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My Pagan Past | To What End?

The post I wrote titled ‘Mourning My Pagan Past is Making Me Angry’ was tough for me to write. At the same time it brought back feelings of anger toward my personal experiences as a lone student behind a glass wall. Sadly, a lot of people who had read it felt I had offended them because my experiences were valid to me and not them. Somehow they felt I was being incredibly horrid because I have chosen a well-deserved path for myself. Let me make myself a little clearer, it’s MY path, and I need to do what is true for ME; I am not trying to convert anyone, just sharing my experiences and promulgating the Law.

I have written this post over and over, trying to figure out how to put my discoveries across. Obviously there are an awful lot of sensitive people out there, and they don’t stop and think about what it is they could be saying to me. Yes, I learnt witchcraft, and in some ways I still see myself using witchcraft in the future, and yes I finally graduated from the field of Wicca and I’m much happier. That is something people cannot seem to understand. Folks genuinely believe there is no existence beyond Wicca, nor do they feel that anything outside Wicca is right. The sad thing is, a lot of Neo-pagans today left Christianity for that same judgemental attitude. I also try to be one of the few occult practitioners who is trying to put the importance of words on the map, for example, witchcraft is a craft, and Wicca is a religion. Witchcraft is used by any religion or non-religious person(s).

If you found a better cooking method, based on methods from a bygone era, wouldn’t you follow those methods? Like keeping the tradition of cooking with your grandmothers recipe, rather than following a popular trend based on cooking from a box?

Folks have moaned in the past that Thelema is a new concept, sure. Aleister Crowley merely made it accessible for magick students. If you research Thelema itself, the philosophy goes as far back as ‘Gargantuan’ by Rabelais – at least from what I have read. It’s probably a whole lot older. The thing that I love most about my path is that I’m learning new things, having more physical experiences and I’m able to put all the amazing lessons I’ve learnt from witchcraft and the occult to good use.

I don’t feel like a stranger or someone who is odd. I still follow ancient Egyptian ideals with a Qabalah flow, whereas when I was practising Egyptian Wicca I had to make sure I turned Egyptian symbols into Wiccan ones. I would celebrate Wiccan holidays every year, with Wiccan symbols, but remember to make the Egyptian symbols comply. I didn’t feel comfortable. Why only two deities when all are a part of your very being? Why frown on things outside the circle when I hadn’t explored them? I was always a curious child, and I’ve always listened to my gut.

Why hadn’t there been more emphasis on modern ideals set on old symbols outside of western new age practices? It was a learning curve, and I was happy to do all the research and conversions for my own practices, which eventually lead me to just doing my own thing. When I would research particular symbols, the idea of the Universe, ascension and a solid philosophy with goal, I couldn’t find very much. Like most religions Wicca was based on much older practices, but unlike most, Wicca was diluted. The idea of casting a circle wasn’t a Wiccan concept, but when I researched various ways it could be done, I found them to be more in-depth, and they held symbols that I could never find within the confines of Wicca or Neo-Wicca. I didn’t mind. It annoyed me that I preached so highly about this path, yet in the long run it wouldn’t serve anything for my soul. I did my daily devotions – to what end? Discipline? I already had that. I wasn’t sure. I just didn’t fit the mould.

I recently tried to Wiccan-ise Thelemic holidays and failed. I just felt I wasn’t meant to. I have recently decided on not doing that anymore. A few people have stepped forward and given me their ideas and tips of how to combine Wicca with Thelema, but I prefer not to. If Wicca is based on Thelema, minus the other colours (other cultures and their practices) and sexuality freedoms (orientation and freedom), then I personally don’t feel the need to mix the two. I will happily practice witchcraft and the occult, but to my own ends, with a goal to work toward.

I experience and understand things unique to me, and others like me. I’m quite happy on my path. Lonely, but quite happy. If the universe wants me to grieve the process of moving onto the next chapter, then I will. It’s a process I have come to realise as life. I feel safe going into something considered the unknown, because it’s known to me and that’s all that counts. If I were to teach my child magick, I would teach them witchcraft and allow them to find the religious or spiritual path they choose to combine with it themselves.

I choose to live my life this way, and if it upsets you or you think terribly about me then that’s your prerogative. I’m working toward my True Will, and it’s a one seated vehicle. These feelings will not cease.

