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 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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Everyday Magick – Self-Care

Our generation is obsessed with self-care. We purchase and invest more into ourselves than any other generation before.
Self care and self love are cornerstones of my practice. Learning to see all the layers of me and accepting them has been my first major spiritual challenge.
My morning routine has become very important to setting the tone for my day. If I feel off, I know I must work even harder to keep myself grounded and on track for the rest of the day.
I began using mantras to focus my energy on what I needed. I implement them through my normal routine to ensure I’m on time (because I am prone to sluggish mornings) and ensure I can practice them regularly without all the “show” and prep of a Ritual.
Pinterest - EW - Self Care
Here are some of my favorite mantras I use during my morning routine:
I am calm, cleansed, and renewed.
I am heard, for I am in my power.
My mind is my strength, my body my temple.
I claim my space. I command my power.
I am made of stardust and magick. My will is in line with the universe.
I am the embodiment of HER. I am an unstoppable force of feminine power.*

* This is not to ignore the masculine energy we hold within us. That energy is vital, yet it is generally where our energy lies due to societal expectations in every day life. This is to channel our feminine power and allow it to rise to the forefront.

However, you cannot just rely on the mantras to get you through the day.
Mantra is only words. You have to move yourself into feeling it – to aligning all of your energy to that intention.  
Your mantra should align with the understanding that your needs are a priority.
We have a phrase at work that hopefully encompasses our culture. Our hope is that we are all “ladder down” people. That is to say that as our own success grows, we lower the ladder so that other’s may rise with us. We want to build the foundation so that those future generations can forge new paths and create positive change in the world.
You can make yourself a priority and still be a ladder down person. Learning to say no, and establishing healthy boundaries in the relationships in your life does not make you a terrible person. It is vital you do so.
I still struggle with “no”. I’m sure I will for a long time. I want to help everyone in need, even if I know I’m sacrificing my time and digging myself into a hole that I know I won’t ask for help out of. It is a vicious cycle that I know I have to break.

It is vital to your own sanity and well being that you learn to prioritize yourself.

That means trusting your intuition. Learn to hear yourself and trust yourself.

Don’t let the fear of “what if’s” keep you from saying yes to new opportunities.

Speak. Your. Truth.

Hurting people’s feelings in inevitable, you cannot please all people nor should you have the expectation that you can. You’re magickal, not a miracle worker. Use your judgement to determine the best way to communicate with someone, but if you feel it must be said – say it. It may be painful, but from that experience we grow and learn. You can and will move past those moments.

Stay in your lane.

You cannot control the actions of others. Do not let them sweep you along on their ride simply because they feel they can. Learn your limits and offer assistance when you can genuinely provide it. Your path is not their path.

Love & accept yourself.

All of yourself, even the awful parts that hurt to look at. They are what make you you. You are magickal and if you are determined to set change about in your life, you must use all parts of you to do so.
Working on the every day to trust my instincts and stay true to my feelings is difficult. My intuition used to be incredibly strong and I shied away from it. It will take a long time for me to truly get that back, if I ever do. In the meantime, I am working on trusting my decisions and learning from the mistakes that come.
Do you rely on mantras or other craft such as spellwork and sigils to focus your energy? What is your favorite ritual to have a little “every day magick”?
Love & Light, Mavens!
***
Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram for every day content.
Join the Magickal Mavens facebook group!  It’s full of amazingly supportive practitioners that get it. Each week, I provide a live stream tarot forecast (and sometimes free short readings) and you’ll get access to special discount codes, promo teasers and future giveaways!
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