Important Things Come In Small Acts

This week, I’d like to talk about spiritual practices. Many, especially when first starting out either feel, or are told that the practices or rituals that we do need to be these elaborate, long, formal things in order to “count”. There is definitely something to be said for sometimes diving deep and being very detailed at times. However, on a daily basis, there are so many little things, some of them that we are already doing which can be and are things which are good for our spirit.

Simple little things such as making and savoring a good herbal tea, taking a morning walk while consciously appreciating and merging with the nature surrounding you, sitting in a sunny window and closing your eyes to embrace the warmth and light of the sun, showing kindness to a stranger, snuggling with your favorite furry friend…or for that matter snuggling with your lover…these are all spiritual acts when the intent is present to appreciate those moments in a soulful way. Then of course, things like lighting a candle, smudging, lighting incense, or holding your favorite crystal, even if only for a brief moment as you breathe into and absorb those energies are fabulous.

Admittedly, I enjoy a nice long session spent at my altar giving thanks and communing with goddess and guides as much as anyone, and I’m a firm believer that spending some time like this on a regular basis is a necessity. As many of us know from experience, it’s all too easy to become lax or get so caught up in our hustle and bustle that we let our soul take a back seat. Not to mention, that taking the time to really “go all out” sometimes helps us to build and maintain a stronger connection both with our deities and guides, and to our own source of inner power.

It just felt important to mention how the little things, which we can do in just a few moments, or the things that we are already doing which can be shifted to a spiritual act, are no less meaningful than long, drawn out rituals. Some of the posts that I’ll be writing, such as this one, are meant to help beginners on their path, and to serve as reminders for those who have been on it longer but are in a slump. Let’s face it, we all have slumps from time to time. 😉

So, this week, remember that every act which you do with the intention of tapping into your soul or getting in touch with your deities and guides matter.

As always, feel free to leave a comment or contact me.

In love and light,
Tracy

Giving Yourself Space To Be

This week, I’d like to share what I feel is one of the most important pieces of advice to give to someone who is fairly new to exploring their Pagan identity and practices. This is giving yourself space to be. Many of us were not brought up in Pagan households, and frankly, Pagans are still very much a minority when it comes to numbers of people involved compared to other spiritual paths. Many, if not most, will face criticism from friends, family, and partners when making the decision to become a Pagan.

This criticism can sometimes be pretty harsh, but even if it’s not extreme, it can make what is an interesting and enjoyable process very difficult. Let’s face it, when making a change like this, we are unlearning a lot of the things we’ve had taught to us from a very early age. This can be a little confusing at times, even without facing disapproval from others. Of course, or hopefully, not everyone in our lives is going to be discouraging. However, there will be more discouragement than not when it comes to many of the people we’ve spent the majority of our lives with. It isn’t fair, and it isn’t nice, but it is the reality. So, what’s a person to do? 
For the most part, until we’ve found a place of true comfort and stability in our new way of life, it’s for the best if we don’t share a whole lot about it with people that we know are of an opposing viewpoint. More openness can come later, when your feet are more firmly on the ground. At some point, you will find the degree to which you want to come out of the broom closet. Never forget that you have just as much of a right to be who you are as anyone else does. It can be all to easy to give up in order to try to keep the peace in the beginning. I love peace just as much as the next person, but not at the expense of being able to be myself. This is something that I am writing about coming from decades of experience. I have sacrificed what is important to me for family, lovers, and those I thought were my friends. If I could go back in time, I would have done things a differently. You know what they say about hindsight… 😉
Take your time, learn as much as you can, connect with other Pagans. Sometimes the only way to connect with other Pagans is online, because our numbers are definitely scattered, but it’s better than complete isolation. Even within the Pagan community, you will encounter some prickly characters. Don’t be dissuaded from pursuing something that feels good to you just because someone who has been on the path for many years says so. I remember going to a local Pagan’s night out meet and greet thing several years ago, and being harassed by this guy because I hadn’t chosen one particular pantheon of deities to devote my path to. He didn’t let up for the entire three hours that I was there in telling me how wrong I was to have not picked one, and one only.
Thank goodness I already knew well enough to understand that this was his issue and not mine, however, he made my evening so miserable that I never went back to that group. One of these days, I’ll make my way back there because I have even more knowledge and confidence under my belt to be able to not let him get under my skin, if he even still attends.
And dating…oh my goddess! We can’t have this discussion without touching upon dating. About three or four years ago, I decided to try online dating, and had more people than I can remember immediately lose interest in me because I am a Pagan. This didn’t bother me at all. The only thing was that I found it sad that people are still judging the worthiness of others based upon their belief systems (and other obvious words we could insert here). I even had a few who feigned interest and proceeded to go on several dates before revealing their agenda to convert/save me! 
 My hope is that one day, we will be able to jump over this particular hurdle of human relations and just appreciate, or not, one another based solely on the person we are. For crying out loud, I’ve met good, awesome, bad, and ugly in all creeds and I hate to break it to the naysayers, but there are some factors which just have no merit when it comes to what constitutes a person worthy of choosing as a friend or partner. 
This post is not meant to discourage anyone from choosing the Pagan path. Quite the opposite! Anyone doing so deserves to have the space that they need to find what works for them. One thing about Paganism that initially drew me is that it is in no way a one size fits all type of belief system. It might take quite some time to really find your groove, and even then, things tend to shift a bit. One thing that I do know, is that for me, it has been worth it. Claim your space, and enjoy finding your way. You deserve happiness and respect, even if you don’t fit into someone else’s box of normalcy. Feel free to reach out with questions or comments, as long as they are kind and respectful. 
In love and light,
Tracy