93s

In LVX 93, 93/93


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Mourning My Pagan Past is Making Me Angry

This will be a super weird post, as it’s something I haven’t thought about too thoroughly. However, it does revolve around my personal education as a magician and Thelemite. More than ever, it’s a lifelong lesson I know I must endure, and it’s a very personal one at that. These last few posts have seen me looking at my past as I’m currently analysing what has happened. I guess I’m preparing myself for an in depth chapter of my life, which I feel will be part of the making of my character.

Most people come to a point in life when they’ve made a positive, and drastic change to their lifestyle and their beliefs especially. I am no exception to that prevailing device. When I made the decision to stop being Christian and Jewish I was young and didn’t mind. The transition was fairly easy, looking back. I was a preteen with a big ambition, a big heart and a love for something more than what I was brought up to believe. I knew something bigger was out there, I just didn’t know what. It was around that tender age that my God complex and base philosophical ideals started to show signs of development. G-d was something more.

When. I found witchcraft everything seemed fine. Sure, I had to keep my books and tools a total secret but that’s all part of the journey. Later came Wicca, and I made a nice comfy seat inside the broom closet. I learnt a lot about the general basics of witchcraft, and learnt the observances and religious ideals from Wicca. Again, my deep roots within philosophy and questioning were quite apparent, and soon I found the roadblocks and hypocrisy within a free religion that revealed no freedom, and it didn’t teach me about ascension – don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely path, but I hated staying in one place and blaming myself for it.

The denial and the pressure to conform to an ideal that wasn’t actually ideal made life difficult. I wanted to be part of something true, as I made a ton of friends, but for me it wasn’t something that sat well within my heart. I put all my intentions into the universe and it replied by sending me down other paths whilst continuing to carry the Wiccan flag. This continued until the occult made herself known, and especially until I found Thelema.

The transition I’ve gone through in the last year has meant I have seen and experienced things I had never thought truly possible. The philosophy of Thelema, Hermeticism and such alike have really shaken my foundation. It’s good to have the odd shake once in a while – it really forces you to stop and just smell the coffee. I found I would ask myself each week what I believed and why. Some of my occult ad pagan buddies found my new found home quite intriguing, and thus I felt I could open up. Some have actually requested titles I have enjoyed, and I have been generous in recommending all kinds of material around Thelema and the occult. A few friends have actually turned to Thelema as it serves as a foolproof philosophy that instills freedom, rigidity and a truly personal connection to the universe. There is a goal to not only achieve, but it also shows a lot of people the truth about who they are. Maybe I’m wrong, but without Thelema I wouldn’t have reached the plateau I have.

I’m unable to fully accept the amount of anger that grew once I began studying harder. The unfulfilled and empty wishes. In fact, I stopped performing spells years back, and stuck with ritualised formulas instead. I’ll probably make space to perform small spells in the future… Maybe not. My transition was mostly positive, but boy I felt like I screwed myself terribly during my “denial days”. To this day I’m still weary of practices from my past, especially as such practices are on the rise. My toughest life lesson is following Liber LXXVII so wholeheartedly. At first glance it looks so easy, and once explained makes a whole lot of sense, but the more I look at it the more my past rears it’s ugly head.

Is that normal? To feel disdain toward the unfulfilling elements of my past? I’m shocked by how angry I am toward it all. I assume it’s some kind of purge? I have this annoying trait which means I want to help everyone – I know I can’t. But the idea of just letting someone fall without even attempting to help them bothers me. I’m a big softie! People are free to do as they please, especially if they are happy as they are. I have no right to show them any other way. It’s how their life is supposed to run. Sometimes that’s a great reminder to just stay out, but sometimes it’s a painful thing to watch.

It’s a lifelong lesson all right. I guess what I’m trying to point out also, is the fact that you must stay rigid even when you feel utterly sour and useless. Sometimes you have to “lay back and just let people walk all over you as it’s their Will,” as one friend wrote me recently (thank you). When do you stand up for yourself, without shoving your beliefs down their neck? It’s all rather complex and simple all at the same time.

That’s all I can think if right now, but I am thinking about how to approach the very sensitive issue of Wicca from a Thelemic point of view without offending all Wiccans’ or pagans. Maybe that’s another ponder post for the future.

