts.  Which is fair, who wants to share their pain with strangers?
The concept of “Authenticity” has been rolling around in my head all week. How do you communicate a soul shifting journey with strangers? Especially when you can barely conceptualize what it happening privately?

The fear and anxiety has been closing in on me.

I am not interesting.
Just stop trying.

What’s the point?

How dare you call yourself a witch.

How. Dare. You.

My anxiety has so many nice things to say.  It’s just lovely.

I’m late this week because of those anxieties.  It has been so long since I was in a situation where I felt unsure.  Its rare that I step outside my comfort zone.
I’m a “throw caution to the wind in situations you can control” kind of woman.  Always down for an adventure as long it doesn’t push the envelope too far. Always say “yes” if you can 100% back out.

I am afraid of people and spaces that I cannot control.

I’ve had a bit of a small-baby awakening this week addressing this exact problem of mine.
MavenMusings - Authenticity and Spirituality
If you follow MM on instagram, you know that this past weekend we shared  a booth with the always awesome Unicorn Collective* at the Denver Pagan Pride Festival.
I was making myself sick over the idea of having to share my writing and plans with complete strangers.  I can barely talk about it with people I know love and support me.

But something happened while we were there.

I didn’t shut up all day.

We met people that practically jumped up and down at the idea of this whole thing.

I overcame my fear and anxiety because I stepped out of my comfort zone. 

What a concept.

But even with that success, fear sat quietly in the back of my mind. It let me have my #bossbabe moment before it came swooping back in.
I still felt like a fake – a victim of “impostor syndrome”.  I truly fear that my path comes off as insincere because I am so new to the craft.  I have never pursued spirituality before – I just knew I wasn’t religious.

I’ve been avoiding writing about the emotional side of my journey.

 I  frequently avoid uncomfortable emotions until they bubble up and take over.

It is a terrible habit.

But there was a moment today (after wallowing in not knowing what to write) where I realized where I feel most in my power.

Thank you Universe for the wake up.

***

My power is in being a woman taking the reins and finding her way.

It is in fiercely supporting the people I care for and love.

I truly just want people to happy and healthy.

I can only hope that that is the energy that I put out in the universe.

***

And you can take that at face value or not. Either way, I will still send you love and hope you find the people you resonate with – the people that make you feel on fire, capable of anything and everything.
Spirituality and paganism for me is about rediscovering myself and reclaiming myself.  It’s appreciating every moment and loving myself and falling in love with my husband every day.
So – this is a fair warning to all that I’m going to be sharing some unpleasant thoughts and experiences moving forward.  I need to face and address them if I am going to grow.

Love & light, mavens.

 

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