Come with me while I journey as an Initiate through the Feri Tradition of Witchcraft - a shamanic path of fey sorcery; a martial tradition of magic.

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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Sexual Health for Beltane 2016

"For behold, all acts of love and pleasure are my rituals..." - Charge of the Goddess, Doreen Valiente 

As Pagans we view sex as intrinsically holy; it is the impulse that gives us life and pleasure. A Reclaiming witch once told me that when you orgasm, you are possessed by the Star Goddess. Whether we engage in sexual acts with others or have self-sex as our main erotic expression, our work is to honour this part of our lives to the fullest. 

Beltane (for those who follow the Wiccan/Neopagan Wheel of the Year) is the festival most associated with sex and/or fertility, depending on your viewpoint. Here in the UK the blossoms on the trees are starting to bloom, the weather is (finally!) getting warmer and animals, humans included, are starting to feel the heat in more ways than one.  

Yet, sexuality is dangerous. In modern times, we are acutely aware of sexually transmitted infections and the responsibility we need to take to stay sexually healthy. However, that doesn't necessarily mean that we are all as careful with our sexual health as we could be. Therefore, as part of your Beltane celebrations, I have a challenge for the wider Pagan communities. 

In honour of Beltane and sex I would encourage you and your co-religionists to see a doctor or healthcare provider for a sexual health check up, if it is not already part of your normal healthcare routines. 

If you are sexually active then this is an act of maturity and power. If you are enjoying your sexuality, it is your responsibility to yourself and partners to reduce the risk of infection. Yet, far from being a sterile act, it is infused with worship of the body as sacred. 

Your check up can be ritualised beforehand with simple prayers and offerings to your Gods, and you can ritualise the results, either as comfort or celebration. Most pantheons have a deity associated with sexuality, so be creative. 

While you are at the clinic, take an attitude of reverence and prayer. It takes courage to undergo a sexual health screening, and the rapid HIV test doesn't always feel very rapid. It is better to go with somebody that you trust should you need support. 

So, go and get tested. Own your sexuality along with the responsibility that goes along with it. And please share this post!

Please note:

There is not space to list all of the sexual health charities out there. In the UK I would recommend you go to your local GUM clinic (Dean Street in London is fantastic) and in the US I would recommend Planned Parenthood. 

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Just Showing Up

I'm currently re-reading the excellent book "Cranky, Beautiful Faith" by badass Lutheran minister (or pastrix as she likes to be known) Nadia Bolz-Weber. While I can get behind a lot of what she says - indeed, Jesus Christ is becoming increasingly important in my spiritual practice, but that's another blog post - not everything resonates. 

However, there was one passage where she says that the best spiritual practice, ignoring chanting and candles and prayers, is simply showing up. 

This hit me square in the chest. For the past two months I just haven't been showing up. I have barely sat at my altar, rarely made offerings, hardly cast a spell. By not showing up I haven't prioritised myself. I haven't acted like I'm important. 

In Feri, we say, "God is Self and Self is God and God is a person like myself", which is a very Luciferian way of saying that you are holy and are indeed a God (if only in potential). My aumakua/ori/Godself is my personal God, the part of me that encompasses all other parts with the sacred. By showing up, I am honouring myself and my life. 

I suppose that's the point of spiritual practice. It can be about connections to the Gods or nature, but by showing up in affirming that I am important. 

And by doing this every day, I'm more likely to remember this when life isn't going as I'd like it to. 

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Starting Again

"New year, new me!"

This is the popular hashtag floating around on the Internet, and while I understand the sentiment completely - who hasn't had the desire before to press the reset button on their life?! - it's completely unattainable. 

At the very best, all you can hope for is a "slightly changed in some way me". We bring over so much from the previous year, such as relationships, jobs, habits, living situations, health, spiritual practice (or lack thereof!), that it is hard to completely begin again. 

I was tempted to start a brand new blog for 2016 and let this blog remain fallow for posterity, but I realised that some of what I've written still holds true and has some value. So, why am I starting again? 

My spiritual practice over the past two years since my previous post has changed considerably. I formally joined a Lucumí/Santería ilé by receiving my necklaces. I have re-engaged with the Strategic Sorcery course that I signed up for. I've deepened my Buddhist meditation practice. I have deepened my commitment to Feri. I have begun to reclaim the Christianity of my childhood (this last one being a huge surprise!). I let go of the Unitarian church I had been attending, although I wish to revisit this in the coming year. 

This blog will attempt to weave together these seemingly disparate strands into a cohesive narrative, the various threads hopefully coming together into something of substance and authenticity. 

I eagerly await the conversation.