I haven’t been making a great deal of sense with my musings or theories. I just hope I figure it all out soon!


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Is There a Particular Occult Mould?

9252_10151667616677776_1365819697_nIn fact, most occultists I have spoken with have told me various texts or moments of inspiration have shown them they can’t denote the term “pagan” to their individual practices. For me, it was a few texts that changed the way I approached my beliefs, and the way in which my practices evolved for the betterment of my soul. I had intended on yet another monotone look into my past and the events that sparked such virility, but instead I thought I would turn my attention to aspects of a different style of thinking, and what makes my occult life seem educational and refreshing.

Most people who have written to me always run on the assumption – a normal mistake – that being pagan immediately equates you with a certain kind of knowledge, presence, “style” (to some degree) and a free pass to all occult and witchcraft facilities without much guidance. It’s a tough road, believe me, I’m still living it now. Take pictures for example, so many images pop up (in books or on the internet) that can allure any curious mind, but with most occult imagery the details are hidden, or written about using language that may seem too conservative and convoluted for most students. It is hidden knowledge after all – only you can find the answers. You, and you alone.

This is where I found a divide. Some folks (a very small number) will dedicate time and energy to teaching themselves and seeking teachers/friends to gain diverse insights into such images, thus building a solid base of knowledge, beliefs and personal practices. I have found, being one of these types myself means I have met a lot of other people with differing ideas on difficult subjects. Many of whom have shown me an awful lot, and others I have been able to share my ideas with quite easily – without too much detail. The way I chose to perform and exercise my daily magick meditations means I can create a formula that suits me, in effect creating a solid mould.

The amount of occultists I have spoken to have expressed an underlying paranoia amongst members, and I’m slowly beginning to see where it all may stem from: the lack of strict practice and vigilance within occult circles, and the sad attempts at watering down occult knowledge for New Age paganism. It is almost as if true occultists want to protect what scripts we have from being “tainted by the fairy unicorn”, as one friend put it. I believe most practitioners should have a right to study these texts, and I also firmly believe that the majority of practitioners can learn a hell of a lot about themselves and form newer or better philosophies. At the same time, I hate seeing people run around claiming to be occultists without knowing the basics. I get a ton of emails from people stating how they’re considering the Ambramelin operation, or summoning those that shall not be named from the Keys when they don’t even know what the LBRP is. It’s all for show, and it’s quite strange. If anything, the occult is not a show so stick with the New Age moulds – you can’t go wrong with them. You can apply style and special effects to that other stuff, but all that does is allow the ego to have greater precedence over your higher self.

The allure of the occult purely for style reasons is a subject I have my own reservations on, but as a few readers have pointed out I can’t be too specific in sharing my own personal opinions in case of a backlash. I try to live by the ideal that you should only preach what you know about, yet at the same time when I’m stuck myself, a lot of occultists or magicians can be very quick to judge someone like me, who does not fit the materialistic mould or style. I’m a hard worker, and it has taken me a number of years to actually realise this; but, I am only doing this for myself after all. You should be yourself at all times, be strict when you feel tired or lazy and most of all be aware. Define for yourself if following your occult or pagan path is spiritually worth it, or if you are following the path purely to fit the ideals of the mystical show horse. As one friend mailed me, “It’s great to bend down and worship a deity without much in return to feel safe, but it’s far better to work hard and be spat on for ascending above the others alone.”


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Have I Known All Along?

The more I study, and apply particular exercises and asanas with my own regimen, the more I realise that maybe I’ve been living my Will without actively noticing, or rather paying much attention to it? I’m sorry I’m so confused, and so many thoughts are rushing through my head about what I want to write, and what I shouldn’t and they are all becoming rather convoluted… Short-ish post today though.

Where's my head?!

I am studying the texts surrounding the HGA, but the more I do, the more I am confused I am about the process. I understand the HGA influences your life long before you are born, and I’ve always felt a strong desire to pursue certain goals, without really needing to attach other unnecessary options. The last few years have made it so my only focus is my life and living it well – the more I do this, the more lessons I learn, and the sharper my intuition has become. Maybe I’m just being silly, or maybe I’ve stumbled onto something, but I assumed the intuitive teachings/experiences I received in the past were subtle ways for my HGA to communicate with me. I’ve always known I had to keep in constant practice of cleansing myself through ritual in order to keep the line open. I’ve always known that if you happen to lose that connection, you wind up either having to start again or become stagnant; both of which aren’t too bad, considering it’s good to take a break once in a while, especially if you are vigilant with your daily routines during that time (a bit more is added below on this topic).

