Tag Archive | Experience

A Tangled Relationship with Love

“Sometimes to find love we must first love ourselves. In loving ourselves, we uncover our relationship with love.” –The Autumn Witch

We all have our own issues and problems in regards to love-whether that be love for ourselves, our family, our friends, our significant other, or even the overall conception of just love. It’s this very misunderstanding and misconceptions that can lead to us dreading and abhorring certain days like today-Valentine’s Day. I can already hear the collective groan! It isn’t because I’m single that I despise it but the simple over commercialization of what love should look like which leads to an over inflated sense of grandeur as well as expectations.

That doesn’t mean that I dislike romance and lovey-dovey schmutz either because believe me, I do! I’d noticed recently my dislike for Valentine’s Day has only increased and grown worse but I wasn’t sure why. Sure, I’m single but I choose  to be. I value my independence, time, and interests. There’s just a lot I want to do and unless I happen upon a man who shares those exact passions, I feel like I’m settling. That I’m forcing myself to give up and that’s not my thing. For example: I want to travel the world and teach abroad. I’ve actually been researching a potential opportunity to teach English abroad for a year in a country that I do speak the language of which would be an amazing opportunity (don’t want to give too much away–better not jinx it!), however when I guy starts talking to me and wanting to become serious, I totally freak. The men I’ve talked to either already have children, which isn’t the problem for me, but also love the area they are living in or have explicitly stated they’ve done all the travelling they wanted. We end up wanting two very different things!

OR this was the excuse I was always mumbling to myself whenever I would either decline any offers for a date or when I would end the relationship all together. It’s not that I’m a flake but there was something deeper to it that I just wasn’t acknowledging–or even willing to uncover! I wasn’t being real with myself. Well, recently I’ve begun a journey of self-love which has already been incredible. Suffering from low self-esteem and confidence, this has been a major eye-opener for me and it was through this love for myself that I began to open my heart up. With this came those emotional wounds, those shadows of my past.

It actually wasn’t something I had planned on doing as I wasn’t even aware I had deeper, more rooted issues that were plaguing my love life until this morning when I drew my card for the day which I’ll include the link below for! This card signaled there was some relationship and emotional issues that needed to be resolved before I could be free and move on. I knew I’m still pining over an ex-boyfriend of mine who was the ideal man for me–having been sixteen at the time meant I had been afraid of that serious commitment even though I could envision us getting married one day. Wait, how could I be afraid of the promise to stay together yet I could see us happily married with kids? Simple. It’s because I was afraid of settling down and not making anything out of myself. I was afraid that if I remained with him then I would give up my dreams of traveling and even maybe my dream of going to college. Over dramatic? Definitely but being an emotional teenage girl, that was who I was.

So, I dumped him. Except not in the best way possible. I dumped him for his best friend that we both worked with. Yikes. I know how wrong it was and actually ended up dumping his friend the same night I dumped my boyfriend because we just weren’t compatible in the least bit. I’d gone from someone I cared deeply about to someone who was only really looking a girl to have a fun time with. My fear wasn’t the only thing that drove me to do it but also several other factors, such as only seeing and talking to him at work because he didn’t have a phone or car. That, my friends, gets lonely whereas the other one did. And he loved to text so going from only speaking to a guy four-five times a week to having a guy text you Good Morning….it isn’t that hard to understand why I felt drawn to the latter.

It wasn’t only with that boyfriend though that I’ve sabotaged it somehow but I didn’t understand why I did it. Sure, like I stated previously, fear of giving up on my dreams was one and a big one but that wasn’t the end of it. As I prepared for my day, I was showering and that was when it hit me. It’d been a conditioning from my childhood that I had repressed and swept underneath the rug–THEN add the failed relationships that I blamed myself for and continued blaming myself for. You see, my parents didn’t have the best of relationships and actually were two people who never should’ve gotten married. They constantly bickered and I could see how much my mom hated being in that relationship. She’d given up her dreams of going to college, of making something of herself and had instead settled for being married and immediately having children. I was born four days before my parents first anniversary.

