Earth-Based Philosophies and Lifestyles

Exploring how to (re)connect to the Earth through new and old age philosophies and practices


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Astrology Natal Chart House Breakdown

Hellooo! At long last, I have finally organized my notes about breaking down the houses in a natal chart. On the left side you’ll find some summaries of what’s going on in each house, a…

Source: Astrology Natal Chart House Breakdown

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The Many Types of Witchcraft

Okay, so there seems to be a trend going around. Let’s break it down.

I am a witch.

I am not any kind of particular witch, just…a witch.

Now, many modern witches seem to have the need to distinguish what type of witch they are:

Hedge Witch

Kitchen Witch

White Witch

Grey Witch

Water Witch

Heritage Witch

Wiccan Witch

etc…etc…etc…

This confuses me. I am all these things because I am a witch. In my opinion and experience, being a “witch” means all these things and more. It is an all-encompassing title. I don’t follow Wicca, because I don’t follow anyone’s rules. But seriously, I am all these things. I am not limited to one thing or another, which is why I’ve chosen the term “witch”. Really, “neo-pagan hippy witch” is a bit better, but still, in essence, I am a witch. I have no limitations. I see the connection in all things, and I study them. I seek to understand, not to control or manipulate – that is not my goal.

Sisters and Brothers, why do you limit yourselves as a witch?

I simply am, and I use tools from all over the world and my experiences to bring myself to a better understanding of how the world around me works physically as well as spiritually.

I will not choose a limiting title to describe myself and my work. I simply am.

This now raises the question of, “I am all these things, but I specialize in such-and-such, which is why I’ve chosen the descriptive title.”

Okay, great on you, but…is that necessary? Are there really that many differences between a hedge, white or kitchen witch? Because honestly, I don’t think so. I think the only difference is the mindset and/or viewpoint.

Are you in a business and selling a particular skill set? I can understand it then from an advertising perspective, but really, in essence, are you not a witch? Is this title not enough?

The desensitization and demonization of the title “witch” is abundant through history, and I can understand someone wanting to soften the word to people who are not as open to the mystical and magical with a descriptive word.

But here’s an idea…let’s take the word back.

I’m tired of limiting myself, of making myself smaller for the comfort of others. Aren’t you?

I will not, I refuse, to give in to the lesser value of the word “witch”. I will stand here, being all that I am, and take back the mana of the word and use it like the sword and shield it is. I am a witch, and that is that. It encompasses all that I do and all that I am, and that is enough. 

If that makes you laugh, I don’t care.

If that scares you, I don’t care.

I am a daughter of the Universe and a perpetual student of how It works. My home is Gaia, so she is my focal point. I do my best not to preach or to vilify. I will not get on a pedestal in front of a crowd. I take responsibility for my actions and try to solve my own problems. I use the tools given to us to the best of my ability to understand that which I do not, and I seek to understand from as many vantage points as possible. I look to the earth and the heavens, to those above and below me, for guidance and the occasional assist. If you seek me out and ask, I will lend my experience and vantage points to you for a bit of guidance and understanding. I am so much more than your imagination. I am that I am, and the only title that fits that, for me, is WITCH.

If you feel better in a little corner of the world, describing yourself as such, by all means, power to you. But I do hope that maybe someday, you grow up and out and realize that words have power, and you are limiting yourself when you pick a descriptive word to place in front of “witch”.

 


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Elements

Elemental Symbols

I am Water – I am the Medium: I hold it all and give space; I am everywhere, shallow and deep. I go where I can because I can. I twinkle in the light and flow in the dark. I am where the rest meet. In me you are created and grow, and from me you are sustained. 

I am Earth – I am the Materials: I am the building blocks of everything. I make up you and everything around you. I maintain you, I build you, and I break you. You are made of me and when you die, you will return what I have lent you back to me.

I am Fire – I am the Movement: I am the animation, the dance, the change, the evolution. I am temperamental and varied…my rhythms are soft and raging. I can glow softly and comfortingly for you, or burn with passion anything in my path, including you. You feel me – I give you action and force. 

I am Air – I am the Motion: I breathe in life, or death. I give and move space and feed the fire’s movement. I am expression, dialogue, communication, language…thoughts, ideas, speech. I am your first request as you break through the womb, and I am the first to leave you as you die. 