Looking back it seems I have been building my core up to become the vessel the HGA will eventually step into (does that make sense? It’s a weird day and I’ve got a headache from studying non-stop). My early days as a child witch have been the most profound as I knew something was guiding me, I just didn’t know what. The lessons and experiences I felt (some of which have left quite deep scars) have made me strong, and according to one friend I have embarked on the road to becoming that vessel. It’s nice to comprehend it, but I just feels strange not being able to fully understand it. Thelemites are taught rituals to not only cleanse the body, spiritual core and the sacred space but also to align yourself with your HGA. Over time, once you have learnt what you are supposed to, one of the most life changing ritualistic events will occur, which seeks to connect you directly with your HGA, who in turn will reveal things to you that only you will know. It’s a very personal and private moment – and some folks who have gone through this have described it as an initiation. Personally I cannot wait, but I need to understand the basics first!

I’ve always put trust into what I considered to be the Universe, and its little minion/teacher who has been with me all these years. It just becomes automatic, or second nature that I come across something and I’m nudged in that direction, but it isn’t until much later that I realise what has happened. Maybe I’m magickally slow? You could send me blessings and such and I won’t even realise unless you say so. Actually, no I think that’s just me in general :/

Hmm.

Breaks

As for breaks, a few folks have written to ask for advice on falling out of practice, what I do personally is detox myself both spiritually and physically. I stick to performing daily rituals like the LBRP and asana meditation. Liber Resh and other rituals I follow are relaxed, for example I follow Regardie’s version of Resh (in my archives) instead of following the strict solar timing. I sometimes change my diet according to how my fitness levels are, but that’s not necessary for everyone! Make sure to JOURNAL everything! Cleansing rituals are to be done every day, regardless of how you feel. If you happen to be busy, fair enough. There were times when I would be busy with a patient and I couldn’t just stop and perform Resh. The idea of these rituals is not only to cleanse, but also to practice magick properly, and develop the ideal magician.

If I were still Wiccan I would cut out all spells, and only focus on daily devotions and constantly worshipping the Gods. I would observe the sabbats as usual, but on a quieter level.

I would follow a similar method for when I was a witch, except I would focus more on the spirit, so aligning myself (meditation, yoga etc) with the Universe, and cleansing my body by detoxing my diet, I would also cut out the practice of spells and such and only continue daily devotions, until I felt better.

These are just my ideas so don’t follow them wholeheartedly, just think of them as guides to adapt and develop your own.


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The Slight Anger of Magickal Study

I would say I’m mostly positive about life and my spiritual ventures. I always have the importance of staying connected/keeping on track about everything I do. For me, and that of the life of the Egyptian Pharaoh, each day is a ritual. Everything I do must have an outcome that starts with me and ends with the continuous flow of emitting energies back into the great beyond. I know that sounds daft, but again, think of the Hermetic axiom “As above, so below; so below, as above.”

I have educated myself for years. I’ve seen things, heard things and even experienced amazing moments of understanding and clarity. These experiences have become a normal part of my life, so much so they became very private. I was in my own world, and I let my spiritual lessons take me where they needed me to go. I didn’t realise then that I was living out my life as a Star; being the centre of my own universe. I didn’t realise until recently that the times when I had failed at something I was beating myself up when I should have just got back up and started again sooner rather than later. Anything I did, was for me and me alone. I didn’t have any formal teachers, nor did I allow myself to describe minute details to people I had met over the years because I felt I just didn’t need to. It was around the long and dismal days, when I was trying to flush out Wicca from my system in order to have a long hard fresh look at myself that a deep seated anger began to grow. I became angry toward the practices I had learnt. I didn’t understand the methodology behind certain expectations and rituals, and even spells. I used to look at other people and wonder why they were having “out of this world” experiences, and then back at myself and wonder why I had such a theoretical brain. Why did some people see fairies and I couldn’t? Yet, even if I had worked out a way in which such visions could come to me, to what purpose would this help me find my way back to Adonai? Early on I developed the notion that each person has their own purpose in life – unfortunately some people have a need and desire to question and study everything thoroughly first, and that is also where my issue lies.