Watching her regret her decision and relationship every day as a child subconsciously had resolved me to never allow myself to become tangled in that trap. I refused to. So whenever a relationship would be fine and well, I’d panic and do end it. I looked for any reasons to justify my leaving and there just never seemed a good enough reason to stay. Being given this fresher perspective, I’m able to work on my issues so that they don’t hinder me in the future. While I value my independence, if in the right relationship I won’t feel like I’ve lost that. This aha-moment has given me the opportunity to really examine what love truly means to me. I used to think love was a hindrance that wasn’t a luxury I could afford. I  thought it looked as miserable as my parent’s marriage. I wanted this ideal perfect boyfriend who met such high standards because then I could easily argue against any relationship because they were below par. I was afraid. I still am. I’d be a fool to believe otherwise, however I now have the tools and capability to fix that conditioning since I can know understand why I believe it to be so.

If you find none of your relationships are panning out, take a step back. Reflect on each relationship and look for common themes. They’ll be there. Journaling would be a great way to do this! Take a honest look which can be hard as none of us want to admit our faults. I believe in you. If you want to do this but are having a hard time starting, try answering these questions:

  1. What does love mean to me?
  2. What does love look like?
  3. What is your ideal mate?
  4. Why are you afraid? What triggers you? 

I know Spirit was telling me it was finally time to face those shadows and to learn to love again. Stop fighting. I don’t have to be in a relationship-that’s still my choice-but it will actually be of my own free will and not driven by fear. I give thanks to Spirit for that lesson this morning and know it’ll take some time but as I deepen my love for myself then so too will I deepen my ability to love others. If it wasn’t for that card this morning then I highly doubt I would’ve given much thought to the problem but instead only continued burying it.

Thank you for taking the time to read this long and incredibly personal post which wasn’t easy for me to write. However, healing isn’t easy nor without pain. We’ve all been a points in our lives which we regret later on but each experience is meant to serve as a lesson and looking back now, I can objectively find lessons learned with each failed relationship. Were they indeed doomed as I believed or may they have actually worked out? Who knows. Either way, my next relationship will be completely free of my own choosing.

Brightest of Blessings!

The Autumn Witch

I wish you a day overflowing with love and joy! ❤

Click here for Card of the Day

Reconnecting through the Signs

“Listen to the wind, the birds, the sounds of the earth and sky for they are the voices of the God and Goddess.”–The Autumn Witch

Constantly we are searching and seeking the Divine either for connection, support, encouragement, love, insight, or even proof They do exist. While I believe people of all backgrounds and faiths have this deep yearn to connect to their concept of the Creator, I have found that ever since my returning home, as I like to call it, my “conversion”–if you will–to Paganism and Witchcraft, has been fraught with such need for reaffirmation. Just the simple reaffirming that the God and Goddess, the Great Spirit (as I collectively think of Them) are there. Some faiths have buildings were they convene to communicate with the Divine and have books full of inspiration and divinely inspired insight to read and recite. We, as Pagans and Witches, have nature.

Well then, should that not make it far more easier to speak and hear our Deities? Yes and No. We all have hectic days where we’re constantly going from here to there while our minds are preoccupied with to-do’s and mundane necessities that we might eventually find our spiritual practice lacking. This has happened to me far too often and that is a goal for this year–to become more spiritually attuned as well as develop a daily practice that I can keep. From this lack of a daily practice, we become distant from our Gods which only leaves us empty and searching. I’ve noticed that during the winter, when it’s too cold for me to really spend much time outdoors-and actually, most of the time don’t want to go outside!-as well as days that are just too chaotic, I begin to feel even more lost and begin to question my path. I firmly believe this is due to remaining indoors and losing that connection to nature that I had before the onset of winter.

Do you have to have this sudden lack of connection in order to seek? Certainly not, however I do believe, and have personally noted, that it seems to be the more popular time to seek Them out. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that during the Mercury Retrograde I was at my spiritual height for 2016. I was finally shedding the old and embracing my authentic self. However, as soon as Mercury went Direct it was as if the wind got knocked from me and I went spiraling into this depressive, almost numb, sort of state. I felt empty and lacked all motivation for my practice. I began to become overcome by ego and fear–especially fears I’d released at the end of December. They took a hold of me and would not let go! I couldn’t find the Gods! It was as if They were gone! In this state of confusion and isolation, I began to return to my previous religion and it was as if I was stumbling around in a stupor. I had brief flashes of awe and excitement during this excursion, as I shall deem it, but I knew in my mind it was not my path. It no longer served me.

