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All posts for the month March, 2014

Episode Three: Witchcraft and the Daily Grind

Published March 18, 2014 by The Forest's Edge

Podcast

How do you keep up with your practice, and do you see what you already do for what it is? Betwixt and Between examine their personal devotions and discuss overcoming obstacles to both engaging in integrated everyday practice and pursuing more specialized practices. Talk ranges from gardening to altars to hedgecrossing, complete with plenty of personal anecdotes.

Below you can find pictures of both Betwixt and Between’s seasonal celebration altars:

IMG_0743_2                                                                                                     Betwixt, Imbolc

IMG_5098

Betwixt, Samhain

2013-12-10 16.00.30Between, Yule

2014-03-10 11.18.45Between, Ostara

Betwixt’s Goal Setting for Witches
Or STIRR-ing the Cauldron

What could be more mundane—are you truly going to talk about goal setting? Indeed, I
am. But first, let me say two things.

One: If all is working perfectly for you in your practice of the Craft then this document is
not for you. There truly are times when a witch is not called to an expansion or
refinement in his or her practices. If that describes you right now, then excellent! Come
back to this document later. However, in the course of decades of practice change is
inevitable. Some change is spontaneous and some is planned, while most is a
combination of the two. This is good. It is a living practice. So if you feel an irritating
itch, a tugging toward something more, then this is for you.

Two: More or less all of the advice on goal setting available in the broader world is
applicable to witchcraft. There is a lot of this sort of advice. It is all good advice to
whatever extent it works for you. I am offering a small subset of basic advice here. Many
people struggle with this sort of intentional change process and it can be very helpful to
talk your plans through with someone who can be strategic and organized. Such a
someone could be a dear friend or he or she could be a professional life coach or
counselor.

In any event, on a lark I have invented an acronym for a few helpful qualities of witchy
goal setting: STIRR: Specific, Timely, Realistic, Reflective. As in STIRR the cauldron of
your life (with goal setting) so you don’t get stuck. Cheesy? Oh my, yes! Memorable? I
can only hope.

Once you have concluded that you really would like to expand/refine/modify/whatever
part of your practice…

1) Be SPECIFIC. Crazy specific. For example, “I will do more divination,” is not a goal
formulation that is most likely to help you accomplish your desires. Consider exactly:
Who? What? Why? How? (When it so important that it gets its own step.) Try to use
action verbs and only set goals that rely on your own behaviors. If your goals depend
entirely on the choices of others, then you will not be able to control the outcomes.

2) Be TIMELY. Create a timeline for your plan. Have a due date. Make sure that now is
really the right time to approach this goal. When working on the time portion of goal
setting being specific still applies. Having a deadline for making changes helps you stay
accountable—to yourself and to any accountability partner you might choose. Whether
you have met your deadline or kept up with your schedule is how you know if you have
met your goal or if you need to reflect and readjust. Consider: Daily, weekly, monthly—
every other full moon for the next six months beginning on July 24th for one half hour per
evening after the dinner dishes have been cleared away.

3) Be REALISTIC. Setting a goal you cannot possibly reach does you no good. It is just
discouraging and dispiriting. Many witches dream big dreams, which is important, but to
be accomplished the biggest dream needs to be organized into reasonable, bite-sized
chunks. Baby steps, if you can bear the term. I like to call them mini-goals. This is not a
glorious, mystical, inspiring process, but then neither is so much of practical witchcraft.

4) Be REFLECTIVE as the work unfolds and readjust as needed. Often times the process
of setting and trying to reach goals can help to reinforce the skills of good goal setting.
Failure is an opportunity to reconsider and readjust your goals. Was your original
timeline too tight? Is something else far more pressing and important? Was the action you
specified too easy to be interesting? Too hard? Did it rely on the actions of someone else?
Did you skip a step without realizing it? Maybe now you know you need to read up more
on a relevant subject or find other people to work with or what-have-you. Maybe you feel
discouraged and need to set and celebrate small goals on the way to a big goal. These
reflections are excellent information to use. Readjust your goals accordingly.

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Episode Two: Making Holidays Your Own

Published March 3, 2014 by The Forest's Edge

Podcast

Show Notes: Post holiday season (i.e. Samhain-Yule), Betwixt and Between recount their experiences of making the winter Sabbats personal and relevant to our own families and small children (with a sidebar about Passover), and involving community in our celebrations, with a look ahead to the coming year.

(And all that jazz.)

Solstice Spiral 2013

The 2013 Solstice Spiral

Resources we cited in this podcast:

A Grimoire for Modern Cunningfolk, Peter Paddon

The Old Magic of Christmas: Yuletide Traditions for the Darkest Days of the Year, Linda Raedisch

To Walk a Pagan Path: Practical Spirituality for Every Day, Alaric Albertsson

Mrs. Sharp’s Traditions: Reviving Victorian Family Celebrations of Comfort and Joy, Sarah Ban Breathnach