Without going into details as to why I cannot stand what Wicca has become, and how some of the people I have seen promoting it are fully aware what they are doing isn’t going to help someone become enlightened. I just get annoyed at myself for worrying during the days when I was one of tiny few who didn’t do very much magick because I felt I didn’t need to. In other words, I used to worry and fret that I wasn’t a good enough wiccan, pagan or witch because I didn’t see the logic in using magick for every little piece of misfortune that befell me – especially If I could sort it by myself without too much effort. When the occult finally opened its doors to me, I began to learn a lot about the universe, about the inner meanderings of the mind and the complexities of philosophy. My eyes were opened even wider, if those are the correct words to describe this feeling of aging. Why hadn’t I found this profound wisdom within the depths of Wicca, and a few other religions I tried my hand at. Why wasn’t there a stable maxim of its own creation? Thelema has the fundamental essays and books one should study hard, and never put down until death. I used to wish I could help folks see the world in a different light, make them open their eyes and smile at what they saw. These days I know I can’t, and I most probably won’t be able to as following something blindly without doing your own in-depth research is popular, and too normal for any development and change. Its sad, but that’s life. I’m just going through this phase in order to move forward. The anger has grown inside, but thankfully it is tame.

I have spent a great majority of my time studying and devouring all kinds of knowledge and truths. After practicing and testing out various methods for myself, it was normal for me to keep the lessons that stayed true in my heart and mind. I would put the lessons I didn’t need on the back burner, assuming I may need them in the future; these days I definitely don’t. It’s all part of growing up and evolving. So why then, is it that people who study as hard as I do wind up feeling angry about the long trip we had to take? Looking back I realise I had to go through all of that success and equal headache in order to get to where I am, and I understand that ten years from now I’ll probably curse 2013; who knows? I am still very used to studying hard, on my own. The few times I have asked for help I’m either totally ignored, or it is implied I shouldn’t ask anything. These day’s I freeze up when I come across something that baffles me, but its fine, I spent the first twelve years of my life finding the answers myself, so what’s another twelve? I’m I am proud once I find the answer, that’s for sure.

All I can say at this point is how tough stripping my old life will be. Brace yourselves – my new found confidence means I am not going to be reserved with my honesty. Things are changing, for the better.


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Smiling is One Trait I Adore, but…

I’m not sure if this is a rant or just a random demon needing to let go of my chest, but being happy and living happy is cool.

This year is my year, as stated back in January. I put my all into studying, saving up and getting my life in order. I needed to take control in a systemised manner, instead of living life in the mess it was. I started to change my view on self control and growth when I had to be figuratively shaken by a few friends, Mr Vamp and GuruJonboi mostly. On separate occasions they had to force me to listen to myself again, instead of going off kilter following all the theories and idioms that came my way. The last two years have been amazing. I have been awakened to so much, and have met tons of people. Opportunities have come my way and I’ve started to accept that I’m not a bad person after all. I’m also noticing my mind has matured in a manner in which I feel I’m finally becoming a true adult. I know, I’m already an adult, but I’ve been stuck in the in-between for sometime – trying to hold back the onslaught of true adulthood.

I’ve gone from one extreme to the other, in a broad sense, going from a confused little woman living in denial to the bright and intelligent magician I am now. I know there is much more for me to learn, to ponder and practice and I guess allowing myself to have control over my life means these valuable lessons will come easily. I won’t be allowing my shadow or “dark passenger” (yup, too much Dexter) to stand in my way – if anything I’ll let it walk with me, by me but never in front. Only I can do that.

For the first time since I was 13 I actually feel free, happy and light (I’m not saying teenage years are responsible just to get that out of the way). I lost control and learnt very slowly to grow up and put my life back together. Looking back, it was hard but boy I am thankful for the struggle. I’m twice, maybe three times harder than I was. I no longer feel broken and I felt I needed to share it in some way. I started sharing my happiness in the hope that my memory would be backed up via my blog (set up in 2005) and YouTube videos (2009). I’ve grown a lot since then.

