Saturday, 30 June 2018

Grey School Summary :: June 2018

My last 'monthly' update was in March, so I guess this is really an April/May/June update!

I took an unintentional break from my studies for a few months. Grey School is self-paced, which is great for people with busy lives, but on the other hand with no deadlines it can be hard to find motivation to complete assignments. Work has been very busy and I've had other personal projects that I've been working on. Some of them have been spiritual, some related to art and craft. I've studied most days -- mainly watching speakers YouTube -- but not had the capacity to write much.

The last few weeks I've been feeling very motivated again. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because it's Winter here and I want to stay indoors and read/write more. Perhaps because I've had some physical injuries which have confined me to my house and desk. Perhaps because the end of my first year at Grey School of Wizardry is looming, and I'm very aware of being nowhere near finishing Level 1 yet!

In fact, today marks one year at GSW for me. I have to admit, for a while I was considering taking a break and not renewing my membership until I was feeling more motivated again. But motivation appeared just at the right time and I want to continue straight away. Here is where I'm at right now:


Classes In Progress:
✷ Core Energy Practices 102
✷ Basic Divination
✷ Wizards Don't Whine
✷ Colours of Magick

Assignments in Progress:
✷ Shielding (Core Energy Practices 102)
✷ Exploring Basic Oracles (Basic Divination)
✷ The Power of Thought (Wizards Don't Whine)

Classes Completed:
[None.]

Assignments Completed:
✷ Believing Equals Receiving (Wizards Don't Whine)
✷ Other Oracles (Basic Divination)

Credits:
✷ This month: 0 Total: 7


T.O.R.C.H. Award Progress:
✷ Classes completed: 0 of 4
✷ Forum Monthly Check-Ins: 1 of 2
✷ Forum Conversations Participated in: 1 of 1 (not for a couple of months but I hope to change that)
✷ Take initiation oath -- NOT YET

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Spiritual Goals

Recently on my other blog, I wrote about having a list of 101 Things to do in 1,001 Days. (That's two-and-and-three-quarter years, to give it some perspective!) I've just finished my first 1,001 days and am starting my second one. I wrote about why I enjoyed it so much and how I felt about only having achieved one-third of the goals. (Honesty, always!) The post is here if you'd like to read about that. The list has all sorts of different things on it, from art and craft to fixing up the house. In this post however, I'm going to focus on the spiritual goals only.


In the last list, I kept most of my spiritual goals private, and for that reason I won't go over them. (Aside from that, I didn't finish most of them!) I want to be more open this time though, so I've decided to share all of them. The whole purpose of this blog is to share my spiritual experiences, and if doing that helps anyone else out there in the blogosphere, then I will have achieved one of my aims.


Without further ado, here is my list of spiritual goals for the next nearly-three-years:

✦ continue my Rune studies
✦ do Violet's Witchcraft 30-day challenge & blog it
✦ write a suburban wheel of the year
✦ celebrate my traditions properly
✦ learn more about crystals
✦ do 20 divinations
✦ experiment with working with the moon
✦ read the Tao Te Ching completely at least once a year
✦ create an oracle deck
✦ do Gordon White's sigils course

If some of the goals seem quite vague at the moment, don't worry! I am planning on mapping them out when the right time comes. I will endeavour to do my best to share my journey with you here!

Friday, 6 April 2018

Uncle Fester's Magick by the Month Parcel : March

I'm a little late on posting this, but I wanted to anyway for the sake of completion. As March is already over and we're into April, I'll just make it a quick post.

All the items in the March Magick by the Month parcel were water-themed. I received:

✨ a lava stone bracelet with crystal beads in rainbow colours. The lava stones can be anointed with essential oils.
✨ "Cupido Novus" oil from Charme et Sortilege. It helps to stimulate new love, friendships or creative projects.
✨ Gyrasol (aka Moon Quartz) crystal. A water energy stone, good for promoting inner peace.
✨ an echidna charm. To represent emotional water energy.
✨ Nag Champa soap. For cleansing.
✨ Divine Soul incense.
✨ a herb mix with Herb Robert, Jasmine flower, Job's Tears and White Willowbark.




Sunday, 1 April 2018

Grey School Summary :: March 2018

March a slower month for me. With the heat of Summer winding down into the hazy days of Autumn, I found myself with more free time to concentrate on my studies. I managed to complete two assignments and start two new ones. The dice divination oracle came up with some interesting results, and I learned some new things through researching cleansing techniques.

Meanwhile, I earned 8 merits for my Lodge by answering questions about my star sign, my favourite oracle deck and my daily rituals/habits, among other things.

I wrote a few months ago about completing the T.O.R.C.H. Award (Level 1). Ideally it should be completed over the course of once semester (semesters are 6 months running from equinox to equinox at Grey School). I thought about whether to rush and try to complete it by the Autumn equinox. I still had to complete one class -- consisting of 3 assignments -- to be eligible for the award. I didn't think it was feasible to do that in three weeks, and give it the proper attention it deserved, so I decided to let it go and re-try for the award next semester. To that end, the goals at the bottom of this post have been re-set.


