Denial, Deceit, and Delusions of Grandeur

Week 7 of the Pagan Blog Project

 

Ok so let us start with Denial & Deceit.

The two issues of denial/deceit I want to discuss are Self-denial (lying to yourself), and denial on behalf of others.

Self-denial is not healthy, simple as that. If you keep urges, wants, needs, desires, etc from yourself, it is basically lying to yourself. Witchcraft and Magick are only as powerful as your word. If you yourself can’t believe what you say, or what you think, why should the Universe? Or another entity (deity, spirit, etc)?

That being said, it IS a lot harder than it sounds. To be truly, completely honest with yourself – about everything – may very well be one of the most difficult things you’ll ever do. In order to make your Magick every bit as powerful as you can, to use your energies to their fullest potential, and to maintain your spiritual (not to mention emotional, mental, physical, etc) integrity it is something you need to do. You will need to have a good long look at yourself – your thoughts, behaviour, habits…. everything, before you will be able to effectively use the full power of your personal energy. You may want to organise a personal mini-retreat, for an hour or two (or longer, if that’s what it takes), with a notebook and pen. If you have trouble remembering everything, or thinking of things you may/may not be entirely truthful about, or there are things you need to work through that you’ve been repressing – write it down! Write down everything that comes to you.

Personally, I kept a notebook with me for a week solid, and as well as making notes of some prompts/questions, I wrote down most of the thoughts that went through my head for those seven days. This was in addition to two in-depth hermit-ness sessions, one at the beginning of the week, one at the end. Some of my prompts were along the lines of:

Relationships – how do I communicate? how do I react to bad news? good news? would I want to be friends with me?

Myself – how do I think of myself? my body? how do I justify my actions?

Mental – when my mind wanders, where does it go? what do I think about before I go to sleep? when I first wake up?

You may want to do this more than once – after all, people change. Your habits, environment, relationships, mental processes, all change with time. Maybe not drastically, maybe not all at once, but they do change. Remember not to think of justifications for your habits, thoughts, etc as you write them down – simply write it down as data to be analysed later. You don’t even have to analyse all that you’ve written down, and you don’t have to try and change yourself “for the better”, or to “fit in”. If you realise you’re selfish, and you don’t want to change that, then don’t – but accept the fact that you are selfish, and be honest with yourself about it.

Denial on behalf of others is trickier to deal with.

For instance, about 4 years ago I was discussing religion with my (Roman Catholic) father because I can’t for the life of me understand why he still maintains a firm belief in Catholicism & the Bible considering the fact that he’s gay. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with him being Catholic, and I don’t have a problem with Catholics in general (hell, my Hubby is Catholic!) – I was just trying to understand him better. I sort of ‘came out of the broom closet’ unintentionally, telling him that I am a Pagan – to which his reply was “No you’re not, there’s no such thing.” O.o

Well, what is there to say to something like that? I was a bit flabbergasted, to say the least, so I just let it go. Honestly, I still don’t know what I would’ve said to that – even if I could go back to that moment in time to retort.

 

Righty-o, time for some Delusions of Grandeur.

delusion of grandeur is the permanent, false belief that oneself possesses superior qualities. In a religious context, the person believes he or she has received a special message from God or another deity. (paraphrased from: John M. Grohol, Psy. D., Delusion of Grandeur, 2008)

I don’t know about anyone else, but when I first discovered/recognised Paganism, I felt pretty special. Around every corner was a sign from the Gods, I was constantly getting messages from the Divine….. I thought I was the greatest person in the world, that I had this special insight into the Universe and its workings. The world was full of sparkles and light and good, and any darkness could be easily fixed by having a personal chat with the Lord & Lady upstairs. I saw Tinkerbell-like fairies and Disney-fied pixies everywhere.

Nowadays, I can see that I was being pig-headed and silly, and the majority of what I thought I saw or heard were just figments of my mind. Once I actually started to study the various forms and beliefs of Paganism, and delve deeper into the history, emerging traditions/paths, as well as other people’s opinions & narratives, I truly began to understand that Magick is not like what’s portrayed in Charmed or Buffy. The ‘real world’ is full of Magick – it always has been. It may be called different things; tradition, wishing on a star, the birthday candle wish, prayer, nature, even Biology, Psychology, and most of the other ‘-ologies’.

However, some people seem to get stuck in the initial stage of “Oh my gosh I am so awesome. I talk to a Goddess and a God and do Magick. LOOK AT ME WITH ALL MY LOVE AND LIGHT”. These people are who I – and others – refer to as “fluffy bunnies”. Others may have a similar, or completely different, definition of fluffy bunny – but that’s what I go with. The thing is, delusions of grandeur are actually a symptom found in mental disorders (see above link in definition), and can be dangerous if not seen to by a professional.

 

… I honestly have no idea where I was going with the second half of this post -.- so I’ll just leave it at that.

NOTE: If you do attempt the exercise in the post’s beginning, and have trouble with it or are disturbed in any way by your results, please talk to someone – a friend, family member, or even a trained mental health professional. 

Day 1: Introduction

Day 1 of “30 Days of Devotion”

<30 Days of Devotion will  not be consecutive, because contrary to popular opinion, I DO have a life>

  1. A basic introduction of the deity

Hekate is…

…..now that I sit and try to put Her into words, with a mere 26 letters arranged & rearranged into seemingly meaningful ways, I realize language is largely inadequate for this task.