It’s grown quite hard to keep my happiness to myself. I’m used to smiling, and giving people the benefit of the doubt (before they eventually let me down), but recently it has come to my attention that I need to find people who are willing to be happy for themselves, and happy around me – I feel happier with myself then too. I’m one of Plato’s fractured creatures wanting to be whole (Dexter again… Series 5). How do you maintain happiness, without looking smug or a silly weirdo like me?

It’s becoming a bit of an issue. I love been happy, but my smiling and unashamed shyness is annoying people. Before, I would get annoyed at myself and try to live by the emotions of other people, but these days I know I’m better than that. I just don’t know how to smile, and not make it so obvious. Another lesson me thinks!

Random post, like I said. Meh. Ideas please!

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Magickal Items I’m Taking to University

As I’m trying to tie up the loose ends on my university supplies, stationary and halls items, it occurred to me I hadn’t drawn up a list of Magickal tools I’ll need. I can’t take everything, and there are a lot of books I will have to leave behind until Yule. I will only take the most important items, also noting that I may buy other items when I’m there as well. What items would you take with you? I’ve asked a few folks over the past few weeks, and the responses have been diverse. I’ve had time to think and thought I’d share this written mishmash of ideas! It’s been a long time coming!

Here is my comprehensive list of spiritual items I might be taking:

Tarot
I am only taking two of my thirty decks. The “Lo Scarabeo Tarot” and Crowley’s “Thoth Tarot”. The Lo Scarabeo tarot is a modern merging of three of the worlds most popular tarot, with beautiful Italian illustration and simple symbols. It’s a deck that is comprised of the Rider-Waite, Tarot de Marseilles and Thoth. I use this deck as one of my daily/weekly tools for personal divination. It may come in handy with a few students too. As for my beloved Thoth deck, it’s only used for the odd reading, meditation and Qabalah study.

Books
As far as books are concerned, they have been the main area of interest and inquiry. Partly because they are tomes of knowledge and I will miss them if they aren’t around for me to study from. Mostly because the house I’ll be leaving them in is heaven for the ignorant and closed minded – I would die if my aunt decided to hide or destroy them, like a few of my old ritual items from times past.

My original plan was to take the smaller version of Liber ABA – Regardie’s “Gems…” As it includes everything I need to know in a more immediate fashion, but I’m just too attached to my blue baby. So below is a small list of a few important books I’m taking, baring in mind I can change them every three months or so until I get my own place the following year.

▪Liber ABA
▪Liber AL vel Legis (I have so many copies of this bible, I really wouldn’t mind if it got lost! I have 8 now; excluding the printed copies within other publications)
▪Gems from the Equinox
▪Garden of Pomegranates
▪Middle Pillar
▪The Tree of Life
▪The Golden Dawn
▪The Complete Works of Aleister Crowley vol. I-III

Journals
All of my journals are coming with me! I write in them so damn much I’m already about to start my next brand new Moleskine for Conjurations and thoughts. Write! And write often folks!

▪Book of Conjurations
▪Book of Thoth
▪Book of Horus
▪Main journal

Ritual Items
Now, I don’t know all the rules of my halls yet so I’m not risking candles, my dagger or wands etc. however, I shall take a particular number of altar cloths to create scared space, and possibly a statue or two. I’ve moved from the stage of having a statue to represent deity in order to worship it, as my view of deity is that of the New Æon. I will also have a small vase with a fake red rose – hayfever issues.

Miscellaneous and Pagan Items
I will take a few crystals to keep balance, and my pink yoga mat! If there is a yoga class at the gym then I’ll be going, if not I’ll find one somewhere in the city – need to keep toned and spiritually connected yo’!

Music will be on my iPad, iPhone and laptop, which will range from the beautiful Deva Premal and Maya Fiennes right up to Beethoven, Demdike Stare and Rammstein. I have quite an eclectic taste in music, but rock is in my blood 😛

I’m sure there is much more I could take, but I will see. My travel altar items need a massive reshape too!

Like I said, what would you take with you and why? So many people have so many different paths and experiences, and differing reasons for particular items. What keeps you spiritually connected? Let me know below.

In LVX 93, 93/93

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