After about two weeks or so, I decided I’d had enough. I was not returning. I was not traveling backwards but would continue with the progression I’d made. I was a Pagan Witch–dammit! (Sometimes I have to be a little firm with myself.) One night, after having watched a video that I thoroughly had enjoyed in regards to my past faith, I was lying in bed about to close my eyes for bed when I had made the decision to pray. Mind you, I’m not much into prayer. Not because it doesn’t work or I’m against it but just because I always ended up missing “prayer sessions” whenever I implemented a prayer regimen, if you will and would scold myself. You know, where you say you’ll pray before bed, before meals, etc. I’m not too good at the whole time-table prayer schedule-or even with altar devotions! I digress. I stated my intention that I was going to pray. At this time, I’d figured I would be praying to God, however as I closed my eyes and folded my hands in front of my chest, I found the words that came to my mind were not addressed to Him but to the Gods and Goddesses I’d previously spoken with.

I named Them each by name-first the Goddesses then the Gods-before addressing the Great Spirit which I believe encompasses Them All as well as any Deities of other faiths. They are all manifestations and aspects of this Great Spirit-this One energy that permeates all. As you can imagine, this was a pretty long list that included Celtic, Greek, and Egyptian Deities. Any that I’d ever felt a connection to. I listed Them, visualizing each and every single one, before beseeching Them to help me find a re-connection to Them. I asked Them to return to my life as I knew this former path was no longer my own. I released this prayer then went to sleep but with more peace in my heart than I’d felt previously.

The next morning I awoke early and left for work. I didn’t give any other thought to the prayer but as I stepped outside, it was silent. Completely still of all people and cars, incredible since I live in a city! The morning air was crisp with just a hint of mist which is always a very mystical and magickal form of precipitation to me. As I began to cross the street towards my car, I heard a crow caw and smiled as a crow, personally, symbolizes magick is afoot. I acknowledged that and continued. Something told me to glance down and there was a worm in the road and I carefully stepped over it. Immediately a small giggle entered my mind as I thought, “All creatures are from Gaia”. Then I noticed some squirrels playing at the tree near my car. It wasn’t until after I had fastened my seat belt and began to pull out that I realized I was receiving exactly what I’d asked for. The God and Goddess don’t necessarily speak with words. We don’t hear loud, booming voices announcing the presence of the Gods. Instead, They speak through signs, through symbols, and through nature.

This taught me a very important lesson-look for the signs. Spirit/The Gods are always speaking but are we listening? Do we brush aside these signs and instead expect only words? Do we open ourselves up to receive such communication? The sight of animals associated with a particular Deity or of our spirit animals can be far greater a sign of communication than even words could! We must listen not with our ears but with our spirit and with our heart. We must shift from the logical part of ourselves and tap into our intuitive and emotional side. It is through this that we will experience the Gods.

If you’re wondering about why I’d willingly returned to a previous faith with the knowledge that it wasn’t for me: I’d discovered it was a deep shadow of mine that I’d never worked with. I’d learned that whenever things weren’t going well or something awful happened in my life, I’d go running back to my previous faith in fear. That can’t go. Fear and being uncomfortable are a part of life and it is through the tackling of them that we are able to progress and evolve.

Returning to my message about the signs, next time you’re feeling disconnected or anything then firstly always go to nature first. This can really ground and connect us. If that doesn’t help then ask yourself, “are you looking for the signs?” I’ve had great inspiration and connection come to me when sitting beneath a tree with the breeze suddenly swirling through the leaves, rustling the words of the Gods than I’ve had sitting inside and praying. Seek Them out, if you must, but remember to listen with more than your ears. Open your heart. Otherwise, you may just miss what it is They are saying. Don’t forget to ask either.

This, my friends, is Simple Magick. How? It doesn’t involve any tools, any trappings, any preparation. It can simply be a prayer followed with observation. Any connection to Spirit is magick in my opinion. I do apologize as this is a very long winded post but it explains not only my absence this month but my renewed vigor for my Craft and my path.

Brightest of Blessings,

The Autumn Witch

“We must listen not with our ears but with our spirit and with our heart.”-The Autumn Witch

listen