I suppose I shall try, though. Newbies and fluffy bunnies alike may simply know Hekate as Queen of Witches, Goddess of Death & Ghosts, Guardian of the Crossroads…. the truth? She is. She is also more – a LOT more.

 

She is the Cosmic World Soul, Keeper of the Keys, the Angry One, the Midwife, the Three-formed, the Saviour… Yet these are still only some of Her many many epithets and titles. They express how the ancients viewed Her, the many roles they believed Her to play. I can only really comment on what i have experienced, how I know Her – to be honest, that’s all any of us can do.

 

Hekate is Power. Anthropomorphically, She appears as a woman, youth or adult. She is a Guardian and a Keeper, an Illuminator, a Shrouder, and a Guide.

 

To me, Hekate is a dark Queen, lurking among the darkest places found both within and without all. She assists in showing me the path I must take, reflect upon the paths I have taken; the choices I must make are guided by Her twin flames and immeasurable knowledge.

She Keeps the Ways of the Universe, the Paths of Destiny & Fate, behind the locked doors they require until the appropriate hour. She holds the Key. The key of bone, blood, breath, and soul; the Key of all that is, all that was, and all that shall be.

She is my Guide, my Guardian, my Sanctuary – and my kick up the butt when I need it.

 

She is

 

Confession time

So I am a bit of a  geek….

Well, not it’s not really a secret to those who know me, but it’s probably not one of the most widely-known facts about me 🙂

I love Magic: The Gathering, especially the lore behind each new expansion.

Artwork from Deathpact Angel

Wallpaper artwork from the card ‘Deathpact Angel’

I also love watching Hubby play League of Legends (whilst teasing him/cheering him on, depending on my mood – and his gameplay), and the in-depth lore behind LoL too.

Jinx: the Loose Cannon

Jinx: the Loose Cannon

I also still play the Pokemon games (and I have since approximately 1996), and have various folders, notebooks, and art-books FILLED with lore, pictures, and stories.

My favourite pokemon :)

My favourite pokemon Eevee

CREATING A ‘CRAFT NAME

Week 6 of the Pagan Blog Project

‘A rose by any other name …’

  • William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet.

What is in a name?
Firstly, it’s how you identify yourself as an individual ‘me’.
Secondly, it can express your familial ties or group identity.

Why is a ‘Craft (magickal) name important?
Actually, for some people it’s not important in the least. But for those of us who decide to use a ‘Craft name, the importance can vary greatly – as can its privacy. It may reflect a practitioner’s spiritual path, animal spirit totem, their coven/clan ties, and/or their patron deity.
Some people may choose to legally change their name, to reflect their life’s path. Others may only use their ‘Craft name when conducting Magick. Still others – myself included – have two (or even more) ‘Craft names, one as a sort of nickname to be more widely known, and the other as a more private name to be used only between the practitioner & deity, or practitioner & close family/coven members.

Some people may take an animal as their ‘Craft name, or part of it. I personally know three people who use Wolf, one Raven, one Bear, two Corvids, and a Crow.
These people either worked with that animal as a permanent spirit ally/totem, or were just incredibly drawn to those animals for a significant amount of time.

Another common inclusion in ‘Craft names is the name of a deity; Odin, Morrighan, Cerridwen, etc etc ad nauseum. Personally, I would never use a deity’s name as my own because

1) it seems disrespectful to me,

2) it doesn’t fit for me, and

3) I may want to work with other deities down the track, and names (of deities especially) hold a power of their own.
That said, I have no problem with others choosing a name that includes that of a deity, and I will always address them by their preferred moniker – I just wouldn’t want to be calling a deity’s attention every time someone spoke to me.

A lot of ‘newbie’ books encourage the use of numerology in finding or creating a ‘Craft name. There is argument both for and against doing so, the main points of which I feel are:
+ the numerological energy aligns with the name you are given at birth (or the one you most often use)
– you may find a name that you like, that suits you and fits well, but the numbers don’t add up

Some people choose to prefix their ‘Craft name with a title, such as Priest/ess, Lord, Lady, etc. I think that if you want to use a title that’s up to you, but don’t expect everyone to believe you earned it.

In finding my own ‘Craft names, I went with my gut but as I was exploring the realm of numerology at the time, I also tried the calculations that go with numerological matching.
My first ‘Craft name (long since discarded as it doesn’t adequately reflect me or my path anymore) was a match to both my birth name AND birth date. My current ‘Craft names make more sense and fit better with me, my path, and my Magick. So I attempted the same calculations, to no avail. At the time I just went with the idea that hey maybe these (numerological) energies suit me better?
Then I came across a short text in the ‘Internet Book of Shadows‘ by Mike Nichols, who offered a different method of assigning today’s letters a numerical value using the Ogham as a base.
To my utter surprise at the synchronicity of the universe, my current ‘Craft names BOTH matched using Nichols’s system.

In short, your ‘Craft name is YOURS. Don’t be in a rush to find the ‘coolest’ name, you can take as long as you like to formulate a ‘Craft name for yourself. You may choose to include botanicals, crystals, animals, another language, deities, colours, times, anything you like – it’s up to you what to use, to find something that fits you yourself.
Just don’t be surprised if someone snickers at you introducing yourself as ‘Lady RainbowUnicorn the Magnificent.’

Numerical letter values as set out by Mike Nichols:
1 – A B H M
2 – D G L O X
3 – T U V W
4 – C E F J K S
5 –  I N P Q R Y Z