Classes In Progress:
✷ Core Energy Practices 102
✷ Basic Divination

Assignments in Progress:
✷ Shielding (Core Energy Practices 102)
✷ Exploring Other Basic Oracles (Basic Divination)

Classes Completed:
[None.]

Assignments Completed:
✷ Cleansing Self and Space (Core Energy Practices 102)
✷ Daily Oracle of Choice (Basic Divination)

Credits:
✷ This month: 0 Total: 7


T.O.R.C.H. Award Progress:
✷ Classes completed: 0 of 4
✷ Forum Monthly Check-Ins: 0 of 2
✷ Forum Conversations Participated in: 1 of 1 (several, actually!)
✷ Take initiation oath -- NOT YET

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Collective Book Haul

Books I've acquired recently, in chronological order, oldest to newest:

I purchased Australian Druidry not so much to find out more about Druidry per se, but for its Southern Hemisphere take on a nature tradition. I haven't started it yet.
The Magical Battle of Britain is a collection of letters written by well-known British magickal practitioner Dion Fortune to her followers during World War II. I ordered it after seeing it referred to at least four times in different parts of the internet in less than a week. It seemed to be a sign. I've started it but I have to confess I'm finding it rather hard-going.

Of course I had to purchase Neil Gaiman's Norse Mythology when it came out. The book itself is stunning -- photos don't do justice to the golden glow of Mjollnir on the cover. I didn't expect it to be hard cover either, which was a pleasant surprise. I'm about half-way through it so far and it's very readable, with simple but elegant language.


These two books are the catalogues for the Harry Potter: A History of Magic exhibition at the British Museum. What I wouldn't have given to visit the exhibition in person! A Journey Through the History of Magic (on the left) is designed for children, and A History of Magic for adults. I've flicked through them both and they're simply breathtaking in their own ways. Acquiring these books was a saga in itself -- the first set never arrived, though I courteously waited 3 months, and Bloomsbury very kindly sent me a replacement set. One edge of A History of Magic is a little battered unfortunately, but I don't want to push my luck. I'm just glad to have them at all.


Finally are two books by Dr. Rupert Sheldrake: The Science Delusion and Science and Spiritual Practices. I decided to purchase them after hearing Dr. Sheldrake interviewed on Rune Soup podcast. I decided to start the older book first (The Science Delusion) and am enjoying it very much so far. I've already written some notes on it which will hopefully become a blog post at some point.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Grey School Summary :: February 2018

Things were 'back to normal' this month, in that I barely had any time to work on my studies! In fact, I did work diligently on them, but I have very little to show for it so far. I started the class Eternity's Gamble: Basic Divination and am working on the first assignment, which is to keep a daily oracle of my choice for a week and document the results. Perhaps I'll write a blog post about it if it turns out to be interesting enough.

On the other hand, I did quite well in the monthly challenges, earning 10 merits towards the semi-annual House Cup awards.


Classes Completed:
[None.]

Assignments Completed:
[None.]


Classes In Progress:
✷ Core Energy Practices 102
✷ Basic Divination

Credits:
✷ This month: 0 Total: 7


T.O.R.C.H. Award Progress:
✷ Classes completed: 3 of 4
✷ Forum Monthly Check-Ins: 1 of 2
✷ Forum Conversations Participated in: 1 of 1 (several, actually!)

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Progress with Meditation

A few months ago, I wrote about my troubles with meditation. After convincing myself that I was 'no good at meditation' many years ago, I'd found myself having to do it for class assignments. I'm happy to report that after some practice, my attitude is changing and I'm improving. I've really started to notice the benefits, too.


I set a goal for myself this year to meditate 3 times a week. Whether I stick to that or not really depends on whether I need to meditate. When I was on holidays from work, I didn't meditate at all. If I'm having a stressful time, I tend to meditate more often. On some days, I even think to myself: "I can't wait until lunchtime so I can go to the library and meditate!"

Since I started meditating again, I've noticed that I'm less anxious and react in a calmer way to stressful situations. People around me have commented on the difference as well.



The meditation resource I use the most is an app called Insight Timer. It has both a timer with background noise, and many guided meditations to choose from. It's been fun finding the guided tracks that work best for me. Not all of them do. One that I tried sounded good: lying in a field and looking at the stars. However, the visualisation began while it was still light and described the sun setting. I've always found dusk to be a very depressing time of day (I don't know why, it just is) so I didn't enjoy that one very much.

Two of my favourites from the app so far are Mountain Meditation by Andy Hobson and Melting Stress and Anxiety Away by Lisa Abramson. After listening to Lisa's track for the first time during my lunchbreak, when I went back to work I was so relaxed that I kept dropping things and people remarked on how my mood had drastically changed!

I still don't think I'm very 'good' at meditation. I can only clear my mind for a few seconds at a time before I start thinking about things again. Sometimes I'll be thinking through things for a few minutes before I even realise I'm doing it. This doesn't worry me as much as it used to though. Every day and every session is different. As much as it's a cliche to say it, meditation is a practice. You will never be perfect, you just need to keep trying. Now that I'm starting to accept that, meditation is much more pleasant and I look forward to my sessions every week.