I am Spirit – I am that I am. Love eternal. Mother, Father – All. Wisdom, Knowledge, Knowing. I am all the seen and unseen, connecting all. I am everywhere and nowhere. Guiding, teaching, watching, loving. You are a small, small, beautiful piece of Me. Your Soul – your perceptions and thinking, emotions and feelings are there because I put them there. Your joys are mine, your pains are mine. It is from me you come, and to me you will return. The game we play is that you are born forgetting this, and will spend your life remembering this. And I will love you regardless of how far you come in this great game because yes. You are my children, and I could never not take you back into My arms, back into My Soul. 

(c) Earth-Based Lifestyle


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How the Celtic perspective helped me to chase away the winter blues

Ah, the winter blues. Also known as seasonal depression, seasonal affective disorder and winter depression.

Cutting to the chase, it’s hard and it sucks. It is hard to put the breaks on the mental downward spiral of your emotions falling down the abyss of darkness because the sun has gone away and temperatures have dropped.

I moved from a very warm and sunny year-round climate into a more northern one with actual seasons. The first few weeks of my first winter were an adventure, but one that I could be happy and excited about. But after the holiday season, that’s when I got kicked in the head and those emotions began to tumble out of control. I barely made it out of my first winter in one, sane piece.

The next winter I tried to prepare myself. I bought a better winter wardrobe, had repainted the walls to warmer colors, had changed my diet and was exercising more. Again, I made it through the holiday season and then I tripped and fell into my blankets and hot water bottles and stayed there.

And then the third winter came, and just as the old saying goes, “third time’s the charm!”. This is when lessons in the more pagan lifestyles really began to manifest for me.

The sun officially “goes to sleep” by the autumn equinox (in September) and the dark half of the year really starts to make itself noticeable. The Celts and pagans had a really great way deal with this diminishing sunlight, and psychologically it has been the best medicine I could have asked for.

  • The sun has gone to bed, so the yang energy that has been abundant and wearing you down with external activity is finally leaving you. Now it’s time to wave goodbye to it and welcome the yin energy and work with internal activity, since you’ll most likely be spending more time indoors anyway. I always picture friends coming for a visit and doing all sorts of outdoor activities, then waving them goodbye and sitting on the couch with a book and some tea with a warm, fuzzy pet curled up at my side. I’ve enjoyed the visit with the friends, and now am enjoying the visit with myself.
  • Darkness is the natural balance to the Light, and it is NOT INHERENTLY EVIL. Darkness simply IS and has so much to teach you. Once you realize that what you cannot see with your eyes is not all evil and begin to trust your other senses more, the dark will be less scary and imposing. You’ll lighten your load as you begin to find the dark mysterious and comforting, peaceful and wise. For far too long fear has been spread about the unknown darkness, and I truly believe it’s because we have evolved to rely too heavily on just our eyes. The darkness challenges you in a way that the light cannot, and having to work harder emotionally and psychologically is not easy, and most people shy away from this. If it is “too much work”, it gets labelled as “wrong”, “bad” and “evil”. Silly humans, there is light in the darkness, but not the kind you can see with your eyes. It’s the kind you have to feel with your heart and soul. So if anything the dark makes you have to start trusting those more, and there is nothing wrong with that.
  • More parties! After the autumn equinox in September, there’s another celebration coming up – Samhain! And after that? Yule! Another you say? Yes! Imbolc! Almost every other month, there is something to celebrate, and something to look forward to.
  • On Yule, the sun is “born again”. So technically, from that day out, the sun’s time in the sky each day increases. So when the cold weather is blowing and the snow continues to fall, and even if you can’t see the sun through the clouds, look up and know that it’s there a little longer and a little stronger each day!
  • There is beauty in the darkness and the cold and snow. You have to remind yourself to look for it. How many shades of grey do you notice in the clouds? Do you still hear children laughing as they play outside, regardless of the weather? How many birds or other animals do you notice? How is the snow falling and staying? Are there any early blooms yet? Is the sun through the fog creating mists and shadows or little glimmers and lights?

Winter Sun2

 

I hope these tips and tricks can help you next time around the winter blues start taking over your head and heart. I know it’s not easy, but you can do it! There is light in the darkness and darkness in the light, you just have to remind yourself it’s there and smile at it. Nature is not evil, it simply is. So there is no reason whatsoever to try to classify the natural darkness as if it’s out to get you. If anything, it’s out to bring you balance, wisdom, and if you’re really paying attention, love.