Mercury Retrograde In Pisces

Yep, Mercury went into retrograde in Pisces yesterday and will be sitting there until the 28th. When this planet goes retrograde in Pisces, the most profound potentially negative effects are on our feelings and emotions. This makes it important to keep as grounded and centered as possible, so that those emotions do not get the better of us, and possibly say something we wish we hadn’t.

Not only are we more susceptible to our own feelings and emotions, we are also more in tune with those of others too. This is a double edged sword. It’s always good to tap in to our own feelings and to be mindful of the feelings of others, yet with that awareness comes the need to make sure that our reactions are in line with who we truly are and what we would like to express. So, over the next few weeks, be sure to take a little time before voicing your feelings to others. Always speak your truth of course, just in a way that you won’t feel guilty for later.

There are positives to this particular retrograde, in addition to being more attuned to emotions. It is a good time for introspection in matters of creativity, spirituality, healing, compassion, and oneness. For those of us who are highly intuitive, empathic, or psychic this time will boost and foster growth of those abilities. For those looking to expand or initiate working on their gifts, it will be a good time to do so. Pisces is one of the most creative and intuitive signs around, so having Mercury in retrograde in this sign will highlight those aspects as well as give a general spiritual boost. Use this time for reflection and preparation, saving much of the major implementation for later, after there has been time to absorb it all.

During this period, it would be a good idea to have certain crystals handy in order to help maintain balance. For this particular retrograde, I’ll be listing crystals which help with communication, staying grounded,  assisting our heart space to remain more at peace, and a few to help develop intuition. In addition to the crystals listed below, I recommend using clear quartz as well, as it boosts the energy of the other stones. It would be a good idea to get some of these in sizes small enough that you can carry them on your person as you go about your day. Then try to spend time focusing on and holding them when you have some downtime.

Communication: Stones in the blue color range will be most helpful. Top recommendations:

  • Aquamarine
  • Turquoise
  • Lapis Lazuli
  • Amazonite
Keeping grounded: Many of these stones are black, but not all. Top recommendations:
  • Black tourmaline 
  • Hematite
  • Smoky Quartz
  • Obsidian
Good for the heart space/emotions: Many of these stones are green or pink in color. Top recommendations-
  • Rose quartz
  • Green tourmaline
  • Green aventurine
  • Morganite
Developing intuition: Top recommendations-
  • Amethyst
  • Moonstone
  • Lithium quartz
  • Sodalite
In love and light, 
Tracy

Let’s Get This Party Started

Welcome to Owl Dancer’s Nest. In this first post, I want to take some time to introduce myself and discuss what this space is about. While I’m an old hat in the blogging community, this new space is a new one. It’s time to get back to my roots, while starting with a clean slate. Since early childhood I’ve had abilities, but was taught to suppress them due to my family’s belief system. While I couldn’t fully suppress them, I did learn to try to ignore them, fear them, and not allow expression of them.

In my late teens/early twenties I first discovered the pagan path. While my feet have veered from that path several times over the years as I’ve worked through personal issues, they’ve always found their way back. Over the last several years, life presented many big challenges which I’ll admit shook me and my journey to the core. It has been a few years or so since I’ve written or shared much at all when it comes to spiritual topics. Now, after almost a year of intense clearing, finding my footing again, and exploring my spiritual journey on an even deeper level, I’m ready to resume my walk on the path.

My reason for creating this space in which to dive into matters of spirit, soul, and heart instead of including all of it into my existing blog is that I want a dedicated space which is focused solely on all things spirit based. There will be posts on pagan practices, the uses of crystals and herbs, the paranormal, and just random thoughts about walking a spiritual path, as well as sharing some of my personal experiences.

It feels good to be back!